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  1. #1

    Default Curis' Painted 40K: Female Astra Militarum added July 2018

    I painted my first Primaris Space Marine! He’s Nemesis Chapter – an Ultramarines successor chapter with origins in the dark days of the Horus Heresy.

    Sergeant Glaucon, 2nd Battle Company, 3rd Squad, Nemesis Chapter. His banner reads ΝΕΜΕΣΙΣ – “nemesis” in Greek capitals.

    This Intercessor Sergeant, from Games Workshop’s Dark Imperium starter set, is largely indistinguishable from the squad he leads. Traditionally, Space Marine sergeants have a different weapon configuration (something Napoleonic like pistol and swords), bare heads and big banners to mark them out. I originally finished painting the mini, but was uneasy with how he looked alongside the rest of the squad. Only thing to distinguish him was the helmet being red.

    The eagle-eyed amongst you will also spot the checks added to his right pauldron since this photo was taken.

    So I added a dirty great banner. This one is from the Space Marine Ironclad Dreadnought, which matches the swollen proportions of the 2017 Space Marine iteration. Here’s Glaucon next to some classic Space Marines with flags to show the scale creep over the last 30 years.

    Left to right: 1987 Blood Angel; 2013 Ultramarine; 2017 Nemesis Marine.

    Yeah yeah, I know you’re gonna say “Marines got swole cos of Guilliman’s super-seed”, but I reject your fluff-lead view of Games Workshop’s miniatures and state flatly that Primaris is the new de facto Space Marine and is directly comparable to the other two Marines above. Nurrr.

    Glaucon leading his little brothers from Ultramarines Squad Varenus.

    The Dark Imperium box is overwhelming with the amount of Marines in it, and I’m going to trick myself into thinking it’s one of the smaller starter sets so I’m making better progress through the purchased model pile. Next off – the rest of the Intercessor squad!

    More miniatures on my blog:
    Last edited by Curis; 07-23-2018 at 03:12 AM.
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  2. #2


    At the start of the year me and my mates realised we were all keen on painting Titans, and March of the Titans was born – paint any Titan at any scale by the end of Mars’ month. I fancied rewinding time to 1989 when Warhound Titans first appeared in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and painting one in the seminal War Griffons colours.

    The original advertisement for Codex Titanicus in White Dwarf 116.

    I’ve been the proud owner of a secondhand 40K scale Armorcast Warhound Titan for years now, and it was the perfect excuse to repair and repaint him. Here it is with the previous owner’s, frankly terrifying paintjob.

    The Chaos Titan Sclera Morphiosa ready to stare down opponents.

    Several baths in various chemicals melted away the thick paint, revealing the bare naked resin. I prised away the putty embellishments like the Chaos Star forehead and the odd groin-face, thankful that these were additions made without damaging the original model. Evenings were spent refilling casting bubbles, reshaping with car body resin, sanding and preparing the kit for a glorious War Griffons paintjob. I bought greenstuff rollers and brass wire to do some extra greebling, and planned designs for the legio’s banners.

    Reconsecrated for Imperial service.

    Only now the March deadline was looming. And I’d never painted a kit this size before – the biggest things I’d painted recently were a couple of small Blood Angels vehicles in 2015, and vehicles are not my strongpoint. Excitement had turned to dread as the remaining timeframe meant the paintjob would have to be chronically rushed.


    And so I changed tack. I paused the 40K scale Titan and painted an Epic scale one in the same scheme. I could lie to you and say it was a deliberate move to practise the colour scheme and study the challenges of painting its 40K scale counterpart, and the matching weapon options back me up. But it wasn’t. It was a cop out. A tactic to avoid getting bullied by the likes of Asslessman and Rochie who had already finished their March of the Titans offerings.

    Introducing Improcerus Compromissum, with Vulcan Mega-Bolter and Turbo-Laser Destructor.

    I spent a while squinting at the original Wayne England illustration, trying to work out what the dappled grey pattern on the carapace was. Was it WW2 German dapple camoflague? Was it an attempt to emulate the airbrushed textures of H. R. Giger? Was it depicting a beaten metal texture as opposed to the trimming’s chrome? Was it the artist trying to give a sense of immense scale? Twitter consensus was that it was a dapple texture, so I painted and highlighted a series of blobs on the carapace. I refined the technique as I worked around the Titan – you can see the inside of the Titan’s right leg in the photo above being different to the other areas.

