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Analysis: Astra Militarum in 8th Ed, HQ Units

Let's analyse the HQ options available to Astra Militarum . Like all my reviews, this will be from a competitive play perspective, ...

Sunday, 28 December 2014

A while ago I was lucky enough to procure a handful of the infamous 'Russian' Jetbikes, the replica of the Jes Goodwin prototype models first seen back in 2008 but never released by GW, now occasionally available on eBay from Russia. These are exceptionally well-cast resin models and look really sleek and fast—very Eldar, very sexy. I don't understand why GW never released these guys!

I don't mind the classic Jetbike model, as long as it's converted with a modern Guardian pilot, but I plan to use these alternative Jetbikes for special models like Shining Spears or an Autarch.

WIP: Eldar Jetbike Autarch #1

A while ago I was lucky enough to procure a handful of the infamous 'Russian' Jetbikes, the replica of the Jes Goodwin prototype models first seen back in 2008 but never released by GW, now occasionally available on eBay from Russia. These are exceptionally well-cast resin models and look really sleek and fast—very Eldar, very sexy. I don't understand why GW never released these guys!

I don't mind the classic Jetbike model, as long as it's converted with a modern Guardian pilot, but I plan to use these alternative Jetbikes for special models like Shining Spears or an Autarch.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014


I have completed my mini-project to create an alternative Void Shield Generator model from a CNC Miniature Scenery terrain kit. I used this mini-project as an opportunity to practice my weathering, decal application and OSL techniques in preparation for painting my Astra Militarum vehicles. This model was also good practice for my forthcoming desert gaming table and terrain project.

Showcase: Void Shield Generator


I have completed my mini-project to create an alternative Void Shield Generator model from a CNC Miniature Scenery terrain kit. I used this mini-project as an opportunity to practice my weathering, decal application and OSL techniques in preparation for painting my Astra Militarum vehicles. This model was also good practice for my forthcoming desert gaming table and terrain project.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014


The internet tells us that competitive 40k is dying. The internet also offers various conspiracy theories to explain why this is so: Maybe it’s the rules? Maybe it’s GW corporate strategy? Maybe someone somewhere rolled 666 on the Warp Storm Table? But what is telling is that no one seems to have the balls to write about the real problem: Us. The players. We are killing the competitive 40k scene.

Rant: Blame the Player, Not the Game


The internet tells us that competitive 40k is dying. The internet also offers various conspiracy theories to explain why this is so: Maybe it’s the rules? Maybe it’s GW corporate strategy? Maybe someone somewhere rolled 666 on the Warp Storm Table? But what is telling is that no one seems to have the balls to write about the real problem: Us. The players. We are killing the competitive 40k scene.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Here are some update shots of my Void Shield Generator.

WIP: Void Shield Generator #2

Here are some update shots of my Void Shield Generator.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

CNC, MDF

Here are some WIP shots of the Void Shield Generator I'm building to break up the monotony of assembling mass Guardsmen. I've used the Sci Fi Power Generator model from CNC Miniature Scenery and a standard 120 mm oval flyer base. I think this 'Power Generator' looks more like a shield generator, not unlike those from the start of The Empire Strikes Back—I just hope this shield generator performs better for me than it did for the Rebels on Hoth!

Stronghold Assault specifies the Void Shield Generator Fortification as a Medium Building, like an Imperial Bastion; I think this model might be a bit small for a Medium Building, but given that a bigger footprint would be better in-game I don't think anyone will complain about it. I intend to measure the Void Shield area of effect from the base, rather than the model itself, since I think this will be both fairer and easier in-game.

WIP: Void Shield Generator #1

CNC, MDF

Here are some WIP shots of the Void Shield Generator I'm building to break up the monotony of assembling mass Guardsmen. I've used the Sci Fi Power Generator model from CNC Miniature Scenery and a standard 120 mm oval flyer base. I think this 'Power Generator' looks more like a shield generator, not unlike those from the start of The Empire Strikes Back—I just hope this shield generator performs better for me than it did for the Rebels on Hoth!

