Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Heirs of Vulcan Elites


This is the absolute first figure made for this army, if you can believe it. In all my painting, I never finished him...

You can see the genesis of many conversions: replacing the bulbs on the backpack with servo-arms, Mega Man arms, Epic Killa Kans on every HQ base, and the tile base. I particualrly enjoy the wrist mounted plasma pistol. It just feels cool to me, but then I'm a big nerd.

"I believe I can fly" Dreadnought

The flying dread was the most whimsical piece in the army. The idea of getting this beast off the ground is emphasized by the "repulsors" and pipes that look jerry-rigged. I chose the bit as it looked like an up-scaled version of the grav chutes I used as jump repulsors on the Assault Squad. Finally, the cockpit is a popular conversion I learned from the net to get the appearance of a FW dread without the cost: Terminator Torso + Brettonian Head + Upside Down Shoulder Pad.

This one always elicits oohs and ahhs. The custom assault cannon was mostly an attempt to bulk it out and could use some tuning up, but I'm satisfied. The joints have been modified to make him appear much more flexible: each arm has been swung outward and each toe has even been reattached a different angle to give the appearance that they are hanging limp during the jump. I added an Epic Killa Kan and a control console to give some context to how high he's jumping.

Front Lines Dreadnought

This was begun as a dread I could pod in and forget about, but as I began to model it, he became so much more. On the base of a metal (you read that right, metal) dread, I adjusted leg and arm position to be as dynamic as possible. I only had the abundant 45mm base, so I built a nice little set of stairs for him to run down, intent on making contact, he'd had tank armor jerry-rigged to his chassis: track guards on top, frag grenades up front.

The story goes deeper with the sculpted chalice and right leg guard scene. This dread is the last of his chapter: the Flame Wardens. Originally a crusading offshoot of the Imperial Fists, the wardens were injured or aged marines left behind to govern and protect newly cleansed worlds. Their Chapter Master was mortally wounded in the flight from their last home world as a Hive Fleet descended. Having successfully escaped in the armory barge, he was interred in a dreadnought that was inscribed with the symbols of his Chapter. He may not agree with the heretical direction the remnants of the Flame Wardens have taken, but he can't deny the crusading spirit they invoke nor the thud of their munitions against the enemy.

Heavy Support Dreadnought

Wow, this guy is kind of a disaster. He's got a certain charm often evoked by a toddler whose dressed himself. There's just too much going on that makes no sense at all. If I had it to do over again: no satellite dish, no winch, bu;k out stock missile launcher.

The only saving grace of the mini is the supplemental weight pistons in the back. This was a fun conversion and was hard to get right. This conversion was completed before the heavy attack dread with assault drill was released, too, and could be converted easily should bitz allow.

Veteran Squad

Very fun squad that could double as an Assault squad without jumps. All chainswords have been converted to vibro-blades a-la Larry Niven's Known Space: Nano-wires encased in a stasis field to make them able to cut through anything.

Also, the squad's bolt pistols are represented with auto cannon front ends stuck on their wrists Mega Man style. All characters have Terminator Honors shoulder pads in addition to their AdMech torsos and pad.

The poses really help this group. Basically stock veterans come alive in various stances, and head movement shows deliberate purpose.

The squad leader seems a little problematic right now. The Thumper he's got in his right hand counts as a Thunder Hammer, but the single LC looks dorky. Maybe a more deliberate punching stance and attack with the Thumper?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Heirs of Vulcan HQ

Fabricator General

This was the first all-out HQ I did for this army. He looks like a spider, and I'd planned a Doctor Octopus style second version as a Dreadnought stand-in, but never got around to it. I consider it my most psychic piece: it was made before the Techmarine-as-commander rules were released for 4th edition.

The figure itself is a regular box set techmarine with additional servo-arms taken from the box set on almost all the joints. Extra shorter arms were added at the two top primary joins, while a control screen was converted and added to the left plasma cutter arm.

The battle standard replaced the transmitter portion of the backpack. Basically a pewter standard pole surmounted with a tomb kings standard and techy bitz, the front was meant to be painted and ragged-looking, representing the standard salvaged from the ruins of the 7 layered Forge World of Vulcan. Finally, the mascot of my army rides for the very first time in this piece: this Epic Killa Kan is eager for some action.

Archivor General

Born from the chassis of another awesome tech marine, this is my favorite conversion in the army. While the concept is functionally similar to the Fabricator General, the execution is much cleaner. If I had to choose one piece in the army to display always, it would be this one.

I use two servo-arms from the original kit. I replace one with a servo-skull controller and associated guitar-wire control cable. The other becomes a more refined version of the viewscreen included on the Fabricator General. Even the Killa Kan has an auspex. The banner is a custom book, and is topped with dials from the old Dwarven flame gun. On his back, a set of scrolls carried to record the exploits of his chapter. The entire piece is given motion through carefully placed and bent purity seals.