    I’m dead chuffed with the freehand Legio Gryphonicus devices on the banner and the calf.

    I interpreted the golden yellow areas as actual gold, rather than matt yellow (as Rochie has on his Legio Gryphonicus). I’m unsure if this was the right decision, and I might switch it to yellow for the Armorcast one. Yellow is much bolder than gold, and would give the Titan a much more toyriffic vibe that’s completely in keeping with the goofy anthropomorphised animal design. Let me know what you think in the comments.

    Improcerus Compromissum supported by the 2210th Imperial Navy Fighter Wing and Dark Angel Space Marines.

    Check out Asslessman’s Warlord here. And you can check out Rochie’s Warlord here, which is accompanied by a Warhound from the War Gryphons just like mine.

    Stay tuned to Ninjabread for the completion of the 40K scale Armorcast counterpart.
    My miniatures blog:

  3. #3


    With a Strontium Dogs game on the horizon from Warlord Games, my mind is all a-flutter with 2000AD miniatures. Games Workshop had the licence in the 1980s and put out a sweet range of figures just before creating the iconic Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader, and this is the first release in that range – Judge Dredd himself.

    “Taking photographs of a judge on a blue fade background – that’s five years in an iso-cube, creep.”

    Fascinatingly a number of 2000AD figures were recycled into the nascent Warhammer 40,000 range. Figures either had their parts cannibalised (like Traitor General‘s head reappearing as an Imperial Inquisitor’s), or were simply rereleased with new names (like Slaughter Margin “Mek” and Mega Hound becoming Imperial Assault Trooper and Robo-Dog).

    “Rotating a judge on a blue fade background – that’s fifteen years in an iso-cube, creep.”

    I went for blue and an NMM yellow on the uniform instead of black and gold to emphasise the comic book nature of Dredd. The figure was an experiment but I’m really pleased with how he turned out and will happily roll the colour scheme out to the rest of my Justice Department miniatures.

    Dredd guarding N20 canisters – bet that’s a … barrel of laughs.

    The chemical barrels and wooden pallets are advance castings from the excellent Fogou Models – they should feature in a Kickstarter soon. While Asslessman and axiom have taken the approach of simply drybrushing and weathering their advance castings, I’ve went utterly overboard with biohazard symbols and other freehand.

    In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only Warhol.

    As well as more judges, I fancy painting a gang of the classic 2000AD alien mercenarys – Kleggs – for a Necromunda campaign. Or Rogue Stars games. Watch this space!
    My miniatures blog:

  4. #4


    This time I present Battle Brother Groma from the Crimson Fists Space Marine Chapter, and Ruin Priest Theodolitus from the Adeptus Mechanicus.

    Only the strongest will surv-ey.

    This pair came into being as I've already painted iconic archaeologist Indiana Jones for the project, and it's made me want some more Warhammer 40,000 excavation personel.

    Theodolitus is an Adeptus Mechanicus Ruin Priest (not to be confused with the Rune Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus or Space Wolves), specialising in archaeological investigation. You can see from his hunched back and tattered trousers Theodolitus has spent his entire career painstakingly trowelling back trenches hoping to uncover archaeotech secrets and alien artefacts from ancient times. He is a very different adherent of the Cult Mechanicus to the Techpriest Enginseers normally seen repairing machinery mid-battle; Theodolitus only works on battlefields abandoned centuries ago. Actual warfare – he wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole.

    Check out the holstered trowel added to the Ruin Priest's belt.

    Theodolitus is a minor conversion of the standard RT601 Adventurers Tech-priest. I replaced his staff with brass wire, but kept the original top with its 1980s Adeptus Mechanicus wing symbol – simply flipping it backwards and adding a ball of putty painted like a survey lens. On the back of his belt I added his trusty archaeology trowel – "Trenchbane" – made from a diamond of plasticard, a length of wire and putty.

