Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year for 2012!

All the best for 2012 to all my readers and their families. Hope to see you all next year.

Millest's Mediocre Meanderings will return mid January after a brief sojourn to the land of fire and ice! Until then, All the best!

The Power Armour Challenge - A Reminder

Hi folks,
just a quick reminder that the Power Armour Challenge Starts on the 12th of January. More information can now be found below. In addition there is now a small prize (£5 gbp gift voucher for Games Workshop Online - should I win my prize will be donated as cash to Help for Heroes) for the winning entry based on received votes for the painted entry in February.

Details of the Power Armour challenge!

This challenge is to model and paint a Power Armoured Character of your choice for an article and vote on the Millest's Mediocre Meanderings blog. The initial submission will be for confirming your entry and giving us a sneak peek at what you have planned. The final voting on the painted entries will be early February and another invite and article will be sent out for that.

Rules for the challenge:
  • Model must be codex legal - Space Marine, Chaos Space Marine or Inquisition based Codexes only!
  • Model must be in Power Armour only. Articifer Armour is allowed but no Terminator armour
  • No Chaplains, Librarians, Sorcerors or Dark Apolstles - This is purely a Commander/Captain only challenge
in time for the first deadline you must submit the following:
  • Name you want to be known by on the blog
  • Picture of the bits you'll be using
  • Chapter your model will be for
  • Name of your character if you have it.
any questions or comments please let me know and I will try to get them answered ASAP for you.
The deadline for submission of your starting entry is:
Thursday, 12 January 2012

all entries can be passed to me using the contact MMM links on the pages here and should have "power armour challenge entry" as the subject. alternatively more details can be found here:

Once the 12th of January has passed (or before if you get the pics in or have them ready) painting can begin, afther this completed and painted entries should be submitted by:
Thursday, 9 February 2012

After this point there will be a vote held and the winner will be announce on Sunday 19th February.

So folks get modelling and painting and if you decide to enter, Good Luck

Hammer and Anvil - Book Review

Hammer and Anvil by James Swallow
The Sisters of Battle are the Emperor’s most devout worshippers, fierce warriors preaching the purity of the Imperium and scourging their enemies with bolter and flamer. On a distant world, the Ecclesiarchy outpost of Sanctuary 101, was wiped out by an implacable foe - the fearless, soulless necrons. Now, a mission of the Sisterhood has returned to reconsecrate the site - but the metallic nightmares still lurk in the darkness, guarding a secret that has lain dormant for millennia. A vicious battle will be fought - one that can only end in the total destruction of the unrelenting xenos, or the annihilation of the proud Sororitas.
This is the second Sisters of Battle title from James Swallow (third if you count the audio book) and one that keeps the reader attached to the members of the sisterhood that we first met back in 2006. Whilst this novel is set in a similar time to the previous, it does show that when an author takes a break from the characters it can often be quite hard to reacquire, let alone acquaint, themselves with them in quite the same manner. In this case this sadly leads to a book that leaves the reader wondering if they’d been short changed as the characters were completely different. In the case of this title, i think however luckily that hasn’t been an issue which, for me, was a huge relief as this book works well as a standalone rather then a sequel.

As a brief overview it has taken ten years for the Sisterhood to be able to return to Sanctuary 101 and reconsecrate the site. But as a result of politics, the Sisters are accompanied by Tegas of the Adeptus Mechanicus for some purpose of his own. And Canoness Sepherenia has some deeper purpose of her own, beyond the reconsecration of their convent and memorialising their fallen sisters. Strangely, the bodies of the sisters previously slain by the necron ten years before had previously been claimed by the Ordos Xenos. Things become that much murkier when the sisters find a strange, single metallic head. An alien artifact? The necron. To tell more would be a spoiler but suffice to say we get some fantastic action and some intriguing looks in to the Necron world.

As usual with James’ writing its crisp, to the point, no added frills and like the sisters, battle hardened to keep the blood and glory brigade happy. Add to this a battle with the Necrons, as well as facing off against the double dealing machinations of other parties and it’s a title that really does keep you glued from the first page to the last. I look forward to sharing more of the sisters exploits in future titles. My only real gripe with the whole book is that it was clearly written as a Necron codec release piece and in some cases takes showcasing the new range/models (albeit in a story form) more seriously then the action. Still for me as its a Sisters of Battle book its redeemed and gets a respectable three and a half out of five.

Available from:
Hammer and Anvil by James Swallow
Softback • ISBN 9781849700658

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hobby Request - Leman Russ Magnatisation!!

Hi Folks,
looking to start work on my Leman Russes and I am considering magnatising them however I cant seem to find any guides for it. If anyone has a good guide or tutorial for magnatising the Leman Russ could you please drop me an email or pop the link in the comments below.
Any help would be great and would definately be appreciated.
Thanks in advance

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Salvation's Reach - Book Review

Salvation's Reach by Dan Abnett
The Tanith First-And-Only embark on a desperate mission that could decide the fate of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade in the thirteenth book of this popular Imperial Guard series.

The Ghosts of the Tanith First-and-Only have been away from the front line for too long. Listless, and hungry for action, they are offered a mission that perfectly suits their talents. The objective: the mysterious Salvation’s Reach, a remote and impenetrable stronghold concealing secrets that could change the course of the Sabbat Worlds campaign. But the proposed raid is so hazardous, it’s regarded as a suicide mission, and the Ghosts may have been in reserve for so long they’ve lost their edge. Haunted by spectres from the past and stalked by the Archenemy, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and his Ghosts embark upon what could be their finest hour… or their final mission.

