Salute in Review: Mat Bought Toys!

Salute 2014

And relax… So that was Salute. Well I have to say for my first show since Games Day many moons ago it was great and I loved every minute… But I’m getting ahead of myself, let me take you back to the Friday before…

It’s Friday night and I’m getting ready for the early morning start to pick up Lee, Neil & Phil and make our way to ExCel London. My bag is packed with all the standard supplies, chocolate, Jelly Babies for that mid show sugar pick me up, Business Cards, Wallet with money (but no credit card) and of course my all important ticket. Now I have had a pretty hard week and not a great deal of sleep up to this point so I was really looking forward to getting an early night and some well deserved Salute action. But one more thing had to be done, the car needed to be sorted ready for the drive up, which meant fuel was required, or so i thought.

So I take myself down to the local petrol station. On route I realise I have three quarters of a tank of Diesel so I’m probably okay for fuel but as I’m out I think: sod it I’ll top it up. It’s at this point everything goes horribly wrong and nearly ends in my not attending Salute. So I’m at the petrol station idly watching the litres tick over on the unleaded petrol and…fuck my life!

I end up spending my Friday evening sat in the petrol station for 2 hours waiting for the AA to turn up only to tell me they will have to tow me home as they can’t drain the tank until the following day. Needless to say the wife was less than impressed and I didn’t get my early night. This did mean I had to take my little run around with 4 blokes up to ExCel. All things considered it did okay. It got us there and back in one piece and that’s the main thing.

But what about the other car Mat? well my wife waited in the next morning and a very nice man we will call Trevor turned up at 9.30am and drained the tank and topped it back up with enough Diesel for my wife to get to a petrol station and put the correct jungle juice in (which cost us £152 people check your using the right nozzle it can be an expensive mistake to make), enabling her to meet Phil’s wife for there prearranged play date (with our 1 year old daughters).

Jump back to 10:30am Saturday the 12th of April… SALUTE! MAT BUY TOYS!

The Shell Case has landed.


There was so much to see my poor brain couldn’t take it all in at first, there were hobbyists everywhere and toys galore, I don’t think I’m remiss if I say it was an awesome humbling sight, and it made my wallet cry.

But before I got to buying toys we had to round everyone up say hello as some of us had never actually met in the flesh namely Rob and Reece, it was great to finally meet thee guys, it also meant I could reduce the weight of my bag as I had Robs business cards with me. And once handed over I wold have more room for toys.

I had to remember that I wasn’t just here to buy toys, I was here on business, and it was with this in mind we headed over to a few of the indie stands to chat to a few people about some truly interesting games, that not only looked awesome but sound utterly brilliant.
Among these was a game that has been mentioned a couple of times on The Shell Case now and that’s World Of Twilight: Travels through Anyaral
first mentioned by Gav Thorpe in his guest post, but I will leave Phil to tell you more about this. What I will say is the models are gorgeous and it looks fantastic, I for one am really looking forward to this one.

A Game of Twilight in action.


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Next up was a very cool looking game that got Phil and I very excited, its in development by a company called White Dragon Miniatures its called Shattered Void and it looks and sounds truly brilliant, the models look great and the artwork so far is stunning, its also going to incorporate a bit of RPG so your pilots will evolve as you play more games, and the movement template is frankly inspired, it also looks the utter tits when being played, I was slightly disappointed they only had the one demo on the go as I would of really liked to of had a game of this and really get to grips with it. As I say it is still in development although some of the models were on sale on the day and it took a great amount of will power for me not to succumb. But rest assured when the Kickstarter is due to go live we will let you know all about it. This is definitely one to watch.

A Game of Shattered Void in progress
Some of the models already being produced and sold for Shattered Void

Another in development game we got to have a quick look at and chat to the producers of was a game called Twisted by Demented Games, this was in very early stage of development but is set to be  board game or maybe an RPG, I have to say I don’t think its 100% sure what type of game its going to be but one thing is for sure the models were beautiful, the ones we got to see were supposedly the main protagonists based on characters from Charles Dickens Oliver Twist (I’m guessing this is where the name comes from). From what I understood the initial board game idea sees different fictional characters brought to life by some sort of Engine. The Dickens characters are jumping about literature causing mayhem and mischief. As I say this is very early in its development and I think the concept is a little confused at the moment, but its still one to watch if not just for the stunning miniatures we saw. It will be coming to Kickstarter in the not too distant future, so keep your eyes peeled and hopefully by then it will have a better idea of what it wants to be.

The Twisted Game Board.
Some of the stunning models for Twisted.