    Theodolitus recording an ancient battlefield containing wreckage of an original Mars Pattern Warhound Titan.

    Battle Brother Groma has been temporarily requisitioned by from the Crimson Fists chapter to serve with the Explorators of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Groma served in his chapter as a Fire Support Specialist, relaying co-ordinates the rocket strikes of the Crimson Fists' Whirlwind formations. He is equally at home operating the las-survey devices of the Adeptus Mechanicus to record their archaeological digs, though it took him time to adjust to the tedium of measuring points on a landscape without witnessing their fiery destruction seconds later.

    Groma's graffitied survey case and his freehand Crimson Fists Chapter icon.

    I converted Groma from the biker-with-scanner torso from the 1980s Space Marine bike range. His legs are a mongrel of metal biker legs and RTB01 plastic legs. The tripod is plastic rod, and bits box spares.

    I decided on Crimson Fists colours as it's the iconic Rogue Trader look, and it might lead in to a Battle at the Farm project later in the year. I experimented with several different blues, trying to keep him away from the Ultramarines Blue as seen on my Rogue Trader Marneus Calgar, settling on a mix of Citadel Mordian Blue, Citadel Mechanicus Standard Grey and Vallejo Royal Purple. The key to a classic Crimson Fists scheme is staying away from white and gold, and getting in a lot of crimson.

    Groma sometimes imagines Theodolitus and his ******* pole obliterated in a storm of rocket fire when he glimpses him through his sights.

    More of my 40K Rogue Trader minaitures here.

    More of my every sort of miniatures here.
    My miniatures blog:

  5. #5


    Necromunda’s just been re-rereleased, and there’s a piece of art floating around in White Dwarf and Warhammer Community that doesn’t correspond to any of the miniatures released yet, but is a lovely call back to a couple of 1980s classics.

    Necromunda Mauretania makes all her decisions on the hoof.

    The hoofed mad-haired Amazon in stockings is a leitmotif Games Workshop trot out occasionally – much like female miniatures. Let’s chart a quick family tree.

    John Blanche’s Amazonia Gothique on the cover of White Dwarf 79 (July 1986).

    This piece of art was made into the LE15 Kinky Chaosette miniature released a couple of months afterwards. The version on the left was a conversion by John Blanche himself, rather than a commercially available miniature. I’d love to know where the gun component came from.

    White Dwarf 82 Amazonia Gothique miniatures (October 1986).

    The Amazon with a gun concept did appear as a commercially available miniature a couple of years later, sporting a paint scheme very similar to the John Blanche conversion. She’s an Amazon, but she’s in space.

    RT601 Space Amazon Adventurers, White Dwarf 99 (March 1988).

    This Space Amazon turns up in those exact same colours, zebra stripe, leopard spots, piebald cow blobs in the John Blanche art compilation a year later. Sto’Knor Macekiller has painted his copy to match this, right down to the polka dot neckerbow.

    Space Amazon by John Blanche, from Ratspike (1989).

    Flashing forward to 2017, past some other possible miniature incarnations of the Amazon, and the cheeky nostalgia monkeys at Games Workshop re-relaunch Necromunda with this character popping up in the promotional art teasers.

    Interestingly, I think the yellow patterns on her armour are meant to evoke the shape of the shield from the original Amazonia Gothique. I hope we see a miniature based on the this concept! Until then, I have painted the Rogue Trader incarnation based on the new (and the original) artwork.

    Mauretania and the Claw Nebula pirates in the Jericho Ironworks on Necromunda.
    My miniatures blog:

  6. #6


    Time to collect a new Space Marine force! Crimson Fists – the Rogue Trader poster boys. These Fists are hand-picked from the 1987–1989 Imperial Space Marine ranges sculpted by Bob Naismith, Aly Morrison and Mark Copplestone. I have a real soft spot for this era of Mk6 design. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi to the early Warhammer 40,000 aesthetic that was lost when the Mk7 Jes Goodwin designs were introduced in 1990. There’s a joyful bulbousness to them that reflects the early days of Rogue Trader, before it settled down into the tightly-codified juggernaut that endures to this day.

