My Armies

I love a good group shot.

There’s something incredibly satisfying about getting all of your miniatures for any specific project and arranging them together on a surface. It’s a reminder of all the blood, sweat and tears that it took to get to where you are. It lets those miniatures that you bought, assembled and painted for the sake of completion and fluffiness get some time to shine, outwith the confines of a realistically playable game.

And heck, it just looks really cool.

This is my complete set of full-sized ‘family photos’ that I have for my various projects for various game systems. The images will be downsized to fit on the page – if you want a closer look, you can click on them and it’ll take you to the image itself without any scaling.

I can’t promise that every one of these group shots will be 100% up-to-date (as some are either missing or out of date at the point of posting this), but I’ll try my best to keep them as up to date as I can. Note that this isn’t a complete representation of my collection either, and I may be missing a couple of older projects that I haven’t photographed yet, or any armies that I’ve since sold off without capturing in photograph.

All that said, onto the armies…

The Horus Heresy

Space Wolves – 10,000pts+

My first army for the Horus Heresy, and still my bread and butter for the system – as well as Warhammer 40,000 – not to mention my largest army to date. It’s got flyers, super heavies, transports, jetbikes, Dreadnoughts of all shapes and sizes and a crazy amount of Infantry.

This army was started towards the tail end of my Warhammer 40.000 Chaos Space Marines army, after I discovered The Horus Heresy was a thing that existed. While my CSM army was a classic homebrew chapter project, I found myself surprisingly enjoying the more historical approach to the Space Wolves – that, the nostalgia factor (Space Wolves were my first Warhammer army as a pre-teen boy) and the abundance of high point super heavies available in the Horus Heresy eventually led to it becoming my main army project.

Since selling off my Chaos Space Marines, Space Wolves are now my go to army for games of 8th Edition Warhammer 40,00. Here’s how that looks.

Iron Warriors – 6200pts+

My second Horus Heresy army, and a deliberate counterpart to my Space Wolves in almost every way. Where the Space Wolves are combat-oriented, infantry heavy and with lots of transports, flyers and fast tanks, the Iron Warriors have a ton of artillery and long range firepower. Where my Space Wolves have an abundance of bare heads and exposed flesh, only a small handful of my IW minis are helmetless. Where my Space Wolves are extensively edge highlighted, my Iron Warriors are predominantly drybrushed and sponged, with a healthy dose of weathering powders.

Probably the main reason that I went for Iron Warriors as my second Horus Heresy army was that they’re such a typical, almost Codex Astartes-esque Traitor Legion, which I just love. There’s no mutations, no psykers, no daemon engines, sonic weapons or Butcher’s Nails in this legion – just cold, hard Astartes. Given that my main legion, the Space Wolves are so individualistic in their approach for war for a loyalist chapter, it made sense to play something more typical for my Traitors. As such, I’ve tried to include as many standard 30K Legion elements as I could – such as Javelin Land Speeders, Legion Terminators, Rhinos, 20-man Bolter-only Tactical Squads and generic Dreadnought loadouts – in addition to the artillery and unique Iron Warriors units. Down the line, I’d quite like to replace the crap plastic Contemptors with some Boxnaughts for that classic Space Marines vibe.

Warhammer 40,000

Chaos Space Marines

My (now sold) Chaos Space Marines – my first foray back into Warhammer 40,000 with the release of 8th Edition, following the completion of my Stormcast and Khorne/Skaven army, but before my Maggotkin of Nurgle were a thing. There was also a squad of 5 Bikers with a few meltaguns in the army that are missing from this picture.

This was a fun project that I loved working on – I was really happy with the scheme, and I tried a lot of new things on the army. Whether it was getting creative with my basing, kitbashing the Cultists – my amateurish attempt at Blanchitsu – earning how to magnetise everything from Predator sponsors to Terminator arms, or reposing my Renegade Knight, I really felt like l made strides forward across this hobby.

