Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Starting 2023 right.

I've had a pretty solid start to 2023. Carrying on the momentum from the end of last year, my motivation for painting has been sky high. Its not been the most focused, with me doing a little bit on a lot of different stuff, but enthusiasm counts for a lot!

I did manage to get my first models of the year finished though, Its not much, just five Kommandos, but I'm pretty happy with them.

They look pretty decent I reckon. Obviously they're converted rather than using the actual kit, but they do the job nicely. I've been trying to focus on just getting models ready for the table with my Orks, rather than fussing too much over the details. I did toy with doing some freehand camo patterns on some of them, but tbh they look decent enough as is.

Beyond that, I've also been prepping a bunch of stuff for painting using the 'Slapchop' method - aka drybrushing some zenithal preshading onto a load more Orks! 

Slapchop certainly makes army painting a lot easier. I tend to go over the contrast afterwards with a few highlights and extra layers, but it makes my life so much easier by cutting out several stages of initial work, which has a tendency to sap my enthusiasm for a project. I far prefer doing the finishing stages and details! 

Tbh I may not get all those finished at once, but at least I'm going to be able to dip in and out whenever I feel like getting something ready for a game, which should lend itself to getting more finished overall. 

This flurry of hobby activity just goes to show how much of a motivator it can be to simply get some games in. As I mentioned in my last post, the local gaming club has moved their meeting nights from Thursdays to Mondays, which has meant that I've gotten more 40k games in the first two weeks of this year than in the entirety of 2022! A pretty good achievement I reckon. I'm also looking at taking part in the league that's starting soon, so there'll be plenty more to come!

So yeah I've started the year with a pretty good hobby mojo. Hopefully I can keep it up as the year goes on. Only time will tell though. Until next time, happy hobbying! 

Friday, 30 December 2022

2022 in review.

I hope you all had an excellent Christmas. As 2022 moves inexorably towards 2023, I figured that it's time for my traditional end of year review post.

It's certainly been an interesting year for me hobby wise. in terms of painting, a picture says a thousand words:

That's everything I've done this year. A pretty good chunk of stuff! Granted, it's less than last year, but last year was a little bit ridiculous in terms of what I got done. I'm very pleased to say I'm going into the new year firmly into positive figures on my painting points though, something which has been eluding me since I started tracking it all back in 2017.

I certainly feel I've been painting to a higher standard than last year too. I'm super proud of everything I've produced. Not that what I did last year was bad by any means, but I can definitely see how much I'm improving over time, which is super satisfying to see. With the pressure to clear my backlog no longer being a thing either, I can only see myself improving more and more over time, as I can take my time more on individual projects, rather than feeling the need to keep plunging forward to move things off my painting desk. 

As I gathered the models for the photo, I also noticed that I've been more focused than usual. My painting has definitely been more centred around 'chunks' of projects rather than the more scattershot approach I normally take. In hindsight, I think its because I've more playing more in events than individual games throughout the year, so I've been concentrating on getting armies ready rather than zigzagging between whatever catches my eye. That's definitely a good thing, as also means I'm able to play games with a lot more fully painted models than usual, which feels pretty nice. Hopefully I can keep that focus going into 2023. 

Talking of gaming, as I mentioned I've not been able to get out and play as much as I'd like to. I've gotten a lot of games in and they've been a lot of fun, but it's mostly been centred on various events I've attended. That's no bad thing, but it does means there's been huge chunks of time between being able to get out and play, which is something I'm going to work to even out going into 2023. I definitely feel a lot saner when I can get out an game regularly. The local club is changing the day they meet, which will mean it'll be far easier for me to attend, so that should help on that front. Their main focus is on 40k too, so that might help me actually get 2000 points of Orks done. 

On a slightly more sombre note, my biggest disappointment this year has been that the heresy campaign which I organised to try and get the locals excited for the new edition just fizzled out. It's kind of understandable. People have busy lives, now more than ever, but it's still a little disheartening to see happen. I'm hoping to organise some kind of big finale day some time in January to wrap the whole thing up in a meaningful way, so that should be good.

