The Biel Tan Falcon is a quick and deadly tank. It’s ability to transport up to six infantry models anywhere on the battlefield make it a staple transport for Aeldari’s Aspect Warriors. The falcon’s Pulse Laser can punch through the toughest armor at a distance. The secondary heavy weapons the falcon can use, Star Cannon, Shuriken Catapult, Scatter Laser, Aeldari missile launcher or Bright Lance can be selected to tailor the tank to your opponent.
For horde armies the Scatter Laser and Shuriken Cannons are excellent choices. Their higher rate of fire and strength will thin out enemy infantry units. The Aeldari Missile Launcher firing fragmentation shells will also inflict high numbers of casualties on massed hordes.
One of the unique features of the Falcon is it’s ability to carry 6 infantry models into battle. This is the perfect size for carrying a squad of Aspect Warriors, the Aeldari elite to the heart of the battle or whisking them back to safety. Aspect Warriors are a key component of Biel-Tan’s Swordwind. Small elite bands of Howling Banshees, Fire Dragons, Dark Reapers, Striking Scorpions and Dire Avengers that strike at key components of enemy forces. Either as harassing units, units that must be dealt with or surgical assassins to cripple the enemy.
The Vyper is a fast moving gun platform, commonly armed with a Shuriken Cannon it’s capable of firing a veritable storm of spinning death. Vypers are deadly when flying solo. However a squad of 3 gains a substantial speed boost. Vypers make excellent escort vehicles for Falcons, armed with a Shuriken Cannon and it’s twin catapult launchers it’s capable of sending 7 shots at close range.
Replacing the Shuriken Cannon with a Heavy Weapon the Vyper becomes a powerful long range platform. Drawing fire from the Falcons, skirting the edges of the battlefield and forcing the enemy to keep track of them.
Starting from a Grey Seer primer I’m focusing on brush control and paint thickness.
I’ve washed the model with watered down Agrax Earthshade to help pick out the armor plates and other details.
I used a Citadel small layer brush. Choking up close with the brush I’m relatively happy with my control. The leg and boot armor look pretty good to me. However the left shoulder plate seems splotchy. I believe a 3rd coat is required.
From this angle green looks good. I’ll have to look more closely to see if the area just above his left hand is a lower armor leveland should be green also.
Pretty happy with the color application, really need more work on flesh and faces!
I primed the model with Contrast Gray Seer primer. I was going to try contrast paints but I didn’t find the ‘standard Van Saar’ colors available.
The Gray Seer was so light it was hard to see a lot of the detail so I washed the whole model in a very watered down Agrax Earthshade.
This stage is the 2nd coat of Kabalite Green. Very messy. I’m not particularly proud of my brush control. I haven’t painted much in the last few months so I’m trying to awaken some forgotten muscle memory.
Here the base colors are added, a wash of Nuln oil applied. The flesh was painted Rakarth Flesh, washed with Reikland Fleshshade and highlighted with Pallid Wych Flesh.
The Pallid Wych Flesh looked a little too stark so I added another wash of Reikland Fleshshade.
Lead by Alpha YDM-6 squad Xzel-Sht1 has been built and rebuilt dozens of times. Their battle engrams are extremely aggressive. Their aggressive nature often overriding the minimal self preservation protocols in the Skitarii cohorts of Kaiyune IV. YDM-6 always lead the squad closer to their foes to maximize the lethal effect of the yellow radium in their weapons.
The Catacombs of Abersim
A cohort of Skitarii including Xzel-Sht1 went to the Abersim system when tithes of heavy metals didn’t arrive at Kaiyune IV. The mines were busy. Workers went into the mines and heavy metals came out of the mines. The magos in charge of the cohort entered the refinery that separated the heavy metals from the less useful minerals and never exited it.
Threat protocols snapped into place and the cohort stormed the refinery. . A search for Magos Borl turned up nothing. YDM-6 ordered a full spectrum scan of the refinery. A faint binaric signal was picked up. It appeared to becoming from some distance below the refinery. A new search revealed a hidden panel in the floor. Opening it revealed controls that caused that section of the floor to sink rapidly beneath the refinery.
