Saturday, 3 April 2021

Quick Update

I've had a pretty productive week. The thought of Covid restrictions possibly lifting in the UK soon has really driven me on to try and get my Slaanesh stuff done. It'll be nice to finally be able to get a game with someone outside my support bubble! 

As a result, I've put in a fair amount of hours painting over the past few days and nearly completed my first Keeper:

I'm quite proud of how it's shaping up, even though it took absolutely ages to get the layers down on it. It's times like this when I can understand the attraction of buying an airbrush!

I just need to finish up the hair and paint up the cape and it'll be ready to go. I'm hoping to get it done this weekend. Then I've got the fun of doing the second one!

That's it for today though. I'll post more soon.

 Stay safe and happy hobbying! 

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Monster Mash

Remember I mentioned in my last post about how I've had a really crap couple of months? Well things got even worse from there. Without going into too many details, I really needed to cheer myself up and had some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, so I decided to break my self-imposed rules on hobby purchases and treat myself to some models.

Just a few 'little' bits. To be fair, it's stuff I've been wanting for ages and I needed the dopamine hit which comes with a plastic crack delivery! 

The Keeper of Secrets is a model I've been after ever since it came out. It's such a gorgeous sculpt, but I've just never gotten around to picking it up until now. I just hope that I can do it justice with my painting skills.

I got it assembled pretty quickly. I even started painting it:

I don't thinking I've done too badly for a couple of evening's worth of work. Still a long, long way to go though. 

I'm actually quite proud of how the layering on the back of the skirt is shaping up. It's looking a little rough atm, but it's heading in the right direction and it's not normally something I do well on a large scale. Even as I write this though, I'm coming to the horrible realisation that most of my hard work isn't going to be visible once I attach the outer cloak. Sad times. 

In between layers on that though, I've been working on something a little more... unusual:

I wanted my second Keeper to be a bit different to my first one, plus I wanted to create something which paid homage to the classic 80's Keeper, whilst still working in the modern game. Thus this abomination was born!

If someone had told me I'd be spending part of this lockdown sculpting thigh high boots on a sexy cow Deamon, I'd have laughed. Yet it seems I've reached that particular stage of craziness.

It was actually pretty simple to convert. Working from the AoS Ghorgon kit, most of it was created using my leftover bits from the 'proper' Keeper. I'd say that trimming the Keeper claws to fit over the existing wrist guards were the most complicated part of the process. That was more time intensive than hard to do though. 

The boots themselves were pretty easy to create. I just smoothed off the lower legs, attached a hoop of plasticard to form the top of the boot, then built up layers of Green Stuff and Liquid Green Stuff to form the rest of it. Fairly basic, but I think it looks effective. 

Looking at the photos, I might go back later and add some more bulk around the ankles, but I'll have a think about that. I've got a lot of work to do before I get around to painting it. 

Oh and finally, as if I didn't have enough big models to be working on right now, my mate's also asked me if I could paint Mortarion for him. Like a fool, I agreed!

I'm not entirely sure why I accepted the commission, especially as I've got three big models to work on already sitting on my painting desk. I guess I just wanted a different style of model to work on for when I want a break from painting Slaanesh stuff. The Keepers are going to require me to carefully build up many thin, smooth layers, whereas Morty lets me do something a bit more grimy and 'grimdark', as well as have fun painting a lovely sculpt which I'd never buy for myself. I may regret my madness, but so far it's been fun to do.

I've actually made some decent progress already:

It's not the best of photos. I'm still getting used to photographing big stuff in my light box, but it'll do for now. I'm going for a much grittier and down to earth colour scheme than I normally see him painted in. It's taking bloody ages and there's obviously a long way to go yet, but I'm happy with how he's shaping up so far. 

As you can imagine, pretty much all my hobby time right now is being poured into these three models. It may make for some very repetitive future updates, but at the rate I'm going, I should actually get through them reasonably quickly.

This ended up being a much longer post than expected, but that's not a bad thing. It just goes to show how much I can get done when I get bitten by the hobby bug!

 I'll post more soon. Until then, stay safe and happy hobbying! 

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Knights and Daemons

It's a few days later than I planned, but I'm back with my promised progress post.

I had a pretty productive Birthday hobby session. I managed to get all the transfers down and finish off the squad which I wanted to get done. It took far longer than I expected, but I suppose that's what I get for doing custom heraldry for every unit in the army! 

