Painting Imperial Fist 2 of 2

Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , ,

Painting Imperial Fist 1 of 2

Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , ,

Assault Terminators WIP

Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , ,

Well I finally decided what to do with a few of my old unassembled Terminators. Assault Marines!!!! Chapter shoulders and eagle stormshields by Chapter House Studios, wooden bases by Litko.

Ebay provided the bits for the arms and the Crux Terminatus shoulder pads but I had all the bodies already.

Old Dreadnought Finished

Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , ,

Brother Alaric has his new base and it's done.

ps - I just bought the Ciaphas Cain 3 volume trade paperback... that's why I'm not getting a lot done right now. XD

Predator Baal to Autocannon Conversion

Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , ,

I've been working on converting my freebie Predator Baal back into an autocannon. It's now magnetized and I have both turret and both sponson options. You can see the Lascannon sponson barrels attached to the flock jar to the left.

HTUD Doubles Battle Report

Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in ,

My partner in crime posted a battle report over on his Salamander's blog.

Razorback WIP mostly done

Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , ,

Well I tried to finish it tonight but the primer blew chunks all over the gunner so I have to strip it again.

Plaster Cloth Backdrop "Tutorial"

Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , ,

I didn't take anywhere near as many photos as I should have of my backdrop as I was working on it.


However I did take a couple at the early stages. It starts with a 2 foot x 1 foot piece of foamcore. Nothing fancy, just a rectangle. I could have used plywood or MDF or anything else, I had foamcore on hand which is why I used it.


The "fortress gate" was created by measuring out a rectangle big enough for a land raider plus a bit of extra space, then adding two triangles which I then score the backside and folded in. A shape basically like this:

Then I taped the gate to the foundation, no glue, no pins, nothing fancy, just packing tape. I folded the triangular "wings" to form a 45 and 90 degree panel.


The backdrop is pretty simple to figure out from the "after" picture below. I just made a backdrop of some posterboard all across the back and up the sides up equal to where the forward leading edge of the "wings." I had some junk red posterboard lying around. It's black here because this is after the primer step.

Crumpled up Paper and Masking Tape

Then I used wads of crumpled up newsprint and masking tape to make a kind of netting of "filled" tape (or rather say fluffed, inflated with, puffed, etc.). It's as simple as 1) crumple up a sheet, 2) stick the wad on the terrain, 3) stack it higher, 4) if it gets unstable use a piece of tape to hold it temporarily, 5) when you're done make a "net" of masking tape over the entire paperwad "mountain" (you can see some of the red posterboard backdrop at the edges of the tape).

When I was done with my lattice-work, I clipped the corners of the posterboard on the sides to round them off.

Plaster Cloth

So you can go buy plaster cloth at the hobby store or you just make it. How?
  • Buy some absurdly cheap fabric from the fabric store (We had some old $1 a yard cotton muslin lying around) and cut it into strips. Natural fibers or a very loose weave make this easier. Heck, old gauze bandages would work fine.
  • Fill a dixie cup or old McDonald's cup you have lying around with Plaster of Paris (mixed in whatever ratio the directions say, the one I bought was 2 parts plaster, 1 part water).
  • Dip the strips in the cup until they're totally covered, you can use your fingers to move the plaster all around the fabric.

  • ps - You dip each strip as you use it, don't dip them all at once. :)

    Apply Plaster Cloth

    Starting at the outside edge, just drape the plaster cloth down and shove it around a bit until it's lying on the paperwad/tape network. Then put down the next piece of plaster cloth slightly overlapping the previous one. Continue until you're finished and all your paperwads are covered.

    Let it dry

    Go away and come back the next day. :)


    No picture.

    Primer the whole thing whatever color you want. I used black spray paint. Then go away and let it dry. It'll probably take a while. You could use brown spraypaint on the ground and gray spraypaint on the rocks and skip the Basic Airbrush step below.

    Basic Airbrush

    No picture.

    I just airbrushed the "rocks" and "gate" gray and the "ground" brown. Then I did a few horizontal lines to represent layers in the rock formation. If you don't have an airbrush this can be done with a regular brush just as easily, just not as quickly.

    Spot Airbrush

    I did gray first because I wanted to spray brown to represent windblown dirt etc. etc. in various places on the rocks above. Basically anyplace on the rocks that had a surface that looked somewhat horizontal I sprayed some brown on it.


    I went into my backyard and got some lava sand from my backyard garden supplied, used a flour sifter and sifted out the big chunks. The smaller stuff that fell through the sifter I kept in a big jar. Just plain dirt or sand works fine too so long as you let it dry before you use it. The "sifter" is what separates the big pieces out that don't look "to scale" with the 40k figures. You don't need a flour sifter, any kitchen strainer will do fine (just wash it before you use it again for food obviously).

    Dirt Flock

    I used my finger and spread a whole layer of basic crafter's Wood Glue down on the "ground" and then dumped the lava sand on it. Then I just kinda tipped the whole thing on its side and dumped off the excess lava sand back into a bucket to be reclaimed for later.

    Wash and dry your finger/hands before the next step ...

    White Glue "sprayer"

    You can guy a terrain sprayer at the hobby store or just use an old spritzer bottle. I had some old 2 year old Chloraseptic (a year past the date on the bottle) and I just dumped it out and used the bottle.

    Spray White Glue

    I mixed some white glue (Elmer's Glue or PVA glue) and water (roughly 50/50, I just eyeballed it) and put it in the sprayer bottle.

    Then I sprayed the "ground" in various places where I wanted "grass" (the white glue will make your stream more like a jet rather than a mist, so just be aware). Don't be afraid of splatter... random splatter is your friend actually.

    I also sprayed all the horizontal surfaces of the rocks and let a little bit dribble down. See the "bushes" step below for a picture.


    Then I dumped a bunch of flock on all the glue, patted it down gently with my hand to make sure the flock was solidly shoved into the glue, then tipped the terrain over to dump off and recover the excess flock.

    As you can see, random splatter picks up flock and adds to the random/organic feel.


    I dribbled the wood glue (direct from the bottle and undiluted) into all the corners where the stone backdrop and the ground met, and in random areas on the stone where there were cracks or horizontal surfaces where seeds might collect. Then I sprinkled some Woodland Scenics Clump-Foliage on it, shoved it down with my finger. Then I dumped the excess off to recover it.

    Let it Dry and Blow Off The Excess

    The ground, flock, bushes, etc. will take many hours to dry. Also when it's dry a bit more will come off so you'll want to tip it over when it's try and dump/blow off (with your mouth) the excess... otherwise it'll come off on your bases or all over the floor of the event/store/tournament.

    I'm not really happy with the gate area so I'm not going to cover it.

    Spray it With Dull-Cote

    Locks down the flock and dirt a bit better.

    HTUD 40K Doubles Tournament Backstory

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in ,

    Well, today was a very, very fun day. We came in second place. In overall points we were tied for first place, but after tiebreakers we came in behind the excellent armies of Nick (Salamanders Space Marines) and Michael (Biel-Tan Craftworld Eldar) who were outstanding players from which I learned a great deal. All of our most excellent opponents were a joy to play against.

