Painting Salamanders (#WAAC #40KRaffle)

I thought I’d post up a useful guide to painting Salamanders, based on some of the cracking work by @SpectralRaziel and @GamingKing1616.  I’ll try to keep this up to date with any suggestions on painting Salamanders flesh, vehicles and alternative paint range choices too, and maybe for drake scales and flame effects as we go on too.

With the current GW Paint Range, the recommendation is:

  1. Basecoat with the Caliban Green Base
  2. Wash with Nuln Oil
  3. Layer with Warpstone Glow.
  4. Edge with Moot Green

It gets an overall result like this, which I think you’ll agree really pops! (pic by @spectralraziel)  More layering and blending could be done, but if we all stick to roughly that spectrum it’ll match very nicely.


@GamingKing1616 has been using the older GW paint range, and has achieved some excellent results by:

  1. Basecoating with Dark Angels Green
  2. Layering with Snot Green
  3. Washing with Nuln Oil
  4. Layering back with with Snot Green.
  5. Highlight with Goblin Green

Though a final edge highlight with maybe Moot green would match it up nicely! (Pics from @gamingking1616)

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Painting Salamanders Skin

@GamingKing1616 has had some amazing results painting the skin with Rhinox hide and some mournfang brown highlights.  Red eyes, of course, and hair in black with some gentle grey highlights or dry brush.  I thoroughly recommend something similar (even though the grognard in me thinks fondly back to the orange haired rogue trader Salamanders!

The #40K #WAAC Raffle

Well, I’m looking at sorting out a #WAAC Army raffle for 40K. In line with the MacMillan theme, I’m suggesting we do Salamanders!  The green colour is appropriate, as is the fact that Salamanders care more for humanity than most in 40K!

In terms of the raffle, I’d see it probably being a £5 donation to #WAAC for a single entry – multiple entries per person allowed.  I’d obviously be ineligble as the organiser, but those donating models or painting could certainly enter!  If entering from outside the UK, we’d probably need to arrange something to cover shipping costs – its not cheap to ship an army.

I’ll keep this page updated with a proposed army list and participants as we get volunteers and proposed donations.  I’m also suggesting we be pretty flexible with adding options – add some Legion of the Damned with green spectral flames, or a small Biel-tan allied contingent because you have some spare Eldar?  All cool!  Don’t like normal marines, but love heresy models?  A stern guard squad in old mark armour would be cool. I’m based in the UK, so I suspect donations or painting offers from too far afield aren’t likely to be practical.  Don’t worry if the proposed donation would break the force org – while I’d like it to be a complete valid army, with data slates, additional force orgs, and the like, we can probably make something work.

I have snapped up a few extra minis for the £5 #WAAC challenge that I’m happy to donate here, and an old marine battle force I can donate a squad of two from if there aren’t any other donations.

You can contact me on twitter as @evilkipper or through the comments on this page!


@spectralraziel has offered to donate and paint Assault Centurions and a Stormraven

@docbungle has offered to donate and paint an Assault Terminator Squad

@Dark_Eye_Jay painting the Libby donated by @evilkipper.

@TicosMinis in france has offered to paint a scout squad and an assault squad!

@paintysim has offered to paint a  Tac squad, and help with a basing party

@eastephens001 from MI, US has offered to donate and paint a squad of devastator centurions (but distance might make this impractical.  Still grateful for the offer!)

@ryglore from MI, US  has offered to donate and paint an Ironclad Dreadnaught

@calgarstudios has offered to donate and paint a flamer heavy sternguard squad.

@Dorns_Templar has offered to donate and paint a tactical squad and transport – I’ve popped in a standard tac squad load out and razorback, but happy to change these to however they actually are!

@gamingking1616 has offered to donate and paint a Secret Sausage HQ model, and donated and painted a chaplain

@jontygoesgaming has offerend to donate and paint a squad of Devastator Centurions.

@nationoflee has offered to donate and paint a single model – Forgefather He’Stan suggested

@elessarion30 has offered to paint a squadof Legion of the Damned

@husker04 has offered to donate and paint a vanguard squad and an ironclad

@hobbywobbles has offered to donate and paint a master of the forge.

@darrenbogus has offered to donate and paint a unit – currently a chaplain!

@vidpui has offered to donate a scout squad and paint an additional land speeder.

@rallyfox has offered to donate and paint a librarian

Current suggested double Combined Arms Detachment and Allies – 3411/3500pts

Space Marines Codex (Salamanders) 


Terminator Librarian – Mastery 2, Force Maul (95pts) (donated by @evilkipper, @Dark_Eye_Jay to paint?)

