Genestealer Test Piece


Genestealers are planned for an upcoming project.  This guy is the prototype, the painting patriarch in some respects.

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Chapter Relics

I found these figures in the attic of a relatives house last summer.  I painted them while I was living there back in 1990 or so when I was fifteen.  They are painted to match the colour scheme of my first Space Marine army.

The miniatures are the same seriously dodgy Terminators that were supplied with the original Space Hulk box.  The figures are undeniably clunky, but have a very functional charm as gaming pieces, from my nostalgia ridden perspective at least.  Being as devoid of animation as they are, they are as obviously boardgame pieces as something like the top hat from Monopoly or even a pawn from a cheap set of Snakes and Ladders.

I also found a painted Terminator Librarian from the Deathwing supplement.  Another goofy early GW plastic.

I got a kick out of finding these figures and I dusted them off ready for a game of Space Hulk or Advanced Space Crusade or something similar in the future.  While the paint jobs are a scary twenty years old, they are perfectly fine for gaming with.

Funnily enough when I traded on Boardgamegeek for a set of 2nd edition Space Hulk back in 2008 I painted up another batch of the same sculpts, visible here and here.

At the time I was going through a sort of minimalist phase in my figure painting and I was trying to see the smallest amount of work required to do to a figure to get it finished well enough to game with.  This was mainly in an effort to try to make a serious dent in the lead and plastic mountain and to get some projects (like Space Hulk, Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel and Descent: Journeys in the Dark) finished for once, at the expense of paint job quality. I found it curious to compare the figures painted in 2008 with the same figures painted eighteen years earlier.

Alien Queen Basing

Uncharacteristically good weather plus an even more uncharacteristic busy social life has meant that my hobby time has been curtailed of late.  As a result todays post is a bit half-assed.  It does show that at least I am making some progress with my Aliens re-theme of Space Hulk.

Alien Queen Basing

Mikko at Dawn of the Lead has been making a lot more progress on his identical project here.  His latest addition of a very nice looking Alien Queen that came from a gashapon toy is in need of a base.  As I recently made a basic but functional base for getting my large Horrorclix Queen on the Space Hulk board, I decided to put up a quick photo.

Grid Markings

After removing the model from its clix base I stuck some styrene with a treadplate pattern on it to a 60mm plywood base.  I then added some styrene strips in a sort of tic-tac-toe pattern that matches the size of the squares in a game of Space Hulk.

While obviously using such a large figure will make some parts of the game feel a little cramped, the grid marked on the base should make it apparent where the Queen is standing in rules terms.  Adjacent figures will have to stand on small parts of the queens base but I dont foresee that being a big problem.

Mostly Space Hulk to Aliens Rules Conversion Ideas Mostly


I am finally making some progress on the miniatures side of the Space Hulk to Aliens project, of which more will follow.  Funnily enough, in one of those weird internet-ty ways it seems that lots of other people are dusting off their Colonial Marines, Aliens and Predators to tackle the same or very similar projects on both Lead Adventure Forum and Frothers.  Mikko at Dawn of the Lead has been doing some very solid work too, elements of which I intend to rip off use to inspire me.

To go along with the miniatures I want to hammer out the basic rules conversions required.  I mostly intend to game with these figures in Space Hulk (mostly), simply because it is such a tight and satisfying system.  Ideas for many these rules have been going around in my head for years while others have been as a result of talking to similarly interested Aliens and Space Hulk nerds and and I want to write them down somewhere.  That somewhere might as well be here.

The intention is to translate existing rules for various elements in Space Hulk into their Aliens equivalent and not to write new rules unless absolutely necessary.  Eventually I plan to write up a simple Force List in the style of the Force List in Deathwing that allows players to pick a simple Colonial Marine force for playing any Space Hulk scenario.

Finally, while I like the idea of Predators I have never really enjoyed the movies that much.  I really think that they are pretty shitty to be honest, even though even suggesting that to most of my colleagues tends to send them into a fit of nerd rage, complete with bad Schwarzenegger impersonations.  So, while I have a pile of Predators waiting to be painted they are not a priority for me in terms of rules conversion.  It will happen eventually but not for a while as I dont really care that much about them and they will be harder to legislate for anyway due to their stealth and all that.

So here goes.  Everything is as in 3rd Ed rules unless otherwise specified:

M41A Pulse Rifle armed Colonial Marine = Storm Bolter Terminator Marine (ignore the Grenade Launcher part of the M41A.  It is considered to be intrinsic to the weapons standard effect in the game.  Consider it represented by the sustained fire bonus if that floats your boat).