    Fist in, last out – Squad Onan.

    Veteran Sergeant Onan’s casting had a damaged head, and has had a new one grafted on from a Golden Heroes Supervillain. I added the bionic eye during painting to hide the incredibly long eyeball that continued round the side of his head. The banner is tomato puree foil mounted on a brass rod pole. The bladed bionic arm with its super-awkward pose is entirely original – if anyone know what he’s actually meant to be doing please leave a comment.

    The backpacks and other elements were sculpted with a beautifully ham-fisted assymetry.

    I’ve settled on the rule of left-hands-crimson on Battle Brothers, and both-hands-crimson on Veterans. The Heavy Bolter Marine has Veteran status to justify him wearing a Power Glove. I particularly love this model as his nonsensical wargear (that’s illegal in all future editions of Warhammer 40,000) places him firmly in Rogue Trader territory.
    Freehand Fist Icons[/size]

    My rendition of the Crimson Fist icon is based on the banner from the Rogue Trader cover, but I’ve experimented with simplifying the thumb/forefinger area between Marines. Since their armour designs differ so much I’m not going to revisit and amend any designs once I’ve settled on the final iteration.

    This hobby is called: The Freehand Fists Hobby.

    I couldn’t resist adding the correct weaponry icons and armour graffiti too. I’ve got to add a Medic to the force simply so I can scrawl “FIST AID” on his armour. I also fancy a Marine with “FIST BUMP”. In fact I’ve got a whole list of quickfire “FIST” and “HAND” phrases ready to deploy.

    [size=14pt]Crimson Fists Grand Plan[/size]

    I’ve planned 1,000 points using the Whitescars army list from the Book of the Astronomican. This era of army list is the sweet spot for me. Space Marines have been rounded out from the single squad type presented in the Rogue Trader rulebook, but it’s before a lot of their iconic troop types have been dreamed up – no Terminators, no Scouts, no Rhinos, no Techmarines. On one hand they’re recognisable enough to a modern Warhammer 40,000 player, but on the other hand there’s a smattering of ideas like “Cobra squad” and “Reconnaissance squad” that have since disappeared from the background. I love this particular early incarnation of the Warhammer 40,000 universe where the concepts are still crystallising.


    1 Marine Champion [9], Bionic Arm [30], Bionic Eye [30]
    69 POINTS

    3 Marines [3*8], 3 Bolt Guns [3*2] and 3 Frag Grenades [3*1]
    33 POINTS

    1 Marine [8], Heavy Bolter [15], Power Glove [15], Targeter [5], 2 Suspensors [2*2]
    47 POINTS

    Basic Equipment (all models): Bolt Pistol [1.5], Knife [0], Powered Armour [6] (with Communicator [0.5], Respirator [0.5], Auto-senses[0.5])
    45 POINTS

    TOTAL: 194 POINTS[/size]

    The full force (17 Marines on foot and a Dreadnought) is partially based on the seminal Rogue Trader Battle at the Farm scenario (which was Pedro Cantor plus fifteen Tactical Marines), but I’ve spiced up the weapon choices for the sake of variety and model availability. Here’s the first squad defending make-shift farm barricades!

    Bonus Ninjabread points if you can spot where Tech-priest Theodolitus is hiding.jpg

    Sho3box has very generously lent me Skabsquig’s Skallywags for these Battle at the Farm photos. You can see more of them here and here.

    Crimson Fists parading their farm candy.

    This terrain I’m using as the iconic Rogue Trader farm is going to launch on Kickstarter imminently from the excellent Fogou Models. Mr. Fogou sent me an advance casting in return for me taking photographs like this.

    Coming soon – another Rogue Trader Crimson Fists squad and maybe a character!

    More of my miniatures at:
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  7. #7


    Man, I'm loving these, keep 'em coming!
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  8. #8


    Cheers Cactus!


    At BOYL (Bring out Your Lead) it’s become a community tradition to create one-off figures to celebrate the three-day extravaganza of Oldhammery painting and gaming. Here are three from 2017 painted up just in time to pick up 2018’s without any leadguilt.

    Left to right: Helsreach Mayor, Grox Egg and Olivia Neutronbomb.

