Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Deathwatch Campaign Journal - Part 1, Welcome to Threnos

Here is the first installment of our Deathwatch campaign. I am posting this on behalf of Adeptus-B


My Deathwatch campaign is set in the Calixis Sector rather than the Jericho Reach (I also GM Dark Heresy, and didn't want to have to keep track of two radically different settings simultaneously). This is the introduction I used to establish the setting- after playing it out with the 'core' group of players in the first session, I have emailed this description to subsequent players who have joined our group after the initial launch to bring them 'up to speed'. I hope other GMs may find something in this that they find useful...

You have been recommended for service in the Deathwatch by one of your Chapter’s Chaplains, due to your evident zeal in combating xenos. You have undergone a series of trials that have proven your worth to the elite alien-fighting organization and been accepted into their exclusive ranks, to serve in a beleaguered Watch post on the outskirts of Segmentum Obscurus.

It’s been a voyage of several months, requiring transfers between a series of voidships until you finally reach the edge of Imperial space: the Calixis Sector. You await the arrival of the ship that will carry you on the final leg of your journey at an Imperial Navy substation orbiting a grimy planet called Fenksworld. Other Astartes from a variety of Chapters also await the transport; undoubtedly these are warriors who will be spilling their blood alongside you in your service to the Deathwatch.

After a few days an ominous black Hunter-class destroyer docks at the substation, and you are summoned aboard. As serfs carry your gear to your quarters, you and the other Astartes are directed to the ship’s chapel. There, you are met by a like number of Marines standing at attention; their armour gleams as if recently repainted in their Chapter colours, and each holds a stylized silver shoulder plate in their hands. One by one, these Battle-Brothers step forward and ask each of your group in turn to place a hand on the shoulder plate’s skull-and-crossbones icon and recite the Oath of Binding, the pledge of loyalty to the Deathwatch and the vow to keep its secrets. This ritual complete, the Space Marines mustering out of Deathwatch service hand off their shoulder plates to their replacements and take their leave.

As the destroyer pulls away from the orbital facility and enters the warp, a staff of armourers aboard ship begins the process of modifying your armour, lacquering it Deathwatch black and adding the silver shoulder plate, electroplating the left arm to match. As this painstaking procedure is being undertaken, you and your Battle-Brothers begin undergoing rounds of hypno-indoctrination in the secrets and tactics of the Deathwatch.

Six months go by as the destroyer plies the warp, although temporal distortion makes it seem as though only a few weeks have passed. Finally, claxons sound to indicate that the ship is transitioning back into realspace. Plasma engines rumble for several hours as the destroyer approaches its destination; during this time, your keen hearing the faint, static-filled sounds of Imperial hymns emanating from vox speakers throughout the ship…

Eventually the unmistakable sounds of docking resound through the vessel, letting you know you have finally reached your destination: Watch Fortress Threnos.

You and your new comrades assemble in the destroyer’s primary airlock, clad in power armour newly bedecked with the iconography of the Deathwatch. As you snap to attention, the airlock door hisses open, revealing a large hanger bay beyond. Within the hanger stand one hundred Chapter Serfs in precise rows, clad in somber robes. As one, the serfs drop to a kneeling position, leaving a single figure standing erect in the hanger. He is a fellow Space Marine, clad in Deathwatch colours and bearing the rank insignia of a Captain. His right shoulder plate displays the symbol of his parent Chapter: the mysterious Dark Angels. He is helmetless, revealing a face that has been horrendously scarred: large areas of flesh have been dissolved down to bare skull. The bone has also been damaged, as attested to by the extensive metal reinforcements embedded into areas of exposed skull. One eye was clearly beyond saving, and has been replaced with a glaring red cybernetic implant. The captain stands silent, clearly awaiting a salute; when it is given he quickly returns it an addresses your group: “Welcome to the Deathwatch, Battle-Brothers,” he growls in a rasping voice, as damaged as his visage. “I’m Captain Korvus. I’ll be overseeing your training. You’ve received preliminary implantation of basic Deathwatch protocols during your voyage- now we will begin implementing that knowledge in the live-fire arenas. But first, the Watch Commander has requested your presence in the Chamber of Vigilance. The serfs will attend to your possessions.”

The Captain leads you through a twisting labyrinth of corridors within the orbiting Watch Fortress, passing a number of serfs, scribes, and technicians along the way, all of whom bow reverently in your presence. After several minutes of walking you arrive at a large arched door of adamantine, its surface inscribed with hundreds of names. “Battle-Brothers who have fallen in service of the Calixis Sector Deathwatch since its founding two thousand years ago,” explains Captain Korvus as he enters his authorization code to open the door. Just before the two halves of the great door hiss open, you notice that there is room for more names to be added to this roll call of the dead, and you can’t help but wonder- will yours be among them…?

