Review: Genestealer Neophyte Hybrids Magnetised

The Warhammer 40K Genestealer Cult army came out late 2016, and just before Christmas I cracked and picked up a box of the “Genestealer Cults Neophyte Hybrids” from Mighty Ape. Here’s a quick review of these figures now I’ve finished assembling and basing them.

In the box:

There’s 10 plastic figures (torsos and legs) on two sprues with a variety of heads and several different weapon options for each figure. You’ve got a leader figure, a cult icon carrier, two heavy weapons figures (with three weapon options), two special weapons figures (with three weapon options), two “3rd generation” hybrids and two “4th generation” hybrids in the box. Legs and torsos are largely interchangeable, but certain weapon options only work with certain torsos due to annoying (and probably deliberate) differences in shoulder width between the “3rd generation” hybrids, the heavy weapon figures and everybody else.

The weapons choices are great! For heavies you’ve got a big old mining laser, a heavy stubber and something called seismic cannon. For specialist weapons you’ve got the classic flamer, grenade launcher or webber. Everybody else gets a choice of autogun or a shotgun of some kind.

There’s also a clear set of instructions for assembling the figures in the box, which is very handy, particularly for choosing weapon options. There’s also plain GW bases for everybody, including a couple of larger bases for the heavies. The bases you see in the post photos are from Micro Art Studio.

Cost in New Zealand:

Yeah, Middle Earth tax as usual from Games Workshop so you’ll be paying around $7.50 per plastic figure, plus shipping. As usual GW’s local prices made me prevaricate before buying the box, but I caved eventually and don’t have any regrets.

The Hybrids:

This box is a great return to form for GW in my opinion. Highly detailed plastic figures with a plethora of weapon options that are easy to assemble, and have optional heads. The sculpts are sporting lovely looking environmental/mining suits with a nice shoulder/chest piece that looks like it carries some kind of life support, and many mount shoulder lamps. The heads have a mixture of crazy work goggles and breathing apparatus in place too. The heavy weapon guys also get great back packs laden with stuff.

I was initially disappointed with the lack of an pose choices in the box, as each figure goes together in a certain way according to the instruction booklet, but once the torsos are assembled, there’s a nice range of standing, running and braced for firing positions anyway.

Magnetise for effect:

The box contained so many weapon options I refused to be bound by ‘one choice per figure’ as per the instructions. Instead I whipped out the pin vice and a bag of 1x2mm rare earth magnets. The arms are easily wide and deep enough to seat a small magnet in, and the torsos have plenty of space for them too.

I magnetised everybody except the heavy weapon guys – because I made them first before asking myself why I was gluing their arms on permanently. Being able to swap arms really extends the usefulness of this boxed set, and gives each figure a choice of at least two weapons. These guys will be used as a mining crew for This is Not a Test, so it’s nice to have arm swaps between cheaper shotguns and autoguns/assault rifles. The leader’s pistol and melee options can also be spread around between figures as well.

One tip for magnetising the two hand weapons, which come as a weapon and a short ‘arm’ piece, is to magnetise them individually first and then once they’re in place, glue the short arm piece to the gun at the wrist as you would normally. The magnets will hold everything in place while the joint dries, and then with a bit of carefully flexing and sliding you can still swap arm sets easily.

Daemonhunters Retinue – Speed Painted

Daemonhunters Retinue Speed Painted Continuing in my quest to paint all the things in my garage, here’s a Daemonhunter retinue from 2003. They’re good old Games Workshop metals and are probably some of the nicest 40K figures I own, so it’s criminal they’ve been bare metal for over a decade. I particularly enjoyed painting the yellow sage with his expressive face, the screaming chainsaw nutter with missing teeth, and the cherubim who is straight out of a John Blanche illustration.

As usual these guys have been dipped in satin floor varnish for quick shading, although I did spend a little more time highlighting their clothing and flesh than I would have if they weren’t HQ figures. I’ve also experimented with using a 0.1mm felt tip pen for drawing illustrations and ‘text’ (squiggles) on their scroll work. The cherubim and sage had their scrolls painted, while everybody else got quick pen work on theirs. Using the felt tip pen is certainly faster than painting on writing, but the final effect isn’t as fine as brushwork.

