Friday, 22 June 2018

Catching up

It's been a busy couple of weeks for me. I've had time off and actually gotten a fair amount of hobby time and gaming in, but Pokemon Regionals have meant I haven't really had much time for blogging. It's quite annoying, as I feel like I'm now playing catchup, but that can't really be helped.

Hopefully over the next couple of posts I'll be able to get you guys updated on what I've been up to. It'll also help get things sorted in my head where I am with my projects and what I should be doing next.

First of all, I got models done!

I haven't actually completed much recetly, considering how many different projects I've been working on, so it's nice just to have some finished models sitting in front of me. The bulk of this has been completing my latest Two Week Hobby Challenge - getting a five man Volkite Culverin Squad finished for my Thousand Sons:

I'm really quite happy with how they turned out, especially as I was thinking they were looking terrible right up until the last stage of highlighting. It just goes to show how a little perseverence can pay dividends. The transfers were pretty easy to do, although they were delayed slightly by need to wait for a new decal sheet to arrive from Forge World.

I also finished my Whirlwind Scorpius, barring the need to apply transfers at some point in the future:

This basically means I just need to finish painting my Terminators, then convert up my Termite and I'll have my 2000 point force ready for when my local campaign resumes. This has taken a bit longer than I expected, but considering I haven't even  had a chance to order the bits I need, I think I can be forgiven for not getting those done quite yet!

Apart from these, I've been mostly focusing on my Necromunda stuff. I'll cover that collectively in my next post though, as there's rather a lot to show you.
For now though I'll leave you with some pics from a 40k game I played last week. I broke out my Emperor's Children for the first time in ages and had a game against my local Harlequins player.

It was a really close and fun game, full of the chaos and mayhem you'd expect when these two ancient enemies meet. I lost narrowly in the end, but when the game is this fun, who's really keeping score?

Special mention goes out to the single Heavy Bolter Marine who just simply refused to die. Over the course of three turns, he withstood the attentions of two Venoms and Shadowseer before finally having to be dispatched personally by my opponent's Warlord. A true hero of the 3rd!

I'll definitely have to make sure he gets some special attention and decals when I go to finish up his squad.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Tank Holiday Monday

I said the other day that I planned to start washing and weathering my terrain over the bank holiday weekend. Well that hasn't quite worked out to plan. Between lacking the paints I need and being called into work tonight, it looks like I'm going to have to postpone my terrain session for a few days. It did give me an opportunity to use a terrible pun for a post title though, so it's not all bad news.

I decided to work on a couple of vehicles for my various forces instead. I normally hate painting vehicles, but I figured that seeing as I couldn't get on with what I want to do, I might as well try and churn out some stuff which I'd normally keep putting off.

First up, I got started on my Whirlwind Scorpius:

Considering the sheer amount of nooks and crannies this thing has, I think I've done pretty well just to get it to this stage in a single session. It's a deceptively detailed model. I need to crack on with it though, as I need it for when my local 30k campaign resumes in a month or two. Hopefully it shouldn't take too long to get finished though. Hopefully.

The other vehicle I decided to work on is a little random:

I bought the Scions 'Start Collecting' box a while back in order to use the infantry as conversion fodder, but I never really had any plans for the Taurox which you get with it. I just built it and forgot about it.

I found it again last week when I was rooting about for a bits to turn into terrain, so I decided to give it a quick silver spray when I did everything else. A few details blocked in and a couple of washes later and it's actually looking pretty good.

I'm not 100% sure where I'm going to use it yet, but I'm thinking it might make a sweet ride for Inquisitor Nearostaffen and his warband.

Not a bad bout of productivity for a bank holiday weekend really, especially considering that I couldn't work on what I wanted to. Hopefully I''ll be able to get back to my terrain later this week when I have some time off. I also need to get a Volkite Heavy Support Squad done for my hobby challenge and I probably should return to Fulgrim at some point too, as he's somewhat fallen by the wayside. I've got plenty to keep me busy. The looming spectre of Pokemon Regionals next month is going to eat into my hobby time quite a bit too, but hopefully I'll still be able to get plenty done.

I'll post more soon.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Quick and easy terrain pt2

My terrain building kick continues and really shows no sign of letting up.

This time I've built a larger terrain piece for Necromunda:

 Built mostly from a couple of baby milk tubs and some drinking straws, I actually made this with a more practical purpose in mind rather than just simply going 'what can I build?'. I'm getting sick of being shot off the board every single game by my mate's Goliaths, so a large chunk of line of sight blocking terrain seemed like a solid investment. It also adds a bit of height to the board, making for some more interesting matchups.

