It’s been a while since I have done a book review, though that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. I have indulged in a lot of short stories, which would take forever to review them all. It doesn’t mean they are not good, or engaging and they certainly are worth reading however I would be here forever if I posted about them all.
One group of short stories has led me down a rather delightful path, and those feature the oddity that is Mephiston. Recommended by a close friend, I decided that it was time to venture out if the realms of chaos and see what the Imperium had to offer. I must say I was very well surprised with the two short stories: Eclipse of Hope and Lord of Death by David Annandale, however the character really comes into his own when penned by the capable hand of Darius Hinks.
Technically, the language is beautiful. While reading, there were no clumsy sentences, wonderfully crafted metaphors which were wrought in a careful, considerate way. Hinks’ choice of language complimented the carefully crafted world he created for the story and it was neither heavy handed or awkward. The pace of the novel was excellent and it kept me turning the pages until many a small hour – always a successful point. I was gripped.
What truly seized me however were the interactions between the three main protagonists. After reading a lot of novels set in the realm of chaos, it was a true pleasure to read about characters that liked one another. The dynamic between the young Antros, the older, sterner Rhacelus and the enigmatic Mephiston is expertly executed. The three compliment one another, even if they often do not understand each other. I never felt as though there was deceit between them and it was clear that although there was definite fear of death, none of them would die alone.
I don’t post spoilers in my reviews, but I want to discuss one point at the start of the book that was refreshing. Antros seeks the aid of a guardsman in locating a position in a dangerous place. When the inevitable danger occurs, he is desperate to ensure the guardsman survives. The fact that there are Chapters that still regard mortals as valuable and worth saving was brought into this novel clearly, however it never forgot the elements of Grimdark that are associated with Warhammer 40 000 either.
Darius Hinks has done a wonderful job with this novel, and I do look forward to reading the next one, right after Devastation of Baal, which is what I am chewing through rapidly at the moment.
I love going to open days. I love the atmosphere, meeting the design and studio teams and seeing people that I don’t see any other time of the year. The exhibition had changed somewhat and I took a lot of pictures as we discovered new pieces. I’ll start with those and then look at the design studio stuff!
Highlights of the exhibition include: Imperial Fist and Crimson Fist guts, Space Marines on dinosaurs, Sanguinius beating up daemons and the Bonereaper display in general.
The best part about these days, is being able to speak to and interact with the design teams. Seeing the concept art – with actual artiss working as we speak – is a real treat and the enthusiasm shared with them is infectious. Being able to share how evokative and inspiring some of the art work is a delight to them, and to share experiences is really lovely. This was gifted to my by Lewis Jones, one of the artists, and it shall take a place of pride in the house, once framed of course:
I also managed to look at a lot of new releases and future plans, I have seen the brand new Sisters of Battle box adn the miniatures it contains as well. We also managed to talk to the designers of the new Necromunda box set and scenary. I congratulated the maker on how disgustingly gross it was too. There are a lot of pictures here as well, and a lot I was excited about!
And a final mention for this larger fellow, who I cannot wait to get my dirty heretic hands on and have my way with…
I finished two miniatures today, that in itself is nothing remarkable. What I noticed was that both of them are colours that I have heard people say they find difficult. One of them is the new White Scar Marine, Kor’sarro Khan, and the other was the noise Marine:
The noise Marine I started at the beginning of the year and intended to use him for a diorama that I didn’t get around to finishing. I found him and baked him today and I think he looks great in the Black Legion colours.
Kor’sarro Khan was a challenge because white is a pain to get looking crisp. I think I did a decent job here though.
Batch painting is something I have done before. I think those of us who paint units have all done this to one extent or another. I picked up some tips on doing this while on the Siege Studios course and I have put them to good use today. I have 20 Primaris Space Marines to paint as Iron Hands and thought I would do them all at once in a batch.
I put them in a line, realised there were too many and so put them in two lines instead, 10 in each. I then proceeded to do all the black, then all the white, then all the silver, and so on. I won’t lie, it is a bit of a slog, but it is getting them done and in a logical way that keeps me focused.
Primaris Conga Line?
When one is done, I turn him to face the other way so I know where I am in the line. I do take breaks and if I take one part way through, I know where to go back to when I return. Here they are in all their WIP glory!
One thing I do know is this – tomorrow is going to be an edge highlight festival…
Just a quick update on how I am progressing with the daemon prince(ss) of Slaanesh. I have decided that this will be my reward miniature. For the last hour of the day, I will paint it as a reward for getting through the D&D scenery and the Critical Role stuff as well.
Today I managed to get most of the other claw finished. The blending takes a long time to get right and I am still not totally happy with where I ave left it. I think there are some parts that need smoothing out in terms of colour transitions, however I made a good start on it. I can look again tomorrow with fresh eyes and make any adjustments that need doing then.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these novels and the last one was no different to the last in that factor. It was a whirlwind of a read with some definite high points. I don’t want to spoil any of the novel, and you should definitely go and read this for yourselves. However, here are some of the high points:
Uzas – The Night Lord struggling with Khorne comes through with some excellent insight and character development.
Lucoryphus risking his butt to save a tech adept on the outside of the ship.
Cyrion’s sharp wit and one line quips are as good as ever.
Variel being his glorious self.
Talos trying to be something he isn’t and not doing a bad job of it.
The writing is spot on as always, which made the reading a pleasure. The development of the characters and setting is engaging and of course the world setting is very familiar too. The last part of the book is tough on the feels but the ending is worth it.
I think this is perhaps the stupidest miniature I own. He came with a bunch of second hand Ultramarines I bought a long time ago. One thing I do know is that it has endured a lot of mocking. A dreadnought with a head seems to me a daft concept and whomever made him was either a genius, or had taken some substance and gone mad.
I have however, become quite fond of the damned thing and so have decided to make it some sort of mascot. I touched up the paint on him, picking out some details and giving him some highlights. I’ve also added some more texture paint to his base and painted the rim. He will remind me that not everything isn’t he Grimdark universe has to be serious, and there are no limits. If you want a dreadnought with a head, why not?