    I really like event-exclusive miniatures as they’re tethered to a set of memories of friends, games, meals out, heavy drinking, stupid decisions and hangovers. Lemme explain why these three minis came to be.

    [size=18pt]Olivia Neutronbomb[/size]

    Olivia was the 2017 event’s commemorative figure, sculpted by John Pickford. She’s a 28mm metal incarnation of the classic 1987 Rogue Trader illustration by Martin McKenna.

    I painted Olivia to slot into my Rogue Trader Godbreak 84th Imperial Army. Her animal-print trousers were repainted a few times as I wrestled with various animals’ colours clashing with the Godbreak’s grey-green and black. Then I realised I needn’t be constrained by real animals in the distant alien future of Warhammer 40,000! Hence the “Greyscale Giraffe” was born in my imagination. (Geeez Curis, all that creative potential and possibility and all you come up with is a desaturated giraffe.)

    Olivia leading the Godbreak 84th, showing her head for strategy.


    Grox are the cattle of 41st Millennium. They appeared as an illustration in the 1987 Rogue Trader rulebook, though they’ve never had a miniature incarnation.

    That was until axiom commissioned John Pickford to sculpt this cheeky little hatching Grox. Why? Cos axiom was running a Grox-herding participation game and going several egg-stra miles to realise the world of grimdark ranching.

    Mungo Beefhead lassoing a hatching Grox. Find out more about this Space Cowboy here.

    I painted the egg with green spots – obviously channelling Yoshi from Super Mario. The shell fragments are cut-up plastic carton lid glued onto the base after drybrushing. I planned on making a small nest diorama with several unhatched eggs (my sculpting ability just able to cope with unhatched eggs), but I ended up doing something more ambitious…

    [size=18pt]Mayor of Helsreach[/size]

    Curtis at Ramshackle Games sculpted this miniature to celebrate his massive participation game at BOYL 2017, set in Helsreach – the iconic Rogue Trader townscape. This miniature is really characterful and fun to paint, and on finishing it I immediately went and jumped some other Ramshackle bits to the front of the painting queue. The game is running again at BOYL 2018, and I recommend stopping by to drink in all those square feet of his miniatures and terrain Curtis, Aidan and Danny have put together.

    The Mayor touring the Cullentown Grox Incubation Facility. His Techpriest tour guide is regarded as the Helsreach’s leading "egghead".

    The Grox incubation chamber is a cut-down cryo-stasis piece from Games Workshop’s Sector Imperialis Objectives. The transparent “glass” component needed great care to resize – the plastic is so brittle any stress on it will cause massive white cracks to shoot through the whole thing. There were a few near-misses and lots of eggs-pletives.

    More of my miniatures at
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  9. #9


    Thanks monkeytroll! I loved doing her trousers.

    Thanks Insaniak!

    The Crimson Fists are getting reinforcements, hand over fist. My 1980s Rogue Trader Space Marine grows with the addition of another 5-man Tactical Squad composed of vintage metal and plastic Citadel Miniatures from another era.

    Squad Huerta, ready to put the huert on.

    To my amazement and envy, in the time taken to finish this second squad of Battle at the Farm Crimson Fists, Nico has painted every Crimson Fist for the scenario, plus he’s modelled an evocative scenic base, plus he’s painted all the Orks and – if that wasn’t enough – some Ork reinforcements. I feel like Falcon running round the park and being lapped repeatedly in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

    Freehand & Crimson Fist Icons

    Again I had some fun adding freehand chapter icons and armour graffitti to the squad. “THE TRUTH HUERTS” is just punning off the Sergeant’s name. “INFINITE PLASMA” is a reference to the Battle at the Farm scenario, which Zhu points out gives the Space Marines unlimited Plasma Missiles (as they normally cost 1 point each, it technically means the Marines outclass the Orks by INFINITY POINTS).

    I now need to paint a second Missile Launcher so I can reference Elton John’s Rocket Man.

