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The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling


New Host, hackers defeated, and Suppressors complete!

I've been absent for a while, party due to personal issues, but also partly due to filthy hackers!  Fourstrands was locked.  Not for ransom, but for some sort of information hosting against my will.  It probably wasn't porn, and if it was, the bastards didn't offer to share it.

Regardless, thanks to the tireless efforts of Lexington, who understands the ways of the lightning boxes, Fourstrands is back under Dreamhost!

And none too soon!  I have a squad of Space Marine Suppressors to add to my collection!



You'll notice that I haven't used any of those dreadful new flying stands.  I instead used a pin vise to drill into the thigh areas of the models, and used an old fashioned flying base stand.

I began painting these with Lexington when I went to visit, and finished them up at a paint night at AFK games.

Next: a revamp of an Assault Squad!  Plus, various repairs to the site.


AFK Crusade: Week 2

Week 2 was full of amazing things!

Azure Flames 3rd Company Expeditionary Force

  • Captain Edgard of the 3rd Company, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Forge Master, The Salamander Mantle (+2 Crusade Points)
  • Codicier Sangamon (Librarian), Force Axe, Jump Pack, Fire Shield, Drakeskin
  • 1st Tactical Squad 3rd Company, Combi-Grav, Chainsword, Multi-melta
  • 4th Tactical Squad 3rd Company, Combi-Grav, Chainsword, Heavy Bolter
  • Chief Apothecary Luiz, Selfless Healer
  • 13th Aggressor Squad, 4th Company, Flamestorm Gauntlets
  • 7th Bike Squad 4th Company (x3), Power Fist, 2x Meltagun
  • 8th Squad 7th Company Attack Bike, Multi-Melta
  • 10th Squad Devastators, 3rd Company, 4x Grav Cannon, Armourium Cherub
  • 15th Squad Eradicators, 4th Company, Melta Rifle
  • Brother Gondalus, Techmarine Gunner
    • Thunderfire Cannon

Game one was against Doug, a previous contributor to Four Strands, with his sneaky AdMech!

Near the end, Captain Edgard marched forward and smashed into the enemy lines!

Game 1 was a victory as Doug fled with only 2 models remaining.

Next, another game against the fantastic Rob and his Howling Griffons!

Both of our first turns were extremely horrible! Plagued with bad hit rolls and worse decisions. In the End, Edgard hauled the Relic objective back to my side just in time for the game to end.

Next week, more Crusade!

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Blood Bowl Chameleon Skinks and Team Markers

With the new edition of Blood Bowl, it seems the Chameleon Skinks, previously not fantastic, are now super good! So I had to have two.

Sadly, they're hard to find by themselves, and the new models don't fit the self-built aesthetic of the Konquata Monitors.

So I ebayed up some archive Chameleon Skinks (got a good price) and stripped them, then converted them pretty hard.

Behold, the newest members of the Konquata Monitors!

The old pewter Chameleon Skinks had grenades that needed to be snipped off. Then, I shaved down the arms of some plastic Skinks and rebuilt the fingers to have two conjoined grasping fingers like a chameleon. Then I added putty here and there to cover up scars from the grenade clipping.

Sadly, the two sculpts I got were the same (there used to be two) but that only make my creative juices flow for ways to differentiate them. Ehecatl had a hole drilled in his mouth, and pinned with a paperclip length. To the end, I puttied a sticky tongue, and then sculpted a Blue Morpho butterfly.

Each player of course has Genestealer armor plates for shoulder pads, decorated with their number in Mayan numerals. They also have Nahautl names.

I wasn't done! With the first season box set I had, there were no card tokens to keep track of turn, re-rolls, and score. So I raided my bitz and found suitable pieces for the Monitors as well as the Grimfang Scrappaz.

Now I'll be playing in style!

Next: more batreps and some Infiltrators!


Double Header – Azure Flames vs XVI Legion Primaris @ home!

COVID sucks. You can't go to places because some people just can't seem to wear masks. So, here I am with a big empty dining room table, old boards from Studio 40K, but only a handful of craters and no other terrain.

Luckily, long time Fourstrands contributor Thomas has been amassing terrain in hopes someone has boards! So we had some (socially distanced) 40K in my dining room!

Our original plan was for multiple games on one day, but delays forced us to split them between two days. It's time for a batrep double header!

