Monday, 6 February 2017

Thousand Sons Raptora Breachers WIP

I warned you distraction was likely:

With Thousand Sons finally getting their own 30k rules, I figured I should really get on and actually get my army painted before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon and start Thousand Sons armies, especially considering Magnus seems to be the new go-to model for cheesy Primarch shenanigans.

There's still loads to do on these guys before I'm even close to considering them finished.The main thing is adding transfers and a freehand Raptora symbol put onto their shields. The Raptora Cult Arcana gives them a rather tasty 5+ Invunerable Save at range and 4+ in combat, making them incredibly tough. I was initially leaning towards basing my army around the Corvidae, but Raptora seems to suit my style and vision for the force better.

I've got another 11 of these guys to finish, once my bits order for more Sigmarine shields arrives, plus an Apothecary and Preator to add in. After that I'm probably going to go back and finish my DE Corsairs before cracking on with the rest of my XVth Legion forces.

Lots to do, but with work being so quiet this time of year, I've got plenty of time to actually get things finished. I'll post more soon.

Dark Elf Corsairs done

Dear god(s), I have actual finished models to show you. I never thought I'd see the day...

Granted, this is only five Corsairs, but it's still a massive step up from my recent run of progress. Only 35 left to go on the unit!

The next few models might take me a little longer to finish. The news and rules coming out of the Horus Heresy Weekender have made me want to make some progress on my Thousand Sons, so distraction is a real possibility in my near future. If I can focus though, these are next:

These only have a few stages to go and they'll be done too. After that, I can turn my attention to these:

So yeah, still lots to do. Hoping to have these done by the end of February though.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Every ship needs a cat...

Just a quick one today. I wanted to show you the finished unit filler I've made:

It's the cat from the old Neferata model in the Vampire Counts range. It's had an interesting history in my collection, serving first as a Chooser of the Slain in my old Space Wolves army, then as a Focus Familiar for my Sorceress back when I first started DE. It's been sitting neglected in my bitz box for some time now, so when I was looking at ways to make my unit fillers more interesting, it seemed the perfect fit. A ship's crew needs a cat.

The fact that my regular opponent in the campaign so far is a particularly tough Skaven player just makes it's inclusion all the sweeter. Hopefully it'll help me hunt down some rats!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Fun with magnets

No painting progress to show you today. instead I've been having a play around making magnetic movement trays.

I've been wanting to make these for a while, mostly to make transporting my armies to and from my local gaming clubs a little bit easier. I rather like the idea of having some custom cut foam to fit each unit, transporting them on their trays,  then being able to simply plonk the entire unit down on the board without having to unpack each individual model and ranking them up.

The obvious starting point was the Corsairs I'm working on at the moment. The process is quite simple really. Using the 2mm N35 disc magnets I ordered in bulk from China (£5 for 300 - bargain!), I just glued one beneath the base of each model in a regiment.

For the actual trays themselves, I bought a load of magnetic whiteboards from my local Poundworld, cut away the plastic borders, removed the cardboard backing and I had all the magnetic sheets I needed. I just had to cut them to fit a movement tray and glue them in place. Five minutes with superglue and basing sand and I had something like this:

It's very rough looking atm, but the next stage will be spraying and vanishing it. However, I  couldn't resist having a play with one of the smaller trays and the corsairs I've magnetised so far:

That should do nicely! I've yet to be able to pull the same trick with the metal models on the 50-man tray, but it doesn't matter too much. I'm not trying to play Warhammer on the ceiling, I just want to stop the models from moving around, which is what I've achieved. Plastic models on the other hand, I could probably throw around the room and they won't come off!

Anyway, this experiment has worked like a dream. I'm really happy with it and looking forward to doing the same for the rest of the units in this project.

More soon!

Dark Elves progress

Progress continues apace with my Corsairs. So much so that I'm in danger of actually winning some painting points back on my total!

I know this isn't really the best of photos, but it's the best I could manage. Working nights and a lack of natural light during my normal waking hours at this time of year means I've had to make do with the daylight bulb I use when I'm painting. I'll try and get soem better pics on my next day off.

Anyway, back to the models. They really are a joy to paint and really don't take too long per model to get to a good standard. I'd say batch-painting these twelve took me about four hours, which really isn't bad. I just need to do some highlights, pick out some details, paint their faces and add some snow flock to their bases and they're ready.

