A History in… grey

This is another history post. If you’re a follower on Twitter then you may have seen some of this before. I haven’t really posted my whole army before with shots of each unit though, so you may see something you haven’t seen before. Either way, if you choose to keep reading, enjoy!

Why Sylvaneth?

About 9 months ago I came up with an idea – I was going to make the trip from Australia to the UK for the South Coast GT 2017. After I settled on actually doing this, I got to thinking about what I was going to take. I had a few criteria:

  1. Had to be an army I hadn’t done before.
  2. I wanted to a do a ‘new’ army i.e. one that had a battletome in AOS.
  3. I wanted to paint something that I would typically steer away from. I normally pick non-organic armies, so I don’t look at Orcs or Daemons, or, trees.
  4. I wanted to paint them in an non-conventional colour scheme, which for Sylvaneth meant I wasn’t painting them brown.

Onto the army itself.

Treelord Ancient


When I first settled on Sylvaneth I wanted to do a bunch of conversions to make it look like everything was comprised of regular trees coming alive. I did it for the two Treelord models, and then kind of just… forgot about it. It’s something I regret not doing fully.

Spirit of Durthu


Like the Ancient, this guy is coming out of a tree. It’s really hard to photograph but behind the leg that’s actually a leg and not a tree trunk, the tree is actually split as though the leg has torn out of the tree.



A slight repose for this model. I wanted the Scythe in a different spot. I actually put together two Branchwych models – one straight out of the pack and this one.



I went with a Gnarlroot list so I could take an Order Wizard. I put together two with this being the first. I wanted it to look a little more ‘Sylvaneth’ styled so I chopped the whole lot in half and replaced the legs with the lower half of a Banshee.

Mistweaver Saih


The second Order Wizard that I put together, but didn’t end up using, was Mistweave Saih from the Silver Tower box set. Again there was a bit of Sylvaneth styling applied here. One leg has been entirely replaced with a tree branch.



These guys really pushed my patience when I was painting the army. I assembled 40, but only needed 20. The other 20 are sitting on my shelf awaiting paint. Dryads are an older model and as a result I find them a bit painful to put together. Happy with how they came out though.




There are two units of these and another 5 spare. Anyone painting these, I highly recommend NOT fully assembling them before painting! You can leave the ‘spirit’ bit out and paint the tree bit separately.

I did not do this.

Kurnoth Hunters

At the tournament I used two units of 3 with bows and one unit of 3 with Scythes. I didn’t decide this combination of 9 until just before the event though, so there are some extras.







Overall the army did not turn out how I originally pictured it, but the end result was still satisfying. The army received a lot of positive comments at both South Coast GT and Cancon here in Australia. I received a ‘Best Army’ nomination at both events (although I withdrew myself from the Cancon nominations because the army wasn’t actually finished at the time).

Future plans

I am working on Alarielle the Everqueen at the moment, and will also fininsh Drycha and a couple of other characters. I’m looking at attending an event in Queensland here in Australia that requires 2500pts so I’ll need to add another Battleline unit.

Other than that, I think I’m done with this army so regardless of what happens rules-wise I can’t really see myself revisiting anything.

Anyway that’s my Sylvaneth army. If you’d like to know anything specific about the army, how I painted part of it, what colours I used, drop me a message on Twitter and I’ll get back to you. I will be putting up something on how I did the bases as I had several people ask what combination of products I used for them.

As usual, thanks for reading!

P.S. I don’t want to fill this blog with adverts – that’s not what it’s about – but you may notice a link to Element Games in the menu. I started shopping there to support the Facehammer podcast which I really enjoy and credit with much of motivation to get back into the hobby. They’ve always been very good to me with fantastic customer service, even though I’m on the other side of the globe. I’d highly recommend that you check them out.


New 40k, New Army

…or should I say…

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It’s new army time!

