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?

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Making time to paint.

I talked in my my last post about how I'm trying to improve how I keep track of my painting and about how I want to try and start painting more than I buy. This time, I'm going to talk about how I actually intend to go about doing this.

Being on night shifts for 5 or 6 nights a week doesn't exactly lend itself to getting my hobby done, but I've come up with a simple plan to keep things moving nicely.

Every day, either before or after work, I'll try and sit down and paint for at least half an hour.

 I'll be aiming to complete a stage each time, whether it's a layer on a model or a wash, or anything else that needs doing. The theory is that over time, I'll still be making progress.

I'm starting this when I get back from work tomorrow. Let's see if this actually works!

Painting Points

I swear I already wrote a post about this a few weeks ago, but it seems to have gotten lost in the warp somewhere between posting from my phone and hitting the internet.

I've decided to change up how I keep track of my painting. I pledged at the start of the year to get several of my armies completed by the end of the year. Unfortunately my hobby-addled mind can't seem to focus on one project for very long, so I'm starting to think that having set project goals is a very bad way of trying to focus my hobby efforts.

Instead I've decided to switch to a system of 'painting points'. It's very simple, I keep track of how many models I buy and how many I paint. I get 1 point for every infantry model I paint, 2 for every bike/cavalry-sized model, 5 for anything Dreadnought/ Monster-sized, then 10 for anything bigger.

Similarly, whenever I buy a model, I keep track of the total using the same scale. In theory, I won't buy anything new until I'm in 'positive figures'. In reality, I'm starting 25 points down, due to having impulse bought some classic DE Executioners and some Betrayal at Calth stuff.

Still, hopefully I'll be able to claw back some points before buying more (although the new Death Masque box is calling out to me...). I'm working on some Deathwatch stuff and Thousand Sons Breachers atm, so that should bring my total up somewhat.

The obvious advantage of this system is that it doesn't matter what projects I get distracted by, I'll still be earning points. This is great, as at my last count, I have over 100 models in dire need of painting.

This is what I have to work on:

Sons of Horus
This is really just redoing my existing force to bring them up to my improved painting standards. This isn't as high a priority as my other projects, but it'd still be nice to get them done.

Thousand Sons

The eternal WIP. I'm liking how they're turning out this time, so I'm goin to keep at it. They're by far the slowest of my current projects though, due to the amount of layers and washes involved.

One the other hand, I have gotten far further into them on this attempt than I ever have before - 10 Tactical Marines and a Contemptor!

Next up on these are my Breachers.

Ordo Xenos
A vast sprawling project which includes Inquisitors, Storm Troopers and Deathwatch. The new codex for the latter has really helped kick my motivation into gear for these guys!

There's also going to be Harlequin Allies in there at some point, probably about the same time as I finally cave and buy Death Masque.

Dark Elves

I'm getting involved in a Fantasy 8th Edition campaign at my local club soon. This seems like the perfect excuse to finally finish my Dark Elves which I started by in 2009!

I'm rather looking forward to getting these done to a good standard. I've already placed an order for a massive amount of Magnets, so I can magnetise all their movement trays.

Obviously, I'll be posting on here every time I make some progress (or losses), so you'll be able to see how I get on.

Watch this space!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Cheap Zone Mortalis

I've been looking at FW's Zone Mortalis rules and terrain for a long time, wishing I could afford to pick it up and give it a go. Sadly being a uni student and then an unemployed graduate has meant that Zone Mortalis has stayed firmly outside of my price range. I've had the vague plan to possibly make my own board, but I've never really given it any serious thought.

Until now that is. I was mooching through YouTube the other day and came across a video on WW40K's channel on how to build a cheap Zone Mortalis board out of Megablocks (the video's here if you're interested: )

Conveniently, a local charity shop had a bin bag of Megablocks going for a fiver, so I grabbed it and set to work.

Obviously the first step was to make a wall and glue it together:

Next I sprayed it black, so I could see what I was working with a little easier:

 The guy on WW40K either glued some plastic over the top or sawed the 'nobbles' off, but he mostly did that for speed and ease of building, due to the fact that he was making ten boards worth of wall sections. Considering I'm only making one board, I wanted add more detailing to mine. Luckily I have a box of 'junk' which I keep for terrain building, so I got that and set to work. Ten minutes later,I had this:

Nowhere near done yet and still a lot to do, but I'm liking how it's looking already. I'm planning to make enough of these to fill a 4x4 board, so another dozen sections like these should do the trick. After that, I'll be making some interior details like generators, shipping crates and cogitator consoles. At some point I'll also be ordering a spaceship-themed gaming mat to place them on. I think for the doors I'll just order the proper ones from FW, unless I'm feeling particularly ambitious when it gets to that point

I'll post more soon.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The joys of lighting - updated Thousand Sons

Given how many painting updates I post, you'd think I'd already own a daylight bulb for painting, right? You'd be wrong.

 I've never quite gotten around to getting one. There's always been new models or paints to buy, so a proper painting bulb has never been very high on my shopping list. I feel a little foolish now. I finally picked one up today and I'm already amazed at the difference it makes.



I never realised before just how yellow/orange all my pictures I took under my normal lamp looked, until I saw the two pictures of the same models side by side. I really should have tbh, having worked in media and the visual arts for nearly half my life, but I've never really applied that training to my hobby photography before. I think part of it is because I indulge in my hobby when I want to switch my brain off to everything else, so the lighting and colour correction which I do without thinking when I'm editing video never really occurs to me.