Stronghold Assault specifies the Void Shield Generator Fortification as a Medium Building, like an Imperial Bastion; I think this model might be a bit small for a Medium Building, but given that a bigger footprint would be better in-game I don't think anyone will complain about it. I intend to measure the Void Shield area of effect from the base, rather than the model itself, since I think this will be both fairer and easier in-game.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Astra Militarum, Imperial Guard, Wheeled, Conversion, Chapterhouse

Here are some more WIP shots of my first two Rapid Response Chimeras. Both are fully assembled and have their basecoat colours applied. I really want to finish painting these guys but I'm going to force myself to stop at this stage; I need to stay disciplined and finish a squad before I allow myself to paint a tank!

WIP: Astra Militarum Chimera #2

Astra Militarum, Imperial Guard, Wheeled, Conversion, Chapterhouse

Here are some more WIP shots of my first two Rapid Response Chimeras. Both are fully assembled and have their basecoat colours applied. I really want to finish painting these guys but I'm going to force myself to stop at this stage; I need to stay disciplined and finish a squad before I allow myself to paint a tank!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

http://victoriaminiatures.highwire.com

Ugly and unpopular, the Astra Militarum Taurox seems to be a rare sight on the battlefields of the grimdark future, especially in serious army lists. But does this new addition to the Imperial arsenal really deserve so much hate?

Building wheeled Chimeras is a painful modelling experience, so much so that I am seriously considering adding a couple of the much-maligned Taurox to my Astra Militarum army. I am not a fan of the stock kit, but like every other model in my army, I'm not afraid of doing some conversion work to achieve a better aesthetic. But is the Taurox a worthy alternative to the venerable Chimera? I think the answer is "yes", and here is why.

Analysis: The Ugly Duckling (Astra Militarum Taurox)

http://victoriaminiatures.highwire.com

Ugly and unpopular, the Astra Militarum Taurox seems to be a rare sight on the battlefields of the grimdark future, especially in serious army lists. But does this new addition to the Imperial arsenal really deserve so much hate?

Building wheeled Chimeras is a painful modelling experience, so much so that I am seriously considering adding a couple of the much-maligned Taurox to my Astra Militarum army. I am not a fan of the stock kit, but like every other model in my army, I'm not afraid of doing some conversion work to achieve a better aesthetic. But is the Taurox a worthy alternative to the venerable Chimera? I think the answer is "yes", and here is why.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Astra Militarum, Imperial Guard, Chapterhouse, Conversion

Here is a sneak peek at the first of my Astra Militarum vehicles: a pair of specially-modified Rapid Response Chimeras. These transports are built from a rare variant of the Chimera STC that exchanges the usual all-terrain track units for six wheels for better speed and handling on sealed surfaces—too bad these vehicles are being deployed to a desert world! Fear not, and trust in the infinite wisdom of the Departmento Munitorum...

WIP: Astra Militarum Chimera #1

Astra Militarum, Imperial Guard, Chapterhouse, Conversion

Here is a sneak peek at the first of my Astra Militarum vehicles: a pair of specially-modified Rapid Response Chimeras. These transports are built from a rare variant of the Chimera STC that exchanges the usual all-terrain track units for six wheels for better speed and handling on sealed surfaces—too bad these vehicles are being deployed to a desert world! Fear not, and trust in the infinite wisdom of the Departmento Munitorum...

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

My hobby time continues to be limited, and I have had very few opportunities to paint these last couple of weeks. I have instead been working on building lots of models so I can continue to use the batch painting method once I can paint again.

Project: Astra Militarum Update #1

My hobby time continues to be limited, and I have had very few opportunities to paint these last couple of weeks. I have instead been working on building lots of models so I can continue to use the batch painting method once I can paint again.

Sunday, 30 November 2014


I did not get as much done this weekend as I had hoped, but I did get about halfway through the basecoat stage of my first Veteran Squad.

I normally paint my models individually but I've decided to batch paint these guys, or else I doubt I'll ever get a whole army done! So far I've done the flesh on all nine and the armour on six; after the armour is done I'll do the pack and webbing and then the weapons.

Once this squad is done I think I'll have to paint a vehicle or character to break up the monotony and keep me motivated.

WIP: Astra Militarum Infantry #2


I did not get as much done this weekend as I had hoped, but I did get about halfway through the basecoat stage of my first Veteran Squad.