Genetor General in Power Armor

The Genetor is my version of the Chaplain. They preach healing and recovery instead of genetic purity and oversee the conversion of new Space Marines. Thanks to their advances, only one in ten neophytes fail to become marines.

Built on a simple Fabius Bile conversion, I got lazy and forgot to fill in the flayed faces. There is a noticeable lack of cruelty in my Adeptus Mechanicus army. These are renaissance men bringing light to a brutal dark world. Their longevity and survival has informed them, not driven them mad. Weep for me, a delicate soul gaming in an unfeeling legendarium...

This was my first attempt with guitar wire and the servo skulls give it some presence no matter which way you're looking at the figure. The gaudy Mercurial staff hints at the healing in his injections. Chaos beware, one drop of these unguents and you'll be brought back to mortality before he kills you, a fate worse than mere death. The green plants springing from his footsteps indicate the healing he brings to the dead world of Vulcan, ravaged by Tyranids.

Genetor General with Rocket Pack

Sometimes the Genetor has to get out. When he does, it's on rockets, with dual lightning claws and his best departed servo-skull friend to acompany him.

The fig is a torso and axe arm from the blood angels tech marine. To all you classic minis fans out there: sorry, yes, I mutilated it. No, I have no remorse.

Genetor General in Terminator Armor

Simple conversion of an awesome mini with a base that makes it pop. The only embellishments on the figure itself are the Mercurial interleave I've added on the right shoulder and left knee. The base is meant to be finished with water effects as if he's standing on the shoreline of a renewed sea teaming with restored life.

Scout Company Commander

And finally, the humble apothecary becomes a dynamic company commander with the addition or This is SPARTA! leather crotch danglies and more apothecary tools courtesy the command squad kit and a DA servo-skull like every good commander needs. His backpack is also the new kit. I think he's a pleasant blend of old and new, don't you?

Heirs of Vulcan


All posts with the Heirs of Vulcan tag are regarding my Warhammer 40k Space Marine army. The army is centered around Techmarines and the Adeptus Mechanicus. Though I enjoy the more gruesome and brutal mods people assign to the Adeptus, my conversions focused on a seamless fusion of technology and man. I will be posting my whole army one by one with tidy explanations of the story and technique behind conversions. I will also comment on themes for each unit. Below are links to the pages for each Force Organization Slot:
General History

The army began life in the fertile ground of Blue Table Painting as one or two conversions of my favorite figures: Techmarines. I was Lead Assembler at the time and had finally amassed enough skills to strike out on my own. Many of the techniques that appear in the army were first given life in single-fig conversions (tile and grate basing) or were tried and true tricks taught me by the masters at our local games store, Blakfyre Games in Orem Utah. Slow and steady horse trading of bitz from the local players helped me build a strong theme and consistent presentation throughout the assembly process. I used practically the same techniques on the last pieces as on the first. Though the army is partially painted, I have decided to let another studio, Primarch Studio of Orem Utah, do the finish work.

Army List:


  • Fabricator General (Techmarine Commander)
  • Fabricator General on Hoverbike with Conversion Beamer
  • Archivor General (counts as Librarian)
  • Genetor General in Power Armor (counts as Chaplain)
  • Genetor General with Jump Jets
  • Genetor General in Terminator Armor
  • Scout Company Captain
  • Techmarine (of course)
  • Dreadnought with Assault Cannon and CCW (I believe I can fly Dreadnought)
  • Dreadnought with Multi-Melta and CCW
  • Dreadnought with LasCannon and Missile Launcher
  • Veteran Squad (x10)
  • Tactical Squad 1 (x10) w/ PC and PG, Sarge carries PF + PP
  • Tactical Squad 2 (x10) w/ LC and PG, Sarge carries PW + PP
  • Tactical Squad 3 (x10) w/ LC and PG, Sarge carries PF + CFlamer
  • Sniper Scouts x7 (one is meant as a Sarge, w/ apothecary backpack)
  • Bolter Scouts x8
  • Heavy Bolter Scout
  • Missile Launcher Scouts x2
  • Combat Scouts x9
  • Sarges x3 w/ PF + CCW, TH + BP, CMelta + CCW (counts as Sergeant Telion)
  • Combat Servitors x6
  • Heavy Bolter Servitors x4
  • Plasma Cannon Servitors x2
  • Multi-Melta Servitor x1
Fast Attack
  • Hover Bikes x3 w/ PG and Sarge w/ PF + BP
  • Multi-Melta Attack Bike
  • Landspeeders x3 w/HB + HF, AC + MM, AC + HB
Heavy Support and Transports
  • Land Raider Crusader w/ Ornamental Dozer Blade
  • Rhinos/Razorbacks x3 w/ LC + PG, TL HB and TL AC Turrets
  • Whirlwinds x2
  • Vindicators x3
  • Thunder Fire Cannon
Common Elements
Unified themes and a consistent assembly style make this army shine. From bitz that show up on practically every model (I'm looking at you, geared skull), to consistent basing, the army is tied together at four levels: army, squad, rank, and type. By unifying presentation across the board, the army already rings a strong theme from assembly through to painting. Common colorations were assigned to keep it from getting gaudy but still add variety.
Army Level
Twisted Guitar Wire or Wire Twisted around Guitar Wire Core
The Geared Skull is Ubiquitous
No Two Alike (Weapon Placement, Pose, Armament)
Squad Level
Basing Embellishments Common to Whole Squad
Rank Display Very Distinct
Mega Man Arms Match Across Units
Rank Level
Say Hello to my Little Friend (Epic Killa Kans as HQ Familiars)
Servo Skulls
Type Level
Weapon Specialists and Bumpy Shoulder Pads
Weighted Bases (Pewter or Nickels, Metal or Plastic Regardless)
Floating Everything (Tanks, Bikes, DREADNOUGHTS)
Tile/Grate Basing (All Infantry, No Gravel Bases)

