The Big Haul

This is not a post where I show off a big hobby purchase.

This is a post where I talk about a theoretical “if I won a lottery” hobby purchase. Kind of.

I originally created this blog to talk about my Horus Heresy era Alpha Legion army. Sometimes I write about terrain for my games, or orks. Or hobby projects.

In this entry I’m going to be a bit selfish, and tell you, dear reader, what I want: I want a big haul. A big, joyous, resin Forge World haul. Of possibly epic proportions. It’s one thing to make a small purchase from a Forge World. Maybe a squad of infantry, or a weapon upgrade set. Or a single tank. It’s another to receive a giant box in the mail containing a year’s worth of projects.

Recently I found out two things. One, that Forge World sells virtual gift vouchers. Two, that these vouchers stack- which makes complete sense in hindsight. Part of what this does is makes it possible to slowly accumulate, over time, a bigger hobby budget just by virtually getting myself Forge World vouchers. This is where I admit that I’m a little greedy and have been dreaming of making a very big purchase for my Alpha Legion. By “big” I mean multiple things that my space marine army has been lacking; a Spartan Assault Tank, some jump infantry, a Termite Assault Drill, and so on. The very first “black book”, Betrayal, because it has a lot of background information on several of my favorite legions. I’ve included a helpful graphic:

The red is where I’m at right now, roughly. I could make all of these purchase piecemeal, bit by bit, but I think the fun would be in a bigger order. Again, “Big Haul” is the name of the game. I totally admit that is me wishlisting and going “Man, I would love to be able to buy more hobby things”.

I’ll get there one day. In the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming. But if you ever want to help out, well, I do make dice bags. And they’re pretty great. You can find them over at Greyed Out and that not only helps me pay the bills, it helps to further the hobby that helps me relax and find fulfillment and joy in creating.

Thanks for reading. See you next time.

Finding the Joy in Warhammer

The other night I went for an evening walk and started thinking about my hobby journey through Warhammer 40,000. I think I started in the hobby around 1997, so at this point it’s been roughly twenty three years. I’ve been feeling a lot of nostalgia for “Oldhammer” as it’s often known these days, and was trying to remember the last time I had that feeling of joy that comes with opening a new box of miniatures and starting a proper hobby project for the first time.

I feel like it’s been a while. Maybe it’s me, but these days I often get reinforcements for my army and the box ends up added to the Pile of Shame until I can get around to it. And that’s not ok.

I remember when I was still new to the hobby and every purchase or gift of a box of miniatures meant a lot. It was time to open the cardboard, pull out the sprues or styrofoam insert to sort through the pewter bits, and then spend a good amount of time working on and(hopefully) completing those minis.

At the time I played chaos space marines, and while I’m sure my memories are tinted with nostalgia goggles, I feel like I was better then about working on a single project and getting it mostly done than I am now. Now I often work on multiple projects at a time, which more often than not results in a lot of works in progress… and none of them finished.

I’m probably not alone in this, but I am curious how other hobbyists tackle their own projects and miniatures. If you’re reading this and have some thoughts, let me know!

I will say that I just started working on the next Battlewagon for my Ork army, and I very much felt that huge sense of enjoyment that I’m talking about here while I assembled it. (I get the same happiness from putting Rhinos together, actually.) The next step now is to keep focus and get the vehicle finished before I become a hobby butterfly and move on to the next shiny miniature.

Until next time,


Faction Focus: Orks

I remember painting 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000 plastic orks one empty afternoon at my dad’s restaurant. Bad Moons Yellow paint was not doing what I wanted, and I kept getting frustrated. At the time, I didn’t know that yellow was one of the least pigmented colors, and this was long before the advent of Averland Sunset. All I knew was that these orks probably wouldn’t end up as Bad Moons.

It would be a very long time before I returned to orks in Warhammer 40K, or to 40K in general for that matter. But I think in some way, orks were always at the back of my mind. Finally around 2012 I took the plunge and bought the codex(orks were still running on the 4th edition codex at the time) and a box of ork boyz.