I'm so happy with them that I've already started preparing the next batch. Normally with large units, I can only bring myself to paint about ten or so before I'm bored and need to paint something else to break up the monotony. With these guys though, I'm just plowing straight on.

Here's the next 13, still being based up and converted.

Plus the beginnings of the unit fillers:

I've adding weapons and whips from the Witch Elves kit I've got knocking about, partly to take away from the limited number of sculpts available, but I also figure that if they're part of a Beastmaster force, they need to look the part. A few whips sprinkled in helped nicely with that one.

The unit fillers came about because I really love the champion models which came with the auction, but I got multiples of them. I didn't want the unit champion to look the same as any other models in the unit, but I also wanted these to use these guys 'as is' and for them to stand out. Having them on their own 2x2 bases seemed the perfect solution, as well as allowing me to bump up the size of the units I can field.

I also managed to pick up these cheap from Ebay. I really am having all the luck with hobby auctions atm:

They're cool, but I really have no idea what I'm going to use these ladies as. There's no option to field Beastmasters on foot any more unfortunately and the Beastmaster's Scourge isn't even a weapon any more! They might make some rather nifty looking unit champions for my  planned Witch Elves or perhaps some chariot crew. I'll have to have a think.

I'll post more progress soon.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

New Year Painting Progress - more Elves!

I've been managing to keep up my painting progress quite well, putting in about three hours over the last week and a half. I think what's most surprising is that I've actually been able to stick to working on one army project for three weeks in a row. This has been massively helped by the fact that I picked up one hell of a bargain on Ebay for some old metal Corsairs (I know, painting points...shhh...).

In my opinion, these guys are one of the best GW sculpts of their era, much better than the ridiculous looking plastics which followed them, as well as having far more 'grit' and character to them.  I've been wanting to pick some up for ages, but they generally go for silly prices. Naturally, when I found a listing for 30 of them for £25, I couldn't really pass up the chance to grab them.

They're such lovely models that I couldn't resist getting started on them straight away:

At the risk of overmaking my point, they're a joy to paint too. I've always struggled to get going when painting the plastics, finding the models just a little bit too cluttered and undefined in places, but these almost seem to paint themselves. I managed to get this stage in just an hour or so. The movement tray is just a temporary addition to keep them together in one place.  I'll be making a fully magnetised one to replace it later on. The other 18 need to spend some quality time with a stripping tub, so I'll probably get these initial 12 done before expanding it into the larger unit.

In case you're wondering, I haven't abandoned my previous unit. I've made a little more progress on the Executioners/Beastmasters too:

  Once I've worked out what colour I want for the edging of their chainmail, I think they'll just need a few final highlights and washes before basing and I'll be able to call this first rank done. The rest of the unit will probably have to wait until after the Corsairs are finished though.

That's all for now. I'll post more soon!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

And away we go! - First painting post of 2017

I've actually been quite busy hobby-wise since New Year, having clocked up about 5 hours worth of painting time. Doesn't sound like much, but it's more than I managed in the last three months of 2016, plus it's more than my 'scheduled' amount from my hobby pledges, so it's a massive improvement in productivity. Unfortunately, I've been quite busy on Ebay too, so my painting points have become skewed further than they already were. I needed some Bolt Throwers for a campaign game though, so it's not like it was impulse spending. It served a purpose. That's what I'm telling myself anyway

Either way, I've decided to focus on my Dark Elves for the first part of the year. I'm doing rather badly in my club campaign atm and everybody knows unpainted models perform badly compared to their fully-painted counterparts, so it's time to fix that. Besides, eight years after starting a project and two years after the death of the game the associated with them seems quite long enough for the competion of an army to be overdue by!

Here's how my army looked on New Years day.  Excuse the bad photography. Hangover plus bad lighting didn't make for brilliant photos ...

As you can see, that's a huge amount to work on. Luckily the huge amount of casualties I took in my last game means I have a much smaller pool to focus on (silver linings and all that...). I decided to start with my Executioners/ Beastmasters:

These are about two-thirds done. I still need to add a few washes and highlights, as well as finishing the bases. Obviously this isn't the full unit. I still have about twenty more to paint, but I figured it's easier to work on a rank at a time rather than demoralising myself by trying to tackle all 25 at once.