Secret Sausage HQ (150pts) (donated and painted by @gamingking1616)

Forge Father He’Stan Vulcan (190pts) (donated and painted by @nationoflee)

Master of the Forge (140pts) (donated and painted by @hobbywobbles)

Chaplain with Plasma Pistol (105pts) (donated and painted by @darrenbogus)

Chaplain with  Jump Pack (105pts) (donated and painted by @gamingking1616)

Librarian (65pts) (donated and painted by @rallyfox)


Tactical Squad – Vet Sergeant (chainsword & bolt pistol), 7 SM with bolsters, 1xmeltagun, 1x heavy bolter (170pts) (donated by @evilkipper, painted by @PaintySim)

Tactical Squad – Vet Sergeant (chainsword & bolt pistol), 7 SM with bolsters, 1xflamer, 1x ML, Razorback with TL lascannon (245pts) (donated and painted by @Dorns_Templar)

Scout Squad – Heavy Bolter, 3 with Bolters, Sergeant with CCW and Bolt Pistol (73pts)(@evilkipper to donate and paint)

Scout Squad – Heavy Bolter, 3 with Bolters, Sergeant with CCW and Bolt Pistol (73pts)(@evilkipper to donate and @ticosminis to paint)

Scout Squad (55pts) – (@donated and painted by @vidpui)


Assault Centurions (190pts) – (@SpectralRaziel donating and painting)

Sternguard (Flamer, Heavy Flamer, 2 combi flamers, sarge with combi flamer) (165pts) (Donated and painted by @calgarstudios)

Vanguard Veterans (4x TH and SS, Sarge with TH and Stormshield) (295pts) (Donated and painted by @husker04)

Assault Terminators (3 TH,2LC) (215pts) (Donated and painted by @docbungle)

Ironclad Dreadnaught (145pts) (Donated and painted by @ryglore)

Ironclad Dreadnaught (145pts) (Donated and painted by @husker04)

Fast Attack

Assault Squad – Vet sergeant with power fist and plasma pistol, 3 AM, 1 x Flamer (140pts) (donated by @evilkipper, painted by @ticosminis)

Landspeeeder – 2 x multimelta (80pts) (donated by @evilkipper, painted by @vidpui)

Heavy Support

Stormraven – Hurricane Bolters, TL Multimeltas, TL Assault Cannons (230pts) (@SpectralRaziel donating and painting)

Devastator Centurions (190pts) – (@jontydoesgaming to donate and paint)

Allied Legion of the Damned Detachment


Legion of the Damned Squad – sergeant with power axe and plasma pistol, 3x bolters,1xflamer (160pts) (@evilkipper donated, @Elessarion30 to paint)

Suggested Painting Scheme

Heck, all the volunteers so far are far better than me, so I’m reluctant to tell anyone how to do their job.

The only think that I think would be worth following is a fairly consistent basing – @PaintySim has suggested maybe going unpainted bases and doing a basing party at Dark Sphere?  Any londoners up for that on 1st weekend in July?

Salamanders are obviously in green with black skin tones where appropriate.  Use of white as a spot colour for the MacMillan theme is recommended.  @SpectralRaziel has done some test models, and a Caliban Green Base, Warpstone Glow Layer and Moot Green edge highlights is looking pretty damn amazing, especially with some Nuln Oil to add depth.  With older paints, @gamingking1616 has had a lot of success with old Goblin Green and Skarsnik Green – might need a moot green edge highlight equivalent to match it up.  Take a look at this post for what various test paints have come up with.  As new techniques and recommendations come up they’ll be added there.

If you’d like to volunteer something outside of the Salamanders, like legion of the damned, think how you could get the green theme in.  In the case of LotD, green spectral fire?  For Eldar allies, maybe Biel-Tan colours?

My 2014 from a gaming perspective!

Well, 2014 is almost at an end, and it hasn’t been terribly successful in terms of actually getting in many games, or actually getting much hobby done!  There were many grand plans for the year … and few of them have come together.  Next year needs to be a touch more realistic, I feel!