This is also my first time actually trying to paint a simple ‘plasma’ effect on a weapon too. Usually I don’t bother because I always thought it looked a little silly and who would use a glow in the dark weapon on a 40K battlefield! But this time I thought what the heck. The effect is still a little too bright for me, and it would have got a light blue ink-wash to dull it down, if only I could find any ink on my chaotic paint station.

The base they’re standing on is part of my collection. Made way back in 2006 from Hirst Art blocks based on an old CD.

Review: Army Painter Color Spray Primer

Cadians Ready for Army Painter Coloured Primer Army Painter is a product that’s been around for years, but that I’ve never had the pleasure of using. Recently I picked up a can of their coloured ‘Desert Yellow’ spray primer from Mighty Ape to try on a bunch of plastic Cadians that I started assembling in 2004. So here’s a quickie review!

This first shot shows the squad of plastic Cadians, assembled and based with some Polyfilla and model railway ballast. The figures are a mix of the original GW plastic Cadians and some home-cast resin parts for detailing – extra backpacks and a crate for the Heavy Bolter. The mix of different materials should be a good test for a primer.

Following the instructions I gave the can a good shaking and lined the figures up in an old shoe box resting on its side. I’ve primed for years using old shoe boxes, because I find they’re just the right size to catch and control the over-spray. They also tend to cycle the paint around the back of the figures for some extra coverage too – no point wasting that expensive can. The figures were hit on one side, then rotated 90 degrees and sprayed again, until every side was covered. I was generous with the spray on each side as I wasn’t sure how well it was going to cover. The 10 figures were primed in two batches of 5 figures each.

Cadians Colour Primed with Army Painter Here’s the figures post priming. The coverage is excellent, although as I was spraying assembled figures there’s a little shadowing of course. I’d never be organised enough to prime on the sprue though, so this is how all my figures get primed. The colour has covered well and obscured no detail, despite being applied fairly heavily. It dried quickly too, with the figures being touch dry after say around 5 minutes – mind you it’s summer here currently so the ambient temperature in my garage was pretty warm. You can see the black base edges have also been entirely covered by the primer, despite the fact I was concentrating on priming the figures rather than the bases. The primer also had no problem covering the resin and Polyfilla either – not really a surprise, but you never know.

Army Painter do their own ‘Desert Yellow’ paint which is a 100% match to their spray primer and comes in an 18ml dropper bottle. Army Painter Desert Yellow spray primer is also a perfect match for Games Workshop’s old Desert Yellow paint as well. However I believe this colour has since been renamed ‘Tallarn Sand’ and might no longer be an exact match (thanks Games Workshop, screwing with my hobby as usual). Fortunately I still have a 12ml pottle of the old Desert Yellow on my paint station. I’ve also ordered some of the Army Painter paint for when my GW Desert Yellow finally gives up the ghost. Honestly folks, just don’t buy GW paints – they’re never worth it.

In conclusion, Army Painter Spray Colour Primer is a superb product and I’ve since primed up the remaining 15 or so Cadians I have assembled (a mix of heavy weapons, plastics and metals) with no difficulty at all. The can still feels pretty full too which is nice. If you’re looking for a good base colour for speed painting, definitely check out the Army Painter’s Spray Colour Primer as it’ll save you a bunch of time. Comes in a great range of colours too!

Hirst Arts Mold #320 Sci-Fi Terrain

Hirst Arts Painted Pipe Terrain I recently picked up Hirst Arts Fieldstone Mold #75 which is pretty much a mandatory purchase for anybody using Hirst Arts for Mordheim or Fantasy terrain. As shipping internationally isn’t cheap I looked around for another Hirst Arts mold to include in my order and on a whim added the #320 5/8″ Pipe mold.

My order arrived last week and I was pleasantly surprised how much fun mold #320 is to cast and build with. It’s a pretty hungry mold plaster-wise, but a single cast gets you enough bits and pieces of pipe to make an interesting 6″ linear barrier for pretty much any 28mm scale war game you can think of. The pipe sections obviously work very well for sci-fi or modern terrain, but with the right brassy paint job a few pieces could probably be added to the side of a fantasy building for some kind of brewery or mad alchemist’s laboratory.

After casting the mold a couple of times I couldn’t resist playing with the parts and dug out a pre-cut and bevelled 3mm MDF base I had kicking around. I cut and bevelled a whole bunch of random organic shapes years ago and have been working my way through the stack ever since. It’s a great time saver for just cracking into a random terrain piece when you feel like it.