At the same time I started work on a pair of Sorceresses. I wanted to try something a little different to my normal skin recipe for Elves/Eldar, aiming to convey the kind of unhealthy pallor which the Druchii are likely to have. Living in perpetual winter and dabbling with the unnatural doesn't tend to help the complexion...

I quite like how the skin tone has turned out, even though it could still use a little cleaning up. I'm not always the best judge of these things though, so any thoughts or comments on it are very welcome, especially as it's a new technique I'm trying. I'm still in two minds whether or not to extend this recipe to all the elves in my force or just save it for the magic users. I'll have to give it some thought.

So there you have it, all my hobby progress for the first two weeks of 2017. It's not fantastic, but it's a start. I'm hoping to get these guys done by the end of January.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

2016 in Review - 2017 plans

The time has come to once again have a look back over my hobby across the year.

I feel 2016 has been a good year for me hobby-wise. My new job has meant I've finally been able to afford to invest the money I want into my projects, whilst unfortunately sapping me of the time to do them!

That said, I've managed to get a good amount of games in. I've played 24 games out of my intended 26. Whilst falling just shy of my target,  it's had the intended effect - reinvigorating my gaming life and providing inspiration and motivation for my projects. I've also connected with not just one, but two awesome groups in my local area. I've met some great people and finally found myself a regular 30k-playing group to indulge my love of the Horus Heresy with. That's on top of getting a good friend of mine into collecting a Night Lords force. I've even found some opponents to play 8th Edition Fantasy against, so it's been a very good year, I'd say.

Unfortunately the same success hasn't been mirrored in the painting side of things. It's kind of become a yearly tradition that I declare that I will be massively more productive than usual with my painting and I will have several painted armies to show for it by December the 31st. These proclamations usually fall by the wayside sometime around February. I think you can guess what happened in 2016?

You guessed correctly.

In fairness I decided wisely midway through the year to drop the targets of specific projects and just aim to be generally productive. My hope for achieving this was to adopt a painting points system and by trying to paint for about half an hour every day. Unfortunately between real life and preparation for Pokemon Championships, I haven't done anything since October except put a few layers on the Terminators from the Prospero box. Also, various impulse buys have shot my painting points total to the wrong side of hilarious!

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is going to change next year. I now have pretty much everything I need for my current projects. All that remains is to paint them. In hindsight, half an hour every single day was a bit too much to keep up with. I work night shifts most of the week, as well as having several other very time consuming hobbies. I just didn't have the time to put aside for painting. When I did get a chance to sit down and paint, the fact that I was so behind on my daily painting just made it feel like a chore, rather than something I did for fun.

What I'm thinking is that next year I should be aiming to sit down and paint for at least half an hour three times a week. That's much easier to manage, whilst still giving a good rate of progress. Plus it means I won't be demoralised so much if I happen to miss a couple of days. Drastically reducing my number of current projects should help too. I only have four main things I'm working on atm:

Thousand Sons - These have become my main gaming force, which coupled with the recent releases have worked wonders for my motivation for getting them finished. This will be a nice and simple 2500 point Zone  Mortalis force. After that I'm hoping to add 500 points of White Scar allies, but that's a little way off yet.

I'm also hoping to make some bits and pieces so these guys can pull double duty as a 30k or 40k force. The recent Chaos releases have gotten me quite fired up to try out the new Traitor Legion rules!

Sons of Horus - This has fallen at the wayside somewhat, probably because it's a repaint rather than a new project, so I don't have my usual 'fire' when I work on them. I have a sneaky suspicion a friend of mine has bought me Horus for Christmas though, so it's possible my motivation will go through the roof for these guys very soon!

Dark Elves - Currently the oldest army I own and the one with the fewest painted models (10 Crossbowmen). On the other hand, the fact that one of my local gaming clubs is running a narrative Fantasy campaign atm means that I really wanted to get these fully painted. I have all the models I need for this save for one Hydra, so in theory I should be able to complete this fairly quickly.

My Lords, Heroes and a couple of monsters are likely to be amongst the first projects I finish in the new year and batch painting infantry shouldn't present too much of a challenge either.