Now I realise what an idiot I've been though, I'll obviously be applying this to all the hobby photography I'll be doing from now on. I'm also thinking about playing around with using photoshop to enhance my hobby pics, now I've got a gaming mat and I'm working on some terrain to go with. More on that soon though!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Thousand Sons Demi-Squad

Bouyed up by the generosity of the hobby community, I've decided to plunge into finally getting my Thousand Sons done. It's been nearly five years since I came up with the idea of the army after reading A Thousand Sons, so it's really about time I got it done!

Given the amount of time I've been working on them, it's a little embarassing that I don't even have single squad to show for it. Every time I work on them, I get frustrated that I can't get the shade of red on their armour exactly right and soon abandon them.

Now I finally feel I've got a formula that works, I might actually make some progress. I managed to knock these up over the course of last night:

Still a long way to go on them, but I'm feeling really postive this time. This is going to end up being a fifteen man Tactical Squad with attached Apothecary, so a nice and simple start to the force. After that are going to be some Breachers and Terminators, then a trio of Contemptors, so there'll be plenty to keep me going.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Huzzah for Gamers!

The gaming community really is amazing.

Remember last night where I was was saying about how the bit I need for my Thousand Sons has gone out of production? Well, I put a post up about it on a Facebook group before I went to bed, mostly just to vent my annoyance and to discuss what other bits people were mourning about losing access to. I didn't think too much about it tbh. Well to my surprise, I woke up this morning to find that no less than 6 people had messaged me, all offering to send me their spare crests - about a hundred altogether!

I'm just awed at the generosity of our community. I know they aren't the rarest of bits, but six different people saw my problem and decided to help out a fellow gamer. Not one of them even asked me to cover postage! 

This is really what I love about the gaming community. They're such a great group of people, always happy to help out a fellow gamer. This, more than anything else is what keeps me in this hobby.

Thank you to everyone who messaged me!

Damn you GW! Rethinking plans for Thousand Sons

It's my own fault really for being so slow with my projects, but GW have managed to annoy me for the second time in a week.

As you'll probably know, I've been (very) slowly working on my Thousand Sons for the last four years. Part of the standard conversion I do for the helmets for them is to take Chaos Warriors head and stick a crest from the High Elf archer kits above the visor, like this:

This works great for me, especially as I'm not a fan of the FW heads for them. The crests have been easy enough to source until now, as you get loads in a kit and mst bits websites have had loads laying around which they struggle to sell. The problem is, I've just gone to restock on the crests after using the last of my supply on a Tactical Squad (I'll show you this soon, but the pic above is a preview) to find that GW have discontinued the Archer kit as part of their streamlining process as they roll out their Age of Sigmar range.

On the one hand, it's fair enough. The kit was very old and clunky. If anything from the HE range was going to go, it was going to be them. On the other hand, this leaves me in a rather sticky situation with my Thousand Sons.

I'm not the kind of person to just shrug and have  two different styles of helmet crests in my force, so at this point I really have two options: I can either try and find the last remaining supplies of the crests online, then stockpile them like crazy, or I can rethink my design plans.

Personally I'm leaning towards the stockpile option, possibly coupled with some casting. It's just annoying that at the exact moment where I'm finally ready to steam ahead with my XVth Legion, yet another hurdle has been thrown in my path.

I think I'd best start hording the Chaos Warrior heads too, just in case!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Ridiculous FAQ

It's not often I post about rules issues. Although rules are what let me play the games I love, I prefer to focus on painting, modelling and fluff. This latest issue has gotten me riled up though, mostly due to the stupidity of the whole thing. 

In case you haven't heard, GW released their latest wave of draft FAQ's the other day, this one covering Space Marines. Nothing major in there on the whole, just general clarifications. Nothing major that is, until you reach the section on drop pods.

Basically, GW have made the insane decision to rule that the hatches on a Drop Pod are now counted as part of the model. This has the following implications.

1. Disembarking models can now use them to measure their disembarkation move from.

2. Friendly models can't climb on the doors, even the unit getting out.

3. Enemy models can't go within an inch of the doors unless they're charging, basically locking down a massive section of the battlefield, potentially removing the ability to get to multiple objectives at once with careful placement. Bearing in mind this is a 35 pt model, this is silly.

4. Drop Pods now basically never scatter, due to the massive footprint and the high likelihood of hitting surrounding terrain. Inertial Guidance will simply negate the scatter. Even if you do scatter a little, it doesn't matter, as the massive doors allow you to disembark where you were aiming anyway.

5. Say goodbye to sticking a drop pod in your opponents deployment zone. If one of the hatches hangs off the board when they open, it's a mishap.

6. This completely invalidates the models of anyone who's glued the doors shut on their pods. This could be construed as modelling for advantage.

7. There are formations which let you field a LOT of Pods for free. Someone I know has already worked out a 1750 point list with 22 pods squeezed in. With the right placement, you can just surround the enemy force and stop them being able to move turn 1

Considering that these are literally the only vehicles in the game where the hatches count as part of the model, I consider this sheer insanity. Call me a cynic, but I'm guessing sales of Drop Pods were down a little, so someone decided to spice things up.

I'm hoping this will be fixed when the final FAQ comes out. Considering the stir this has caused already, I can't imagine they'll keep it this way. In the meantime, my own gaming group has already unanimously agreed to ignore these rules and keep the older, more sensible ruling instead.

What do you think? Is this as terrible as it seems? Are you following the ruling?