Yet again Dan Abnett does it in style!! He rights another book that I end up spending all night reading rather than sleeping - my mind loves your work but my body really doesn't Mr Abnett! As followers of the series will know Salvation’s Reach is book number 13 in the Gaunt’s Ghosts series following Gaunt and his now somewhat ragtag regiment.

Blood Pact, book number 12, sets this novel up nicely and suffice it to say that at the end of Blood Pact the regiment of the Tanith First leaves Balhaut for the planet Menazoid Sigma, which as we come to find, is a “dispersal point.” Basically a mustering ground for regiments that will be shipping off to war in the near future. The Tanith First have been volunteered for a covert operation, presented by Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt to the Warmaster’s High Command. Their target as the title suggests is a a place called “Salvation’s Reach”.

Once again Dan Abnett draws on all our old favourites from the previous books (well the survivours anyway); the knife-edge that is Major Rawne, Gol Kolea, Ban Daur, Elodie Dutana (Daur’s significant other), Commissar Viktor Hark, Junior-Commissar Nahum Ludd, and Tona Criid to name a few. Together, along with a fresh influx of Belladon troops, and as such a new slew of characters, our intrepid heroes head out to mount a covert assault on the place known as Salvation’s Reach.

They have with them a person who is key to the operation. A defector of the Archenemy. His head is filled with secret know-how and information that is vital to the mission and it’s success. Naturally, his safety is of the utmost importance, and likewise, challenged at every turn! Rawne, and the self-appointed “Suicide Kings” are charged with the safe-keeping of this person after an attempt on the defector’s life.

After much travel through the warp, and one outstanding void battle later (better in my mind then any of the battles so far written), the Ghosts launch a two-pronged attack on Salvation’s Reach. One; straight through the front door, loud, large, and in charge. The second; two small insertion raids that are carried out behind enemy lines so to speak. Gaunt leads this sneaky attack on key areas of Salvation’s Reach, in order to gather vital intelligence and artifacts that Imperial forces can use to dismantle the Sanguinary Lords and finally win the Sabbat Worlds Crusade!

It’s an action packed story filled with battles, guard, marines and lots of other cool events. My only disappointment with the whole book is that the involvement of the three marines, from three different chapters, was never really explained, but I'm hoping that will be explained in the next and 14th book in the series. Salvation’s Reach has proven, once again that Dan Abnett is at the top of his game. And even though authors like Aaron Dembski-Bowden are giving him a run for his money, this book clearly demonstrates his mastery of literature. A thoroughly engaging read, this book is bloody brilliant! A full 5 out of 5 for me and I cant wait for the subsequent story arc this has just launched.

Available from:
Salvation's Reach by Dan Abnett
Hardback • ISBN 9781844168200

Blog News - MMM is now on Facebook and Twitter

Hi folks,
as we head in to the new year I have decided to engage the beast that is Social Media, from today MMM now has a direct twitter page and a brandnew facebook group. both of these can be accessed through the Contact and Follow link at the top of the page. I would like to see how this experiment with social media goes before making it full time so any thought or feedback would be great.

To help ease everyone in here are the current details from the page!

Find Millest's Mediocre Meanderings on Twitter
You can now find the latest blog posts, any other random thoughts and general news from the blog and from me at the new twitter feed:

Millest's Mediocre Meanderings on Facebook
You can also now find the latest blog posts, any other random thoughts and general news from the blog and from me at the new Facebook group here:

Contact Millest's Mediocre Meanderings

If you wish to drop MMM a line about any articles, to submit anything for posting or generally want to discuss the blog or hobbies then please Email me here!

About Millest's Mediocre Meanderings

Millest lives in a woody little glade, In Deepest Darkest Suffolk, and tries to make the most of it!
This is just a little blog about me and my interests. The master of mayhem, the lord of laughs and the king of knuts!

The Outcast Dead - Book Review

The Outcast Dead by Graham McNeill
The galaxy is burning. The Emperor’s loyal primarchs prepare to do battle with Warmaster Horus and his turncoat Legions on the black sand of Isstvan. Such dark times herald new and yet more terrible things still to come, and when Astropath Kai Zulane unwittingly learns a secret that threatens to tip the balance of the war, he is forced to flee for his life. Alongside a mysterious band of renegades, he plunges into the deadly underworld of Terra itself, hunted like a criminal by those he once trusted. In the face of betrayal, Kai must decide where his own loyalties lie and whether some truths should be buried forever.

If you’re expecting many of the massed battles, revelations, hints or just downright breath taking imagery of the earlier books in the series then I’m afraid you might be a tad disappointed by this book. The book doesn’t have these things but it does hold its own, however as a device to move the plot on this novel works wonders. OK so there are some bits that leave you thinking what just happened but for the most the book definitely shifts things along and also manages to deliver an entertaining and action packed read.

The novel focuses Outcast Dead focuses on Kai Zulane, the Astropath and one of two survivors of a doomed starship. Forced to psychically endure the deaths of the entire crew, he is sent to The City of Sight, the headquarters of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica on Terra, to undergo treatment. While there an unidentified character (I don’t want to spoil things) sets in motion a series of events that hides a terrible secret with Kai. This part of the book primarily focuses on character development, setting the scene for the conflict which occurs at the end of the first act. Many of the fans of the Horus Heresy series may find this part of the story a little lacking I’m regards to action but as with most novels by Graham McNeil the second half of the book really takes off once the scene is set!