Inquisition - These have been put on hold until I get the new Imperial Agents book and I can see what rules and combos they've changed/removed. These aren't going away though. The fact that each model is so individual means that I find myself returning to these guys whenever I want a break from my other projects.

I also want to keep working on my homemade Zone Mortalis project this year, but that's not a priority right now. I game mostly at clubs rather than at home, so having a painted army is more important to me than having a niche set of terrain for those few times when I play games at home. It'll be nice to have once I get around to it though.

At some point I also want to get a display cabinet for my finished models. Being able to see them displayed in all their glory (not to mention being beyond the reach of the cat, who seems to have developed a taste for plastic crack) should help my motivation immensely.

So to sum up, my goals for 2017 are:

- try to paint at least three times a week for half an hour.

- continue my current projects and try not to start any more.

- continue my painting points system.

- try and get 26 games in across the year. One every two weeks in average seems a reasonable goal to try and hit.

Current painting point total: 93 bought/ 6 painted

My hobby 'stash' currently looks like this:

I also have these sprayed and ready to go. I'm not going to touch them until January the 1st though.

Wish me luck!

What are your hobby plans for 2017?

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Daily Painting 28/9/16 - Underhive Scum

In my excitement to talk  about my Watch Captain yesterday, I forgot to add my other piece of progress. This guy is even closer to being finished than Wulfenhien is!

He's only a bog standard member of one of my Inquisitorial Henchmen squads, but I'm loving this guy. Built from the unlikely combination of a Chaos Cultist and some leftovers from the Betrayal at Calth box, I was aiming for a kind of Underhive Mercenary feel for the model.

Really it's just little bits left to do now. I need to pick out the rope of his 'grenade necklace' in grey, add another layer and wash to his chainblade, then he's done, apart from obviously cleaning up his base.

A quick little conversion, simple paint job and a painting point for me? That will do nicely!

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Daily Painting 27/9/16 - Deathwatch Watch Master WIP

I've been plodding ever onwards with my daily painting and surprisingly I've been quite productive. I'm almost at a stage where I'm actually finishing some models and earning some of those elusive painting points. Wonders will never cease!
Most of my efforts have been going into my Deathwatch Watch Captain, who's now pretty much done, minus a few details, such as his right arm and base:

This guy has been onw of my favourite models which I've worked on for a long time.. He represents my hobby journey pretty much coming full circle, tying my current projects in with some of my very first forays into the hobby 15 years ago. Basically, his background is that he's the last loyal member of the Golden Knights chapter, out for revenge against his traitor kin. In case you're wondering, the Golden Knights were the first army I ever collected when I got into 40k when I was 13. They were my homebrew chapter who went traitor and pulled double duty as Loyalists or Chaos as required. They were led by the infamous traitor, Elgran Wulfenhein, who went from humble Captain, to Chapter Master,to Chaos Lord and finally becoming Deamon Prince - before he developed a nasty habit of sprouting 4 Lascannon shots in the chest each game and reverted back to Lord status!

This new guy represents Arik Wulfenhien, Elgran's brother. He was on a far flung mission when the Chapter fell to Chaos and returned to find them declared Excommunicate. Vowing to kill his brother and restore the honour of his Chapter, he served my Inquisitor, Rikard von Nearostaffen for many years before finally joining the Deathwatch, on the sole condition that if word came of the whereabouts of his brother, he would be allowed to join the hunt to destroy him and the rest of the traitor Golden Knights.

It's perhaps a little tragic that he'll never get the chance to do this now. The Golden Knights were sold off about 6 years ago and I have no plans to recreate them. Arik will probably never get his vengeance!

I'm loving being able to tie my latest projects into my personal hobby history and it helps that the Artemis model is a joy to paint and convert. He'll eventually be getting a fancy bionic limb and a Storm Bolter once I can source the right bits for it. This loadout is far from optimal in the DW, but it's another nod to my hobby history, this time being the Kantor model I was using for the last few years to represent my Deathwatch Captain before they got their own codex.

Hopefully I'll be able to finish this guy this week. Like I said, he just needs a few details and a clean up. I've decided to count HQ models as 5 painting points apiece, otherwise there's no incentive for me to put in the extra effort to bring them up to the standard which Wulfenhein is going to be when he's finished.

I'll post more soon!