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Grimnir’s Thunder – Fun with Blimps

When I decided to paint Grimnir’s Thunder I was expecting to have an easy job – I mean look at it….

Grimnir's Thunder - completed

It’s just greens, and metallics (and base which is pretty easy tbh – see my earlier post on how I do these). Little did I realise that it’s a tad more complicated than I imagined. For one there is a ton of detail hidden on this model – a lot of it on the interior surfaces or the mid-section.  Then there’s the blimps….

No, I remember Man O’ War, it was a great game, it had fliers, it had ships, it had monsters, heck it was an innovation in wargaming, what I never comprehended (folly of youth) was the complexity in painting some of those fliers (like Warhammer 40k Epic’s models, they were TINY). As a result, the blimp(s) proved to be one of the most challenging pieces of painting I’ve done so far in Dreadfleet. In fact, I perceived the challenge to be so great, that I decided to start with them….

Following the White Dwarf guide, I started with the base colours.

Grimnir's Thunder - Blimps - base colours

As you can see, I’ve gone for the Gnarloc Green basket, Deneb Stone Blimp, Chainmail metallics and tin bits prow/weapons. This was then given a good wash of Devlan Mud.

Grimnir's Thunder - Blimps - washed

When that dried I picked out the specific areas with their highlight colours (go buy WD 382 to find out what they were).

Grimnir's Thunder - Blimp - highlighted

Finally I sorted out the base. This was done using the same guide I always use now for my bases, but at each layered stage (incl washes and drybrushes), I applied the same effect to the stem that the blimp sits on (working bottom up with the dry brushing). As a result I get a base and stem that looks like a good solid mix of sea and air for the blimp to fly on.

Grimnir's Thunder's Blimp - completed

I’ll do a second post later covering Grimnir’s Thunder.

Dreadfleet – Painting the Skabrus

After finishing the Skabrus base, it was time to get on with painting the zombie giant fish itself (again, majority of this was from following details in WD 382 but I did deviate here or there as colours – and my paint supplies demanded).

I started with a Chaos Black undercoat and brushed Deneb Stone all over the whole fish, painted the bell’s support strut Scorched Brown, the Screaming Bell in Dark Angel Green and again picked out the metallics with a 1:1 Dwarf Bronze and Tin Bitz mix.

Skabrus - base colour


Next up, came the adding of flesh tones to the body. WD382 suggested (and I used) a 1:1 mix of Leviathan Purple and Orgyn Flesh washes, I also washed the metallics and woodwork with Devlan Mud. I then applied a thing layer of goblin green to the Screaming Bell.

Skabrus -Flesh wash

When that dried I applied a verdigris effect (again 1:1 mix of Dark Angel Green and Hawk Turqoise, watered down into a wash) to the metallics and for my mini I applied a layer of rotting flash to the Skabrus body (it’s meant to be a zombie fish right?). Skabrus - Verdigris - flesh tone Skabrus - Verdigris - flesh tone 2

Whilst that all dried, it was time to sort out the gun decks and the mast. Scorched Brown was applied for the woodwork, Bleached Bone to the bones, Mechrite Red to the pennant and the Dwarf Bronze/Tin Bitz mix to the metallics.




I wash the mast and pennant in Devlan Mud. When that dried, I applied a layer of Blood Red to the pennant, line highlighted the mast with Kommando Khaki and picked out the Skaven symbol with Shining Gold. I also highlighted the guns on the gun deck and their wires with Shining Gold. I then went back to the main body and painted all the bones and teeth with Bleached Bone. When that dried I washed the bone areas with Gryphonne Sepia and then line highlighted the bones and teeth with Skull White. I line highlighted the Screaming Bell with Scorpion Green and then did a thinner line highlight of Skull White. When that all dried, I put the ship on her base. I found that the mast fit into the gun decks was extremely tight, so drilled that out a little wider before fitting it together and gluing it in place.

Job’s a good ‘un.

Skabrus complete

Dreadfleet – Painting the Skabrus base

In my previous post on painting water, I said the effect should be fine for all of the bases bar the Skabrus, and here’s why. Unlike the other bases, the Skabrus has ‘organs’, you see the Skabrus is a giant undead, zombie fish, crewed by undead Skaven…. so we need to not only pick out organ details, but also leave a trail of rotting effluence in the Skabrus’s wake. Once again, Games Workshop’s October White Dwarf (WD 382) provided a ton of good advice. (Do go buy a copy, I won’t be doing blow-by-blows for each of the Dreadfleet minis unless I get a load of requests).

