“I’ve always had a fascination with the Adeptus Mechanicus,” says Gareth. “It goes back to the classic Codex Imperialis from 1992 and the John Blanche and Jes Goodwin artwork inside – now they’ve become a reality on the tabletop. As you might have guessed, I’m also a big fan of the Adeptus Mechanicus model range, and it’s only now I’ve had the chance to put an army together.

“There was no way I wasn’t going to paint the army in the classic Martian colours – how could I not? It’s an iconic look. The Skitarii in particular were an absolute blast to paint – I sprayed them Leadbelcher, which then let me pick out the wires, cloth and robes on the side. It made them very easy to do, which is how I painted the army in six weeks, and the board in two.

“If I was forced to pick a favourite model – and it’s not an easy choice to make – it may have to be the Sicarian Ruststalkers,” says Gareth. “They’ve a sense of motion to them, but they’re immersed in the Adeptus Mechanicus aesthetic, so you’d be hard-pressed to work out where the organic components actually are. But I have to say, there’s not a model on the board I don’t love – the project was just to paint (mostly) Skitarii forces, but I think I’ll be expanding the army soon.”

“The Knight Crusader was a treat to paint,” says Gareth. “It’s a cracking kit and stands out as the army’s centrepiece. It’s painted in the colours of House Taranis as the rest of the army is Martian, so why wouldn’t the Knight be? I’m finding it very hard to just stop at one Knight, though.”

“I’m a big fan of the Tech-Priest Dominus,” says Gareth. “It’s like a Jes Goodwin sketch come to life. It captures the feel of those awesome art pieces from way back when perfectly.”

“The look of the board was inspired by the Void Shield Generator,” says Gareth. “It seemed like a quintessentially Adeptus Mechanicus design – and trying to replicate it into a display board was quite a challenge. In the end, I found some decorative cogs and used those as the base, building the board up around it using Cities of Death kits and Promethium Relay pipes.”

“As the colour scheme of the army was set from the get-go, it meant I had to plan the board’s look around that,” says Gareth. “It made sense to paint it up like a forge world, so that led to me experimenting with lots of different weathering techniques and technical paints – primarily Ryza Rust and Typhus Corrosion, but I managed to work in some Nihilakh Oxide and Nurgle’s Rot, too. In the end, the bare metal and red rust worked brilliantly as the backdrop, and the dark, polluted earth helped make the bright red and white of the miniatures pop out.”

Gareth also added an Execution Force of Imperial Assassins to his army as a way of linking them to the wider Imperium. They also functioned as a nice contrast to the rest of the army, in blacks and whites with a little red to serve as a linking colour to the rest of the army – which doesn’t detract from the idea the Assassins are a separate organisation.