Since then I’ve painted a decent number of Bad Moons, took a deep dive into the Horus Heresy with the Alpha Legion, and this Orktober returned to my long standing Ork Projekt with some Deathskulls.

I’ve been inspired by some Warhammer Community articles by Adrian Wood and Guy Haley and thought that it would be fun this year to work on a vehicle based detachment, featuring a Deffkilla Wartrike, several Boomdakka Snazzwagons, a few trukks, and some Battlewagons. Fill to the brim with ork boyz and Nobz, naturally.

It’s almost the end of the month, and I’m happy to say that so far I’ve been able to finish a full Battlewagon, a Kromlech Blitzkrieg 222 Assault vehicle, and a squad of 10 ork boyz with more ready for paint. Waiting in the wings are several trukks, one of which I started years ago and am counting as a refurb(it needs a lot of work), and more Snazzwagons.

My ork collection is vast and uncategorized, and I’m always finding new things that I’d forgotten purchasing. While all of us gamers often pledge “I’m not buying anything else until this is all painted”, I’ve actually been mildly successful at not buying unnecessary miniatures for the last part of this year(terrain is a different matter).

At some point I’ll finish the tankbustas I had mostly done, but for now there’s a lot to keep me busy, and a whole fleet of vehicles to bash together in true mekaniak fashion.

Promethium City Terrain

Build the Battlefield

I like terrain. It makes a big difference for your war games, when a table is filled with good terrain that adds to the game and, even better, tells a story. The last two years I’ve been slowly adding to a growing terrain collection, mostly mdf pieces from various companies.

In my head, this is for a promethium refinery on a Mars-type planet – think sort of like Paramar, where the Alpha Legion faced the Iron Warriors in battle during the Horus Heresy. I think this started when Tabletop Scenics began releasing their terrain. I know I was immediately interested in the Promethium Chimney. I have several posts on this already, but in effect it’s a structure built up with central cylinders, with added on railings, platforms, and stair access.

This leads into my next point, and that’s the invaluable help of Mel the Terrain Tutor. In an indirect way, at least – Mel’s YouTube channel is a source of inspiration, great tricks, and tutorials.

He’s currently writing a book on terrain building that was very successfully Kickstarted, and one of the things he said in an interview at Adepticon stuck with me. I don’t remember the exact wording, but he commented that part of the reason for writing the book was because in his eyes, every battlefield had become the same, with the same types of product at every tournament or game store. He said that in a universe like Warhammer 40,000, no two battlefields should ever be the same.

And I really like that statement. It resonated with me, and while my terrain collection is all commercial kits, I do want to eventually work on what I affectionately call “Oldhammer” terrain – the type of stuff you’d see in White Dwarf and various codexes during 2nd and 3rd edition Warhammer 40,000.

I have a decent collection of older White Dwarf magazines, so they should be a great source for inspiration.

Death Ray Designs

Late last year I bought the Deadbolt’s Derelict set from Death Ray Designs, and for the most part it’s been assembled but unpainted for the better part of this year. Then, in July, Death Ray released a new line of terrain called Strider’s Landing. It featured terrain elements like bombed-out bunkers, ruined fortress walls, turret emplacements, and more.

I was interested, especially since it was all compatible with the Deadbolt’s Derelict that I already owned. I ordered the Bombed-out Bunker, and a week later placed another order for a set of Fortress Walls and some Ruined Fortress Walls.

All I can say now that I have it all assembled and mostly painted is “I want more!”. It’s that good.

The Fortress Walls are huge, both in length and in height, and will allow for some really unique narrative tables I think. They slot perfectly into the columns that are used for both the Derelict and Warp Strider sets, meaning that it’s easy to build on.

The Bombed-out Bunker was a lot of fun to build, and the finished piece takes up a big chunk of space even without the walls slotted in. I’m considering what I want to add next.

Multiverse Shipping Containers Painted

The other day I shared some pictures of the Multiverse Gaming Shipping Containers. In that post, I’d gotten as far as base coating them and talked a bit about my painting process.

Here I’ll show off the mostly finished containers. 