I still have plastic mountains of models that need to be assembled and painted!  If anything, the plastic mountain has grown significantly, with Orky enthusiasm.  None of my armies have actually reached the state I wanted to class as finished (with the possible exception of the Ultramarines!)  Though I’ve loved reading about Malifaux and Infinity, I haven’t painted my starting forces or played even a single game.  I do have a complete starter force for Retribution of Scyrah in Warmachine, but not managed to get that going either (though I am loving Warmachine Tactics on the laptop).  My major passion in 40K has been Orks for the last couple of months, and I’ve been gathering and planning an Ork Waargh (though that’s being somewhat derailed by the brilliant Blood Angels models being released right now, and enthusiasm for Silver Skulls!)

What has gone well?  #WAAC 2014 was amazing fun, with events around the country, and I’ve ended up with an brilliant range of gaming gear, from T-shirts, to dice, through to templates.  I painted some models that I think came out really, really well, and won a great book and a pro painting of my Bonesinger by Peter (@minimodelpaint), which is coming on amazingly well!  I’ve tried playing X-Wing, and absolutely loved it.

I’ve loved interacting with (and meeting some of) the #warmongers.  Twitter has been a brilliant hobby outlet for me, and that’s definitely going to continue!

I’ve got some brilliant hobby resources, with brilliant brushes from Gears & Games and Army Painter really making a difference, a full Army Painter set of paints in decent paint racks letting me dip in and out of painting to do little bits here and there around the demands of being a Dad – demands that are going to increase in 2015 with the arrival of another one in May! 🙂

I haven’t played much Xbox 360 for various logistical reasons over the year, but did manage to sneak in some Transformers and Halo, and completed Injustice!  I’m hoping I’ll get more video games in next year, with an Xbox One arriving for Xmas … Halo!  Destiny!  Titanfall!  There’s some amazing games coming out for the PC just now too – Satellite Reign as a long awaited “Syndicate” style game this week.  Elite Dangerous looks amazing, and comes out this week!  As mentioned, Warmachine Tactics is great.

I’d like to have reported much more hobby fun … but its been a cracking year.  I’ll try to follow this with my plans for 2015, and maybe write a summary of what I think the biggest changes have been in the hobby world in general.

Attack of the Ultramarines! The 5th Company takes the field.

Well, I have sorted out my Ultramarines to see what I can field as a painted force.  Its actually a pretty solid fun force that should match Saint Aidan’s Thousand Sons pretty well!

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Lets break down the list, and the fluff!  The fifth company are currently based in the Strike Cruiser Seditio Opprimere, tasked with intercepting a chaos cruiser targeting the outlying regions of the Ultramar sector.  The Master of the Marches will not tolerate this interference!  Much of his company is already committed to guarding various key worlds, so only some core troops and a few seconds from the 1st and 9th companies, Caito Galenus goes to war.

As a note, the standard 1850 point list here is to remove the dreadnoughts Cassius Charea and Julius Canus, and two standard terminators, taking the 2146pt force down to 1846pts!


Captain Caito Galenus, Master of the Marches (125pts) – Grav Pistol, Artificer Armour, Bolt Gun

Caito is a marine with a lot to prove.  As Captain of the last of the main battle companies and only recently promoted, he feels that the other Captains are watching his performance.  Keen to live up to the title Master of the Marches, he is perhaps prone to over zealous defence of the outlying regions of Ultramar rather than focussing on the needs of the Imperium.


Dreadnaught – Lucius Artorius, Hero of the 5th Company (130pts) – Assault Cannon, Power Fist with Heavy Flamer

Captain Lucius fell in battle against the Thousand Sons around 3 millennia ago, in an attempt to prevent the capture of an ancient book of secrets.  He fell in a last ditch attempt to defend the shrine, crushing the helm of the chaos sorcerer leading the charge with his power fist.  Once seen as a potential Chapter Master, his wisdom still guides the 5th company to glory.  There is so tension between him and Caito – Caito feels he is second guessing the new leader of the 5th.

Dreadnaught (seconded from 9th Company) – Cassius Chaerea (100pts) – Multimelta, Powerfist with stormbolter

Ironclad Dreadnaught (seconded from 9th company) – Marcus Curtius (145pts) – Powerfist with heavy flamer, Seismic hammer with meltagun

Ironclad Dreadnaught (seconded from 9th company) – Julius Canus (145pts) – Powerfist with heavy flamer, Seismic hammer with meltagun

Terminator Squad Praxus aka “The Steadfast” (seconded from 1st Company) (240pts) – Sergeant Praxus, 6 storm bolters and powerfists


Tactical Squad Scaevola, aka “The Steel Rain” (230pts) – Veteran Sergeant Gaius Scaevola with bolt pistol and chainsword, 7 marines with bolters, Flamer, Missile Launcher with Flakk, Drop Pod (aka Lucifer) with Deathstorm Missile Launcher

The “Steel Rain” are firm adherents to the Codex Astartes, following Gulliman’s advice rigidly.  They particularly favour arial assault, disrupting enemy lines and taking key objectives ahead of support.

