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!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Daily Painting 15/9/16 - Corsairs

Despite the fact I got my Hydra ready in time, Monday's campaign game was an unmitigated disaster. Long story short, far  more Skaven turned up than I expected and a Dwarf force less than a quarter the size of the other two forces managed to win by hiding up in a Watchtower and shooting anything which came near. I conceded 1870 victory points whilst only scoring 320 of my own.

I think my problem came (aside from being thoroughly out-pointed and suffering from terrible dice luck) from having too many monsters and not enough ranked units.

Luckily, it's simple enough to fix that, so I've started batch painting the Corsairs which have been sitting in a box in my gaming cupboard for ages.

I've only done the basecoat for now, but I'll be adding washes when I get home later. The fun bit is going to come once they're finished and I can start magnetising the bases and building the magnetic movement tray to go with them.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Daily Painting 11/08/16 - Rescued Ebay Hydra

I've taken a couple of days off my hobby challenge this week - flu and stomach bugs are not conducive to good hobby progress. Now I'm feeling better though and I've been able to get back to it, I've decided to tackle my new Hydra next. This is partly due to needing it for a campaign game and not wanting to break my 'only game with painted models' rule, but also because it let me indulge in one of my favourite hobbies within the hobby: rescuing Ebay models.

This one arrived with me in a shocking state. Serious it was like it was painted by a five year old. The paint was a full 1mm thick, obscuring all detail. I really wish I'd taken a picture before I scrubbed it down, so you could see it in all it's terrible glory. Worse yet it was Finecast, turning my usual method of a long soak in Fairy Power Spray following by furious scrubbing into a dicey proposition at best. After a short think, I decided to risk it and it was unceremonious dumped in the stripping tub within 20 mins of it arriving in the post.

After much work, I got it as clean as it was going to go. The next step was obviously to rebuild it, undercoat and basecoat it, leaving me with this:

Not bad at all considering the amount of work it'd taken just to get it to this point. Next up was a liberal application of Nuln Oil, taking it to this:

Pretty nice looking if you ignore the base and the missing leg. These will be fixed shortly along with the addition of much more layering and highlighting.

The manacles you may be able to make out on two of the necks are plasticard hoops I've added to conceal the worst of the damage to the neck joints. I'll be adding modelling chain at some point to make it look like it's broken free and is on a rampage. I've also deliberately left a few moldlines showing, which will be painted to look like scars where it's regrown limbs.

So there you have it. It's not brilliant by a long shot and a long way from done, but it's good enough for gaming tomorrow night at least. It's weird to think that a few years ago, I would have considered this paint job to be the finished model. It really shows how far I've come!

I'll post updates as I have them.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Ok, so I'm weak...

My self control crumbled and I bought Death Masque. I know I'm meant to be painting more than I buy and I know this pushes my total massivvely more into the red than I was already, but it was a moment of weakness. I just got paid for my first month in a new job and I wanted to treat myself. I have no regrets.

I have to say, the box is an amazingly good deal. You get an impressive amount of plastic in there for the price, plus a mini-rulebook, finally giving me a copy of the 7th edition book to use. The character sprues are beautifully done and really show off what they can do with plastic these days. The only bad note is that the background included in the booklet is somewhat questionable, considering the implications for the Eldar race as a whole, but it's really no worse than GW's standard fare. All in all, the box is a pretty sweet deal, considering I plan on making use of everything which comes in the box, except for perhaps Eldrad.

I probably also shouldn't mention the Dark Elf Hydra I also bought off Ebay, which veers me even further from my goal. It was at a price I couldn't refuse and I needed it for my Fantasy campaign forces anyway. Also my order for magnets arrived, but those have no bearing on my painting points total, apart from allowing my to work on updating my Dark Elves.

I suppose the moral of this post is that impulse purchases are bad for painting discipline. Here's the breakdown on the hit my points total took, as far as I can work out:

12 Harlequins: -12 points
Eldrad + Death Jester: -2 points
2 Skyweavers: -4 points
Void Weaver: -5 points
10 Deathwatch Marines: -10 points
Artemis: -1 point
Dreadnought: -10 points
Hydra: -10 points
Existing points -30 points

Total: -79 points

Ouch! It basically means that I won't be buying any more models for at least the rest of this year (unless the rumoured 1k Sons vs SW box tempts me!). Although it looks quite terrible for now, it's not the disaster I thought it'd be at first. With the arrival of the magents, I should be able to chip quite a bit off this total in short order, by working on my Dark Elves. Fantasy armies have a lot of models and are fairly easy to paint. The extra Deathwatch pads which come in Death Masque also let me finish up my existing Deathwatch units very easily.

