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Project: Desert Astra Militarum #1

It's been a case of all-hobby, no-bloggy for the last few months. The new edition of 40k has reinvigorated my motivation to build a...

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Project: Hobby Update March 2015

My hobby time has been scarce recently, and most of it has been consumed by stripping paint... but I'm not going to let that hold me back! I've just made my biggest single 40k purchase of all time: a trio of Forge World Cerastus Knights.

These models are simply awesome, and I can't wait to build and paint them. Plus, I can add 1195 pts to my very slow-growing Astra Militarum army with only three models!

I plan to paint these guys up in the colours of House Hawkshroud: bright yellow and silver with contrasting black and white. I want these guys to make a big visual impact and look different to my green/tan Astra Militarum, current black/bone Eldar and future red/black Eldar.

I continue to grind away at my Astra Militarum army. I am currently working on assembling, basecoating and basing enough Guardsmen to field either a Company Command Squad and three Veteran Squads, or a Platoon Command Squad and three Infantry Squads. That's only half the infantry I eventually expect to have in my army, but it will allow me to start playing more games with real models. I can bulk out the points with some tanks in a Steel Host Formation or my three new Knights.

As much as I love Victoria Miniatures for their infantry conversion bits, I've had nothing but grief trying to use their Taurox conversion kit.

It does look pretty good, but it was extremely difficult to assemble and I also found it to be very fragile; the suspension broke several times during painting—and subsequent paint stripping—and painting and stripping again—and I have no confidence that it would actually survive the rigours of gaming, especially not in a tournament when you may be rushed for time and rapidly/roughly unpacking/repacking/moving your army between rounds. So I've decided to abandon the Victoria kit, and try an alternative.

Elite 40,000 reader Brendan Hickey kindly shared a picture of his own Taurox conversions using the Zinge Industry kit:

I really like all the stowage that Brendan added to the roof of the passenger compartment, and I think I will do likewise with my own models.

I've purchased a few of these conversion kits and will be trying them out very soon! Even just quickly dry-fitting the suspension and wheels to my Taurox has convinced me that this kit is going to be infinitely easier to assemble and more robust than the Victoria kit.

What I really like about the Zinge kit is that it also comes with a bunch of stowage and other accessories that I will also use to customise my Taurox. But best of all, it includes windscreens—complete with miniature windscreen wipers! No more cutting out tiny rectangles of plasticard! That said, the Zinge kit is nearly twice as expensive as the Victoria kit; but if you can afford it, I would recommend Zinge if you're going to use your Taurox for gaming—the fragile Victoria kit is more 'poseable', so you probably want that if you're building a display model.

While firmly on the back-burner, I have not forgotten my xenos first love, and my recent review of Codex Eldar Harlequins has inspired me to add some Space Elf Clowns to my army. I've picked up a second-hand old metal Troupe, Shadowseer and Death Jester that I will strip, kitbash with some bitz from the new plastic kits, and paint up in suitably eye-melting colours. I was really happy to find these models, since they'll add some nice variety alongside the sexy new sculpts.

I'm expecting to receive more Russian Jetbikes soon, which I plan to use to build some 'modernised' Shining Spears, inspired by these conversions I saw on a German 40k blog:


I also have an Eldar Lynx that I want to build and paint, most likely in Saim Hann colours—although that will well and truly commit me to my crazy plan to repaint all my Ulthwe vehicles!

Of course, every competitive Eldar player knows you need to plonk your Lynx down on a Skyshield Landing Pad to maximise your SCRUB-STOMPING POWA!!!1 Since I'm a despicable competitive gamer, I shamelessly used the Void Shield Generator I modelled and painted for my Astra Militarum army in the Eldar list I took to my last tournament. But my inner hobbyist wants my future elf-tastic Lynx to camp on a suitably elf-tastic version of a Skyshield, so I've purchased one of these 'Elven Dais' models from CNC Miniature Scenery:

I've also picked up a bunch of supplies I'll eventually use to make some terrain for my desert-themed gaming table.

And as a final—and very miscellaneous—hobby project, I have ordered a bunch of empty plastic dropper bottles from Chinese eBay and intend to decant all my Citadel Paint pots into these new containers. While I will probably lose some paint in the decanting, I expect the remainder will last way longer in a dropper bottle than those horrible GW pots.

So many projects, so little hobby time!


  1. Wow that is quite the projects. Three of the knights?!! Man That would be an intimidating amount of resin...boy do those guys look awesome in person! They just tower on the table top.

    Void shield generator for the lynx is pretty much a must. That thing is crazy fragile otherwise.

    Thanks for the review of the two kits for the taurox. I don't think many people even knew about the zinge kit! (I know i didn't)

  2. Yeah the Knights were a pretty big impulse buy, but they will make an awesome centrepiece for my Imperial army!

    I didn't know about the Zinge kit either until it was mentioned in comments on an earlier post, but I'm really glad I bought them, they're a great kit. I'll post lots of pics when I finish (re)assembling my Taurox.