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Ultramarines Painting Guide


A few years back I painted and subsequently sold an Ultramarines army. I have decided to revisit that project, while this time staying with the aesthetic of second edition of Warhammer 40,000. I acquired a few miniatures from that period and have stripped them of their previous paint.

In the early days of second edition and the later days of Rogue Trader, one of the main story events was The Battle for Armageddon. A huge planetary campaign which was the setting for a number of games, miniatures and white dwarf articles. This background setting introduced Commissar Yarrick, the disfigurement of Captain Tycho and later the Astra Millitarum Steel Legion. As the campaign setting was such a large part of 2nd edition, I decided to paint these classic marines as participants of that campaign.

Image from “Battle for Armageddon Scenarios” contained in Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition boxed set. By John Blanche.

Painting Guide

The first thing I did was assemble and base the miniatures. Sub assembly makes it easier to paint details on the models. So I stuck the bolters and backpacks on cocktail sticks to a piece of kindling. I consider bases part of assembly, so I glued basing sand to the bases with PVA.

I then primed the models with brush on grey primer. Grey is a good neutral colour to prime models with.

The next stage is to base the model and start the metals. As these are usually drybrushed, which can get messy I do these first. Firstly the metals were base coated with black. The shoulder rims and chest were painted with Balthasr Gold and highlighted with Greedy Gold . The weapons were drybrushed using Gunmetal and Plate Mail. After that the metals were given a wash of Mixed Strong & Dark Tone .

After the leaving the wash to dry for a day. The final highlights were applied to the metals. This was again another round of drybrushing. This time with Plate Mail and Shining Silver. The other metals with Greedy & Bright Gold

I used thinned Dark Sky followed by a layer of Macragge Blue, for the base coats of the armour plates. This gives a good strong colour to work with and it’s first shading.

Here I have edge highlighted each piece of armour individually using Crystal Blue, Ultramarines Blus, Voidshield Blue, and Viking Bue. Using the same technique I painted bolter casings with uniform grey and hardened carapace. The model then gets its final assembly.

The final part is to detail the models. In this case chapter markings, tactical markings and codex dedications. I painted all these freehand with Matt White. Eyes were done with Pure Red, with a Matt White dot in the corner.

Combat Squad IV Ready

Finally a here is a group shot with a sergeant. I made the sergeant from different parts from a mid 90s plastic multipart space marine kit and the close combat weapons sprue. I have added a number purity seals from more recent kits. Unusually for a sergeant he is wearing a helmet.

Paints used from The Army Painter and Citadel Colour.

Models from Citadel Miniatures 1993

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Oldhammer Devastartors

When you run a business you can get very busy, I’ve recently noticed that I have been neglecting the blog. So it’s time to recitfy and restart . There will be regular posts and updates about painting and gaming projects in the store. As well as articles and other things.

The store has a collection of Space Marines from the 1st edition of Warhammer 40,000. They form part of the store display armies and are painted as Dark Angels. Back then the Space Marines models wore what is now known as MK VI or Corvus armour. The Dark Angels had a black colour scheme with red markings instead of the green they are now known for. The original colour scheme is referenced by the Horus Heresy game, which is set around the early period of the Imperium, which is about 10,000 years before the main game.

Here is the Devastator Squad added to the Dark Angels RTB01 army. It was actually painted before the assault marines and chaplain, but gets posted now for some reason. This squad is the first painted to get sergeant and veteran sergeant markings. These take the form of helmet stripes and the Veteran Sergeant gets a rank badge on his power fist.

The squad makes use of plastic Imperial Guard heavy bolters and lascannons, from the weapons sprues available at the time. You may have seen the lascannon marine before as it was part of the second tactical squad painted. That squad is now equipped with a missile launcher. Their lascannon now forms part of the devastator squad.

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How to start Kings of War

Kings of War is a fantasy battle game played with miniatures. You collect and command an army of your favourite fantasy figures against an opponents collection of fantasy figures, in a variety of scenarios across different fantasy landscapes. The action takes place on the world of Pannithor, which is the setting for the fantasy games produced by Mantic including Dungeon Saga, Vanguard and Armada. While it may be new to a number of people it does contain familiar elements, such as Dwarves, Elves, Undead and Dragons.

