Friday 25 December 2009

176 Season's Greetings

A very Merry Christmas, to all my readers!

With thanks and regards to you and yours,

- Drax, Mrs. Drax, Baby and Corgi

Enjoy the time with your folks.

Sunday 13 December 2009

175 I'm trying...I'm trying...

I took my old paintbrush
From the tin last night.
It hadn’t lost its old shape;
I’ve lost mine…
And we worked on more of Three Squad
While my wife 'Facebooked' her friends;
Still painting after all these years.
Oh, still painting after all these years.
- Drax.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

174 "MEDIC!"

This was inspired by a friend who's working as a medic with the RAMC out in Sandy Places.

As I slowly work through my diminishing pile of unpainted guardsmen, I keep going back to the Box of Painted Personnel No Longer Required for the War Effort. Until now, I've been re-assigning them (mostly officers, sergeants and vox-operators) to new units since restructuring my force for the new codex, but yesterday I discovered I was down to the last three: "Medic!"
I love these three models, and it pains me a little that - unlike their Coy HQ colleague - they're very unlikely to ever get fielded again, as I can't for the life of me justify spending 30 points and losing a grenade launcher just to protect a subaltern.

In a flash, however, of rare inspiration (coincidentally linked to but by no means a consequence of Col. Corbane's excellent recent post about battlefield ambulances) I figured a group of battlefield medics could be good for a giggle with a co-operative adversary.

I figured that I could use them as an alternative 'special weapons' squad - 3 riflemen and 3 medics at 5 points each for a total of 50pts. As for their special rule, I drafted the following:

"MEDIC!" - The unit grants Feel No Pain to a single IG unit no greater than 12 models within 6". The roll is made at 4+ if all three medics are still alive; 5+ if there are two and 6+ if only one remains. If using this special rule, no member of the unit may act during the shooting phase.

Now, I admit that (given how rarely I play) I'm unlikely to field them often - if at all - but I liked the idea of the battlefield medics being on hand. Doubtless the rule could be abused too, but I'm unlikely to, so it doesn't really matter.

It's all just a chance to get some models I enjoy onto the table!
Cheers, all,

- Drax.

Saturday 21 November 2009

173 Post-Baby Update

Hi, all,

I'm not a big fan of posts which start by apologising for absence or a lack of news, so I won't, but I've been experimenting and thinking of late, and here are my two main realisations:

1) I can just about sit comfortably and paint with baby Hazel in a sling around my neck, and
2) If I can focus, concentrate and access enough spare time (and wakefulness!) I should(!) be able to get the last of my infantry company finished by the end of the Christmas holidays.

Well, it's something nice to aim for, anyway. After all, Suneokun has finished his!

Take care, all,

- Drax.

Monday 9 November 2009

172 Going on Campaign

Dear All,

Thanks for your kind comments and good wishes for my wife and new baby - here's another project for you:

Col. Corbane - whose great blog I know many of you frequent - has started to put together a smashing new resource in order to provide information, ideas and material in order to help people to get campaigning: click here to take a look, or follow the link above.

It promises to be really good - but what'll really allow it to thrive will be your contributions!

I'm going to see if I can lend Corbane an occasional hand with some wordsmithery, too: hence the plug.

Campaigns - hard graft:
[image from - used without permission]

Cheers, all!

- Drax.

Saturday 7 November 2009

171 Drax Minora


At High Noon today (Saturday 07/11/09) the beautiful Mrs. Drax gave birth to little baby Hazel, at 7lbs, 12oz, and changed my life for the better, for ever. Here she is, still very new to the world:
Looks like I made that timely 'reserves' roll after all!

My wife and I would like to say a truly heartfelt 'THANK YOU' to all the readers of this little blog who've been kind enough to offer us good wishes over the last few months.

Always appreciated.

- Drax

(very happy, very excited and very tired.)

Wednesday 4 November 2009

170 'Must-Have' Unit

Well now, this is a tricky one.

Ron, over at From the Warp has asked us for a collaborative post exploring our 'must have' unit - that without which we would never leave the troop carrier (compulsory units aside).

The only problem? My 'must have' unit is a compulsory choice: the humble platoon command section.
Before the new Codex: Imperial Guard came out, this was a 'no-brainer' - junior officers were great! They could automatically give anyone nearby a Ld boost, and with my typical doctrines would enable them to infiltrate, move through cover and (brilliantly) rally those troops nearby - even below 50% strength.

But now? Strewth! They have hardly any bumps, they can't afford medics anymore (at 30pts each) they no can longer inspire their troops and their sodding vox batteries have run down, leaving them with a measly (read: 'pointless') 6" range.