So moving forward into the new year, what are my hobby goals? Well I've learned better than to set myself specific goals, as my inner hobby butterfly would destroy any plan I make by about February! I am however, just going to focus on painting models already have for a while. I seem to be on a bit of an Ork kick atm, so I'm going to get on with that as we go into January. As I mentioned, I'll be able to attend my local club a bit more regularly, so I want enough painted to do their next 40k league. There's also a Middle Earth event in February that I need to get a little more Mordor done for, so I guess they're going into my painting queue too.

Beyond that I'm just going to continue with my annual 365 challenge and see where the winds of inspiration take me. I actually failed the challenge this year, thanks to having to move flat over the summer, but I won't beat myself up too much about it. It's more a way to try and prompt me to be working on stuff rather than it being a hard rule.

So that's a quick summary of my hobby in 2022. A bit more concise than usual, but at least it spares you from one of my rambling posts.

Happy New year to you all. What are your plans for 2023p

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Mad, Bad and Chompy

I wasn't expecting to have any more to show you guys so soon! 

I honestly don't think I've ever painted a character model so quickly. I thought it would take a few more days at least, but I just sort of fell into a groove after I wrote my blog post yesterday and somehow he just got finished. 

So may I present 'Mad' Gulg, da Gitkrumpa, finished and ready to slug it out on the 29th:

I had a lot of fun painting him. The sculpt is so nice, it just seemed to paint itself.

It helped that I wanted to keep things relatively simple in terms of the scheme and had a clear idea of where I wanted to go with it, so it was just a matter of following the steps. 

The warpaint was a last minute flourish which came about as a bit of a happy accident. After messing around with highlighting, I just couldn't get the face to look how I wanted. Eventually I just went 'fuck it' and covered it over with the white. The arm tattoos came as an extension of that, but between them it just brought the model to life and gave it so much character, I couldn't have asked for better. 

Anyway, he should be the very last model I paint in 2022. I honestly can't see myself getting anything more done between now and the end of the year. On a serendipitous note though, this takes me to precisely zero on my painting points, so not only have I clawed back the progress I lost last month, but I also get to start 2023 on a completely fresh hobby sheet!

I can't see it staying that way for long, but I can hope at least.

I'm hoping to be back shortly before New Year with my usual yearly wrap up post, but in the meantime I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and I'll see you all again soon. 

Monday, 19 December 2022

Season's Hobbying!

I thought I was done with getting some hobby in for 2022. Working in retail, December is normally ridiculously busy for me, but I've actually managed to crank out a little bit more before the end of the year. 

My local club is holding a festive arena-style game on the 28th, so I saw it as the perfect opportunity and deadline to try and get and my Squigboss done by:

There's still a lot of work needing to be done on him, but I'm really liking how he's shaping up so far. 

I'm really loving the yellow. I was tempted to do the Squig in Deathskulls Blue, but I already had that for my Squighog Nob so went with something a bit different. I'm glad I did, as even with it still needing a second drybrush, I think it really pops! 

I'm still debating whether he needs a Bosspole or not. Of course, any proper Ork Boss needs one, but I'm wondering whether it'd muddy the silhouette of the model too much. I'll probably judge it when the rest of him is done.

He also needs a good name, but I'll decide that later too. For now though, I hope you all have a good Christmas and I'll post more soon! 

Friday, 25 November 2022

So it happened again...

Remember yesterday when I posted about me being excited to be back into positive painting figures? Well I should have learned my lesson by now.

It started simply enough. I was up Athena Games in Norwich yesterday for a day of gaming, so I bought myself an Ork character as a reward for breaking even:

I've loved this model since it was revealed last year, figured I deserved a treat and had the painting points spare that I was still in the positive. So far so good.

Then a mate of mine turned up with a box of Mordor Orcs for me. I'd mentioned to him I needed some more spear dudes for one of my armies and was expecting him to turn up a few spares.

I was not expecting a full 24!

So yeah I'm in negative figures again, after less than 24 hours!

Luckily I've hit the week off work and in a bit of a painting groove, so I had a pretty productive day today finishing off some of the Ork repaints I've been cracking on with recently. I reckon I've done pretty well:

I'm still in negative figures, but I'm not too far off breaking even again for the second time in a week.

It's all good. I might even get some more done over the weekend. Depends how distracted I get with new Pokemon stuff. 

Happy Hobbying! 

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Positive Figures!

