40K · science fiction · Wh40K

Review: Prince of Crows

Time for reading is limited at the moment, however when I found myself with an hour to spare I knew what to do. I had left the Night Lords Trilogy at home but knew I had Prince of Crows on my iPad. I didn’t get it all finished in the one hour, I am not that quick at reading, but I certainly wanted to. I could not put this story down.

I shall try and relate its merits without too many spoilers.

Prince-of-Crows

The novel occurs after the disasterous Thamas Crusade and depicts the Kyroptera trying to piece back the broken fragments of their legion and work out what to do next. The first thing that struck me with this novel is that Sevatar is hilarious. I don’t think detatched, mass-murdering bastards are supposed to be that funny but he is written in a way that makes him utterly relatable. From the moment he decides to clean house, to the end of the novella, he is cracking one liners and shows an irrepressable cynicism that keeps the reader on his side. There are aspects of his personality that surprised me, and he does the COOLEST thing I have read about for a long, long time.

The narrative shifts in the middle of the novella to show an exploration of the childhood and growing up of Konrad Curze. I enjoyed the insight into the homeworld of the Night Lords. It was interesting, dark but interesting. It made me feel more sympathetic to him as well, in many ways.

Moving on from the great characters, I want to talk about the superb minimalist writing of the author. I always enjoy Aaron Dembski-Bowden and this novella is no exception to that. There was a particular line that gave me goosebumps when I read it, ‘The pale man burst the minister’s heart in his hand, in a rustling squeeze of abused meat.’ I don’t want to think waht thay says about me but this line really got me. It is not over described, it’s not over written and it allows the reader to fill in with their own imagination what it actually looked like. I discussed this with a friend of mine and they indicated this was one of the aspects that made the author brilliant and I find I am inclined to agree with them.

I won’t waffle on further about how amazing this novella is. Just go and read it. Do it for the quick witted, one liners. Do it for the immense action scenes, it is well worth the read.

40K · fan based · fan made · fiction · figures · fine detail · fun · hobby · miniatures. · painting · sci fi · science fiction · space marines · warhammer · Warhammer 40000 · Warhammer 40k · Wh40K

Team Mental

I’m not entirely sure what I am going to do with these guys. A lot of what I am painting has been bought second hand so I have had no real control over what they look like. I have no idea what his intentions were with these Marines I am currently painting. They see, to be a mishmash of different parts.

I think I will end up using them as veterans but I keep referring to them as Team Mental. No one wants to be on Team Mental, they’re all crazy…

They are fun to paint however and I will continue to keep at them, they’re not looking too shabby in my humble opinion.

40K · Army Painter · blue · fan based · fine detail · fun · hobby · miniatures. · painting · science fiction · space marines · warhammer · Warhammer 40000 · Warhammer 40k · Wh40K

Thinner

Hello readers!

Welcome back.

Since being back at work, I have had much less time to write and paint, which is a shame.

What are weekends made for?

This weekend saw me down at Stronghold Games – the local gaming store – set up for more than a few hours painting. I was only too pleased to get there and get on.

What I wanted to mention today was the joy of paint thinner. I know I have mentioned it in the past as something I rarely do but that has now changed.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore Citadel paints and the range of colours there are but sometimes, they’re just a bit too thick. I have been highlighting the armour of my marines in a much lighter shade than the base colour and found that as I was using a very small brush, the paint did not flow very well.

Enter the thinner pictured above. Mixing a small drop of this with the paint made it flow so much easier on the brush. It meant that it was easier to ad the highlights too.

I know I am not the best painter in the world but I do feel as though these models are really coming along nicely and the thinner has helped me to do so.

It is also very good at reviving paints that have gone hard. A problem with all acrylics, just mix in a few drops of this thinner and the paint will be useable once more. I am so pleased to be able to use tentacle pink once again! Hurrah!

