Hobby Progress, week one!

Hey everybody!
It’s the first Sunday of my hobby update progress blog series thing, where I get to show you all what I’ve been up to this week, and how it will help me to get to my December Goals! It’s been a bit of a quiet week in some respects, but even so, grab a cuppa and come see what I’ve been doing!

So we’re going to start with last weekend, and I’ve still been building up a lot of stuff, including an Akhellian Allopex, mainly because it’s such a hilarious kit:

I mean, it’s two guys riding a shark!!

I’ve been wanting to build up a small raiding party of Idoneth Deepkin for a while now, and last month finally decided to go for it. I’ve got the battleforce box for my birthday, so there will be some significant support on its way soon, but I also have some more Thralls and stuff hanging about as well, so I think I’ll only be getting a couple more bits and pieces to add to this army before I think of it as complete!

I’ve been busy trying to cover up the Annihilation Barge, which had been primed with Caliban Green, to match my current Thokt Dynasty colour scheme of greys and blues. It’s not been going too badly, the twin tesla destructor is looking a lot nicer already, and the main barge chassis has been finished, so it’s just going to be a case of finishing the underslung tesla cannon, then sorting out the crew, and this model should be done! I say that with such optimism…

The Chaos Cultists have taken up most of my time so far this week, however, as I try to get some base colours down on them, and sort out the skin tones. I don’t want to go for models that look too pale, as I would prefer my cultists to look quite normal, albeit a little scarred and stuff. I mean, they are quite clearly hitting the gym more than is necessary, so they’re presumably quite hale on the whole!

I definitely want to go for an eclectic look to the clothing for these guys though – a lot of people seem to want to paint them all the same colour, which is fine when you’re thinking about an army, but these guys aren’t really in uniform, but instead look like they’ve just been throwing on a cloak to go out and purge in the name of Chaos. They’re fairly ordinary chaps, so I want to try and get that feel of them being normal folk who have just turned to Chaos out of desperation or whatever. I think they should look fairly decent when they’re done, anyway!

I’ve built up the next batch of Necron Immortals, so I can start painting them soon as well, but another big focus for me has been the Grey Knights project that I mentioned the other day. I’m building them as Purifiers, because I quite like the lore of them being a secretive sect within the Grey Knights, and being so incorruptible and all the rest of it. I’m currently planning to build five, so the other five of the Strike Squad box will be exactly that, a Strike Squad. I have no idea where to take this army just yet, but my eventual plans for it involve something like adding in Deathwatch, Ministorum and maybe Inquisition, to go for a proper Imperial Agents thing. We shall see, though, as I’m still hoping for some awesome Inquisition models to come for Kill Team in 2019! Possibly a pipe-dream, though I’ve talked before how I think GW would be crazy not to tap into that!

So, not a great deal of painting has happened so far this week, but I blame that on the fact that we (a) put the Christmas decorations up, which took quite a bit of time, and (b) we’re looking after the brother-in-law’s cat while they move house, so hobby time needs to be planned around a small furry entity wandering through. She’s mainly transfixed by the leaves out in the back garden though, so it’s not too bad so far.

I’m getting very easily distracted so far, though, and since looking at the Grey Knights last week, I’ve been thinking as well about getting some Chaos Daemons to play against them – quite where I’m going with that, I have no idea, but I’ve drawn up a list of Bloodletters with some additional support units that should be fun to paint, if nothing else! I’ve got some floating about somewhere, I’m sure, anyway…

In the past, I’ve tried to keep my army focus on just a couple of projects, to stop being so distracted with loads of ancillary stuff. However, I do find that having additional stuff that is either not related at all, or else bears a small resemblance to what I’m doing, helps to keep me refreshed in the hobby. It’s no good thinking I need to sit down and paint 40 Immortals before I can do anything else, as I’d just get bored and pack everything away. At least if I can have that palette cleanse of something different, it should help to keep me going overall.

To this end, I’ve been thinking a lot about my various projects in broad terms of their colour. So Grey Knights and Necrons (and to some extent, the Skitarii) are quite similar with silvers and blues, but then something like the  red of the Bloodletters should help to mix up the focus quite a bit. I’ve also got the Chaos Cultists who should be enough of a disparate bunch that it will help to break things up. I think this is why I was thinking so much about doing stuff with the Deathwing project, as the cream and green is again something completely different to help distract me and keep things fresh.

hobby supplies

While we’re on the subject of the Deathwing, I have bought a couple more things lately to keep me suitably distracted, but still related along the same lines there – Ravenwing! I do enjoy picking up the odd kit like this, and Ravenwing are an element that I hadn’t really considered before, but I think they do look exceptionally cool, so I’m excited to have these join the ranks. While everything Space Marine related seems to be quite expensive at the minute, I’m hoping that next weekend’s Chapter Approved will deliver on the promises of sweeping points reductions, and Deathwing/Ravenwing will be a decent combination to have in the army!