Bozeman - Azure Flames (Salamanders) 2000 points

  • Battalion
    • Captain, Warlord, Exemplar of the Promethean Creed, Forge Master, Miraculous Constitution, The Salamander Mantle
    • Librarian, Fire Shield, Drakeskin, Fury of Nocturne, The Tome of Vel'cona (-1CP)
    • Lieutenant, Chainsword, Combi-Plasma
    • Intercessors x10, Thunder Hammer, Bolt Rifles, 1x Grenade Launcher
    • Tactical Squad x6, Power Fist, Combi-Flamer, Flamer
    • Tactical Squad x5, Power Fist, Combi-Flamer, Flamer
    • Agressors x3, Flamestorm Gauntlets
    • Apothecary
    • Company Ancient, Combi Melta
    • Servitors, 2x Heavy Bolter
    • Sternguard Veterans x10, Power Fist, 10x Combi-Grav
    • Terminators x7, 1x Assault Cannon, 1x Chainfist
    • Devastators x5, Armourium Cherub, 4x Grav Cannon
    • Devastators x5, Armourium Cherub, 2x Lascannon, 1x Missile Launcher, 1x Heavy Bolter
    • Thunderfire Cannon

Thomas - XVI Legion Successors (counts as Imperial Fists)

  • Battalion
    • Captain, Combi-Melta, The Fist of Dorn, Warlord
    • Phobos Librarian
    • Primaris Chaplain
    • Intercessors x5, Bolt Rifles, Power Fist
    • Intercessors x5, Bolt Rifles, Power Fist
    • Incursors x10, mine
    • Reivers x5, Grapple hooks
    • Reivers x5, Grapple hooks
    • Gladiator Valiant
    • 10x Cataphractii Terminators, Power Sword, 9x Lightning Claws, 2x Reaper Autocannon, 8x Combi Bolter
    • Primaris Apothecary
    • Invictor Warsuit, Ironhail Autocannon
    • Relic Contemptor Dreadnought, 2x Twin Linked Heavy Bolter

Mission - Overrun

Long Board Edges, 6 objectives. Control 2, 3, and more than the opponent for 5VP each, cumulative, cannot be scored on the first turn.


Not pictured. Thunderfire was to my extreme right. Tactical and Grav Sternguard on my right objective. Agressors, Grav Devastators, and characters on my center objective. Terminators and Tactical on my right objective. Devs and Servitors on my left flank.

Thomas hid most large targets behind a large building. Incursors took up the center big building. Reivers infiltrated.

Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Turn not pictured. Agressors advance and the whole army fires on the Incursors and Warsuit, eliminating them. Intercessors get a lucky charge on the Phobos Librarian but whiff and he cuts a few down in return.

Turn 1 - XVI Legion

Intercessors charge the Azure Flames Intercessors, but can't save the Librarian.  Shots do a bit of damage here and there.  Left flank Devs are reduced to one Lascannon.

Turn 2 - Azure Flames

The Azure Flames Intercessors are removed by the XVI Legion Intercessors in the building. Apothecary restores an Aggressor and they take the center crater. Librarian does first of three rituals for VP, but then Perils! Terminators move up and do a small amount of damage.

Turn 2 - XVI Legion

Aggressors get vaped by the Gladiator, and the Terminators take some wounds off the Ancient and the Captain. Reiver squads arrive on the left flank and behind me.  Contemptor emerges and blasts a Tactical squad.

Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Terminators Charge, doing surprisingly little damage and taking surprisingly little in return. Lone Tactical Sergeant punches the Contemptor to death after the lone Lascannon pops off a shot. Tactical squad on the right flank captures an objective.

After this, we decided it was getting late and Thomas ceded.

In this mission, getting objectives is the key. For turns 2 and 3 I got 15 VPs for the primary objective while Thomas got 0. This was a bit odd for this list as it was designed to castle up.

Next Batrep!

Bozeman - Azure Flames (Salamanders)\

  • Batallion
    • Captain, Warlord, Exemplar of the Promethean Creed, Forge Master, Miraculous Constitution, The Salamander Mantle
    • Librarian, Might of Heroes, Null Zone
    • Tactical Squad x5, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Meltagun
    • Tactical Squad x5, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Meltagun
    • Tactical Squad x5, Power Fist, Combi-Flamer, Flamer
    • Tactical Squad x5, Power Fist, Combi-Flamer, Flamer
    • Company Champion
    • Sternguard x10, Power Fist, 10x Combi-Grav
    • Sternguard x10, Power Fist, 10x Combi-Melta
    • Assault Squad x5, 2x Flamer
    • Land Raider Crusader, Multi-Melta, Hunter-Killer Missile
    • Razorback, Twin Linked Heavy Bolter
    • Rhino
    • Rhino
    • Rhino

Thomas - XVI Legion Successors (Imperial Fists)

Note: Thomas' list was the same as above.

Mission: Vital Intelligence

In this mission, objectives that you capture stay yours until an opponent captures them. Controlling 2, 3 and more than your opponent gives 5VP each.


Turn 1 - XVI Legion

Shooting pops a Rhino on the left flank killing 4 Marines as they disembark. Another Rhino is crippled.

Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Both Sternguard squads disembark and shoot up the Incursors. A Rhino blocks the Objective. Assault Squad runs to another Objective. Land Raider puts some decent wounds on the Gladiator.

Turn 2 - XVI Legion

Terminators pop the Rhino on the right and FIVE marines die! As Intercessors charge the Land Raider, Melta Tacticals overwatch with Born Heroes and countercharge! Warsuit charges the Rhino and damages it, while Contemptor charges the Tactical marines and gets punched hard!

Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Rhino falls back and the Melta Sternguard wipe the Invictor and a few Incursors. Tacticals punch the Contemptor again doing a bit of damage. Land Raider shoots the Intercessors to death, freeing the Tactical Marines to shoot the Terminators, and charge a lone Intercessor, killing him and then consolidating into the path of the Terminators so they can't move forward as easily! Turn not pictured.

Turn 3 - XVI Legion

Terminators annihilate the Tactical Marines and the Assault Marines! Contemptor shoots the Tactical Marines to death in combat!

Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Last Rhino advances to steal the objective on the right. Last Incursor is eliminated which frees up the Melta Sternguard to fire at all four Characters! All four are eliminated! Land Raider finishes off the Gladiator!

Turn 4 - XVI Legion

Ternimators charge the Land Raider and do some wounds. Contemptor charges the Rhino and somehow takes one wound.

Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Contemptor and Rhino stare at each other angrily. Melta fire kills 4/5 of an Intercessor squad in the gray building. Terminators continue to fight the Land Raider.

Turn 5 - XVI Legion

Contemptor whiffs on shooting and the Rhino does another close combat wound! Terminators continue struggle.

Turn 5 - Azure Flames

Boxcars SUPER SMITE wipes TWO Terminators! Shooting kills all but one with one wound. The Rhino kills the Contemptor with a lucky Bolt round. Captain executes the last Intercessor. Finally, in close combat, the Land Raider removes the last wound from the last Terminator. Tabled.

Once again, I was pulling down 15 VP per turn. 9th ed is all about going fast, hanging tough, and dishing out damage, in that order. If you get objectives it doesn't matter if your models are dying as long as you keep those objectives.

Next: More batreps hopefully and some Infiltrators!

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Judicar and Indominus Project Complete!

My Judicar is finally complete after some holiday related delays!

I did a head swap with the helmeted Captain head from Indominus, after filling the cross shaped hole with putty. I also added a flame to the left shoulder pad.

I wasn't brave enough to do Dynamic Lighting on Antonius, but because i cared less about the Judicar I gave it a shot and it worked quite well!

Finally, the Indominus Project is complete!

Steely eyed veterans of MSU's Studio 40K circa 2000-2005 will remember these boards!

It took longer than I wanted, but that was mostly because I imposed a strict protocol of Primaris -> Squad touchup and decals -> Firstborn -> Squad touchup and decals, repeat. In the end I've made tons of progress and I'm raring for more!

Speaking of more, here's a touchup to five more Devastator Bolters:

Next: a relatively boring update as I'm making more Hunter Killer missiles and blank hatches for Land Raiders and other sundry tanks. I need more options and what I have doesn't cut it. Plus more decals!

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Razorback Assault Cannon Turrets and Devastator Bolter Touchups

For a while, I've had to cannibalize the twin linked Assault Cannon from my Land Raiders when using that option on a Razorback.

No more.

With these Forge World beauties, I can now take another extremely viable weapon option as a support!

For touch ups, I decided to keep it simple. I chose five Devastator bolter marines painted recently, so they shouldn't need too many touch ups, right?


It is amazing how these models that I painted for 7th edition (to better fill out a Demi Company) has so many mistakes, mould lines, and missed details. One was even overprimed and a little stay-puft-y. But they are in much better condition.

That's not to say great. These are the Assault on Black Reach snap-fit marines. They are actually kind of awful sculpts. The collar on the back of the head is too high and blends into the head. There are a lot of 3D modelling errors such as cables on the arm/shoulder junction that look distorted. The poses leave a bit to be desired.

But they're good enough for Tabletop Standard!

Next: The Judicar, last of the models in my Indominus Project, and another five Devastator Bolters!


Indominus Primaris Lieutenant Sandeep, leader of the Lightguard, and Shotgun Scout touchups with decals

My Primaris lieutenant is complete! Formerly Sergeant Sandeep of the Lightguard, now Lieutenant of the 4th Company, seconded to Captain Antonius.

In addition, I spent a while fixing up my old shotgun scouts! I used them all the time in 3rd where they were the superior choice to Bolter scouts. Indeed, in Antonius' backstory, he used a Shotgun as a scout, meaning these august and weary models represented him and his squad!

