Who let the cogs out ?

Pun courtesy of a Bolter and Chainsword topic.

Yeah, less than a year since the last post !

There is one problem with having fiddled with 3D printing and 3D design : it’s hard to refrain from customizing everything in your hobby. This is especially true when you see some good ideas in the design of miniatures but always think “brilliant, except this”. So in this post I’ll show the “this” in the case of my Adeptus Mechanicus army for 40K. And yes, the separation between Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus, while understandable in terms of marketing or even in game, is a bit too large for me. So as usual, since I’m such a fast painter and not a hobby butterfly, I’ll try to field a custom vision of the army. The detachment system of 40K allows this, the only issue is the point costs that add up quite rapidly.

Thanks to old novels and lack of description in the time, I always figured the Skitarii as tech guard, a more exotic variant of the imperial guard with improved equipment or rare items/vehicles. In my vision, the Skitarii as GW released them represent rather the elite troops of the lot, and the Cult the “HQ” parts, with priests, robots and custom servitors the Magos takes personally to the field. As such, I’d like to build my army with :

An Imperial Guard detachment, cheap and with some troops to represent the “regular” warriors of the forge worlds. It’s only my personnal view, but I envisionn them as more independant (human ?) that the cold description Skitarii had in their codex. More like troops not yet granted general augmentations to ascend to the Skitarii ranks.
A Skitarii detachment, representing the elite troops, full of exotic tech and augmentation, more fanatized and with the beginning of a pseudo-gestalt mind, as described in the novels including AdMech these last years. Nothing special here, maybe some conversion for fun but the models are quite nice by themselves.
A Cult Mechanicus detachment, representing the aristocracy of the group, with the Magos, his creations (Kataphrons), his prized technologies (robots) and allies (electro-priests).

At the moment, it’s mainly the Cult Mechanicus faction that was both exhilarating and disappointing, model-wise. The Dominus is good but a bit too particular. The design studio of Games has tried to infuse the spirit of Blanche drawings in recent releases, but even if Tech priests don’t really care of human form and only look for improving themselves, I’ll have to convert one with a more anthropomorphic silhouette for the sake of having my own HQ.
The Kataphrons were also a disappointment, but only because of the two variants being too similar to me. The differences are the weapons, and some additional plates on the torso and the tracks.
The Kastelan are nice, but as a lot of people the goofy head, while nice for a Buck Rogers universe, don’t fit with our grim dark millenium. Also, the gun arms are a bit too simple to me, even if the whole streamlined effect of the model is OK with me. The datasmith is gorgeous though.
The models I’m more disappointed with are the electro priests, I don’t buy the techno-WFB-flagellants design, the tesla-steampunk gauntlets and collar of the corpuscarii. Just personal taste here.

So, first work on this army (and this post) is the revamp of these details to make the army fit my vision. Here are my musing with the Cult Mechanicus part.

Kataphrons Destroyers : I really like the armoured look of the Kataphrons Breachers, with sturdy tracks and armour plates all over the mini and bulky weapons. Therefore I wanted to make the destroyers more distinguishable. Since the latter are more weapon platforms than assault beasts. I went for legged servitors then, this hull allowing bracing, adjustment for firing big guns. I did tie the look of the legs with the Onager to blend my conversion with the rest of the army. Not much work from there, the parts are ordered and shall arrive soon for a test fit and check the encumbrance and proportions of the thing. If fits, I’ll amend the design to allow some poseability of the legs. And maybe change the “shield” plate on the lower leg, I kinda rushed this part.

Kastelan : As I wrote before, the two points that bugged me were the head and the gun arms, the head because of the visor and the gun arms that just looked like “a bier barrel with a gun at the point”. And another oversized sickle clip, that doesn’t fit for me (same as the plastic grey knight with their huge clip instead of the boxy one of the metallic models). So here are my test models for these two parts :

Nothing fancy here, just simple mods and lines.

Electro priests : The whole boys band flagellants design didn’t work for me. These guys are priests, not just crazed lowly manufactorum workers. Of course they are fanatical and all, but the term “priest” for the Admech always evokes me high or medium echelons. A priest is not an adept. So, I’m thinking of using the genestealer neophytes torsos to replace the bare torso of the vanilla model. It looks rubbery (kinda works with the notion of electricity, isolation and such) and removes the flagellant picture.
Concerning the Fulgurite, the bare arms holding the staff with gloves work for me to make them badass/close combat guys. And keeps with the idea of electoos and more fleshy look of these priests.

Concerning the Corpuscarii, I’ll try another idea on top of just a torso swap. These are described as having the generosity of illuminating the galaxy. With lots of lightning bolts in your face, so that you understand the Motive Force. The notion of forcing a gift on people believing in something different does rings more radical to me, more fanatical than the fulgurite that I feel are more in the “you don’t deserve your electricity so we take it back” rhetoric. I had this idea of the corpuscarii looking for more change of their body to achieve their goals and thought of them ritualistically replace their arms with lightning projectors to wholly embrace their cause/be closer to the Omnimessiah/etc.
I’ll wait to see how this works and if it doesn’t make them look like servitors. Maybe I’ll try to put some of the coils of the regular gauntlets on the arms …

I’m waiting for some parts to look if everything can fit correctly, because fast image montage can be misleading in proportions.

So, that’s all for the moment, I’ll post picts when I have tested all these things.