Now… MAT BUY TOYS! I had a rather extensive list of things I wanted to get at Salute or at least look at but one of my main objectives was Pathfinders for my Tau force and some X-Wing shizzle to aid me in my ever growing struggle to actually win a game. So we all headed over to the rather large Wayland Games stand, I got my Pathfinders hoozaah, but alas there was no X-Wing Shiz for me or Phil although we did get some extra Dice for said game, I say these won’t help me in the struggle to bitch slap Phil, but you never know these could be the dice I was looking for.

Its Business Time… Whilst Lee and Phil queued to make their purchases Neil and I wandered over to Mantic, whose stand was swamped and with good reason, Mantic had brought with them a limited number of there pretty awesome Battle Grounds sets. During our rather long chat with the guys at Mantic we got a bit of an over view of the future of Dreadball, which honestly had us totally gripped and is something we can all really look forward to, I can’t say too much here but needless to say Dreadball is set to become something even bigger and better than it is right now. And getting the low down on the Battle Grounds set was awesome, it was really good to speak to the guys and find out what was there intentions for the scenery set, and we all agreed it would make a god damn brilliant Necromunda board, so watch this space as our Necromunda itch grows fuelled by Mantic goodness. After talking all things Mantic it was time for… MAT BUY TOYS!

The impressive Tower made up using the new Battlezones sets.
Deadzone, being played out on the Tower.

And to Forge World we wound our merry way, we had 20 minutes before the #warmongers meet, so this had to be a strategic hit and run style purchasing spree with the queue neigh huddle still being rather sizeable. Phil, Lee and I worked together to cordon off an area to enable us to make our way to the front on the queue (eventually) and pick up our wares, I had preordered myself a tasty Tau Battlesuit for my growing Tau force, yeay another tick for me… and a slight addition something that had been tickling my hobby spot for the last week… DEATH SHROUD. Yep I crumbled it didn’t take much to be honest, and purchased myself a set of Death Guard, Death Shroud Terminators. I’m not totally sure what I’m doing with them yet I’m thinking a small skirmish force but that’s always how these things start.

FOOD TIME, so it was that time of day where we all broke out from the buying of all the things as Ashley would say and went in search of sustenance to enable us to continue our day of awesomeness. It was also time to catch up with the other #Warmongers and compare purchases and stories of our days so far.

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Once more unto the breach my friends, after the #Warmongers meet it was time to head over to Heresy Miniatures, one to check out the new Netherlord and two for me to get my hands on a set of Andy’s amazing gangers, just to help me with that Necromunda itch. I’m doing Delaque this time around but don’t really like the original models Andy’s are a fantastic alternative the “not” Delaques are stunning and the full set ay of set me back £70 but for that I got 25 blokes and a big bag of weapons with some god damn inspiring choices. Sadly we missed the last Netherlord by a matter of seconds it was such a big hit that some desperate French man forced Andy to sell him the one out of the display case. but hey MAT BOUGHT TOYS! and another tick.

It was at this point Rob decided to join us the workaholic had missed the #Warmongers meet due to his blue foam addiction, and the need to push this on other people. Which I’m all for frankly. But it was good to have a catch up and compare purchases which were pretty meagre on Robs side of things, he did however point out Mierce miniatures were in attendance with some of their wares, so with this in mind we made our way over to the stand Via Forge World to enable Phil to part with some more money of some old armour variants for his Ultrmarines. Now I’m not going to talk to much about Mierce here mainly because I was so distracted by all the shiney I don’t recall much of what was said, luckily Phil was in attendance and did most of the talking whilst I and several other others of the crew frankly perved at the utterly beautiful miniatures on display. I managed to hold off buying anything here but mainly because at this point I was influx as to whether I was going to do Beastmen of Lizardmen for my Mordheim warband.


To West Wind Productions, now if you haven’t heard of them why not and where the hell have you been? They are the creators of the great Empire of the Dead Victorian/Steam punk skirmish game which has some great looking starter sets available with factions ranging from Vampire Slayers to Bedlam Inmates and Jack the Ripper, more on this game to come shortly as me and Phil face off with 2 opposing factions and a run down of the rules. We got chatting to Wendy whilst on the stand discussing our aspirations and explaining how much we liked what they had and what they were doing. It was at this point that Wendy filled us in on their upcoming update of Secrets of the Third Reich, One that got Neil and I pretty excited, I mean its a game that has Nazi Zombies for crying out loud what’s not to get excited about. And with its update imminent it is only set to get better. Wendy also gave us a quick update on their latest Kickstarter, War & Empire a 15mm Ancient Era Wargame, that got us all a little bit excited and I can foresee a few arguments about who gets to play which army. But more on this to come.

The Secrets of the Third Reich.