This will be added to the pile of terrain to go over with washes and get finished up over bank holiday weekend. I'm actually getting quite a decent collection now for not a huge amount of time and effort. I'd almost forgotten how much fun it is to make your own terrain and I'll certainly be doing some more as time goes on.

Next step though is to buy some 28mm ladders when I get paid. As it is atm, very little of this terrain is actually accessible by models withoutg specialist equipment and I don't fancy my skills at making my own ladders. A trip to my local scale modelling shop should hopefully do the trick though,. If not, I'll be scouring Ebay to see what I can get.

After that I suppose I'd best actually get some Necromunda models finished to go with all this!

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Quick and easy terrain

It's funny what can be inspiring sometimes. For most people (myself included), seeing a well painted or converted model can inspire them to make something similar, or perhaps a particularly nice piece of terrain might spark off an idea for a project. This time though, something mediocre has inspired me to make something better.

If you've been around any Facebook hobby groups over the weekend, you'll have probably seen the pictures coming from the London Grand Tournament. If you haven't then I won't go over it in detail here, but the main take from the weekend was that the terrain was really bad. Like, really terrible.

Watching the uproar about the whole thing got me thinking. Terrain building has become something of a lost art. Between the GW terrain kits and the sheer volume of smaller terrain makers that are out there, we're a little spoilt for choice these days when it comes to pre-made kits, but when I got into the hobby in the early 2000's if you wanted terrain at all, you had build it yourself!

The problem is that a lot of people don't even consider the option of making their own terrain these day. Most people either buy the premade stuff or don't bother at all, just focussing on their armies. I'm pretty much guilty of the same thing. I've got at least 5 large armies for various systems knocking about my flat, but very little terrain.

So I decided to spend an evening upgrading my terrain collection.

Being something of a magpie, I've got a box full of interesting and useful bits which I've saved with the intention to turn it into terrain. This includes everything from coffee tubs to coasters, along with various scraps from kits I've built and other junk. I'm sorry to say that until now I've hardly touched it, but hope that'll change over the next few weeks.

After diving in and a few minutes messing about and I had myself a couple of basic silos made:

They were literally made by gluing a couple of tubs to some coasters and basing them like I would any other model.

They were looking a little scrappy, but a quick spray of paint later and they were shaping up pretty nicely:

Whilst I was there I also sprayed up some bits and pieces I built last year and forgot to come back to:

Not a bad collection for perhaps an hour's work at most. Obviously I need to jazz them up a bit, but even at this stage they're certainly passable. I'm going to probably spend a day or two over the weekend going over them with washes and adding some details.

I think I've proved my point though. Making terrain needn't be difficult or expensive. You just have to be a little creative with junk and you can have a workable terrain set very easily.

I'm probably also going to make some more this week if I get time. Me and a mate want to play some more Necromunda soon, so upping my terrain count seems like a good idea.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

A Primarch and a bit

I haven't posted much  over the last few weeks. Real life has just gotten in the way a little. To make up for it, here's one hell of a progress post for you. I managed to get Horus finished on Monday night!

He took far less time than I expected to get done. I thought I'd be still highlighting and shading him for months on end, but he came together really quickly. I'm happy with how he turned out at least.

I went for a much darker, more savage feel to the model than many people paint him. This was partly due to wanting to do something a bit different, but also because my army is set post-Molech, where Horus' darker side comes fully to the fore. Having such a love for ADB's Black Legion series and read Khayon's descriptions of how Horus went completely off the deep end towards the end of the Heresy, I couldn't resist playing up those aspects of his character!

Although I love how he turned out in a general sense, I'm proudest of the look I achieved on his wolf pelt. I normally suck at painting fur, so I was a little apprehensive about approaching this, but after over a week of careful layering, washing and highlighting I'm pretty happy with it. I was thinking about putting flecks of dried blood in there to tie it in with his claw, but I figured I shouldn't push my luck, so I called it done.

So there you have it: my first Primarch painted. It's going to be far from my last though. In fact I've started painting my next one!

Fulgrim has always been my amongst my favourites of all the Primarchs, so I'm loving the chance to finally get him on my painting table.  I'm actually planning to make two versions of him, representing him both pre and post Daemonhood. Daemon Fulgrim is going to wait until I have the funds to indulge in the nessesary bits to convert him though. If I'm lucky, GW will beat me to it. Given what they've done with Mortarion and Magnus however, I might still prefer to make my own version.