After airbrushing the colors on these, I applied a variety of number and letter decals from Fallout Hobbies – I figured that shipping containers needed some kind of identification codes, even during the Horus Heresy. 

Once the decals were applied, I did some sponge chipping in various places using a few different colors; Rhinox Hide and Skrag Brown, specifically. This adds some much needed wear and tear; in the Warhammer universe, many of the capital ships are hundreds of years old, and I suspect that the same applies to anything cargo-related. These containers have seen thousands of voyages across the Warp, and that age needs to show. 

I went a little heavy on the glue when putting these together, and instead of wiping it off like a smart man, I left it to dry. And then promptly forgot to scrape it off before priming. Whoops. So I need to cover some of the uglier glue spots – which is where oils, and possibly weathering pigments, come in. No pictures of this part of the process – yet. 

Painting wargaming terrain is still a new learning process for me, but I’m enjoying it so far. And it will make for an epic game table someday. 

Back at it Again

It’s been a long absence, and I feel like there’s a lot to cover regarding what I did in this long blogging lull. It may take more than one post. But that’s ok, right? 

Looking at my post history, it looks like the last thing I talked about was the Orc Troop Transmitta from Tabletop Scenics. I regret to inform you all that despite my excitement, I never did end up picking one up – I think I found that shipping from Poland on a $60 terrain set was …a lot. I know that my friendly local gaming store has one on the shelf, and it tempts me every time I visit.

On the subject of terrain, I’ll be talking about that  today, so stay tuned. Over the last eight months I’ve also put in a good amount of work on my Alpha Legion, and I’m excited to share progress updates with you. But first, more mdf terrain! 

Multiverse Gaming

Multiverse Gaming is a company based in Poland that does a variety of pieces of mdf terrain, including their “Forges of Prometheus” line. They recently had a sale, and I took the opportunity to grab a couple of sets of shipping containers and some catwalks. Here I’ll be showing off the shipping containers. 

The containers come in sets of 2, and I grabbed the SIT Containers(Gothic Pattern B) – I think the pattern determines what the side accessory panels look like, and the doors are slightly different from Pattern A. 

Build and Paint

Assembly looked intimidating at first, but I quickly got used to the process, and worked on the last two container simultaneously – this let me assemble other sections while my glue dried on the first portions of the process, and was altogether a bit faster than doing them individually. 

These containers are a great size for your games of Warhammer 30,000 and will make excellent pieces for line of sight blocking. They stack as well, through a genius system that almost locks them on top of each other. 

I’m still working on finishing each container, but my basic painting process has been to prime outside using black Krylon spray primer, then apply colors afterwards using my airbrush. In the future I may look at doing more of the basic painting with spray cans, since they’re big pieces and take a bit of work to cover even using an airbrush. 

To give a bit of an accent color, I’ve added some stripes using Tamiya masking tape, and followed this up with a coat of gloss varnish. I’m going to apply some oil weathering, chipping, and decals on each container, and then finish them with a seal of more gloss, followed by matt varnish. They should stand up to gaming use fairly well. 

Final Thoughts

I can definitely recommend these as an affordable method for putting more terrain on your game tables. The price is right – about $15 or so for two containers, and shipping from Poland is more than reasonable. I’m now thinking about getting another few sets, and vague ideas for a shipyard filled with shipping containers comes to mind…

Ork Musings: Using a Tabletop Scenics Orc Troop Transmitta in Your Games

Tellyporta Technology’s Da Best

Tabletop Scenics keeps doing amazing things, and their latest Orkenburg creation is no exception. The Orc Troop Transmitta has just been released, and I thought I’d put together a blog on how it could potentially be used in your games of Warhammer 40,000.

Orks in Warhammer 40K are known for their use of teleportation technology, which seems to work on a level that the Imperium of Mankind doesn’t understand. The Orc Troop Transmitta, to me, represents one of these strange teleportation portals in the best way possible. I can easily see a group of mekaniaks getting together and working to build one or more of these on a battlefield(with the help of their hapless grot assistants, of course).