Where the first act of the novel focuses on story and character development, the second is almost pure action. In this part we are introduced to the mysterious namesake of the novel, a group of Marines with a mixed background that we don’t get the full story on unfortunately! One could draw many conclusions as to who or what they have done but to be honest after a few pages of action those worries are put aside quickly. From here on in things get wild, lots of action and in true Dr Who styling, lots of running. On top of this we get to meet a whole new face to the Heresy and one that delves deep in to the history of the imperium.

The Outcast Dead may not be the most exciting or my favourite Horus Heresy book but it still delivers. While, like may Graham McNeill books, there was a very slow start that didn’t grip you the attention to detail of the planet and the the inner workings of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica was brilliant. The novel also gets a tick in my box as the focus on non-superhuman characters is something I would like to see more of (you know maybe some Imperial Army action soon please Black Library???). Yes the start was slow but having read Graham McNeill before I knew to expect this and took time to revel in what was shown to us. The second part of the book however flew by, the escapades of the novels namesakes certainly wasn’t slow and left you wanting more action, again I don’t want to give too much away at this point as it’s a good story.

The novel once it gets going is well paced and chock full of action, though most people will not enjoy this “low-level” almost squad based plot, but the beauty in this book is the way Graham McNeill weaves, as he so expertly does so often, the plot elements and characters he has set up earlier in to the latter half of the book (not to mention some from other books) then not only does this set up for revelations in this novel but helps for the basis for follow on books from the other writers. So with all of this weighing on its side the book gets a damn fine 4 out of 5 for a book that doesn’t look much to start with it certainly delivers.

Available from:
The Outcast Dead by Graham McNeill
Softback • ISBN 9781849700863

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2012 from MMM!

Blogging will be spotty to non-exsistant over Christmas and new year but hope after a great holiday season you'll be back!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Forge World Newsletter #293 - Demios Predator, Macharius Omega and Re-releases

As always the important bits reproduced below:

Hi there, Merry Christmas from all of us at Forge World! The dust has settled from shipping a record number of festive orders, and the eagerly awaited Imperial Armour Volume 11: The Doom of Mymeara has been released. We’re not finished yet though!
In today’s newsletter we’re excited to announce six releases that will be shipping from the 6th January. So if all that upcoming turkey and festivity leaves you craving amazing resin kits over the next week or so, read on for more...

Macharius Omega
While the sins of innovation and initiative are frowned upon by the Adeptus Mechanicus, new patterns and designs of weapons and armoured vehicles are still created. The Macharius Omega is one such vehicle, created with a single focus, that of the battlefield deployment of the Omega Pattern Plasma Blastgun.
The Macharius Omega, designed by Stuart Williamson, is a large full resin kit featuring some incredible interior detail. This open-topped super-heavy tank also includes two unique crew figures: a Cadian gunner and a calculus-servitor. This mighty war machine is available to pre-order now for release in the week commencing 6th January, and full rules for using the Macharius Omega in games of Apocalypse can be found in Imperial Armour Apocalypse Second Edition.

Deimos Pattern Predator
The Predator is a highly effective medium tank designed to provide Space Marine detachments with heavy fire support in the heat of battle. An ancient and revered design, cited by the Codex Astartes as a spiritual mentor, no less, there are almost as many patterns of Predator as there are of the ubiquitous Rhino hull it is based upon.

One such variant is the Deimos Pattern Predator, first issued en-masse to the Space Marine Legions of the Great Crusade. Artificer-crafted by the finest machine-wrights of the great forge-complexes of Mars, the Deimos Pattern Predator has since been modified to the ‘Annihilator’ variant by those Chapters who are supplied with this pattern.
The Deimos Pattern Predator, designed by Daren Parrwood and Will Hayes, is a fantastically detailed and iconic design, available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing 6th January. This complete resin and plastic kit contains sufficient parts to build either a Destructor pattern or an Annihilator pattern Predator, (please note that our Rhino/Predator Reinforced Armour set is not compatible with this model).

Product Re-releases
We’re excited to announce that a few old favourites from our range are now once again available to order. These detailed miniatures have been repackaged into sets of figures for ease of ordering.

The Death Korps Commissar Set, Death Korps Tank Commander set and Inquisitor Solomon Lok and Retinue all designed by Simon Egan, are available to pre-order now for despatch in the week commencing 6th January.


OMG!!!! more plasma kill and awesome looking predator, i really really really want one now, wasnt too decided on the pre-heresy bits but that boy is sweet!

The Power Armour Character Challenge - Induction

Hi folks,
time for something new on Millest's Mediocre Meandering. Its time for me to introduce the first ever MMM challenge open to all comers, so folks as followers of the blog its time for you to have chance to join the fun. This event is the Power Armour challenge!

This challenge is to create a Power Armoured Character of your choice for an article and vote on the Millest's Mediocre Meanderings blog. Voting will be early February and another invite and article will be sent out for that.

