Master of the Ravenwing

The Master of the Ravenwing on display at Warhammer World.

The Master of the Ravenwing on display at Warhammer World.
The Master of the Ravenwing on display at Warhammer World.

Master Sammael of the Ravenwing is a true Angel of Death. From the saddle of his jetbike he cuts down any foolish enough to stand in his path with the infamous Raven Sword, its blade cut from the same meteorite as the Sword of Secrets. A highly accomplished hunter of The Fallen, Sammael is rightly honoured by his brethren and he is feared by his foes as few other holders of his rank have ever been.

The technology used in the production of these jetbikes has long since been lost to the Imperium. The only jetbike known to survive into the 41st Millennium is Corvex, used by the Grand Master of the Ravenwing company of the Dark Angels chapter, currently Sammael.

Imperial jetbikes were common among the Space Marine Legions during the Great Crusade and the Heresy, typically operated by Sky Hunter Squadrons.

The Sky Hunter models have been recently released as a plastic kit for The Horus Heresy. Previously there were resin models from Forge World.

When Warhammer 40000 was originally released their was a jetbike available for both Space Marines and (interestingly) the Imperial Guard. The Mk14 Bullock original miniature first appeared in White Dwarf 96 in December 1987. It was designed to be used with the RTB01 plastic space marines. 

I did buy a pack, but not sure where they are now, or even if I sold them on eBay twenty years ago.

When the Dark Angels were released I really liked the Master of the Ravenwing on the “last” remaining Imperial Jetbike, so much so I knew I had to get one for my Grey Knights army.

At the time I thought possibly maybe more than one!

Mark II Female F53 285 The Flying Scotsman

Mark II Female F53 285 The Flying Scotsman was on display at Bovington. It took part in the Battle of Arras in April 1917.

Originally intended for training in the UK, this Mark II wasn’t built for battle. Made from boilerplate steel, it lacked the hardened armor to resist machine gun fire. Despite this, it found itself thrust into combat at Arras in 1917. One of 25 Male Mark IIs built by William Foster, it’s the world’s oldest surviving tank to see battlefield action.

Christened “Dahlia” (D5), it belonged to 3 section, 10 Company, D Battalion. A shortage of Mark I tanks forced the use of 45 training Mark IIs, including Dahlia, during the Battle of Arras in April 1917.

D5’s story continues. With the arrival of the more advanced Mark IV tanks, many Mark IIs faced decommission. D5, however, dodged the scrap heap and received a new lease on life. Its guns were removed, replaced by a larger roof hatch, transforming it into a vital supply carrier christened “The Flying Scotsman” with the designation F53. Some believe it even saw action at the Battle of Cambrai later in 1917.

Through an extraordinary twist of fate, D5 escaped the fate of most wartime vehicles. It returned to England and eventually found a permanent home at The Tank Museum in Bovington in 1949. Initially mistaken for a Mark I due to its modifications, D5’s true identity was revealed when a real Mark I joined the museum’s collection in 1970. After years displayed outdoors, the museum’s expansion finally offered D5 a well-deserved place in the new tank hall, safe from the harsh British weather.

Today, D5 stands as a testament to wartime improvisation and the sheer resilience of these early armored vehicles. It’s a reminder that even training tanks can play a crucial role, and that sometimes, history takes unexpected turns, preserving a piece of the past for future generations.

Salamanders Primaris Repulsor

This Primaris Repulsor of the Salamanders Space Marine Chapter was part of the displays at Warhammer World.

Primaris Repulsor of the Salamanders Space Marine Chapter was part of the displays at Warhammer World
Primaris Repulsor of the Salamanders Space Marine Chapter at Warhammer World

The Repulsor armoured transport is a deadly combination of manoeuvrability and raw brute force. Due to the turbine array at its rear, it has tremendous motive power, held aloft by powerful anti-gravitic generators. The Repulsor is so heavily armed and armoured that is doesn’t skim over the landscape but instead crushes the ground below it. The tank grinds forward with a deep bass thrum, reducing rock to gravel and fallen bodies to smears of gore and powdered bone.

Ravenwing Darkshroud

Ravenwing Darkshroud at Warhammer World.

Ravenwing Darkshroud at Warhammer World.
Ravenwing Darkshroud at Warhammer World.

Of all the archaic relics deployed in the field of battle by the Unforgiven, the Darkshroud is perhaps the strangest. Those who have witnessed it at close range and felt its caliginous pall, and lived to tell of it, are disturbed forever more. The Ravenwing Darkshroud displays icons and structures from Caliban, evoking glorious religious imagery such as angel wings, shrouded statues, parchments and stained glass with lead frame. It possesses a pulpit-like cupola from which a Space Marine shoots others with either a heavy bolter or assault cannon, and is covered in metal panels.

