Thursday, 27 August 2015

And the winner is...

The winner of the competition to win one of my old kit bashes is:

Chico Danks!

Be sure to check out his blog at Oldhammer on a Budget.

See, Chico - I said I'd look into a post about how awesome you were...

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Marionettes Painted - Collodi Crew Complete!

I've finally finished painting the metal Marionettes from the Collodi starter box that my wife bought me for my birthday in 2012!

Here they are in all their glory - the combination of tricky metal assembly and over-ambitious use of water effects has meant that the progress on this crew has been glacial!

Here they are with their master, Collodi - I played a couple of games with them unpainted in the last edition of Malifaux, but I'm looking forward to trying out the new edition.

Here's the whole crew. I'd be looking to try them out this week, but the tube strikes have me nervous about getting home from the FLGS sensibly, so I'm deferring that until next week.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Astra Militarum Basilisk: Commission

I was delighted the other day to get some pictures of an Astra Militarum Basilisk I'd sent to The Rogue Painter to paint for me. He's knocked it out of the park.

Here's a few shots of my lovely new artillery piece. I clearly need to get a game in soon to try it out!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Many Milestones: Fabulous prize to be won!

In quick succession, I've hit a series of milestones on the blog:
  • 300 posts
(This is the 300th post.)

I started this blog way back on 1 April 2012. I like to think that the quality of posts has improved since those dark days, if only because I now take pictures, and sometimes even take some half decent ones.

Many things have happened since I started this blog...

My wife decided that she wasn't just a painter, but was willing to play 40K sometimes...

I've gotten better at modelling and done some kit bashes I'm really proud of.

I've started tracking my painting and modelling much better, and am starting to get to the point where I'm happy with how I'm doing.

My painting has really improved, and I can now put out miniatures I'm happy with and match the picture in my head (at least sometimes).

I've played some awesome games, and sometimes even won some. (Not pictured: a game where I actually won.)

Model painted and photograph by
Golem Painting Studio

I've accepted I can't paint all my stuff and employed some awesome commission painters to get my backlog into some sort of manageable state.

Have I mentioned how pleased I am with how my painting is improving?


Given the number of milestones, I thought I'd run a small competition and give something away - especially as I've won two prizes on blogs I follow recently!

I had a bit of a think about what I could offer as a prize, and decided that I could part with a painted model. The other blogs offered to paint or even kitbash and paint a model for the winner - but I'd like the prize to go to someone this year...

The prize is my Arbitrator kit bash test build, which I have decided doesn't look Arbites enough. I'll be trying alternative builds in the future, but while I've used him a few times as a proxy in Infinity, he can make his way on to a good home.

To enter:
Be a follower of this blog, and comment in this post! Say what you like about the blog, what you'd like to see more of, or what you usually skip over. I'm afraid each person only gets one entry, even if you make multiple posts.

The closing date is midnight, 23 August 2015. I'll select a winner from the eligible entries with some random number generator or other.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Getting things done in July

Well, I got over myself and finished up the priest. I seem to have forgotten how to get colour balance right in photos, though.

I've had a bit of review of how things are going and realised I have a whole ton of things that are started but not finished - particularly stuff that's assembled but not yet painted. I shouldn't have more than three years of stuff at varying stages of "in progress". That is foolishness itself!

So, rules! Which I have not broken since they were introduced!
  • Finish two projects, can start a new one
  • Start two projects, can buy one new one
Bigger projects need enough slots to fill - so if I want the new Age of Sigmar box, that's 13 units, which means having started 26 projects and completed 52 of them.

I've also split my "to do" pile into two categories - stuff I want to paint, and stuff I want to game with. If I have hobby budget left over at the end of the month because I've not finished enough stuff, then it gets ploughed into hiring commission painters to get stuff done for me.

The combination of these two things has actually seen me get pretty motivated. I'm no longer trying to slog through projects because I want to game with them, and am focussing on painting models I want to paint.

Stay tuned, because next week's blog post is something particularly special.

Monday, 27 July 2015

How do you 40K again? 1500 points vs Space Wolves

With reinforcements in the form of some veterans from the Pakeshi sector, I thought it was time to give my Guard army an outing. So, I asked one of my Guard officers to call some chap with a fur cloak called Nigel a bunch of rude names, and soon enough, the Space Wolves were attacking...

Nothing unusual in the army, really - 20 man combined squad, some conscripts, a couple of veteran squads and an assortment of tanks - I held the demolition team in reserve in a Valkyrie. Beyond that, I was facing Void Claws and Drop Pods, so spread the infantry out for area denial.

The Void Claws dropped conservatively and safely, well out of tight of the main line. One of the drop pods, however, decided that something would have to be done about the Hellhound.

Meanwhile a small squad of Grey Hunters went to try and get the Ratlings out of their firing position. Off camera, a whirlwind rocket landed directly on the conscript's commissar, and they wisely decided to high tail it off the field.

Short ranged bolter fire is horribly effective.

But a mix of flamers and a battle cannon at short range left the Grey Hunters a fraction of their previous strength.

But more Grey Hunters were coming in from reserve, both by drop pod...

.. and by flyer.

Unsurprisingly, the first target was the Hydra, before it could do something horrible to the flyer.

The Void Claws turned the corner and cut the combined squad down, with the exception of a stubborn priest, protected by his Rosarius (and refusing a challenge and hiding at the back).

With nowhere left to hide, the priest was finally cut down.

Leaving Njal, Arjac and the Void Claws to hunt down the few surviving Guard alive on the table.

Bravely, the CO faced down a horde of angry fur draped Terminators.

On reflection, perhaps calling them names had been a poor plan. In a panic from the death of his Astropath by flung hammer, he fled the field before they could catch him.