As the day was drawing to a close we headed to wards KR Multicase and its mountain of blue foam and card board… Via Forge World (again!) for me to acquire Calas Typhon to go with my Deathshroud. Phil also needed to make a stop at Studio McVey to have a quick catch up with Mike, and we dropped in on Sphere wars.

Sphere Wars in action.

After a quick chat with the fine people at KR including Rob… Again! and a sit down on their fine chairs made of the finest blue foam available, Phil and I walked away with an X-Wing carry case each, reviews to follow, I will say now its bloody brilliant and has got me looking at KR cases for my other armies now as well.

Big Blue KR.

It was at this point I took the opportunity to grab a few snaps of some of the stunning games boards on show at Salute, I am only sorry I didn’t stop long enough to ask a bit more about them, but I think you’ll all agree it doesn’t make them any less brilliant.



Sardaukar storming a Fremen Sietch.
Charlie don’t surf!



Oh and I bumped into someone who was clearly less than impressed with my last performance against Phil in X-Wing.

I’m no good to you dead!


So with swag in hand we made our way to the Bar for a much needed rest and a post Salute catch up over a beer, or Pepsi in my case (other fizzy drinks brans are available) all before our mammoth 4 hour drive home, not helped by football traffic or Phil’s inadequate bladder.

And… Relax.


So in review I thoroughly enjoyed my first Salute I didn’t pick up everything I wanted I had hoped to walk away with some Malifaux items but just couldn’t make up my mind on the day. I had also hoped to pick up some bits for Mordheim but again my own indecisiveness was the downfall there.

I did how ever tick a few of my boxes, I got my Pathfinders, Some X-Wing Shizz all be it just extra dice but that still counts, a gang for Necromunda and DEATHSHROUD. I didn’t foresee Calas but frankly I should of known the Pretty black boxes were just too much for me to resist.
Oh and the awesome KR case. Out of everything I have to say the Heresy Minis have become my purchase of the show and I really cant wait to build and paint them let alone play with them.

The Swag!


And its with some great contacts made and empty pockets I wish you farewell Salute for another year.





Calas Typhon Unboxing

I’m back from my adventure to Adepticon, and I brought home lots of goodies! One of my favorite pieces came from Forge World, the fearsome Calas Typhon [So much want – Ed]. I’ve unboxed him so you can get a decent look at him.

I haven’t been too keen on a few of the Horus Heresy character models that Forge World has released, but Calas really strikes me. He may move to the top of my painting queue. He’ll certainly be assembled this weekend.

Also in that queue are several other Horus Heresy characters including Angron, Fulgrim, and Abaddon and Loken. I eventually plan to have the whole set of HH characters, which is getting harder to do as they release them at a faster pace. Originally, I had just planned on getting the Primarchs, but the other characters have been such interesting models that I decided to go for them all.

My wallet weeps.

I hope you enjoyed getting to see Calas Typhon!

The Tragedy of Mortarion


Mortarion, the Emperor’s fourteenth son and Primarch of the Death Guard Legiones Astartes was doomed the moment he crash landed on Barbarus. A brutal world ruled over by petty warlords who subjected its people to horrors unimaginable for sport and the furthering of their own deluded schemes for power.

His crash landing drew the attention of one such warlord who, recognising the child’s strength, locked him away in the mountains to live a life of deprivation and abuse at the hands of a power-hungry maniac with dreams of domination. Even when the warlord took the time to teach Mortarion anything it was a brutal and relentless style of warfare that he sadly became famous for. At the hands of such a brute any hope of Mortarion finding the nobility of war and honour in sacrifice was lost. All he saw was the necessity of sacrifice and the continuity of war.

And the truth of his existence up to his escape and descent down the mountains was that he was little more than a weapon. An unstoppable force rolled out to win the war then incarcerated once more. His existence was not entirely dissimilar to that of Angrons. However, whereas Angron had Chaotic artefacts implanted in his brain overtly dooming him to the Red Path, Mortarion was exposed to necromantic powers and armies made up of what was most likely lesser daemons. Combined with the toxic atmosphere I suspect Mortarion not only was compromised of mind but also of body beyond the obvious gaunt appearance.

His escape brought him into contact with the pawns and playthings of the warlords – humans. However it was not an easy integration. Seeking kinship and acceptance Mortarion was, instead, met with suspicion and never really accepted into the community despite all his efforts. Even though shunned, he continued to work for the humans, finally winning their acceptance after he successfully defended the town from a warlord and his minions. However, as he moved from township to township lending aid and uniting them to the cause of liberation he was still a man apart.

