Sunday 26 May 2013

Leman Russ - The Executioner of Gryphonne

It was 1995 I believe. Almost twenty very long years ago. I had been in the hobby for a year or so. And White Dwarf 187 came out. With the biggest and baddest Tank Battle report the hobby had ever seen. Leman Russ Demolisher was released in this issue. It was simply the most badd-ass beast out there, but since I had just invested in to some Death Wing terminators I could not afford one.

The world has changed a lot since. The Hobby has grown into unimaginable heights. Games Workshop is a real company with capability to release stunning and endless stream of great miniatures. Games of 187 size are commonplace. I've grown up and realized many of my own dreams. Big and small.

This nostalgic prelude reminds me that I should write a listing of my top 10Hobby moments someday sooner than later. Epic White Dwarfs, most memorable tournaments, painting contests, or grand ideas. But today I wanted to briefly talk about the magic of those early days, the core crazyness of Warhammer 40000 that has not changed through the years and end with a picture of a Leman Russ.

A Leman Russ is still fundamentally the same design and even kit than twenty impossibly long years ago. It still doesn't look like it would work, the proportions are off, the tracks too weedy and the turret too small and the updated areas only make the original surfaces look even more original. Apart from the Eldar jetbikes perhaps, not much has survived unchanged from those days.

Deep within the streams of creativity and impulse to build and paint this particular Army is a very distinct 2nd edition flavor and dream to push the project to that magical place of childhood wonder and Blanchian purity of intent. So far it's been working. I have not had so much fun creating miniatures for an Army before. Nor have I ever been pleased with anything I've built and painted on such a lasting level. This is painfully emphasized by the utter lack of free time in my life these days. The investment into this little pocket of time and imagination is to say I don't do two or three other things I also really like.

So within this context. What does it mean to build units of Armor? Machines made of steel and ancient technologies. Forged in forgotten times in distant lands.

  • each one is a "character" be it heroic or humble and ubiquitous 
  • apart from how materials wear, realistic isn't the goal
  • bright and graphic insignia
  • lit by the twin moons of Rhisienne
  • the guard tanks are a "squad" and the marine vehicles another one. 
Meet Colonel Vicer, and the Executioner. One of only three functional Executioner pattern Russes in the Rhisienne sector. The pride of Dead Sun division. Rhisienne PDF.


Post Scriptum:
I fumbled into an area of the blogger interface that keeps track of traffic and amount of followers. Guys, Thank you! I had no idea there were so many of you have not given up on this, despite having produced shit all 2013. Your support is a big inspiration.

Post Scriptum 2:
I found this very thorough and loving review of the said White Dwarf 187 from Dakkadakka! Youngster, check it out for how lucky you are with today's White Dwarfs and the terrific work Jes Bickham is doing. Oldsters, enjoy!


  1. I'm excited to see where you take this "old character" Migs. It'll be some place unexpected I'm sure, but completely familiar at the same time.

    I was a manager of a GW store in Sydney, Australia, when WD187 was released. I remember it even today as it was our highest selling WD (323 copies sold in our store) to date. Perhaps it was because we were touting it as "Play Dwarf" ; )


    1. Thanks Dave - unexpected and completely familiar is a beautiful way to describe one of my big motives for this project.

      I've really enjoyed following your brilliant efforts and blog. It's nice to realize people do combine work, family and hobby successfully.

  2. Ten Epic Moments in Hobby could become a great meme. I might have to do a BattleCast episode on that one.

    1. Yes, I really should try to write that one. Some pretty Epic stories to tell. Tapas with Andy Chambers, Playtesting, Studio visits when you would still see everything, Jade Vessel and the =I=munda movement it started...

  3. I remember this issue, and the battle tank :)

    Made me buy my first 40k models - Jungle Fighters :)

    Cheers mate - a joy following your stuff here - I only wish for more :)


  4. Great to see you back, Migs!
    Love the look of the Executioner and Colonel Vicer - can't wait to see the end result.
    Also waiting on the three new Alphas - don't worry about real life getting in the way, happens to all of us.


    1. I know, the extent of my absence has been a shocker to myself though. Busy times... ;)

  5. Thats aesthetics of 40k..but turret look a little top heavy to me :)

    You should try to make it counterweight like Iraqis for their top heavy t55

    1. Really like that idea! Very 40k. And a beautiful model! I'll have to think about this and if not for this model, I'm sure there's a more OTT IG heavy artillery piece of equivalent where it'll fit great. Thanks.

    2. I love your stuff all battle damaged and with sights of use, it looks real life almost.
      So making tanks gritty and realistic it what you will probably made from this model.

      I like 40k tanks while being silly treated like real models with signs of use and those little extra add ons and details.
      (And i really hate Leman Russ because of stupidly small turret especially for its canon! :>