Monday 30 March 2020

Clearing the Decks.

After my last post, I'm looking seriously at how to organise and carry out my Inquisition project. Before I do that though I figured I should start clearing my desk of my current work in progress.

Naturally for me that includes a load of Middle Earth stuff, so I set to getting those done. 

I surprised even myself a little with how much I got done in a night though. Clearly all this government-mandated hobby time is making me more productive! 

Theoden and Merry here are just a couple of dismounts for my all-mounted Rohan force, hence why they've been unfinished for so long. They turned out pretty great considering they were only sprayed white when I started! 

 I'd say it took about 2-3 hours to get them polished off, not including basing, which is bloody good. Normally character pieces take me a week or so. 

Part of the reason I churned them out so quick is that I made a conscious decision to skip the normal blending and finicky details I normally pour into characters. Being dismounts, they won't even hit the board in most games I play with them, so I didn't want to overcomplicate the painting on them. Theoden will see use in my Helm's Deep list, but tbh he looks good enough to pass even then. 

The only thing that's bugging me is that I can't find Theoden's shield anywhere, so he'll have to make do without it until it turns up!

Next up was finishing off a few Elves which I had leftover from my event army a few months ago:

I started painting them back in December, but then my event list changed so they weren't needed and fell by the wayside. It's good to finally have them done. 

The mounted Ranger was a conversion I did for Battle Companies. Obviously that campaign has been delayed for a few months now, but it's a fun model which I'm looking forward to using at some point. It's just a shame I can't use it in regular games outside of a counts-as Mirkwood Cavalry model.

Finally I magnetised a trio of Blight Haulers for my Nurgle-loving friend:

It was a surprisingly lengthy process, as I had to use green stuff to line up the prongs of the guns with the sponson mounts. I didn't trust my ability to cut precise grooves to house the magnets, so I went for the GS route instead.

 It also had the advantage of breaking up the uniformity of the gun mounts by adding fleshy growths to hide the magnets. The lack of customisation on the newer chaos vehicles really bothers me, so that alleviated it a bit. 

I won't be painting these myself. My mate is going a little crazy in strict lockdown atm, so I said I'd run them over to him when I get a chance.

 It might be a while before he gets them, but he's in the vulnerable group, so he's most likely going to be cooped up far longer than I will. It'll give him something to take his mind off it for a while at least.

Now those bits are done and off my desk, I've just got a few more bits to do, then I'm fully ready to go hard on Inquisition. It's annoying having to do it this way, but general progress is being made at least, which can't be a bad thing! 

Stay safe guys. 

Sunday 29 March 2020

A Brace of Aragorns and a Gun Girl

That sounds like the setup to a bad joke, but it pretty accurately sums up my hobby progress over the last few days.

With GW and most other hobby outlets battening down the hatches for the time being, there's no better time to be making some headway on my pile of shame.

I've had two different versions of Aragorn sitting on my desk for ages. That might seem strange, but he's one of my favourite LOTR characters, plus I want to use him with different setups for different army lists I field him in. 

I'm not entirely happy with how the one on the right turned out, with the varnish killing the effect of the fine shading work I did on his hair. It'll do for now. Finishing these off gives me an appropriate Aragorn model for both my Helms Deep and Rangers lists.

I also painted up Haldir, again for my Helms Deep list:

He's probably going to sit unused for a while, as the Made to Order for his accompanying Elves has been delayed, but it was still fun to paint him up. 

And now for the Gun Girl:

This one surprised me a little. I was working on other stuff and happened to spot her on my desk. I bought her ages ago for use in Necromunda, but I never got around to finishing the model.

It's such a nice sculpt though that it seemed a shame not be using her in game, so I decided to give her a punky edge and make her part of my Inquisitor's Warband. 

It's certainly not the best paint job I've ever done, but I love how it turned out. 

Having finished her, I realised that I've really been neglecting my Inquisition forces. You might remember how psyched I was for them in the run up to the release of 8th edition, but the hack job which was done on their rules in the transition between editions really killed my enthusiasm for them. 

Being in lockdown though gives me the time to tackle long-neglected projects, so I'm thinking I might dig them out and try to get them repainted and ready to go for the current edition. 

 I've got so many other projects on the go though, I'll have to see what happens. It'll certainly be nice if I can. I'll have a look over the next few days and decide what I'm doing. 

That's all for today though, stay safe, wash your hands and see you next time! 

Monday 23 March 2020

Hobby Season

I'm starting to get the sense that this whole Social Distancing thing is going to push my posting schedule through the roof. If nothing else, it'll encourage me back into the habit of writing my blog regularly again, which isn't a bad thing. At the rate I'm going though, I'm going to end up with a near-daily posting routine! 

I finished work early last night, so I finished the Plague Marines from the other day. It seemed a shame to cover up all that hard work with pus and goo, but needs must:

I went with the 'less is more' approach when it came to applying the technical paints. It's very easy to overdo it with Nurgle and ruin the model by covering up the details which provide points of visual interest. I feel I struck a good balance here, but I kept having to tell myself to take it easy and not go too crazy.