Rules for the challenge:
  • Model must be codex legal - Space Marine, Chaos Space Marine or Inquisition based Codexes only!
  • Model must be in Power Armour only. Articifer Armour is allowed but no Terminator armour
  • No Chaplains, Librarians, Sorcerors or Dark Apolstles - This is purely a Commander/Captain only challenge
in time for the deadline you must submit the following:
  • Name you want to be known by on the blog
  • Picture of the bits you'll be using
  • Chapter your model will be for
  • Name of your character if you have it.
any questions or comments please let me know and I will try to get them answered ASAP for you.
The deadline for submission of your starting entry is:
Thursday, 12 January 2012

all entries can be passed to me using the contact MMM links on the pages here and should have "power armour challenge entry" as the subject. alternatively more details can be found here:

There will eventually be a vote for these models after the closing date (on or around the 8th Feb) and initially the winner will get a feature article on the blog but if we can blag it or people contribute there may be prizes for winners.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's in my hands!!! Imperial Armour 11 arrives!!!

Hi folks,
it's here and in my hands, well it's on the side but you get the idea! Any questions on the book, the rules or just in general let me know in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them.

First impressions are "yay, its signed" followed by "ye gads! this cover feels rather thick.", it would seem the improved production doesn't just relate to the artwork but seems to extend to the quality of the physical book itself!

So any questions get asking!



The back story is ok, and intriguing end but not the big twist they promised on their YouTube video. Still good story about the attacks and the end leaves it open for a second book or at least some more eldar love from forgeworld. The problem is telling you anything really does spoil it as its not till like the last 2-3 pages of back story we find out why they attack and its a very "hinted" reason rather then a definative one and a somewhat shoddy reason to start a whole war, thats for sure!!
With regards the corsairs there is a nice section detailing some corsair "warbands" and their colour schemes. Not to mention some awesome colour plates of vehicles. Ruleswise as one would expect drawers heavily on codex eldar but offers the following units:
  • Corsair prince
  • Blade sworn retinue
  • Void dreamer - pseudo warlocks
  • Voidstorm squad - cqc specialists
  • Harlequins
  • Craftworld outcasts
  • Dark eldar kabalite warriors
  • Corsair squads - guardians
  • Wasp walkers
  • Jetbikes
  • Falcons
  • Venoms
  • Hornets
  • Nightwings
  • Night spinners
  • Phoenix bombers
  • Warp hunters - falcon variant
  • Firestorm
In short all the best bits from all the eldar books, and way to many choices!!!
As for IG, Titans and SW no new toys (well apart from the crassus tanks) but doesnt stop me wanting more stuff. only hope if they do a second we get some more things like cadian based engineers (ala DKOK mole mortars etc or elysian lascutters) but still the colour prints are good.
Any other questions?

Mondays Merry Mirthful Meanderings - 19.12.11

Happy Holidays Folks!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Forge World Newsletter #292 - Imperial Armour 11 Released!

As always the important bits reproduced below:

Hi there, Just when you thought Forge World had revealed all of its pre-Christmas releases, in today’s newsletter we are delighted to announce that Imperial Armour Volume 11: The Doom of Mymeara is now available to order.

Imperial Armour Volume 11: The Doom of Mymeara
The Imperial ice world of Betalis III is under attack from the combined might of three massive Eldar war hosts. Their motivation for attacking this seemingly insignificant planet is unknown, but General Myndoras Odon of the Cadian 6th Armoured Regiment is intent on bringing about the total destruction of these Eldar invaders.

Wielding the might of three Imperial Guard regiments and joined by the savage strength of Bran Redmaw’s Great Company and the colossal power of Titans from the Legio Gryphonicus, the Eldar of Craftworld Mymeara, Craftworld Alaitoc and their Corsair allies may soon regret attacking one of the Emperor’s worlds.
Imperial Armour Volume 11: The Doom of Mymeara provides a detailed account of the Eldar invasion, as well as background and rules for its protagonists, the Eldar of Craftworlds Mymeara and Alaitoc, their Corsair kin and the forces of the Imperium. Also included are profiles for new special characters, machines of war, and a new Eldar Warrior Aspect squad, the Shadow Spectres.

This 224-page full colour hardback book, written by Talima Fox, is packed with vehicle and infantry profiles, three Apocalypse datasheets, a campaign section and an Eldar Corsair army list. In addition the book also contains a detailed background and technical section covering the existing Forge World Eldar range.

We’re still able to ensure pre-Christmas delivery for this book as long as you select Express delivery when you place your order. The first 500 copies of this eagerly awaited book ordered either online or over the telephone will also be signed by the author, Talima Fox, making an ideal Christmas gift for any fan of Warhammer 40,000.

Thanks, Ead Brown Customer Service Manager Forge World

Well I must say they did keep the late release of this one quiet!!! Still pre-orders in and hopefully there will be some new cadian themed toys in the new year for me to drool over :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Millest's Blog Exchange - A Beginning!

Well folks,
I think as we approach the ripe old age of 300 posts it's time for something new on MMM, an idea borrowed from Ron at FTW and Natfak on Faeit212, its time for us to start a blog exchange!

So what is the Blog Exchange?
It is basically an exchange of blogs on each others blog rolls, a link for a link. It's so simple it amazes me i didn't think of this before!

As we approach the 300th post on the blog it would be nice to start to pull my followers, occasional visitors and people I follow together and start sharing our links so we can all get to see new and exciting blogs.

