One of the most masquerading Fantasy Characters, that can be found within the Fantasy Realms, of my Warhammer 40,000 Ork army - is no other than my Ork Killer Kan(s):
For in the Heat of Battle, is it all too-easy for me to forget, that an Ork Killer Kan - is no Dreadnought! So if not a Dreadnought, what exactly is an Ork Killer Kan then? Well ... I shall answer in two parts. First: in terms of assembly and painting ... The hardest part for me, was ensuring that the Killer Kan, sat reasonably upright - when glued into it's base. I found achieving this, to be harder than you'd think - as my Killer Kan, is leaning backwards slightly! It also took me a while, to find the ideal pose for the Power Claw - eventually deciding upon, aiming for above head height (aka take that you bigger Dreadnought!). As far as the painting was concerned, I decided to under-coat in Chaos Black, dry-brush in Gun Metal, and work in some contrasting Ork'y colours: Dragon Red (for the Power Claw, Ork Lip/Banner and View Slit), Angel Green (for Power Conduits and Ork Teeth/Bolts), Golden Yellow (for Power Conduits and Ork Teeth/Banner) and Ushabti Bone (for the Horns on the front). I then mixed in a twist, with some Tuskgor Fur, upon various belts and wraps (being dry-brushed in Ushabti Bone), together with a dab or two, of Shining Gold - upon each rivet. This was followed by a dry-brushing everywhere, in Shining Gold (the really old one), to complete the masquerading look, of this particular Ork Killer Kan :) Second: in terms of game-play ... Battle One ... Being a fan of using new models, in smaller Skirmishes at first (so I learn how to use them), I took a single Ork Killer Kan, and included it with 26 Slugga Boyz, and a Gretchin Mobz of 30. Against this, a friend wielded 18 Khorne Berzerkers - both armies totalling around 360 points. Now each army, was itself split into two main flanks - with my Ork Killer Kan, joining 13 Slugga Boyz, and 15 Gretchin fodder (in Da Front!). This was just as well, as I was soon on the receiving end, of 18 Khorne Berzerker Bolt Pistol shots - slaying 12 Gretchin. WWAAUUGGHH! My Orks replied in kind: with 18 Grot Blasta shots, 26 Slugga shots, and six Big Shoota shots from my Ork Killer Kan (split over two turns). The result of all this? Two Khorne Berzerkers fell - to the Kan's Big Shoota :) My Gretchin then bore the brunt again, as they were charged by the Khorne Berzerkers - slaying 18 Gretchin. Unfortunately, my Slugga Boyz had lost their charge advantage (the Khorne Berzerkers having used, their 3 inch consolidation move to engage them). Fortunately, this made little difference - as my remaining 24 Ork Choppas, were soon cutting down Khorne Berzerkers! And in the back? Did my Ork Killer Kan, bring his Power Claw into play - with a charge, and 3 dead Berzerkers (from instant death). The Khorne Berzerkers, were now loosing rapidly: 5 dead, 4 dead, 3 dead, 2 dead - leaving just 1 Khorne Berzerker (as 3 had been lost earlier due to Ork shooting). It felt as though, my Ork Killer Kan, had never really been challenged (which indeed he hadn't!) - though he still grinned at the end, as his Slugga Boyz, dragged down the last remaining Khorne Berzerker :) Battle Two ... Having compared the statistics/profile of an Ork Killer Kan, against a Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought (Bjorn the Fell-Handed) - did I start to think: their very similar! A battle against Space Wolves, would cause pause-for-thought on this :( Bjorn opened fire with his Assault Cannon, which amazingly bounced off (with some bad shooting) from the Killer Kan's front armour. My Killer Kan then opened fire, with his Big Shoota (which also bounced off - as Bjorn's front armour, is just too thick). My Killer Kan then charged Bjorn - but as he prepared to raise his Power Claw (he missed!), did Bjorn simply smash him, with his Lightning Claw (causing a Crew Stunned result). Having lost his charge advantage (and the ability to move/fight), was my Ork Killer Kan, then ripped to bits (on the next turn). In my Battle Lust, had I made one mistake - I'd forgotten about the points difference, between an Ork Killer Kan, and a Venerable Dreadnought (125 minus 45 equals 80 points less!). But, was it really a disadvantage? A Power Claw for 45 points? A masquerade or not? Battle Three ... Was against Space Wolves again :) Yet this time, did I wield a more sensible unit of Ork Killer Kans - three of them :) It was whilst they were fighting against Bjorn, that I feel that I learned so much more, about the weaknesses, and the advantages of Ork Killer Kans. As this time, it was my friend that was under a masquerade - as he believed that Bjorn had the upper hand. Bjorn opened fire with his Assault Cannon (tearing a Killer Kan to bits), then charged into the second Killer Kan (also tearing this Killer Kan to bits). Unfortunately (for Bjorn), whilst this was going on, did my third