Tale of Corelords – the Beginning

Last year, as we came up on the 6-month anniversary of 8th Edition 40K, and following some discussion on the CH Facebook group, some of us decided it would be good to have some sort of means of focusing our attention on getting a new army sorted for 2018. After taking a bit of time to get going, here we go with a new, totally-non-derivative feature, A Tale of Corelords.

The plan:

Over the next six months, our [11] Corelords will paint up a 40K army, and post up regular progress updates so everyone can keep track of how they’re getting along. The focus is on getting whole units finished, rather than a load of partially-completed stuff – as well as being better for getting stuff onto the tabletop, it makes for more interesting photos in the updates; I think we all know what a mountain of half-painted figures looks like, thanks.

<Image – mountain of half-painted figures>

<Caption – this is just one box of many like it that haunts my dreams>

In this first part of the series, we’ll be introducing our participants, their choice of armies, any initial work they’ve done towards it, and getting them to outline what they want to achieve over the course of AToC. After this, we’ll be staggering the updates to make them pop out more regularly.

Corelord 1: Richard Morgan’s Crimson Fists

OK, let’s get my old man grumbling out of the way: I do not care for Primaris Marines. A lot of people seem to be stoked on them, and if that’s your thing, then fine; enjoy yourself, but they’re not for me. I could go on at great length about why I don’t like them, but there’s quite enough nerds moaning about shit on the internet already. Anyway, when they popped up with the advent of 8th edition, ever the contrarian, I decided it would be neat to do an army comprising all “proper” Marines. I suspect the writing’s on the wall for the regular Space Marine range now, but this seems like a nice way to give them a decent send-off.

Given the wilfully retro nature of this endeavour, what better Chapter to go with than the original cover stars of Warhammer 40,000, the Crimson Fists? Having first got into 40K at the tail end of 1st edition, John Sibbick’s artwork for the Rogue Trader rulebook (and, later, Bolt Thrower’s Realm of Chaos LP) is the iconic Space Marine image for me. GW seem to increasingly be positioning the Space Marines in 40K lore as gleaming, noble defenders of humanity, (Bobby G, you’re a huge dork btw) but with this army, I wanted to capture some of their original, scuzzier vibe of a load of hyper-violent scumbags and psychopaths killing, and being killed, just because THERE IS ONLY WAR etc, etc. The other reason for choosing the Fists was they’re an excellent foil to my existing 40K army, Orks.

<Image – Sibbick Fists>

First thing I banged out for this project was a test figure, both as a means of establishing a colour scheme, and deciding whether I wanted to be arsed painting a whole army of the guys. I find it’s good to use a regular rank-and-file guy for this; those are the ones you’re going to have to slog your way through the most of, so better to find out sooner rather than later if you can’t bear the prospect of that. Having learned my lesson from my excessively-elaborate Orks, I wanted to develop a way I could get these looking decent enough for the tabletop nice and quickly, but leaving me the option of going back and adding some fancy highlighting and stuff. Having cracked that, it was time to move on to getting some units done.

<Image – test guy>

<Caption – left – basic colour scheme; right – fancied-up paint job>

For some reason, the first full unit I built and painted for this army were some Scouts and, to be quite honest, I’m glad they’re out of the way. The kit’s a pain to put together, and it’s really showing its age, particularly those dreadful Bo-Selecta-looking heads. Anyway, those heads got fired straight into the bin and replaced with Tempestus Scion heads, and one out of the Sternguard kit for the Sergeant. Even with the help of Micro-Set and Micro-Sol, getting the Chapter badges onto the smaller shoulder pads was a nightmare; I can’t see myself adding any more Scouts to this army.

<Image – Scouts>

Ultimate goal: I’d like to end up with a Power Level 80 army – that’ll give me enough to play some decently-sized games and get an idea of what things I’d like to swap out and add to it down the line.