    “FOR NOW WE SEE BUT THRU A SCANNER DARKLY” on the Marine with scanner is a 1 Corinthians 13:12 / Philip K. Dick reference simply because he’s holding a scanner. “FIST OR FAMINE” is from my handy stockpile of fist-based puns. It’s a treat at the end of the painting process to choose some scrawly handwriting to give the battle-brothers an additional touch of the Rogue Trader era

    Crimson Fists Grand Plan

    To fit in to my planned 1,000 points (using the Whitescars army list from the Book of the Astronomican) the five Space Marines come out as:


    1 Marine Champion [9], Power Glove [15], Bolt Hun [2]
    26 POINTS

    3 Marines [3*8], 3 Bolt Guns [3*2] and 3 Frag Grenades [3*1]
    33 POINTS

    1 Marine [8], Missile Launcher [30], 12 Plasma Missiles [12] Targeter [5], 2 Suspensors [2*2]

    Basic Equipment (all models): Bolt Pistol [1.5], Knife [0], Powered Armour [6] (with Communicator [0.5], Respirator [0.5], Auto-senses[0.5])
    45 POINTS


    Here are the two squads in action alongside each other, with a sneaky eleventh Citadel Miniature tucked away somewhere … can you spot it?

    Squads Huerta and Onan fighting in the ruins of Blas in the Gallego system.

    Crimson Fists Painting Tutorial

    I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how I paint Crimson Fists, so I photographed a Marine inbetween each step of the blue power armour process.

    If you want to see these steps broken down, with the techniques and theory behind them spelt out the tutorial is available on Patreon. The skills you’ll learn are transferable to all colours of power armour.

    Coming soon – more vintage Crimson Fists to creep the army closer to game legal.

    More of my miniatures at:
    Tutorials at:
    My miniatures blog:

  10. #10


    British comics lost an icon this week with the death of Carlos Ezquerra – the creative genius behind Judge Dredd and Johnny Alpha. Carlos’s character designs and universes underpin a lot of subsequent science fiction – including Warhammer 40,000. Two years before Games Workshop gave birth to Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, they were dabbling with science fiction miniatures such as this trio of Strontium Dog characters.

    Left to right: Wulf Sternhammer, Johnny Alpha, Gronk.

    I’ve been painting this triumverate of bounty hunters with an eye on Warlord Games’ new Strontium Dog game. Excitingly they can also be shoehorned into modern Necromunda with the recent bounty hunter rules.

    The miniatures are from Citadel’s 2000AD range produced for the 1985 Judge Dredd: The Role-Playing Game. Though technically Johnny Alpha and Judge Dredd inhabit separate universes, they have crossed over several times for reasons of awesome.

    Johnny Alpha and Judge Dredd, Judgement Day, 2000AD #799.

    The Rogue Trader universe borrows a lot of its overall look from Carlos Ezquerra’s artwork. The amount of time and artwork the Rogue Trader rulebook spends on the (non-Chaotic) random mutations tables is testament to Strontium Dog’s influence. There’s a lot of Strontium Dog wargear that pops up in the forty-first millennium too, such as gravchutes, stasis grenades and electro-mauls.

    But wait – there’s more…

    There was a mystery for almost thirty years about the miniature that appears in a single murky black-and-white photograph on page 11 of the Rogue Trader rulebook.

    The mystery figure, top left corner.

    The figure never made it into production, appearing only in this photo. Only in 2013 did details of the figure emerge thanks to Steve Casey’s Eldritch Epistles – it was a one of several Judge Dredd figures that had been converted and cast up in-house to playtest the upcoming Rogue Trader rules before actual miniatures had been made.

    It was released a couple of years later by Wargames Foundry, so people like me and Rochie can paint and play with our own copies of this odd curio.

    Inquisitor Ezquerra and Johnny Alpha.

    I plumped for white and papal purple to spin the figure as an Imperial Inquisitor. (It was tempting to paint him in green and yellow trousers, as if it’s Johnny improvising a disguise as an Imperial Inquisitor.) He’s so wee. being from 1985 when sculptors tended to 25mm scale, that I built up his base to help him keep some sense of imposing Imperial authority over the rest of the Imperium’s servants.

    More vintage Crimson Fists coming soon!

    More of my miniatures at:
    Tutorials at:
    My miniatures blog:


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