Killer Kan, sneak around the back of Bjorn - and tear Bjorn apart, using his Power Claw!! Overall: for some time, did I find myself wondering at the difference, between the Ork Killer Kan's failure in the second battle, and their success in the third battle. After looking at their profiles, comparing against a Space Marine Dreadnought's - did I eventually realise, that they are in-fact very similar (and hence a bargain in terms of points). But the difference lies, in whether you get a chance to bring their Power Claws into play! The more Killer Kans you have, the greater the chance that you can :) Thus, one on one, fairly even - as both the Killer Kan and Bjorn, strike at the same time (Power Claws and Power Fists both strike at Initiative 1). But three on one, confers all sorts of advantages to the Killer Kans (as they have potentially 6 to 9 Power Claw attacks, compared to a Dreadnoughts 2 to 3, or 3 to 4 for a Venerable). WWAAUUGGHH!
| Victorian Hawk | Web: Newer Version - UK, US, CA
Within the Forge Worlds of Ancient Terra, are the mightiest War Machines constructed. Within the Forge Worlds of the Eye of Terror, are the mightiest War Machines defiled. What once was pure adamantium, now becomes twisted and deformed. The Servo-Arm of a Techmarine, it's purpose now distorted. From deep within the Foundries, a Chaos Dreadnought is born - anew. From head to toe, it's armoured form now serves the Chaos Powers:
When it comes to customising your models for 40K, I feel that there is no better army than that of Chaos and it's Chaos Space Marines - as within reason (or not!), anything goes ... As such, this is my first outing into those Dreadnoughts of the Forge World range. At first, I was concerned about constructing this Dreadnought model (because it's made of resin). I initially found the resin somewhat stranger to work with - as I'd only assembled both plastic and metal kits (before). After worrying about resins health and safety (e.g. your not supposed to breath it in), I decided to assemble the kit outdoors (e.g. to reduce the chance of that). I remember that the parts required considerably more cleaning than a typical plastic model kit - with a set of modelling files being the order of the day. Now, I started to paint this model in my old Iron Warriors paint scheme: pure bolt-gun over Chaos black undercoat (with no dry brushing). It was then to the burnished gold (for the raised armour edges) - followed by a brake, for several years! I was simply unconvinced by my old Iron Warriors paint scheme (at least it's ability to make a Dreadnought look good). Three weeks ago did my repaint start - but this time I dry-brushed the bolt-gun over Chaos black. I'm so glad that I did! I immediately had a new goal - to finish my Forge World Chaos Dreadnought to the highest quality, that I could. One of the hardest parts of the repaint was the Iron Warriors markings (the black and yellow bands). Whilst I used my usual technique for painting these (i.e. painting them straight on), I found it somewhat harder. The two markings on the top were restricted by the non-square burnished gold borders, together with two sunken-slots (in the top face) that made it easier for the yellow paint to run. The lone marking on the bottom, was complicated by the curved surface and awkwardness of brush angle (as was required to clear the sarcophagus). It was then onto the skulls - which required more attention (especially the large skull where the twin-linked Lascannon emerges). This required a slight modification to my usual approach to skull painting. Whilst I still used an ushabti bone base, together with a watery mix of tuskgor fur and gehenna's gold (applied to the top), I decided to add some dry-brushed burnished gold as an extra step (as I found that this helped to bring the details out). I also felt that I was akin to an Iron Warrior myself - with the addition of an extra painting step! Once the standard painting had been finished (such as the Dark Angels green, power chords/hoses) - it was onto the rivets. At this point did I dilemma: Should I paint each individual rivet? My reason for the dilemma? There's quite a few rivets on this Dreadnought model ... Fortunately, I decided that I would - and have found myself extremely pleased with the results! In particular, I love the way that the red rivets contrast with the burnished gold. Are you afraid of painting rivets? Well, dip the end of a cocktail stick into your paint, then dab the end onto a rivet! As for the Dreadnoughts weapons? Well, Forge World tends to offer you quite a selection for a Chaos Dreadnought (such as Plasma Cannon, Lascannon, Multi-Melta, Autocannons, Heavy Bolters, etc.). Whilst it took a while to decide (e.g. you have to pick the right ones for your Dreadnought body), I eventually opted for a twin-linked Lascannon (for powerful hits against enemy vehicles), together with a Chainfist (for it's ability to cut through the armour of enemy tanks). Overall: I enjoyed the challenges involved with assembling this model - which, for the most part, came from the fact that it's made of resin. With the Will of the Emperor, did I overcome these challenges - and I was soon within the familiar Realms of Chaos black undercoat, and burnished gold raised armour edges! This is my favourite Iron Warriors Dreadnought (to date) - and I know that it is Pride of Place within my Iron Warriors army. If I could name one thing to make my Chaos Dreadnought better? It's that I could have placed the model on a Dreadnought scenic base.