The Chamber of Vigilance is a large octagonal room with a cathedral ceiling. Monitors line almost every wall, interspersed with stout support columns sculpted to resemble heroes of the Angevin Crusade. A circular table stands unoccupied in the center of the room. Other than the integral servitors monitoring the data flashing across the many vid-screens, the only one in the Chamber is a Space Marine clad in elaborate Artificer armour, the Deathwatch black accented with numerous silver flourishes. He turns as you enter, hands clasped behind his back, and you see than his face is weathered and lined, but strong. He has long white hair and sharp green eyes; the plate on his right shoulder indicates that he hails from the famed Ultramarines.

“Welcome to Watch Fortress Threnos, sons of the Emperor. I am Commander Ramius, senior officer of the Calixian Deathwatch- a position I have had the honour to hold for four centuries now. Here you will receive specialized training in how best to combat the xeno menace that threatens the Imperium on all sides. And worry not- your tour in the Deathwatch will be no mere academic exercise: you will be afforded a wealth of opportunities to practice what you have learned by smiting the enemies of Mankind, honing your skills while earning honour for yourself and your Chapter.

“The enemies of the Emperor are many and varied here on the very edge of Imperial space. Calixis is a young sector by Imperial standards; it’s been a mere two millennia since the Angevin Crusade brought the Emperor’s light to this benighted region, and there are many indigenous species ripe for extermination. Aboriginal Enoulians, scavenging Morgauth, and sinister Draethi will all be targets of your wrath. Many of the well-known xeno threats that span the galaxy are found here as well: savage Ork warbands and piratical Eldar Kabals also menace the Calixis Sector. And then there are the Q'orl, the Verminthiculians, the mystery of the Maggot Men...

“And our commitment extends beyond the sector border as well- the Calixian Deathwatch is pledged to support the war-torn Spinward Front and the settlement of the Koronus Expanse." As the Watch Commander speaks, a series of star charts flash across the Chamber's largest pictscreen, revealing the daunting size of the watch Fortress' jurisdiction.

“Unfortunately, not all of our enemies are aliens: trade in forbidden xeno artifacts and technology- dubbed the ‘Cold Trade’ by the criminal underground- flourishes within the sector, bringing us into frequent conflict with humans who have betrayed their duty to the Emperor for monetary gain. This disgraceful lust for the tools of damnation dictates the placement of this very Watch Fortress.” Commander Ramius touches a button on a control console, calling up an image of a charred, lifeless planet surface. “This is the world below us, the former capitol of the Chaos-worshiping Yu’Vath empire which ruled this region of space before being cast down by the Angevin Crusade. Orbital bombardment at the climax of the Crusade scoured the planet’s surface, but untold leagues of tunnels still exist deep underground. Adeptus Mechanicus explorator teams are excavating these tunnels and destroying the blasphemous artifacts discovered therein, but they have barely made a dent in the hidden secrets left behind by the Yu’Vath. Hence, Watch Fortress Threnos must remain ever vigilant against those traitors to the Emperor who would plunder the hidden mysteries far below, without regard to the evils they may unleash.

“All these threats and more the Calixian Deathwatch must be prepared to stand against. But first: you must be weary from your long voyage. Undoubtedly you are eager to exercise your battle skills. Captain Korvus can arrange a live-fire exercise in one of the station’s battle arenas.”

-And from there, we ran a few 'training sessions' in the Watch Fortress' combat arenas, with the newly-formed Killteam taking on waves of Combat Servitors (both individual Astartes-grade servitors [based on the stats from the DW Rulebook], and Hordes of 'commercial-grade' gun servitors [from the Dark Heresy Rulebook] armed with twin-linked autoguns with Manstopper rounds); ostensibly intended to get the recruits adjusted to working with their new brethren, these sessions really served the practical purpose of giving everyone (players and GM) an idea of what constitutes a 'legitimate threat' to a mighty Deathwatch Space Marine, before we began playing real missions.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dark Heresy Character WIP - Guardsman (part 2)

Just a quick pic of the progress I made on my son, Deathbot's character.

Base colors are done and some highlighting and detail have been started.

I hope my attempt at Gold "Filigrees" doesn't read like "Tron"!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Krr'Gaal

Adeptus-B just won a a 'design-a-new-xeno' contest put on by The WH40KRP fansite Dark Reign! Below is his entry. Way to go Adeptus-B!


