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Vanguard of Baal

It's Blood Angel o'clock again baby yeah! One of the major learning points of Operation Orbital Death Fridge (better known as the Salamut IX campaign) was that while power armour is just plain awesome, it does rather want for something in the sneaking front. Especially when bright red... Also, with the way power levels and troop choice requirements work these days, having some cheap troop choices available would be for the win.


Enter stage right some scouts! These are the first of 30 scouts I've got planned in order to have lotsa options - and heck, an entire scout army if I want. They're split into ten snipers, ten boltgun chaps and an assault unit composed of five close combat scouts and these lads and lasses above. These days, the Astartes shotgun is a tasty option and they look kinda badass too.


Painting wise, I had a few choices to make. First of all, lets be honest, red is not a terribly stealthy colour so it makes little sense to worry too much about camouflage …
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Health and Safety in Our Hobby

Health and Safety Huh, What is it Good for? 


Many of you will read this with a sense of impending dread. You will associate health and safety with needless form filling, bureaucracy and high visibility jackets and (In the UK at least), the banning of conkers.
I work in the field of health and safety, and some of what you read in the papers is garbage and some of it (particularly where councils are concerned) is sadly true. I’ve worked primarily in the steel industry and on major infrastructure projects in the construction industry and in no way was health and safety unnecessary or superfluous in those situations.
In the last 40 years, the number of people killed by accidents at work in the UK has fallen from around 650 to 100. This is only the tip of the iceberg, and the serious injury rate has also halved within that time as well. Clearly health and safety is necessary and is (apparently) doing something.
Common Sense? 
Health and Safety isn’t just about the mythical beast ‘common sens…

Frostgrave Captain

When the time came to add the tenth member of my Frostgrave* warband, I was originally planning to get a treasure hunter. I've got a bunch of knights, so something zippier seemed sensible. But then, I learned they had since released the option for captains: a henchman who gains experience and manages your warband.

* In case you haven't heard of it, Frostgrave is a skirmish wargame set in the frozen ruins of the treasure-filled city of Felstad, where wizards hire a warband and go looking for swag. It's a nice, straightforward ruleset with surprising depth. It's designed to work best when played as a campaign, with each individual scenario being relatively quick to play.

This provided the perfect excuse to pick up a slightly more swanksome chap than the rugged folk who make up my other soldiers. The model itself is Hasslefree Miniatures' Daev (HFE010). It was a thoroughly enjoyable model to paint, and the sculpting of the face honestly astonished me.
It should be note…

Deathwatch Librarian

Having recently written the Astartes Librarian rules for our in-house (or in-bunker) Deathwatch ruleset, I was so taken with space wizards and Dewey decimals that I picked up a brush and painted the last of the unpainted dudes in the Deathwatch cabinet shelf.


With the exception of the halberd this is the Jensus Natorian model as it comes (I've never been a fan of the swirly designs on librarians' force weapons, so swapped it out). If the weapon and ethnicity swap wasn't a giveaway, he won't be Jensus Natorian in our own games of Deathwatch. Jon heard about how librarians work in our rules and was immediately down for playing him in November for our third mission (read about the last one here if you want a random spurt of space marines wrecking face).


Jon named him Tymon (pronounced Tay-mon) Ausonius. That's all there is of his character so far; Tymon Ausonius, Blood Ravens Codicier.
The painting process was fun. Dark skin helped offset his beefsome face, and glowin…

Deathwatch Terminator kitbash

To make up for having three of my Deathwatch dudes just having some flavour of basic bolter, here's a terminator with ALL THE GUNS. This way I'm not getting gypped by power levels.


The rationale behind this one man Swiss Army is that he's a walking support unit who can get into spaces the team's gunship can't.

The model
Conversion work was extremely minimal; I took the arm from the Salamanders terminator in Deathwatch: Overkill and added it to a normal terminator, then added a cyclone missile launcher because... well honestly the prospect of some long range anti-tank was what motivated the inclusion of a terminator in the first place. The storm bolter, meltagun and power fist are all just happy gun confetti.

The only other piece of conversion was the addition of a wire leading from the missile rack into the carapace, because... wires.

It wasn't immediately obvious to me how having a meltagun attached to one's power fist would enable the continued use of that…

Army showcase: Ostland State Militia

We here at the Beard Bunker have a habit of getting a little carried away sometimes. None more so than myself. During one of our role play sessions we ended up creating a town militia in order to fight off some gribbles and to protect the good people of Ferlangen. I got it in to my head to then go on a create an Empire army based on that session. So I hear by present the Ostland State Militia.


The force was mostly made up of bunch of models from my first abortive attempts to get into the Empire plus a couple of extra characters I picked based roughly on our role play characters. The exception is the captain, who was an existing model I picked up because I liked the feathers.


Captain Wilhelm Holtz. A man of much beard and even more feathers. He is straight forward honest type. A little too fond of Dwaven ale but he's pretty handy with a hammer.


The rest of the characters in the army are analogues of our role play characters. Our band consisted of a warrior priest, a fire wizard, a …

Interactive sector map: the Achernar Sector

Being a suggestible person, particularly where Photoshop projects are concerned, I was recently goaded into making a map of the Beard Bunker's own fictional playpen, the Achernar Sector. Today's post is about why and how I made it. If nothing else, it's a visual summing up of the crazy amounts of detail we've put into our little corner of the 41st Millennium.


You what mate? Interactive? Indeed. Once my Photoshop fugue dissipated, I sent the map to Tom (who suggested it in the first place because he needs to visualise something to think clearly about it... like me, but moreso).
He dove into the noosphere with wild abandon and stuffed his mechandendrites in all the fun places.
When he emerged, he had assigned links to coordinates on the map, such that if you click any of the names in the image, they'll take you to the relevant page on the campaign wiki, and because at this point Tom was entirely out of control and squinting with obsessive glee, he then put little map …