Wednesday 30 March 2022

Deathwatch: Last of the Troops

Continuing going through the Deathwatch commission from Squiggle's Studio, here's the remainder of the troops they painted up for me.

First up are an assortment of Primaris Infiltrators. As Infiltrators are the compulsory part of Spectrus Kill Teams, I had Squiggle assemble quite a few of them, making sure I had a bunch of different equipment options for them that I can swap in and out.

Another part of the Spectrus Kill Teams are the Incursors. They're a cheaper option than the Infiltrators, with a significant option for them being the ability to take a huge Haywire mine which wrecks vehicles.

As the Haywire mines are one use only, you get little mine markers to place by the unit and remove once they've been used.

I also had a box of Hellblasters that needed painting. In the Deathwatch, up to five of them can join a Fortis Kill Team, which is a Troops choice. Having some squads with loads of plasma that can also hold and take objectives well seems pretty darned good.

There are three gun options Hellblasters can take - Plasma Incinerators, Assault Plasma Incinerators and Heavy Plasma Incinerators. I went with the "plain" and "heavy" ones, but that probably means the Assault ones are the best ones, knowing my luck...

Monday 28 March 2022

Battletech Wolverine and Frostgrave Gnoll Tracker

First up, I've finished painting this Wolverine Battlemech for Battletech. As the Beginner Box and "A Game of Armored Combat" box both include a Wolverine, I decided to paint this one up in a generic military green, representing some small local government's militia force or similar. Given current world events, I felt that it's 'force marking' being a plain yellow band was right.

I didn't put a lot of detail on the Mech, going for a relatively simple tabletop scheme. Once I finished taking a photo of it, I did feel it was a little flat and maybe I could have put a bit more contrast from darker to lighter green across some of the panels. Still, for a first mech, it's taught me a bunch, and I'm looking forward to doing a few more.

Next up we have this Gnoll Tracker from the Frostgrave range, along with his war hyena companion. This was based off Sonic Sledgehammer's excellent How I Paint Things Gnoll Tutorial.

It was a bit weird to be going back to "base coating and Agrax, then highlight" after a long while painting a lot of miniatures with Contrast, but it was good to paint some models in a slightly different way for the variety.

I don't think I'll be finishing anything else this month, but I'm up to 27 models painted for the year. I'm already more than halfway to last year's painting total, so it definitely feels like I'm hitting my stride with productivity.

Thursday 24 March 2022

Infinity Qapu Khalqi Reinforcements

I recently got another batch of miniatures for Infinity back from Thunderbrush Studio. These are my in my NA2 neon scheme. First up, from a stock clearance, I have a whole bunch more Qapu Khalqi models. I know, they're Haqqislam, not NA2, but there's been enough crossover of the models between QK and the factions I already have its not a big diversion.

First up, we have the Djanbazan, a unit with Multispectral Visor Level 2. They can join either a Core or Haris Fireteam. They also have Regeneration, which is much better this edition. I have no idea if they're good or not!

Then you've got the Janissaries, the Qapu Khalqi Heavy Infantry. They don't have cubes, so you can't spend Command Tokens when you're healing them for a re-roll - you've got one chance and that's it! Again, they can form Core and Haris Fireteams. With the Fireteam rules changing soon, I'm holding off until that comes through!

I also picked up (from left to right) Leila Sharif, Wild Bill and the Husam Spec Ops, who can proxy in as any model when needed. Leila is one of those super useful utility pieces -she can wildcard into any Fireteam, she's got a Killer Hacking Device and a Shock Marksman Rifle so she's a specialist with reasonable offense, and also carries E/M Mines for board control. Wild Bill is relatively new into Qapu Khalqi, but lives up to the expectation of being a pretty good gun fighter.

I don't have any particular plans when I'll play Qapu Khalqi. Getting these models painted was mostly a case of getting them done ready to go for when I fancy giving the list a go. I'm now in a place where I could write a list with them to start learning, so it's just a case of fitting that in...

Monday 21 March 2022

Incoherent chittering and nervous energy

With everything having been a bit stressful at work of late, I took a couple of days off this week. In my brain, I was going to paint things, but I just ended up napping, doing some assembly, and sorting things out around the hobby room. While looking for other things, I dug out this rag tag assortment of miniatures, and have now sent them off to two different commission painters.