Between my Space Wolves legion and later Iron Warriors legion projects though, I just didn’t have any need for a third Space Marine army – both from a gameplay and a future hobby standpoint. In the end, it was sold to make the funds and closet space for my Warhound Titan, which was a pretty huge step forward for me.

Middle-earth

Rivendell – 1700pts+

Rivendell! This is army is the reason I play Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game – originally intended as a one-off, 5-10 model Battle Company (I really “just fancied painting some Elves”), this project spiralled massively into a full-scale army with a bit of everything from the Rivendell army list.

The colour scheme was originally going to be as close to the movies as possible, but my tendency towards excessive highlighting on the cloaks ended up turning them into a scheme closer to my Stormcast Eternals army. This army is also the origin of my water effect bases – a visual effect that’s since made its way to just about all my Middle-earth armies.

Angmar – 1700pts+

My second army for Middle-earth, although very much conceived of, planned and built in tandem with my High Elves. While on the High Elves I wanted lots of bright layering and high contrast edge highlighting, I used a lot more drybrushing on these guys – the Orcs in particular – and tried to down down any edge highlights with washes. Even the basing is similar to the Elves – texture with tufts and a good amount of water features – but washed with Agrax Earthshade instead of Seraphim Sepia for a darker look, and using Highland/Wasteland Tuft rather than flowers, with snow effects to help bring context to the dull, dead earth, as well as bringing the overall brightness back up a little.

My idea with this army was to have the basic rank and file look really grim and monotonous while using the bright blue spirit miniatures such as the Barrow Wights, Dead Marsh Spectres and Shades as ‘spot colours’. Similarly, my monsters were given spooky ruins to stand on for the same effect.

Moria – 1000pts+

Moria were very nearly my flagship Evil force, but ultimately lost out to Angmar due to my preference of Orcs over Goblins. Still, with my Cave Trolls being entirely re-usable from my Angmar army, it was only a matter of time before I caved and got a Balrog to call my own.

This was a fun project, and surprisingly fun to knock out as long as you’re willing to make concessions on the quality of the individual Goblins. I like how the characters stand out in this force, and I’m pretty proud of how the flame effects came out on the Balrog. This was the army I decided to keep a cohesive basing style for all of my Good and Evil forces on, as it really helps with miniature re-use (those Cave Trolls in the back are straight out of my Angmar army).

The Dark Powers of Dol Guldur – 1000pts

Between the low model count and forgiving sculpts, this was easily the fastest full-size army I’ve ever painted – with the Necromancer and the Nine finished in a single weekend, and the Keeper of Dungeons on a single Saturday. I’m really happy with the overall look of these guys, particularly with how well the Necromancer came out – and I re-used a lot of the lessons I learned about painting robes quickly on these guys across my Nazgul for my Angmar army, as well as The Dark Lord Sauron himself later. As a really rather standalone kind of force, I broke the mould and gave them a unique basing style using a green stuff roller from Green Stuff World, which I’m pretty glad I did – there’s not a lot of space on those 25mm bases to do something interesting, and these miniatures definitely deserve it.

Grey Company – 1000pts

Ah, heck, these guys have a whole blog post to themselves. Go read that instead.

Iron Hills – 600pts

These guys have their own blog post too. Go read about them here.

Age of Sigmar

Maggotkin of Nurgle – 3200pts

My Maggotkin of Nurgle have probably seen the most actual tabletop time of all my armies. I’ve got a lot of really good memories attached to this one; they’ve been to a good number of tournaments and – while never really winning me all that many games (my personal best to date is 3 wins, 2 posses) – they’ve won me my fair share of Best Army votes, which has been flattering and exciting. They were also the army that I chose to showcase at Armies on Parade 2018 with my Gutrot Spume coming ashore board, The Death of Hope.

Stormcast Eternals – 3000pts

My first step back into the hobby in around a decade was Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower. It was supposed to be a one off – a simple little board game project with a finite amount of miniatures to paint that could be easily stored, transported and played with. Of course, by the time I completed the project I was well and truly bitten by the bug again. The rest, as they say, is history.