In order to play Kings of War you will need a Rulebook, Army list and of course models. You will find your army list in either the Core Rulebook or another publication called Uncharted Empires. Between both books there are twenty-six army lists so there is much to choose from. A review of the game has already been completed here.

Starter Sets

Uniquely there are two starter sets for Kings of War. Shadows in the North and War in the Holds. Both boxes contain the rulebook and two starting armies of Nightstalkers and Northern Alliance for Shdows in the North. Goblins and Ratkin for War in the holds. Both are great value and can be the perfect introduction for new players.


There are two versions of the rulebook. The Hardback edition which contains the rules, army lists, maps and the background stories to world of Pannithor. The Gamers edition, which is a soft cover book that just contains the game rules and army lists. If you are have an existing collection of miniatures you may prefer to get the book instead of the starter sets.

Other books to consider is Uncharted Empires and Clash of Kings. As mentioned before Uncharted Empires is a book the contains twelve more Army lists for the game. Clash of Kings is an annual publication which has rules updates and new content for the game. While it is not strictly necessary to own Clash of Kings in order to play and enjoy the game, many existing players in the Kings of War community will be using the updated rules to play, particularly in tournaments.


The Army Boxes are excellent value and contain a good variety of troops, to start your collection. They can compliment an existing army or be the beginning of a new force. If you have decided that the armies in the starter sets above are not for you then grabbing one of these with a rulebook can be a great way to start.

There are a good number of miniatures manufacturers and it’s really easy to incorporate your existing collection of miniatures into the game, or to collect an army for Kings of Kings of War outside of Mantics own brand of miniatures. Fantasy miniatures have a number of existing shared concepts, that although each may be unique they are recognisable. You’ll find that figures from Dwarves, undead, elves, orcs and various periods of human history to name but a few are perfectly usable in Kings of War.

Of course it will be up to you how they fit in and which miniatures to use. The army lists in Kings of War and Uncharted Empires should have you covered. For example the “Kingdoms of Men” army list in Uncharted Empires can fit in many figure collections of historical periods from ancients, through medieval to early renaissance. Likewise you’ll find Mantic own miniatures suitable for other fantasy battle and role playing games.

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Starting Warhammer 40,000

Miniature Wargaming, a hobby where you collect and paint figures which you use to represent your forces in games. A game like Warhammer 40,000 can be quite daunting for beginners. This guide will help out anyone who is thinking about starting this great hobby.


What you need to start are a few essentials. Miniatures and paint might go without saying, however you will also need a rulebook so you know how to play and a Codex which has the rules specific to your collection of models. Below is a handy guide with the pro’s, cons and a few alternatives later on for your comparison

Warhammer 40,000 Command Edition

Pros : This contains the rules, dice, terrain and miniatures. The miniatures are very detailed and easy to assemble. The Command manual contained has easy to follow guides for assembly of miniatures and rules and missions for your first few games. . This is the most complete starter set for the game system and will offer the best value.

Cons : The only drawback, is if you are not collecting either of the starting forces, in the box.

Warhammer 40,000 Elite Edition

Pros – Good selection of miniatures, dice and a handy guide for painting and playing. Elite manual contains all the rules for all the models in the box, and has good ideas for expansion. Again easy to assemble miniatures with and handy guide. Excellent value and a good way to start the hobby.

Cons – In order to experience the full Warhammer 40,000 hobby, you will still need a rulebook, and terrain. As before if you are not interested in collecting the models in the box, this might not be the best set for you.

Warhammer 40,000 Recruit Edition

Pros – As with the others it contains dice, great models and a handy guide for painting gaming and assembly. Contains all the rules required for using the models in the box, with more ideas for expansion. Great value and perfect for “dipping your toe in”.

Cons – You will need a rulebook and terrain to continue playing. Mainly suited to those people collecting Space Marines or Necrons. So if you are interested in other factions in Warhammer 40,000, this might not be the way to go.

The above starter sets are great for beginning 40k though if you are not interested in the models in the box there are other options available. Luckily the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook is available on its own along with a number of “Start Collecting” boxes for the various different factions of Warhammer 40,000.

Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook

Pros : Detailed and easy to follow rules with examples of how to play. Rich background story with full colour illustrations containing the perfect overview of the Warhammer 40,000 galaxy and factions.