I normally paint my models individually but I've decided to batch paint these guys, or else I doubt I'll ever get a whole army done! So far I've done the flesh on all nine and the armour on six; after the armour is done I'll do the pack and webbing and then the weapons.

Once this squad is done I think I'll have to paint a vehicle or character to break up the monotony and keep me motivated.

Saturday, 29 November 2014


Earlier this week, Black Library ran a promotion to encourage subscriptions to its Games Workshop Digital Editions newsletter. The incentive they offered to sign up by Friday was a free copy of their new digital supplement Heroes of Sanctus Reach, advertised to contain "new background, Datasheets and a new Mission set".

I received an email this morning containing the download links for my free copy of this new digital supplement. Given that Sanctus Reach was the campaign that unleashed the infamous Adamantine Lance Formation on to the battlefields, I had high hopes that this freebie might contain a similar gem.

Review: Heroes of Sanctus Reach


Earlier this week, Black Library ran a promotion to encourage subscriptions to its Games Workshop Digital Editions newsletter. The incentive they offered to sign up by Friday was a free copy of their new digital supplement Heroes of Sanctus Reach, advertised to contain "new background, Datasheets and a new Mission set".

I received an email this morning containing the download links for my free copy of this new digital supplement. Given that Sanctus Reach was the campaign that unleashed the infamous Adamantine Lance Formation on to the battlefields, I had high hopes that this freebie might contain a similar gem.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Here is a WIP shot of the first batch of my Astra Militarum / Imperial Guard infantry. Once painted, this batch plus my test model will make enough guys for one Veteran Squad with Meltaguns, plus a few leftovers.

I am in the process of building enough Guardsmen to make a small force comprising a Company Command Squad and two Veteran Squads. My plan is to then build a few Chimeras and start playing some small games with my Astra Militarum.

I will take plenty of photos as I paint these guys to use in my forthcoming step-by-step tutorial on how I paint my Guardsmen.

WIP: Astra Militarum Infantry #1

Here is a WIP shot of the first batch of my Astra Militarum / Imperial Guard infantry. Once painted, this batch plus my test model will make enough guys for one Veteran Squad with Meltaguns, plus a few leftovers.

I am in the process of building enough Guardsmen to make a small force comprising a Company Command Squad and two Veteran Squads. My plan is to then build a few Chimeras and start playing some small games with my Astra Militarum.

I will take plenty of photos as I paint these guys to use in my forthcoming step-by-step tutorial on how I paint my Guardsmen.

Friday, 21 November 2014


I had an interesting discussion today with a Dark Eldar player on how to best integrate Craftworld Eldar into his army lists. It became quickly apparent to me that he was trapped in a 6th Ed mindset that was hindering his 7th Ed list building.

Most of our discussion revolved around combinations of infantry and transports; specifically, should Kabalite Warriors ride Raiders or Venoms, and should Wave Serpents carry Dire Avengers or Guardian Defenders? These are fair questions, but what about all the other available combinations? After all, Avengers can ride Raiders, Dragons can ride Venoms, Kabalites can ride Falcons—when it comes to Battle Brother allies, you need to let go of pre-7th Ed, Codex-based thinking and consider infantry and transports holistically across allied Factions.

Army List: Eldar and Dark Eldar Synergistic Mech


I had an interesting discussion today with a Dark Eldar player on how to best integrate Craftworld Eldar into his army lists. It became quickly apparent to me that he was trapped in a 6th Ed mindset that was hindering his 7th Ed list building.

Most of our discussion revolved around combinations of infantry and transports; specifically, should Kabalite Warriors ride Raiders or Venoms, and should Wave Serpents carry Dire Avengers or Guardian Defenders? These are fair questions, but what about all the other available combinations? After all, Avengers can ride Raiders, Dragons can ride Venoms, Kabalites can ride Falcons—when it comes to Battle Brother allies, you need to let go of pre-7th Ed, Codex-based thinking and consider infantry and transports holistically across allied Factions.

Saturday, 15 November 2014


Here is the next candidate army list for my Astra Militarum. This list has fewer Veteran Squads in Chimeras than the fully mechanised list, but includes a Platoon and a Knight.