Bakka Revival

Back again on the Imperium. With the coming of BFI (french BFG tournament), I’m keeping on building a fleet with the 2010 Bakka list. As of now, I have several conversion on the standard cruiser to reflect the orthodoxy of Bakka (keeping a Mars Pattern) with enough small changes that make the fleet recognizable.

The 2010 list adds some very interesting variants. I had worked previously on the Havoc frigate for Cypra-Mundi, with the diamond prow, but with only a prow swap if can be made quite good looking (yes, I sometimes praise myself).

Bakka Havoc prototype

Bakka Havoc prototype

And finally, since the 2010 list allows the presence of Endeavour & Endurance light cruisers, I couldn’t let pass the occasion of making yet another variant to fit in :

Bakka Endeavour Prototype

Bakka Endeavour Prototype

Since the draft of this article was pending long enough, I recieved the test prints :



I’m planning to field some in June for the tournament.

Now time to find my ordnance for Bakka … They’ll have to be bulky, because Bakka is old school and I see them heavier than the standard Mars pattern.


Again, let’s relaunch the blog :).

This time a centralization of a project which began with the last Tau codex at 40000. When the Kor’vattra was released for Battlefleet Gothic, I reacted like almost everyone : “Woh, it’s ugly”. With time, I began to appreciate the retro design of the ships, as it fits the low tech in space for the Tau. But (there is always a but) the miniatures were crude and the fact that they were made of metal didn’t help for the details and assembly gaps. So, in parallel of my return to the Tau in 28 mm, I began working on HD models for the Kor’vattra. No major changes in the designs, I just tried to densify the details.

First work on the Merchant (also to be able to have heavy transports for the Kor’vattra hence the need for a Cargo Module to be designed). The prototype from Shapeways has arrived and has been primed (badly as I’m unable to make a smooth undercoat).


For the cargo module, I tried to be coherent with a small freighter I made some time ago (which looks so dull and undetailled now). Some changes too on the gun module, allowing placement of turrets to show the fire arcs (front + side). The launch decks are made, I’ll show them with the Hero.

Containers for the cargo version

Containers for the cargo version

Railguns and Ion canons. On such small pieces, Shapeways FUD and FXD are great, and most of all, they don’t need supports, allowing more freedom with the designs. Too bad the material is a pain to work with. The concepts:

Railgun Ion_Cannon

Work done on the Orca and the Defender (some details left to be done at this stage). Design picture at this time.

Orca Concept. Some detailling to be done on the prow

Orca Concept. Some detailling to be done on the prow

Defender concept

And to go with, some fighters and bombers.





And this time I won’t let the blog down one year aND A HALF ! Gosh …

Dogfight time !

So much for a regular update on the blog … This whole year saw the eking out a living (is this english ?) of several projects, but mainly a lot of change in my personnal life (work, home, familly …).

First line of work, some little ordnance minis to replace the regular ordnance tokens. I tried to have several designs, because a bit of variety is always welcomed. First of all, a set of fighters/bombers inspired by WW2 airplane (which make them suitable to figure marauders or thunderbolts).

Le grand cirque - revival

Le grand cirque – revival

With this kind of volume it’s a lot cheaper to print them directly en masse than casting them in resin, so I have a horde of them ^^.

Second tier with a bomber derived from Wing Commander and the french Mirage IV fighter :


More classical but I think it suits the bulky and ragged look we all love.

Third try with an inspiration from Battlespace that I found lovely :

Banshee Fighters

Banshee Fighters

Nicknamed “Dragonfly” by several people in place of the “Banshee” original name, but well … I’m quite proud of my work (yes, more self-praise) for a 8 mm piece. Just the basecoat ATM, thay’ll reinforce my Voss fleet.

BFG – Modular Cargos

So the pace increases in July :).

Today, a bit of a check up on a long term project of mine. As the BFG rulebook said, the transports add some variety to any fleet. GW only produced two imperial transports. Forge World did some variants and new transports for the Kor’Or’Vesh Tau and the Eldar, and quite nice heavy transports for the Imperium. As it is a bit restraining, because nothing looks more than a fuel transport that the same fuel transport. In the Battlefleet Gothic Magazine 4, Nate Montes did submit some profiles to recycle old Space Fleet models to count as new transports classes, and a cute little scenario with a pair of tables to deal with the civilian reaction in a space battle (from the coward that flees to the madman who charges the ennemy with it’s puny transport … In all cases, your convoy formation is forgotten). Since then, Warp Rift did submit some new profiles for a bit less than a dozen transports and some nice examples and tutorials.

To sum it up, I always had a lot of fun to imagine various cargo ships, all different. A bit similar to scale model railway, when you assemble a convoy of very different freight railcars. All of this must come from the old and blessed days of Transport Tycoon.

The Alpha of it all ...

The Alpha of it all …

So here I am since some weeks, building small pieces of modular transport ships, dividing them between prow, cargo section, stern and special modules :

The prows

The firsts cargo sections :

And the Sterns :

And 2 modules, one of engines and one of battlements, to be inserted and create armed or fast variants (before I gather my wits and do several versions of each cargos) :

And three fast examples :

Sabot Containers Composition

Sabot Containers Composition

Beaky/Sabot/Crescent Composition

Beaky/Sabot/Crescent Composition

A clearly excessive composition :)

A clearly excessive composition 🙂

Basically some blocks have been thought together, but everything is adaptable with everything. Some time the result may be not just as well as thought, but at least the freedom of composition should be here.

I think I’ll test them during this summer :).