Here’s how I did it. Start off with your base colours, for me, this was Necron Abyss  for the water, Mechrite Red for the organs and dark angel green for the effluence.

Skabrus - base - base colours


Next up, I used a 1:1 mix of Tin Bitz and Dwarf Bronze to pick out the metalics and Scorched Brown for the wood. When that was dry, I washed the organs in a 1:1 mix of Devlan Mud and Baal Red and washe dthe wood and metallics in just Devlan Mud. I also dry brushed Enchanted Blue onto the waves and Goblin Green into the effluence.

Skabrus - organ wash - drybrush 1

As I waited for the organ washes to dry, it was time to move on to the second drybrush layer for the water and effluence. Again, Ice Blue for the water was used (again, focus on the wave crests) and Scorpion Green  was used in the effluence.

Skabrus - base - drybrush layer 2

Finally it was time to wash the water parts and the organs were dry enough to apply some effects. As before, the water wash (for both waves and effluence was a 1:1 Thrakka Green and Badab Black washed heavily. As that dried, I applied a 1:1 Mechrite Red and Blood Red layer to the organs, applied a verdigris effect (when you see brass turn green) to the metallics (mix 1:1 Dark Angel Green to Hawk Turqoise then water down to a wash and apply) and touched up the wood work with more Scorched Brown. When the organ layer was dry, I applied line highlighting to the organs to pick out details.

Skabrus - organ highlight


Finally, as the water wash dried, I applied a final dry brush layer of Skull White to the wave crests and effluence. Jobs a Good ‘Un.Skabrus - base complete

My next post shows how I did the Skabrus body, you’ll find it here

The Stormraven – Part 2

Continued on from Stormraven – Part 1.

After the base coat, it was time to use the airbrush to re-coat the exterior surfaces with Blood Red, and time to start work on the interior detailing such as the seating and the screens.

Storm Raven - internal detailing of screens/seating  Storm Raven - internal detailing of screens/seating (alt side) Storm Raven - overview of internal detailing

Once again, GW’s Guide provided some excellent tips, especially on gem effects for screens – something I replicated again in the cockpit.


Storm Raven - Cockpit

Continued in The Stormraven – part 3

BA vs. IG Battle Report – 20/06/11


Imperial Guard:

Command Squad (Missile Launcher, Master of the Ordinance)

Storm Troopers *6

Psyker Battle Squad *9 +overseer

Guardsman Marbo

Veteran Squad (3 Plasma, Gunnery Sgt Harker)

Veteran Squad (3 Meltaguns, Chimera)

Infantry Platoon Command (LT, 4 Flamers, Chimera)

3* Infantry Squad (10 man, Inc. Autocannon)

2*Armoured Sentinel Squads (2 Sentinels in each, all with Plasma Cannons)

Leman Russ (Battlecannon, H. Bolter)


Blood Angels:

Cpt Tycho (5th Company Cpt)

5 Death Company (Jump Packs, 4 Power Weapons, 1 Power Fist,5 Bolt Pistols)

Death Company Dreadnought (Blood Talons, Magna Grapple)

Scout Squad (3 Bolters, H. Bolter, Bolt Pistol/Combat Blade)

Tactical Squad (10 Man (split into two squads of 5), Land Raider, Meltagun, Missile Launcher)

Baal Predator (Flamestorm, Heavy Flamers)

Baal Predator (Twin AC, Heavy Bolters, Pintle Storm Bolter)

Dreadnought (Missile Launcher, Plasma Cannon)



Seize Ground (3 Objectives), Spearhead Deployment. Object 1 in centre, Objective 2 in North West Quadrant, Objective 3 in South East Quadrant

IG setup first in North East Quadrant.

Blood Angels Setup in South West Quadrant.

