Ave Omnissiah



Lachrymalus Magos Prime Sohai

I’ve been working like a maniac on my Heresy-era Ryza Mechanicum Taghmata (I really should abbreviate that. H.R.M.T?)

We just had a long weekend and I was really run down. My day job’s been mental, I’ve got two paid art commissions at the moment, and I’ve been taking medication for a duodenal ulcer, which has been hurting like mad for about six months. It’s finally getting better. Things are looking up. I pretty much just painted models in the living room all three days of the weekend while the family watched movies, taking breaks to play sword fights with my son and going out to pick up food. It was very relaxing.

And I got it all done! Well, all the niggly little half-finished units anyway. You can see them all at the Warp Signal instie account (link here), but above is my first magos prime, and below are my combat engineers, who I particularly like. Probably because they’re grey.


I hope I can keep up this momentum. To make 1000 points I need to build ten chainsaw wielding tech-thralls, six scyllax guardian automata (not looking forward to these little bastards), two more magi prime, and two more sentinels. Heresy is intense. I suppose I don’t really need the magi prime, but now I’m firmly lodged in the Heresy era, mechanicum are my natural element. They’re like the 40k Inquisition in terms of modelling opportunities – so many options, and pretty much free reign to model bizarre Blanchian monsters. I only need two magi but I have three planned, each one a unique cyborg.

Oh yeah, the sentinels. These are skitarii scout mecha, counting as Imperialis Militia sentinels. I make them out of kastelan robots and various other bits:


This one has a heavy flamer and a combat blade. There’s a bit of an internet parable to go with these guys. When I first had the idea, it was really hard to work out if a kastelan and a sentinel were of comparable size. I found measurements, and it seemed like a crouching sentinel was shorter than a kastelan, and a standing one was slightly taller. Out of habit, I went to a venerable 40k forum (one of the big old ones, I won’t mention the name because they’re going to come off a little… negatively in this story). I asked the people what they thought, did they reckon I could get away with it reasonably, etc.

I got six or so responses, all telling me not to do it. Not one person said “hey that sounds like a cool idea, you should do it.” Most of them voiced some variant of “oh no no no, they’re not exactly the same size and shape, you’ll be cheating, etc.” Several ignored that I wanted to make mecha, and told me to use 40k ironstriders. If I wanted a two-legged avian walker guess what, I’d use a bloody sentinel! Not wanting to settle for the frankly conservative answers I was getting, I went to my local Heresy era facebook group. Since they’re the only people I’ll ever actually play against, I asked them. Surprise surprise, got an overwhelmingly positive response. People were all like “sick dude, rule of cool, etc.”

The moral of this parable as I see it is that forums are of questionable use these days. Unless you don’t have a local community at all, and everything you’re doing is hypothetical (I’m sure we’ve all been there at one time or another), I can’t think of anything a forum is good for that isn’t done better by a local social media group or chat. Plus, having people I don’t know tell me what to do like they know what’s best for me? It seemed weird, even though I did ask. So there it is. I’ve been involved with forums to do with the hobby, with various levels of intensity, for over a decade now. But I’m pretty sure from now on I’m done with them, except to lurk and steal ideas find inspiration.

Does anyone out there still find hobby forums useful? Just wondering.

Anyway, got to go. Till next time.


This one weird trick will keep your army going all night!

This is something I’ve been thinking about ever since I started clambering back onto the old 40k warhorse maybe six months ago. I’ve been lurking on hoary old forums and certain disreputable mega-blogs, as they were the best places to get news and community discussion about 8th edition once that ball was rolling. Needless to say, the tone of these places is generally not as positive as on your smaller nicer blogs like this one.

To be honest I’ve noticed a bit of edition fatigue in the air. Or perhaps edition rage is a better term. People get angry, sometimes quite angry, when models they relied upon in previous editions to kick ass suddenly aren’t quite so effective. They rail at Games Workshop for changing things up and “making” them buy new things. I’ve been playing this bloody game on an off for like a quarter of a century now, so I thought maybe I should do my bit and help out with this. Even if it’s likely that the only people who will read this already agree with me. Maybe somewhere, someone who needs help will see this and save themselves hundreds of dollars and a lot of needless stress.

So here it is, the magical secret to making your army edition proof, forever, in two easy steps: Continue reading

Signal Transmogrified


Classic MKVI space marine. Looks like Jes Goodwin drew him? I love the balance and confidence in his pose.


