This is a review of the Sagittarius Conversion Kit from Blood and Skulls Industry. It’s designed to replace the tracks, track guards and upper hull from a plastic Land Raider. I’ve also chosen to add the Oppressor (spiky) tracks, and a pair of Alpha pattern dual-weapon sponsons. Here’s what the tank currently looks like, after assembling all the resin components.
As mentioned in my previous post, the casting quality from Blood and Skulls is excellent. During assembly I found a few small air bubbles on the sides of some track links. There are plenty of spares though, and it’s also easy to position these so any bubbles aren’t visible. Overall, it’s a very good quality kit. Details on the Oppressor tracks is particularly good, with every last finger-piercing spike properly filled out.
There was quite a lot of resin flash on the track sections, but this was simple enough to remove with a sharp knife. The resin is very hard, making details sturdier than Forgeworld resin. However, that means that it doesn’t sand very easily.
There seemed to be a lot of mould release fluid on these, as I had very greasy hands after removing the parts from their packaging. I removed this by spraying all parts with Simple Green, and then scrubbing them under running water. Fairly standard practice for any resin kit, and it’s a good opportunity to inspect the parts closely before you glue them together.
I have lots of assembly pics, so I’ll add them after the cut…
Blood and Skulls Industry produce excellent resin conversion parts, which I’ve used previously on my Imperial Guard. Today a package arrived with most of the parts needed to build the final two models for my Ork Custodes project. For the Venerable Land Raider, there’s a Sagittarius track conversion kit (with a set of spiky “Oppressor” tracks), some Alpha-pattern dual weapon sponsons, and four light Laser Cannons. There are also some small jet fans which I’ll use on a jetbike conversion.
I’m excited about getting the tank fully assembled. The Ork Land Raider will be a huge centrepiece model for the army. Also, weighing in at a hefty 400 points it’s almost a third of my army points for Arc40k. It’s also a great opportunity to try using up as many of my remaining Ork model parts as possible. I’ve started with the mekboy welding mask, on an ‘Ardboy crewman doing his best “Drive me closer, I want to hit them with my axe” pose.
Here’s what the Blood and Skulls Industry gear looks like straight out of the box:
Quite a lot of flash on the track links, but the detail is beautiful. Very clean castings, no air bubbles, and it seems a bit tougher than Forgeworld’s resin. It does all feel quite greasy to touch, though. I anticipate having to wash off a lot of mould release before assembly can begin on these.
I like the slightly chunkier lines of the Blood and Skulls Industry weapons. The profile is still instantly recognisable to anyone familiar with Warhammer 40,000, but there’s a unique, slightly cruder aspect to the proportions.
Not shown here: the handy magnet-sized holes in the back of the sponson weapon mounts. These match the holes in each of the weapons. The Blood and Skulls kits are great on tanks like the Leman Russ, where you can easily magnetise a few different weapon options. In this case, I’ll glue them in place: a Custodes Land Raider always carries two twin-linked lascannon.
Next time, I’ll cover how those enormous tracks are actually assembled. Then, I’ll try to finish off the Land Raider assembly before turning my attention towards the Shield-Captain’s jetbike.
Waaagh Valorkis is now underway… As hinted at in my last post, I’ll be working on an Ork army for next year’s Arc40k tournament. Not just any Orks though – some particularly delusional ones, with their sights set on revenge against a particularly tough opponent: Captain-General Trajann Valoris, of the Adeptus Custodes. Chief headsman of the Emperor’s own bodyguards, and personally credited with bringing a sudden and violent end to Waaagh Krushfist back when he served as an Allarus Terminator.
After Krushfist died, most of the gathered Clanz dispersed: Ork hordes rarely survive the loss of a powerful leader. In this particular case though, some of the lesser bosses saw what happened, and decided to seek revenge. What better role model for an Ork than the golden warriors of the Custodes? Powerful, nigh-unkillable warriors, capable of holding their own in a scrap against almost anything in the galaxy.