Anyway, may I present Intercessor Squad Autereus of the Crowned Blade Brotherhood, Golden Knights chapter. Done and dusted:

I'm really quite proud of how these turned out. I'm enjoying really taking the time to put the love and care into the army which I feel they deserve. It was also a lot of fun working working out squad markings and the meaning of all the symbols in the context of the wider background of my Chapter. 

It does mean that my marines are turning into a far longer term project than I anticipated, but I don't mind. It really lets me indulge my inner world builder. 

I've decided that I need a project that's a bit more of 'quick hit' alongside it though, so I don't get too burnt out from my slow progress. Because of that, I decided to dust off my  Slaanesh Deamons and get them up to scratch. 

I shelved them originally because they were pretty terrible under 8th Edition and I was putting a lot of effort into an army which was losing every single game. I've always been a very casual player and not cared too much about that kind of thing, but it was still pretty demoralising. 

Fast forward to now though and apparently Slaanesh is pretty good under 9th. About damn time, in my book. Typically it happens just as we're not allowed to go out and game though!

Naturally I'm planning to be a hipster about the whole thing and point out that I was playing Slaanesh before it was cool. I can't really do that when my army is only half painted though. That brings me nicely back to my side project. 

I've decided to spend some time to finally finish up my deamons. I've actually gotten off to a pretty good start:

That's fifteen brought up to a standard I'm happy with, painted over the course of roughly 6-7 hours, split across a weekend. 

That's not too bad I'd say. At that rate, I reckon I could get the 60ish Deamonettes I own done in a month or so. Of course this is me we're talking about though, so it's likely to take longer than that due to my tendency to get distracted. My point is that it's a pretty quick scheme considering the amount of layers involved on the white skin. 

After that I'll need to buy some of the new kits, as my two Keepers of Secrets have been demoted to Deamon Princes due to size changes, plus I'm wanting Syll'eske and a Contorted Epitome. That's really not too much of an issue, considering how the new plastics are so gorgeous. It does, however mean that I'll be breaking my self imposed rule on not buying more models, but I've had such a crap couple of months, I can probably bend the rules a little. I reckon I deserve a treat to cheer myself up a little bit. Plus I've been tearing some pretty sizable chucks out of my backlog recently, which was the point of the exercise in the first place. 

Enough rambling though. I can definitely feel my hobby mojo starting to return and it's been great to get a decent sized post up for the first time in a while. I feel like I'm going to be quite productive in the next week or two. I've been wrong before, but watch this space. I should be back soon. 

Stay safe and happy hobbying! 

Saturday, 20 February 2021

A long delayed post.

Life's been really rough over the past few weeks. Between work and a couple of other major things kicking off, the crap has felt like it just kept on coming on. I've managed to snatch a few moments of hobby to keep me sane, but I've had to choose between that and blogging, so apologies for my lack of posting. I hope you can understand. 

On a brighter note, considering I've only been able catch snatches of hobby time, I've actually been quite productive! 

This is what I got done in January:
Then this is from February, mostly over the last couple of days:
Not bad at all. Although not really the pace I wanted to start the year on, it's still a pretty good chunk of progress. 78 points if I'm counting correctly. I'm not counting the Marines until they've had their transfers applied, which should be happening tomorrow. Its my birthday you see, so with a severe lack of anything else to do atm, I'm treating myself to an uninterrupted day of hobby. I live such a wild life. 

 It's been really nice and quite therapeutic to get some stuff finished. I've got my fingers crossed that things are going to settle down a little now, so I can hopefully get back to a regular hobby and posting schedule. Despite it being my main way to relax, I actually find it really hard to settle down and paint when my stress levels are high, so it can be a little frustrating at times.

I'm looking forward to seeing what I can get done over the next couple of days, before I have to return to work after my holiday. Knowing me though, I'll get distracted by something else and I'll get very little done. We'll have to see. 

Monday, 11 January 2021

Harry Potter Progress

It's been an absolutely crazy couple of days for me. One thing after another's been going wrong. Luckily I had a chance to finish up some models before everything went to hell.

They didn't photograph as well as if have liked in my lightbox. The colours a bit bolder in person. They still look pretty decent though, so I can't really complain too much. 

I might redo Ginny at some point, as the varnish I used killed a lot of the subtler shading and highlights on her, but on the whole I'm happy with them. I particularly love how Luna turned out. 

It's actually quite refreshing to have a break from painting GW sculpts. The Knight Model Harry Potter range is a joy to work with too. I'm probably going to do a couple more of them before returning to working on GW stuff. My friend is making noises about having stuff for me to do with the Death Guard codex approaching, so I'm guessing my near future will be somewhat Nurgle-y! I'll have to see how I feel now I'm going back to work.