Within the armies of the Space Marines, it is seen as a Great Honour for the body of a shattered Space Marine to be interned within the armoured hide of a Dreadnought. Yet, within the armies of the Chaos Space Marines, it is seen as a Great Damnation for the mind of a former Space Marine - an armoured sarcophagus from which there is no escape for their Tormented Soul. Where as a Space Marine Dreadnought can live for several thousand years, it is nothing compared to the lifespan of a Chaos Dreadnought:
Within the Warp, Chaos Dreadnoughts were changed, and it is now known that many of them have lived for well over ten thousand years. Whilst long lived - these changes came at a price: as most of their minds have turned to insanity - often attacking their own troops (in the heat of battle). Indeed, this is one of those 40K rules that has often caused me pause-for-thought: for I would love to wield an army of Chaos Dreadnoughts (within my Iron Warriors) - but would I really want the potential for that many uncontrollable Dreadnoughts on the battlefield? I'm tempted to say yes, as it would make for an entertaining game - especially for my opponents, who may be creased up in hysterics (e.g. as my Fire Frenzied Dreadnoughts shot at my Chaos Lord). This model is important to me - as it's the first Chaos Dreadnought that I ever painted. Being an older model, I decided that it was time for a repaint, and believed that it was the ideal test bed for my new Iron Warriors colour scheme: undercoat in Chaos black, base in Chaos black, dry brush in bolt-gun, then hit the raised armour edges. For these, it's undercoat in white, then burnished gold on-top. I shall now share a secret ... Burnished gold and I share a love-hate relationship. I love the finished effect of burnished gold, but I hate painting it on - it seems too runny, and I have to use (usually) three to four coats before I'm happy! It's then onto the Iron Warriors markings (the black and yellow bands). I prefer to paint these straight on - as opposed to drawing them out first. I have found that this approach works quite well - with some alterations being made (e.g.) if the spacing between the bands seems too different. I undercoat the yellow bands in white, applying several coats of sunburst yellow on-top. The black bands use a coat of Chaos black (to cover up the dry-brushed bolt-gun). The coat of Chaos black (at most two) helps to create an interesting effect - as the yellow bands then appear to be raised over the black bands. It's then onto the standard painting - such as the ribbed power chords/hoses (which I paint in Dark Angels green, with dry-brushed burnished gold over the top) and the skulls (which are ushabti bone with a runny tuskgor fur and gehenna's gold mix-wash applied to the top). It was then that I noticed something about my Dreadnought model - most of the burnished gold raised armour edges featured rivets on them. In the past I would have left these as burnished gold (but not this time) - I decided that a contrasting red was the order of the day! Thus, I made use of my handy cocktail stick (per rivet): two dabs of white, two dabs of ruby red, two dabs of magenta ink (allowing each dab to dry first). When it came to the weapons of my Dreadnought - I decided to choose a Plasma Cannon (for punching through armour) and a Power Claw (for powerful hand-to-hand). I decided to angle the Power Claw slightly - as the models pose seemed much more dynamic (like this). The Plasma Cannon was kept horizontal - as it doesn't make much sense for a line of sight weapon to be pointing at the floor. Overall: I enjoyed the challenges involved with painting this model - which, for the most part, came from the burnished gold raised armour edges. In painting these, I learned an important lesson - let the burnished gold dry first (otherwise you end up with paint on your fingers and have to repaint the armour edge). This was an issue that I feel was only attenuated, by the weight of the model (i.e. being made of lead - I needed a decent grip). It's also a model where I found myself painting new-unusual parts. For example, I would normally avoid painting a Space Marine Dreadnoughts feet - but decided that the addition of burnished gold (to the toes), actually helped my Chaos Dreadnought to look more balanced.