See, when some git teleports in and stomps yer boss, first ya get kunnin’ – kidnap a good mek, get him to make tougher armour for the ladz, and some of them choppas wiv guns on ‘em. Then ya get brutal – start kickin’ heads in and make enough noise to get the Emperor’s boyz payin’ attention. Then ya get some revenge.
Here’s how the first Ork Custodes test model started out – using Orruk Brutes as the main (Artificer Armour) troops, armed with Guardian Spears and clad in thick plate. The models below are part of Da Cross Toof Mob – a unit formed from Bad Moons, sporting fancy gear like bionics that the other units couldn’t afford.
It’s a start, but still needed something else: some unit markings on the shoulders, and a more high-tech look to the spear blades. I’ll paint those up as “proper” power weapons, so I wanted to copy the visual cues from other 40k powered blades.
Now we’re starting to make some progress 🙂
Through all my years involved in this hobby, there’s one Warhammer 40k faction that I’ve never painted: my very first adversaries, from back in the Rogue Trader / 2E days.
That’s about to change for my Arc40k 2019 project, hopefully getting the band back together to work on a joint project with some friends. It’s time for Arcanacon to start looking a little green…
More details to come soon – I’ve just ordered the models I’ll need, and will start up a project diary once they arrive.
The second FAQ for Shadespire has just been released, and can be found here.
No major surprises in this one – mostly just further clarifications on some wording. The Sepulchral Guard’s “raise two figures” rules still trigger if it’s the same figure being returned multiple times, which helps with Battle Without End and the Warden’s Inspire condition. The extra action from Time Trap can’t be used for anything you’d otherwise be prevented from doing (e.g. Charge with a model that’s already made a Move action). Now that there are a few cards out there that trigger at the same time, the Sequencing rules from the Errata document are also becoming more important.
These are a couple of figures from FFG’s Imperial Assault boardgame, which I’ll be trying out a first game of tomorrow. I generally don’t paint soft-plastic boardgame figures (low detail, lots of mould lines, bendy plastic parts), but decided to try getting some colour onto a couple of potential characters.
Total painting time for these two was a couple of hours. I applied some base colours on a day that, in hindsight, was far too hot for painting – the paints almost dried right on the brush. The next night, I added some highlights and details.
Mould lines were worst on Murne Rin (the blue-clad Ithorian) – the medical droid (MHD-19) was a pretty clean cast. Now that I’ve started experimenting with that style of painting, I’m enjoying trying it out more often: there’s lots of benefit from muscle-memory practice, and it’s helping me decide how to map out light and shade across a model.
This is a quick look at what’s on my desk at the moment. I decided to try out some new techniques on the allied Alaitoc detachment I’m painting for this year’s Arc40k tournament next month, as I’ve always liked the mottled blue armour from the studio colour scheme.
I’ve used a few different P3 paints for these: basecoat is Exile Blue over a black undercoat. I’ve used a bit of sponge to stipple on Cygnar Blue Base, and some Underbelly Blue (mixed with a bit of Cygnar base) to get the mottled patterning.
I picked out the edges of the armour with the same Underbelly mix, and also used it as a glaze to highlight the upper surfaces of curved armour areas. Once that was done, I glazed the whole surface with some Cygnar base to bring some more of a rich blue hue back to it.
My local store ran a painting contest after 8th Edition 40k launched, for the figure that came with that month’s White Dwarf magazine. It had been a while since I painted anything in power armour, so I gave it a shot – this is my version of a Primaris Intercessor, from the Dark Angels chapter.
I finally finished painting my first warband for Shadespire – settling on Steelheart’s Champions, as much for the low model count (only three figures) as for the large flat surfaces and a chance to try out some different painting techniques.
As the previous posts have shown, this type of gold spends a lot of time looking like brown and yellow paint… I’m still figuring out the right balance between dark shadows and bright highlights, but I owe a lot to this excellent video tutorial from Painting Buddha. You can find individual photos of each of the figures below: