Book Review - Beast Arises Books 1 & 2

Warhammer 40,000 – I swore up and down that I wasn't going to buy hardcover bolter porn. I've waited months for the Horus Heresy books to come to mass market so they match my shelf and I don't pay more than $12 for a novel that I rarely read more than once. (But I might go back to them or pass them down so I HAVE to own them right?) 

Anyway I was at the bookstore and flipped through I am Slaughter the first book in The Beast Arises series. I was impressed the paper was a heavier stock than usual, the size was just a little bigger than a mass market, there will only be 12 books in the series and the graphic design is consistent. Couple that with a $12.95 price and the story being set between the heresy and current 40K; long story short I broke down and bought it.

The first book was amazing, and the second continued the intense story. It's a shame orcs on the tabletop don't act like they do in the novels. If they did I feel like you'd see many more orc players than you do now. 

Even though the books have been out for some time I don't want to go into to much detail as to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read it.

I Am Slaughter starts with a joint Imperial Fist/Ad Mech task force attempting to wipe out a xenos species. Things go from bad to worse as the glory hungry High Lords of Terra make some bad political decisions and send the full chapter to war to cleanse this threat so close to the Sol System. 

The unique thing about this book is there is plenty of action but there's also a decent amount of political intrigue and behind the scenes shenanigans between the High Lords and their various underlings. 

The climax as should be evident by the spine of the book is an ork invasion unlike anything that has been seen since Ulanor. 

Predator Prey delves deeper into the story, as more and more Imperial Worlds fall to the Deff Star the high Lords are to caught up in their posturing to make and real decisions. The Fabricator General of Mars seems content to just analyze from afar in what appears to be an attempt to replicate the technology. Things are looking grim for the Imperials.

This story spreads out the implications of the invasion through several smaller stories that are all intertwined around the green tide tearing through Imperial Space. Told from the perspective of minor characters each of these highlights the hopelessness of facing a horde that appears from nowhere and seems to be limitless in the amount of bodies it can send to the fight.

So far I'm glad I waited on thie series as I should be able to pick up the next book as I finish each of them without having to wait months like I do for new Horus Heresy books. If you like orks, or want to see the Imperium in turmoil this is a series for you.



So a Knight and a Rogue walk into the bar ...

Dungeons & Dragons – I just wrapped up two more characters for a client. These are both pretty cool models and I'm really happy with how the paint turned out. For the knight's cape I went back to my any color red highlight. I'm disappointed I haven't been able to find this productr for any other colors because it works amazing to get that nice highligth without turning orange or pink.

The face was tricky as my client wanted freckles initially I did some that were way to dark they stood out from a distance but needed to be significantly more subtle. I opted to go with a few shades darker than the skin tone instead which looks great in person but is to subtle to photograph well. 

The rouge was very straight forward and simple. The sash really helps to break up the model. 

These are going to look really good on the tabletop battling the various monsters I've painted for her DM. Sometimes when I do commission work like this I wish I could see the models in action as that's the most rewarding part of this hobby actually playing out the battles and events with amazingly painted miniatures.

I just got word from my other clinet in this group that I should have more terrain on the way to paint to match so that will be another fun project.


New stuff in the Gallery

I just updated all the galleries with better shots of my recent projects. Much of my recent in progress shots have be relegate to twitter updates so if you'd like to following me on twitter you can do so here:


You can also check out the updates here in the galleries.

I have finished work in Wrath of Kings, Batman Miniatures Games, Warhammer 40K, Dungeons and Dragons, Confrontation and more.

My next big job has me working on some more models for Arena Rex, Heavy Gear, Space Hulk and some Infinity models.


On the painting table ... Menagerie

Work in Progress – Wow, aside from a report on the play when I was in High School I never imagined I'd be using menagerie to describe anything let alone my painting table.

Currently I'm working on a bunch of models for a variety of systems that share enough in common that I'm assembly line painting all of them.

First up is a small Joker crew for the Batman Miniatures Game. This is the Health Ledger version which is my favorite Joker to date. The sculpt is pretty good but it's going to take a bit more work to really make it look good. Same with the goons, decent sculpts but lots of flat areas that need more attention.

Next is a few more Arena Rex models, this includes the Rhino, Gimpy-arm guy and a Barbarian with spear. Super detailed amazing models. They are tricky to put together though.

Confrontation is a game I never had any interest in a group of werewolves, knights and orks has found it's way to my table as well.

Malifaux Guild Guard are also lurking here. The plastic models are way nicer than the old metals however if you ever needed more than two you run into the dynamic model problem of a dozen or some models pointing the same way. As one-offs though they look great.

Also in this batch I'm working on some Dungeons and Dragons Character models. The very dynamic paladin from Dark Sword as well as a pretty decent rogue from Reaper.

Progress should go pretty fast on most of the models which are being done to a tabletop standard. The D&D models will be going to the higher level. 


Something Fishy

Wrath of Kings – I have to admit I never played this game nor had much interest in it. Working on this box for a client might just have changed my mind. The job consists of a Hadross Starter, Unit Upgrade Box and a Twilight Knight, the client was looking for a basic 3 color job with a wash. Being the first set of Wrath of King figures I've painted I'm going to go a little further and add some water effects to really bring out the blue of the water.

To keep this simple I chose a blue green color pallet with each unit type getting a specific base color and dry brush, I then painted the armor elements metallic gunmetal and washed each model with a blue-green wash this helped to bring all the colors together and keep a cohesive feel while each "species" has it's own look. It's a simple way to quickly paint a bunch of models for an army and keep them all looking like they crawled out of the same pool.