    Over the next couple of days I'll be posting pictures and whatnot, but here's the fluff from our Army List - armies that explained why they were fighting together could get more tournament points. This tournament was separated by only 3 points amongst the first 4 places (1st & 2nd tied, 3rd 1 point behind, 4th 2 more behind) so it was the little things that made the difference.

    The Eye of Terror draws conflict like a moth to flame. Near that particular astral phenomenon, many chapters of the Adeptus Astartes are engaged in a never ending battle against the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. Two of them are nearly as ancient as the Imperium of Man; the Imperial Fists and the Salamanders. The Imperial Fists; though once honored with a Chapter Monastery on Holy Terra (now lost and never rebuilt), are fleet based. The Fists strike from their ancient moving fortress monastery Phalanx. Prometheus is both a moon and fortress-monastery that orbits the fiery Salamander home world of Nocturne. From Prometheus sally forth the fighting Sons of Vulkan.

    Both of these ancient and distinguished brotherhoods trace their roots to the first 20 Chapters ever formed; a time recorded in the ancient texts as the “First Founding.” Though never close friends, they were also never bitter enemies. However, as with most groups in the chaos of the 41st Millenium they have crossed paths and swords occasionally when pursuing different goals. This army list is drawn from an era when they were allies; fighting side-by-side.

    Because the Imperial Fists have no particular home world, they recruit from any nearby world when their numbers need replenishment. Rogal Dorn, their Primarch and first of their lineage once said “I want recruits, not vassals!” Thus, from time-to-time the Strike Cruiser Capulus sets out with the Chapter’s Master of Recruits (and Commander of the 10th Scout Company) and other seasoned troops to seek fresh blood for the ranks of the Sons of Dorn. During just such a mission, a transmission was intercepted from an Imperial world calling for help and deliverance from dire foes. The Salamander’s Fifth Company; having just incorporated a new Force Organizational structure slightly different from the Codex Astartes was conducting training operations in a nearby system. They too received the distress signal.

    Thus were the circumstances that caused two Strike Cruisers to find themselves in orbit around a single world in need of help. Neither company was fully prepared for solo operations. The commanders therefore agreed to fight together. After astropathically signaling home their actions, both of their Chapter Masters endorsed the operation. In the annals of both chapters, this strike force is known as “The Fist of the Forge.”

    HTUD 40K Doubles Tournament

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in

    Welp. Here I go. My first Warhammer 40k "formal" tournament ever - scores for painting, presentation, sportsmanship, as well as the on-the-table results. Since I've only played 2 games in the latest edition EVER and I do three rounds today, I'll more than double the number of times I've even played. It's been YEARS since I was involved in the 40K "community" here in DFW. Should be interesting...

    HQ Choices

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , , ,

    Well I guess I'm done fiddling with these figs. I present, the 3rd Company Commander, Command Squad, and former 3rd Company Commander (currently 10th Company Commander).

    Captain Dirae
    Master of the Fleet, Commander of the 3rd (Battle) Company
    (Template: Pedro Kantor)

    This figure was recently acquired and is one of my favorite of the current batch of figs.

    Veteran-Sergeant Vermaas (aka "Top")
    Company First Sergeant and Champion

    This one I just finished converting and painting. I had a lot of fun with this fig. He's quickly becoming a favorite.

    Veteran-Sergeant Volkmann
    Company Colour Sergeant

    What can I say, one of the oldest figs I own and one of the first Space Marines I ever painted.

    Brother Wagner
    Company Apothecary

    See note for Color Sergeant Volkmann.

    Sergeants Juron & Stossen
    Company 2nd and 3rd Sergeants (respectively)

    I painted these up recently. They were just extra assault marines I had in a box. For those that may not know, during the Civil War (and earlier I imagine) Companies had multiple sergeants. The higher the number generally corresponding with how much further back in the march column the sergeant marched. The most senior was the First Sergeant which is a rank we still retain (E-8 grade same as, but above, Master Sergeant). My great great grandfather was a 3rd Sergeant, Company A, 8th Missouri, CSA. According some research done on the Codex Astartes, a company has 5 "floating" Sergeants not assigned to a squad that perform various necessary Company duties. I just recycled the rank "title" usage from history because, amazingly enough, there used to be 5 floating line sergeants in Companies.

    Captain Wolfe
    Master of Recruits, Commander of the 10th (Scout) Company

    This figure is the oldest Space Marine miniature I ever painted and one of the first figures I ever attempted to do a conversion.

    Sniper Scouts WIP

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , , ,

    Just messing around with a small unit of sniper scouts in addition to tournament stuff. I had to build some Camo Cloak rolls from greenstuff so now they're "drying" under a light.

    Dread base

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , ,

    I got some new round bases from Litko and decided to work on a base for my Dread. However, for the most part I got nothing accomplished today related to 40K. I participated in a little flare up on an email list and bought one of the Sandy Mitchell Dark Heresy/Calixis Sector inquisition novels.

    3rd Company Champion

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , , ,

    Work on tournament stuff continues. I took an hour or so to do a conversion to the old Captain figure to make it Veteran-Sergeant "Top" Vermaas, First Sergeant and Champion of the 3rd Battle Company.

    Restorations continued on MLK

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , , , ,

    It was a relaxing MLK day with the wife and child. I didn't do very much except put down the blackwork on the Razorback, continue with the magnets on the Predator, and work on some stuff for the Doubles Tournament (which I'm not posting until afterwards).

    The sponsons, the pintle stormbolter, and the turret hatch itself are all magnetized. I also have a set of heavy bolter attachments for the sponsons.

    Predator and Razorback continued

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , , , ,

    Work continues on the Predator (formerly Baal) and the Razorback.

    As you can see, once I scraped off most of the old paint, the re-primer and airbrush work makes it come out quite nice. You can also see some greenstuff in the sponson slots. I'm in the process of magnetizing them.

    Vote for Pedro

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in ,

    I acquired and finished my army commander on Friday (well, I finished at 2am so maybe Saturday). This took about eight hours. I'm used to being done with entire units in that amount of time. However, I figured I should take my time with the figure since it's one of my favorite Space Marine miniatures that GW has produced in the current figure generation.

    This first picture was after filing off the word "Kantor" from the banner pole, full assembly (with brass rod pinning), priming, and a quick Sepia ink wash.

    I thought I'd take pictures as I got done with each major iteration but I just kept painting and the next thing I knew I was done.

    The glare is because these pictures were taken before I applied a layer of Testor's Dullcote.

    So, I present Captain Dirae, Master of the Fleet, and Commander of the Third Battle Company of the Imperial Fists (Templated as Pedro Kantor).

    ps - The title of the post is a Napoleon Dynamite reference, not a request to vote for this paintjob on any kind of forum or website. Just wanted to make that clear.

    Baal Post Scrubbing

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , ,

    This is after soaking overnight (8-ish hours) and a meeting with and old toothbrush. I used 2 toothbrushes, the first was a cheap dollar store toothbrush that just broke. The other was an old flexible head brush that was a bit more durable - it didn't break.

    As you can see... a good primer is very important. I was able to strip off most of the acrylic paint, but the underlying primer on the plastic endured through round one.