(Verminthiculius Belli)

Of all the noxious xenomorphs inhabiting what was once known as Dread Calix, none were more feared by early Imperial explorers than the infamous Yu’Vath. Compounding the sin of their very existence, in a galaxy rightfully belonging to the Sons of Terra, was the Yu’Vath’s unashamed worship of the Ruinous Powers. Advanced science and unspeakable sorcery combined to earn the Yu’Vath the status of Xenos Extremis in the eyes of the Inquisition. So serious was the threat posed by the Chaos-worshipping aliens that the placement of the home world of the Storm Wardens Space Marine Chapter was calculated specifically to serve as a bulwark against expansion by the Yu’Vath into Imperial territory.

The Yu’Vath must have realized that war with the encroaching Imperium was inevitable, and they prepared accordingly. In particular, they knew from their previous skirmishes with the Strom Wardens that they would need a weapon to counter the might of the Astartes. Toward that end, the Yu’Vath bent their blasphemous science to the task of genetically engineering lower animals into shock troops of unprecedented ferocity: bestial abominations that would come to be known as the Krr’Gaal.

When Lord Angevin launched his blessed Crusade to bring the Light of the Emperor to the benighted realm that would one day become the Calixis Sector, the Yu’Vath unleashed their genetically manipulated warriors. Imperial front-line troops reported contacts with great, hairy monstrosities wielding terrible warp-powered weapons, which tore through the ranks of Guardsmen with abandon. Allied Space Marines were deployed to counter this new threat, and they found themselves facing opponents truly worthy of their divine wrath. Inhumanly strong, seemingly immune to pain, and utterly fearless, these ferocious creatures proved to be a major stumbling block for the forces of the Crusade, requiring a massive commitment of resources- in both manpower and material- to overcome.

As the Crusade ground on, Imperial forces made a chilling discovery: the Yu’Vath had designed their customized shock troops to reproduce at an accelerated rate, replacing their battlefield losses almost as fast as they were incurred. Based on this discovery, the Magos Biologis studying the creatures on behalf of the Imperium dubbed the new xenos ‘Verminthiculius Belli’- war vermin. Although it was later learned that the creatures called themselves Krr’Gaal (undoubtedly a corruption of the actual name used for them by their Yu’Vath masters which is now lost to history), most Imperial leaders continue to refer to the hairy berserkers as Verminthiculians- partly as a ploy to bolster their troops’ morale by equating their enemy to mere vermin, and partly so as not to sully their tongues with the vile language of an accursed xeno-breed.


Upon seeing a Krr’Gaal for the first time, one might assume that their appearance had been calculated specifically to intimidate opponents- and one would not be far wrong. An adult Krr’Gaal stands nearly three meters tall on its hind legs, with a barrel chest, massively muscled arms, and an elongated snout filled with long, needle-sharp teeth. The leathery skin of these creatures is blue-black, with most of their head and upper body covered with a thick rust-red mane.

There is very little difference between the sexes. Females are slightly larger than males, while males tend to have longer dew-claws on their hind legs. Both sexes have rows of nipples hidden within their manes and share breast-feeding responsibilities; their nipples produce protein-rich blood rather than milk to nourish their rapidly-growing offspring. A newborn Krr’Gaal reaches physical adulthood in just over one standard Imperial year.

Rapid growth is not the only trait which was clearly engineered by the Yu’Vath to enhance their servants’ performance on the battlefield. For instance, the Krr’Gaal’s thick hair secretes an oily substance which acts as a natural flame retardant- a trait highly unlikely to evolve naturally. Also, Krr’Gaal have elaborately hinged hips, which allow them to either walk bipedally, or to drop to all fours in order to gain the benefit of quadrupedal movement.

The Krr’Gaal have also been endowed with certain ingrained instincts that enhance their function as self-replicating warriors. These programmed instincts are not nearly as elaborate as the genetically engineered knowledge and culture of the Orks, but it is more than sufficient to ensure that these barbaric creatures excel in the arts of war, granting them an uncanny knack for wielding nearly any weapon they come across, and an innate grasp of battlefield tactics. More importantly (from their masters’ point of view), they have been bred with a natural eagerness to follow orders from those they perceive as their superiors.


With the fall of their thrice-damned masters, the Yu’Vath, those Krr’Gaal that survived the Angevin Crusade organized into tribal warbands. Having no innate interest in holding territory has resulted in the Krr’Gaal leading a nomadic existence by default. They have no real technology of their own, which has led to them seeking employment as mercenaries in order to acquire what they cannot produce themselves. They are not picky about who they work for: decadent Imperial nobles, Dark Eldar Archons, criminal syndicates, space pirates and- especially- Chaos reavers- all recognize the value of these fearless berserkers.