I knew that I wanted to continue painting miniatures, but I was at a bit of a loss as to what direction to go in. This was back before Specialist Games had returned with Kill Team, Blood Bowl, Necromunda, Shadespire and the like, so my only real options were Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000: Dark Vengeance. I remember being extremely torn about which direction to go in – Age of Sigmar was a little jarring for me to process as a fan of Warhammer Fantasy (and if I’m honest, still is a little), but the Dark Vengeance box set really sort of.. sucked. The miniatures were all pretty dated looking, and didn’t really do it for me at all. The Age of Sigmar box set, on the other hand, was filled with potential.

Around the time I bought the Age of Sigmar starter set, I had also bought my fiancé some Dragon Knights and a High Elf Dragonlord to have a play about with. Her engagement with the hobby was ultimately really limited, but she did leave me a whole bunch of High Elf bitz. This was the inspiration for all the High Elf conversions in this army – the swords on the Liberators, the head swaps, weapon swaps and ‘White Lion’ Decimators. Looking back, I don’t think that the theme and the conversions entirely worked 100% of the time, but it certainly helped the learning process along to have been ambitious (if a little out of my depth) at such an early stage.

I’ve got some real mixed feelings about this army – alongside my Bloodbound/Skaven army, it was my first full-scale wargaming project. The Bloodbound have now long since been sold off, which makes this my oldest remaining project. On the other hand, I find Stormcast as a faction to be unengaging, by and large, so they don’t see an awful lot of table time outside of demo games. Some of the paint jobs are really starting to show their age here, too – although it’s nice to be able to compare my early attempts at a Decimator compared to the comparatively recently painted Knight Incantor.

Blood Bowl

Orcs

My Orc team, ‘Turghallz Toofspittaz’ were my first team, straight from the boxed set.
If I’m entirely honest, I had only really wanted the box set for the core game rules, templates, game board, etc – I had little to no interest in playing the Humans, but Orc miniatures were undeniably cool sculpts that really captured the spirit of Blood Bowl.

Indeed, somewhere between my headswap and repose conversion work and coming up with the gaudy white/pink ‘tooth and gum’ colour scheme, I absolutely fell in love with this team. In their present state, they’re still a little unfinished though, and I really need to pick up a Blood Bowl Orc Booster at some point to finish them off.

Skaven

Score-score many touchdowns, yes-yes! My Skaven team, ‘The Hellpitsburgh Squeakers’ were and are one of my big passion projects in the hobby. In both aesthetics and play style, they were easily my favourite team in the game, and so they earned the right to bare my all time favourite colour combination. I used the Skaven Booster from ForgeWorld along with a number of subtle conversions and reposes to ensure every single miniature in this team is entirely unique – and I even added Glart Smashrip just cos I love that miniature. Somewhere along the line, I’ll need to finish Hakflem and my Rat Ogre to complete the team.

Warhammer Quest

Silver Tower

Ah, hell. Here they are. The very first set of miniatures that I painted when I returned to this all-consuming hobby back in 2016 – a set of Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower. I remember at the time having mixed feelings about this set – it’s aesthetic not only a wild departure from what I remembered of the Old World in WHFB, but with the trippy Tzeentch aesthetic mixed in there to boot.

I was wildly out of my depth with some of these – the earliest skintones on the Fyreslayer and Darkoath in particular were absolutely dire, while the fleshy engravings on the Ogroid were an absolute disaster. The basing as well is a weird, overly gravelly texture that really didn’t work either. Still, I think that I did a pretty good job with these guys as a “first project.” It had been over a decade since I had painted any miniatures, and I wasn’t even as good as this when I had stopped. I think you can see a clear progression with some of them – particularly the skin on the Acolytes – as I slowly figured out what I was doing. My next project that would immediately follow this one – my Stormcast Eternals – were not exactly a work of art either, but they massively benefited from this first foray.

 

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