    Metal parts like the turret came away fairly clean. Some spots of the tank had been superglued after the initial paint went down. You can see on the far fender, a red spot. This is there because the paint was covered by a layer of superglue. I'll have to scrub that area with the flat of an X-Acto knife to get it down. Also, whatever black paint was used is really tough.

    Now if my goal was to "strip it down to the plastic" I'd probably soak again and scrub again (rinse and repeat) until I was happy with the result. However, my goal was just to remove the caked on acrylic paint so that I could reprimer and reapply a basecoat using an airbrush. For MY needs, I'm done. I dropped the other Rhino chassis into the Simple Green and moved on.

    More Restoration Jobs

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , , ,

    Well, I dug some things out of my latest box of goodies and got to work on them.

    The first is the easiest restoration job. In fact, it's ready to paint again. The Razorback. All I have to decide is if I want to airbrush it or just paint the yellow by hand. There's white primer over the yellow because 1) The tracks weren't even and the headlights were not aligned. So... it had a meeting with a pair of pliers.

    Next is the first Predator. Previously a Predator Baal pattern... taking a bath. After only soaking for 1 hour in the Simple Green liquid (Concentrate) the paint is starting to loosen up (I touched one of the circular hatch covers and red paint came off on my finger... can you tell which?

    Last was the second Predator. All the metal bits were sitting loose in a ziplock bag. I picked one of the other Rhinos in the box and sent it to meet with Mr. Pliers.

    We'll see how this goes in the days to come.

    Mixed Bag of Goodies

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in

    So I recently got another box full of free Space Marine goodies. My buddy that's working on his Salamanders was given a box of loot by a friend of a friend. Apparently somebody moved to Austin and left behind a huge Space Marine army which are being reforged into Salamanders even as I type this.

    In this smaller box that went to the Imperial Fists was a Razorback, enough bits for a Predator (possibly 2), a couple more Rhinos ... all old (Mark I style) ... a few more jump packs (bringing me now to a full unit of 10), 3 scout snipers, and the Novel "Sons of Dorn."

    Additionally, another buddy that's doing Ultramarines gave me back a "loan" I had sent his way ... another Land Raider Crusader (the old one, with the metal hurricane bolters). So I'll be building this one as a "standard" Land Raider at some point bringing me to two Land Raiders. I bought this Land Raider Crusader so long ago that basically I'm chalking it up to a free model... heh heh.

    So I'll be working on restoring the Predator(s) and the Razorback. My plan is to magnetize them and eventually the Land Raider as well. If I can pull it off I should have the modularity necessary to give me some tactical freedom when designing army lists. I may also be tweaking my "Supremacy Force" 3rd company TO&E depending on what I read/learn in Sons of Dorn.

    Whirlwind Finished

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , ,

    Well I got up early this morning and just finished it.

    Originally it had a lot more red trim, but that just didn't look right. Maybe it would have looked good back in 2nd edition but tastes have changed. So I covered up most of the red with silver (with an undercoat of black first).'ll do.

    Supremacy Force "Kriegwolf"

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in ,

    This is basically my explanation for my force and how I have what I have. I imagine as I get newer and coolers toys I'll update the "Attached Units" area. I took the name "Supremacy Force" from an old Imperial Fists box set deal.


    The current chapter master; Vladimir Pugh, established Supremacy Force "Kriegwolf" in response to a call for aid from the Lord of Ahriman Hive on Thical (Drusus Marches, Calixis Sector, Segmentum Obscurus).

    At the time an uprising of Daemonic activity was overwhelming the native Planetary Defense force. Desperate for help, a native-born witch burned out her mind with the strain of sending out a wild plea for aid. Among the first chapters to respond were the Imperial Fists; who were at the time involved in operations in and around the Eye of Terror.

    Unsure of the level of danger (and heavily engaged in fighting elsewhere) Pugh could spare only a single company of Marines; but did have the ability to heavily reinforce them. Since Epistolary Brother Arcas was the Librarian that received the call for aid, he requested (and was granted) permission to investigate a system. A system with enough latent psychic talent to produce an astropathic witch of such power deserved closer scrutiny. Additionally, its proximity to the Eye of Terror and the Daemonic uprising were too suspicious to be coincidences. Since Brother Arcas was most familiar with; and had previously fought alongside, Captain Dirae's Third Company - they were sent.

    After seeing to the events on Thical, "Kriegwolf" was left intact to serve as the Chapter's "Firefighting Company" - sent on missions where a heavily reinforced group might be needed. Generally "Kriegwolf" either puts down minor foes or establishes a beachhead for larger Chapter wide operations.


    Chapter Fleet Contingent

  • Strike Cruiser Justitia Fides
  • Gladius Frigate Squadron* Primaris Velites (Ships: Retiarius, Secutor, Thraex, and Hoplomachus)

    Command Squad

  • Captain Dirae**
  • Chaplain Zelus
  • Color Sergeant Volkmann
  • Apothecary Wagner
  • 1st Sergeant Vermaas
  • 2nd Sergeant Juron
  • 3rd Sergeant Stossen
  • 4th Sergeant Rork
  • 5th Sergeant Stockman

    Company Squads

  • Tactical Squad Lycus (I)
  • Tactical Squad Otreus (II)
  • Tactical Squad Bazdeyev (III)
  • Tactical Squad Gydic (IV)
  • Tactical Squad Kintur (V)
  • Tactical Squad Nautio (VI)
  • Assault Squad Teuthras (I)
  • Assault Squad Krataev (II)
  • Devastator Squad Benvolio (I)
  • Devastator Squad Schrutan (II)


  • Brother Alaric
  • Brother Dane
  • Brother Helstrom (Ironclad)
  • Brother von Reuter (Ironclad)

    Company Motor Pool

  • Rhino MKI (x5)
  • Rhino MKII (x7)
  • Razorback MKI Stronos
  • Razorback MKII (x2)
  • Bike, Normal (x25)
  • Bike, Attack (x5)
  • Land Speeder, Normal (x5)
  • Land Speeder, Tornado (x5)
  • Land Speeder, Typhoon (x5)

    Attached Units

  • Brother Arcas (Librarius) Epistolary Librarian
  • Whirlwind "Rotsturm" (Armory)
  • Predator Annihilator "Doppeltesäbel" (Armory)
  • Predator Destructor "Cinquedea" (Armory)
  • Landraider Crusader "Leipzig" (Armory)
  • Landraider Redeemer "Viterbo" (Armory)
  • Landraider "Oberpfalz" (Veteran 1st Company)
  • Brother Lo Chang (Veteran 1st Company) Chaplain**
  • Sergeant Targal (Veteran 1st Company) Terminator Assault Squad
  • Brother Hyplion (Veteran 1st Company) Venerable Dreadnought
  • Sergeant Feron (Scout 10th Company) Scouts
  • Bike/Tactical Reserve Squad Edimon (Reserve 6th Company)
  • Land Speeder/Tactical Reserve Squad Tortensen (Reserve 7th Company)

    * One or two frigates are generally travelling back and forth to Phalanx to bring supplies and/or reinforcements at all times.