Tactical Squad Sextius, aka “the Broken Wing” (265pts) – Veteran Sergeant Titus Sextius  with combi-melta and chainsword, 7 marines with bolters,  Heavy Bolter and Flamer, Razorback (aka Pallasii) with twin linked lascannon, hk missile, storm bolter

The Broken Wing are the mavericks of the 5th Company, favouring non standard tactics and load outs.  They normally break into combat squads working with the Razorback Pallasii to ensure maximum damage and mobility on the field.

Fast Attack

Assault Squad Tacitus, aka “Lightning” (120pts) – Veteran Sergeant Cornelius Tacitus with Powerfist, 4 marines with bolt pistol and chainsword

Although new to command of a unit, transferring from a vanguard squad, Cornelius is a genius slated to take command of a company one day.  Charismatic and intelligent, his decisive interventions have saved the 5th company several times already.

Biker Squad Corvus, aka “The Heavy” (166pts) – Veteran Sergeant Marcus Corvus, 3 bikers, 2 bikers with grav guns.

Marcus Corvus loves gravity weapons.  The effect on armour, the look, the glow.  Pairing that with his fast reflexes, mounting his tactical squad on bikes for fast moving interception of heavy armour simply makes sense.  His unit have become know as the heavy, both for the grav guns and the damage they wreck on the foes heavy units.

Heavy Support

Devastator Squad Labienus aka “The Hawkeyes”(155pts) – Veteran Sergeant Quintus Labienus, Lascannon, Multimelta, 2 Plasma Cannons

Quintus has been leading the Hawkeyes for two centuries now, and his long range kills almost rival Sergeant Telion.  Passed over for higher command due to his lack of initiative, he is quietly competent and content smiting the emperor’s foes from afar.

Land Raider Crusader – Harengus (270pts) – Multimelta

Harengus is the pride of the 5th company.  An ancient Land Raider that has seen direct service since the 35th Millennium, it has carried captains, champions and refugees safely across a thousand battlefields.  Refitted for the Crusader weaponry, it now bears the Terminators of the 1st company as a bodyguard for the Captain into battle.

Attack of #HobbyADD – Infinity, Malifaux and 40k in between…

Well, as always, I am suffering from #HobbyADD, but at the moment I think its a particularly advanced case! I’ve almost completed my #WAACPainting entry – the models are done – I just need some decent photos for an entry.  I’m looking a knocking up a quick display board to take the photos on. So, current projects (in no particular order)!

1)  Infinity Nomads!  I’m very excited about Infinity!  It looks like an amazing system, and the skirmish nature means I don’t need to assemble and paint huge numbers.  Plus nuns with guns – my battle sisters can stride onto a new battlefield.  I think I can hold off until Ice Storm though!

2)  Malifaux I have a Lady Justice crew half assembled (I still need to put the Death Marshalls together.  Interesting system with the card deck, and fascinating fluff and gorgeous models.  Only problem is that I keep eying up Viktoria’s crew and Gremlins….. Hopefully I can stick to my guns (of justice!)

3) 40K – Sisters of Battle I need to paint about 2 models to “finish” my Order of the Argent Shroud, and about 6 models to “finish” my Order of the Verdant Garden.  So close….

4) 40K – Imperial Fists This is my current “Churn em out army”.  I do like the Sons of Dorn, and these will probably be my standard go to 40k army for a while.  Assault terminators and forge world pads on the way to bolster a Lysander charge 🙂

5) 40K – Pirate Orks Pirate orks.   What more can I say?  I have a fair few Orks from Assault on Black Reach, and Stormclaw may be lurking for an upcoming birthday.  I’ve also got RTB02 ready to be repainted and take the field.  Add some Flash Gitz, and Cap’n Kipp’s Freebootaz could be ready to go!  Its a heck of a lot of models though, so I may end up holding off here.

6) 40K – Dark Craftworld Dark Eldar I have a reasonably DE force in need of some TLC.  I’m really tempted to reorganise it as a fallen craft world and paint it in aspect colours – Striking Scorpion green for Incubi, blaster wielding kabalites as fire dragons, kabalites as Dire Avenger blues, Wyches in howling banshee bone and so on.