All the Kobolds I got from Fenris Games Toadstool Brownie Kickstarter also headed off to a commission painter.

I also won a figure to be painted via a "promise auction" raising money for the Refugee Council, prompted by the war in Ukraine. For all we enjoy playing with pretend toy soldiers, real war is horrific and affects millions of people. Please do donate if you have the capacity. This blog is for my hobby, which is currently one of my stress coping mechanisms, so I won't say more on this subject now.

I'd ordered a couple of models in the Hasslefree sale back in November, and they turned up this week. They kindly included an extra figure as a present!

One of the models on the assembly desk was Enrieth the Harefolk by Reaper Miniatures. I got her to try out the new Bones USA material. It's apparently Siocast, and they seem to be doing OK with it. There were a couple of fiddly mould lines, but I managed to get them cleaned up with a hobby knife without causing too much damage to the model.

I wasn't a fan of the base, so decided to rebase her. I snipped off the majority of the base with my usual hobby clippers, then trimmed the rest away with my hobby knife. It was quick and easy to do! Rather than try and make sure I got the feet precisely flat, I just drilled two pins into them and pinned her to the base with both feet.

I left a small bit of plastic under the feet so when I added the basing paste, it didn't end up with her feet sunk into the ground. So far, I'm pleased to report that Siocast / Bones USA is easy to work with and not too bad to prepare, although there's definitely some traps to fall into on the preparation front.

I also got the two 'Mechs from the Battlemech Beginner's Box undercoated. The prep work seems have to turned out well.

The assortment of bits and pieces I'd dug out to assemble have all been assembled, glued to bases and undercoated. These will get picked up to paint on a whim while waiting for other things paint to dry.

Looking forward to "next quarter" I've decided to get a bunch more Shasvastii and Combined Army done by the end of June. These are all the Shasvastii that are ready to paint I'm planning to get done.

I've also got a few Combined Army models that aren't part of the Shasvastii that I've had for more than a year. In the interest of not keeping things hanging around for ages, I've also dug these out to get painted.

I've also dug out a bunch of Shasvastii models one of my assembly people had finished. They need their base texture adding, tidying up any spots where the black undercoat didn't get into a particularly hard to reach spot, before doing a zenithal spray of Wraithbone.

I've now dropped in the base coats on the Gnoll tracker and War Hyena. With a classic heavy wash of Agrax Earthshade, once that's dry I'll add a light drybrush and then start dropping in any details.

I've also finished detailing the Miniatures Apprentice Dwarf Warrior. He's not the greatest of sculpts, but I do adore him. He's a nice stompy angry dwarf who'd work well as a barbarian in D&D. There aren't many unarmoured dwarf sculpts that don't look like Warhammer Troll Slayers.

I particularly like how the shield has turned out, using a mix of yellow contrast, Agrax, then a yellow drybrush.

So, a busier week than I thought when I started writing the blog. Sometimes having a progress blog helps you realise how much you've achieved.

Thursday 17 March 2022

Deathwatch - Two Old Guys

More models here painted by Squiggle's Studio. In a look behind the curtain, these are the two models from last year's Deathwatch batch who got damaged in transit (through no fault of Squiggle), and I've recently finished repairing them.

First up is Captain Artemis. He's based on an old Inquisitor 54mm model, and I picked him up in the old Death Masque boxed set. I suspect he's more a narrative character than a particularly special competitive character, but it will be good to see what he does on the table some time.

I've also got my first Dreadnought for the force, in this case a Venerable Dreadnought. I understand from reading Goonhammer that Dreadnoughts are the heavy firepower of choice for Space Marines at the moment, so I should probably pick up some more in the future, but for now I'm going to play some games with the models I've got!

Monday 14 March 2022

From Stressed To Progressed

Work has been a particular source of stress for the past couple of weeks. Nothing toxic, but we've spotted a few things that weren't working and have tried to fix them, but we've maybe tried to fix too much at once and its left us overworked and a bit stressed.

. . . 


I just spent the weekend doing the exact opposite of that, and it didn't occur to me until I started typing the blog post. One of the unintentional side effects of having this blog has been that sometimes writing things down gives me clarity about stuff that's going on as I try and formulate the words to explain things.