    ** As Captain Dirae and Chaplain Lo Chang have other duties within the Chapter (Master of the Fleet and Master of Sanctity respectively) - should their expertise be needed elsewhere a frigate acts as a transport.

  • Whirlwind WIP

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , ,

    Dunno if I'm going to get done with this one today or not. I figured I'd just post what I had so that I could have a post for today worth putting up. I spent all weekend doing "fluff" and very little painting.

    My one Whirlwind in the "big box o'Black Templars" has been reprimered, airbrushed, and the blackwork is done. The "elbows" of the exhaust pipes broke off so I have to make some replacements before I continue with the red colors, details, and the "weathering."

    Locking the Back Door (Fanfic)

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in ,

    It's been several years since I wrote any kind of fiction, much less 40K fanfiction. I had a few ideas bouncing around in my head I wanted to explore and now that I knew the names of which characters were in what positions I figured I'd give it a go. I had found a few excerpts from Ian Watson's "Space Marine" and a few other tidbits here and there in my research that just begged for a bit of elaboration (the ritual of dueling, the Germanic Junkers feel, Lo Chang's fiery personality vs. Pugh's thoughtful one, Pain Gloves, etc.).

    In honesty the one aspect of my chosen chapter I really dislike is their penchant for Pain Glove usage. I wanted to curtail that in a logical way for my own vision of the Chapter. I felt such a change warranted at least some fanfic rather than a line simply saying "My Imperial Fists don't do that, so there!"

    Locking the Back Door

    By Matt Ragan

    (original material copyright 2010 by author, all 40K intellectual property belongs to Games Workshop and no challenge is intended by its use)

    The near mindless servitor brought Vladimir Pugh another Gerriptes of hot Apfelwein and removed the previous one; now cold and only half finished. The Master of the Imperial Fists barely noticed the presence on his desk of the finely cut Jermani crystal. It was faceted with lozenge shapes; like diamonds each caught the light and accentuated the gently steaming golden liquid within. As usual, Master Pugh was deep in thought. His daily battle was one of coordination. He juggled the demands of an eternal war against the enemies of the mankind; with the mind numbing minutiae of his vast, complex, and ancient organization. His organization was nothing less than a full chapter of the Adeptus Astartes – the Space Marines. Vladimir felt the weight command more keenly than many other Chapter Masters because he felt the need to do much of it himself. The concept of ‘delegation’ was almost anathema to his personality. A student of the Imperial Fists gene-seed might say it had to do with the Fists need to self-punish manifesting itself. “Gene-seed” was a term used to describe not just the organ transplants that turned a mere human into a superhuman marine; but also the “genealogy” and “inherited traits” of those who shared a particular gene-seed. Every chapter of the Adeptus Astartes used a particular lineage of gene-seed, passed down from marine to marine dating back to the Primarchs; the legendary first generation. In the case of the Imperial Fists; this individual was named Rogal Dorn.

    Master Pugh made his decision and spoke aloud to the autoquill. “Master He’stan, we are of one mind in this matter. We would be honored to once again fight alongside the mighty Salamanders. Captain Dirae will be dispatched immediately. Strike Cruiser Justitia Fides and the Third Company will provide the fist if your chapter would be so kind as to provide the forge and hammer.”

    The autoquill was only seconds behind Vladimir’s spoken voice. A black feather, held in a desiccated cybernetic hand, scratched out the final sentence. This autoquill was much like any other except that the biological components belonged to a now “dead” vassal of the Imperial Fists. He was a scribe that had served faithfully and devotedly in life who had; upon his death, requested that a duty be found for him so he could serve the Imperial Fists forever. His request was granted and he had been rebuilt as a servitor autoquill. Here in the Chapter Master’s sanctum and office, Old Tovey continued to faithfully transcribe the words he heard.

    Vladimir at last sat back and drank some of his warm Apfelwein; savoring the smell of blended apple, cinnamon, and lemon. The extremely small alcohol content was so miniscule that none would make it past his Preomnor; the Space Marine “pre-stomach” that filtered out toxins. He grinned at his last comment to the Forgefather of the Salamanders Chapter; subtle wordplay being one of his guilty vices. He took another sip and then removed the parchment from the autoquill. He read it over again to ensure accuracy (which of course it was, Old Tovey rarely erred in life and even less so as a servitor) and then rolled it up; sealing it with some dribbled hot wax from a nearby red candle and his signet.

    He handed the parchment to the servitor that had brought him his beverage; “Take this down to be sent via astropathic communication to Prometheus in the Nocturne system immediately.”

    The servitor bowed and left. Vladimir now considered his next task. Chief Librarian Kempla had requested an appointment with both the Chapter Master as well as the Master of Sanctity regarding a matter of “utmost importance.” Because he had requested an appointment; Vladimir knew that it was not matter of immediate life-and-death. Obviously such a danger required no such formality. He glanced at the chronometer; he had several minutes before the meeting. Too little time remained to start on a different task, so instead he enjoyed the last of his still warm and fragrant beverage; a rare pleasure especially for Vladimir. The taste of food hardly mattered to him; mainly the texture and smell. He had long ago removed his taste buds as an act of penance.

    Precisely at the appointed time; a disembodied voice announced the arrival of Chief Librarian Kempla and Brother Lo Chang, the Master of Sanctity. “Have them enter,” Pugh said to the door-servitor setting down his now empty Gerriptes. The portal to his sanctum office then opened to allow entry to two of the most respected (and also feared) beings in the Chapter. A Chief Librarian of the Adeptus Astartes was a psyker who commanded vast mental powers that could alter reality, sway battles, and strike dead lesser beings with but a glance. The Master of Sanctity was a Chaplain with a diligence and fanatic devotion (to both the Chapter and the tenants of the Primarch’s teachings) so unwavering that it could keep the chapter free of Chaos taint for centuries. Of course, that the Master of Sanctity was also one of the most capable warriors in the chapter and responsible for overseeing penance and purification helped. These were the two beings that now stood before the desk of Vladimir Pugh. “Please be seated brothers,” he said with a motion of his hand to a pair of ancient gilded adamantium chairs.

    The Chief Librarian, as was his custom, got directly to the point and was the first of the guests to speak. “I am concerned that we have collectively left the back door to our spiritual fortress unguarded.”

    The carefully chosen words had a powerful affect on the Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists. For thousands of years, the Imperial Fists were famous for their defenses of bastions, fortresses, and resistance to siege. Some of their earliest battle honors involved both their breaking of Chaos fortifications as well as creating impregnable forts to defend the Imperium of Man. Such a statement was very nearly like an accusation of abject failure of the most fundamental kind. However, Vladimir Pugh was neither rash nor a hothead; he was careful in thought, word, and action. Also, he respected Chief Librarian Kempla a great deal. So though he felt the telltale tingling of anger at the base of his neck, his response was measured.

    “In what way, Chief Librarian Kempla? As you may well suppose, such a statement has gained my full attention.”

    “And mine as well,” said Brother Lo Chang. The Chaplain; hailing originally from the Panpacific regions of old Terra, wore a simple black cassock decorated with the emblems of his office. The only olive skin visible was his heavily scarred round face; Lo Chang’s helmet had once failed him in battle and his visage was marked with deep craterlike pits and the faintly crisscrossed lines of dueling scars. His naturally slanted eyes glared hard at the Librarian.

