Solar Auxilia Medusa

This Solar Auxilia Medusa was in the display cabinets at Warhammer World.

Solar Auxilia Medusa

The Medusa artillery tanks employed by the Solar Auxilia are armoured bombardment platforms, their heavy guns mounted on a hull derived from the Leman Russ. Enclosed against enemy fire and protected from the hazardous atmospheres of toxic or alien worlds, these mobile siege batteries can keep pace with the cohort’s advance, pummelling the foe’s positions even as main line units move to engage any survivors. The Medusa’s mortar fires munitions heavy enough to shatter mighty walls.

I much prefer the original Imperial Army Medusa, however that model appears to have been retired. 

Vickers Medium Mark II*

This is the Vickers Medium Mark II* at the Bovington Tank Museum.

It was the main British tank from 1923 until 1935.

Introduced in 1923 the Vickers Mediums were the first British tanks to see service fitted with a sprung suspension and a rotating turret. Designed to fight on the move, their high speed of 30 mph restored mobility to the battlefield. The hull was riveted. The engine, an air cooled Armstrong Siddeley, was mounted in the front of the tank, alongside the driver. Originally described as a light tank, the advent of even smaller tanks weighing about five tons, resulted in the Vickers’ design being reclassified as a medium tank.

The Medium Mark II was completely obsolete by the beginning of World War II. The survivors were used for training during the first few years of the War. Some were issued to combat forces to make up their strength after the loss of most British first line tanks during the retreat from France in 1940. Others were sent to Egypt as training vehicles and were pressed into service with the Western Desert Force. They were buried as fixed defences at Mersa Matruh and Tobruk.

Vickers sold 15 Medium Tanks to the Soviet Union in 1930, they were used for training. Rather surprisingly, the Finns captured half a dozen of these relics from the Russians in the autumn of 1941. At least one other went to Australia, while a single example of a developed version, the Mark C, was sold to Japan. This vehicle formed the basis of the Japanese Type 89 tank design. A single example of the final version, the Medium Mark D, was sold to Eire where it remained in service until 1940.

These would be the mainstay tanks of any A Very British Civil War scenarios. Difficult to get hold of relevant models though, but you can find 3D printed versions online.

More photographs of the Vickers Medium Mark II*.

Achilles-Alpha pattern Land Raider

Minotaurs Achilles-Alpha pattern Land Raider on display at Warhammer World.

Minotaurs Achilles-Alpha pattern Land Raider on display at Warhammer World
Minotaurs Achilles-Alpha pattern Land Raider on display at Warhammer World

I quite like the up-armoured appearance of this pattern of Land Raider, and the weaponry looks quite formidable. I can imagine this being used to clear barricades in the ruins of an Imperial City.

The Achilles-Alpha pattern Land Raider is the most durable vehicle currently in the service of the Legiones Astartes. These vehicles shrug off weapon strikes that would cripple other battle tanks, and are proof against even the most toxic environment. The weaponry of these vehicles is formidable, featuring an advanced quad launcher and powerful volkite batteries.

This Achilles-Alpha pattern Land Raider is from the Minotaurs Space Marine Chapter. The Minotaurs is a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter whose true origins and genetic lineage remain unknown. The Space Marine formation by this name at large in the Imperium today appears to bear little resemblance to accounts of its past.

Photographs of the Imperial Fists Achilles-Alpha Pattern Land Raider at Warhammer World.

Spiterider Lancers

Spiterider Lancers

The Spiterider Lancers are Alarielle’s elite cavalry, mounted upon agile Dragonspites whose bodies thrum with the energies of Life. Taming one of these ancient insectoid predators is a quest in itself – their forest spirit riders deftly swoop and whirl above the battlefield before suddenly diving into a charge, striking the enemy lines with shocking force. The enemies of the Everqueen are left with nowhere to hide when the Spiterider Lancers are unleashed from the vales.

Whippet Medium Tank

This Whippet Tank was on display at Bovington.

While the heavy tanks were designed for direct attacks against enemy trenches the Tank Corps also wanted a lighter, faster tank to work with the cavalry over open country. Designed by Sir William Tritton and built by Fosters of Lincoln the Medium A, or Whippet, was the only such tank to see service with the Tank Corps, starting in 1918. 