Army List: Astra Militarum Semi Mech


Here is the next candidate army list for my Astra Militarum. This list has fewer Veteran Squads in Chimeras than the fully mechanised list, but includes a Platoon and a Knight.

Friday, 14 November 2014


Here is my first candidate army list, a fully mechanised list of Veterans in Chimeras with fire support. This would use all my vehicles except the the Leman Russes, and 'only' 55 infantry. It is reminiscent of a 5th Ed Imperial Guard list, and would be a good basis for a 7th Ed  Astra Militarum list; but it really needs a reliable countermeasure to Invisible deathstars to be truly competitive.

Army List: Astra Militarum Full Mech


Here is my first candidate army list, a fully mechanised list of Veterans in Chimeras with fire support. This would use all my vehicles except the the Leman Russes, and 'only' 55 infantry. It is reminiscent of a 5th Ed Imperial Guard list, and would be a good basis for a 7th Ed  Astra Militarum list; but it really needs a reliable countermeasure to Invisible deathstars to be truly competitive.

I've been doing some serious thinking about what to include in my Astra Militarum army. I don't intend to build my army to a single specific list—I'll ensure I have enough models to change lists from game to game—but I do want to have a plan to guide my modelling.

I have a fair bit of flexibility in the number and weapons configuration of my infantry, but I am constrained when it comes to the vehicles. Over the last few years I've taken every opportunity available to grab Astra Militarum vehicle kits as my tournament prizes; I now have enough for an army and I don't really want to buy any more:
  • 6x Chimera
  • 2x Hellhound / Devil Dog
  • 2x Manticore
  • 2x Demolisher / Executioner / Punisher
  • 2x Valkyrie / Vendetta
  • 1x Baneblade

Project: Astra Militarum Initial Planning


I've been doing some serious thinking about what to include in my Astra Militarum army. I don't intend to build my army to a single specific list—I'll ensure I have enough models to change lists from game to game—but I do want to have a plan to guide my modelling.

I have a fair bit of flexibility in the number and weapons configuration of my infantry, but I am constrained when it comes to the vehicles. Over the last few years I've taken every opportunity available to grab Astra Militarum vehicle kits as my tournament prizes; I now have enough for an army and I don't really want to buy any more:
  • 6x Chimera
  • 2x Hellhound / Devil Dog
  • 2x Manticore
  • 2x Demolisher / Executioner / Punisher
  • 2x Valkyrie / Vendetta
  • 1x Baneblade

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Apocalypse game at my local club was an awesome day of gaming. I brought my 3000 pts of Mechdar to rumble with Astra Militarum, Space Marines, Tau, Necrons, Eldar, Dark Eldar alongside my dubious Ork and Tyranid allies—and a Warlord Titan!

Battle Report: Apocalypse Club Game

The Apocalypse game at my local club was an awesome day of gaming. I brought my 3000 pts of Mechdar to rumble with Astra Militarum, Space Marines, Tau, Necrons, Eldar, Dark Eldar alongside my dubious Ork and Tyranid allies—and a Warlord Titan!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Eldar

Here is the test model for my Eldar Fire Dragons.

It shares some colour scheme elements with my Dire Avengers; the purple cloth, black face, and turquoise eye lenses and gemstones. I chose to use a warmer bone colour for the Fire Dragon to suit the fiery nature of the Aspect and to complement the orange and yellow.

Test Model: Eldar Fire Dragon

Eldar

Here is the test model for my Eldar Fire Dragons.

It shares some colour scheme elements with my Dire Avengers; the purple cloth, black face, and turquoise eye lenses and gemstones. I chose to use a warmer bone colour for the Fire Dragon to suit the fiery nature of the Aspect and to complement the orange and yellow.

Friday, 7 November 2014


My local club is having an Apocalypse game this weekend. If everyone turns up as planned it will be a 40,000 pts game!

I will take plenty of pictures and post them after the battle. Until then, here is the 3000 pts of Mechdar that I'm bringing to the fight:

Army List: Apocalypse Club Game


My local club is having an Apocalypse game this weekend. If everyone turns up as planned it will be a 40,000 pts game!