(Harker’s Veteran Squad deploy in North West Quadrant near Objective)

(Baal predators scout move to within 12” of enemy lines and deployed smoke, Scouts deploy close to objective in bunker)


Turn 1 Guard

Across the ruined landscape, the Imperial Guard took stock of the incoming Blood Angel spearhead. As the Baal predators roared into flanking positions in front of the ruins and the woodland, motion detectors picked up signs of a scout unit closing in on a defensive position in the South East quadrant of the battle zone. Knowing they could not afford to lose such an affordable position, the Guard Colonel ordered the Lieutenant to take an armoured sentinel squadron and the spare chimera  to go cleanse the area and hold the bunker. Turning his sights back towards the approaching and smoke screened armour, the Colonel ordered his second veteran squad to approach in their Chimera and turn the Flamestorm Baal to slag before it could harm his men. The hidden veteran squad moved forward on the North Western flank to take up and advantageous firing position and rained plasma fire down on the Death Company dreadnought, but failed to damage it’s armour. Meanwhile, the heavy guns of the infantry squads, the plasma cannons of the sentinels and the Battlecannon on the Leman Russ opened fire. In the ensuing barrage, both the crews of Baals were shaken, the Flamestorm Baal’s crew was also stunned. Shells rained off the hull of the Land Raider but none made it through. An ordinance barrage struck the Scout Squad, forcing them to go to ground but still managed to end 3 of them.


Turn 1 Marine

Seeing the devastating fire from the guard’s armoured sentinels and knowing the Scout squad was doomed, Tycho ordered his Land Raider to advance and bring down the closest Armoured Sentinel squadron. As the first squadron fell to the fury of the lascannon fire, the Death Company made their move and jumped out of cover towards the Southern ridgeline, eading towards the second Armoured Sentinel squadron. The Death company dreadnought advanced on the flanking veteran squad and hosed them with fire from its stormbolter and magnagrapples. Frag missiles and plasma cannon fire added to their woes from the 5 man tactical squad and the other dreadnought. Their cover proved insurmountable though and they only lost 3 men.


Turn 2 Guard

As the smoke screens cleared from the two Baal predators, it became obvious that the meltagunners had done more damage than they thought, a second round of firing from them and the vehicle exploded, the promethium in its tanks igniting in the volcanic heat. Shots from autocannons pounded into the second Baal, but it was the ethereal strike from the Psyker Battle Squad which managed to land a blow damaging it’s drive sections and forcing it to remain where it was by the Southern ridge line. The remaining Armoured Sentinel squadron, sensing the incoming Death Company opened fire but mistimed their shots, missing the Death Company in their advance. Heavy Bolter fire from a chimera and one off the infantry squads joined their righteous fury but the shots all but bounced off or were ignored by the marines in their advance. The Scout squad picked themselves up from the barrage, the noise of explosions ringing in their ears, just to be set alight by the flanking Chimera’s cargo. The infiltrating veteran squad, having been discovered opened fire at the approaching Death Company dreadnought, but once again, failed to slow it down.


Turn 2 Marine

With artillery rounds hammering the ground around it, the immobilised Baal predator hosed fire into the nearby forest, killing 3 of the infantry squad hiding within and forcing the remainder into a rout. The death company leapt skywards, landing in close combat with the remaining sentinel squadron, felling one of them but failed to find purchase with the second, however, before it fell, the two sentinels managed to end one of the company. Meanwhile, the Death company dreadnought slammed into Sgt Harker’s veteran squad, all bar the sergeant were torn limb from limb within seconds. Seeing his men rent asunder, the sergeant fled, but was cut down before he got a step. The dreadnought finally turned and advanced towards the veteran squad contained in their Chimera in the Northern centre of the field.

The Land Raider unleashed a volley of Lascannon shots towards the Leman Russ, but failed to penetrate the armour, whilst it’s machine spirit hosed a nearby infantry squad with its heavy bolters, claiming another life.


Turn 3 Guard

Seeing the dreadnought leaving the site of devastation, Guardsman Marbo, threw off his camouflage, pulled out a demo pack, took aim at the dreadnought, took a step to gain momentum, slipped on Harker’s remains and fell on the demo pack. When the smoke cleared, there was no sign of Marbo’s corpse, the dreadnought, did not even break it’s stride as debris rained down on it.

The Lieutenant and his flamer squad dove into the South Eastern bunker and claimed the objective for the Guard. Whilst the fleeing guard squad rallied.

The Psyker battlesquad, seeing the approaching dreadnought, tried to turn the fel arts on it, but the warp would not bend to their will. Artillery fire and rounds from the Leman Russ continued to rain down on Blood Angel vehicles and positions, but none of them managed to inflict any damage.

Landing hammer blows from their autocannons and heavy bolters, the guard managed to silence the assault cannons on the Baal predator.

Locked in combat with the Death company, the sentinel managed to shake off stunning blows and hold it’s on against the squad.


