Posts Tagged ‘Warhammer 40000’

Here’s the Black Templar I’ve painted this week. I’m quite pleased with this one. My edge highlighting is getting better.


For this first “normal” (is there such a thing?) Space Marine, I thought I’d go right back to the roots of the hobby, and paint a chap in Mark VI armour.

I used the upgrade frame in building my Black Templars.  The parts on it are very cool. I’m especially looking forward to painting my next Space Marine, which has a helmet and chestpiece from the upgrade set. I intend to follow examples from the Forgeworld books, which show a great deal of variation of colour scheme and equipment within each faction, and paintings of Black Templars, which show a lot of personalisation to Initiates’ battleplate. Expect a fair degree of individuality .

As Black Templars have such a contrasting colour scheme I have been undercoating them in pieces. I sprayed the robed torso fronts and shoulder pads white, the rest black. Painting white over black is frankly horrible. Different undercoats give a much smoother finish. To do this I drilled holes in my undercoating “man stick” (a piece of 1×2″ wood I stick my models to for undercoating) and blu-tacked the pieces to cocktail sticks stuck into the holes.

I have also been only partially assembling the models before painting, gluing on shoulder pads and – where appropriate – weapons later in the painting process. Doing rank and file troopers as sub-assemblies might seem like an enormous faff, but I can paint all areas properly and the results are better. Plus it means I only ever play with painted models.

I am once again at a period where the amount of work I have isn’t quite enough  to induce some sort of brain infarcation, so I’ve been topping up my load by posting more frequently, especially as I’m still trying to get the majority of my journalism onto the web. But here’s a new post I’ve been meaning to write, like oh so many others, for some amount of time.

The below are answers to some of the most common questions I’ve had this year about writing. (more…)

I’ll be at Games Day tomorrow, signing some books and hobnobbing with anyone who would like their hobs nobbled. Come and say hi. I don’t know if I’m appearing on any seminars; I was originally down for one, but I asked to be taken off it. Not because I’m scared of crowds or was having a prima donna fit or anything, it’s just that it was about the Horus Heresy. Having written precisely two and a half short pieces of fiction for that setting, and having been to none of the planning meetings, I didn’t feel I’d have much to add (which is exactly what happened the last two times I was on HH seminars). And I couldn’t sit there being a pretty face, as I ain’t that pretty.
But I’ll be there at the tables, and when I’m not I’ll be wandering about, trying very hard not spend all my money on toy soldiers like everyone else. My wife would be most displeased in a “What do you mean? Magic beans?” kind of manner if I blew my cash. Only in this case, if I tossed a handful of Space Marines into the garden, they’d not grown into a giant money tree.
Still, it’s Games Day! I’ve got to get something, haven’t I? I’m getting the nerd sweats thinking about what toys to buy…

Morning, another quick one today. I’ve had a couple of mostly pleasing reviews for “Engine of Mork”, my ork digital short written and released to celebrate the new Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse.

Here’s one by Stuart Edney, on his blog, The Collect Call of Cthulhu (made me chuckle that). Thanks.

This one on Fifty Shades of Geek is also very nice. However, I take issue with one point. The review (and editor’s coda) say they’re surprised that BL did an ork story, surprised it worked so well, surprised I fitted a three act structure into a short, surprised by the way I had the orks speaking and the editor is surprised at his own reaction to the story, which is that he’d now happily read an ork novel. And yet, the tale is very gently criticised for the narrative not being surprising enough! You want all that, and, what, twists?! in 10,000 words…? I’m only human. Sheesh. ; )

Alright, alright. Twists next time. I promise.

Further commentary on my work: a review of “The Shards of Erebus” within the context of a review for Mark of Calth, also on Fifty Shades, and a review for “Iron Harvest”, the Baneblade follow-up short on… Fifty Shades of Geek! Thanks for reviewing like, all my stuff guys, it really is tremendously helpful, and what you write is well-considered.

Lastly, and in a change from BL fiction, another positive review of Crash on It’s a good week, really.

To tie-in with Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse (out now!), I was asked to write two short stories and they’ve both been released. The first, “Iron Harvest”, is a follow up to Baneblade, and follows Honoured Lieutenant Bannick as he leaves Kalidar to take command of his own super-heavy tank, Cortein’s Honour. It was great fun to continue Bannick’s adventures, and I got quite carried away, so it’s a pretty long short story. Um, by which I mean twice the commissioned length… So it’s a bargain for you!

The second is “Engine of Mork”, which is hot off the presses today! (Metaphorically speaking, as you know, it’s a digital story). I love orks, and I loved writing this tale of a mekboy mob down on its luck on a backwater world. A nascent Waaagh, Death Skull thievery, mek boy ingenuity and very big guns all feature prominently. Crump!

The most satisfying thing about this job is connecting with people who love the same stuff you do. And I don’t mean in a “Gosh, your books are so cool, have my babies” kind of way. I’m talking about my visits to events both now as an author and when I was a journalist, those occasions when you just get to chew the fat with fellow fans. You can do this anyway, but being a guest or a crew member carries certain advantages. Your time is structured, which I like, you feel like you have a license to talk to anyone, and a lot of people want to talk to you. Connection, right? I might protest misanthropy and snarl at the world from the safety of my garret, but we’re social creatures at heart.

Meeting people who have actually read your work is also damn cool. It demonstrates you’re not sat alone in said garret shooting words out into the inky void, but actually into the minds of fellow geeks. It reassures you that someone is willing to  invest the time and effort to read what you put so much time and effort into creating. That affirmation  means I can dial back on my medication, and my therapist gives me that  special smile that indicates progress and perhaps, one day, release into the community. If the reader likes your work, so much the better, but it’s not crucial, and friendly negative feedback is intensely useful.

This is not about ego, but you know, being at one with your fellow man and all, in the grand communion of science fiction. The gang from Fifty Shades of Geek I was particularly impressed by. Check out their website.

Attending Black Library Live delivers even more for me on the communion front, because I’m a MASSIVE fan of GW (I bought new toys. Shh! Don’t tell the wife). And as I used to work there, I got to see a lot of old friends. Most precious of all, I got out of the house for two whole days!

I wanted to say thanks to all the pleasant people I met, and double thanks for making the 120 preview copies of Baneblade sell out in 25 minutes or so. I was the day’s first sell out! (Um, that could be read two ways. The nice way, folks, the nice way).

I had such a good time that it didn’t matter that my 2500 point Ork army, the largest fielded in some time, was utterly annihilated by Jes Bickham’s Hive Fleet Eumenides the Friday before the big day, nor that my Dakkajet, so loving painted over so much time, was shot down the turn it arrived having achieved precisely nothing. Such is the fate of  all freshly finished miniatures, however. I bear no ill will. (The final beer after the game though, probably a mistake…)

A great game followed by beers followed by a great event = a great weekend. See you at the next one.