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?

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? 

Tuesday 10 May 2016

These are not the Storm Troopers you are looking for...

I got a squad finished! Well, minus basing, but that can wait.

I've owned these Kasrkin models since 2009, so I figured it was about time they were painted up.

I needed some Storm Troopers for my Ordo Xenos and after seeing the idea in an old WD, I decided to paint them up as...well, proper Stormtroopers.

I'm rather happy with the way they turned out, especially as I normally suck at painting white. They should look pretty awesome on my new Frozen Tundra gaming mat, which arrived from Deep Cut Studio today.

Friday 8 April 2016

Two posts in two days

Wonders will never cease...

Granted it's not the same unit as yesterday, but at least it's progress.

Today I want to show you the other allies for my Ordo Xenos which I've been working on alongside my Sundered Veil Harlequins - Deathwatch Kill Teams!

I'm going  to be fielding two to four squads of these guys, depending on whether I use the WD Deathwatch rules or represent them using the First Company Strike formation from the SM book. It's a shame the WD rules only allow a single, non-customisable squad to be used, but at least it's something I can pull out for smaller games, then I can use the 1st Company detachment if I want more in larger games.

The guy on the left is my WIP Frag Cannon guy, for when I use them as Squad Donatus. I've got a ton of Deathwatch pads on the way, so I'll be able to really crack on with the squad as soon as they arrive.

Thursday 7 April 2016

Harlequins of the Sundered Veil, WIP

Remember my last post where I said I'd post more pics of my progress within the next couple of days? Well that was nearly three months ago! I'm shocked at this tbh and I can only apologise. My life's been a somewhat chaotic mess for the last few months.

Lack of blogging doesn't mean I've been idle though. I've
just been spending what hobby time I had painting and playing rather than blogging. I've been forging slowly forward with my various pledges, getting a friend into 30k (he now owns a mighty force of Night Lords) and gathering the components I need for my Inquisition. Now my life is a little more settled though, I should be able to return to a more regular blogging schedule (in theory at least). At least I've been keeping up a good tally of games played. Now I just need to catch up with the rest of my pledges

 Most recently I've been working on the first Troupe from the Masque of the Sundered Veil, the Harlequins which are intended to be allied to my Ordo Xenos force.

There's still a long way from done, but I'm loving how they're shaping up. The new Harlequin plastic kits are a joy to work with. They were so nice in fact, I launched right into working on them as soon as I got the kit home. These three guys were at this stage only six hours after opening the box!

The only real downside is that the new Harlies don't have chainswords like they did back in the 80's, so a few of them are going to be getting one later. I'm going to use them as Harlequin's Kisses - I imagine Harlequins can do *very* creative things with chain blades!

Hopefully this surge of productivity marks the start of period of high output, so I should hopefully have lots more to show you in the next couple of days.

Saturday 16 January 2016

Thousand Sons Sergeant WIP

I've been ill over the last week, so between that and work, I haven't gotten as much done as I would have hoped. I'm fully recovered now and got a day off tomorrow, so I'm hoping to get a load of stuff done tomorrow though. What I have managed to get done though is to start on one of my pledges for the' Loyalty & Treachery' challenge on Bolter & Chainsword.

I've pledged quite a bit for this actually, challenging myself to paint about 10 units and tanks for 30k in just three months. Only time will tell if I've bitten off more than I can chew with it. I decided to start with the basics though and paint my Thousand  Sons Tactical Squad, beginning with Sergeant Arrash:

I'm still trying decide whether I want white/ivory or gold trim on my Thousand Sons. Pretty much every depiction of them so far has a different intepretation. Until FW gives us a definitive answer, I'm thinking of just doing a combination of the two. For now though, I'm just goign to to focus on getting the basic squads done and worry about the shoulder pads later. I still need to put in a Forge World order for those at some point anyway.

Friday 8 January 2016

Forge World FAQ/Errata

Forge World seem to be reading my mind at the moment. First they release their Thousand Sons upgrades just I'm about to get serious about completing my Thousand Sons and now I woke up this morning to find that they've released an FAQ answering a niggle which I had when building my latest army list last night.

Basically FW have put out one of their regular Errata/FAQ's for 30k, which (unlike GW proper) answers a lot of questions which have been cropping up recently, as well as buffing some of the naff options in the army list.

The full rules updates can be found on the FW Downloads page, but these are the main changes I picked out:

- Veterans can now take Heavy Flamers, Lightning Claws and Heavy Chainswords, which is what was mostly niggling me with my Thousand Sons, due to having a few Flamers leftover from Betrayal at Calth. They alsonow count as Scoring. This makes me very happy indeed.

- All Primarchs can now have Terminator Command Squads, instead of just those in Terminator armour. This makes a lot of sense. The Lords of the Legion should be able to take whatever bodyguard they like!

- They also clarified the rules on taking multiple 'must be your Warlord' characters.  Basically you can't, unless a Primarch is also present to supercede the rule.

- Legion Delagtus got a points cut and a free master-crafter weapon. Very nice indeed!

- Knights got rules for all the options from the newer Warden kits.

- Tartaros Terminators can now Sweeping Advance. This is big in the 30k setting, where anything can be sweeped. I'm tempted to get some for my Sons of Horus now.

- Cataphractii Armour has been reworded so they can't pass on Slow & Purposeful to units without the rule. Thank you Forge World for killing off this cheesy exploit.

- Secondary Age of Darkness detachments can now be used. This is great, as it means I can pump up the number of Librarians in my Thousand Sons without weird ally shenanigans. You can only use FW Force Organisation Charts though.

- Dreadnoughts and Contemptors gained an extra attack and the Contemptor got the option for double Volkite Culverins.

All in all, a very nice and balanced update. This seems like a preview of what to expect in the updated Red Books. The changes to secondary detachments and Veteran options has certainly made me happy and the Warlord rulings, Knight and Dreadnought updates, along with the Terminator Command Squad clarification will satisfy the vast majority of people.

This is really what a good FAQ/Errata should be, answering genuine issues and tweaking for balance, instead of GW's approach of using FAQ's to boost profits, like they did when they gave the Heldrake a turret.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to see how many Librarians I can squeeze into 2500 points!

Thursday 7 January 2016

Ancient Typhos WIP

I've been cracking on with my New Year Hobby pledges, with style, having been driven into a flurry of hobby activity on my few days off over New Year. I've achieved the following:

  • I've built and basecoated roughly 20 Thousand Sons (minus weapons)
  • Stripped my Sons of Horus fleet, then repaired and re-undercoated them, ready for their new and improved colour scheme
  •  Stripped and cleaned 10 Inqusitorial Stormtroopers
On top of that, I've also started work on my second Contemptor Dreadnought, whilst I decide whether or not to redo the paint job on my first one.

As you can see, there's still a lot to do on him, but I'm really liking it. This will probably end up beig my first completed model of 2016.

This one's converted from the Betrayal at Calth Contemptor, with a quick and easy reposing of the legs and some of the sarcophagus detail cut away. He's also going to be getting some parchment scrolls (once I get round to making them), Multi-Melta and Power Fist with Graviton Gun, to turn him into a roving vehicle hunters.