3-month goal: I’m going to aim to have half that (i.e. PL40) done by the halfway point. First up, I’m going to aim to get a Tactical Squad, a Rhino for them to ride around in, and some sort of HQ done. This’ll give me enough to jump straight into some small games.

Corelord 2: Josh Bottomley, the Discount Bugman’s Space Wolves

I’ve been tempted by Space Wolves a few times since I got back into the hobby – the sheer amount of cool shit you can do with them makes them fun to build and paint, plus the in your face fighting style has always been my thing.  Who doesn’t love a huge axe-and-shield-wielding Dreadnought covered in fur to come and fuck up your shit? One of the other reasons for picking them was the Horus Heresy book Prospero Burns – that opening part of the book where Kasper Hawser sees Bjorn for the first time as he lays waste to the tribesmen of Fenris sets brutal image of the savagery of the Space Wolves.

8th edition has had me hooked since it dropped and I was playing with the idea of starting a loyalist 40k army. Finding a deal on about 6000 points (just unit costs) of Space Wolves made up my mind for which army to collect to help give more variety to my games (there’s only so many times Khorne Berzerkers can run at shit and kill it before it gets boring!)

<images – test models>

My tester models for the challenge are a unit of Thunderwolf Cavalry, Harald Deathwolf, Geigor Fell-Hand (as a Wolf Lord) and my favourite model of the Space Wolves the Ven Dread with Fenrisan Great Axe and Blizzard Shield.

I tend to paint stuff with a limited colour palette and use an airbrush to do some half arsed OSL that hides any shit painting I’ve done! This works great with wolves with all the frost weapons that can pass of as being ‘glowy’.

Ultimate goal: My aim for the challenge is to paint the full 6000 points in 6 months and to have enough painted to comfortably make two 2000pts lists that each have a different vibe. I developed a bit of a quick fire style last year that helped me paint loads of shit, so I’m seeing if I can push that to the limit and paint a shit load of angry wolfmen.

Corelord 3: Adam Murakami’s Death Guard

A few mates recently decided to give 40k a spin after several years away from regular GW gaming. When I was 10 I used to froth over Chaos minis in White Dwarf and eventually had a small painted Khorne force by about 13. Shortly afterwards, I replaced the hobby with painting walls at 3am, but several years later I’ve come back around to rolling dice.

After seeing the Khorne Berserker models not change in forever and Nurgle going off with new sculpts, I saw the chance to have some fun with new painting techniques with Death Guard. Cue a commitment to paint some models for a few months alongside having my first child. At the time of writing, my wife is due in like three weeks and I have no idea if this is going to work or not so keeping things loose. The plan is get up at 5am and try and chip away an hour of painting before work a couple days a week! I’ll let you know if I go mental.  

First mini with blight grenade was basically a free for all for experiments. Zenethil primed then hit with a wash of AK Interactive Winter Streaking Grime. Then was a bit of a mix between Winter Streaking Grime and Streaking Grime. Highlighted with Vallejo Buff and Elven Flesh but I definitely took this a little too bright and lost some of that Winter Streaking Grime.  

After this guy I realised this was going to be super slow as each coat of Streaking Grime with white spirits was getting around 24hours between layers for it to dry. I then did the captain with power first which I was very unhappy with but kept on going. Moving along through the rest of the squad I eventually picked up the pace with only the one coat of Winter Streaking Grime as a base. After this was Vallejo Buff, GW Agrax Earthshade then another highlight of buff.  

Lots of experiments and trial and error are still going to happy for the next few months but Death Guard seem to be a solid choice to have some fun and try new things! I have no idea what to do for bases yet so odds are I’ll be going with a mid tone grey and some tufts.  

Ultimate goal: A rough 1500 points done for regular games with mates starting with the basic Nurgle minis from the starter box. In six months I’d be psyched on a couple vehicles, couple Plague Marines squads with daemons kicking around with Mortarion and that new Great Unclean One.

Interim goal: Next month I’ll be aiming for the starter box finished and then either some vehicles or another box off plague Marines.