The Whippet was a difficult tank to drive; it had two engines, two clutches and two gearboxes but it was fast, by 1918 standards and very manoeuvrable in skilled hands. Even so experience soon showed that it was incapable of working with the cavalry and, in truth, should have been seen as an alternative. The Whippet was powered by a pair of Tylor four-cylinder engines, the same type that would be found in London buses of that period.

Though originally envisioned with a rotating turret, the production model had an armoured housing for three to four 303 Hotchkiss machine guns, which could be relocated between four gun ports. Approved in June 1917, roughly 200 vehicles were produced starting in October 1917. This was the only type of medium tank to see action in World War I.

I do think that this tank would make for a great base for vehicles for an alternative Great War. It could be converted into a turreted tank, or a self propelled gun. One other idea is to use the tanks for A Very British Civil War background, those in storage are taken out of retirement and used by both sides.

I have a Flames of War 15mm version somewhere….

Belthanos, First Thorn of Kurnoth

From the displays at Warhammer World.

Belthanos, First Thorn of Kurnoth
Belthanos, First Thorn of Kurnoth

Belthanos leads the eternal hunt that keeps his master Kurnoth’s spirit in bloom. Cloaked in leaves and riding atop a Carnelian Greatspite made of pure life magic, he chases down those who would harm Ghyran so that his howling followers might rip them apart.

Marauder Destroyer Bomber at Warhammer World

This huge Forge World Imperial Navy Marauder Destroyer Bomber was on display at Warhammer World.

Marauder Destroyer Bomber at Warhammer World

The Marauder Destroyer variant was developed during the second war for Armageddon after heavy losses in the Naval airforces. Orkish dominance of the skies over certain areas of Armageddon forced the few remaining Marauders to be refitted to operate at night, flying at extremely low level where they could evade detection. Their new heavier weapon payload made anything which got in the way seriously regret it!

This is a really nice model, I really like the paint job on this. I would like to be able to paint like this if I could. I certainly don’t have both the skills and the airbrush to make this happen.

More photographs of the Marauder Destroyer Bomber.

I have some Aeronauticus Imperialis Marauder Bombers on the workbench.

German Panther Tank

This massive German Panther Tank was on display at Bovington.

The Panther is the common name of a medium tank fielded by Nazi Germany in World War II that served from mid-1943 to the end of the European war in 1945. It was intended as a counter to the T-34, and to replace the Panzer III and Panzer IV; while never replacing the latter, it served alongside it as well as the heavier Tiger tanks until the end of the war. 

The Panther’s excellent combination of firepower, mobility, and protection served as a benchmark for other nations’ late war and immediate post-war tank design, however despite being a technologically sophisticated vehicle, the Panther’s technical design had a very limited influence on postwar tank development.

After the war, France was able to recover enough operable vehicles and components to equip the French Army’s 503e Régiment de Chars de Combat with a force of 50 Panthers from 1944 to 1952, with about a dozen remaining in use by that time. These remained in service despite being partially replaced by French-built ARL 44 heavy tanks.

I have been thinking about some post-1945 games, and a force of French Panther tanks supported by Chaffee and Shermans.

The last ‘production’ Panthers were produced at the factory by German staff just after the end of World War II under the supervision of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) using available components. 9 Panthers and 12 Jagdpanthers were produced and shipped back to Britain for post-war trials. A complete Panther (this tank) and a complete Jagdpanther produced this way are now at the Bovington.

I have a few 15mm models of this tank on the workbench.

Alarielle the Everqueen at Warhammer World

Alarielle the Everqueen

Reborn from the land she loved in a soaring crescendo of hope, fury, loss and exhilaration, Alarielle the Everqueen is an ancient and powerful being. She is the goddess of life magic; where she treads, atop her immense wardroth beetle, new blooms scream forth in a riot of colour, strength and passion. She scatters soul amphorae across the Mortal Realms, each containing magical pollens that can coax new sylvaneth from the ground, or choke her enemies. The only match for the courage she instils in her allies is the hatred she feels for her foes – Alarielle the Everqueen burns with a fierce need for vengeance, and her enemies would do well to run.

Battlefleet Gothic

These beautifully painted Battlefleet Gothic models were in the display cabinets at Warhammer World.

I never got into Battlefleet Gothic as I much preferred using the GZG Full Thrust rules for spaceship battles. I also used MicroMachines Star Trek ship models.

There were some nice models for Battlefleet Gothic and as with many games that Games Workshop have produced over the years it’s a pity that it got retired.