I’ve been through a bit of a walk down memory lane since I started looking at the Deathwing stuff once more, and I’ve really re-evaluated my appreciation for the Dark Vengeance box from 7th edition. Not only does it have those wonderful Cultists, but there are so many good-looking, unique models in there that you just can’t get anymore, I’m really glad to have these in my collection now, at any rate. Looking forward to adding more to the Dark Angels army in due course, but that will definitely be a project for 2019…

In other exciting news, I went to Warhammer World again this weekend, for the now-traditional pre-Christmas pilgrimage! I couldn’t really spend a great deal though, so confined myself to picking up the new Delaque models, as well as Inquisitor Coteaz, a model that I’ve been wanting to pick up for a long time simply to paint. Now that I’ve been looking into the Inquisition more, and have some vague plans for the Imperial Agents army, I’ve finally got a reason to pick him up!

The Delaque models are quite wonderful, anyway. I’ve got three built up so far, but they are a wonderful addition and I’m looking forward to getting those sorted for games in the new year! I think I’m going to do a sort of Necromunda retrospective soon, looking at all of the models released across the last twelve months, and hopefully showcase some of my own painted creations! That’ll give me the excuse to actually get painting them, anyway!

In other news, I started reading Crossfire, the first book in the Shira Calpurnia omnibus, Enforcer, and so far it’s really good! I think I’m four chapters in right now, and I’m enjoying it a lot! It’s always fun to read about the more mundane, human side of the 40k universe, and I think a lot of my attention has currently been thrown that way lately as far as hobby projects go. The novel’s central protagonist is one of the Adeptus Arbites, the law enforcers of the 40k universe, and the story seems to be following her search for a would-be assassin on the planet of Hydraphur, set against the background of preparations for a religious festival. So not only do we get the Arbites, we also get the priests and officials of the Adeptus Ministorum, and even some Mechanicus in there, too! Like I say, I’m not far into it, around about a third or so, but it’s been really good – and a nice change of pace from all the Iron Warriors who have been cropping up in the books I’ve been reading of late!

I’m reading this as part of a buddy read with fellow blogger wordaholicsanonymous – check out some of his fine work here, and just wait for the reviews!

Bank Holiday Painting Extravaganza!

Hey everybody!
It’s been a Bank Holiday painting extravaganza for me this weekend! Having two days pretty much to myself, as the other half was in work, I’ve managed to make some amazing progress with clearing the backlog!

Necron Immortals

First up, I’ve added five more Immortals to my new Thokt Dynasty that I was talking about the other day, giving me now two troops choices, an HQ and an Elites slot, along with a dedicated transport. Hooray! I’ve bitten the bullet and listed a lot of my older Necrons on ebay this weekend, in the hope that it prompts me to really make the effort and paint my current batch of unpainted models. If nothing else, I really want to get the Catacomb Command Barge and a third squad of Immortals painted (tesla this time), and then I’ll have the first Battalion ready! That’s also going to be well on the way to my first list finished, so we’ll see how far I can get with that… It only took me five months to get round to painting these, after all!

Dark Eldar Ravager

Much like last weekend, I’ve been painting a mixture of Necrons and Dark Eldar, my true 40k loves! This weekend, I’ve managed to get the second Ravager finished – something that, annoyingly, I’d been very close to for a long time anyway, as I’d done the main hull back in April. The crew are finished, though, along with the crew for the next Raider that I’ll be working on, so that’s a very positive step!

Dark Eldar Kabalites

I’ve also finished off four infantry chaps, in the main because I had a game today and wanted to try out some different things! I’d built up all of these guys back in January, when I was building a lot of Dark Eldar as I was waiting for the Codex to drop, but have finally gotten round to painting them up. I’d picked the two blaster-wielding chaps to finish as I was painting the Ravager crew anyway, but now I need to get moving with another batch of Kabalite Warriors. I have a lot of these guys, as it happens, as I’d originally build up enough to get myself two full Battalions of pure Kabal. Then the Rule of Three came out, and without Drazhar, there aren’t enough HQs to now do this and keep the Kabal Obsession. So I lost interest in the idea, but have now started instead to think of either a Brigade with just three Archons (not even sure if that’s possible?), or else sticking with one Kabal Battalion but having a massive unit of Warriors on foot. I’m not entirely sure what I want to do yet, so we’ll see. I definitely want to get more of the special weapons peppered into my squads, so I’ll probably be working on some of those soon.

It may be nearly five months since I first picked this book up, but I have today had my first game with Codex Drukhari, and it was an absolute blast!

A chap at my local store was looking to try out an army list he’d come up with, but only at 550 points. So I set about building up a basic Patrol detachment, an HQ and two troops (ah, the old FOC!) all in vehicles: two squads of 10 Kabalite Warriors in Raiders, including a splinter cannon in one, and a blaster/agoniser in the other; in a Venom, the Archon (splinter pistol/huskblade) along with a Court of Lhamaean, Ur-ghul and Medusae. Obviously, I was playing Kabal of the Obsidian Rose, so had some pretty decent range on all my weapons.