Coming back to 'normal' Fulgrim though, he's going to be a slow burn project, weaved in between other stuff which I'm working on atm. This is partly because I want to take my time on him, but also because I have no reason to actually use him right now. Although I play Emperor's Children in 40k, the amount of models which I have which are usable for EC's in 30k is actually pretty small. I want to finish up my Thousand Sons and spruce up my Sons of Horus before I launch into the 3rd Legion properly.

I'm pretty happy with how he's shaping up so far though. The real pain will come when I go to highlight all that gold! I didn't even realise just how much filigree there is on him until I'd started on the base colours for the pink and noticed a load more on his legs which I'd completely missed. There's probably even more in there somewhere which I've still missed, so it'll be an interesting journey of discovery as I paint.

That's all for today. Hopefully I'll be able to muster the energy to be a little more productive over the week so I can post some more, but I seem to be in a bit of a lull atm hobby-wise, so I'll have to see how I get on.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Distractions within distractions

Here's a project I wasn't expecting to do. Well that's not strictly true, I've been planning this guy for a while, but I was planning to hold off on doing it until I'd finished Horus and a few other bits.

But when I sat down to do some hobbying yesterday, this kind of just happened. It's probably a good argument against piling up the bits for my next project on my hobby desk where it can tempt me from what I'm meant to be working on! 

Anyway, I built and (mostly) painted my version of Marius Vairosean yesterday:

He was surprisingly quick and easy to do. I had him built and painted in about 6 hours.,whuch is pretty good going considering that he was quite a complex build. I ended up having to kitbash his sonic cannon from about half a dozen sources, including a Volikte Culverin, parts from the Chaos tank upgrade sprue and even a weapon head from the old Chaos Warrior kit, plus a ton of green stuff work on top of that.

To give you an idea, here's a pic I took before applying paint:

I still need to find a right hand for him. My usually excellent bits boxes have let me down for once, so I need to order an open hand to fit in there, but other than that, he's pretty much done.

I'm rather happy with the way he's turned out actually. He fits closely to how I pictured him in the novels, although I have literally zero ideas on how I'm going to accurately represent him in-game. I can't think of a single HQ in 30k which has rules which would do him justice.

After this I really ought to be getting on with Horus or my Necromunda stuff next, but given my level of distraction recently, my next post could be pretty much anything!

What do you think of him? 

(a quick side note, I'm posting this from my new phone, so if there's any formatting issues, let me know so I can fix it) 

Monday, 23 April 2018

Detour into Necromunda

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to do some Necromunda side-projects, so I figured I'd tell you a bit about those.

I really need a little break from painting endless power armour, so I sat down and got a bit of painting done on my Slaaneshi cultists. The rules for them in White Dwarf seem pretty interesting, so I might end up using them instead of my Eschers if my local club ever gets their Necromunda campaign rolling.

In order to use them though, they need to be finished. luckily I've made some good progress on them:

I'm just waiting for some Sector Imperialis bases to arrive for them and I can finish them off. I started out just basing them normally so I could use them in 40k too, but then I realised that as they gain upgrades in the campaign they'll be straying too far from WYSIWYG for my liking, so I'm better off keeping them as a purely Necromunda thing.

I also found this in a charity shop the other day for a quid:

It's a rather nice toy train which happens to be the perfect scale for Necromunda/40k terrain. The moment I saw it I was imagining the possibilities for fun narrative games this could provide. Me and my mate who plays Goliaths are defintiely going to have to play a heist scenario at some point with this as the objective!

It somewhat harkens back to 'Operation Homehammer', which was my plan last year to build a table's worth of terrain for home gaming. That idea kind of fell by the wayside for a while, mostly due to my lack of time to pull everything together, but this has given me the kick up the arse I needed in the motivation department to crack on with making that a reality.

It'll also help me practice a few weathering techniques I've been wanting to try, but haven't had an appropriate model to test them out on.

Anyway, that's enough gushing from me about junk from a charity shop. I'll post more when I've done something with it!

Sunday, 22 April 2018

A Terminator-y kind of post

I was planning to put up a few discussion posts alongside some hobby progress over the past few weeks, but work's gotten a little crazy recently so I unfortunately didn't get the time to sit down and write anything. Hopefully I'll be able to sort something out soon.

What I did manage to get done though was completing my pledges for the latest stage of the Two Week Challenge.

I pledged 5 Thousand Sons Terminators, 8 Veterans and 3 Justerian this time around. I've been so busy that I began to worry that I'd bitten off a little more than I could chew. Cue some rather frantic applying of washes and transfers this morning in order to meet the deadline!