As I am sure many others are I’m fairly excited by the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 that’s on the horizon. This happens to align nicely with roughly the timeline for The Norris 1000 for 2017 which was the event that pushed me to produce my Ultramarines army last year. This will be a hobby project for me. I’m not phased

For a while now I’ve had mixed Cult Mechanicus / Skitarii on my list. It’s an army that has always interested me for a few different reasons:

  1. It’s one of the cooler armies out there in terms of theme and they embody something unique in the Warhammer 40,000 universe in my opinion.
  2. Lots of exotic weapons and wargear that I can include.
  3. Unique models ranging from basic infantry to strange walking machines and giant robots.
  4. They have some nice Forgeworld models that I could add in the future.
  5. They’re different to anything I’ve ever done before.
  6. A thousand point army doesn’t have a huge number of models in it so I can invest more time into each model.

Painting plans

I’ve already settled on a couple of things:

  1. Black and Bone armour, probably with Royal Purple splash colour.
  2. Silver and Bronze as required, but not aiming to make it the predominant colour at all.
  3. Plans for some detailed freehand.
  4. Weapon glow – I’ve never really done this before so I’m keen to try it out and get it looking a nice as possible.

The one thing I haven’t fully decided on yet is the basing scheme. It will definitely include lava, but I haven’t settled on a colour for the ash / dirt yet and I want something else on the bases as well but haven’t decided what yet.

The beginning


I picked up a couple of these boxes over a year ago. They’ll serve as the basis for my army with to get started. A while back when I had a bit of a lull in projects I assembled some Skitarii Rangers. They’re mostly ready for paint but I need to fill in the join lines on the sides of the robes. Why oh why are the joins where they are…



In the past couple of weeks I’ve started assembly on a pair of Onager Dunecrawlers. These are some seriously cool models in my opinion. They have lots of options and they go together well. The only negative is that I would have liked to reposition the legs a little more but when I looked at them closely I decided against it. It would have been a lot of cutting and rebuilding to get all the pistons lined up again.

I’ve gone through the weapon options in the kit and I’ve managed to get magnets into all of them so I should be able to chop and change if I decide I want to. I’m not actually that worried about what the weapons do in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 but I figured I’d be at least ready for anything.



Next steps

I already have the component pieces for some Kataphron Destroyers/Breachers on my desk – undecided what variant I will go for just yet. After that I’ll do a second unit of infantry and a HQ choice of some sort.

That will round out the 1000 points nicely under 7th edition rules. How that stacks up under 8th edition, who knows – but I’ll worry about that later.

Once again, thanks for reading!

A History in Blue – Part 2

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen all this before, but I’m going to run through my Ultramarines army today.



This guy was originally done as a my own version of Captain Sicarius. I tried to build something that was unique, and I think I got that.

Parts list:

  • Lower legs from the Devastator box.
  • Upper legs from Assault Marine box.
  • Chest and shoulder pads from the Ultramarines upgrades pack.
  • Backpack from the plastic Space Marine Captain.
  • Sword from the Terminator Captain.
  • Bolt Pistol and arms from my bits box.
  • Cloak from the Chaos Chariot box with a lot of greenstuff to make it fit.



Straight from the Deathwatch: Overkill box, no fancy conversions here. I just really wanted to paint this model.

Command squad


Standard Command Squad with pieces from the Sternguard set. There’s a few more of these guys as well with special weapons as well.


Just the one of these. I used Venerable Dreadnought bits but I was using it just as a normal Dreadnought. I just wanted the fancy armour panels to play with.

Tactical squads



The squad with the heavy weapon was built to be ‘static’ – crouching marines, none running, individual troopers aiming their weapons rather than looking around.

The two smaller squads with the flamers (one of which has been changed to a Meltagun since these shots were taken) are built to look as they they are moving – running marines using legs from the Assault Marine box, made to look like they are advancing.

Landspeeder squadron


These are some of the models that I repainted from the original attempt at this army. I did the highlights again and added the scrolls on the sides. Each vehicle has it’s own name.

Devastator squad


Like the Tactical Squad with the Heavy Bolter, this unit is built to look static.

Small details


Each squad has full unit markings exactly as Insignium Astartes dictates.

Later additions




Note: I didn’t have the good camera for these guys so they look a little different than expected, but they are essentially the same colour blue as the rest of the army.