Finally, the air cavalry arrived, peppering the Whirlwind with multilaser fire.

The Bombard destroyed by the Space Wolf flyer, the Leman Russ soon faced the same fate.

The Veterans disembarked as the Valkyrie took out the Whirlwind. While the flamers cause the Long Fangs hiding in the building some casualities, the demolition charge sadly only weakens the building and doesn't destroy it.

The Valkyrie is shot from the sky, and while the Veterans grab another couple of objectives, they are quickly surrounded and taken out.

After action thoughts

Well, that went . . . poorly. The Guard were wiped out, and were down double digits of victory points to three... My army seems to lack both AP2 and the ability to deal with drop pods in any large numbers.

I'm already having a think about what to add to even the odds a bit.

Monday, 20 July 2015

WAMP Kickstarter arrives, and a quick speed paint

I spent most of the weekend doing an 'adult' impression - going clothes shopping, doing housework, all that sort of thing. But there were some hobby things.

My darling wife had backed the WAMP Kickstarter, and had graciously asked me if I wanted anything. I asked her for the Figopedia and Massive Voodoo books, plus a couple of brushes. I also asked for a brush case, but she since then got me an awesome pirate brush case, so that became a bit irrelevant.

The Massive Voodoo book has many nice pictures of miniatures. The Figopedia book is about how theories of light and colour affect painting, and the little I've seen of it has already blown my mind. If anyone is thinking about getting serious as a painter, I'd definitely recommend it.

So, I decided to paint up the "Little Kev" self portrait I got with the Goblin Aid pack from Foundry. I decided to do this one as a speed paint for a challenge over at the Oldhammer Forum. There was a small mould line I'd missed on the right hand side of the face, and I decided that given last week's miniature table flip at myself that I was just going to let it go and make do with the state he was in.

I had time for one "part way through" photo. I've got my "speed painting" technique down pretty well by now. Base coats go on first, alternating areas so I'm not doing an adjacent area straight after another. After that, I start washing - I could probably get more done if I dry-brushed first, then washed later, but given how fast things are drying in this heat, I thought I could get away with it.

As washes dry, dry-brushing and detail goes in.

Here's the finished Kev. I'm really pleased with how he's come out. The face is excellent, but much of that is the wash relying on the detail of the original sculpt. I also think these are about the best eyes I've ever done. I've realised that in order to have them not stand out so much, rather than do the eyeballs white, to paint with an off-white colour (I used Pallid Wych Flesh) and similarly, a dark blue or grey for the pupils (I went with Skavenblight Dinge). But really, just practicing a lot so you put the paint brush in the right place is key.

The mask turned out really well, which I'm happy with. It's a Jokaero Orange base coat, with two washes of Carroberg Crimson. I was really unhappy with how little contrast that gave, so I then went all out with a careful Nuln Oil wash above the eyebrows, in the eye sockets and mouth. Once that dried, a quick Jokaero Orange drybrush brought it up nicely.

Having painted a model and not wanting to redo it is a massive high compared to last week's low. Perhaps a few more time-boxed one hour speed paints will get some stuff done and keep my motivation high?

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Mournful introspection at mortal frailties

Cameras once more prove to be the devil. Weeknights this week, I've been painting this delightful chap!

I started off with some brown and bone basecoats for the robe and hood. The brown is Steel Legion Drab.

Then we add sepia and orange washes over the top, painting other bits as we go.

Unfortunately, I was really happy with him on Thursday, and really not happy today. The first thing is that his face on the left, at the point of a basecoat and wash, just looks better than the one of the right, when all the extra layering has been done.

Why is that? Well, on the left, it's a Rakarth Flesh base with a Reikland Fleshshade wash. The contrast is significant. On the right, I've layered with Cadian Fleshtone, but that's actually reduced the contrast, leaving it flat and with less definition.

There are other things making me sad.

I've missed a section of the base under the robe.

There was a lump of something right on the face and while I tried to make it look like an angry sore, it just hasn't worked and looks wrong.

Rubbish overpaint from the hand onto the club.

And this bit is just sloppy and messy and needs a cleaner job.

And here's a horrible mould line. Doubly frustrating because I'm using a basecoat with lots of washes over the top which is really hard to repaint to match and blend in.

Back here, of course, he still looks pretty awesome. But the flaws are bugging me, and I want to fix them. It's particularly disheartening as I had mentally seen him as "done" and now there's a bunch more work to be done on him.

Part of it is probably that I had a really nice social weekend, which has left me rather tired and in a natural "down" after the up. That doesn't help, and I've had a bit of frustration at my failure to progress thing.

I think for my "week night" painting, I'm going to do something else that's more base coating and simple stuff, and leave details to the weekend when I'm less tired and can focus on them more.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Cancer Charity Raffle: Win a Salamanders Army

So, a while back, Rob "evilkipper" asked folk on twitter if they'd be interested in painting a few Space Marines to help fund raise for Macmillan Nurses under the "Wargamers All Against Cancer" banner.

A list of everything in the army is here, and you can buy tickets here - or in person at Dark Sphere.

So, on Saturday, I was thoroughly volunteered by my dearly beloved to head in to Dark Sphere to help base up all the infantry.

I contributed! I got to try out a basing technique I'd not tried before, as we were adding snow to all the bases. There's a wide mix of styles amid the donated models, with some of the centre-piece elite units and characters done by commission painters and the like looking absolutely stunning.

Here's one of the Assault Terminators, looking very awesome with the snow effects gently drying on his base.

So, sure, I didn't get any of my models painted this weekend - but I think I did something a bit more important, and helped get a lot of models finished for a really good cause.

Tickets aren't much, so please consider going and getting a few tickets - although I must remind folk who are abroad to not break their local national or state gambling laws!