Whereas other Primarchs, such as Guilliman and Dorn used this to their advantage, being an example to all and an immovable bastion of strength, Mortarion pushed himself all the harder, throwing himself into the thickest fighting in an attempt to be accepted as one of them. However Mortarion was feared and his methods of war, learned from tyrants, did not earn him the love or admiration of those he commanded. For all his efforts he was still alone. Only his closest and most skilled warriors, the Death Guard, came close to understanding him as a person, but his brooding humour prevented them from forming any meaningful bond.

Mortarion was an abused soul. Even when the Emperor came to Barbarus he manipulated his son’s hubris and dogged determination to join his crusade. And once at the head of the Death Guard he was left to instil the same sense of resigned and dogged approach to war that he learned at the hands of his abusers. But more than that, Mortarion desired, more than anything, for all men to be free. His treatment had instilled in him a deep-seated resentment for authority and control, teaching his sons self-reliance and keeping them at arm’s length lest he become ruler rather than leader of his legion.

And as the crusade wore on and he was forced to subjugate planet after planet in his father’s name he started to brood on whether or not he had swapped one tyrant for another. To a degree, he had, as you cannot rule a galaxy without rules, or one free of the lure of Chaos with restrictions and penalties. But he failed to understand the necessity of the galaxy the Emperor was trying to create or Mortarion’s place in it. The psychological wounds he suffered on Barbarus over the years split wider and wider and eventually began to fester.

Thanks to the slow rot that had set in from Mortarion’s earliest days coupled with his profound sense of isolation drove him into the fraternal arms of Konrad Curze, a soul just as tortured and troubled by the notion of empire building, and Horus. He found Horus’ charisma, ease with the men both Astartes and mortal alike, and his fervour and zeal on the battle field quite intoxicating. Horus nurtured this admiration as much for Horus’ own ego as it was about drawing allies around him.

At Ullanor Mortarion’s displeasure reached tipping point. The self-indulgent display of martial might was all the evidence that he needed that his father was no better than warlords he had fought back on Barbarus all those years ago, but on a much grander scale. He also realised that he was a product of that grand and ambitious scheme. It appalled him to be an instrument of tyranny once more but this time, willingly but unwittingly. And throughout he had thrown his legion against his fathers enemies, bludgeoning all into submission, heaping abuses on his sons in the form of war and death, as he had had heaped upon him. And all in the name of his father.

I honestly believe had Horus not calmed him at that point he would have broken away himself. When Horus declared war on his father Mortarion was the first to sign on, siding with the one person who had taken the trouble to nurture him and attempt to shed some light on the darkness Mortarion carried in his soul. Of course we know that Horus was using Mortarion and that only got worse as the Heresy took hold.

Mortarion’s approach to war meant that his Legion was destined to be clog the gears of the Imperial war machine and he was once more at the mercy of a tyrant, only this one was driven by blood lust and the whisperings of the warp. And it was these powers that would ultimately hold Mortarion in bondage. As we know he and his legion were forced to give themselves to Nurgle less they suffer an agonising death across the span of millennia. With a final act of desperation to save his sons – the one true paternal act Mortarion ever displayed – he found himself at the mercy of a cruel God.

All Mortarion ever wanted was to feel like he belonged. First it was with his adoptive father. Striving to impress the cruel warlord. Then it was the mortals who dwelled on the lowlands of Barbarus. Then his father and brothers and even his own sons. With all of them he felt distant. This was partly due to the abuses he suffered on Barbarus but because he failed to understand his nature. Mortarion was born to be free of structure and imposition. His aloof character was destined for far loftier goals when the crusade was done but his experiences tainted everything he saw and where he saw order and enlightenment he saw tyranny and closed mindedness. And wherever he went in his life he found himself at the mercy of those that seek to manipulate his idealism, for good or for ill, until he was forced to give himself to one of the greatest tyrants sentient life has ever known.

Deathshroud un…shrouded.

Those that subscribe to the Forge World newsletter will know that the Forge World have been doing their annual teaser mailers showing cut up segments of a model they think is kind of a big deal. Most years I’m not that bothered. This year, however, it turned out to be one of the new Death Guard Deathshroud terminators.


As pretty much anything Horus Heresy related is awesome it should get a few members of the community reaching for the tissues. For the tears of joy of course… The resin shot may not do much for you – although a unit running around with Manreapers seems pretty cool to me –  so here’s some painted snaps to give your hobby place a good rummage. I suspect some of the #ForgeWorldOnly guys may suddenly feel the urge to collect Death Guard…



Forge World Contemptor Variants

The Horus Heresy juggernaut grinds ever onwards with the release of the first of the Legion specific relic contemptor dreadnoughts. First up is the Death Guard and World Eaters. I can’t deny that they’re way cool, or that I’m excited to see what they do with my beloved Ultramarines but I can’t help but be a little hacked off as I spent £96 on two generic ones back in April.