My mate seemed pretty pleased with the result so I moved on and churned out some Poxwalkers too:

These were a really quick 'Contrast and Technical' job but I'm happy with how they turned out. I could have quite easily spent ages building up the layers and picking out every detail, but quite frankly there's way too much details on these and I've got another 20-30 to do. I'd drive myself crazy if I started down that path!

That's all for today. Stay safe and wash your hands and I'll see you next post. 

Saturday 21 March 2020

Nurgle-y goodness

I'm sure everyone is tired of hearing about sickness atm, what with everything going on. For me though, living on my own and the lack of external activity going on has given me a chance to get on with hobby projects. I haven't been forced to isolate yet luckily, but I still have far too much free time on my hands atm. 

I've been meaning to paint a mate's Nurgle stuff for him for a while now, but I've been continually getting distracted. This seems the perfect time to crack on with it.

It made sense to start with basic troops, so his first batch of Plague Marines were first on the painting table:

This is before I've had a chance weather and gunk them up, but otherwise they're done. 

It's a fairly basic paint job. The green was done with Contrast and the gold is my standard recipe. They seem pretty good to me, but the magic will come once I crack out the various Technical Paints and I have the opportunity to really go nuts on them.

I normally don't like Nurgle stuff, but these have really been quite fun to work on. I don't think I'll be doing any of it for my own collection any time soon, but it's a nice pallette cleanser between my own projects.

That's all for now. I'll post up the finished models in the next couple of days. After these, I've got another 10 Plague Marines to get through and a horde of Poxwalkers staring at me from the 'To Do' pile. I'm hoping to squeeze in one of my own projects in between those though. I'll see how I go. 

Friday 20 March 2020

Battle Companies and Fell Beast

"I should be back to posting regularly soon".

Those words always seem to come back to haunt me, To be fair, posting about once a month is more regular than I've been at certain times in the past, but it's not quite what I had in mind.

Part of the reason of the slight lapse in posts has been down to the fact that although I've been managing to sit down and do some hobby fairly regularly, I haven't really been making much progress on anything. I've been 'picking' at projects. A little here, a little there, but nothing solid in any one direction. Minor progress on various stuff really doesn't make for interesting posts.

I've finally managed to get something finished though. Me and a couple of mates are starting a Battle Companies campaign, so I was able to focus my attention on something and get my starting companies ready.

We each had to pick a good and evil company to take, so I chose Minas Morgul and Mirkwood Elves as my two:

The Elves made sense to me for my good force, as I'm already working on a Mirkwood force. It'll also eventually give me the option to convert up some fun stuff which I normally wouldn't be able to take, such as putting my Ranger on a horse or Palace Guard with Glaive.

That'll come later though, for now here's the basic warband, Aleth's Watchers:

I didn't really do anything special modelling-wise with the basic crew, but it gave me a great chance to lavish the kind of care and attention onto them which I gave to my event army a while back. I'm really happy with how they turned out, especially the armoured guys. I'm actually a little relieved tbh, as they looked pretty terrible whilst I was painting them, right up to the final stages. If I can keep up this kind of standard across the entire army though, I'll be very happy indeed.

For my evil company, I chose Minas Morgul. This was mostly down the fact that I wanted to collect a non-human faction, but also because I love the theme which the rules designers put into the Company List. A couple of Black Numenoreans, their Orc minions, plus the option to recruit spirits ands gribbly things later seemed too much fun to pass up. The fact that I want my main Mordor force to also be themed around Minas Morgul was just the icing on the cake!

I've decided to name the company Elandur's Marauders, named for the Black Numenorean Knight who leads them. 

They were great fun to build and paint, even though the plastic Orc sculpts are showing their age a bit now, with a lot of softer details, especially around their shoulders. I managed to disguise this a bit though by sculpting extra cloth wraps onto a lot of them. A lot of people also go for a mishmash of colours on Orcs, but I opted for the more ominous look of having them all in blacks and greys. 

I feel this really helps sell the idea of them hailing from Minas Morgul. I remembered that the Morgul host is described as being 'all in sable' in the books and I think it'll look really great when applied to a larger army, especially when lead by the Witch King.

Talking of the Witch King, I picked up the plastic version of him on a Fell Beast from the Pelennor Fields box. I was going to wait a little while before grabbing him, but I had a Pokemon Regional cancelled on me due to Coronavirus-related reasons and I needed cheering up!

I've never liked the pose of the plastic Fell Beast, so I quickly set about creating something much nicer with the kit:

A fairly simple reposing, but it completely changes the feel of the model in my opinion, perching on a ruined pillar instead of balancing weirdly on a flying stand.

The trickiest part was cut and reposing the legs to sit naturally on the pillar, but it wasn't too hard. I also transplanted the armoured head into the dipping neck and took a hairdryer to the wings to give them a downward curve. All in all, I think the final result looks far more menacing that the original. 

All I have to do now is work out how to paint it (plus the two wraiths on top) and transport it to games! I'll work that out later though.

That's it for today though. I'm having a good go at clearing my backlog ready for some other projects atm, so I'll probably have some Nurgle-y stuff to show you next time. That's assuming I don't get distracted again. I wouldn't actually mind being forced into self-isolation right now, as it'll give me a chance to knock out some of my backlog!

Anyway, until next time, stay safe and happy gaming!