Finally got some games in, added the Predators and dusted off the Knights.

It’s been a pretty good hobby week all told. The Imperial Fists Legion forces have swelled with a squadron of six new Predators (epic scale), I’ve settled on my list for the next Horus Heresy event, and I even got some games of Legions Imperialis in!

The highlight though was getting to roll some dice for a change at Incom Gaming with my Blood Angels. It was a laid back introduction to Legion Imperialis kind of day, which was super chill. I caught up with some heresy mates and despite none of the three games probably got past turns two or three, it was as much about familiarisation of the rules, and to be honest talking hobby with mates.

First game was a blinder pitching my  ninth legion against Alex Riddick’s awesome Sons of Horus. This was the kind of game you really wanted to get out of the gate. Alex is a fantastic and generous player who I have played against in Titanicus, so it was nice to get matched up again. I think my dice rolling really saved me that game. Highlights being my Assault Detachment repelling Alex’s Terminators from objective in the open and a cheeky Rhino melta dropping the Xiphon after it shot the Blood Angels Thunderhawk out of the sky. Some great learnings from that game. Including Alex doing some clever screening of objective using the tacticals transports, and just how deadly Fire Raptors can be when they get into your backfield.

Also got to have a game finally with Tom and his glorious Emperor’s Children. My MVP unit again was the Assault detachment (which I am definitely learning a lot about their strengths and weaknesses in these games). They are so quick at getting into garrison position near or on objectives in turn one. But in this instance I made use of the Thunderhawks large assault transport keywords to deploy them mid flight with a charge order straight at Tom’s tactical detachment garrisoned on the objective. After losing a stand to overwatch fire, they cleared house and forced the third legion to fall back broken after killing the commander and two tactical squads for the loss of only one assault squad.

Other things learned. Mixed weapons on Kratos is a pain, I’ll simplify for future squadrons. Tactical Mastery trait is very useful for swapping orders to pull off some pretty sweet moves. Still working out the nuances of that, but it shouldn’t be ignored. Also the Blood Angels Encarmine Fury ability to move 3″ after winning a combat if enemy withdraws isn’t as bad as I initially read, even if just to use as a consolidation move. I got to use it a couple of times. Also ranges, they are so tiny! It caught me out every time thinking bolters and las-cannons were in range because I’m used to 30K Horus Heresy games and keep forgetting to adjust my thinking for scale, even though I can pre-measure at any time.

I need to break that habit!

In the last blog I started to work on adding some Predator tanks to my Imperial Fists demi-company formation, and that’s what I’ve mostly been painting this week. I got to say I absolutely love these miniature versions of their larger Predator cousin. The detail is superb, but it’s just the profile they make. I’ve always liked the shape of the original ‘Deimos’ hull with the dome turret compared to the 40K counterpart. It’s not that I dislike the 40K Mars pattern variant, but it’s very modern military in its silhouette compared with the Deimos which feels much more ‘peak’ Imperium to me in style.

There’s only six Preds done at the moment. I’d like to add more, but I need to wait until the kit is available in it’s own detachment box. The only way to get them is through the starter box currently. Hopefully this will be in the next wave of releases along with Sicarans and Leman Russ.

You can find details how I painted them in the gallery page, once I complete them, but in short it was Imperial Fist contrast doing all the heavy lifting again over a nice brown to white pre-shade. I used sepia to boost the shadow contrast, but I’m considering switching to a warmer brown or even yellow like Nazdreg contrast for this as these have been absolutely spot on through the airbrush. A bit easier to control compared with washes or pure inks I find.

There’s not a huge amount of flat space on the Predators for decals, mostly the rear hatch, front glacis and sides of the turret. To mix it up I have done the first squadron with a black stripe over the front of the hull similar to the heresy box art and all with black turrets to contrast with the hulls. When I do the next squadron I’ll flip this around to use yellow turrets and more markings on the hull.

What decals I could fit on though I poached from the Legions Imperialis vehicle sheet and the full-fat Imperial Fists legion sheet Forgeworld used to produce. I really wish they would make these available again as they have great utility. I’ve been using them for not only standard heresy, but also epic scale as there are plenty small enough to work for both.

legions imperialis imperial fists predators

Atmospherics. My favourite stage by a long margin. I think it’s the old scale modeller in me. The yellow is such a great canvas for battle damage, dirt and grime. I added some light (but heavy from the models perspective) chipping in a nice red-brown. Rhinox Hide is my usual go to, but any will do. Even black. Or even better, both! Create a mixed heavy/light look to the damage.

Surface dirt. As I have been adding pigment washes to the bases it makes sense to extend these onto the tracks and lower skirt edges to help place the miniature within the battlefield.

Finishing touches. I’ll use some of the contrast range to add extra touches like exhaust soot and muzzle scorching. At this scale it really is not necessary, but it makes me happy to do it. So you can’t stop me! Hopefully I can get that done early part of next week as I work on some other stuff.

I mentioned Knights didn’t I? These aren’t ‘new’ as such, but I am now looking to include them in the next list build. Hence I dusted off the Vyronii Questoris banners and took a proper photo. I’ll be expanding on these in the future, probably with some Cerastus chassis. Although after seeing what my Kratos did to Tom’s Lancer I may have to plan that carefully.

Until next time, have a great hobby week.