Here they are though:

They're certainly not my best work, but I think I've gotten them to a decent tabletop standard. If I was to go back and redo any of them, I'd definitely start again on the Cataphractii. I just can't seem to be able to get the highlighting right on them. I'd rather move forward and make progress though, rather than dwelling on the same models for weeks on end,

This post has also given me a rather nice opportunity to test the new camera on my phone. Expect a definite upswing in the quality of photos on here in future! Also let me know if the new photos cause any formatting issues, as it's hard to judge from my laptop at times.

So what's next I hear you ask? Well I've pledged to build my Volkite Heavy Support Squad and finish painting Horus over the next two weeks, but I also want to get on with a few Necromunda-related side projects, so expect updates from those over the next couple of days. Hopefully work will allow me the time to actually get some decent hobby done this week. Give that the tourist season's just started though, that may be a forlorn hope...

Saturday, 14 April 2018

A little diversity...

I've made a decent amount of progress over the last couple of days, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait a little while longer before I post it up. I've got a new phone arriving with a much better camera, so i'm waiting until that arrives before I snap some photos of what I've been up to.

In the meantime I just wanted to quickly share something that I'm rather proud of.

I wanted a little more diversity in my Necromunda gangs, so I had an experiment with painting darker skin.

I'm actually rather shocked at the fact that I've been in this hobby over 15 years and this is the first time I've ever attempted to paint a non-Caucasian skin tone.

I think it's a trap a lot of gamers fall into. The vast majority of painting tutorials out there focus on lighter skin tones and most people don't even consider doing anything but that, despite the massive diversity that must exist in a setting like the 40k universe.

Anyway, this was actually pretty quick and simple to do and I think it's produced some fantastic results. I started with a Rhinox Hide basecoat over a white spray, then layered Skrag brown on the raised muscles and finished it with a Seraphim Sepia wash to tie the two colours together. The clearly defined muscles and lines on the model made this really easy, but it'll be interesting to see how this works on a model with softer lines like my Eschers.

My job was also made a lot easier by the fact that I didn't have to worry about the face thanks to the mask I've decided to add to all my Cult gang.

So there you go. A really easy method to produc darker skin tones. Next up will be trying to apply this to some of my Thousand Sons, as canonically most of them come from the Egyptian/Persian region. I've got to actually focus on some of my Hobby Challenge pieces before I do that though, so that might be a while off yet.

Happy Gaming!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Slaaneshi Side Project

In my last post I was feeling pretty positive about my painting points. I should have known it wouldn't last. I went down to my local gaming shop for my 30k campaign game on Monday night, not intending to buy any models. I picked up White Dwarf while I was there and saw that they had the rules for Chaos Cultists for Necromunda in there. My resolve crumbled almost immediately.

Less than 20 minutes later I bought a box of Witch Elves to kitbash into Slanneshi Cultists!

(My usual apologies for the awful picture quality. I'm getting a new phone this week, so this should improve very soon!)

It's an idea I've had for ages, but I've never really gotten round to creating. I've always thought that the Sisters of Slaughter heads on the Tzeentch Acolyte guys from the AoS range would make for some really creepy looking Cultists and after a rummage through my Necromunda bits box, it turned out that I was right.

Now you might think that buying a £30 box just to use the heads is a little wasteful. You'd be absolutely right in that thinking. Luckily I do have a use for the rest of the box. I'm intending to make use of the rest of the kit to make some Death Cult Assassins when I revisit my Inquisition, so they won't go to waste. Technically I'm getting two completely different sets of models from one box!

This little distraction shouldn't take too long to finish, so it'll make a nice side project for me.

What do you think of them?

  I also managed to get a couple of photos from my game.  I've realised that I take loads of photos of my games, but never seem to get around to posting them on here. I'm going to try and fix this in future.

  The first photo was taken moments before I was denied an honourable duel with his commander by the hail of Bolter fire from the Tactical Squad hidden in a building off-camera to the right!

The second captures the moment where my Breachers bit off a little more than they could chew!

I think you can pretty much infer the result just from looking at these two photos. It was good fun though, despite the thrashing my XVth Legion received. Michal's always a great opponent and much amusement was had at my appalling luck and his dishonourable tactics.

After a few games at the 1500 points stage, I'm feeling my campaign list is somewhat lacking in power compared to what it keeps going up against. It's a little annoying, but this can't really be helped. Thousand Sons armies tend to be quite points-intensive and I was forced to improvise a little to make use of what I had available. I should be able to fix this when the rosters expand to 2000 points though. I just need to make sure I get what I need painted in time.