    The Librarian looked at the autoquill dutifully scratching out what had been said. “I request Master’s Seal,” and looked back at Vladimir Pugh.

    Now very curious, Pugh nodded. “Tovey… Chapter Master’s Seal.” The autoquill stopped writing on the current parchment upon its platform. Gears then began to whir and click as a heavy, bound leather tome was elevated into place. Master Pugh inserted an ancient bone and ceramite key into the lock. Once unlocked, the autoquill then opened the libram to a fresh page. This was the Chapter Master’s Sealed Tome, now on volume CCCXII; that contained matters so private that only other Chapter Masters of the Imperial Fists could read them. Vladimir then looked back at both Kempla and Lo Chang, “Very well, both of you are now under the Master’s Seal, on your honor nothing said will again leave this room.”

    Both nodded and the Chief Librarian spoke again. “I have concluded a recent study of, and into, our practice of using the Pain Glove. I reviewed historical records, policies, practices, and also worked with a few of our Techmarine brothers to review usage logs of our equipment. Based on trends, I believe we have crossed a dangerous threshold from using the device as a form of self-purification and conditioning… into the realm of courting the attentions of the ruinous powers of Chaos; specifically those of the Lord of Dark Delights who I shall not mention by name here.”

    “A WITCH DARES ACCUSE US OF TAINT?” Chaplain Lo Chang had leapt to his feet, knocking over the heavy gilded chair in which he had been sitting, and was glaring with barely leashed fury at the Chief Librarian. Unlike the Chapter Master, Lo Chang was a man of deep passions. As a Chaplain of the Adeptus Astartes he wore his emotions and zeal on his sleeve for all to see. Following so closely a veiled accusation of failure by the Imperial Fists as a chapter; this was an even more damning accusation – especially to the Master of Sanctity. The Chaplain Corps was responsible for ensuring the spiritual purity of the Chapter. “YOU SUGGEST WE, THE SONS OF DORN, THE HEIRS OF THE SEVENTH LEGION, THE PRAETORS OF THE EMPEROR HAVE FALLEN UNDER THE SWAY OF CHAOS?!” Brother Lo Chang was very nearly frothing, some spittle flying from his lip as he yelled.

    The Chief Librarian turned his head and looked up at the standing Chaplain with eyes that crackled with psychic energy. His response would have to be selected carefully. For a Librarian, to be called a witch - a psyker not trained by the Imperium and usually under the control of Chaos - was a vile insult. Insults in the Imperial Fists were resolved with sword duels. They rarely resulted in death; the ceremonial tungsten épée usually leaving nothing more than a scar upon the cheeks. However, they took time and to indulge in it would utterly ruin the secrecy he was striving for by requesting Master’s Seal. As Lo Chang stood over him breathing furiously, awaiting his reply, Kempla took a moment to let go of his anger at the insulting word. The purple lightning faded from his cold, grey eyes.

    “No, Brother, I do not. I have been unable to find any trace of actual taint… yet. However, I excuse not myself in my accusation of negligence. It is to address this matter I requested this meeting. Though, once it is concluded, I will certainly be happy to meet you in the Arena Restricta if that is your wish.”

    Vladimir spoke up, “Master of Sanctity Lo Chang… may we continue?” By using his full title with the faintest stress on the word ‘Master;’ it was a subtle reminder that Lo Chang was no longer a mere Company Chaplain.

    Lo Chang stood erect, exhaled, set his chair back in order and turned to face the seated Librarian. He then saluted Kempla and spoke, “I apologize for my ill chosen word. You grace me with your show of restraint. I thank you for the lesson. I am in your debt.” These were the highly ritualized words of the Imperial Fist Honor Duel, spoken by he who was acknowledging fault (or had lost the duel regardless of actual fault).

    Chief Librarian Kempla stood up and returned the salute, “Nay brother, I am in yours.”

    Were this the Arena Restricta, the dueling ground, at this point two steins, one red and one black would be brought forth by the umpire. The duelists would then drink them in one draught and then smash them together. However since it was not, Master Pugh spoke again, “Let us then continue this meeting; afterwards you should both claim your drinks.”

    Both again sat, Chaplain Lo Chang folding his arms into the sleeves of his cassock. The expression of annoyance on his scarred face clearly indicated that he intended to just listen and not speak.

    Kempla looked back at his Chapter Master and gravely explained, “The records show that Commander Drakken, your predecessor, made a change in the way Pain Gloves were to be administered. Prior to his tenure, the full torso Pain Gloves were used only at the request of the penitent and only under the authority and direct supervision of a Chaplain. To facilitate a more personal penance, the restrictions were removed and Brothers were allowed to self-administer.” The Librarian looked over at the Chaplain who nodded in agreement with the historical summary presented.

    “In the years since I have been able to show not just a gradual increase in Pain Glove usage, but an exponential increase in both frequency and duration. I know that for many it has stopped being used as an actual penance; rather it has moved to the realm of custom and mere ritual. Our Primarch Rogal Dorn found enlightenment in the Pain Glove; but our vision of its original purpose is clouded. In fact, in some of the brethren I have come to detect the faintest sensations of pleasure when enduring the searing pain of the glove. It is this last that is the most troubling. At this stage, the Feaster of Pain gains the most by our actions – not us. I believe that we have so far stayed pure because the Ruinous Powers have not been looking for a doorway past our defenses here in the heart of our own home.”

    The Librarian had stopped for a moment to let his Commander ponder what he had just said; he was familiar with Vladimir’s thoughtful pauses. Pugh mentally reviewed what he just heard. Had it become mere custom? He himself had just used the device this morning. The Pain Glove was an ancient machine. It covered every square inch of skin and subjected the user to the excruciating sensation of simulated burning flesh. He had endured one full minute as penance for being late to an appointment with the Master of Rituals at the firing range. It was to remind him to be more diligent. He had not spoken to anyone about it; he had simply entered the Pain Glove as always… self-administered. He had not confessed, had not discussed it with a Chaplain or possibly sought a different way to remedy his tardiness. Now that he thought on it; he was late because he was dealing with a communication from the Fifth Battle Company engaged in a campaign against Orks. His tardiness was completely justifiable… perhaps the Librarian’s words had the ring of truth after all. He nodded to himself and looked back up at Kempla.

    The Librarian continued, “I requested Master’s Seal because I know our nature. Were this to be common knowledge we would as a Chapter be wracked by feelings of guilt. Our need to self-castigate would drive us to ensure that we were utterly free of even the slightest trace of taint. I believe that such a mass reaction would at last bring our unguarded rear door to the attention of the The Dark Prince.”

    Pugh could not help but nod in agreement. He knew that was indeed what would happen to his fellow battle brothers. It would cripple the chapter as an effective fighting force for an unknown amount of time. This matter would definitely remain under the Master’s Seal.