I've had a pretty good time in my hobby the past couple of weeks. Just through working through my backlog, I've managed back into positive figures on my painting points again, after I blew them on the Heresy starter box over the summer.

Admittedly very little of the progress came from paint that box, but I still reckon I've done pretty well. 

First up, I managed to finish up the quintet of Thranduil sculpts I was working on last time:

I'm really quite proud of how they turned out. Thranduil is one of my favourite characters from the Hobbit trilogy, so I'm glad I could do him justice. I just need to actually bring myself to paint the Army around him now! 

I also finished up that Sicarian from last time too:

I'm less happy with how it turned out. There's plenty I'd do differently if I painted again, but it looks decent enough and I'm glad it's done so I can move on to other, more exciting stuff.

I've also started repaining my Orks. I know I only did them last year, but tbh they were a bit rough and ready. I've now found a better basing scheme for them and it's given me an opportunity to bring them up to a standard I'm more happy with.

They're not going to be my main focus, but something nice to plug away at when I fancy a break from other projects. Given the state of 40k atm, it's about as close to interacting with the game as I'm going to get, but it'll be nice to hopefully have a fully painted army ready to go when 10th edition rolls around and I can start enjoying it again!

That's all for today, but I'm hoping to try and get some more up soon, if I'm not distracted too much by the new Pokemon games. Until next time though, happy hobbying! 

Saturday, 22 October 2022

A Division of Labour

For the first time in a long time I'm actually in a position where I don't feel the need to be actively buying models. Beyond my 30k Imperial Fists, which I'm expanding as the campaign goes along, I have pretty much everything I want/need right now.

That makes the next few months the perfect opportunity to try and make some progress on my backlog. It's quite a nice position to be in tbh. It gives me a chance to focus on some stuff that's fallen to the wayside as I've gotten distracted by the constant stream of shiny new releases. 

On the other hand there's the issue of that backlog. It's getting a little bit ridiculous. I'm starting to come to the conclusion that I'm too much of a perfectionist to have several army projects on the go at once, especially when one of those armies are Orks. Luckily I have a secret weapon - I'm going to cheat! 

Well not exactly. A mate of mine has been having a lot of fun using the 'Slapchop' method to churn out a load of models recent, particularly his Leagues of Votann army box:

I'm sure you'll agree that they really are lovely. Even more impressive is that he got the entire box done in just a few weeks! 

I was looking at the scheme he'd used and realised that it's actually really close to how I want my Deathskulls to be, so I asked if he wouldn't taking some of my bikes and vehicles to paint. 

Considering I've painted a ton of Death Guard stuff for him over the last few years, he was happy to return the favour. 

So yeah, a bunch of my Orks have gone off to be painted elsewhere, which frees me up to work within my hobby comfort zone: smaller, more detailed projects.

I've had the week off work, so I've had a bit of time of get some painting done. I finished these last night:

I seem to have amassed quite a few different sculpts of Thranduil over the last few years and somehow I've failed to get any of them painted, so it made sense to work on them all at the same time. I've got another two still to finish up after these! 

It's very strange to be essentially batch painting my centrepiece model, but it's also nice to get consistency between them all. I really like how they've turned out. I think the purple really makes the darker colour scheme pop.

I've also got a Sicarian half-done on my hobby desk, but I seem to have lost a bit of momentum on painting it:

Hopefully I can kick my hobby mojo back towards finishing it soon. I think my current pallete cleanser of Middle Earth stuff should do the trick, but we'll see. 

At least I'm staying productive, but it would be nice if I could stay a little more focused. You'd have thought I'd be used to me being a hobby by now!

Oh well, I'll keep you updated on how I get on. Until next time, happy hobbying! 

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

Keeping up to date and moving forward

In my last post I talked about my hobby mojo coming back and said I'd post again soon. Don't worry, it hasn't abandoned me already, I just wanted to have something completed to show you guys before I put anything up. Work had other ideas though. I've been ridiculously busy! 

At least I'm here now. I had actually written a much longer post, but the Blogger app seems to have eaten the draft, so this will be a much quicker one than I intended. I want to get back to blogging again on a regular basis, as even if I don't get as much response from here as I used to, it does help me organise my thoughts and stay on the right track.

Anyway, enough about that, I have some excellent news - I won another Best Painted award!