Cons : None. You will need the rules to play the game.



A smaller scale game set in the Warpath universe
Pros – As with Warhammer 40,000 Command Edition it has everything you need to start playing, including rules, scenery, dice and miniatures. A similar experience at a fraction of the cost.  Faster game play and easier understand rules. No need for additional army books.
Cons – The Warhammer 40,000 Brand may be important to you

Star Wars Legion Clone War Core Set

Pros: A tabletop Miniatures Game set in the Star Wars galaxy. Great set of rules and miniatures. Rulebook is available online as PDF from FFG, while the equipment and troop rules can be found on handy cards within each Star Wars Legion boxed set.

Cons: None – who doesn’t like Star Wars? In all seriousness, as before, branding may be important to you.

Necromunda This is a great game set in one of the planets in the Warhammer 40,000 galaxy. A smaller skirmish style games where gangs fight in the confined spaces of a “hive city”.

Pros – Same setting as Warhammer 40,000, in fact some of the components from both settings cane be used in both games.

Cons – None this is a great game.

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Halloween Spooky Painting Competition

Halloween of 2020 the store ran an online painting here are the four best entries:

This first one is a Primaris Space Marine. What is noteworthy here is the lack of any of the hallmarks of a typical Space Marine. Gone are the usual clean armour, purity seals and honours Replaced by the bloodstained battered armour, a slain enemy and a thousand yard stare. A great re-imagined War-Hound from this commission painter.

Painted by “The Hairy Painter”

This next one is a kit bash from a number of different models showing a ghostly horde of Cavalry. This is actually two “cavalry regiments” for Kings of War and really is a great demonstration of the possibilities for multi-basing in the game. Also notable is the artist using a number of miniatures outside of the typical undead range of miniatures. He simply lets his brush do the work.

If you have arachnophobia beware this entry! The models is from the Monster expansion to the game Rising Son by CMON . Some great additions here including the base and webbing on the collection of heads. A truly monstrous piece by this commission painter.

Possibly one of the best miniatures from the Age of Sigmar range – Lady Olynder! A slight alternate assembly here, working the wing spirits as part of the base really pays off. You attention remains on the model herself when looking at the Mortach of Grief and there is still plenty happening along the base. Noteworthy here are the bloodstained robes – just enough to make use of the surface area, while not detracting from the details.

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More Undead and Better Pics

Firstly it’s the Revenants, you may have seen them before… These are the first mantic miniatures I ever painted. A great set with many options on the sprue. I decided to go with a green theme to match with the shields. The metallic green armour represents the fact they wear magic arms and armour, which continues in death .

Every Kings of War game I play using undead, I include this unit. I learned they have much staying power due to their high defence, though lack the killing ability of other undead units. It would be nice to increase them to horde strength.

Next up are the Skeleton Phalanx. I kept the same shield design as the Revenants , because the skeletons served the same order in life as they do in death. Again built using Mantic plastic skeletons. A great set with many options.

Next are the zombies. I went for a non-naturalistic look here, and took time to experiment with The Army Painter strong tone wash. While they don’t quite fit the theme of the skeletons, they are great models and fulfil a role in the army.

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Imperial GCPS

While preparing to run a few games of Deadzone I noticed a similarity of the GCPS faction with the Imperial Guard. With that in mind I decided to use that excuse to paint up a few oldhammer Rogue Trader Imperial Guard.

The tall chap with the shot gun is a conversion using more modern pieces. As is the sergeant who has a modern chainsword. A quick and fun side project with added benefits and expansion potential.

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Oldhammer Jump Assault

I have been adding to the Oldhammer Space Marines. Nothing speaks to the nature of the Imperium more than a Chaplain. The model is a conversion from a number of different ranges. To honour his origins, I decided to add a mohawk to the skull helmet.

Father Eduardo

I took part in a recent Oldhammer Challenge on twitter, and used it as an excuse to make an assault squad. A the time of Rouge Traders release there were no plastic chainswords. Right now period plasma pistols are difficult to come by. So I made the decision to use modern weapons, but kept the period bolt pistol arms – of which there are many. The Jump Packs are from Max Mini. They are much larger than the metal ones from the time, though still in line with many illustrations from 1987-1992.

The model I actually entered was a homage to an original Rogue Trader metal model “Brother Romero”. He is in the middle at the back.