    Kempla leaned forward and went on, “With your and the Master of Sanctity’s approval, I suggest a course of action. Allow the Chaplains again to be the guardians of this portal. Once again require confession and a Chaplain’s supervision of the administration of the Pain Glove. My research has shown that in our early days, the full ritual was more elaborate. The sins would be written upon parchment. This was then burned after being read by the Chaplain during the confession. The penitent would meditate in the Solitorium wearing a cassock of sackcloth and daub his face with the ashes of the parchment. After a specified amount of time of meditation as dictated by the Chaplain, only then would the penitent enter the Pain Glove. Afterwards came a ritual cleansing of the ash and other filth. It is the suggestion of the Librarium we heed the wisdom of our forebears and return to this older practice.”

    Pugh looked at the Chaplain. “Well?” The silence was broken only by a scratching autoquill.

    Lo Chang didn’t answer for a few long moments. The Librarian’s words had struck like a Thunderhammer. He had a personal habit of listening to the confessions of his fellow battle brothers while seated upon a pain stool. He told himself that this was done so that he might better feel the pain of the penitent’s sins. In truth, he rather enjoyed the sensation after all these years. Did that mean that he, a Chaplain of the Imperial Fists, the Master of Sanctity… had he felt the faint touch of Slaanesh? No of course not. Nevertheless, he wanted to enter the Pain Glove right now to purge these feelings; to burn them from his skin. If he could feel this sense of inadequacy and want to self-castigate immediately to exorcise the doubt; how would it affect the Chapter? The witch was right… damn.

    “Agreed with one obvious modification; Chaplains cannot authorize their own Pain Glove sessions myself included. Additionally, I will ask the Master of the Arsenal and the Chief Victualler to go through Phalanx and gather up any lesser pain devices like chairs, stools, and cilice belts.”

    Pugh stood and nodded, “Good, now let’s get this done. I want this back door sealed. No fortification held by Imperial Fists will ever fall from negligence on our part. You are dismissed Brothers.”

    Lo Chang stood up alongside the Librarian and saluted, all repeating the Imperial Fist battlecry, “Primarch-Progenitor, to your glory and the glory of him on earth!”

    Codex Astartes II - Masters and others

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in ,

    So I figured I'd come up with some Masters of the Chapter. I did a review of many name lists off Bolter and Chainsword and other sources (Like White Dwarf magazines) so "official fluff" was heavily considered before making my own list. This is my vision of the Imperial Fists Chapter; I make no claims of "officiality" other than to say "I considered official fluff while I was drafting it." These names are, as near as I can tell, characters that are either known to be alive or I never ran across a note that indicated their fate one way or another.

    The Templates listed for many of them are to give me the flexibility to field whatever set of rules I need for a particular battle (following the suggestion in the new Codex). I named all my Masters in the event I play an Apocalypse Game where it matters. If I do field a Masters of the Chapter unit I'll probably drop the Templates and WYSIWYG the Commander wargear options as best I can. However, at least with this list I know the names of who is where/what and that's somewhat important to my personal enjoyment of the fluff side of the game.

    Masters of the Chapter

  • Chapter Master - Vladimir Pugh (Template: Marneus Calgar)
  • First (Veteran) Company - Captain Lysander (Template: As named) Master of the Watch, Chapter Regent
  • Second (Battle) Company - Captain Actaon (Template: Cato Sicarius) Master of the Rites
  • Third (Battle) Company - Captain Dirae (Template: Pedro Kantor) Master of the Fleet
  • Fourth (Battle) Company - Captain Glavius (Template: Vulkan He'Stan) Master of the Arsenal
  • Fifth (Battle) Company - Captain Firmus (Template: Kayvaan Shrike) Master of the Marches
  • Sixth (Reserve) Company - Captain Thidrek
  • Seventh (Reserve) Company - Captain Caelius Chief Victualler
  • Eighth (Reserve) Company - Captain Capaneus (Template: Kor'Sarro Khan)
  • Ninth (Reserve) Company - Captain Elsung
  • Tenth (Scout) Company - Captain Wolfe Master of Recruits

    Duties of the Masters in the Imperial Fists

  • Chapter Regent - Successor to the Chapter Master, responsible for the Chapter in the event of the Chapter Master's absence.
  • Master of the Watch - Responsible for Overseeing the Armoury; ensuring the regular and timely delivery of warfighting materials and ammunition wherever and whenever. Also responsible for the defenses of Phalanx (the legendary Imperial Fist Fortress-Monastery).
  • Master of the Arsenal - Responsible for the issuing (and accounting) of equipment, armor, weapons, etc. to individual members of the Chapter.
  • Master of the Fleet - Responsible for ensuring the proper working order of all flying assets of the Chapter, including Phalanx (and also Strike Cruisers, Drop Pods, Thunderhawks, etc.). Oversees orbital bombardment on campaigns and during Fleet Actions, is primarily responsible for command (unless the Chapter Master steps in).
  • Master of Recruits - Responsible for recruitment, following through with recruitment recommendations, and overseeing anything involving Gene-seed (implantation, tithe, storage, etc.). The Master of Recruits works with the Chapter's Chaplains to maintain a recruitment "office" near the pilgrimage site of the Column of Glory on old Terra. The Column is all that remains of the old Fortress-Chapel of the Imperial Fists (It was destroyed by the Iron Warriors during the siege of the Palace during the Horus Heresy - permission was never granted to rebuild which is why Phalanx has been the home of the Chapter ever since). It is from the Chaplain pilgrimages to the Column of Glory and the efforts of this office that yield any and all Terran recruits.
  • Master of the Rites - "Master of Ceremonies" and leads the Chapter in special events, rites, or rituals; responsible for the day-to-day training of the Chapter.
  • Master of the Marches - Responsible for all Fortress-Chapels on worlds where the Imperial Fists have been allowed to stay (primarily Necromunda and Inwit). The Master of the Marches also processes and acts on any requests for aid and assistance from these worlds. Though the Imperial Fists maintain no colonies; worlds that have granted the Imperial Fists Fortress-Chapels are regarded as "Primus Inter Pares" (first among equals) when it comes to requesting aid.
  • Chief Victualler - The counterpart to the Master of the Watch, the Chief Victualler is responsible for all the other types of supplies that the Chapter might need to function (food, drink, etc.).
  • Master of Sanctity - The head of the Chaplains and the spiritual leader of the Chapter ensuring purity from taint. Works very closely with the Master or Rites for anything relating to spiritual matters. Traditionally this is the Chaplain of the First Company.

    Other named characters

    While researching how I'd handle my Company Commanders/Masters of the Chapter I ran into other useful names. I'm including them here so I don't lose my notes.

    Chapter Librarius

  • Chief Librarian Kempla (Template: Varro Tigurius)
  • Epistolary Steinmuller (Often found with the First Company)
  • Epistolary Arcas (Often found with the Third Battle Company)


  • Chaplain of the First Company - Lo Chang, Master of Sanctity
  • Chaplain of the Second Company - Shadryss (Template: Ortan Cassius)
  • Chaplain of the Third Company - Zelus
  • Chaplain of the Fourth Company - Remataan
  • Chaplain of the Fifth Company - Geistler

    Master of the Forge

  • Alberich

    Selected Sergeants

  • Terminator Sergeant Targal (First Company)
  • Sergeant Teuthras (Third Company)
  • Sergeant Lycus (Third Company)
  • Sergeant Otreus (Third Company)

    Justifications and Explanations

    There was actually method to my madness. Notes provided below as well as the names I worked up for my "counts as" template wargear options.