[475 words, 10 pics]

Corelord 4: Chris Kohler’s Necrons

When I initially signed up to be a part of the Tale of Corelords I had chosen Primaris Marines. The 8th edition box had plenty to start with and it would give me a chance to paint something bright as opposed to the dark colors I normally paint miniatures. I got as far as building one of the miniatures, priming it and airbrushing it a sky blue color. I had plans to layer on some highlights the next day but that day never came. Instead I switched what I had planned to paint.

I was browsing pictures of miniatures for inspiration while my young son was in my office playing with Ultraman and monster toys. He glanced up when I was looking at Adeptus Mechanicus miniatures and he got wide eyed and said “Dad, those red robot guys are really cool.” He climbed up into my chair with me and we browsed miniatures for a while. He was fascinated with the Adeptus Mechanicus miniatures and kept asking to see more. After we ran out of pictures to look at we started looking at other Warhammer 40,000 armies. He was unimpressed with anything else until we got to the Necrons. “Dad, those guys are half skeleton and half robot. I like them.” We looked at the rest of the Necron pictures and every picture was exciting to him. I remembered that I got a box full of Necron stuff in a trade about a year back so I went to the garage and retrieved the box. I sorted through the parts and figured I could make a half decent army out of what was there. By this point, the Necrons also seemed like a much more interesting project than Primaris Marines.

<image – test model>

I haven’t played Warhammer 40,000 in years and 8th edition has got me interested again. I’m not bothered about building a powerful army, and I don’t have an exact goal for what the army will look like when it is done other than I want to paint miniatures that look cool. I’m not even sure if I will have an army that can win games at the end of the project but I willll have something that looks cool and that is what matters.

I’m excited about the project and I’m really looking forward to what everyone else is going to paint and showing off my hard work.

Ultimate goal: I am aiming for one unit a month for the next six months.

3-month goal: Three units!

[409 words, 1 pic]

Corelord 5: John Adams’ Death Guard

I chose Death Guard because I flat out love Nurgle – my first ever army was a Warriors/Daemons of Nurgle army back in 5th ed fantasy. When I jumped to 40K, Chaos had me by the balls, and with the recent DG release I had to go all in. What i’ve lined up for this is a 2000 point list when just seems fun as hell to run and some pieces will push my painting skills, also i’m sick of playing with undercoated/half painted models as i’m a lazy as fuck painter. Doing this for charity is going to give me some major motivation!

<image – test model>

The reason why I chose my scheme is because I wanted to do something a little different, something that pays homage to the DG roots, so in keeping the heresy colours, however with a red right arm as a throwback to the Dusk Raiders and I think it does look damn fine with also keeping the base simple, just a muddy ground with the glory of Nurgles rot seeping out onto the battlefield.

Ultimate goal:

  • Daemon Prince
  • Typhus
  • 10 man close combat PM squad
  • 5 man PM squad
  • 10 man poxwalkers
  • 10 man poxwalkers
  • 5 man Blightlord squad
  • 2 Foetid bloat drones
  • Dreadclaw drop pod
  • Leviathan
  • Renegade Commander
  • 3 renegade marauder squads

The reason why i chose this list is because I wanted to run something a little different, I don’t see many dreadclaws or even CC marines and I didn’t want to go down the whole poxwalker spam army.

3-month goal: I aim to get the Plague Marines, poxwalkers and the HQs all painted up. Each month, aiming to get around 2-3 units/models completed to stay on track!

[297 words, 1 pics]


Corelord 6: Frasier Oxlee’s Necrons

Since buying my first Space Marine model when I was 13, I’ve always had an interest in the ancient legion of unkillable robots, and now, after recently picking up the hobby again, I want to try my hand at creating my own dynasty.

With this army, I’m aiming for a better-than-tabletop quality, and I hope having a whole month to paint a unit will help facilitate that.