So how do you get involved?
Quite simply comment below this post, email me direct using the contact buttons or even comment on on the subsequent "Friday Finds" posts (these are now been re-purposed to showcase links from new blogs that join the lists) providing me the link to your blog and letting me know that you've added me to your blog rolls. On confirmation of this you will be added to the following Friday's post and added to me current blog rolls.
If in doubt of which posts just use click on the keyword exchange and it should pull up any of my posts on the Blog Exchange for you to comment on and get added.

Hopefully that all makes sense and you'd like to join! Keep an eye out for the first new "Friday Finds" next week.

Blog News - Clear out time!

Hi folks,
having another clear out of projects and bits that are never ever going to see their full potential so if your after that Forgeworld Marine youve been after for a while, those limited edition cadians youve been eyeing up or just need that extra set of arms to finish your squad head over to my eBay page where you can find all manner of goodies! It can be found here:
For extra ease there is also a nice conveinient link on the top right of the page now. For any followers who bid and contact me special postal deals (only pay for one items postage, everything else is free) can be organised.
Hopefully this link on the right will become permenant and I can keep the auctions updated and filled with fresh bits.
Thanks and happy bidding!

Nocturne - Book Review

Nocturne by Nick Kyme
War has come to Nocturne. After decades of planning and slaughter Nihilan has mustered a vast armada of Dragon Warriors, dark eldar and Chaos renegades. In the name of vengeance he launches his assault on the Salamanders. Unrest plagues the Chapter’s ranks in the face of this invasion. A prophecy from the Tome of Fire has foretold of a saviour or destroyer, the psyker Librarian Dak’ir. As the attack begins and the Salamanders marshal their armies for battle, Dak’ir’s destiny is finally realised. Meanwhile, amidst the enemy fleet, Tsu’gan of the Firedrakes is held captive. With hell and fire all around them, a reckoning between these bitter rivals is at hand – its resolution will see the prophecy fulfilled and decide the fate of Nocturne.

The Salamanders are against the anvil. With the Librarian Dak’ir in chains, subject to scrutiny over an ancient prophecy that names him savior or destroyer of Nocturne and his Chapter, the Salamanders are divided over his fate. If he is a doom he must be destroyed for the greater good of Nocturne, but… what if he is their salvation through fire? And in the dark depths of space Brother Tsu’gan, believed dead by his Chapter, fights to survive on-board the Hell-Stalker, home to the traitorous Dragon Warriors. He will be tested like never before, all the while the malicious sorcerer Nihilan’s plans to bring about the death of his world are coming to fruition.

The Salamanders’s darkest hour is upon them. Their enemies are legion and possess something that could destroy them forever. But the Salamanders, and all of Mt Deathfire’s sons, are Fireborn, and if they are to die, they will die in the fires of battle in the living hell that is Nocturne! And in this cauldron of war, the future of a chapter and a warband will be decided.

The characters in this novel come to a stunning head as their stories reach the conclusion of their arc. Dak’ir and Tsu’gan take the center stage as always as Dak’ir’s destiny as the Ferro Ignis comes to a blazing crescendo, and Tsu’gan’s trials finally reach their end. But we get plenty of other point of views through the story, and entirely new ones like Val’in the aspirant through whom we see the trials that all Fireborn must go through to become a Brother; Forgemaster Argos who gives us a look at the inner workings of one of Nocturne’s most dangerous weapons; Vel’cona the and even some returning older characters like Chaplain Elysius, Librarian Pyriel and Sergeant Praetor.

The enemies are not lacking with characters who keep us fascinated with the battle. Sorcerer Nihilan is the central enemy, still wishing for nothing more then revenge, but the traitor Astartes may harbour another desire, something far worse than revenge. His Glaive warriors, Ramlek and Ekrine return, with new members Thrak’n and Nor’hak, and alongside them the Archon An’scur, and many wicked Dark Eldar at his back. The traitor Marines Malevolent return as well, with the mystery of why they are there? And just what has happened to them that they refuse to speak of?

The action of the novel is fantastic. Nocturne is a living hell, as its inhabitants so eloquently put it, and in its cauldron many battles are fought, and Nocturne does not sit them out. Magma flows, vicious scaled monsters, earthquakes and dust clouds clutter the battles, adding a new flavour to the traditional Astartes battles. The diverse forces under Nihilan’s command, Kroot, Dark Eldar, Dragon Warriors and hordes of cultists makes for diverse battle, but of course we have plenty of fire from the Salamanders. Even void-warfare from the Lord of the Burning Skies Dac’tyr that is a nice contrast to the siege and running battles on the surface, and the Firedrakes finally take to battle in what all 1st Companies are known for, Terminator armour. I only hope the arc’s including the Marines Malevolent get some extra play and we see more of this obscure and intriguing chapter from the Black Library.

The pacing of the novel is great. Kyme keeps the story going for different characters, the atmosphere shifting for each one as the story shifts from Librarian, to warrior, to Apothecary, to Chaplain and to Traitor. The story never slows down as new revelations and old legacies are brought to the surface. And of course the chapters are nicely divided into two segments, each segment of an appropriate length that is easy to read and engrossing at the same time. Overall a solid 4 stars from me for a nice round up to the entire series.

Available from:
Nick Kyme
softback • ISBN 9781849700887

Monday, December 05, 2011

Forge World Newsletter #290 - Rapiers, Contemptor Autocannons, Minotaur Pads!