7) Ax Faction minis for fun I’m looking at using some of these as Inquisition forces too, so not purely just for fun.  Cracking sculpts on these.

8) 40K – Fallen Angels This army has been lurking for ages and been bolstered by the DV set.  Totally unpainted for over 7 years….. I really should at least prime them!!!

9) 40K – RTB01 Crimson Fists Army Ah, my beloved Crimson Fists!  Painstakingly gathered from eBay to replace an army that got lost on a train years ago.  The plan is to recreate the classic Rogue Trader front cover.  Navy primer is ready to go!

10) 40K – Ultramarines More marines!  I actually have a fairly decent collection of ultramarines, some primed, some badly painted.  I’m just missing a HQ force here really!  Ironclad dreadnoughts and bikers recently added to the increasing forces.   I now have a complete enough force not to worry about these!  Counting Ultramarines as done!

11) 40K – Crimson Slaughter I have a reasonably solid force of CSMs in red and gold, perfect for the role of Crimson Slaughter.  With the addition of the Crimson Slaughter specific models from the DV set, this would be a great little force (possibly in need of a bastion or helturkey for anti air).  Just the CSMs from DV to paint here, though a fair few khorne beserkers need some finishing too.

12)  X-Wing Not started here, but a good guy locally loves it, and wants to play.  I love Star Wars, so I suspect mistakes will be made here 😉

13)  Armada If I like Star Wars star fighters, running a fleet as an admiral????  Yeah, this is happening.

14) DnD 5e Absolutely love everything I’ve seen for this so far!  Just wish digital versions of the core books were coming out as space is an issue.

15) 40K – Space Wolves My first 40K force back in the 80s!  The storm claw set has sucked me back in.  I’m not a huge fan of a lot of the recent vehicles, but the current character modelling is amazing.  Definitely to be painted in grey instead of the rubbish modern light blue though.  Will probably just be an allies force rather than a full blown 1850pts army.

16)  40K – Blood Angels Really struggling for enthusiasm here!  I have some really quite nice chapter leaders painted up, and some gorgeous terminators from Space Hulk to paint.  I have primed basic troops, and unbuilt death company and sanguinary guard.  Just not feeling too enthused, particularly without a current codex.

17) 40K – Silver Skulls Loads of unbuilt models for this, and they fit with my long term plans of having a range of silver armies sharing some vehicles with magnetised logos with my Order of the Argent Shroud and Grey Knights.  Need to work out the skulls for the shoulders and a quick effective paint scheme here!

18)  40K – Eldar Loads of unpainted Eldar, and loads of painted ones! Recently bolsters by  Eldrad, a new Avatar and some warlocks.  I need to sort out some effective fighting forces here – I think painting the remaining ones is quite low down the list.  Really tempted to add more wraith warriors at all levels though ….

19)  40K – Tau My Tau are pretty much done with a reasonable force.  There are a couple of options half painted that I’d like to finish off, and perhaps add some broadsides and riptides, but generally these are pretty low on the list as they have a fully painted force!  Ticking these off the list as have a sorted out painted playable army matching all my main criteria.  Not ideal, as could do with slightly different options, but cool.

20)  40K – Grey Knights! New codex due out, decent force already, and only a couple of things needed to be finished or assembled to finish them off!  Also awesome with the new psychic phase.  These guys may well be seeing the table again soon.  Dreadknight is tempting me!

21) 40K – Imperial Guard Valhallans Pretty much sorted out and ready to go!  Not great paint jobs, but OK enough to get by.  some basing of heavy weapons needed here.

22) 40K – Imperial Guard Cadians Ouch.  Loads of men, not much paint, and pretty much every heavy weapons squad needs to be rebased.  Lots and lots of work, not much enthusiasm at present 🙁

23) 40K – Legion of the Damned I have 15 Legion to be painted to use as an allied force to other Imperial types.  Struggling to get enthused though.

24) 40K – Deathwatch I have a 10 man squad with custom pads (both DW and a range of chapters), heads, guns, all ready to be assembled!  Must get around to building and painting these.  Very excited with my Inquistions types.

25) 40K – Inquisition I have a load of models from a range of manufacturers to put together as my Inquistion force.  Female paladins as crusaders, floating psykers, daemonhosts, the lot!  Very cool and good allies for almost all the other Imperial forces.  Quite excited, but as I haven’t started they are quite low down the list.