Models from


Jump Packs from Max Mini

Mohwak from Warlord Games

Painted using Deco Art Acrylics and The Army Painter.

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Making Your Game Happen

There are a number of great games out there, and the store is happy to support them. Whether they be board games, collectible card games or miniature skirmish games. If you have a great game you want played and supported in store here are some tips to make it happen.

1 Suggest it! – You never know..

Come and talk about it in store. Post about it in the players group, post it on the main page, show pictures of games in progress or painted models – the more people that know about this excellent game the better. And the more people who want to play the more likely it is the store will support it.

2 Turn up and play! – You do want to play it right..?

Once the store has agreed to to host the game, support it. If there is a FB event share it, mark yourself as going – if you cannot attend that that mark yourself as “interested”. Do this well in advance of the day of the event. On the day of the gaming event turn up and play. Enjoy yourself and meet new people playing a game you love. If there are people new to the game help them out.

3 Buy stuff! – It’s not a conflict of interest

When the store is making an order – ask specifically for certain products and buy them – encourage others to do so. Even if it’s a small item like a booster pack or set of dice. The store is more likely to schedule more events for your game if people are regularly making purchases for the game.

4 Share it! – Always share

So the store has agreed to play your game, is stocking products and holds regular events. Now what? Share it! Post pictures of your games, work in progress, completed models whatever. If the store posts about it – share it, like it & comment. Be an active participant in the store groups and beyond. This helps build a community of gamers around your chosen game system

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Today I wanted to bring up the topic of the “collector” and how this has now inspired some game titles.   We all know that one person who is an avid collector of something whether it be stamps,rocks, old Elvis paraphernalia, Superman, Star Trek or even Hello Kitty. The list could go on forever.

There are many theories as to why people do this and I really don’t want to get into the psychology of why here in this post but I just want to bring attention to the fact that if someone finds something that features a character, band, tv show etc. that they really like they will want that item even if it’s not something they normally use.

The idea of branding items with loved characters has been something that has fuelled retail for decades. No one ever “needed” that Chewbacca bobble head but he is really cool and if you like Chewbacca you just might buy it because it’s Chewbacca.

This concept has certainly spilled over into the table top game world too. I would love to mention our Classic Monopoly again. It was a major success and paved the way for table top games as we know it and it still sells today. Have a think for a minute about how many Monopoly sets there are. They are constantly re-released with a new theme, artwork and new figures based on a brand. I have seen everything from Super Mario Monopoly to Monopoly Bass Fishing Edition and yes of course there is an Elvis Monopoly Edition. The new pieces and art does not change how the core game plays at all it just is done to appeal to the individual who likes the theme.  It works people buy them and collect them and sometimes even play them.

Risk is also a great and classic game that has done this very successfully. There are some really good versions of Risk that have been cross branded and are a lot of fun. Risk:Star Wars Edition is a good example. This game lets players re-create the dramatic final moments of Star Wars Episode VI, players can determine the fate of the Star Wars universe through the three battles featured in the movie. Choose to play as either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire, and use the classic Risk dice to control characters and ships. The object of the game is to defend or destroy the Death Star depending on which side you have chosen.

Sometimes though it seems that a game is just branded with a character to make a sale and it is a total let down because there is nothing about the game that seems to have anything to do with how the character would behave or the narrative of the story. This was not just true of tabletop games but also video games. I can recall an old Star Wars title from the early 90’s that was a run and gun platform game. In it you played Luke Skywalker who ran around attacking everything in his way with a light sabre including Jawas. Of course it sold based on it’s title and characters but it was not true to the morality and narrative that fans appreciated about the character of Luke Skywalker. That can be very disappointing to a fan.

When table top games use a brand to sell a game it is very enjoyable if the narrative allows the players to feel like they are part of the world or character they have grown to love. I wanted to talk about some really excellent games that are actually branded and allow fans to enjoy the narrative of the stories. Some of these may not be well known but if you happen to know a collector that is into any of these, they would love you for bringing it to their attention or gifting it to them.  They are good games so you will enjoy playing them too.