Beneath the refinery
As YDM-6 and Xzel-Sht1 sank deeper and deeper underground the faint binaric signal grew stronger. The floor stopped descending revealing a vast corridor. Strange Xenos constructs were disassembling the torso of Magos Borl.
Xzel-Sht1 opened fire on the creatures, having little effect on them. YDM-6 changed tactics and ordered the squad to focus their fire on 1 of the creatures. Metal shards flew from the creature until it fell inert on the ground. The other 2 constructs turned from the sparking remnants of the Magos and flew at the Skitarii. Quickly the squad changed their target to the closest of the remaining monstrosities destroying it seconds before its flashing claws reached them.
The final creature crashed into the squad, it hacked an arm off the closest skitarri while another claw pierced the chest of another. YDM-6 stepped up, his power maul slamming repeatedly into the xenos construct or whirling to catch the deadly claws and keep them from the rest of the squad. YDM-6 swung his power maul up and pounded what he thought were the creatures eyes and then instantly dropped to the ground.
Within microseconds of slamming the creatures eyes and while he was still dropping to the ground the remaining squad members opened fire , dispatching the strange serpent like machine.
Getting up and scanning the area YDM-6 ordered the still-sparking chassis of the magos and all the severed limbs to be retrieved. The squad quickly made their retreat alert for any new threats. They quickly made their way out of the refinery, broadcasting a recording of their encounter with the creatures and the tactics that failed and those that succeeded.
Building this was fun. I haven’t built a Forgeworld resin model in a year or two. It felt good to be working with it again. To get the pose of the Tomb Stalker curling up and over a piece of terrain I used some green stuff in the joints along with Gorilla Glue Gel. I find the setting time of the gel is quick enough to work with my level of patience to hold pieces together.
One of the personal highlights achieved while assembling this, I glued all 20 legs on without getting any super glue on my fingers. In fact I also glued on the 20 tertiary limbs sans glued fingers! That’s not quite as impressive as it could be, I used tweezers to position those little resin hooks.
However I did glue up the old finger-onis pretty thoroughly attaching the mandibles, manipulators and gauss slicer claws.
Painting, I primed it black with Stynylrez primer through my Patriot 105. I love Stynylrez, it goes on smooth, matte and is just a pleasure to apply. I then applied GW Air Lead Belcher and that’s what you see above. The Lead Belcher looked a little dark to me.
To lighten up the Lead Belcher I used Game Air Silver though my Sotar 20/20. Next I sprayed some Troll Slayer Orange down the center spine and on the gauss slicers, again using the Sotar.
The last few steps involved spraying Burnt Umber artist ink along the edges of the Tomb Stalker and underneath it to add shading. Then I cleaned up the orange overspray on the head and applied energy effects to the gauss slicers.
The finished model on it’s base, I don’t expect the antennae to last long! They’re just slivers of resin with very little contact area with the head of the model. They look pretty cool though.
Even as an acolyte it was clear that Garik-Z would not follow the typical path of a tech-priest.
Many thought he would study under the biologis because of his work turning criminals under an Imperial death sentences into servitors. The speed and accuracy of his mind wipes was often remarked upon by his mentors. In addition the servitors he turned out did not have the usual physical trauma and were able to be reprogrammed and repurposed more quickly.
These skills served him well in the decades he spent creating and maintaining the 83rd Skitari cohort. The Alphas he created had the highest survival rates of any cohort. His refusal to share his methods with his mentor lead to his being ‘loaned’ to the Dominus tasked with expanding Kaiyune IV’s Kataphrons.
The Dominus recognized Garik’s skills and gave him free rein to do as pleased. This suited Garik fine and he quickly set to work. Eager to test new ways to to remove conscious thought but retain any innate aggressive behavior, Garik was soon requesting the most violent and psychotic criminals.
He was extraordinarily successful in this endeavor. The Breachers and Destroyers he created sped across battlefields to close with the foe. They were among the most merciless of the battle servitors ever created. Where most Kataphrons were effective at destroying the enemies of the forgeworld, Garik’s were efficient as well. Other Kataphrons could destroy a tank or breach a bunker. Garik’s Kataphrons would destroy the same tank faster with less force giving them more time and ammunition to destroy another tank.
