In case you were wondering, some of the parts to make my groovy Rough Riders were sculpted by Rob at Curious Constructs.

Monday, 12 September 2011

How it all started...

Well, this is the start of my Praetorian army (and their enemies) blog.
Really it's about my favourite 40k army and my life and how the two things somehow grown together.
As well as being fanatically involved in WH40k I am trying to finish up my PhD. So I guess my blogging will be sporadic until March 2012 when I get to call myself doctor and have way more time to paint, game and blog.
The pics down the side are in case you get bored reading-they show how a portion of my army looks now.
So to keep thing brief and organised, 3 starting points:
(1) How I got my first model, (2) how the colour scheme came about, and (3) how the Praetorian Army and my life evolved together.
The first Praetorian:

I was given (or brought) a metal Praetorian stranded bearer in the playground early during high school (before 3rd ed came out). I had been building and painting military tanks, aircrafts and soldiers for a long while and these ‘metal’ models seemed fascinating. The detail was way better then plastic models at the time and it wasn’t historical (thought it had that feel) – it was way more exciting and cooler. When I got it home I didn’t undercoat it, I just painted it.

The colour scheme:

The jacket colour probably came from two separate influences in my life. The first military solder I ever painted was a 1:32 scale French grenadier. At the young age I was at the time, I thought that all soldiers of that era should have a red jacket. My parent's friend (who gave me the miniature) explained that he needed a blue jacked rather than a red one. So the idea of prototypical red jacketed solders was lifted and I understood that French, Austrian, Russian, Prussian and so forth all had soldiers with a different colour scheme but all looked equally grand. So the first point is that I wasn't set on a red jacket. The second influence was that at the time I had just joined the Air Training Corps- now known as Air Force Cadets. The shape of the jacket reminded me of an RAF jackets and I wanted to see it in blue. So I painted it Humbrol Matt RAF Blue (#96). The helmet got an obvious brown colour and I painted a blue stipe to go with the jacket. At this point I was reminded that the soldier was meant to be from the year 40,000. So there were no reasons why I should keep to historical norms. Hence, I painted the pants a glossy black and the boots shiny silver. The lanyards and shoulder braiding were painted gold. The tops of the shoulder boards I painted yellow and to add some yellow somewhere else I painted the 2 vertical strips down the side of each leg. I wanted them to have strips to look more regimental. So that was it. The wacky colour scheme that formed the basis of my army! 

The Praetorian Army and my life:
From there I got hold of a praetorian squad second hand from a friend at school and a squad of Mordians and a tank from a friend in cadets. I brought an officer, enough men to form a command squad and Lord Solar Macharius to lead my army. My army was ready to battle my cousin's Elder, and they won. Both my army and his army grew and I won and won and won. I had a lot of fun continuously slaughtering my cousins elder, but I suspect he didn't.  Despite this we played right through high school.  As my friends from school dropped out of the hobby I brought their models, adding them to my own army. All of my money was split between my two passions, Warhammer and flying. By the time I finished high school I had my pilots licence and a really decent 40k army. I applied to join the RAAF as a pilot but didn’t make the selection. However, after a year at Uni I did make it into the Navy as a 'fly boy' and my 40k army stayed at home.

A long while after, when I was back home on leave, I packed up a few models and some paint and took them away with me. On the occasional weekend off I pulled them out and did some painting. It became my way of relaxing and my little luxury. As time went on I started enjoying the military life less and the painting (and my girlfriend) were the things thing that got me through. Eventually I left the Navy, quit flying, moved home and went back to Uni. Between 2005 and 2010 pretty much all I did was study,
hang out with my girlfriend and search eBay for more models. I grew a massive massive collection. In 2010 I got married, we moved in together, and the model buying stopped (well almost). Now the challenge is to paint it all up!!  So maybe this blog will help.

Thanks for reading. 


  1. Hey Col. Ackland. Welcome and Good Luck to the new Blog. Keep Painting; looking forward to seeing more.
    Col. Thorne

  2. This looks like a pretty decent blog, mate: I reckon you could hit 50,000 hits in under two-and-a-ahalf years, y'know...!