26)  40K – Tyranids I’d love to get this army finished to at least 1850 points!  They look gorgeous, and are easy to do.  I’m struggling motivation wise here as I basically need to buy a fresh army to make them playable with tervigons, more termagants and flying MCs.  I have genestealers aplenty to paint.  Hmm.

27) 40K – Necrons I have a fully painted army of these bad boys – rubbish in the current game, but fully painted and ready to go.  w00t!!!!  Could do with some newer models, but not loving the new fluff anyway. Counting these as done for now!  I have a complete playable and painted army all sorted out.  Not great, but done!

28) 40K – Militarum Tempestus I have a reasonable number of Karskrin Stormtrooper squads here.  No new stormtroopers, but enough to work well with inquisition or guard voices quite effectively!  None really painted, boo hiss!

29)  Scenary! I have a huge amount of scenery to assemble and/or paint.  From an Imperial City to Altars of Chaos, it’d look amazing on my battle board.  As it doesn’t affect my actual games too much though, difficult to find the time!

Sooo, 29 reasonably sized projects, and possibly a few more kickstarter bits to go too.  Ouch!  #HobbyADD indeed!

My #WAACPainting Progress (update 1) – Early Planning

In the past, I’ve never been great at planning my painting.  It’s very much a “get it done” approach, following fairly standard colours.  This is the first time I’m really thinking of a specific model for the best paint job I can do.

Lets start by looking at the competition.  It’s for Wargamers All Against Cancer, raising money for Macmilan nurses.  Although that’s not necessarily relevant, there have been a couple of mentions that the McMillan green will be judged favourably.  There are no limits on models or dioramas.

Now, while building a diorama would be cool, it’d require a lot of scratch building skills, and unfortunately my hobby time is pretty limited.  A single miniature is realistically the best I can do, I think.

There’s no requirement to theme things further, but I like the idea of tying things together a little more, and doing a healing character of some kind.  An actual nurse or apothecary, for example.  Finally, while I hope it’ll be display quality, I’d like to use the model in games, so tying it to an existing army I collect would be good.

I thought about getting McMournings crew for malifaux, and painting the dark nurses there, but that seemed a touch inappropriate, and difficult to theme with the green.  For 40K, I first thought of an apothecary, but the main colour is again white, and though a Salamanders work bring in the green, I don’t collect them.

However, an Adepta Sororitas Sister Hospitaller does hit the same healer pattern, and I collect a sisters army in green – the Order of the Verdant Garden.

So we have our chosen model, and the army gives an appropriate colour scheme – white, green and silver.  Next step, pick a more exact range of colours, and look for a decent set of resin bases to set off the model as nicely as possible.image

Attack of the Smurfs … er Ultramarines!

Well, I have a reasonable horde of Ultramarines, though they were hit hard by #HobbyADD and are mostly unpainted (just primed in blue), or are rather badly painted from an eBay purchase.


Captain – painted Black Reach Captain but with a broken sword.  Going to add a storm shield to the arm instead.

Captain – unpainted Black Reach Captain

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with his command squad

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Marneaus Calgar in Armour of Anticholus and Honor Guard (unpainted)


Tactical Squad – Unpainted with Missile Launcher and Flamer

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Tactical Squad – Unpainted with Missile Launcher and Flamer

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Tactical Squad – Unpainted with Missile Launcher and Flamer, and Rhino

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Tactical Squad – Painted with Sergeant with combi-melta, Missile Launcher and Flamer, and Droppod

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Tactical Squad – Painted with Heavy Bolter and Flamer

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Terminators – Unpainted

Dreadnaught – Unpainted

Dreadnaught – Unpainted

Fast Attack

Assault Squad – Sergeant with Powerfist

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Assault Squad unpainted – Sergeant with Plasma Pistol, Flamer

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 Heavy Support

Devastator Squad with Sergeant with Plasma Pistol, 2 Plasma Cannons, Lascannon and Multi Melta with twin lascannon razorback

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Land Raider Crusader

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Warhammer 40K model options … Without going to Games Workshop

Let me start by saying I love Warhammer 40K.  I love the universe, the Black Library books and authors are fantastic, and the game is generally fun, interesting, and has evolved in interesting ways (even if there are enough quibbles with the rule set to start a fresh Horus Heresy!)

However, I’m not as keen on GW as a company these days.  I’ve personally found some of the employees of GW to be pushy, unpleasant, and of an aggressive opinion that GW can do no wrong.  Everyone makes mistakes, so that tends to wind me up!  Suing authors for using  the term “space marine”, a term that predates GW by a significant margin is not exactly great work, for example.