After the initial army was put together I more recently decided to add a few extra things. For starters was three units of Terminators. I strayed a little from my original plan on these guys as the squad markings are strictly speaking true to the Insignium Astartes.

Future plans:

I already have some additional Tactical Marines on the go to pad out the smaller squads. I’m also working on a unit of Devastator Centurions, a Razorback and a couple of Drop Pods.

On a recent trip to Warhammer World I picked up the exclusive Command Tanks as well.

The only question now is “Will the Ultramarines Blue last long enough!?”

On a semi-related note, if you happen to have any pots of Ultramarines Blue that you don’t particularly want, I will happily buy them off you!

Until next time, thanks for reading.

A History in Blue – Part 1

My Ultramarines are probably my best work to date. I put a lot of time and effort into their production and I am very happy with the end result.

Why Ultramarines?

I always wanted to paint a very ‘pure’ Ultramarines army. I’ve actually done it before but the end result wasn’t nearly as good. Some elements of the army I have now are reused with touched up paint jobs.

I was drawn to them because I wanted to produce an army that was true to the Codex Astartes. A long time ago I bought a copy of the Insignium Astartes book and I followed the uniform markings to the letter.


In a somewhat contradictory choice however I combined several marks of armour to produce all of my models – helmets, legs and boltguns from the Betrayal at Calth marines, only chest plates with Imperial Eagles and only shoulder pads that would allow for a bold trim.


What prompted the army?

They were originally put together for an event held in Melbourne in Australia in 2016 called The Norris 1000. It’s a 1000 point Warhammer 40,000 tournament that has a higher focus on hobby then most events out there. For me it was a great excuse to paint up a small force and really push myself to produce a great end product. Without going into the list too much it’s basically a demi-company formation.

So, what colour blue is that?

This was probably a terrible mistake on my behalf, but I used Ultramarines Blue for the armour – that’s the old colour that doesn’t exist anymore. I have one pot left, so my ability to add to the army is limited. Certainly not a great choice at the time and one that I am definitely regretting.


I ended up taking Best Painted army at the event in a field of approximately 70 participants and a month later I snagged gold in Armies on Parade at my local store. All in all they were a definite success.

The army has received a lot of love on Twitter and some positive comments from many great hobbyists.

I’ll put another couple of post with some shots of the army. All of this can be found on my Twitter account if you’re a follower.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

The birth of a Blog

If you’re reading this then you’ve found your way to my newly created humble little blog. I’ll kick things off with an introduction of sorts.

Who am I?

I hail from Australia. Many years ago I stumbled upon a Games Workshop store and got hooked on the hobby (I’m going to guesstimate 1998, but I could be wrong). Since then I’ve been dabbling in various bits of the hobby over the years. I’ve always been more of a painter than a gamer though. My main focus at the moment is Age of Sigmar but I do enjoy the occasional dabble in the Warhammer 40,000 universe as well.

I have never won a Golden Daemon or any other kind of serious painting competition other than some ‘Best Painted’ awards at a few tournaments. I am well and truly not a professional painted by any stretch of the imagination. This is important because I’m not trying to sell this blog as a pro-painters guide on how to do everything.

How I got to this point

A short while back I joined Twitter (@Thonias83 if you’re interested) and started to actively document my hobby a bit more and connect with the hobby scene across the world. About a week ago I decided to try out something new – Non-Metallic Metal (NMM) – and the posts garnered a bit of interest.

Personally I tried NMM for the first time because I wanted to push my hobby skills in a direction I hadn’t gone before. People seemed interested in the progress shots I was putting up and I came up with the idea of creating a blog documenting my ongoing hobby growth.

Purpose of this blog

I want to try new things and I want to present my lessons learned and progress with other hobby enthusiasts as well.

There are plenty of excellent tutorials and guides on the internet already by painters who are vastly better than myself. If you’re looking for something by a pro-painter to extremely high standards, this may not be the place for you.

If you’re interested though stay tuned – I’ll try and put something up each week. I do however have a wife and a full-time job so if I’m a bit late I apologise in advance.

P.S. Seriously, what do you put as the image for a post like this? Blogs are hard.