As always the important bits reproduced below:

Hi there, with December and the festive season upon us, there’s still time to receive your orders before Christmas. In today’s early newsletter we’ve got a new Contemptor pattern Dreadnought weapon, two sets of Space Marine shoulder pads and a brand new (old?) Imperial Guard war machine

Graia Pattern Rapier Laser Destroyer
The Rapier Armoured Carrier is an ancient device, one of many such technological relics of the dawning days of Mankind’s stellar empire; a bulky, armoured track unit which mounts a powerful antomantic reactor. The Rapier is often armed with a powerful quad lascannon known as a laser destroyer. This has become synonymous with the Rapier Armoured Carrier itself, and the
Graia Pattern Rapier Laser Destroyer is perhaps the most common design of this potent anti-tank weapon.

Designed by Will Hayes, the Graia Pattern Rapier Laser Destroyer is a finely detailed full resin kit, which contains parts to build optional Cadian crew, and can be used in several different armies. You can download experimental rules for the Rapier Laser Destroyer from the Forge World website.

Contemptor Pattern AutocannonThis week’s second release is another weapon option for the ancient and hallowed Contemptor Dreadnought. The eagerly-awaited Contemptor Pattern Autocannon, designed by Will Hayes, is fully compatible with both the standard Contemptor Dreadnought and the Relic Contemptor.

Minotaurs Shoulder Pad SetsA mysterious and darkly famed Chapter, the Minotaurs played a major part in the prosecution of the Badab War. Adding their full Chapter strength to the Loyalist cause, they were most lauded for their brutal and unrelenting near-destruction of the Secessionist Lamenters during the Battle of Optera.

Designed by Simon Egan, these two sets of detailed Minotaurs Shoulder Pads and Minotaurs Terminator Shoulder Pads are compatible with the full range of Space Marine infantry available both from Forge World and Games Workshop.

Thanks, Ead Brown Customer Service Manager Forge World

I must say I really really want a rapier - strangely I was only thinking about them last night and wondering what happened to them models-wise!! Seems to me I must start thinking of more things and who knows they might appwear. I wonder if that will work for generic Skull Icon doors (for chapters like Silver Skulls etc) and pads from Forgeworld? I doubt it but worth a try.
The main thing is that Contemptor with autocannons though - goddammit that thing rocks, must resist buying one and starting marines. Certainly sweet and cant wait to see a painted one!

Mondays Mirthful Meandering - 05.12.11

Saturday, December 03, 2011

A Tale of Some Gamers - Update 03.12.11

Dan's Update
Hi there! It’s been a while but I have some updates.

As Dave has previously eluded to I have splurged out on my first Forge World goodies, notably the Relic Contemptor. I have also got a set of Smurf Termie pads to adorn my Assault termies, which will roll out in a later challenge. But for the 750 challenge I have been playing about with my list to fit in a sucka punch dreadnought, yes this means that I’ve had to drop some options on some units but I feel that it is worth getting the dreadnought.

Aside from splashing the pennies, I have been prepping and modelling. I have now built my predator tank which is due for an undercoat anytime soon. I have also based and filed my chaplain, who now has an undercoat. I have been carefully filling down flashing on my Contemptor ready to build and base. I have also been modelling some other items that were left from my battleforce, I now have a rhino and a scout squad at my disposal. Also I have started work on a Devestator squad and a termie or two.

A quick review of the Contemptor as I’m sure, like Chris and Dave, you’ve been chomping at the bit to see one of these. So I opted for the relic variant purely for the aesthetics, for the weapons choice I have a multi-melta and the combat fist. First impressions were that the mould was really clean and the level of detail on the torso is fantastic. On closer inspection you appreciate the detail to attention on the rest of the model, things like the abdomen and the greaves. I particularly like the multi-melta with the canisters positioned behind the weapon rather than below. I’m also impressed with the size and stature of this model (after piecing it together with blu-tack), it stands more twice the height of a based marine and just looks the nuts. Really looking forward to posing and painting this one!

Millest's Update

Hi Folks,
Like Dan its been more prep for me! I've gone from just building a second platoon, 2 special weapons for my first platoon and a tank to building the following list of odds and sods:
  • Company HQ
  • 2 Special Weapons for the first platoon
  • 2 Special Weapons for the first platoon HQ
  • replacing some bareheaded models
  • 3 Lascannon Teams
  • Leman russ exterminator
  • contemplating a Leman russ eradicator
On top of this I'm also trying to work on my terrain, plus a chimera for my =I= and other side projects however all the prep on the models above is done, the cloth is painted and its time for their flak armour on Monday. My biggest issue is at present I am awaiting a replacement hull for my russ from FW, despite not opening my parcel for sometime (and not knowing if it was FW or RM that are to blame) FW have graciously agreed to send out a replacement hull for my russ after discovering mine was warped and cracked - so this week FW get a two thumbs up from me for customer service.
So all being well however next week will see the return of pics of progress from me (and hopefully Dan) as well as some shots of other projects I'm working on to whet your appetites.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Forge World Newsletter #289 - Landraider Proteus Variant & Interview Video!