With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at alternatives to GW models for various forces in the 40K universe.  These are just my opinions as to what you could use the models for, rather than what they are being sold as – you may disagree, or feel they’d be better as something else.

Chaos Space Marines

I’ve never found much in the way of alternative Chaos Space Marines.  It’s a very iconic look, which doesn’t lend itself to alternatives terribly well!

However, Evilcraft do a fantastic set of Chaos looking troops in power armour with bolt pistols and bolter style weaponry.  Very cool, and ornate enough to be used as chosen if you just wanted some specialist models.

Puppets War do quite a good range of conversion bits, much of which is suitably spiky for the forces of Chaos.  In terms of straight models, they have a great squad that work work as a Raptor Squad.

They also have a reasonable number of troops that are probably better guard proxies, but would make OK cultists.  They also have some cracking zombies, for Nurgle plague zombies.

On the zombie front, Hasslefree Minis do a great, and cheap, set of zombie plastics.


And finally on the zombie/cultist front, Mantic Games do a great range of plague zombie marines:

Raging Heroes have a cracking model that could be could as a Nurgle general.

Zealot Miniatures do a model I think would work well as a chaos spawn.

Scibor do a small range of Chaos terminator types, which could be could for chaos lords.

Chaos Demons

Raging Heroes do some amazing Preying Mantis models, which would make fantastic Daemonettes.

They also do a great demon option for a Daemon Prince or Greater Daemon of Khorne.  You could probably get away with the smaller version as a Chaos Lord in a CSM force.

Puppets War do some good demons too. I love the thought of fielding Plague Bears instead of Plague bearers!

Avatars of War do fantasy models, but that isn’t a problem for Daemons!  They do a couple of cracking models that would make amazing Heralds of Khorne and Nurgle.

Maxmini do a fantastic line of Nurgle style demons, from Greater Demons:

Through smaller plague bringers, which would make a good herald:

Zealot Miniatures do an interesting Greater Demon of Khorne style model:

Imperial Guard

Imperial Guard are the closest thing in the 40K universe to standard human soldiers, and so are probably the easiest army to find decent alternative models for – for the infantry, anyway!

Mantic Games have their Corporation Army range, which are perfect guard replacements on the whole.

Interestingly, I’ve seen their Veer-myn line os space rats used for very effective chaos guard!

Dreamforge Games have a great range of stormtroopers that work well for Tempestus Scions, or maybe as veterans.

Statuesque Miniatures do some really cool female resistance fighters that would work really well as cultists or irregular guard.  As well as squaddies, they do a few special weapons, heavy weapons, snipers and commissars

Raging Heroes don’t currently produce many models. but are launching three full female guard army lines, loosely matching Steel Legion, Valhallan and Penal Legion Imperial guard lines.  At the moment, they do a small number of female officers which are great as commissars or custom commanders.

Victoria miniatures do a tremendous range of guard alternatives, as well as bits for customising any GW troops you may get.  If you want a custom regiment, or decent female troops, this is the place to go.  Their Arcadian rifles look absolutely cracking models.

Puppets War do a few squad options, but I’m not amazing taken by them, to be honest.  What I love, though, are their rough rider options, on motorbikes with lances.  Its something that has come up in the novels a few times, so it’d be good to see on the table.

Scotia Grendel do some interesting lines from the old VASA and Urban Mammoth games, which could easily be adopted for Imperial Guard.  Here’s one of their VASA squads, for example.

Maxmini do some great catachan alternatives, female alternatives, and a few space ogres for some Ogryn fun.

Mad Robot Miniatures have some brilliant conversion parts, but you can get complete guard squads in various looks.  Decent Valhallans are always a bonus these days, especially if you have most of an army already!

Space Marines

Mantic Games have a line of Enforcers.  While quite a different look from the traditional space marines found in GW, the equipment ties up quite nicely.

Puppets War have an interesting range of heavy armoured troops that would also do quite nicely, including strike (power) armours, and terminator armour in a range of configurations – even bikes and vehicles.

Scibor do some amazing marine style models.  Most of them match to more extreme versions of the various Space Marine Legions inspirations – Spartan for the Imperial Fists, Roman for the Ultramarines, Celtic for the Space Wolves, and so on, though there are some more unique ones, like egyptian options too.

Hitech Miniatures do some really interesting models, and again, break into groups that match the SM legion inspirations – more extreme than the very similar GW ones.