Friday night, I sorted dinner, made a bit of a plan for the weekend, then did a few relaxing things to rest up. Saturday was all the essential house stuff - washing, dishes, shopping and so on. Sunday, I got up late, watched Annie's Morning Coffee live in my pyjamas, grabbing a shower then made lunch.

At this point, it's 1:30pm, and I probably have until 5:30pm before I need to write this blog and make dinner before Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop. I'm feeling overwhelmed, my brain is buzzing and I can't focus, but I have a list from earlier, so I get down to it.

First up, I photo all the remaining Deathwatch models that Squiggle's Studio painted for me, then put them away. Look at all that space! The photos will be processed and uploaded to the blog later over a few weeks, but for now, there's glorious space to Do Things.

First up is "assembly" on the Battletech Beginner's Box. Now, this is mostly just clearing off mould lines and adding basing material, but I also didn't like this peg on the Wolverine, so I carefully removed it with modelling cutters before tidying up a bit with a scalpel.

This bit wasn't too difficult, but the mould lines . . . weren't great. There were a lot of them, and this type of plastic doesn't give them up easily. With the models pre-assembled, sometimes you're getting into fiddly spots, too. I'd rate the Battletech plastic minis around the high end board game quality, but also, they're fine? I had been planning on using Contrast to paint these, but I'm reconsidering to more traditional methods as Contrast is super unforgiving and I don't think they'll pass that test.

I carefully added the basing paste. It needed to be pretty level as I'm planning that they'll be on "asphalt", which needs to be a lot neater than mud or sand! I also knocked out the two miniatures from Mammoth Miniatures I had lying around from Salute, but I'll grab a photo of them after they're undercoated.

And with that, time was up! My original plan had been to finish the Encounter Terrain models I had, along with the Reaper Bones Harefolk, but I was pretty much up to time, and felt it was better to finish on the high of "getting something finished" rather than having to abandon something half done.

Being busy at work had meant that a lot of house stuff I normally sort of an evening had gotten deferred to the weekend, and took up more of it than planned. Fortunately, the main rush period seems to be passed, and I'm back to just being Busy rather than Overwhelmed. I've booked a couple of days off next week to get some actual rest in.

I am feeling a lot more chill now, and the simply act of "making a list" and "working through it in order" went really well, even though I didn't get to the bottom of the list. Because the goal was "work down the list" rather than "do everything", my brain is feeling all "I achieved something" and not "I didn't get things done".

A random post on Facebook made me realise that the Infinity Dire Foes: Candy Cloud box had ceased production, and I had plans for using Kerr-nau in the future. I got it ordered in, and sold Rosie Munroe, as I don't have a use for her.

I also had another Kickstarter show up - in this case, the fourth Black Crab set. The core of them being these two huge horse skull head folks.

They're just delightful and I'm really keen to get them together and painted.

There were also three human sized villagers, cast in resin. The detail on these is lovely, and you can really see some progression from the sculptor's first pieces in the original Kickstarter.

And finally, some small little metal figures of weird creepy folk. Absolutely delightful.

Friday 11 March 2022

Salute 2021: Bad Squiddo Games

In the last of my posts from last year's Salute, I'm showing off the display cases from Bad Squiddo Games. Here you can see an assortment of their fantasy range.

One of the earliest ranges that Bad Squiddo produced were a line of Shieldmaidens. I'm not into my historicals, but I think that they will well suit low fantasy as well.

Here you can see more of the fantasy range, mixed in with some of the Bad Squiddo Scenics. I've got a bundle of these from a couple of the Kickstarters, and I really should knock out a few of them as they look like nice easy paint jobs.

I'm not really into the historical side of wargaming, but Bad Squiddo also do a line of female Soviets.

There's also a nice feudal Japan range, covering a mix of historical and fantasy figures.

Bad Squiddo definitely ambles into the realms of whimsy at times. Due to Annie the owner's "mild" guinea pig obsession, you can pick up a line of angry War Peegs. If you look closely you can also spot a Raging Annie in among them.

This shelf is a bit of a mix. I can spot some of their animals, Amazons, Dwarfs and some scenery.

More of the scenery and fantasy range mixed together to show how they could work in roleplaying games as well as wargaming.

Going through all these different photos, which contain many models I own I haven't even cleaned and undercoated yet, is definitely making me want to go dig through my stash and paint some more up. They're an absolute joy to paint, especially with contrast and washes. They're not super detailed, so you can get them table ready in no time.