M41A Pulse Rifle armed Sergeant= Power Sword and Storm Bolter armed Terminator Sergeant (+1 in assault is fine for a veteran NonCom.  Parry from the sword can be seen as whatever you like, kung-fu grip, sixth sense, Riddick levels of badass-ness: whatever.  Regardless, Sergeants have it.  Just like they allow the CP redraw).

Shotgun armed Corporal (Hicks) = Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield Armed Terminator Sergeant (this one is a bit of a fudge.  Assuming that the shotgun is only effective at point blank range is pushing it, but it does make the shotgun very deadly at that range, just like in video games.  The Block given by the shield is explained away just like the Parry for the other Sarge.  It also makes Apone and Hicks different, but similar which is cool.  The utter absence of Hicks Pulse Rifle (Storm Bolter) is a bit counter intuiticve, but as it will then slot in cleanly to all of the 3rd Ed missions I think that that has to be way to do it.  Finally, this ties in with one of the few extra rules that I intend to use, Acid Splash.  If it works out then having the Shotgun guy run the risk of acid burn will feel just like the movie 🙂 ).

M56 Smart Gun armed Colonial Marine = Assault Cannon Terminator

M240 Flamethrower armed Colonial Marine = Heavy Flamer Terminator

M41A Pulse Rifle armed Colonial Marine with Welder and Electrical Equipment (Hudson) = Storm Bolter and Chainfist Terminator (both troopers open doors/bulkheads that are otherwise difficult to open. Simple and accurate conversion).

Caterpillar P-5000 Powerloader = Lightning Claw armed Terminator (I was initially hesitant about this but the more that I thought about it the more that I liked it.  The LC Terminator has no ranged capability and will shred most opposition, most of the time.  It will also have a decent chance to best the dangerous Alien Queen (Patriarch/Broodlord) in hand to hand, which is reasonable.  It is a neat solution I think).

Company Man Burke, Newt and Jones the cat= C.A.T., Relic or other scenario objectives (I might try to come up with rules for Burke at a later date but having to rescue his sorry ass seems just as appropriate I think).

Synthetic/Artificial Person = Terminator Librarian (I know, I know but bear with me for a second.

Having watched Alien 4 last weekend, the idea of a synthetic with potent, situation based powers like Prescience (some sort of CCTV based thing) and Force Barrier (overriding a blast door or similar) seems fine to me. Psychic Storm might be pushing it a bit but whatever: maybe Bishop/Cole/Ash has overridden the Liquid Nitrogen spraying thing or activated the sprinklers after causing a short or switching on sentry guns in that area or something else just as Deus Ex Machina.

The Librarians close combat prowess is a bit at odds with Bishops performance but not so much with that of Ash (super-strong, but not super-tough). Considering that Bishop is three laws compliant, the idea of the synthetic going to extraordinary lengths to beat up potentially harmful Xenomorphs is ok with me.  Apparently the comics had combat synths that used to get stuck in quite regularly too, although the three laws tell me that Bishop would be compelled to help whether he was built for it or not.

Funnily enough the thing that doesnt sit well with me is that the Librarian has a Storm Bolter.  It doesnt seem right that Bishop should have a rifle (and the figure that I have to represent the synthetic has a piece of technical equipment in place of a weapon too.  Does Cole use a gun at any point in the 4th film?  I dont think so.

Reluctant Badass Lieutenant Ellen Ripley = Space Hulk First Edition Captain (another fudge.  The Captain in 1st Ed is very potent: he adds +2 to the CP total every turn, adds +2 to combat rolls and has a Power Sword, Grenade Launcher and Storm Bolter.  I have found that the Captain is roughly equivalent to the 3rd Ed Librarian in potency and I have swapped the characters when playing 3rd Ed quite successfully.

I suppose that Ripley is shown to have leadership qualities in the movie so ok to the CP bonus. The Storm Bolter/Pulse Rifle is perfect and the Captains GL can simply be seen as an alternative way of using the Incinerator that Ripley carries.  Thats OK with me.  The +2 combat plus Parry is harder to explain away but in the interests of keeping the rules standard I think that I can live with it.  I will justify it to myself as Fate or Hero points: the things that make the Hero, the Hero.