<images – test model>

For my test model, I undercoated white, filled in the black sections with Abaddon Black and drybrushed with Leadbelcher. Then I based the armour panels with Zhandri Dust, layered with Ushabti Bone and highlighted with Screaming Skull. I then took a small chunk of a makeup sponge and dabbed the lighter edges with Rhinox hide to give it a bit of weathering. For the eyes, I filled in the recess with Moot Green, then kept adding a layer of Nuln Oil until I had the fade and darkness I was after, leaving the raised by nice and light. My scheme is designed to be fun to paint as well as being smooth and fairly simple.

Ultimate goal: Create a 1500pts, fluffy list of Necrons. My focus will be on heavy firepower, larger models, and quite extensive customisation/kitbashing. This is also a good excuse for me to fully engage with 8th edition, and hopefully by the time I’m finished I’ll have a strong codex to take my army forward.

3-month goal:  I’m aiming to fully paint the Start Collecting box and, in the process,  refine and perfect my colour scheme and painting skills

[265 words, 4 pics]


Corelord 7: Garth Colligan’s Slaanesh

I’ve always wanted to do a Slaanesh/Emperor’s Children army after seeing the old Marine models using guitars as weapons. I like the concept of the 30k guys striving for perfection, which, by the time we hit the ‘present day’ of 40k, has gone way overboard. I’m starting a small daemonette force to begin with and going to add pieces to that as we go.

I’m using this opportunity to get my head fully into the new 40k ruleset. A friend and I started with marine armies and I found it being a little too similar so with Corelords we decided to go for armies we’ve wanted to do for a while.

<images: test figure>

For my colour scheme I wanted to veer away from the usual pinks and purples and go a bit darker. The skin will be nearly black and hair, claws deep reds. I’m also going to do snow bases to contrast with the darker colours.

I hope people enjoy seeing these and am looking forward to hearing any tips for me to improve my painting.

3-month goal: Over the course of this I’ll be doing a unit and probably a character type model per month. Starting with daemonettes and a herald.

Ultimate goal: In addition to a unit and character per month, I’d like to convert a good sized Keeper of Secrets. I have a metal one but compared to all other greater daemons it has aged terribly and is so small.

[215 words, 3 pics]

Corelord 8: Doug McKerracher’s World Eaters

Back when Forge World started doing Primarchs, I was so excited to see what the Mortarion model would look like because I’ve always being into Nurgle and the Death Guard… when it came out I thought it was a bit shit, but Angron was always pretty cool. The downside to this, of course, was that Forge World stuff is expensive as fuck and I couldn’t justify spending £60 on a model that I’d never game with because I sure as hell couldn’t afford a whole 30k army, so that was that.

Fast forward to September 2015 and Forge World do their limited edition Centurion, and it turns out 20 quid is much easier to justify so I buy it, do a test model in World Eaters colours while waiting for it to arrive, paint the dude and think that maybe one day I’ll finish the base and have a nice little display piece.

And then GW released Betrayal at Calth. Suddenly I’m able to get a legal 30k army on the table for £95 (plus £30 for a load of chain axes, obvs). When I eventually get the box I stick the figures together in a frenzy of gluing, get some second hand army books, play a couple of games and then leave the army mostly unpainted because I fucking hate batch painting.

So, although it’s not a new army, I’m intending to use A Tale of Corelords (plus an Escalation event that’s running locally) to get my arse into gear and get these guys painted to at least basic tabletop standard.

<image: test model>

With the original test model I went for quite a clean look, mostly aiming to see if I could do the white without it looking terrible; the Centurion uses mostly the same techniques but with a whole lot of extra damage and detailing because I wanted this guy to look like he’s going through hell. It was inevitable that the models were going to have blood on them, but I went for a ‘less is more’ approach because there is definitely a point where it stops looking like realistic gore and more like they’ve gone crazy in a jam factory, and that point is a lot sooner  than a lot of people seem to realise.