Turn 3 Marine

With the Death Company locked in combat, a Baal predator immobilised and two unclaimed objectives. The marines appeared to pause to consider their tactics. Unburdened of such matters though, the Death company dreadnought charged across open ground and powered into the side of the veteran’s Chimera, stunning it’s crew and passengers.

Seconds passed, and then with a roar, a plasma cannon shot and two missiles impacted again on the guard’s lines, claiming the life of the Master of the Ordinance from his vantage point, but ultimately inflicted minimal casualties as remaining the men took cover.

The Death company tried to attach krak grenades and land killing blows with their power fist on the remaining Sentinel but could find no purchase beyond shaking it’s crew member.


Turn 4 Guard

Seeing his lines under heavy fire and seeing the closing death company dreadnought, the Colonel decided he needed to silence the long range guns of the marines in the South Western fortifications. Radioing the coordinates, the area was soon under fire from the Storm Troopers, claiming the lives of two marines and silencing the squad’s missile launcher.

Supporting the infantry squads, the Leman Russ managed to land an ordinance round on the Land Raider, crippling it’s heavy bolters, whilst autocannon and heavy bolter rounds bounced off the immobilised Baal predator.

The remaining Sentinel managed to maintain the stalemate with the Death company, demonstrating heroic resolve but at the cost of its plasma cannon.

Unfortunately the Death Company dreadnought succeeded in tearing through the fuel tanks of the Chimera, causing an almighty explosion, claiming the lives of 5 veteran guardsmen and pinning the rest of the squad in the wreckage.

Ripples in the warp once again prevented the Psyker battlesquad from unleashing their deadly magiks.


Turn 4 Marine

The remaining marines in the fortification, backed up by their dreadnought opened fire, in seconds, four of the six storm troopers lay face down in the dirt, never to move again. The remaining two men broke and fled the field.

The Land Raider opened fire on the Leman Russ landing a direct hit, which looked like it might have caused some serious damage, but when the smoke cleared, it became obvious that it was merely a grazing shot.

Uninhibited by the bulk of the Chimera, the Death Company dreadnought proceeded to slaughter the guardsmen trapped in the wreckage.

In the midst of the slaughter and the carnage, the lone sentinel tried desperately to hold off it’s attackers, but a lucky blow from the power fist crippled it’s legs and rendered it immobile.


Turn 5 Guard

Seeing the storm troopers in full retreat and knowing the dreadnought would soon bear down upon him and his men, the Colonel ordered the Psyker battlesquad to fire at the Death Company dreadnought. The resulting blast wave tore a blood talon off the dreadnought but also killed a member of the command squad.

Seeing their quarry immobilised, the Death Company finally managed to finish off their prey  and turned their eyes hungrily towards the South Eastern bunker and the squad it contained.

Heavy bolter and autocannon rounds continued to dent and scuff the armour of the stricken Baal predator but failed to dislodge it’s crew.


Turn 5 Marine

Sensing victory, Tycho ordered his men out of the Land Raider and moved to claim the middle objective. Once unloaded, the Land Raider proceeded to crush the wrecks of the two sentinels the guard had been using for cover, underneath it’s tracks whilst it’s lascannons shook the crew of the Leman Russ.

Heavy bolter fire from the Baal predator churned up dirt around the guard infantry squads while the long range dreadnought burned holes in the landscape.

Relieved of their missile launcher, the remaining 3 men of the tactical squad set out to claim the North Eastern objective.

The Death Company dreadnought fired on the command squad with its stormbolter and magnagrapple, felling another 2 of the squad before charging the colonel and remaining guardsman. The Psyker battlesquad could only watch in horror as the wounded dreadnought unleashed it’s fury, rending the squad limb from limb.

Meanwhile the Death company stormed the South Eastern bunker; from outside the bunker, the crew of the two remaining Chimera’s could only watch as ichor splattered out of the bunker weapon slits and the screams of dying lieutenant and his squad were echoed over the vox system.



With their commanders and veterans dead or fleeing, and the loss of the only objective the guard had held, the remaining men fled the field. Whilst victory was narrowly awarded to the Blood Angels, it was costly. One Baal predator was completely destroyed, a second would require extensive repairs. The Death Company had only lost a single man and would need to be tended to by Astorath before long, while the Death Company dreadnought had been damaged but not enough to be subdued. The Land Raider had suffered the loss of its heavy bolters and would also require re-fitting. Most telling of all, though was the complete loss of a scout squad and two marines from the tactical squad.