I will take plenty of pictures and post them after the battle. Until then, here is the 3000 pts of Mechdar that I'm bringing to the fight:

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Imperial Guard, Cadian, Maxmini, Combat Armour, Victoria Miniatures, Arcadian, Conversion


I have wanted to collect an Astra Militarum / Imperial Guard army for a long time, but the thought of painting fifty or more GW Cadian or Catachan models has always deterred me. About 18 months ago, I started experimenting with different combinations of GW Cadians and third-party bitz, and I have finally produced an alternative Guardsman conversion that I will gladly paint in large numbers. Here is a step-by-step picture tutorial of how I built a better Guardsman.

Tutorial: Building a Better Guardsman

Imperial Guard, Cadian, Maxmini, Combat Armour, Victoria Miniatures, Arcadian, Conversion


I have wanted to collect an Astra Militarum / Imperial Guard army for a long time, but the thought of painting fifty or more GW Cadian or Catachan models has always deterred me. About 18 months ago, I started experimenting with different combinations of GW Cadians and third-party bitz, and I have finally produced an alternative Guardsman conversion that I will gladly paint in large numbers. Here is a step-by-step picture tutorial of how I built a better Guardsman.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Imperial Guard, Cadian, Maxmini, Combat Armour, Victoria Miniatures, Arcadian, Conversion

Here is the test model for my new Astra Militarum army. The first humble Guardsman of many, many more to come!

I've wanted to build an Imperial Guard / Astra Militarum army for a long time, but I was never a fan of the GW plastic Cadian or Catachan models. Over the last 18 months, I've experimented with several different combinations of GW and third-party bitz to build a better Guardsman.

Test Model: Astra Militarum Guardsman

Imperial Guard, Cadian, Maxmini, Combat Armour, Victoria Miniatures, Arcadian, Conversion

Here is the test model for my new Astra Militarum army. The first humble Guardsman of many, many more to come!

I've wanted to build an Imperial Guard / Astra Militarum army for a long time, but I was never a fan of the GW plastic Cadian or Catachan models. Over the last 18 months, I've experimented with several different combinations of GW and third-party bitz to build a better Guardsman.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Eldar

Here is the test model for my Eldar Dire Avengers.

I'm happy with this colour scheme. I used GW Rakarth Flesh as the base colour for the wraithbone parts, which is a cooler colour than the warm AP Skeleton Bone that I have previously used on Eldar models. I think it works well with the muted blue armour.

I have three full-sized squads of these guys to paint; one down, twenty-nine to go!

Test Model: Eldar Dire Avenger

Eldar

Here is the test model for my Eldar Dire Avengers.

I'm happy with this colour scheme. I used GW Rakarth Flesh as the base colour for the wraithbone parts, which is a cooler colour than the warm AP Skeleton Bone that I have previously used on Eldar models. I think it works well with the muted blue armour.

I have three full-sized squads of these guys to paint; one down, twenty-nine to go!

The collected images of my Craftworld Ulthwe Eldar army can be found here.

Eldar Gallery


The collected images of my Craftworld Ulthwe Eldar army can be found here.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

My name is Charlie, and I've been a keen Warhammer 40,000 hobbyist since the mid-nineties. I now have almost two decades of hobby experience and I've started this blog to share my ongoing pursuit of hobby perfection.

On Elite 40,000 you will find modelling and painting logs, tutorials and galleries; list-building and tactics advice; product and rules reviews; battle and tournament reports; and the occasional angry rant!

Elite 40,000 is an interactive blog and I encourage you to comment on posts. Also feel free to contact me to request specific content or provide feedback.

If you like what you find here, please share Elite 40,000 with your friends and fellow hobbyists.

Welcome to Elite 40,000

My name is Charlie, and I've been a keen Warhammer 40,000 hobbyist since the mid-nineties. I now have almost two decades of hobby experience and I've started this blog to share my ongoing pursuit of hobby perfection.

On Elite 40,000 you will find modelling and painting logs, tutorials and galleries; list-building and tactics advice; product and rules reviews; battle and tournament reports; and the occasional angry rant!

Elite 40,000 is an interactive blog and I encourage you to comment on posts. Also feel free to contact me to request specific content or provide feedback.

If you like what you find here, please share Elite 40,000 with your friends and fellow hobbyists.