Of course the other sticking point was how much I hate batch painting and especially how much I hate batch painting large areas of flat colour, so I decided that instead of the meticulously done battle-damage-over-smooth-white my officers and special squads are getting anything in the Troops category will be drybrushed. The test model for this didn’t end up exactly as intended, but showed the concept was viable enough that I’d be able to knock out a squad in less time than it would take me to get bored of all that white.

3-month goal: 750 points comprising the Centurion, a Veteran Tactical Squad, a regular Tactical Squad, two Rhinos and an Assault Squad.

Ultimate goal: 1,500 points – an Apothecary, a couple more Veterans, doubling the Tactical Squad’s size, adding a pew-pew-lazor Heavy Support Squad and (hopefully, if birthday money covers it) getting a Spartan so the newly embiggened Tacticals can cruise up the battlefield in style.

[542 words, 3 pics]

Corelord 9: Jack Collister Brown’s Luna Wolves

I’m easily distracted and am always changing tack with lots of projects on the go at once. So I’m hoping Corelords will serve as a great way to keep myself on track.

To that end I’ve chosen to focus on my Luna Wolves as I’ve already got loads to make (according to my wife) and I really like their history and look. For those who don’t know, they’re the original Sons of Horus Space Marine legion, before it sold out and went all Chaotic. As one of the first Astartes legions they pacified Earth’s moon (earning their name) and were renowned for being well hard and taking no shit. So the opposite of me, really.

My idea is to make an infantry-heavy army with a focus on stuff that I think is thematic and looks cool. I don’t play regularly and love heavy bolters so I’m absolutely not a powergamer. I want to include a mix of Terran-born veterans (making up most of my line infantry and being a little more regimented) and Cthonian recruits (lots of Catulan Reavers and more Chaotic-looking elements done in a Loyalist way). I like the idea of the connection between Loyalist and Heretic and given the role of the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus in the events of the Heresy, there should be plenty of scope for that.

My army is led by Qor ‘Hammer’ Ryadakul, a Terran veteran of the early Great Crusade who has been given command of the 22nd Company of the 8th Chapter of the Luna Wolves legion. He’s been through a fair few campaigns, including the Pacification of Luna, but the 22nd Company is mainly new recruits and has a mix of Terran and Cthonian legionaries. Qor himself is not really a ‘play by the rules’ sort of guy and command of these newbies is not his idea of fun. He rose to Champion of the 8th Chapter, using his paired thunder hammers to take his opponents (and their more orthodox fighting styles) by surprise. He was perfectly happy as Chapter Champion splitting heads and taking skulls (lacquering them in gold if they were worthy opponents) but Legion Command has seen fit to put him in charge his loyalty and experience might be useful in the months to come.

Here’s a breakdown of what I’m hoping to achieve:

3-month goal: I’d like two full squads of 20 Tactical Marines, 20 Terminators (one 5 man Command Squad), a 10-man heavy bolter Support squad, a 10-man plasma gun Support squad. Quite a lot but they’re already assembled so just need painting. I’m aiming to get the first infantry squad completed in a month, and paint Qor himself. These will be a test bed for my colour scheme and give me an idea of just how shit I am at painting but also what I need to do to make the black and white scheme more interesting.

Ultimate goal: I want to finish off my infantry (first squad of Reavers, melta Support squad, missile Support squad) and have done at least one vehicle. I’ve got a pair of Contemptors that fit the bill for this.

[588 words, 3-4 pics]

Corelord 10: Chris McGreevy’s World Eaters

For the past few years I’ve been painting a Grey Knights army and, aside from a few diversions here and there, I’ve been left feeling pretty bored. So obviously that means I need to paint more space marines! I’ve at least picked a different colour this time and my new army is World Eaters, which I’ll use mainly for Horus Heresy but also for 40k as a change from the Grey Knights.

I’m cheating a little bit as I actually started the army last year but since I’ve only finished one unit and built or undercoated a few others I reckon it’s fair game. I’ve hoarded a lot of stuff so I just need some motivation to get through it and I’m terrible for getting sidetracked so giving me a monthly deadline seems like a good idea in theory.