Interstellar transportation is almost always included in the asking price for the Krr’Gaal’s services, with the Krr’Gaal frequently negotiating to be taken to a wilderness planet after their term of service is complete. There, they create primitive camps and breed and birth their young; pick-up a year or two later at the same location is also arranged, usually involving a second tour of service by the newly-enlarged clan.

Some Krr’Gaal warbands enter into long-term partnerships with groups whose interests in battle and looting mirror those of the Krr’Gaal. This arrangement benefits both parties: the Krr’Gaal enjoy the benefits of access to voidfaring ships, and their allies’ activities are enhanced by the presence of a group of hairy giants wreaking havoc on the battlefront.

There are also instances of Krr'Gaal warbands seizing spacefaring vessels and using them to engage in raids against Imperial shipping. Since the barbaric xenos have no worthwhile understanding of how voidships operate, they enslave the existing crew, and get them to do the bidding of their new masters with threats of slow, gruesome deaths if they disobey. It speaks volumes of how intimidating an angry Krr'Gaal can be that their unwilling crew usually obey...

The Krr’Gaal continue to revere their long-dead masters, and have produced something of a makeshift religion that revolves around the supposed return of the Yu’Vath. Stories of their progenitors are handed down from generation to generation, and the Krr’Gaal attempt to duplicate their former masters’ warpcraft with ham-handed recreations of Chaos rituals, based on inaccurate descriptions passed down via verbal tradition. These rituals invariably fail to attract the attention of the Ruinous Powers- not only because they are performed incorrectly, but because the bestial Krr’Gaal, wrought from lower animals, do not have true souls with which to tempt warp entities. This fact is not known to the Krr’Gaal themselves, of course, and they would certainly not be pleased to learn the truth…

Devices created by their progenitors are viewed as sacred artifacts by the Krr’Gaal. In particular, the weapons created by the Yu’Vath for their elite shock troops- great polearms with a vibrating mono-edged halberd head at one end and a warp-focusing crystal set into the opposite end- are valued above all else by the modern Krr’Gaal. These artifacts, called chaak’thuul by the Krr’Gaal or ‘warp-pikes’ by members of the Ordo Xenos, serve as both melee and ranged weapons: the massive halberd head can cleave even Astartes armour, while the prism end can emit an arc of focused warp energy. Krr’Gaal will go to nearly any lengths to recover one of these ancestral objects, and a would-be employer who includes one procured from the Cold Trade as part of their payment will almost certainly be able to command a long term of service from a grateful tribe of Krr’Gaal.

(The following statistics were created for use with Deathwatch campaigns which use the Calixis Sector as an alternate setting; they would also be appropriate for Rogue Trader and high-Rank Dark Heresy games.)


WS:50 BS:25 S:(10)55 T:65 Ag:40 Int:20 Per:(8)45 WP:35 Fel:15

MOVEMENT: 5/10/15/30


SKILLS: Awareness (Per), Climb (S), Intimidate (S), Lore: Forbidden (Warp) (Int), Navigation: Surface (Int) +20, Shadowing (Ag), Speak Language: Debased Yu’Vath; 50% chance of Low Gothic, 25% chance of Kroot (Int), Silent Move (Ag), Survival (Int) +20, Swim (S), Tactics: Assault Doctrine, Recon and Stealth (Int) +10, Tracking (Int) +20.

TALENTS: Ambidextrous, Autosanguine, Berserk Charge, Basic Weapon Training (Universal), Counter-Attack, Disturbing Voice, Exotic Weapon Training (Warp-Pike), Fearless, Hard Target, Heightened Senses (Smell), Iron Jaw, Jaded, Light Sleeper, Melee Weapon Training (Universal), Resistance (Poison, Psychic Powers), Wall Of Steel.

TRAITS: Fear 1 (Disturbing), Flame Resistant*, Multimodal**, Natural Armour (3), Natural Weapons (Teeth), Size (Hulking), Unnatural Strength (x2), Unnatural Perception (x2).

*FLAME RESISTANT: This creature is treated as having Unnatural Toughness (x2) vs. damage inflicted by weapons with the Flame quality; tests made to resist catching on fire are made using the creatures’ (Unnatural, in this instance) Toughness rather than Agility.

**MULTIMODAL: If this creature’s hands are free, it may choose to move on all fours, gaining the benefit of the Quadruped Trait (doubling Agility Bonus for purposes of calculating Movement). It requires a Half Action to change from bipedal to quadrupedal or vice versa.