It goes rather nicely alongside the other two which I've won in the past year!

I'm rather happy with that, considering the amount of work I put into the display board.

It was actually quite a close run thing, only winning by a single vote. It's good to see other people stepping up their painting game. High quality models benefit everyone!

Moving on from that though, I've been working on my Imperial Fists campaign army, starting with the Phalanx Warders which I started nearly four months ago, before I even moved:

It feels so good to finally get these finished. Like I said, I started these when I first got the Age of Darkness box, way back in July, so they've been on my to do list for quite a while now. I even managed to get another five done pretty quickly after that, along with Castellan Holt, my commander for the campaign, plus a Contemptor Dreadnought done as well. Clearly I was on a roll! 

Hopefully the rest of the army won't be too far behind. I've managed to work out a relatively quick and easy recipe that gives pretty nice looking results, so the progress should just keep on rolling, in theory. 

I've got a bit of time off work next week, so hopefully I'll have plenty of time to crack on and get some hobby done.

That's all for today though. Until next time, happy hobbying! 

Tuesday, 6 September 2022

And now for something a little different...

It's been a little while since my last post. I really haven't had much of a drive for hobby since I moved into my new flat until the last couple weeks. Part of that has been. How busy I've been, but also being in an entirely new space made it hard to settle down into my normal hobby routines.

As usual, it's been an approaching Middle Earth event that's drawn me out of my funk. Rather than painting an army this time though, I decided to do something a little different and make a display board for my Hobbits.

I'll admit it's partially a shameless bid for another Best Army trophy, but it's mainly just a way to get my hobby juices flowing again. It seems to be working so far, though running out of static grass is an annoying stumbling block I've hit. Luckily Amazon should be coming to my rescue tomorrow morning!

It's been pretty fun doing something so different to what I normally work, although it's been a lot more involved a project than I originally anticipated. I expected to have it finished nearly a week ago!

Hopefully all this effort will pay off at the event, although it's already having the main intended effect of getting me raring to go on hobby projects. Next up after this I want to crack on with my Imperial Fists campaign army, which has been sitting in just an undercoated state for way longer than I intended! 

Wish me luck. Hopefully now I've jolted some life back into my hobby mojo, I'll be posting regularly again. Knowing me though, it's about 50/50 which way it'll fall! I'll definitely post up the finished board when it's done though. 

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Heresy progress

It's been a few weeks since the Heresy box launched. I'm still in the process of moving, so haven't had a chance to go as crazy with it as if hoped. I've managed to make a start though, so I figured I'd show you guys what I've been up to:

After a ridiculous amount of experimentation, I finally managed to find a colour I liked for my Emperor's Children, so I've been able to launch into working on my 3rd Legion in earnest. Perhaps experimenting on the boxed set models wasn't the best of plans, but it at least helped me visualise how it would look on the final army. Now I'm happy with the basic purple, the next step is adding the crazy, clashing colours to turn them into a proper Siege of Terra force!

Flipping it over to the Loyalists, I also made a start on my Imperial Fists. They're going to be my army for the campaign I'm putting together in my local area and an interesting change of pace.

They're the first Loyalist army I've ever done for Heresy, so it's been interesting trying not to got too wild and make them look very 'clean' and reasonably regimented. I'm also discovering why so many people hate painting yellow. It's taken forever just to get a smooth yellow as the base layer for these five!

I'm also starting to remember just how detailed the FW upgrade kits are. I may simplify things and use more of the base Mk6 kits for the second squad or I might go loopy painting all that detail! 

Despite all the 'fun' of batch painting yellow which lies ahead, I'm really looking forward to pulling this army together. I'm wanting to link them in with the history of my Golden Knights Primaris army. I've got the idea that the Commander, Gideon Holt will be the founder of the future Chapter, so I need to work out a good way to incorporate the colours and heraldry of the Knights into the army whilst still having them look like 'proper' Imperial Fists. 

For me, this kind of pseudo-historical tie in is what makes the Heresy so fun. It gives me an excellent opportunity to indulge in my nerdy side writing the background, so hopefully I'll have a chance to share that soon.

I'll post progress on these as it happens. Hopefully I'll be able to get more done once I'm in my new place and have my new hobby desk set up. Until then though, happy hobbying!