40K · Chapter Master · fan based · fan made · sci fi · science fiction · space marines · Warhammer 40000 · Warhammer 40k

The legend of Leonaci Conucifer and the raging Azhut – Part 2


 Read this first …
 
Leaping out of the shadows, skittering across the floor in rapid movements, large creatures descended on the squad. There was no real time for thought, only firing. The speed in which they attacked matched the response. Silence was shattered by the sound of bolter-fire; shouts of surprise filled the air. Conucifer aimed his bolter at the nearest one, blasting through a front limb. These aliens had six legs, the front ones raised and armed with vicious claws.
The limb exploded in a shower of green viscera. It did not stop the creature, now squealing from its beaked mouth. Clicks filled the air as the creature lunged forward, the remaining claw raised. Aiming the bolter again, he shot at the head, blowing it off. Instead of falling to the ground as expected, it kept coming. He blinked, dropping the bolter. Thumbing the activation on the chainsword, the machine whirred to life. He cut through the carapace, a shower of entrails spilling from the wound. Finally, the creature fell still.
A scream snapped his head up. Helpless, he watched as a headless thing skewered both claws through the chest of Lurvus, “Through the chests!” he yelled, needing the others to know how to kill the xeno scum. Not waiting, Conucifer brought his bolter to bear and destroyed the thing that had harmed his brother. Carnok, the apothecary was at Lurvus’s side in moments, making sure he was alright. He turned away and looked for the next target.
The sound of bolter fire echoed over the ridge, the clicks of the alien a subtle undertone. A quick scan of the ridge said his shout had been registered and orders followed, the mounting bodies of dead aliens evidence of that. The ground shuddered, something large was moving about in the cave. Looking up, Conucifer saw something that turned his stomach. Skin glistened; slick wet leather covered a bony body twice the size of him. Claws as long as his arms reached out but the worst thing was the stench. Death followed this creature; the smell of putrid flesh followed as it exited the cave, making his gorge rise. He knew what he had to do!
“MORTIFERUS!” he yelled, the answering cries of his battle-brothers spurring him forwards. He charged into the mass of it; the large claws rose in greeting as his chain-sword swung down, cutting into one of the thick limbs. Green blood spurted from the wound but the fight was far from over. Dodging left, he blocked a blow with a ceramite vambrace, cutting low. The blow found purchase, the chain cutting into flesh. Squeals erupted from the hideous mouth of the monster, It pushed forward. Not one to neglect a challenge, Conuficer refused to be moved. He ducked, repeating the blow to the other limb; this time the creature did not miss him. 
A huge claw punctured his left shoulder, the blow sending him reeling. Vivid red flooded down his blue armour; the raw pain flooded through him before the power armour could inject the stims into his blood, damping it. Seconds later, he was being pressed back, the alien not giving him a moment to register the wound.
The sound of parried blows echoed as the beast drove him further back into the cave. The light dimmed, the stench intensified. Pressing the advantage, a flurry of blows sent his bolter flying, his chainsword span out of his grip. A low blow from the claw toppled Conicifer, sending him sprawling onto his back. 
Vile stench surrounded him, the creature loomed over, it’s fiendish maw dripping with green ooze. Hearts thudding in his ears, he did not wait for death. If he was going to be claimed by this evil hissing thing, he was going to make sure it came with him! Two claws descended; he caught them in gloved hands, refusing to give in. The sharp blades of the alien’s primary weapon cut through his armoured hands.
Watching the claws come closer, despite his grip he knew the end was close. There was so much he had left to do, so many tasks yet to complete in the name of the Emperor. Feeling the claw slip through his grasp, he refused to believe this was how it ended. His grip tightened on the sharp appendages, blood flowed from his lacerated hands. He twisted his wrists around instead. At an agonising pace, the rigid claws were twisted with them.
First there was a creaking, rapidly followed by a snapping and a spray of green covered his helmet. Screaming once more filled the air; the creature recoiled. A glance to his left, then his right. There! As the beast snapped back, he reached out a hand. Still on his back, he gripped the chainsword and rammed it home, burying the whirring blade into its soft underside. Chunks of meat and bone fell onto the dusty ground. Raising a boot, he kicked the dying creature away. The next moment he was on his feet, dismissed it and looked for the rest of his companions.
What he saw was a brutal display of their killing power. Fragments of alien lay strewn over the battlefield, discarded and useless as rotten flesh. The only movement came from his warriors. Even Lurvus was on his feet, his armour now more green than red. “Think it’s safe to say this is a hostile world,” Thelis muttered as he walked over.
“There is only one course of action here,” Coniferus nodded, flicking gunk from his chainsword and sheathing it once again. Although he couldn’t see it, he knew his friend was smiling inside his helmet as he nodded. Coniferus was smiling himself; the war here was going to be short and bloody; just how they liked it.
40K · blue · Chapter Master · fan based · fan made · fiction · fine detail · hobby · miniatures. · painting · psycho · sci fi · science fiction · space marines · taking stock · warhammer · Warhammer 40000 · Warhammer 40k