The first one is the Legenday Series. Legendary has managed to create a semi cooperative deck building game that is based on branded characters and the narrative is always true to the characters. It is challenging and a lot of fun and although there are many games in the Legendary series. They are all unique and true to their characters.  The original was set in the Marvel Universe with characters like the Hulk and Spiderman and many editions followed and they all stayed true to their characters.  Each one of them would really appeal to any fan of the featured characters. Legendary Buffy is a great example: There are many references in the game that refer directly to the TV series. The character cards do not do things that would have been out of character in the show. It allows the players to work together and slay the “big bad” before chaos comes to Sunnydale. This title belongs in the collection of any Buffy fan. Legendary has an Alien Edition, Predator Edition, Firefly Edition and more are being released including James Bond in 2019.

Jim Henson’s Labryinth: The Board Game. At the sight of this game you will be humming the songs we all know. “You remind me of the babe..” This game is a beautiful exploration of the movie for 1-5 players in which Sarah, Ludo, Sir Didymus and Hoggle must adventure through the labyrinth and make their way to the goblin city to save Toby from Jareth, the goblin king! The models in the box are very well cast and if you are a fan of the movie or know someone who is this game will be well loved and it has been written in such a way that it lends itself to a lot of replay ability. The art work in the game is very nice and features pictures of the movie. This is a must for any Labryrinth lover.

I should also mention Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: The Board Game is also a visually stunning rendition brought to us by the same makers of Labyrinth. Dark Horse Miniatures. If you know a Dark Crystal fan they will love it and want it immediately on sight.

One of my personal favourites is the Walking Dead: All Out War! This one is based on the Comic Series rather than the TV show but still features all the well loved characters. This game is a tactical head-to-head game,which can be played co operatively or competitively, set in the walker-strewn Georgia countryside, a survival miniatures game from Mantic Games. Your group will be pitted against other groups in a bitter fight for supplies, but the Walkers react to your every move. In this game, everyone and everything is trying to kill you. In more detail, each player controls their own group of survivors made up of popular characters from The WalkingDead storyline, such as Rick, Shane, Michonne and many more. Each survivor is represented by a finely-detailed plastic miniature,which can be painted in your colour scheme of choice. It comes with a character card highlighting their game stats and unique abilities,and it can be upgraded with a selection of weapon and equipment cards. This game belongs in the collection of every Walking Dead fan whether they follow the comics, TV series or both.

Mantic games recently released The Walking Dead: Here’s Negan as a sequel to All Out War.  This game is a must for all Negan comic book fans. It gives players the opportunity to play through a portion of Negan’s background that’s never been seen before. Work together to clear the claustrophobic corridors of the abandoned factory, but that’s only part of the mission. You must also do whatever it takes to gain Negan’s respect and players “win” by earning the most Reputation Points. Impress Negan and reap the rewards. Fail and face Lucille’s wrath.  Here’s Negan is a co-operative yet competitive board game for up to five players as you will compete with your fellow Survivors to earn the most Reputation Points. The amount of Reputation accrued will determine a group’s success at the end of a mission, plus the player with the most Reputation Points will be declared Negan’s favourite! Twelve scenarios tell the story of how Negan cleared the “Sanctuary” and went on to become the tyrannical leader of the Saviours. In these scenarios, players will clear the Sanctuary and each scenario features its own unique map layout, special rules, and objectives.  It comes with 19incredibly detailed, pre-assembled plastic miniatures, 16double-sided game tiles, plus all the dice and tokens required to play.

Doctor Who: Exterminate! The Miniatures Game The first thing I want to talk about regarding this title is how great the miniatures are. I have had collectors buy up most of my stock who have no interest in playing the game but want all the miniatures. They are very well cast and could easily be used in other games or just as display pieces.  This is a skirmish game set in the Doctor Who universe, where you can play any of the currently released factions including Daleks, Cybermen, Judoon as well as the many incarnations of the Doctor and companions.  If you love Doctor Who this title and it’s miniatures belong in your collection!

 I am sure there are others I have missed in this article including The Expanse and some really great Star Wars titles. When it comes to buying a game just based on it’s branded character it really depends on if you are looking just to add it to a collection, never open it, keep it locked away and sell it on for way more than you paid for it 25 years later or if you are wanting to be part of a narrative and play out a great story in a world you already love. Maybe sometimes it’s best to buy 2 copies so you can do both those things. With the above titles buying 2 wouldn’t hurt.