These were some of the first models I painted and it shows. Almost two decades of wear made them a challenge to touch up. In addition, some of their faces made them look like they had just seen the Ark of the Covenant open. Why didn't they get a touch up until now? Guess I just didn't think about it.

Now, however, they have a nice touch up and snazzy decals! Next: Sniper Scout Sergeants!


Bladeguard Ancient – Return of the Lightguard! Freehand Banner and Conversion

I've been hinting at the return of some old friends. Long ago I ordered some Forge World Mk V armor to make a custom Honor Guard for Chapter Master Perseus: The Lightguard.

I never got to use them. They were too expensive. Now, honor guard seem to be an Ultramarines thing. Boo.

But they're not gone. In fact, they've crossed the Rubicon! Behold, my Indominus Bladeguard Ancient, the first of the Lightguard Reborn!

What's this? That's not the Bladeguard Ancient from the Indominus box! Where's his creepy skeleton banner and useless bone hand?

They've been removed. I drilled into the helmet, removed the skeleton hand, and carved the fingers so he can hold the helmet instead. I've replaced the head with a Sternguard Veteran head. I chopped off the skeleton banner and replaced it with the regular banner from the old Command Squad box set (I had a spare). Finally, a Black Ark Corsair cloak was green-stuffed onto his back, under the backpack.

Because the previous Lightguard had my first freehand banner, I could do no less for this venerable gentleman. The only part that is not freehand is the "IV" decal. I added the Lightguard Chasma Spica Constellation logo to both the banner and the heraldry shield on the chest. These stars represent the 11 star systems in the Azure Flame's home sector, fought over in BG V.

The cloak had each scale highlighted on both top and bottom for a nice 3D effect. The flame up top was started with Enchanted Blue and coated with contrast paint, then highlighted all the way to white.

Next: a squad gets their decals, and some Tactical Sergeants get finished!


Indominus Primaris Chaplain

One more of the Indominus box set done.

This chaplain proved to be a bit of a challenge. First, when clipping the backpack from the sprue, the back of the skull at the top snapped off! It was not able to be bent back or repaired, so I had to completely remove the pole that held the crowned skull and replace it with plastic rod. Mine will be a bit taller than a normal Indominus Chaplain as a result.

During painting, my sub-assemblies were:

  • Base
  • Legs, head, and Crozius
  • Front torso and bolt pistol
  • Backpack

Next: Firstborn Sergeants for Tactical Squads. After that, if I get a shipment from my LGS, I'll do Bladeguard Veterans. If not, probably the Lieutenant with the Volkite Pistol. Stay tuned!


Primaris Outriders: a critique of the sculpt compared to the old Space Marine Bike

Primaris Outriders are finished!

These models were quite annoying to assemble and paint. Due to the overlapping armor plates, I did a sub-assembly procedure as follows:

  • Central bike body plus wheels
  • Left Bike Armor, leg, and exhaust
  • Right Bike Armor, leg, and exhaust
  • Torso, head, and arms
  • Backpack
  • Chainsword (one model only)

My initial gripe was that the pins that make this model a snap-together break exceedingly easily, especially the thin pins that slot into the larger pins for the side armor. However, I consider this to be a blessing rather than a mistake. If you are building these models, BREAK THESE PINS OFF. You don't need them.

My sub-assembly procedure was also not a good idea for this snap together in terms of pieces fitting. Before priming, the model dry-fit together snugly. With the added layer of primer, these became too tight to fit without a pin vise gently scraping the inside of the holes. Even then it was so tight that excessive force was needed.

Excessive as it was, it was not enough for the front armor plating. All three models had to have a gap in this plating filled with green stuff and filed smooth.

I also had trouble with the incredibly thin join between the foot/pedal and the side armor. This bent a bit too often. If I had to do over, I might have used a modeling knife to completely separate these two parts. It would have made painting and assembly easier.

As a final note, I'd like to compare these to the original Space Marine Bikes. Here is a stock photo below:

The old bikes were 90's sculpts, and it shows. What doesn't show is that these bikes had a similar problem to the new Primaris ones. The halves of the main body met in the middle, sometimes leaving a gap that needed putty. Not shown in this stock photo is the join of the riveted armor moulding where it comes together on the back of the bike. This was almost always mis-cast. The moulding itself was annoying to paint (I like the lack of it on the Primaris models).

All in all, the new Primaris are a huge step up from old bikes. However, they still have significant flaws. Use caution and think ahead when assembling and painting yours.

Next: I like the idea of alternating between Primaris and Firstborn. I'm going to finish up my Devastators with Multi-Meltas and Grav-cannons. With Multi-Meltas having 2 shots at D6+2 damage, I can revive my old failed Melta drop strategy to assassinate a knight (or two!) Plus with two wounds on all firstborn, I'll need those Grav Cannons in working order.

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