Stay safe guys and I'll be back soon.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Hitting the ground running in 2021

Happy New Year! 

I was going to write a really long end of year review post for 2020, but quite frankly last year is one which noone wants to look back on, much less relive in any detail. Instead I'm going to hit the ground running on the new year and hope things look up in 2021. Oh wait, we're back in Lockdown here in the UK. Never mind...

On a more positive note I've got a week off work and suddenly finding myself with nothing better to do, so I've spent it being pretty productive with attacking my backlog. It's gone pretty well so far:

I've managed to knock out four characters over the course of the first three days of the year. Really not a bad start at all. They've turned out pretty well, even if I say so myself. Mounted Legolas in particular was a joy to paint up. I've wanted that sculpt ever since I got into the game, so I was super happy when it cropped up on Made to Order at the end of last year. 

Lots of progress also means I had a chance to test out the lightbox which a friend very kindly bought me for Christmas, so you may see an uptick in the quality of photography on here once I've had a bit of a play around on with it.

Naturally the first photo I took was of something that didn't fit in the box:

That's everything I painted last year. I originally took the photo for the scrapped review post, but I still wanted to show it off.  That's 498 painting points across twelve months. Quite impressive I'm sure you'll agree. What's even more impressive though is the fact that I'm still in negative figures! Covid really hasn't been good for my self restraint on starting new projects. 

That's why the first part of this year is going to be spent trying to clear through my mighty backlog. If you saw my last post, you'll know that I've got plenty to keep me busy for a while.

Luckily I'm feeling really productive right now, so I'm going to channel that productivity into producing tangible results before that feeling fades again.

Currently on my work bench are this:

And these:

That's the Mirkwood Terrain I've been working on for my home board for a while now, then a couple of Harry Potter characters which I bought in my frenzy of impulse buying back in the summer. They should keep me busy for a while, whilst scratching my hobby itch in two very different ways.

I'll keep you updated on how I get on. 

Thursday, 17 December 2020

He's making a list, he's checking it twice...

.. And thats the extent of the festive content on here. Bah humbug!

Seriously though, after talking about getting to grips with my backlog in my last post, I decided to do a mini audit of all the half completed projects I have strewn about:

That was my first mistake. As you can see it's huge!

To be fair, everything listed as Death Guard is for a friend who really doesn't care how long I take to paint his stuff, but it's still a pretty hefty list. 

It very much confirms how much of a hobby butterfly I am. It also shows how terrible I've been at finishing projects I start until recently. None of those are fresh in their box, they're all things i've started and then gotten distracted from!

Now the purpose of making this list isn't just to depress myself with my lack of productivity, although that is an unfortunate side effect. It forms a handy reference guide when I'm looking for something to paint. In theory, it means that no project becomes wholly forgotten. I can find something that needs doing and catches my interest at a particular moment, then go dig it out and work on it.

It's a simple enough theory at least. I've even made a start on it, with Saruman and some Ringwraiths on foot making it onto my painting handles this week:

I'd just like to take this opportunity to say that photographing mostly black models is a pain in the arse with my current setup! 

They didn't turn out too badly for a few evenings worth of work though. I didn't try anything too fancy with the Wraiths, as beyond scenario play, they're mostly going be used as dismounts. I did them mostly with Contrast apart from final highlighting and the metallics. 

 I did put a bit more effort in on the layering on Saruman's robes though. It didn't turn out as smoothly as I'd hoped, but looks decent enough. I picked him up on a whim a while back, partly because I absolutely love that particular sculpt, but he's also going to eventually be part of my Fantasy Fellowship/White Council. That's a while off yet with my current plans, but Its nice to have him done.

I'm not sure what I'll do next, but general productivity seems to have settled on me now, so that's always a good thing. Hopefully my manic work schedule between now and New Year doesn't chase that away!

Talking of which, this will probably be my last post before Christmas, so I'll take this opportunity now to say stay safe and have a Merry Christmas to you all. It's been a crazy year, but hopefully things will be looking up as we go into 2021.

Merry Christmas! 

Friday, 11 December 2020

Getting to grips with my backlog

I've slowed down my pace of work a little this week. I've just been chipping away at my backlog. This time I finished up my mounted Knight of Umbar for Corsairs and some Morgul Knights for my Mordor force:

They didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but they're decent enough. Quite frankly I was sick of looking at them on my painting desk, so it's nice to be able to move onto something else. 