Kabuki Models do a great line of possible Primarch alternatives.  Less appealing now Forgeworld are producing official models, they are still gorgeous pieces in their own right.  Here is the Castellan Knight.


I’ve never really found any good third party Eldar like models in army like levels.   That may change when Mantic Games get around to releasing their Asterian line of Space Elves!

Chapter House Studios do some great commanders on jet bikes, and also do a unique aspect warrior squad – Warp Stalkers – that looks like it’d run as howling banshees.

Dark Eldar

Raging Heroes are the current queens of the non GW Dark Eldar!  Not only do they have a really lovely female archon, succubus, and squads of “blood vestals” which are perfect for Wyches, it looks like they’ll be expanding their line in the future too!


Orks are tricky.  There aren’t generally huge numbers of space ork alternative models out there, though there are fairly large numbers of passable alternative vehicles.

Mantic Games do offer a large line of Marauders which would work well for Orks, both infantry and light vehicles.

Raging Heroes do a fabulous sci-fi ork warmaster, which would be amazing as your army warlord!

Puppets War do a fantastic range of Orky vehicles and planes, like this:

Adepta Sororitas

Well, I’ve never found any great models here for ladies in power armour.  Heck, its almost impossible to even get them from GW!

Having said that, it looks like Raging Heroes are planning on producing some nuns with guns options in the future – look here!

There are a couple of options that can be adapted from Privateer Press – Protectorate of Menoth.  I really like the Daughters of the Flame as Death Cult assassins as part of an Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave.  Picture from Firestorm Games.

In addition, I think the Harbinger would make a brilliant alternative to Saint Celestine:

Imperial Knights

There’s only one real alternative to Imperial Knights out there – and that’s DreamForge Games Leviathan!


There aren’t huge amounts of Necron alternatives out there either, unfortunately.  The best selection I’ve seen is from Puppets War. which has a reasonable range of things, like an enormous cyber spider (scarab) swarm.

There’s a C’Tan alternative too

And a couple of vehicle and canoptek spider options.  No basic troops at the moment though.


Well, there are a few options for the die-hard squats fan still.

The first is Mantic Games, whose Forgefather range is pretty extensive, and just the sort of thing you want from your Space Dwarves!

The second option I’ve come across is Hasslefree Miniatures range of Grymm.  You can’t beat some of these models for character:

Tau & Tyranids

Unfortunately, I’ve never come across anything that really works well for these!  There are a lot of Mycetic spores for Tyranids out there – but GW axed them from the codex.  Tau is a very unique look – there are some female Tau kits from Zealot Miniatures, but no full squads I’ve come across.  Some people have used Robotech type models in place of the crisis and riptide suits, but thats a step further away from the Tau models than I’d go normally.

Legion of the Damned

Well, though unassembled at the moment, I have 565pts of Legion of the Damned!  I have a 10 man squad with Sergeant with Power Axe and Plasma Pistol, Flamer and Multi-Melta, and a 5 man squad with Sergeant (with Plasma Pistol and Power Axe) and Flamer.

I’m very tempted to get some more legionnaires, so I could either field it as 2 10 man squads or 4 5 man squads, but that’s really at the bottom of my list at the moment!

Imperial Fists – Progress?

Well, though I haven’t progressed much, I have got a few things ready!

In addition to the three tactical squads waiting on the workbench, I’ve primed in Army Painter Daemonic Yellow:

  • Captain Lysander
  • A Devastator squad
  • A Sternguard Squad
  • A Stormtalon

That will take me into heady heights of actually having an army … with a flyer, once actually painted.

At the moment, I have painted:

  • A Captain with Lightning Claw and Storm Bolter
  • A Command squad with banner, meltgun, power fist, champion and apothecary
  • A Scout Squad with sniper rifles
  • 2 painted sergeants

Thats not a lot!  In process, at a three colour minimum standard (waiting transfers, washes and varnishing):

  • A dreadnaught with assault cannon or lascannons
  • A Predator
  • A squad of Terminators with Assault Cannon

And on the work bench, with just yellow and a few touches:

  • 28 tactical marines
  • a dreadnaught with lascannons and missile launcher

Thats a pretty reasonable force once complete.  If I can get things assembled and up to a 3 colour minimum I’d be happy to get them on the field – I think my enthusiasm to finish them will go up once I see them in battle!

For fluff, I think I’d really like a vindicator and some assault terminators, but they aren’t high on my list!  A couple of rhinos to carry troops to the front under siege are more tempting in the shorter term.