So, thats the Humans dealt with.   Bugs now:

Xenomorph = Purestrain Genestealer

Alien Queen = Broodlord

Face-hugger or Chest-burster = First Edition Unarmed Hybrid (these guys will get wiped out by fire very easily.  Once converted from Blip to model they move more slowly too.  They will be a fun, straightforward way to add some variety to the Alien players forces without much additional complexity and the rules are already written.  As I will use the 1st Ed blip sets, including the Hybrid blips it will be easy to throw in a few small aliens.  I havent decided on a way to incorporate it into the standard 3rd Ed blips yet.  It will probably be something similar to how the Patriarch can be brought into play, except that a “1” Blip can be exchanged for 3 Face-huggers twice a game or something like that.)

Lastly, Acid Splash.  Some players have added rules for this.  In many ways I think that it is an unneccesary complication for little gain.  Still, after mulling it over I had an idea: rather than roll to hit any/all adjacent models when an Alien dies (which would be tedious and could easily spoil the rapid flow of the game) I want to try out an idea based on the Scatter rule from Blood Bowl.

See Mikkos comments below.

Acid Splash: Acid Splash occurs when an Alien is hit from a shooting attack and that attack rolls at least two “1”‘s rolls at least two “6”‘s. If the target Alien is adjacent to one or more non-Alien figures then one of the non-Alien figures is chosen by the shooting player.  The chosen figure is removed from play.

As noted below this gives only a 1/36 chance of damage and is incorporated into the existing rolls and game mechanics.  It also makes point blank shooting a tiny bit risky which is both thematic and entertaining.  It also means that a blast from an Assault Cannon/Smart Gun is more likely to cause Acid Splash while the Heavy Flamer cannot ever.  Quite satisfyingly accurate to the relative strengths and weaknesses of the weapons as I see them.  Nice one Mikko.

Phew, that was a long one.  Congrats if you endured it this far.  Comments and thoughts on that much are welcome.

EDIT 02/06/10: replaced Acid Splash idea with Mikkos version from comments below.

EDIT 02/06/10: replaced Acid Splash “1” with “6”.

Sin Eater Tactical Squad Rico: Pt 2

Missile Launcher and Bolter Marines

Missile Launcher and Bolter

Part 1 is HERE.

Although Marine squads usually max out at ten men I have painted up a few extra for Squad Rico.  They are marines with different heavy weapons, giving me more flexibility when picking a force.  That sort of extra flexibility is always something that is on my mind when preparing miniatures for games, but it rarely works out as comprehensively as it did with Squad Rico.

The Missile Launcher above comes from an old (’89 or so) GW Chaos Heavy Weapon sprue.  It is probably most familiar from its inclusion in the Space Hulk: Genestealer expansion.  The Hybrids had a few.

Plasma Gun and Bolter Marines

Plasma Gun and Bolter Marines

Bolter Marine and Sergeant Rico

Bolter Marine and Sergeant Rico


Heavy Bolter and Bolter Marines

The Heavy Bolter armament above is pretty cool looking (and would be all the more so only for that annoying shine…): its a cool model.   The hand painted insignia is easily visible on the right hand guys shoulder pad.

Sin Eater Tactical Squad Rico: Pt1

Banner Bearer

Squad Rico Banner Bearer

Squad Rico was one of the first squads that I painted for my Sin Eaters Chaos Marine army, over a decade ago.  They have seen a lot of tabletop action including some 3rd Edition Space Hulk and Advanced Space Crusade.  I quite like their look.

A Pair of Bolter Armed Tactical Marines

Squad Rico uses a lot fewer Chaos components than most of the other squads in the army.  When assembling the force I wanted to distinguish each unit by their armour configuration as much as insignia, to aid with recognition on the tabletop.  To this end Squad Rico is distinguished by the Imperial armour configuration, Imperial weaponry plus the then brand new plastic zombie heads.
Lascannon and Bolter

Lascannon and Bolter armed Tactical Marines


Topdown View of the Huge Lascannon


Part two to follow.

Sin Eater Chaos Dreadnought – Brother Tankorr

Brother Tankorr

Brother Tankorr

As early playtesting went on using my Sin Eaters (way back in 1999) it looked like getting a second Dreadnought on the table would be fun.  While Brother Rhinox was made more or less exclusively from the basic metal chaos Dreadnought kit, Tankorr was made from a metal Imperial Dreadnought, albeit an Imperial Dreadnought with loads of spiky death metal type junk stuck on.  Examples above include the spiky panels on the main housing and the tombstone-for-a-face.