Hello friends,

It’s been a little over four years since there’s been a Warp Signal post.

A lot has happened in that time for me, in terms of the hobby, my own personal creativity, the online gaming community, and how I relate to all of those.

I started another blog. I wrote on and off for the House of Paincakes blog network, and was deeply involved in that community before it proceeded to implode in a fairly dramatic fashion. I stopped playing Games Workshop’s mainstream games, and even went for a year or so without painting a miniature. I had a go at historical gaming (SAGA), cyberpunk skirmish gaming (Infinity), and I began (and still am) DMing a Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition campaign. I left my budding academic career, stopped writing fiction utterly, and returned to my first love: drawing and painting. I’m still doing a lot of that now, and I don’t think I’m ever going to stop. It’s good for me.

So… a lot has changed hasn’t it? The last time I posted here was at (perhaps) the peak of the wargaming blogosphere. We were legion, and the conversation was abundant and almost primeval in its creativity and intensity. Now we are few.

Well, there are still a lot of blogs –  but the light of conversation has dimmed a bit. And now there are not just blogs. There are facebook pages, and instagram accounts: thriving communities that are tied to the rest of our online personae as we inexorably come under the umbrella of the All Powerful Social Intermediaries. Anonymity seems a bit quaint and old-fashioned these days. When I started Warp Signal, I took the comparatively rare step (at the time) of using a variation of my real name. I thought it would keep me grounded. It did not; and one look at facebook will show you that what you call yourself makes little difference to how you behave. So I was wrong about that.

The reason I’m posting here again, now, is because I’m at peace with all of this. I’m feeling inspired by the universe of Warhammer 40,000 again, and I’m making models again and painting them, and planning games. Even playing them a little bit.

In keeping with this new era, the new Warp Signal is primarily an instagram account. Hence the title of this post. It is @warpsignal.

I might post blogs every now and again when I feel like writing something, but mainly I’m doing this because I’m tired of writing. I spend most of my precious personal time making art, and painting models, which are of course the same thing only in different worlds. I’d like to show my models to the world and commune with like-minded people, but I don’t want to sprinkle models all over my instagram art account, as I have been. I want a dedicated account for my Warhammer-related art and miniatures hobby, because now it truly is a hobby. It’s no longer my escape or my main creative outlet. It’s something I do to refresh myself during other artistic projects.

I hope you’ll join me on this new venture. When I left Warp Signal years ago, I asked all of you to keep me on your rolls in case I ever came back. I guess now we’ll see if anyone did. And who amongst you is still out there.

Jimmy (James) S.


You didn’t think I was gone for good did you?

I have a new home…

Signal Lost

rogue trader Emperor

This classic image is somehow strangely fitting.

I was a bit shocked last week when Von closed GAME OVER after four and a half years.  It is one of the blogs I’ve read and commented on since the beginning of Warp Signal.  But I understand why he’s made that choice, and I’ve actually been thinking something similar was in order for me over the last couple of months.  After a few days consideration, I’ve decided to follow his example.
Continue reading

Work in Progress Titan Base


The photos you can see here are the work of my regular opponent Capn Stoogey.  Incidentally, why don’t we call them “play-mates” instead of “opponents” I wonder?  I guess it doesn’t sound very tough.

IMG_0274 IMG_0273

Anyway, he’s been working on a scenic base for his Reaver Titan.  This one has a grav-tank being crushed, and the Biel-Tan paint-job is in homage to the guy who first got him into 40k many years ago.  He also has a Warhound which will have a Wave Serpent being stepped on, and that Wave Serpent will be painted by Yours Truly in Iybraesil style.

I’ll put up more shots of this one when it’s finished.  And we’ll get a camera instead of using a phone…


The Ratling Project: Final Concept Art

Svirfneblin snipers standing around dramatically in some smoke

My brother Chris has sent me some final concept art for our alternative Svirfneblin-inspired Ratling project (or “the nebos” as he’s taken to calling them in his very . . . Aussie fashion).  He’s just finishing up another miniatures project, and then he’s ready to start sculpting the greens.  I think they will look pretty amazing.

Svirfneblin snipers on a break

Svirfneblin sniper rifles

There are more images on Chris’s blog here.  I particularly like the NCO.

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