Hirst Arts Painted Pipe Terrain This bit of Necromunda/40k/Pulp terrain is made from just two casts of mold #320, a piece of cut chicken wire, some corrugated cardboard and based with a mix of kitty little and model railway ballast. The chicken wire and cardboard was used to build that little shack over a vertical tap piece which is obscured in the photos, but you can see in the unpainted terrain.

The pipes were painted with grey latex house paint and then weathered with the Vegemite technique before airbrushing them red with hobby paints and then over-painting them with my home-made dipping varnish. The base is just dry brushed with a couple of layers of dirty brown latex house paint as well. Things were left pretty generic as I plan to use this terrain for Pulp gaming, and possibly Necromunda or 40k terrain if I ever get around to playing those systems again. I’ve included a couple of Games Workshop Imperial Guard Cadians just for scale indication.

Space Hulk: Dipping Genestealers

Space Hulk Genestealer Dipped A friend of mine bought the Space Hulk re-release last year and I volunteered to assemble and paint the figures. Assembling them took me about a week and a half, but they’ve been sitting in my garage since October last year waiting for paint.

I’ve finally stopped playing XBox 360 games long enough to experiment with a few paint schemes and come up with one I think I can use to speed dip the whole set of twenty three Space Hulk Genestealers in the box. This scheme is designed for use with a slightly darker version of my earlier homemade green Zombie dip.

Why green dip them? Well, I plan to brown dip the Blood Angels Space Marines and thought if the Genestealers were also brown dipped all the figures would look quite similar in tone on the game board. Green dipped Genestealers should contrast nicely with the red/brown Blood Angel Terminators during play. I’m also not really a fan of the default purple/blue scheme Genestealers are portrayed in.

Space Hulk Genestealer Dipped The Genestealers were washed and then primed with GW Skull White spray which covered their purple plastic surprisingly well. The skin was painted with Rotting Flesh, while the armor, claws and teeth are Scaly Green (which I’ve since discovered is since out of production – oops). The base was painted in a couple of metallic tones – Chainmail and Gold. The whole figure was then dipped in the custom mix, flicked off and left to dry. Once completely dry a decent matt spray varnish was dusted over the figure and the teeth, tongue and claws were retouched with a gloss varnish, although that’s a little hard to see in the photos.

Overall I’m pretty happy with this first experimental Genestealer and think a Space Hulk board covered in the little buggers should look quite good. The green dip textures the lighter and darker parts of the figure nicely with zero effort and I particularly like the way it’s fallen into the ‘venting’ on the arms and legs. Now I have to crack on and finish painting the first clutch of five Genestealers, which I’ll post next week so stay tuned. Happy New Year too btw!

THQ Building Life-size 40k Rhino

THQ's Life Sized 40k Rhino As a (presumably mildly) costly promo stunt for Dawn of War II, THQ are converting an APC into a life-size 40k Space Marine Rhino over the next four weeks.

They’ve only just started, but there’s a Flickr gallery up that I for one will be keeping a regular eye on. Even though the voices in my head tend to mutter ‘that’s not a Rhino’ every time I see the redesigned model – yes I’m an old Rogue Trader player.

Can anybody inform me what the original APC is by the way? Something British presumably? And ex some Desert war too judging from the camo scheme. Is it perhaps an M113? That would be a nice bit of self-reference, since the new Rhino model is essentially inspired by the M113 APC.

Via Kotaku.

Review: Hasslefree Sci-Fi Weapons

Hasslefree Sci Fi Weapons I recently ordered some 28mm sci fi weapons from Hasslefree Miniatures on a whim. The vague plan is to use them to try scratch building a Necromunda Scavvie warband, and maybe just random sci-fi figures in general, which was the same reason I lalso picked up some sci-fi heads from Pig Iron Productions..

I ordered two baggies of Squad Support Weapons and two baggies of Sci fi Human and Halfling guns from Hasslefree. They arrived promptly and well packed in a bubble wrap envelope. Nothing was damaged or required straightening which is good considering the distance they had traveled to reach me in New Zealand.

In the photo above you see a couple of the white metal sprues as I took them out of their baggies. There was a moderate amount of venting spikes on both of them, but they were all easily flicked off with an Xacto blade. There were no prominent mold lines, but I did spend around five minutes per spure taking the weapons off and tiding them up with a needle file.