3-month goal: The plan is to have a small pride-of-the-legion list for Zone Mortalis games. I was thinking of doing the smaller units first which should help me nail the scheme.

Ultimate goal: Chuck in enough troops to run a full berserker assault list at the end of the 6 months. Basically a shitload of troops, then I’ll do the fun stuff afterwards and it should stop me getting bored. I’ve got a few vehicles that I started last year and if I get time then I’ll probably try and make some extra progress on those around the troops.

At the 6-month point, I’m hoping my army  will look something like this:

  • 5 man Legion Terminator Squad
  • 5 man Legion Tactical Support Squad
  • 10 man Legion Veteran Tactical Squad
  • 10 man Legion Tactical Squad
  • 15 man Legion Tactical Squad
  • 15 man Legion Assault Squad

The first model I finished is a Leviathan Dreadnought and I’ve got an unweathered Land Raider but I couldn’t class either as a decent tester for this because they’re vehicles. I’d built a centurion and thought it would be a better reflection of what I’m trying to do. He’s been built out of various kits and I magnetised the jump pack so I’ve got a choice on which unit to run him with.

The approach to painting the white and blue on all of the models was roughly based on the Forgeworld scheme and both started with a black undercoat. I also left the parts that would be white and blue separate so I didn’t have to mask everything off. Where this wasn’t possible I had to either mask or blend a little with the brush and try to match the airbrush work as best I could. The steps below are what I used for the Centurion as the Leviathan and Land Raider were similar but I used oil paints for the washes and added another blue in for variation in the gradient.

Together with the Centurion and the Leviathan that’ll be a good start to the army and I can see where it takes me from there. Though I reckon I’ll be ready for a break from painting white and blue for a month or two at least!

[622 words, 2 pics]

Corelord 11: Phil Millar’s Adeptus Custodes

My main 40k Army is a huge horde of Orks, hundreds of boyz, tons of rickety vehicles and crazy weapons that don’t work half the time. I always had half a mind to do a really elite army, but even my Space Marine army (Minotaurs) went off in an infantry heavy direction. When the Custodes models first came out, I was hesitant, I’m a big fan of the old fluff of them being in mourning in their underpants back on Terra, so when these guys in fully gold armour and glorious red capes were leaping around, I feared it, for it was change.

I then read a few 40K novels that features the Gold Bastards and started to warm to them, smarter and more sensitive than the Astartes with an undercurrent of shame at the great failure of the past. When the new codex dropped at the start of the year, really liked the stories and details and I loved the models on Jetbikes, they have  such cool armour and details that I knew I wanted them, add a squad I had hanging around from the Burning of Prospero board game and I was half way to a decent little army already.

I want my Custodes to have really bright, shining gold armour, and my test model seems suitable glorious, its Retributor Armour, drybrushed with Stormhost Silver and then washed with Reikland Fleshshade Gloss. I’m keeping the plumes and cloaks black, as a nod to them being shamed by their failures, this will be the Cadre of Mourning, the Shield-Host who bare the burden of the Custodians shame, so that the rest of the Ten Thousand can carry the Emperor’s vigilance to the rest of the galaxy.

3-month goal:  I’d like to have the core of the army done, to me that’s two troops and an HQ, so I’d like to have two squads of Custodian Guard (with Guardian Spears, Custodes don’t have Swords and shields, what nonsense is that??) and then Trajann Valoris (with some converting and tweaking to use him as my own Shield-Captain) with a Land Raider for them to dick around in. That’s a unit every month, but only eight models, which is quite a change from the thirty strong mobs I’m used to.

Ultimate goal: The 3 months after that will be Terminators, Wardens and finally as a treat, the jetbikers. This should get me to around 100 Power Level, which is the biggest size games I usually like to play, although with my newly formed elite status, who knows, maybe I’ll be able to pay attention for a bit longer.

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