I suppose I'd best get cracking.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Daily Painting 28/08/16 - Thousand Sons Contemptor

Turns out I was awake enough to get on with some painting this this morning when I came in from work. I decided to add another layer of 50/50 Mephiston Red/ Wazdakka Red to my Thousand Sons Dreadnought:

Aside from reapplying a few dabs of wash into crevasses, that means the red is finally complete on this guy.

Next stage is cleaning up the white, then another highlight for the gold. I have a feeling that between this and my planned Emperor's Children, I'm really going to come to hate highlighting gold before much longer.

Anyway progress is progress. Hopefully I'll have the energy to tackle the white tomorrow.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Daily Painting Progress

As promised,here's my first post on the progress of my daily painting challenge. As you'll see, I've been working on a fairly eclectic mix in my first week, but I've really hit the ground running with it. I don't think I'll be able to keep up this volume of progress as time goes on, but I'll try.

First up is my Deathwatch. These two are Brother Braytek of the Iron Hands and the as-yet unnamed and unaligned Lightning Claw guy. he's probably going to become a Flesh Tearer, but I'm still deciding. These are going to become part of Kill Team 'Sword', the first of 4 teams that I'm going to produce. Not much progress has been made on these guys. The photo doesn't show it too clearly, but I've at least gotten the silver done on them, ready for washing.

Next up is the Thousand Sons Contemptor which I've been working on for ages. I certainly havn't done all this in a week! Mostly I've been chipping away at the massive amount of washes and highlights this guy requires.

I'm hoping to get him done soon, as it means a healthy bump to progress on my painting points total once he is finally finished.

More Deathwatch guys, unnamed for now, but are going to be an Imperial Fist, Raven Guard and Lamenter  (from left to right). I'm actually nearly done on these guys too, with only detailing and pads to do (the Lamenter's arm is about, but not shown here), meaning I should have a full Kill Team ready to go before too much longer. I'll get much better shots of these guys once they are done, as I've just realised that the photo I took the other day is terrible!

And finally, although it's not strictly painting progress, I had a go at building some terrain on my day off this week. I figured that now I have a lovely gaming mat to play on, I could really do with some terrain to go with it. I still need to add some more sand to the baseboards before I paint these, but I'm liking how they're turning out so far, especially as they we pieced  together from junk I found around my flat.

Summary: Lots of prgress this week, although nothing finished yet, so no painting points progress to report quite yet. Hopefully I'll have something by the end of the week. This is assuming of course that I don't get distracted with something else in the meantime. On the other hand, the beauty of this system means that progress is being made regardless.

I'm going to be hopefully switching to daily updates with this, or at least every other day. I did a weekly summary today because I've been having problems uploading pictures all week. I may take the bank holiday off though, as it's going to get ridiculously busy at work, so I'm likely to be spending all my free time sleeping. I'll see what happens though.

Either way, I'll post more soon.

What are you guys working on atm?

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

And just like that, my plans are blown... New Ahriman and Kharn

It's been quite a day of revelation in the GW rumour mill, one which is almost certainly going to make my wallet and painting point tally weep.

First of all we had the leak of a new plastic model for what appears to be Ahriman. It matches his Visions of Heresy artwork at least.

This is almost certainly part of the long-rumoured Thousand Sons vs Space Wolves sequel to the Betrayal at Calth box.  It looks great, although the closet Elitist in me is quite disappointed that it's not in resin from FW. I'm looking forward to getting this for my Thousand Sons, although I'm only likely to be using him in larger games, due to my 55th Company's background of not getting along particularly well with the Chief Librarian.

The amazing part of this leak though was the response from GW. Within hours Warhammer TV posted up a video not only confirming the validity of the leak, but also basically saying "Think that's cool, we have Kharn!"

Not only does this come as an astonishing departure from form for GW in terms of releasing previews and sneak peeks, the model is pretty damn good too. I need to see a few more angles of him before I can form my opinion 100%, but this seems a pretty nice reworking of a true GW classic.

Hopefully this will tie into a new CSM codex, but we'll have to wait until September 3rd to find out. If this is a new book, then between todays leaks and Death Masque, I might as well say goodbye to any more hobby purchases between now and next year if I want to stand a hope of ever getting into positive figures on my painting points.

Talking of painting points, I'll start showing my daily painting progress from next the new pst. Obviously I've gotten a little distracted by the rumour mill today.

What do you think of the new models? Also, do you think GW will start giving more previews now, or was this a one off?