As always the important bits reproduced below:

Hi there, In this week’s newsletter we’re excited to unleash a new Land Raider variant, available to order now, and a fantastic video focussing on this iconic and venerable armoured vehicle. With December and the festive season looming, we’ve also got a reminder about our order deadlines for pre-Christmas delivery.
Christmas Order Deadlines
On the eve of the festive period, Forge World’s Customer Service team and Despatch warehouse is working around the clock to ensure your Christmas orders are shipped as quickly as possible.
We’ve got full details of our imminent order deadlines at the end of this newsletter, but there’s still plenty of time to receive your orders in time for Christmas, so please order as early as possible.
Land Raider Armoured Proteus
The ancient and venerable Land Raider has served the Adeptus Astartes since its earliest beginnings, and many variants and patterns are recorded in the data-stacks of Mars. Adepts of the hallowed Adeptus Mechanicus collectively refer to the oldest of these as the ‘Proteus’ patterns, and examples of these mighty armoured vehicles that survive into the dark days of the 41st Millennium are held in the highest regard, war-relics beyond compare to the Chapters that possess them.
Believed by certain war-savants to be an example of sacred machine-evolution, the Land Raider Armoured Proteus displays early features of the MkIIb Land Raider, enclosing its twin-linked lascannons in bulky armoured sponsons and adding to this formidable anti-armour firepower with a limited traverse twin-linked heavy bolter recessed into the forward hull armour.
The Land Raider Armoured Proteus, designed by Phil Stutcinskas, is a highly detailed full resin kit, linking the design of our various Land Raider kits together and providing an excellent centrepiece for any Space Marine force. The side sponsons feature blank doors, and in addition the side hatches from our Rhino Door Sets are fully compatible with this kit just as the side doors from our Land Raider Door Sets are with the standard Land Raider Proteus. This kit is available to order now for immediate despatch.
Forge World Visual Feed – Designing the Land Raider Proteus and the Deimos Pattern Rhino
The original Rogue Trader plastic Land Raider boxed set is a true classic, treasured by many veteran gamers, and the process of updating it to create the Proteus Land Raiders has been a suitably reverent one. To give you an insight into how we designed the various ‘old style’ Space Marine vehicle kits we’ve been working on recently, Tony Cottrell has recorded an exclusive video which is now available to view online. We hope you enjoy it!

Forge World Christmas Ordering Deadlines
Standard Delivery:
Thursday 1st December – Australasia, Asia, Far East (including Japan), Africa, the Caribbean, South & Central America, APO addresses and static BFPOs
Monday 5th December – Eastern Europe, USA and Canada
Thursday 8th December – Western Europe
Tuesday 13th December – UK and Operational BFPOs
Express Delivery:
Tuesday 13th December – Worldwide
Thursday 15th December – UK
The Customer Service team are standing by to assist with any and all enquiries you may have - from product availability and hobby advice to helping to explain the difference between a Titan and a Dreadnought to a confused relative.
You can call us on:
0115 916 8177 within the UK
011 44 115 916 8177 from the US and Canada
00 44 115 916 8177 from much of Europe.
Our opening hours are 0900 to 1800 (GMT) Monday to Friday and 0900 to 1700 (GMT) on Saturday.
Thanks, Ead Brown Customer Service Manager Forge World

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dressed to Kill - Book Review

Dressed to Kill by charlotte Madison
"My fingers close around the trigger. I pause for a split second to think about the bullets I am about to spray across the ground. After today, I'll no longer be the new girl" Captain Charlotte Madison is a typical 26 year old woman. She looks forward to her weekly instalment of gossip magazines, worries she is developing bingo wings and is planning her fairytale wedding. She also flies Apache gunships for a living. Britain's first ever female Apache pilot, Charlotte knows exactly what it's like to fight on the frontline in the Army's deadliest machine. During the daring Jugroom Fort rescue, Charlotte became the first British pilot since WWII to use all her ammunition in one mission. She has not only mastered the skills required to fly an Apache and shoot from the air, but also earned the respect and admiration of her male colleagues, proving that whatever they could do, she could do just as well.From her intensive training to her tours of duty in Afghanistan, Charlotte shares all the dramatic details: The exhaustion of being confined in an airless cockpit for up to eleven hours The adrenalin rush of lethal, full-scale mid-air assault What it is like to kill in the name of duty Her female perspective on what being at war is really like DRESSED TO KILL is the extraordinary, gritty and exhilarating story of a young woman at war in a dangerous, mostly male, world.
Having read Ed Macy's Apache and Hellfire, and already knowing a little of the complexities of the Apache, it's target acquisition capabilities, and the weapon systems, made this book a very readable addition, showing as it does the varying human elements which go to make up our superlative AH Regiments, and the incomparable personnel who fly and fight these awesome machines.

The book gives a good insight into the training of Apache crews, particularly the aspects of the few but incredibly effective female pilots who have mastered both the technology, and the intrusion into a male dominated profession.

This is the story of "Charlotte Madison” from her time at an English boarding school through to her army service. She is obviously a determined and talented young lady and this is reflected in her success in joining the elite group of Apache pilots, and being the first woman to do so.

The life of an Apache pilot has already been told through two exceptional books by Ed Macy (and I do recall his account of Charlotte) so this is not new ground, with the obvious exception of the female perspective. And the female perspective is an interesting one and there is a distinct difference between Charlotte as a military pilot and as an off duty 'girlie' looking at Cosmo and worrying about the smell of 'the boys feet'.