Ork “tellyporta” technology has been used with great success in past ork battles, including the Third Battle for Armageddon. And nothing is more dangerous than an ork Big Mek with ideas and time on his hands…

Using an Orc Troop Transmitta on the Tabletop

One thing that the new edition of 40k is missing is decent terrain rules. There’s a lot of ambiguity in the rules as written, which I think requires some discussion with your opponent beforehand. That isn’t stopping me from coming up with some fun rules for the new Troop Transmitta, though!

I think this new terrain piece adds a lot of potential flavor to an ork army. Obviously the most basic use would be to allow it to teleport new ork units onto the battlefield. But that sounds… boring. So let’s kick that up a notch with some proppa ork flavor!

Orc Troop Transmitta: 100 points before upgrades

The Orc Troop Transmitta may at its base value of 100 points teleport in up 300 points of vehicles/units total. The biggest vehicles that will fit through the portal are Gorkanauts and Morkanauts.

It has 35 wounds, is Toughness 9, and has a 4+ armor save.


Kustom Force Field: 40 points – grants the Transmitta a 5+ Invulnerable Save

Bigger Capacitors: 50 points – increase the Transmitta’s teleport capability to 450 points worth of units/vehicles. Note that you are still limited to one unit/vehicle per turn(though units embarked in vehicles MAY be teleported in.

The Transmitta Mishap Table

You can see that I tried to come with rules that are both fun and yet not too overpowered – you’ll hit the Transmitta Mishap Table about 50% of the time, which seems to be about right for ork technology. Please feel free to use these rules in your own games of 40k and let me know your thoughts and comments!

I want to say a huge thank you to Tabletop Scenics, who provided these pictures of their new Orc Troop Transmitta when I asked. Go check out all of their Orkenburg scenery at Bits of War and add some great orc/ork terrain to your own gaming tables!

Tabletop Scenics Orc Barrack

Oi! I fink dere’s supposed ta be somefink about dem hydra beakies ‘ere, but we’z orks ‘as taken ova!

Orktober is here at last, and that means orks! I’ve been slowly working on my greenskins again instead of my Alpha Legion, and also finally got around to finishing the orc barrack that I got from Tabletop Scenics.

There was what I feel is a distinct lack of orc/ork terrain, or at least there was until Tabletop Scenics’ Orkenburg Junk City line of terrain premiered. They have a great selection of kits, everything from a line of bunkers that connect up to an Irontoof Bastion – a massive fortress fit for any ork warlord.

All the kits are made from hdf, which I believe is similar to mdf, though I’m not sure of the differences. That means that the prices are also pretty reasonable. Each kit has various layers that stack to create a really cool 3-dimensional effect.

Later this month they’ll be premiering a new kit, an orc “warp gate”, which they’ve shown a teaser video for on their Facebook page. Go check it out!

Building the Bones on the Next Promethium Chimney

All About That Base

The last few weeks have been strange – I haven’t had much inclination to work on my Alpha Legion. Instead, I’ve spent that time working on more terrain for that dream table. In my last post I showed off the assembled Promethium Chimney, using the grated bridges to connect it to the previous painted one. Here I’ll talk a little about the painting process for the bones of the structure.

A Strong Foundation

The basis of the Promethium Chimneys are the cylinders that hold up the structure, and the multi-sided platforms that form the base and the various levels. On the small Chimney, these platforms are hexagonal. Here on the medium version, they’re octagons, allowing for eight wall sections to be added in.

I’ve now airbrushed those cylinders and platforms, meaning that the next step is to airbrush and weather the walls, something that’s currently occupying my hobby time. I’ll show off some examples of that below.

I wanted to get paint on the structural sections first, which let me get a feel for how I want the final terrain piece assembled. While all of the Mechanicum Industrial Sector is interchangeable, it makes sense to glue certain pieces to allow for wear and tear during gameplay.