Gravus Nurion – Chapter Master

 When the other half brought home a load of models the other day, I have to confess I was a little bit on the exited side. Alright so this is a little bit sad too but I can live with that.

We laid out all the Space Marines and took stock of what was there. There were enough there to complete several squads, which is great, There were also several terminators, some veterans and this guy pictures on the left.

The figures were already undercoated blue so it did not take all that long to touch them up and make them look as though they had always been with the others. We decided that this model would make a good Chapter Master and so here he is in all his bright blue glory.

The part I am most pleased with is the line of blue on the cloak. It’s not painted free hand, I am not steady enough for that I don’t think but is raised up. The psycho was employed and I managed to highlight it too – something I have never really thought of doing before.

I have also managed to free hand paint the Chapter symbol on the left shoulder-pad and write his name under it. Again, something I was unsure about doing but seems to have worked out rather well.

Now, because Gravus Nurion is a little bit on the important side, I spent a bit of time asking questions. I’ve shared one of the answers below:

How did you become Chapter Master?

·         When the former Chapter Master was killed, it was decreed that I should take his place. I’m not going to start this off with an ‘it was a dark and stormy night’ if that is what you are expecting. Alvar was well known for his cavalier attitude when it came to a fight and it was this that finally caught up with him.
Hand print and name!
“I remember them bringing back what was left of him, not much more than pulp, certainly nothing recognisable. After they recovered his gene-seed, which was a miracle in itself, he was laid out. His work for the Emperor had ended, leaving us behind to pick up the pieces and move forward. The atmosphere within the Chapter was solemn for a long while, his were large boots to fill and he had been Chapter Master for a long time and was well liked.
“It was about two hundred and fifty years ago that Alvar was killed. I had been First captain for about fifty or so. I was voted in by the other captains unanimously, a point of which I am most proud.”

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The legend of Leonaci Conucifer and the raging Azhut – Part 1