Within the armies of the Space Marines, there are those that stand-out on the field of battle: daring Commanders that lead their brethren, both into the strongest battle lines, and into the deepest territories of the enemies (of Mankind). Yet even they may be struck down, their bodies broken, their minds intact. One such Commander, was Bjorn, of the Space Wolves Chapter of Space Marines - saved from death, by his internment within the life-preserving fluids of a Dreadnought sarcophagus:
Whilst a Space Marine can live for several hundred years, a Dreadnought can live for several thousand. Bjorn is the Oldest of the Old, having lived for over ten thousand years. Preserved by the Iron Priests (of the Space Wolves), he's armoured form has brought the wrath of the Emperor (of Mankind) to the enemies of humanity, in over a thousand battles. It is perhaps fitting then, that this is the first Dreadnought model that I ever made, and as such, is also the oldest Dreadnought model that I have (of all my armies for 40K). At this time (twenty or so years ago) I decided to construct the kit by: painting each individual part, and then glueing together. I felt that this approach had an advantage - as it allowed easy access to the Chaos black plus bolt-gun dry-brushed areas (near to where the arms attach, and at the bottom of the sarcophagus - where those two sensors protrude). In a saga that's worthy of the Space Wolves, I have repainted Bjorn several times (over the years), and it is only recently that I have achieved the results that I was after (all along). With each re-paint, I was glad that I had got his base colours (Chaos black and Space Wolves Grey) correct from the start - as this has greatly simplified his modernisations. What modernisations I hear you say? The first: it took a long time to equip him with a Dreadnought base (that I liked). For years I'd glued him to a block of wood - that was so large, that fellow 40k opponents used to laugh when I moved him (as he took half my army with him!). This was eventually fixed by using the Dreadnought scenic base (although that decision took several years). The second: for years I'd leaned across my gaming table, and for years a recurring event always occurred - I'd have to straighten his banner pole both during, and at the end, of a game of 40k! This was eventually fixed when I decided to completely remove the banner pole - which I believe actually improved the look of Bjorn. The third: as my painting skills have grown, I just knew that the (original) skulls were not up-to-scratch. These were easily fixed with my new technique (for painting skulls/bone): undercoat in white, cover with ushabti bone (aka bleached bone), then for highlights - mix tuskgor fur (aka terracotta) and gehenna's gold (aka shining gold) with water (until the paint is really quite runny), then soak a small brush in the mix, dragging across paper slightly, then running the watery-paint onto the model/skull (the water helps the paint take its own path, for example, into the cracks). I like to vary the amount of tuskgor fur/gehenna's gold that I use, as it gives different results from model to model (which I feel reflects the different ages of the skulls/bone). Bjorn is my favourite Dreadnought to wield on the battlefield: as I just love the combination of an Assault Cannon with Lightning Claw plus Heavy Flamer (on the underside of the Lightning Claw). As far as battles go, Bjorn is always at the fore-front, with two of my favourite opponents being: Orks (having slain the Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka many times) and Chaos (in one particular battle, he was in the middle of a squad of Chaos Daemons, who themselves were surrounded by my Space Wolves Wolf Guard Terminators - with so many expectations about the up coming hand-to-hand, that we forget all about the shooting phase of other troops!). Overall: This is a model that holds pride-of-place within my Space Wolves army. I like the fact that this model has made me feel like an Iron Priest: maintaining between battles, with numerous re-paints (somehow avoiding over-painting), and some tweaks to finish off (several years later). I also like the fact that he seems to have a fearsome presence on the battlefield. Whether just lucky dice? Whether just some memories of an older rules version? (When he truly was a force to be reckoned with). Whichever it is - I shall let you decide, when you next face Bjorn!