ARMOUR: None (3 All; Primitive)

WEAPONS: As provided by employer, or ancestral Warp-Pike:

Warp-Pike (Prism)- Class: Exotic (Basic), Range: 50m, RoF: 1, Dmg: 2d10, Pen: 0, Clip: Unlimited*, Rld: -, Special: Warp Weapon.

*This weapon draws power directly from the warp and cannot run out of ammunition; if a ‘jam’ result is rolled, it loses power for 1d10 rounds.

Warp-Pike (Blade)- Class: Exotic (Melee), Dmg: 1d10+18 (SB included), Pen: 4, Special: Balanced, Razor-Sharp.

GEAR: Leather pouch containing 1d5 days’ rations (usually in the form of dried meat), 2d10 coins, 1d5 knives of varying sizes, 5% chance of a Yu’Vath fetish item.

THREAT RATING: Xenos Moderatus

ADVENTURE SEED: Interrogation of a group of recently captured space pirates revealed that they were en route to a pre-arraigned pick-up of a tribe of Verminthiculians from an isolated Frontier World, who have just gone through a two-year breeding cycle. The Ordo Xenos was promptly informed…

The inspiration for these aliens came from a tiny fragment on page 258 of the Dark Heresy Rulebook- a tantalizing reference to ‘-Verminthiculians, wild mercenaries and reavers.’ After checking with Lexicanum to confirm that this was the only appearance of the name ‘Verminthicuculians’ in the 40Kverse, I decided to try adapting them for my campaign, but struggled with how to reconcile the root word ‘vermin’ in their name with the implication that they are clearly supposed to be daunting opponents. The breakthrough came when I realized that ‘Verminthiculian’ was clearly the Imperial name for the species, rather than what they called themselves- and thus the Krr’Gaal were born.

I find trying to ‘fill in the blanks’ created by the many oblique references scattered throughout the books to be one of the most challenging aspects of GMing aWH40KRP campaign. I hope my take on these xenos proves useful to some of my fellow Game Masters.

I use miniatures for most of the combats in my campaign; I was able to create a single prototype Krr’Gaal figure in time for the contest deadline. The basic figure is a Chaos Warhound, with the waist cut apart and repositioned to make a biped. The front legs were cut away and replaced with Ork arms, with hairy shoulders made from ‘green stuff’ used to mask the joints. I plan to make a number of others, including a quadruped and at least one wielding an Imperial weapon- I’ll probably use a plastic Necromunda Goliath arm for that.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cherry Pie Moonshine

I recently started making flavored "moonshine". I posted my previous recipes for Apple Pie and Caramel Apple Here. This one is very similar to the other recipes.


2 gallons Cherry Cider
1-1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1-1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
4 packets Spiced Apple mix (I use Alpine)
9 whole Cinnamon Sticks
4 whole cloves
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
1000ml (1-1/4 bottles) 190-Proof Grain Alcohol (I use Everclear)

Combine all ingredients (except for the alcohol) in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.

Remove the pot from heat and let cool to room temperature. Remove the cloves, then add in the alcohol.

Immediately transfer to sterile mason jars (I use 9 1-quart jars). I also put one cinnamon stick in each jar.

The concoction is ready for consumption, warm or cold! I store them in my beer fridge, but they will keep just fine in a cool dark place.

I estimate the final alcohol content to be about 40 proof.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dark Heresy Character WIP - Guardsman

I have put the Heavy Stubber I converted to good use! This is Cordellius Den, the Guardsman of our Dark Heresy group. A former NPC, he is now my son's character (aka Deathbot) . As an NPC, we used him to carry items that would put us over carrying limits, sent him on errands, guard the vehicle or base of operations, and general grunt work. Now as my son's character he will be seeing a little more action.

When we acquired a Heavy Stubber, no one in the group wanted it, so we gave it to Den. At first he wasn't even trained in the weapon, but now he is a fine gunner.

The running pose is not typical for a heavy weapon, but I thought it was appropriate for this character.

Den is still wearing the armor that he was wearing when we met him. He was part of a private security force for a Noble. All the guards wore black armor with ornate gold inlay. To help convey the detail, I used a Tau legs. To achieve the look, I cut the lower half of each leg off below the knee and attached IG boots.

One mistake I made was not gluing the ammo belt on before attaching the arms and gun. The right hand accidentally landed right where I wanted to place the ammo belt! I tried to pop off the arm with the thought of using a different arm/hand and adding a handle coming off the side of the receiver, but no go--I could not get the arm off! Plan B was to attach the ammo belt on the side of the receiver (not under like I wanted). I tried to bend the belt to look like it in effected by gravity, but I couldn't without marring it. So, now we have an ammo belt that is whipping about as Den runs!

I made some further additions to the Heavy Stubber: A targeter, a bi-fold, and replaced an under-slung tube that got cut off the original model.