    Vladimir Pugh

    I picked Marneus Calgar for the Template because the fluff describes Pugh as being a thoughtful and deliberative Chapter Master. I figured "God of War" would be as good a special rule for this as any. Also, it seemed appropriate that the Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists have a pair of Power Fists... more so than the Ultras anyway. I dub them the "Manibus Imperati" (Emperor's Hands). The armor with a Teleport Homer I dub "Lorica Caelum" (Sky Armor) named in honor of the Sky Fortress lost when the 7th Legion (the Imperial Fists) broke through the Siege lines surrounding the Palace back in the time of the Horus Heresy. The Teleport Homer itself is deeply etched to look a bit like the Imperial Palace; and the armor is said to contain a few shards of metal recovered from the wreckage of the Sky Fortress.

    Captain Lysander

    Really I don't need to say much about this guy. His career is well documented in other GW fluff and now the latest Codex. I list him as Chapter Regent as well as Master of the Watch. The title of Master of the Watch was one he had during his time as commander of the 2nd Company. However, everyone knows that Lysander is the next-in-line and to dub anyone else Regent would have been silly. The reason Lysander can take both mantles is because of Master Pugh's very hands-on approach to Chapter organization. As such, the duties of the Regent are nearly nonexistent because this particular Chapter Master does it all himself.

    Captain Actaon

    This name shows up in an old White Dwarf. In my fluff; when Captain Lysander was elevated to the First Company, the Commander of the Sixth Company (the traditional Master of the Rites) was moved to take his place. Captain Actaon; like all Masters of the Rites, is responsible for the day-to-day training of the Chapter. However, thanks to Chaplain Lo Chang's diligence as Master of Sanctity; he rarely is called upon to lead the actual religious rites. This has allowed him to command a Battle Company instead of a Reserve Company without sacrificing any of his duties. The Cato Sicarius template was now perfect; "Rites of Battle" and "Battle Forged Heroes" made the template the obvious choice for the guy responsible for the daily training of the Chapter.

    Regarding the wargear; the sword (in the German Junker's/Italian Nobility feel of some of the oldest Imperial Fists fluff) I dub "Balmung Fafnir Bane;" this is in honor of the weapon taken from the treasures of the Nibelungen by Sigfried and used to slay Fafnir the Dragon. The armor I dub the "Hamriofna Serkhildar" (it's 7 syllables, just like "Mantle of the Suzerain") which is an old poetic kenning for "Hammerwoven Battleshirt."

    Captain Dirae

    This name was taken from the old Imperial Fists Supremacy Force info in White Dwarf 224 (which just happened to be 3rd company). I picked Pedro Kantor as the template because my chosen company is the 3rd and ... well ... Pedro is a freaking awesome figure. It has all kinds of Fist iconography on it and I want to use him dadgummit! Now I know the Apocalypse Codex says the Master of the Fleet uses a Thunderhammer to represent the fury of the artillery bombardments that can be called forth or whatever, but since Pedro has a super-stormbolter I dub it "Leonidas, Fury of the Fleet" - named for the Leonids meteor storm that was visible on Holy Terra in its early history (I figure by the 41st millenium most of the comet debris has been cleaned up so I doubt the meteor showers are still around). It represents the sheer volume of fire that can be rained down upon the foes of the Imperial Fists.

    Captain Glavius

    Captain Glavius is another canon name, his name as commander of the 4th company appeared alongside another Imperial Fist captain in a White Dwarf but I don't know which. I like the name and since a Glaive is a polearm, I put him in as my Vulkan He'stan and Master of the Arsenal. Plus, the Fourth Company color is green so this seemed like another perfect fit. For his wargear I dub his weapon "The Spear of Longinus" - a relic that dates back to Holy Terra and Rome. The annals indicate that it was named after another old legendary Terran weapon that could pierce even the flesh of the Gods. Since the Marines regularly face the spawn of the Chaos Gods vomited forth from the immaterium it seems appropriate. His artificer armor has attached flamers on the gauntlets and the entire thing is known as "The Nibelung's Mantle" - a gift from Alberich, the Master of the Forge, to Glavius. It was Glavius that found and recruited Alberich into the Chapter.

    Captain Firmus

    Captain Harq Firmus is a name taken from some GW fluff from Epic 40K. His first command was of an Imperial Fist force on Rynn's World against the Orks; a defeat that taught him a great deal about the value of stealth and surprise. It seemed a logical tie in that the person that led the Imperial Fists against Orks on some far flung world would serve as the Master of the Marches. His Lightning Claws are known as "Vengeance" and "Retribution" and he takes a great deal of delight in slaying Orks.

    Captain Capaneus

    The name was in an old White Dwarf I believe, I used it for my commander of the Assault Reserve Company so I could have a place for Kor'Sarro Khan if I ever use him. I name his Bike "Bucephalus" and his sword "Solutio Gordium" (Gordian Solution) - both are references to Alexander the Great.

    Captains Thidrek, Wolfe, Caelius, and Elsung

    Names I just made up to fill in spots. When I first did Imperial Fists back in 3rd edition, my Captain was Wolfe so I just reused the name. It seemed appropriate since Captain Wolfe - in a way - got me involved with Space Marines in the first place. Caelius is the name of the person attributed to have written the oldest Roman cookbook. It seemed appropriate for the Chief Victualler. Thidrek and Elsung are names taken from the Nibelungenlied.

    The Librarius

    These were all names of Psykers taken from GW fluff. I just put them in some kind of semblance of ranking. Steinmuller used to be the "terminator librarian captain" so I figured my Terminator Librarian should logically be this guy. Arcas was listed as the name of the Epistolary of the Imperial Fist Supremacy Force booklet. In the unlikely event I use the Chief LIbrarian the Hood is the "Caracalla Romaniae" (Heavy Hooded Cloak of Rome) and the rod is the "Fasces Romaniae" (Bundle of Rome).


    Again, all names taken from GW sources; I've decided that Lo Chang will be in Terminator Armor hence First Company. Shadryss recruited Captain Lysander so it was logical that he be the Chaplain of Lysander's previous Company and the special rules reflect that he's so old! Zelus is supposedly from the Imperial Fists Supremacy Force booklet.

    Master of the Forge

    Alberich was the name of the Dwarf High Lord Treasurer of the Nibelung and seemed an appropriate name for the Master of the Nibel... I mean Forge.

    Selected Sergeants

    These are supposedly names from the Imperial Fist Supremacy Force booklet. The Terminator Sergeant is also taken from WD 224 which had an advertisement for the Supremacy Force.

  • Rhino Rescue

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , , ,

    So this project may only be significant to a handful of folks. As stated earlier in my blog, I inherited my Space Marines from the previous owner who fielded Black Templars. One of his regular opponents in those days was an Eldar player. These were in the glory days of the Vehicle Design Rules and a Rhino had been converted into a "Anti-Eldar Fire Tank" - this was accomplished by gluing flame throwers, fuel cells, armor plates, heavy bolters, and random bits of plastic (like bases cut in half to make the top and bottom of the side flamer sponsons). Ironically these days the old "Anti-Eldar Fire Tank" stat card looks amazingly like the ones of the Land Raider Redeemer; so his idea was a solid one.