Continue reading Review: Hasslefree Sci-Fi Weapons

Review: Pig Iron Kolony Rebel Heads

Pig Iron Kolony Rebel Heads Sprue Following on from an earlier post I couldn’t resist picking up some Pig Iron Kolony Rebel 28mm heads from Scrap Dragon in Australia. They arrived late last week, so here’s a quick review of them.

I ordered two packs, and each came in a small baggie containing two copies of the white metal sprue you see in the above photo. In each pack you get twelve of the basic gas mask wearing heads, plus two each of the four ‘command’ style heads for a total of 20 heads per pack. Possibly ordering two packs was a bit of overkill, but they’re so cheap – working out at less than $1NZ per head it seemed a shame not to!

Pig Iron Kolony Rebel Heads Comparison The heads are well cast with a reasonable amount of detail on them and I expect them to paint up well. There’s some fine mold lines to clean up, but sensibly no mold line crosses any face. Scale wise the heads are a touch smaller than related plastic 40k heads from Games Workshop. This second photo shows two Pig Iron heads compared to plastic GW Cadian and Catachan heads.

Personally I find the Pig Iron heads to be an acceptable match to the GW plastics. In fact I intend to use these metal heads to convert up a Necromunda Scavvie warband from various GW WHFB and 40k plastics. I think it’s a nice touch that the heads are fairly bare around the back (most of them simply have a strap) as it gives you options for converting on helmets or hoods. For my Necro scavvies I do intend to add tattered green stuff hoods, which I should be able to do without having to cut anything down.

Pig Iron Kolony Rebel Heads Sprue Here’s another shot just to show you the head scale on a GW Cadian and Catachan bodies. I’ve left the arms off so the head/torso ratio is obvious and, given that we’re dealing with slightly oddly scaled 28mm sculptures, the heads looks fine. If anything the slightly smaller heads actually make the over-sized GW figures look more realistically proportioned in my opinion.

So in summary I’d happily recommend Pig Irons sci-fi head ranges to any 28mm converter or sculptor out there. They’re excellent quality and the price is perfectly acceptable given the quantity of heads in each pack. On a related note I’d also happily order from Scrap Dragon again too, in fact my receipt came with a 5% discount coupon code of my next order, which is a excellent way to guarantee return custom!

Hirst Arts Cathedral Update VI

Hirst Arts Cathedral work in progress Another month has been and gone, so it’s time for a Hirst Arts Cathedral update! This has been a rather hellish month for me at both work and home for various reasons, so only a moderate amount of progress has been made since the last update.

Although it’s a little hard to see in this photo I’ve built up all four sides of the first bell-tower and glued them together into two right angled pieces. Considering my reckless disregard for the assembly instructions the tower actually fits together quite well! This tower is almost ready for painting too as only the interior doorways are lacking a handful of those precious and rare 1″x1½” gothic flat tiles to finish them off.

Speaking of which I’m still laboriously casting those pieces three at a time from the two Hirst Arts molds I own that include them. I now have enough of them to build both the front and back walls of the main Cathedral hall before starting work on the second gallery. I haven’t assembled the back wall yet, but you can see the front above, with the addition of this piece I’m almost a third of the way to completing the building phase of this project.

Now that the Cathedral is starting to come together I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t have ruined the towers more while building them as it’s going to be very hard to get figures in there during gaming! I’m also beginning to wonder how the heck I’m going to store this large, fragile and alarmingly heavy building once it’s completed…

Scrap Dragon sell Pig Iron Products

Pig Iron 28mm Rebel Heads I’ve mentioned Scrap Dragon in the past and noticed a small story pop up on Tabletop Gaming News recently about how they’ve started carrying Pig Iron Productions lines.

So I jumped onto Scrap Dragon to have a look. They have the entire PI line including all of the packs of sci-fi 28mm heads which are very tempting at $11.09nzd each. I might just have to pick up a pack of the Kolony Rebel heads as part of a long standing plan to scratch together a Necro Scavvie gang. The PI heads mix very well with Games Workshop plastics, which you can see showcased in their gallery.

While I was on there I also noticed Scrap Dragon have also started carrying Hirst Arts molds, Avatars of War figures and even some Forgeworld kits! Clearly I should visit here more often!