Tankorrs huge and ludicrous close combat arm.

Tankorrs huge and ludicrous close combat arm.

Tankorrs arms were made from spares from the kit that was used to make Rhinox.  The left arm above had an Ork Choppa and two Necromunda Pit Slave weapon arms attached.  I also added another pit slave chainsaw bit to the front of the body on that side for good measure. 

In the above shot you can make out bits where some of the many spikes attached to the figure used to be attached, only to have broken off at various points over the years.  The lesson here is simply not to bother sticking those things on in the first place.  If Tankorr gets away with it it is simply because of the zombie-like, dilapidated look.

Rear view.

Rear view.

Plasma Cannon

Plasma Cannon

I like the combi-bolter mounted on Tankorrs shoulder for some reason that I cant put my finger on.   I also like the silly zombie hands bursting out of the ground, “Thriller” style.

Sin Eater Terminator Lord Zarak

Lord Zarak

Lord Zarak

Lord Zarak is pretty ridiculous looking really, but I like him all the same.  I had had a chaos terminator captain figure for a while but hadnt got around to painting him.  He was an older figure than those used in Squad Romero and was a little more slight.  I wanted to give him something that would make him stand out dramatically from the other Terminators, but didnt know what.

It dawned on me to use parts of the whip arm thing (cant remember what it is called) from the parts left over  from the Brother Rhinox kit to make the inner “thumbs” of his scorpion-like Lightning Claws.  The larger, totally OTT parts of the claws are made from bits of a plastic dozer blade from some Imperial tank bit or another.

3/4 view showing some arm detail.

3/4 view showing some arm detail.

The piping coming hanging below his arms is a bit crude but whatever.  It was simply made from bent paper clip.  The Nurgle logo on the shoulder was made from bits of styrene rod and strip.  The trophy pole is a bit taller than the poles on Squad Romero which helps to identify Zarak as the boss while simultaneously making him that much more ridiculous looking.

His name comes from the binary bonded nebulan partner of the Transformer Scorponok.  Scorponok himself invariably has big scorpion claws for hands in all of his iterations, so obviously that is where that comes from.  The original G1 Scorponok also had a sunglasses type look that I crudely emulated with a green stuff “visor” over Zaraks eyes.

I painted Zarak about a year or so after I painted the other Sin Eater terminators.  By then the painting method I was using to get the base colours was slightly different.  In the context of the grubby look that I was looking for it doesnt really make much difference.  I have always found that when painting a large number of miniatures with the same scheme that the style changes as I progress, usually in an effort to speed the process up.

Sin Eater Chaos Terminator Squad Romero

Sin Eater Terminator with Combi-melta and Lightning Claw

Sin Eater Terminator with Combi-melta and Lightning Claw


Squad Romero was painted in late 1999 as the ongoing development of my 40k Nurgle Chaos army, the Sin Eaters.  At the time I was playing a lot of 40k but even then, Terminators were never really that competitive a choice for the tournament games that I was playing.  I couldnt resist painting these guys up however: they are cool figures.

Sin Eater terminators armed with Heavy Flamer, combi-Bolter and Lightning Claws.

Sin Eater terminators armed with Heavy Flamer, combi-Bolter and Lightning Claws.

I bought the figures even further back than that: in 1993 or 1994.  The zombie heads from the GW sprue obviously came later than that (was that sprue released in 1999?).

Side view of a colossal Chaos Terminator weapon (Combi-Melta).

Side view of a colossal Chaos Terminator weapon (Combi-Melta).

Sin Eater Terminator with Combi-Flamer and Sergeant Romero armed with Combi-Bolter and Chainfist

Sin Eater Terminator with Combi-Flamer and Sergeant Romero armed with Combi-Bolter and Chainfist.

Sgt. Romero is the only figure here with its original head… in case anyone was wondering.

Inquisitor Terminators


I had these figures for nearly 20 years and finally got around to painting them last year.  I painted them up for use in Space Hulk.

Inquisitor in Terminator Armour

Inquisitor Mantable. Terminator armour armed with a combi-needler and power glove with Jokaero digital weapons.


Note the bionic leg.

Note the bionic leg.


Ordo Malleus Inquisitor in terminator armour.

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Hugenot in terminator armour.


Armed with Psycannon and Force Sword

Armed with Psycannon and Force Sword

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