    Well... I'm cheap. I had an unopened blister of Rhino Mark I armor plates, and under all that super glue, hot glue, and random bits of plastic and metal was the core of a Rhino Mark I chassis. Plus... I needed a Rhino with extra armor dadgummit! So, armed with sandpaper, files, cutters, an XActo knife, and a pair of pliers... I "deconverted" the Fire Tank. Also, as any old Rhino Mark I owner knows, the right angle "elbow" shaped exhaust tips always break off so I had to make new ones from a styrene tube.

    If you can't tell that anything was ever out of the ordinary with this Rhino... then I've accomplished my mission.

    The original reinforced ram was just too far gone, and the top bolter pair was missing, so I scavenged two parts from an old Leman Russ kit leftover from my first IG days.

    Tournament on the 23rd

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in

    I must be crazy. I've only played 2 games in the new edition of the rules, and both of those as Orks and now I'm going to take Space Marines into a tournament that's about 2 weeks away.

    (Details for the HTUD Warhammer 40K Doubles Team Tournament.)

    So now I'm frantically painting/modelling to try and get my Imperial Fists ready for a tourney. Hopefully I can get some games with my local buds before then to get some practice/refinement of my list.

    Imperial Fists (Video)

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in

    This is apparently a mod available for Operation Flashpoint. Sadly, the music isn't a cool as the earlier youtube vid I posted.

    3rd Edition Personal History

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in

    So I was looking up when old editions, codexes (codexi?), and special edition figures were released and it got me thinking about my history with this hobby. I wanted to write it down someplace so that I wouldn't forget it.

    I started playing Warhammer 40K sometime in summer of 1998 with the release of the 3rd Edition. My first purchase was the Imperial Guard Praetorian XXIV Boxed Set which had only been out a few months. The boys in the pith helmets were literally "the reason I got into the hobby" back then. I stumbled around a few months without a set of rules of my own (Chris 'The Last Outrider' A. and his friend Mike 'Horrible Dice Luck' S. teaching me what I needed to know). My fiancée (who is now my wife of 10 years) picked up the Sisters of Battle (Argent Shroud). ) The 3rd edition released that fall semester while I was at UNT. They later released a new box set; that was when and where I picked up my first Space Marines (who are incorporated into my current Imperial Fists found on this blog) and the Dark Eldar that I today chop up to use for basing.

    I played quite often at various homes (and Game Stores, especially Big World Comics) for a couple of years. I started to fall away from the hobby around 2001. Codex Armageddon from 2000 was the last book I remember with any excitement. I remember getting annoyed with the Vehicle Design Rules released during the Christmas Break of 2000... and the absurd nonsense that showed up at game stores in the area all the next year. I started to distance myself; playing very rarely and no longer following the releases or product. Then came various GW corporate nonsense actions like almost prohibitive high prices and "the days of attempted retailer strongarm tactics;" GW told private retail stores they could not sell at discounts online. This affected me somewhat at the time. Plus I was also an employee of Reaper Miniatures Inc. and it seemed a bit of a conflict of interest.

    The final straw came with the "Armored Company" rules. I was a total treadhead and various silly rules that affected my very expen$ive army I had spent so much time painting... well that threw me off the game completely. I missed the 4th edition utterly. When my brother-in-law-in-law wanted my IG I let him "have them" (in exchange for the promise of my sister-in-law making me some costume clothing). I never got the costumes, he still has my Praetorians, and they're now divorced... so I've basically written them off. If I ever see them again, great. If not, oh well.

    So... what brought me back? The low price of the Assault on Black Reach box to be brutally honest. A secondary reason is that I've been employed in the professional field again for some 4 years (a computer programmer) and it's acted as a sort of "detox" program. I have been "away from the gaming industry" long enough that my hobby is my hobby again (not my job). I can look at miniatures and just enjoy them... anway, back to the Assault on Black Reach box. It was inexpensive enough that I thought I should very much like to give the 5th edition a look. In the summer of '09 for my birthday... I did. I went in for half an AOBR box with a coworker. I took my new toys, blew off the dust from our Orks (They were my wife's second army, kept in boxes these several years), and painted about 1500 points to play a couple of games. Then I was given 2500+ points of Space Marines (from a friend that also stopped playing in the 4th edition)... now it looks like I'm hooked again.

    Second Tactical Squad

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in ,

    Well, since the first tactical squad was full of old figures I figured "oh why not" and went all out with the 2nd... I even used one of the old "pancake pose" sergeants.

    I'll likely not use old figs for Tactical squads from this point forward as I actually dislike these old figs a great deal. However, there's good in all things; they do fit in my carry case extremely well!

    First Land Raider

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in ,

    So, in the box full of Black Templar goodness that I got from my friend, there was a Land Raider Crusader (the original one with metal bits for the hurricane bolters, etc.). The assault cannons no longer turned, many parts had broken off, and the paint job was fairly basic (it worked fine as a Black Templar piece after all... black primer and drybrush your way to victory). Back when I airbrushed everything yellow, I had airbrushed it as well.

    So with a little brass rod (for pinning the broken bits), lots of glue, some paint, new decals, and 8 hours later... we have my first Land Raider that I have ever painted.

    Note the spotlight over the left sponson. I had to do this because the original little camera bit had broken off at some point in the intervening years and was totally gone.

    Brother Alaric

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in ,

    Today I started and finished my 3rd Company's first Dreadnought; Brother Alaric. The name is derived from 3rd Company Captain Alaric Eshara who fell in battle against an Iron Warrior Daemon Prince known as 'The Warsmith' (in the book Storm of Iron).

    This miniature is all metal and very old, it was one of the figures given to me and prior to this... sported a Black Templar paint scheme. I need to get a base for it at some point.

    Adventures in Modular Terrain

    Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in ,

    I have a bunch of old brigade square bases from my 15mm Napoleonics. I decided to put them to use. These are 3mm plywood bases that I got from Litko Aerosystems. I have 3" squares (brigades), 3"x1.5" rectangles (cavalry and artillery), and 1.5" squares (officers, skirmishers). Since they're laser cut and share dimensions, they "go together" very well.

    So I used some of my old Games Workshop Cathedral Ruins (from old 3rd Edition Box Sets), some red volcanic sand from my organic garden, four Grecian columns from a wedding cake set, a pair of cutters, some hot glue, black primer, gray paint, and some elbow grease to produce this:

    Every place where the GW plastic terrain didn't fit on my bases, I'd chop it down with my cutters and make the edges random and like broken stone. The key was that they had to fit on my bases to keep the modular layout.

    Another photo showing the modularity:

    I've been really happy with all the different configurations I can do with this rig. I'll probably build a fountain or altar "Objective square" at some point soon.

    I also made some pipe cleaner trees and mounted them to bases as well. Figures on the base are in cover, if they're not on the base they aren't. I can also remove trees that are in the way as needed or vary the forest configuration.

    The one with a mushroom and rocks I made when I was doing 40k the first time around about 10 years ago.