I'm coming to the conclusion that my Pile of Shame is getting a little ridiculous again. Being stuck inside most of the year has given me far too much free time to scroll through ebay and pick up various bits and pieces which I probably didn't need. A quick glance at my running total of painting points shows just how much all that has added up, despite how much I've been painting recently! 

I need to get back into positive figures on my painting points. I haven't been nearly as disciplined with it as I really should have been. With that in mind, I've decided that I'm going to force myself to be strict and not buy any new models until I hit that magic number of zero!

If I manage that, I'll treat myself to a set of Balin's Tomb terrain and some lovely Hobbit characters from Forge World. A nice little incentive I reckon. 

Luckily I've got loads of metal Middle Earth characters knocking around which I can knock out reasonably quickly, plus my Indomitus sets which should take massive chunk off that total too. Wish me luck!

Saturday, 28 November 2020


I've had a really productive few days. With a lack of anything else to do right now, I've really been cranking through projects at an excellent pace. Yes, that's right. I'm actually making a dent in my backlog! Wonders will never cease.

First of all, following on from last post, I painted up Shelob:

She was a lot easier to paint up than it was to build her. Getting a decent angle to for a photograph was a pain though, due to her pose. This was the best I could manage, sorry. 

Because I was so worried about how fragile the model was, I focused more on doing a relatively simple paint job, then varnishing the hell out of her, rather than attempting anything too fancy. If you look closely at the first photo though, you'll see I did manage to freehand some patterned markings down her back, just to add some interest. 

I'm pretty happy with how she turned out and I'm looking forward to the world being a little less mad so I can get her on the table, especially as she got a big boost from the new Cirith Ungol Legendary Legion! 

Alongside Shelob, I also managed to finish up Gaffer Gamgee for my Hobbits, along with his flower tokens:

He was less fun to work on than I was expecting. I'm not sure what it was, but he was a slog to get through. Perhaps because of the relative lack of detail on him compared to the other FW Shire characters. It's a shame really, as I was saving him till last out of my initial purchase as a treat, but he didn't live up to expectations.

Still, I'm happy with him and he's another character for my army done. Only 50 more Hobbits to go!

Finally this week I finished up my second Mounted Aragorn:

I accidentally snapped the leg of the one I painted about a year ago. Being a wholly metal model and the break being at the ankle, I figured it was easier to buy and paint a new one, rather than mess about trying to pin such a thin area!

Tbh I think on the whole he turned out than the original. Obviously I've gotten better at painting than I was back then, but I think a few subtle changes in colour choices made all the difference too. It all seems to tie together much better.

The only thing I'm not entirely happy with is his cloak. 

It didn't come out as smoothly as I'd hope. I can't have everything though and it looks decent enough. 

He marks the start of a repaint project I want to do for my Rangers/Grey Company force, so I'll be working on that alongside the rest of my backlog. I'm really just drifting where inspiration takes me atm though, so anything could happen. I'm just happy to be getting stuff finished. 

I'll post more soon, but until then, stay safe and happy hobbying! 

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

The Road goes on and on...

With the UK being back in Lockdown right now, you'd think I'd have plenty of time to get some projects finished. You'd be wrong unfortunately. Somehow I'm busier than ever. I have managed to find a little time to plug away at my backlog though, mostly Middle Earth stuff.

My Hobbits are coming along nicely. I've only got a few bits to finish up and I'll have the entirety of my initial purchase painted up. I figured the occasion called for a nice group shot:

Quite a sizable force is starting to come together, even if it's barely a third of my final army plan! I'm really taking my time though to make sure each one is the best it can be. That might sound like insanity when selling with a horde army like this, but the models are so nice I want to do them justice.

Of course finishing this batch meant that it was time to order the next one.

I honestly think I'm going to start seeing Hobbits in my dreams before this is done!

I want to take a little break before I start on the second batch though, so I turned my attention to other bits and pieces which I had laying around.

I figured I'd work on the Shelob model I've had for ages. A quick, relaxing build and a refreshing change of pace from Hobbits. Perfect, right? Wrong. After four hours of swearing, snapped limbs and endless bending and repositioning, I finally managed to wrangle the bloody thing into something resembling a model:

If anything would have benefited from transitioning to Finecast, it would have been this. It was a complete nightmare! At least it's built now and (should) be relatively simple to paint up. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm in a productive mood right now, so expect a flurry of posts over the next few weeks.

Until next time, stay safe and happy hobbying!