So why do I like them?

Simple. For 50 points I can get a 5-man scoring unit with Ld8 and 4 grenade launchers. Genius! For 105pts I can give them a chimera too! They can scoot around, shoot four S6 shots out to 24", and maybe even occasionally give out some useful orders (hmmm...).

But here's the thing: they're a real throwaway unit. Officers attract fire because they look important, they sound important, and they used to actually be important...but they're not! Of course they can be tremendously useful, but under the old codex, if you could kill a platoon's officer, you'd scare the horses and panic the men...they'd scatter like rats out of an aqueduct.

Now? Who cares! The infantry can watch Rupert the Officer getting himself slotted whilst ostentatiously striking a pose, turn to their sergeants and say "Right then, Sarge - what next?". The bump to sergeants has rendered the officers pretty much obsolete. So it goes.

So I love 'em. If you want to tool them up for anti-tank duties with four melta guns in a chimera...great - go for it! If you want to keep them back mumbling their poxy orders and maybe counter-attacking...wonderful! If you fancy keeping them out of sight with a mortar team...smashing! For me, I'll pretty much keep them on foot with three or four grenade launchers, and have my little bit of Draxian fun.

Thanks Ron, and cheers for reading, everyone.

- Drax.

Saturday 31 October 2009

169 Halloween in the Drax Household

Well now,

Being a miserable Brit, I'm not much of a fan of the whole 'Halloween' thing...but the talented Mrs. Drax (being American) is. And (being, as she is, nine months pregnant) who am I to tell her otherwise?

This is hers:
I love my wife.

- Drax.

Friday 30 October 2009

168 3 Platoon, 2 Section Finished (with freehand)


Well, that's another squad ticked off thanks to TOEMP (see right) - although I've forgotten exactly which TOEMP challenge they were meant to be for now... Ladies and Gents, allow me to present to you the underwhelming and poorly lit 3 Platoon, 2 Section:
Yup - that's it. Here's a pic taken with the camera's flash (note the freehand regimental numbers (24) and aquilas, as noted in my previous post); I decided to keep the weird design on the meltagunner's shoulder:
Here's a detail shot, and in it you can see the squad ID flash on the rear of the base (these are a tremendous help on the 'battlefield') as well as the old varnish on the sergeant and vox (they were both previously in other platoons):
By the way...
I have now officially had enough of Purity Seal, to the point whereby I scarcely varnish anything plastic any more. I've heard great things, though, about Testor's Dullcoat. Anyone care to comment? I know I've moaned before about wanting all my guardsmen to look the same, but that time has passed, not least because of my recent freehanding...

- Drax.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

167 Trying Freehand Details

Well hello!

I've almost finished my next batch of Guardsmen (3Pl, 2Section - with a meltagunner generously donated by Col. Corbane) and because (a) I'm starting to run low on transfers and (b) I have to cut out tiny, fiddly digits to make the regimental number, I decided to try it free hand.
After a slightly shaky start, I'm actually quite pleased with the majority of them:
Yes that's right - the two with proper bases are actual transfers. Sorry for the quality of the light - I didn't want to wait 'til tomorrow.

I'll also be doing the aquilas on the right shoulders, as that worked out well with the last squad:
Thanks for your support in my painting exploits so far, gang: it's always really appreciated!

- Drax.

Tuesday 27 October 2009



Just a quickie: this morning I took - and passed - my driving test: hooray!
I know that this sounds ridiculous to any of my overseas (esp. US) readers, but believe me when I say it's fairly tricky, and getting trickier each year. Trust me. There's a reason that (a) many of my friends (smart, professional types) can't drive, (b) my American wife hasn't attempted a British licence, and (c) I've got by for 29 years without one!

At last I'm legally able to drive the 39-week-pregnant Mrs. Drax to hospital next week.


- Drax.

Saturday 24 October 2009

165 Leman Russ Annihilator Finished

TOEMP Challenge 5 est fini!

Here is the first of my two Leman Russ Annihilators. I don't think I have a name for it yet; I guess I'm awaiting the Emperor's divine inspiration. That said, feel free to make suggestions:
As I tend to with my vehicles, I've left elements of its old (eBay) paint scheme on - it was
I haven't taken an awful lot of trouble over it: I wanted it done, and much of the detail is obscured from the old paint job.
All names gratefully considered - my others, for reference - can be seen here.

- Drax.

Sunday 18 October 2009

164 Veteran Heavy Weapons Finished

Hello, Everyone.