I like Tabletop Scenics’ products enough that I know I’ll get more, meaning that I’m more than ok with permanent structures. If anyone wants to help donate to this crazy project, I do make really cool dice bags…

Get Some Paint On It

HDF terrain is kind of a pain to prime with an airbrush. There. I said it. The actual airbrushing isn’t so bad, but I don’t like the priming. And I think that’s mostly because the pieces are so large.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk colors.

I’m following the same color scheme I used on the smaller Chimney, since this will all be part of a whole. That means industrial greys for the wall sections and stairs, and a dull red for the upper platforms.

I usually start with a zenithal highlight over the primer, followed by a base coat of Vallejo German Grey. Over that I begin mixing in AK Interactive Dunkelgrau, with a final highlight coat using Minitaire INSERT PAINT NAME

The platforms are done in Vallejo German Red Brown, a nice dull red that when dry almost mimics a thin coat of rusty metal.

For the weathering I use a sponge chipping technique, starting first with AK Interactive Dark Rust, then GW Skrag Brown. On the medium Chimney I’ve also added in “splashes” of Secret Weapon Miniatures Tire Black, a really great dark greenish black color that I imagine represents promethium fairly well. This terrain is, after all, part of a promethium extraction facility.

The platforms also get sponge chipping in metallics – usually Leadbelcher, though P3 Pig Iron works as well. The undersides of these are done in German Grey, also with rust chipping.

For the bridges, I’ll be doing the walkways in the same red as the platforms, and will use the same grey for the railings.

Next Steps

Since I started writing this post I’ve had a few interruptions, and have been able to airbrush the wall sections and one of the grated bridges. From here it’s on to the sponge chipping on all of those pieces. Next week I’ll start work on the safety railing pieces that form the low walls on the upper platforms.

What’s your favorite piece of wargaming terrain? Do you prefer to buy kits or build everything yourself? Let me know!

If you enjoyed this post, you can also follow me on:

Twitter @greylikestorms

Instagram @greyedoutproductions

My Dice Bags

Terrain Talk: Medium Promethium Chimney

Terrain Situation Recap

In my last post I talked about the Small Promethium Chimney from Tabletop Scenics. Since then, I’ve been able to acquire a second kit from them, this time the Medium Promethium Chimney.

This second installment in the series, part of Tabletop Scenics’ “Mechanicum Industrial Sector” line, is both larger and offers more parts for creating a great addition to your wargaming table.

Now, I don’t actually have the space in my tiny apartment for any kind of wargaming table, much less the space to invite people over to play Warhammer 30K(current game of choice), but I can dream and in the meantime, assemble some really cool pieces of mdf terrain.

The Review

It’s awesome. Get some if you can. I’ll share pictures below, but I’m more than happy with the Medium Promethium Chimney. Like all mdf terrain(that I’ve experienced so far), it comes in a “flat pack” consisting of several sheets of laser-cut mdf that need to be punched out and then assembled using the glue of your choice.

The Mechanicum Industrial Sector terrain is all designed to work together with interchangeable parts, so you could get four of these kits and put together some scenery that barely resembles the pictures on the box. It’s pretty cool.

I like the Promethium Chimney kit because it comes with the central cylinder pieces that add some cool flair to it and I think help it look somehow more industrial/factory.

This kit has larger base platforms than the small kit from my earlier review, which is nice in that it allows more troops on each level and also increases the footprint of the kit in a noticeable way. It also adds more of the “wall” pieces, this time in a more armored selection than the pipe and gear wall sections from the small Chimney. You also get more of the smaller closed railing pieces, which makes sense since the platforms are larger and will fit more of them – eight vs the six on the small kit.

Additional Pieces

Because I’m working toward an industrial desert terrain table, I also grabbed Tabletop Scenics Reinforced Walls kit and their Grated Bridges. Like I mentioned earlier, these fit in perfectly with any of the other Mechanicum Industrial Sector kits.

The reinforced walls will add some much needed line of sight blocking, and the bridges are great for connecting all these kits. (Also pictured: Alpharius.)

Connecting the Pieces

I’m almost ready to start airbrushing the Medium Promethium Chimney, so I thought I would set everything up and see what it looks like all together. Verdict: it’s going to be pretty incredible when it’s done.