Because Den has (and likely will) filled "porter" duties, I gave him a large backpack. Finishing off the model, I gave him a side arm. The bit is from the original SM plastic kit.

Oh, I almost forgot. I "painted" on some detail with liquid green stuff on the sole of his boot and on his helmet. I like how it turned out and may add some more ridges.

Monday, July 22, 2013

What's Ahead

Here is a look at what's to come...

Currently, I have 45 posts drafted in different stages--Some have been scheduled, some have outlines, some have opening statements, some have pictures, and other have a title only. This list is not exhaustive either! There are many more topics in the works.

A moment of reflection...
A look back at one of my favorite cats, Patches (93-08)

I plan to continue to publish at least every three days, if not sooner. It amazes me how perfect this pace is for me. I have been easily able to keep up with the schedule. The only snafu was when I didn't get the posts scheduled during a very busy 2 weeks. 

Even if posts are done and ready to go, I tend not to schedule more than 2-3 at a time. This allows me to add in a new topic, or jockey the order to suit what is going on at that time.

As you may have already seen in recent posts (and from the post titles below) I am adding food and beverage topics in the mix. As a stay at home dad and caregiver I make most of the meals at home. A large portion of the way I cook bounces between "semi-home made", "pantry surprise", and the favorite around here "leftover hash". I enjoy the creative outlet from cooking and I have developed some of my own recipes (or kit bashed an existing one).

Here is a teaser of future posts (not in any particular order):
  • Rogue Trader Character Sheet
  • Grey Knight Character Sheet
  • Only War Character Sheet
  • Black Crusade Character Sheet
  • Deathwatch Squad/Solo-Mode Sheet
  • Daemon Record Sheet
  • Restructuring and Rebuilding the Aquamarines (long and pic heavy)
  • Introducing Deathbot
  • Room Deroration
  • Dungeon Dressing part 1
  • Quick Pickled Pepers
  • Quick Cobbler
  • Salsa
  • African Smoke
  • Have Horse, Will Travel part 2
  • Have Horse, Will Travel part 1
  • Giants Among Us
  • Constructing Elementals part 2
  • Constructing Elementals part 1
  • Wagons Ho!
  • Industrial Building II (AKA Necromunda Terrain)
  • Industrial Building I (AKA Necromunda Terrain)
  • Battle Boards
  • WH40K RPG Character Showcase III
  • WH40K RPG Character Showcase II
  • Arvus Lighter Showcase
  • WH40K RPG Character Showcase I
  • Arbites (counts-as) Rhino Showcase
  • Modern/Sci-Fi Vehicles Showcase III
  • Shipping Containers
  • My Son's Invented Soldiers
  • Modern/Sci-Fi Vehicles Showcase II
  • My Deathwatch Kill Team
  • Crate 'n Barrel
  • Large Gothic Church Ruin
  • Resin Vehicles Project pt1
  • Storage Solutions Part 2
  • Beer Brewing 2013
  • Deathwatch Character Showcase - Salamander Apothecary
  • Deathwatch Character Showcase - White Scars Tactical Marine
  • Deathwatch Character Showcase - Space Wolf Tactical Marine
  • Brewing Soda - Cherry Vanilla Cola
  • Deathwatch Character Showcase - Storm Wardens Librarian
  • 40K BatRep - Tau vs Space Marines
  • Cherry Pie Moonshine
As my fingers march towards my 200th post, I am happy with the journey taken. I look forward to developing my writing skills (and thoughts) to continually improve the experience of this site.

Thanks for following!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Risky Business (part 6)

Here is a quick last minute post...

Many of you have asked for the files I created in my Risk project. I have poorly responded to you requests and I apologize. My attempts to provide links have been haphazard; Party because of misplaced files on a secondary HD, and partly because the project was off my radar.

The fonts used in the InDesign file are: Aquiline Two, Romantiques, UglyQua, and Wingdings. The first three fonts were downloaded for free at Fonts2u.com.

Hopefully the links that follow will be complete and actually work!! Both files are Zip'd (ZIPX) containing the original files.

PSD map file with all layers
InDesign file with images and fonts

I have been working a little bit on the rules recently. Last week, my wife and son and I played a standard game of Risk (2008 rules). Hopefully, I will soon be printing a copy of my map so I can start play testing it!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

State of the Pitch

This post should have gone up about a month ago, but I kept pushing it back. We have finished our first season!! Where do we stand? What will happen in season 2?

After botching my fifth game (out of 6) I assumed I wouldn't make the playoffs. But I won my last game and the team ahead of me in the standings lost their last game, propelling me into 2nd place and a post season game!