For some obscure reason, Blogspot is not giving me my normal option to change this font to Ariel. Still, I'm sure no-one else cares.

At long last I've finished my hardened veterans' heavy bolter/autocannon team! What follows is how it looks now, with both weapons:
And here's... how it used to look:

This base took me bloody ages to get right, but at least it means that I'm very nearly done with all my veterans. Yay!

I've also started on another couple of bits, and I'll be asking some painting advice soon too...


- Drax.

Saturday 17 October 2009

163 Lascannon Sentinel Finished At Last!

Here you go, then: it's a while since I got anything painted!

Actually, I might touch up a couple of bits - like some DA Green around the edges of the transfer - but she's pretty much finished...the first of my A/P lascannon sentinels, Hope:
For more details of Hope's history, see the post for her sister sentinel, Faith, here.
It ain't flawless, but I'm very pleased with how my ability to paint freehand nose-art is progressing (especially compared to that on Faith, which was my first ever freehand attempt):
Two other angles:
If you look very very carefully, you may even be able to spot some traces of her old black-on-olive disruption camouflage. I often like to keep certain of these such details to retain a bit of history in my models.

Thank The Emporer - at last some progress on painting. Woo-hoo!

More very soon,


- Drax.

Thursday 15 October 2009

162 Space Marines are Posers - I Have Proof!

It's true.

Just look at this double-spread from the 5th Ed rulebook (used without permission):

Now, we all know that those oh-so-clever astartes are ambidextrous...but don't you think it's a little too coincidental that all those to the right of the picture are firing right-handed, whilst all those to the left are - well - lefties?

What would the Emperor say if he thought anyone could spoil the aesthetic of an artistic last stand?

The only chap on the left who's dared to use his right hand is only doing so because the left one's been blown off - can you imagine the dreadful faux-pas had he accidently positioned himself to shoot the baddies on the right? He never would have had an open line to the audience!

And what about his mate with the white-ish bolter, to the left of Red-Knee-Pads at the bottom? Surely those hot spent bolt cases are going to eject right into his power-armoured crotch! Being ambidextrous is all very well, but most bolters appear to be made for righties...

...And don't even get me started on the two big lummoxes in the middle - they may as well have jazz hands!

There you go: space marines are posers - you can almost imagine the librarian setting up his tripod.

It brings a whole new meaning to space marine "cheese"!

- Drax

PS: Thanks to The Inner Geek.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

161 'Calneage' Battle Report

At last!

Mike's finished and posted his battle report from our fourth and final game at Calneage '09. Please drop by and tell him what you think of it by clicking here!

Thanks, all - that's probably the last of the Calneage stuff.
By the way, does anyone have an e-version of the Black Templars 'last stand' spread from the middle of the 5th Ed rulebook perchance? I rather fancy doing a post about it...

Many thanks,

- Drax.

Sunday 11 October 2009

160 More Tournament Photos


Here are a few more pics from the 'Calneage' tournament a fortnight ago - courtesy of my doubles ally, Mike the Merciless - he's planning to knock together a battle report too, so watch this space. We came 5th out of 14 teams in the end, so we were very pleased with that! Thanks again to all those who ran and attended it for making it a great day!

Sadly, no pics so far from games 1 and 4, but in game 2, Mike's marines thrust forward on the left flank...
...whilst on the right, my chimeras discover the true meaning of 'dangerous terrain':
The caprice of deployment gave us a solid win in this game, but I loved the Guard/Guard army we were up against: a mixed bunch, but very characterful, and great camo on the vehicles too:
Game 3

This was an interesting one - we were up against an ork army with min/maxed nob bikers...playing for kill points! Oh well - it was actually quite cinematic in the end. Here's the ork horde charging toward us on our left flank... the nobz (on giant squig 'bikes') turbo-boosted to our right flank, which was undefended...until the cavalry arrived:
The nobz charge...
And knacker two of the vehicles, taking many of their passengers with them:
Meanwhile, Mike's librarian charges into the ork lines...
...whilst my (newly disembarked) Platoon Commander heroically surveys the fight from atop the bunker (posing)...
...desperately trying not to think about the hordes barrelling in behind him and his sole surviving grenadier!
After some awesome flaming, my lovely veterans charge in to help out the marines:
And the last nobz are cut to bloody pieces:
Leaving our brave boys (led by the vets) to take the fight back to the orks with fire, sword and cold, hard bayonet:
We lost on Kill Points (quelle surprise), but what joy to face-off against such a horde!

Cheers, all;

- Drax.