Where To Go From Here
So the army is assembled.  It even has a basic paint scheme.  Here is what I planned to finish it up:
Edge Lining: Though I experimented on a few figures, I never was able to finish hard edging in lighter reds to really make the models pop.  This is the next step after the basic scheme to finish each piece to a higher quality.
Decals: From basic unit designations to campaign markers on the kneepads of veterans and assault troops, decals would finish the large amount of open flat colored pads and plates.
Additional Troops: I had planned a number of additions and conversions to bulk the army out for apocalypse, round out the roster with more techmarines, and make a go at even more over-the-top models.  The greatest thing about this concept is the wealth of ideas to expand into and flesh out.  The only limitation is a large bitz wall or very understanding friends.  Some ideas are below:
  • Terminators with Techmarine: The bulkier terminator armor would be the perfect vehicle for newer mods and experimentation.  Specifically, servo arm and piston leg supports for the heavy weapons platforms and integrated weapon mounts expanding the Mega Man stylings or bringing it more to a Marneus Calgar type level.
  • Greenstuff Printed Greaves: Brought to the attention of the world by Scibor, who has used this method to trick out simple models for years, I was planning on testing this first on terminator greaves to add geared edging, then move to new HQ models in Terminator armor.  The simple process of making my mold in millipu or super sculpy would allow me to roll out a set of greaves fairly quickly and apply them directly to the model.  If mold release was effective, this could be done while still soft enough to add bitz and sculpt the greenstuff.
  • Baneblade, Warhound or other Superheavy Platform: Oh, the things I could do...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bitz Boxes

Old pics of my bitz I'd amased while building armies for friends and my own personal Heirs of Vulcan.

Space Marine Vehicle

IG Vehicle

IG Infantry

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Slight Diversion...

Pic from the ending of our group's campaign. This is the finale of Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave where the black dragon monologues about making a deadzone of magic for miles around before getting slaughtered by the PCs. The players started saying, "We're dead, aww crap" as soon as the Gargantuan Black dropped on the table, but it was soon swapped for a more economical Large Steel Dragon as a proxy (wasn't able to get the Large Black Dragon from D&D Minis in time).

This shows a little bit of my DM style: lots of props and terrain. Dungeon Tiles make up most of the room. Plain kid's blocks give elevation and represent simple shapes, the red counters represent sacrifices for the ritual to tear the Weave and are by Chessex. The minis are a mix of Reaper and DnD Minis, some I even painted myself. In the very center is a piece of fabric my wife taught me how to gather to form a rough ball of Weave stuff.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fimo Monsters

Assassin Vine

Shambling Mound, "Poop Monster"

Above Miniature Points: Fimo x2 (1) + Special Techniques (Fimo armature, synthetic grass) x2 (10) = 11
Current Point Total: -200

I created these monsters as part of a recent campaign from Sculpey III. The Assassin Vine is my favorite here. I made it around an armature of wire that held together pretty well, even after the oven. The white sphere is a will-o-wisp. I attempted to use the blond synthetic grass and failed miserably. We'll see how it works next time. The third is what my group affectionately calls "The Poop Monster" and was my attempt at a Shambling Mound. It nsupposed to be covered in lichen and have rocks for eyes and teeth. The rocks worked well, but the lichen never got done by game time. We'll see if I ever get around to finishing it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Massive Terrain Dump

Manhole Covers
Storage Tank
Dam Pump House
Dam Turbine
Mechanicus Memorial Tower

Fallen Powerline

Above Miniature Points: 51 (cancels out terrain section from the previous archive post)
Project Ideas Included Below: 50
Current Point Total: -211

I will have pictures of these guys soon. I did this terrain up for a fellow player of mine from stock on hand and buildings he wanted tweaked. I had initially gathered these materials when I decided not to try to amass a whole table's worth of terrain.

I plan on doing some water effects to make an inner-city water channel. It might count as much as 50 points after all included pieces and the new techniques I'm trying. I should have everything I need to do this project, apart from the water effects, so we'll see how soon this happens.