Her perspective is perhaps less technical then Ed Macy's but gives a wider view of camp life in Afghanistan, the sights, the smells and the atmosphere. There is some sexist resentment of her during her training, but it was good to note that once she arrived in theatre, she was very much part of a team, and a very effective team at that. As mentioned before, the Apache is an attack helicopter, so the pilot's job is to provide air cover to ground troops and to use the vast array of offensive weaponry to take the fight to the enemy and, let us not forget, to kill them. So we are reminded that this may be one of the most exciting flying roles, it is also a deadly one and, I think I am correct in saying, the only role in the Army when a woman can have front line operational duties.

So we read about how she always wants to pee when out on a mission and how uncomfortable it is, and then we read about her putting a hellfire missile into a building, obliterating it and the insurgents inside and being the first UK Apache pilot to use up every bit of ammunition in a mission and to return to base 'guns dry'. She also recounts very well the difficulty of 'normal life' when away from the intensity of the war, hard to go for a party with your friends in London when the week before you were mowing down bad guys having not slept for 18 hours....Her leaving the Army is rather abrupt and she does not share much background into this.

You end up thinking you would like Charlotte if you met her, but also thinking you would want her above you in a helicopter if you were a member of our armed forces. So while the thunder might have been taken by the Ed Macy books, this remains a worthwhile and interesting book and reflects the intense and courageous service of our Apache pilots.

Charlotte puts clearly, in a very readable way, all of the pressures under which she, and all of the others operate the British Apache, and how she coped with them. I found myself becoming so immersed that I read her book form cover to cover. Charlotte also comes across as a very focussed woman, who with all the skill she gained dealt with formidable scenarios on a daily basis, and fulfilled her role admirably. This skill and focus is reflected in the layout of the book, there are no conventional chapter breaks just short sharp sections detailing a new aspect of her life and the mission, rather like the experience of flying she’s talking about. A great book and a must have alongside Ed Macys books. A solid 4 and a half stars from me.

Available from:

Charlotte Madison
Hardback • ISBN 9780755319602

Empire of the Clouds - Book Review

Empire of the Clouds: When Britain's Aircraft Ruled the World by James Hamilton-Paterson
In 1945, Britain was the world's leading designer and builder of aircraft - a world-class achievement that was not mere rhetoric. And what aircraft they were. The sleek Comet, the first jet airliner. The awesome delta-winged Vulcan, an intercontinental bomber that could be thrown about the sky like a fighter. The Hawker Hunter, the most beautiful fighter-jet ever built and the Lightning, which could zoom ten miles above the clouds in a couple of minutes and whose pilots rated flying it as better than sex. How did Britain so lose the plot that today there is not a single aircraft manufacturer of any significance in the country? And what was it like to be alive in that marvellous post-war moment when innovative new British aircraft made their debut, and pilots were the rock stars of the age? James Hamilton-Paterson captures that season of glory in a compelling book that fuses his own memories of being a schoolboy plane spotter with a ruefully realistic history of British decline - its loss of self confidence and power.It is the story of great and charismatic machines and the men who flew them: heroes such as Bill Waterton, Neville Duke, John Derry and Bill Beaumont who took inconceivable risks, so that we could fly without a second thought.

This is a most frustrating book - it's so 'hit and miss'. There's much of interest but you have to trawl through a lot of irritating dross to get to it, and by a lot I mean way too much!

I understand there's a tendency for books about such subjects to be over-flowing with description and data which can be off-putting to a casual reader. But Hamilton-Paterson goes too far the other way and lets vague nostalgia get in the way of fact. To be brutally honest, I don't care what his nan thought or how he fell out his pram when a jet passed low over his garden. At times this feels more like his memoirs than an account of the British aero-industry. And such expressions as 'the sky was full of jets' are just inaccuracies that make you doubt the validity of his other points - his referencing of Wikipedia doesn't help matters. I know this isn't the most serious of history books, but Wikipedia? Come on!

The book isn't a long one, only 270 pages, yet it feels fleshed-out by the author repeating how Bill Waterton was seen as a difficult person to get on with, how test pilots earned a pittance (though a pittance worth more than double that of an average worker), and how people at the time wrongly believed Britain was at the cutting-edge of aircraft design and production.

I think making Waterton one of the main focuses of the book is a good idea, but poorly executed. H-P clearly doesn't have enough information to make a full biography of Waterton - yet he has enough to detract from the stories of the other test pilots and the planes themselves. Do one or the other, not both half-heartedly.

When H-P isn't trying too hard to be a writer and isn't doing his 'it's not like it used to be' routine, the book can be very interesting, readable and informative. Such sections of the book usually occur when he lets the facts talk for themselves. The chapter on the V-Bombers is good and the part about the airliners is enlightening (H-P has no enthusiasm to cloud the details here - he admits airliners are the aircraft he is least interested in). In many places however the book concentrates too much on the politics of the business of post war flight and not enough on the amazing achievements and aircraft, and the politics is written in such a dry way that ti becomes tedious!

For me, this book has served as a useful starting point and it has certainly furthered my interest and knowledge. I just feel it could have been much more than that. All the ingredients are here for something fantastic - a fascinating subject, glamorous planes, colourful characters and a wider setting in the form of the general decline of British industry as a whole. But H-P really hasn't got the balance right. Too much opinion, too much nostalgia...just tell the stories of the planes and people, they're interesting enough - they don't need any embellishment from you! As a result the book rates a mere two stars from me and should be only considered if you cant get a good illustrated guide or don't mind large amounts of backbiting in your books.

Available from:
James Hamilton-Paterson
Hardback • ISBN 9780571247943
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