The series of clicks that echoed on the bridge of the Valiant sounded like nothing they had ever heard before. That is was language was clear, there was structure in the sounds, however what was making the noise was not. A few furtive looks were passed around the bridge. The source of the noise appeared to be a small planet in the little known Andemi system, just a short way off their course. 
Skepphon Alvar, Chapter Master of the Black Hands, turned to his First Captain and frowned, “What do you think?” he asked. 
Leonaci Conucifer knew that Alvar would have his thoughts on the matter already; he would want to know what his were and whether they differed. “Could be anything sir,” he replied.
“Worth investigating do you think?”
“What do we know about where it’s coming from?” He was handed a data-slate which had the sparse details on and a small frown puckered his craggy brow. Looking back to the Chapter Master he nodded, “A colony was established there once but no contact has been had since the Great Crusade, might as well take a look,” he said. 
“It might be nothing,” Alvar said.
“But it might be something and we would be remiss in our duty if we ignored it,” Conucifer countered. The Chapter Master clapped him on the shoulder plate and nodded.
“My thoughts exactly,” he said.
***
Twenty hours later, the Valiant was anchored in orbit around Omman, the fourth planet in the Andemic system. The vibrant green ball below them hung suspended in the depths of space almost like a promise. Conucifer stood with his team, five reliable Astartes from the second company, knowing that they were walking into a complete mystery. Inside the Razorback that was to be their back up, they waited in silence.
It did not take long for the Thunderhawk to deposit them on the surface of the planet, leaving them there to perform their duty; discover what was happening on the surface of Omman and where the noises had come from. The moment they were out the Thunderhawk, they scanned the location for any signs of life. The location was near where the long range sensors of the Battle Barge had picked something up. It seemed the most likely place for sentient beings to exist. There was no evidence of life other than the plants around them.
Most of the planet surface was swamp, which gave off a foul smelling gas, it gave the planet the green appearance they had seen from space. This particular part of the planet however was mostly free from water and most vegetation, instead the dull grey rock showed through providing a stable surface for the Razorback to drive over. 
“That ridge there,” indicated Conucifer, “If anything is going to be living here it would be on that patch of ground.”
Scitek Thelis, the chaplain of the squad, gave a nod. “It would make the most sense,” he agreed. The ground turned rockier after that and it soon became clear that the tank would not be able to follow them up the craggy part of the ridge; they would have to do that on foot.  
The squad left the tank behind and climbed up the ridge, the lingering stink of swamp filtering through the breathers as they went. Everything here was tainted with the smell of rotten eggs. The only sound that could be heard was the crunch of stone under boots as they travelled up the steep slope. 
“Sir!” Torfis, one of the squad, said. He gestured to a piece of rock jutting from the ground that appeared to have deep claw marks imbedded into it. Conucifer walked over for a closer look and nodded, the chaplain followed close behind.
“I don’t know about this,” Conucifer said with a shake of his head. “Looks like scratches.”
“From an animal perhaps?” Torfis asked.
“No, they’re too precise,” Thelis said “If you look, they’re marked just so. The distance between them is indicative of intelligence,” he said, pointing out the marks. It was subtle but it was there.
“Alright, keep moving, we’re bound to find something sooner or later,” Conucifer said, “And it’s likely to have claws!” he added. There was a half-hearted chuckle from the others and they began to move forward once again. 
Cresting the ridge, the wind picked up, tugging at the five of them as they slowly made their way over the rugged terrain. At one end of the ridge was what appeared to be a cave mouth; the shadows were thick, the wind blowing towards the looming maw. Conucifer indicated that was the way they were going; there was nothing else on the ridge of note, except more rocks.
The approach to the mouth of the cave was silent, the wind dying the closer they got. The gloom deepened. A disturbing smell emanated from the cave, permeating the air. Conucifer’s grip tightened on his bolter. His finger rested on the small bar that would send shots into the darkness. Taking a deep breath, he forced the anticipation down; he needed to think rationally. The rest of the team would be thinking the same; it was always so just before stepping into the unknown.
Just to be sure, Conucifer made sure his chain sword was ready too. The weapon was a favourite of his, ever trusty; there were things a chain sword could do that a bolter couldn’t. The squad moved forward, approaching the dark mouth of the cave. A drip of water, amplified by the silence like a metronome, ticked away. Rocks crumbled. His head snapped around. Nothing. 
Then it happened…
40K · Army Painter · blue · fan made · fine detail · fun · hobby · miniatures. · painting · sci fi · science fiction · space marines · Warhammer 40000 · Warhammer 40k

Seven Model Army…

I realise I have not posted anything new for a while so thought it was about time I did something. I have a story in the works which I shall be publishing on here in two parts over the next week but I wanted to show off the seven finished guys I have done while the weather was nice.

Photographing miniatures is perhaps  the worst part of the hobby. You can never seem to get decent images. I am limited to an iPad for a camera and natural lighting so when the sun came out today I decided it was time to do the best I could with what I have available. Here are the results:

Why do I have this?

I think the fella with the plasma gun looks  unsure as to why he has it in the first place. Perhaps that’s because he is leaning forward a little – whomever put these together (not me) did not take time to think about what they would look like finished and so some of them look a bit off.

I am pleased with how they look so far – they all need their company markings put on them and that will be done as soon as we manage to figure out who is going where. As they are, they’re not bad for a first attempt at painting a batch of Marines.