I am not sure what I really think of this model. My first impressions is that I don’t like it. There is something about the Dark Angels (and the Ravenwing) iconography which always appears a little over the top. It’s not as bad as the (newer) Sisters of Battle adornments, but it’s close. The idea of stained glass on a combat vehicle does not make sense to me. The actual vehicle underneath looks interesting, but the additions seem to be unintegrated and stuck onto the vehicle.

On my models I do and have used Grey Knights iconography to enhance them, as you can see with this Land Raider model.

So I am not entirely opposed to the concept of iconography on Warhammer 40K vehicles, but not sure I like the Ravening Darkshroud.

Little Willie

Little Willie is the oldest surviving individual tank, and is preserved as one of the most famous pieces in the collection of The Tank Museum, Bovington, England.

Little Willie was a prototype in the development of the British Mark I tank. Constructed in the autumn of 1915 at the behest of the Landship Committee, it was the first completed tank prototype in history.

 

Sons of Horus Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer

This Sons of Horus Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer was on display at Warhammer World.

Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer

Tearing through the armour plating of enemy vehicles, the Vindicator laser destroyer array is a potent weapon of destruction. First retrofitted into the heavily armoured Deimos pattern Vindicator chassis during the dark days of the Horus Heresy, several Legions took to fielding this variant as a mainline battle tank, proving itself on many occasions as an able tank hunter. After millennia of brutal warfare across the galaxy, it is still in favour within the Space Marine Chapters, the Vindicator Laser Destructor continuing to bring retribution to the enemies of Mankind.

Sons of Horus Sky-Hunter Jetbike

This Sons of Horus Sky-hunter Jetbike was in the displays at Warhammer World.

Sons of Horus Sky-Hunter Jetbike
Sons of Horus Sky-Hunter Jetbike at Warhammer World

Sky-hunters are feared strike units, mounted atop sophisticated and powerful jetbikes. These high-speed craft are more akin to compact aircraft than ground bikes – propelled across the battlefield by jet engines with grav-impellor assistance, they can maintain great speeds for extended periods of low-altitude flight. The jetbike’s lift-strength is enough to carry an armoured Space Marine and his wargear along with a variety of heavy weapons mounts and stocks of ammunition, giving the Sky-hunters access to extremely potent, highly mobile firepower.

Talisman is back…

I am a great fan of Talisman. I played the first edition back in the 1980s and own the second edition (which was a colourised version of the first edition) with a fair few expansions as well, including the Dungeon and Timescape.

It has been announced that a new fifth edition will be published.

Games Workshop isn’t just about Warhammer, you know. We’ve made some absolutely banging board games over the years – including the likes of Fury of Dracula, and Warrior Knights. Talisman is another classic, a game that’s been around for more than 40 years across numerous editions – and which is, for fans of a certain vintage, a glittering shard of pure nostalgia.

The premise is simple. Two to six players select a character – a Warrior, a Wizard, a Prophetess, a Troll, and so on – and embark on a quest to claim the Crown of Command and rule the land. You roll dice to move and traverse a board, encountering a card deck of enemies and allies, levelling up and finding loot, followers, and spells. It’s all wrapped up in about 60 to 90 minutes, and it’s great both for a family games night or for a midweek throwdown between friends.

And for the first time since 2008 (various themed editions notwithstanding) there is a new edition of the game on the way. It’s the same fantastic game, but there’s a fresh set of brilliant art and a handful of smart refinements to make the game play much faster without losing any of what makes it so magical.

I never bought the third or fourth editions, but I am quite tempted by this fifth edition.

Centurion Mark 3

This Centurion Mark 3 was on display at the Tank Museum at Bovington. It is missing its side-skirts.

It has been painted as a tank that fought in the Korean War. The Centurion depicted, participated in a fiercely contested action defending a location called ‘The Hook’ against Chinese forces in Korea in May 1953.

The Centurion tank was one of the most successful post-war tank designs. It was introduced in 1945, just too late to see combat in the Second World War. However, it went on to serve in a number of conflicts, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Arab-Israeli wars.

The Centurion was a well-balanced tank with a good mix of armament, armour, and mobility. It was armed with a 105mm rifled gun, which was capable of firing both high-explosive and armour-piercing rounds. The Centurion’s armour was also very effective, and it was able to withstand the fire of most enemy tanks. The tank was also highly mobile, and it was able to keep up with the latest advances in tank warfare.

This Centurion Mark 3 was in fact the prototype Centurion Crocodile flame throwing tank; a type that never entered production.

Centurion Crocodile

Dark Angels Ravenwing Storm Speeder Thunderstrike

This Dark Angels Ravenwing  Storm Speeder Thunderstrike was on display at Warhammer World.

Dark Angels Ravenwing  Storm Speeder Thunderstrike
Dark Angels Ravenwing Storm Speeder Thunderstrike at Warhammer World

Storm Speeder Thunderstrikes outmanoeuvre the foe at every turn, targeting vulnerable points in armour, fuel tanks and missile hoppers to turn engines of war into raging fireballs. Just a single Thunderstrike is capable of destroying armoured breakthrough attempts, and when one is on the battlefield, few enemies are safe.