The bad news was in spades for the Amazon team. They dominated the entire season, but faced me in the last two games, and now had to face me for a third in the playoffs.

We split our first two games--The Amazons handedly winning the first, and my orcs destroying the 'Zons in the next game (causing 3 casualties and 2 deaths by the end of the 5th turn). 

Lord Grimskull withdrew from the match at that point. I don't blame him! But that was my first experience of someone conceding. I have never played in one of the on-line public leagues... where this is apparently common. 

A few days later we set out to the final game of the 1 season. While not as bloody, I continued to crush the Amazons. By the end of the game it was tied 1-1 and the Orcs caused 2 casualties and 1 death. I don't remember if we were in overtime yet, but I was 1 or 2 turns from scoring (to win the game). However, Lord Grimskull decided to concede, and I agreed.

The next day, the way the game ended did not sit as well with me. I even accused my friend of being unsportsmanlike!! I regretted saying that. I also did not know that most of the other players were so unhappy with the "RNG" (random number generator). Again, before playing this season, I was blissfully unaware of such a demon.

We have taken a short break from the league. When (if) we pick up we are taking new teams and starting over--Two teams had taken too many injuries (Amazons and Necromantics), and the Orcs were too far ahead. The Dark Elf player didn't want to be the only experienced team, so we are all playing new teams.

What about my Orcs? Well, I took them into the Auld World League. So far I have played 2 games (Nurgle +200TV over me and Chaos =TV)... lost them both. I took no permanent damage (caused some), earned good SPPs, and took in 110k in prizes. I have enough to buy a back up thrower and goblin, putting me at 15 players, but I plan to play another game or two before I do. I have a Black orc with 2 SPPs and a fractured skull--I might replace him first.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Apple Pie Moonshine

You may have heard of this as it seems to becoming more popular around my area. I started making flavored "moonshine"!

This stuff in amazingly tasty! I can hardly make it fast enough. It is fairly inexpensive. One batch makes about 2-1/4 gallons (8.3 liters) and costs about $35.


1 gallon Apple Cider
1 gallon Apple Juice
1-½ cup Granulated Sugar
1-½ cup Light Brown Sugar
4 packets Spiced Apple mix (I use Alpine)
9 whole Cinnamon Sticks
4 whole cloves
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
1000ml (1-1/4 bottles) 190-Proof Grain Alcohol (I use Everclear)

Combine all ingredients (except for the alcohol) in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.

Remove the pot from heat and let cool to room temperature. Remove the cloves, then add in the alcohol.

Immediately transfer to sterile mason jars (I use 9 1-quart jars). I also put one cinnamon stick in each jar.

The concoction is ready for consumption, warm or cold! I store them in my beer fridge, but they will keep just fine in a cool dark place.

I estimate the final alcohol content to be about 40 proof.


1 gallon Apple Cider
1 gallon Apple Juice
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
8 oz Caramel Syrup (I use Torani)
4 packets Spiced Apple mix (I use Alpine)
9 whole Cinnamon Sticks
4 whole cloves
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
1000ml (1-1/4 bottles) 190-Proof Grain Alcohol (I use Everclear)

As above

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cast Molding with Super Sculpty

Some background first... I have these metal chaos shields I bought is Vancouver, BC from an *actual* GW store, roughly around 1990. That trip was a big deal for me. You see I live in Portland, Oregon and we just got our FIRST GW store in the area. In 1990, Vancouver, BC was the closest store to us (about 320 miles). We have always had plenty of FLGS near by (well over 10 in a 20 mile radius) but at the time they only ever stocked the GW basics.

A friend of mind and I rented a car and drove up north for some big event (a sale I think). We arrived at the GW storefront about an hour before it opened and got in line with heavy anticipation. The most amazing to me at the time was that they sold bitz and sprues out of jars!! (Kids, it wasn't like today where you could hop on the interwebs and type your way to your precious treasures) I am not sure I bought anything else but a variety of metal shield (all chaos themed) and weapon sprues (IG, Eldar, Ork and SM). 

Fast forward to about five years ago, where I tried my one and only attempt at casting. I had 8 Chaos Warriors that were sporting this one style of shield and decided to add another 8 Warriors (a mixture of old and new figures).  I only had 9 of the shields. At the time I was using shields to distinguish different units, so I needed 4 more shields to fill out the bigger unit.

Since I couldn't find more shields, I went about casting them. I had never made a mold before. Instead of investing money into all the equipment needed to do resin casting I tried a novel (IMO) and cheap approach--Super Sculpty molds using 2-part epoxy as the medium.