Within the armies of the Space Marines, there shall be those who prefer to fight from afar (e.g. with Missile Launchers and Heavy Bolters), rather than fight hand-to-hand (e.g. with Power Swords and Power Fists). When mortally wounded, such Fallen brethren, may be saved from death, by their interment within the armoured form of a Hellfire Dreadnought:
Locked within his/her armoured sarcophagus, the trigger-happy Space Marine shall continue to serve the Emperor (of Mankind), but with one major advantage: being free to roam the battlefield, picking their targets wisely, whilst incoming fire, bounces harmlessly off their adamantium armour. I enjoyed constructing this model, as it features a good amount of detail, and followed some different steps (during construction) to what I would usually do: being made of plastic, I glued the entire model together (first), then under-coated with Chaos black (spray paint). The model seems suited to this construction method, as the various parts, did not hinder at all, when painting the fine details: such as the flames - that indicate its allegiance (to Legion of the Damned). Having prepared the model with two to three coats of Chaos black (using a Tank brush), I then set about using a large dry-brush (with bolt-gun) to bring out the finer plastic details. Once painted, I then dry-brushed (once more), with gold, to create an amazing sheen (over the entire model). I feel that the plastic model aided both construction and painting (as its lighter and easier to hold), yet oddly enough, I prefer the weight of a metal Dreadnought (when I'm playing 40K). I like the fact that a Hellfire Dreadnought has several weapon options: a Missile Launcher (effective against both infantry and tanks), a twin-linked Lascannon (effective against tanks), a Multi-Melta (effective against tanks and bunkers) and an Assault Cannon (effective against infantry, plus with some luck, against vehicles). When constructing my Dreadnought, I decided to opt for a Missile Launcher (for ranged attacks) and an Assault Cannon (for powerful defence against infantry, whilst retaining the flexibility of being able to target vehicles). Even so, I keep forgetting that this is a Hellfire Dreadnought, and when playing 40K, I often try to use him/her as if they had a close combat weapon! I must remember to keep the Dreadnought towards the rear of my army/deployment zone, so that they avoid getting into hand-to-hand combat (as much as possible). I can only image what this Dreadnought would be like, if it could be equipped, with a Cyclone Missile Launcher (as that really would be Hellfire!). Overall: This is a decent model that shall add value to your army - whether your a collector, or an avid 40K gamer. The model is highly-suited to unusual paint schemes (such as my Legion of the Damned) as the sarcophagus features several large/flat areas (with room for your creative talents). The model also provides some contrast in your painting skills: as the front can be highly detailed, whilst the back can be very simple (in my case, just dry-brushed bolt-gun/gold, with a bone-coloured skull!). Even in death, this Dreadnought, shall continue to serve you, and your painting skills!
