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Friday, January 22, 2016

Mechanicus Update & 200th Post!

Hey there Chaos lunatics! Old Man Chaos is back once again- though I don't have a lot of Chaos to offer this time. This is however my 200th posting, so I'll make it a double-sized extravaganza. Indeed, like the title says, I've got some brand new Mechanicus stuff to show off. So, without further delay...

I have always been interested in the workings of the Mechanicum. They are a vital part of the Imperium while also being very odd (which, considering the state of affairs in the 41st Millennium, is saying something). I always enjoy an appearance by a Magos in the 40K fiction. They are human, but in so many ways, practically alien.

It was sometime last year that I fell into collecting a Mechanicus army. I am not sure why GW had to make it 2 books- yeah, yeah, to make money, but it makes no sense. Anyways, there are rumors that they will be getting a consolidated book this year, plus a few units (a flyer I hope). That would be better than having to ally Skitarii and Mechanicus- and then flip around 2 books for the rules... ugh.

Both halves have some great models, and a lot to offer a player. I must admit- I was enamored by the Kastellan Robots. I love their size, and the fact that they are actual robots, and not servitors with human components. I like that they come from the Dark Age of Technology- predating the Imperium. I love the concept that they must be constantly programmed- not sentient AI for the Imperium, thank you...

Just the idea that these ancient, lumbering, and unfeeling behemoths are striding the battlefield, acting at the behest of a Tech-Priest- well, I just love that. Over the summer, I painted 2 of the Kastellans. However, over the holidays, I got 4 more (2 boxes). I immediately put them together and began painting them.

First, while I love the models, they are not exactly posable. Sure, you can put the arms wherever, but the body is static, and the legs only seem to go together only one way. I tried very hard to give them some motion- twisting their torsos, trying to get the legs into different positions, etc. For the most part, I succeeded. They have a range of motion now, making each robot look a little different.

One of the things I did not like about the models are their heads. I certainly dislike how GW painted them (just metallic). Kind of boring. After getting some inspiration on the Internet, I made the faceplate look like a computer screen, complete with green scroll lines and a target matrix. Not only did it solve the problem of the bland heads, it also allowed me to give the robots a sense of "looking"- slight variations on where I pained the target matrix makes it look like they are scanning in different directions. It adds to their "range of motion" as it were.

Finally, because I can't help myself, I HAD to convert one of them- I made one ripping apart an Ork. I had been tempted to make it a Chaos Marine, but I have some Ork bits and rarely use them- I figured why not. I used green stuff to make the pulled intestines- and presto, instant bisected Ork.

I also went a little further with the new 4 than I did with the first 2 I did. I put more Thunderhawk Blue stripes on the robots. I faded and scratched them a bit to simulate wear and tear. I wanted to differentiate them all ever so slightly (perhaps they are robots from different areas or forges). The stripes add some diversity without ruining the uniform look.

I am thrilled with the 6. I know its a lot points-wise, but I just love the idea of having six of these things marching towards their foes, each one a tough and durable monstrous creature. Together they look so damn intimidating!

Not to be outdone, my ranks of Kataphrons has also grown, thanks to my birthday and holidays. I made one set Grav destroyers (after years of Chaos being pummeled by Grav- it feels good for me to be the one wielding it in such quantities). I assembled the other box as Breachers. So now I have 6 Grav, 3 Plasma, and 3 Breachers. I may need a box or two more to round it out and give me more versatility.

I initially did not like the Kataphron models- but I must say they grew on me quickly. Like the Kastellan Robots, they don't have a lot of motion or possibility. Nor should they I suppose, as they are mindless servitors. I did try to make them a little dynamic by posing the guns and angling the heads to match.

When I used these a while ago, the Destroyers were most effective against Terminators and Space Marines. AP2 is nothing to sneeze at, and they fire so many shots! I am looking forward to trying out the Breachers next time I play (which should be sooner rather than later).

It is true that I love the fluff and concept of the mechanicus so much- I envision my army having just Katapron Servitors and Kastellan Robots methodically working their way up the field- an implacable, almost silent advance- silent save for the blurts of binaric code as they receive orders and send updates to their Mechanicus masters. Ooohhhh...

Nor have I ignored my Skitarii contingent. My friend Pete got me a box of Sicarians for my birthday. I decided to make them Infiltrators, because their helms make them look more robotic and inhuman. The models went together very quickly, despite their spindly looking nature.

They also painted up pretty fast, except for the wires. There, you really have to take your time, so that each wire is defined and that you don't get that paint on the model. The five of them came out really good, and they match the look and palette of the army. I do not know how useful they are on the battlefield, but I will be sure to put them to the test.

Overall, I prefer the Cult Mechanicus stuff compared to the Skitarii. I just like the idea of robots and mindless servitor drones comprising the entire force. The Skitarii are still (kinda sorta) human, and that doesn't excite me AS much. However, the Sicarians are mostly machine anyway, so perhaps they do indeed fit in. Oh---- I just wish they'd make a single book.

I have a ton of stuff on deck to build and paint. My wife got me Scarbrand- I assembled him, and I plan to paint him in a bit. I still have Mechanicus stuff in various stages of painting, so I want to do them first. It doesn't help that I painted an Ultramarine Drop Pod and a squad of the Centurions for my friend Brian. Technically, its my army, but I've been letting him use it so...

Lastly, I have been reading 40K fiction again (I dropped off it for a bit). I loved Ahriman: Unchained- great "conclusion" to his story. I also read Ravenlord. I loved that story. Corax may well be my favorite loyalist Primarch (though I think he talks too much despite his "taciturn" reputation). I can't wait to see what happens to him next. I also enjoyed the Cain story Old Soldiers Never Die. Commisar Cain going up against Plague Zombies (or "Revanants" as he calls them)- what's not to like. Blackadder and Baldrick in space fighting zombies is as fun as you'd expect. I also read I Am Slaughter by Dan Abnett, which kicks off a year long series about the Ork invasion of the 32nd Millennium. It was not one of Abnett's better efforts (when he is on- damn he is on), though I think he did a great job capturing the petty politicking of the High Lords of Terra. The action was just OK though. Of course, this is just book one. I am looking forward to see what comes next.

Well, that's all for now. Until next time...


  1. Admit it ... you couldn't resist putting a bit of Chaos into the Mechanicus!!! That gore ... that awful (meaning cool) red gore ^_^

    1. No sir- I could not resist. The pull of Chaos is so strong (at one point I was going to do Dark Mechanicus, but decided against it).