I took a large movement tray and filled it with Super Sculpty. Then I greased the shields with olive oil and pressed them down into the putty creating 4 negatives. Lastly I mixed up some 2-part epoxy and poured it into the molds. I could see a few bubbles develop, so I tapped on the table to get them out.

The next day I pulled out the pieces and scrubbed them with a toothbrush under the faucet.

Overall they turned out really well. The copies wont have wood grain texture on the back, but that is fairly easy to paint on. I applied an ink wash to one of them to show the detail. I didn't get out all the bubbles, but the damage is not too bad and easily fixable.

I will likely continue to (re)build my chaos army using the same notion with shields. I realize that is not very "chaosy", but I like the look.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Retro Models - Aquamarines (pic heavy) evergoing WIP

I have been playing and collecting 40K since 1987 when Rogue Trader first came out. My first Army was Space Marines. I wanted to play a chapter of my own, so I created the Aquamarines, a successor to the Ultramarines--And as typical with me, I still have all of them! They even inspired the colors of this site!!


Some of the very first Space Marines
Over the years, I have painted and repainted my models as my skill improves, my tastes change, or as codex specifications demand. In 2007, I started the most recent overhaul, which included an experiment with computer generated banners.

The middle two of the first row are metal.
The bulk of my force is comprised of the original plastic Space Marine kits, reinforced with the blister pack metal figures of the era. I do have quite a few "newer) plastic marines (from the 2nd-5th WH40K boxed sets) but most are unused or have been gifted to my son.

One of my newest models!

An early attempt at a chapter banner. The banner pole is aluminum rod and is removable from larger tube at the hand for easy storing.

Two tactical sergeants and a command squad sergeant
Here are my "recent" computer generated character banners. All are mounted on aluminum rods and are removable from the backpacks.

Banners removed and a view from the back

Some character models

A better view of their shoulder pads. The servo-arm is removable.

My pride and joy of the army!! Original tanks bough from my FLGS at the time!! Back then, Rhinos came three to a box and Land Raiders came in pairs--Each for $20!!!

The TL Las Canon Sponsons were built with aluminum rod, wires, Zoid toy bitz and Rhino roof hatches. They can rotate over 180°. I dremel'd off the original Land Raider tank treads and attached scale tank treads from a model a friend gave me.

My other original tanks. I also purchased a Predator and a Razorback when the came out. Over the last 10 years I have been collecting RT era tanks off eBay and  my current tank fleet totals 15! (Rhino x7, Land Raider x3, Predator x2, Razorback x3)

I reeeaaallly like Terminators!!! The back row are all "prototypes" that were released before the large box set was available. In modernizing the old figs, I glued the 25mm base to a 40mm base and then pulled the arms from the body a bit so they have a larger "foot print" This makes them similar in height and breadth to newer models.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Heavy Stubber Conversion

I am converting a Heavy Stubber for our henchman/son's character in our Dark Heresy campaign.

To start off with, I clipped out the receiver form a plastic Necromunda Goliath Autogun.

Then clipped out the arm, hand grip and stock from a Wargames Factory Shock Troops weapon arm.

Finally I separated the barrel and ammo belt from the remaining receiver on a Necromunda Heavy Stubber left over form a previous conversion.

Completed Heavy Stubber!

Friday, July 5, 2013

RPG Mobs - Rak'gol WIP

Here is a proof of concept for a group of Rak'gol figures I will be converting. I am using a HeroClix Brood figure as the base. The finished models will be boxier and less "lizard-like" than illustrations in Rogue Trader: The Koronus Bestiary, but I think they will make a good representation.

Another angle 
The pieces were fiddly enough, I was having a hard time using poster-tac to hold everything together so I glued this one together. I intend to dremel out sockets for the "legs" for a better fit.

I have already sourced enough Brood figures and Tyranid bitz to make 16 Rak'gol in the various ranks depicted in the rule book.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Deathwatch Character Showcase - Blood Raven Techmarine

This is the techmarine for our Deathwatch campaign. Pretty straight forward. Only a couple minor mods. Although I did magnetize the entire servo-harness!

I removed the right arm and replaced it with a Grey Knight pointing arm and a Deathwatch shoulder pad. The figure is an older figure and I am using a servo-harness and servo-arms from a newer model (pre-finecast).  The right claw head had to be removed and rotated to look proper in the low-slung position.

The servo-harness has 4 magnetized "hard-points" to allow for optional load-outs and representing character advancement. I glued a small piece of plasticard on the arm of the low-slung servo-arm as the metal bit was a tad too heavy for the magnet to lock it in place. The plasticard "extension" sits against the side wall of the servo-harness and prevents the servo-arm from rotating.