Within the forty-first millennium, devastating weapons exist, that can punch a hole through the Power Armour, of even a god-like Space Marine. Such Fallen brethren, may be saved from death, by their interment within the sarcophagus of a Dreadnought:
Within this armoured hide, the Honoured brethren shall continue to live, and bring his/her wrath to the enemies of the Emperor (of Mankind). Only the greatest/oldest warriors shall be deemed worthy of Venerable status: as they have the most knowledge (often dating back thousands of years) and have earned their right on the battlefield (often by destroying a mighty foe and/or standing against overwhelming numbers). I like the fact that this model has been crafted to a high-standard, and I especially like the amount of Purity Seals present upon the armour (which help to designate it's Venerable status). When painting this model, I wanted to aim for something different: thus it was that I decided upon Legion of the Damned! As black is my favourite colour, I under-coated in Chaos black (spray paint), then built up the layers (with Chaos black and a Tank brush), dry-brushed in bolt-gun, then carefully painted the flames (white base, yellow over the white, red over most of the yellow - with some added fun on raised edges!). I then dry-brushed gold over the entire model, including the flames (although a lesser coverage here). The biggest problem I faced (whilst painting), was with the weight of the (metal) model - as I remember that it became awkward to hold, and I had a growing fear, that something, could fall off! I forget (with my memory), whether the kit was supplied with more than one weapons choice (or not), although I would have opted for the Power Fist and Assault Cannon configuration anyway: as I feel that a Venerable Dreadnought should be both capable of attack from afar, and be able to get in into the thick-of-it (during hand-to-hand), which is exactly what my Dreadnought does! I find it ironic that the model has an exposed head (to represent the Space Marine), as I believe that actually makes him/her more vulnerable (although I suppose its possible that there's a force screen/shield across there). When it comes to playing 40K, I like the fact that my Venerable Dreadnought is (generally) much harder to kill: as it allows you to request your opponent to re-roll on the Vehicle Damage tables. This can cause some dilemma though - can you live without your Power Fist or risk loosing your Dreadnought entirely? At the very least, you may get a chance to save your Dreadnought, from exploding, (by requesting the re-roll of a high dice roll - which I have done before). Overall: I enjoyed painting this model (deciding to mark a Birthday by collecting it!) and know that it is pride-of-place within my Legion of the Damned Space Marines army. I feel that the model is especially suited to the Dreadnought scenic base (because of the link between the skulls on the model, and the skull on the ground). I also know just how imposing this model can feel on the battlefield - as it towers above the height of a standard Space Marine, and often attracts much fire-power (as your opponent will be grinning to destroy it!).
This is the first computer game that I have played, which features both Space Marines, and alien races (such as Orks and Chaos), from the Warhammer 40,000 universe:
The above intro/video sequence has to be one of the best that I ever seen! My favourite part is when the Blood Ravens Dreadnought engages the Orks - as the footage easily conveys the power (and vulnerability) of such military units. I like the fact that this is a (real time) strategy game, which sees you having to manage both troops and resources (such as requisition and power). At times, this management can seem overwhelming (e.g. when you have to fix-up an existing Space Marine city - as you may find yourself wondering what to upgrade first), yet for the most part, you shall soon fall into city building that works: stronghold, chapel-barracks, armoury and plasma generators (that generate power), whilst building up your army! The campaigns first chapter (Planet Fall) sees the Space Marines Commander offering advice (in a non-annoying fashion), which will help you get up to speed (although there's also a tutorial - which I never actually watched). The games controls seem to be supportive of battle, and I like the fact that I can group my combat units based upon number (e.g. ctrl plus 1, 2, 3, etc. allows me to quickly organise my forces). My favourite forces layout has to be: all of my Space Marine infantry in group one (with as many missile launchers as possible), with all of my heavy support in group two (such as two Land Raiders and five Dreadnoughts). I find that this combination works well in the heat of battle - especially when you have (approximately) thirty-two missile launchers backing up your Dreadnoughts (although the game has defeated this tactic in the past, especially on a hard difficulty setting!). Even though I prefer such a simple forces layout - it still makes sense to leave a squad behind (to guard your city, just in-case the enemy sneaks through). The game relies upon your ability to capture strategic points and relics (as these affect your requisition rate, which in-turn, affect the speed at which you can build/train). Once a point has been captured, I love to upgrade it to a heavily fortified position, and have been known to build nine bolter turrets around it! The Campaign is intermixed with video, which had me wondering about the Librarian from day one: he seems a little too keen to draw battle (for my liking). I like the fact that the game illustrates how god-like the Space Marines are - especially when compared to the (expendable) Imperial Guard (who form the core of the Imperium's armies). Overall: I find this game to be very addictive, and the amount of times I have said - just one more level, is (almost) beyond count! I think that the graphics are stunning, especially with the variety of explosions that appear (e.g. when the enemy is under extreme missile fire). I also think that the maps are suitably sized, and are also suitably detailed (e.g. with the remnants of Leman Russ battle tanks, within the ruins). This game has been known to keep me up, to all hours! Only one thing remains to be said: Walk softly and carry a big gun!