Having increased the efficacy of Kaiyune’s Kataphron cohorts Garik turned his attentions to also increasing their survivability. Before he started working on making Kataphron’s more survivable they were often treated like throwaway forces. They were simple and cheap to replace after all, there was plenty of hardware on Kaiyune IV and the only flesh parts needed were half a torso, spine and brain. Garik was able to imbue or nurture some inborn cunning in his Kataphrons. Those that survived one fight were increasingly more likely to survive another.
Indeed it was a phalanx of these veteran Kataphron that excised a Tyranid infestation on the moonlet Mera-X-178. Mera-X-178 was a mining planetoid that also produced a protein rich lichen in the mines. 800 of Garik’s Kataphron were deployed, over 500 of them being veterans. The newly minted ones were sent into the mines to purge and drive out the termagants and hormagaunts. The veterans remained on the surface and wiped out the broods of Carnifexes that were wrecking the preprocessing plants and other hardware.
Using a variety of tactics such as goading the Carnifexes into rage-filled charges only to be cut down by flanking fire of Heavy Grav Cannons or slamming into the flanks of the Carnifexes with Arc claws and Cognis flamers. Rapidly changing tactics and constantly on the move Garik’s Kataphrons were able to obliterate the Carnifexes before the unseen Hive mind could adapt to their tactics.
I’m really fascinated with the compatibility between GW terrain kits, particularly of the Sector Mechanicus line. I saw this in the March 2019 issue of White Dwarf and knew I had to build one. It’s a simple build and the step by step instructions in White Dwarf were very clear and helpful. All that is required is one Ferratonic Furnace kit and a Haemotrope Reactor kit.
I have no idea what a Haemotrope is, but I like the big Mechanicus skull on one side of it. There are 2 Haemotrope reactors in the kit so I used both of the skull-sides on my Ferrotonic Reactor. I’ll make a single Haemotrope reactor with the other 2 sides and some green stuff to the top of the pipes at the base as there’s a gap.
End on View
Now that it’s primed I’ll do a heavy wash of Nuln Oil Gloss then some dry brushing of a light gray or pale wytch flesh. Next the pipes and metal details will be picked out before a last wash of plain Nuln Oil.
Finally some weathering and maybe a few mechanicus decals.
All work done so far has been purely airbrush. The blues are Badger Minitaire Troll Hide Blue and Lagoon Blue. The white of the carapace is Daler Rowney White Ink. (Everybody is jumping on the Airbrushing Inks Bandwagon so why shouldn’t I too?) Besides I wanted to see if painting white with them was as marvelous as everyone says it is. It is. It really is. I’ve shied away from white armies in the past but now believe I can do one.
Here are some shots of a Sector Mechanicus table I put together. The idea of a table with lots of raised walkways has always fascinated me. The release of the Sector Mechanicus kits gave me the tools I needed to build such a table.
To be honest, at first I was just going to build a few pieces. But the furnaces were so simple to build I found it soothing and soon I was buying ‘just one more kit’.
I hated scraping the mold lines off the platforms and walkways. I had so many pieces, the very short walkway pieces, the long walkway pieces, the half circles, the angled walkways aka ‘all the platform and walkway pieces’. Scraping the mold lines off the edges took forever and left me choking in plastic dust. So I stopped doing it. I admit it. I left the rather visible mold lines on the walkways and platforms. I know it knocks me down on the ‘Hobbyist Scale’, like not drilling out bolter barrels. But it’s scenery. Terrain. It’s meant to add character and atmosphere to the game, not take away from the armies fighting over it.
In my defense I’m going to use the ‘There is Quality in Quantity’ defense. I had unwittingly acquired too many pieces. Well, unwittingly is a cop out. It’s not like I went to one of my local FLGS and thought I was buying a box of Eldar Guardians or Skitarii only to find out when I got home I had bought another Sector Mechanicus kit. I knew what I was doing. Sometimes I specifically looked for the Sector Mechanicus kits with lots of walkways or support trestles.
To Glue or Not to Glue
I glued some of the pieces together. For example, I glued a few of the half circles together to form one piece and then glued them on top of the furnaces. I also glued walkway pieces together to make longer, sturdier walkways. I did not glue everything together of course. Rubbermaid does not make a 4’x6’x 4′ storage tote (that I know of), and even if they did storing it would problematic.