On the Deathwatch side, there was a squad of Veterans, a squad of Terminators, and a Captain in Gravis Armour. As it happened, my opponent was as great at throwing dice as I was, so it all went quite well! Having nothing much to do against my army, as they were all in vehicles, it felt a bit one-sided, as I was able to shoot up the table from within my Raiders. I charged everybody out of the Venom just for something to do, though was quite impressed with some of the Court characters. I think I’ll look at using them more often!

While I don’t think there’s been much change between the Index and the Codex, the addition of Obsessions is definitely something that I enjoyed. I’ve been playing about with some list ideas off and on for a while, and having been initially very keen to start a Wych Cult this year, I’m leaning more towards the Kabal/Coven lists I used to play during the Index days. So I’m busily planning to paint more stuff to make it what I hope will be a decent enough list to play, so stay tuned there!

Summer Painting Update
So, since my last update on the three armies that I’d wanted to get a move along with, I’ve done very little of any of them! Earlier this month, I had started work in earnest on the Tempestus Scions, though that was primarily for Kill Team rather than the 500-point list I’d outlined here.

The Scions haven’t advanced much at all since I took that photo, but I’m currently keeping them close on the painting table as I’m not going to write them off just yet. The Skitarii haven’t seen much of anything since I started vaguely working on the blue of the Dunecrawler back in June, either:

I blame the arrival of Kill Team and wanting to finish painting the Genestealer Cultists that I’d had one the table since way back when. Having finished a Neophyte Squad, I shouldn’t really complain, of course, but I’d really like to be further forward with a lot of these projects!

While summer may be almost over, I’m not going to be entirely writing off these goals just yet. I feel like I’ve stalled with the Tau, but I always get quite nostalgic for Necrons at this time of year, so I want to use that to get moving finally with my Great Reanimation. I also feel nostalgia for the Skitarii, so we’ll see how far I can get with those, as well! And I definitely want to paint up some more units for the Dark Eldar list I’m working on…

Painting Weekend!

Hey everybody!
Well it’s been a very exciting weekend for me, as I’ve been painting a whole load of miniatures with something close to abandon! I’ve not painted so much for a long time, and it feels great!

First of all, at the back end of last week I had hoped to get a game of 40k in at the local store, with a guy who I know has about 2k points of Deathwatch. So I’d been looking at my Dark Eldar army, which I know is well over 2k, and trying to organise myself into the usual double-battalion of Kabal and Coven. In turn, that got me looking at the box of Dark Eldar that I’ve had primed/partially painted, and pulled out a few bits to start working on. One of which, as it happens, is the glorious Razorwing Jetfighter!

I think this has been built for well over a year now, and has just been gathering dust while primed with Rhinox Hide and ready. Over the course of the weekend, I’ve managed to get the brown armour highlighted, and just need to paint the metallics on the wings to give it that razor-edged look. I’m really pleased to have it in the army, anyway, and I’m already looking forward to when I can get in a game and see how well it does!

I’ve also been working on some Court of the Archon minis – the Ur-ghul and the Medusae, both finecast minis that I’d put together a while back but hadn’t really done a great deal with. I already have a Lhamaean, and have used her a couple of times (though never managed to do anything with her, I think I’m a bit scared about getting my HQs too close into combat, though my Archon has once used a Huskblade to destroy an Ork Boss. Anyway!) I like the idea of having a Court in a Venom and just throwing it at the enemy, and seeing how well they do… Last up, then, I’ll need to get that Sslyth sorted!

I’ve not painted any Drukhari for what feels like an age – I last finished some models for the army in February – though I have got a second Ravager almost finished. I think it was probably the fact I only have one crew member left for the Ravager that prompted me to get some of these models out and start painting them again, actually.

I’ve only ever painted three Reaver jetbikes for the army, but have an absolute ton of them built from last winter, when I wanted to get moving with a Wych Cult force. I’ve used the bikes once or twice in games, and I seem to remember they did really well, so it makes sense to try some more! However, in keeping with the lore, I like the idea of having mine as small tripartite gangs of bikers joining the raiding party for a lark, and so wanted the chassis to be different colours to denote this. Having tried to get red last time, this time I thought I’d go for yellow, as it’s a colour I tend not to bother with (aside from the warheads on my smart missile systems!) So far, I think they’ve turned out really well, anyway!

The last Reavers, I managed to paint in a single session. This time around, however, I evidently have more going on, and so they’re still waiting for a few details to be finished…

Finally, this!

It’s a bit of an odd one, given I’ve been painting so much Dark Eldar, but I suppose the return of my Dark Eldar has got me thinking about even older armies, and the Necrons are a force that takes me right back to the very start of my 40k life.

I built this Night Scythe in 2015, and managed to get some of it painted in that time, but I think it was possibly the biggest model I’d painted up to that point (it was certainly the one with the most flat areas), and I was a little nervy about getting it to look good. I was also hopeless at working out a scheme for my Necron vehicles that wasn’t just basically Caliban Green, so it was consigned to oblivion all these years.

Well, last night I had trouble sleeping so, in between painting more on the Reavers, I went through my bag of unfinished Necron models to see what I had. (Yes, they were in a bag – the shame!) In addition to finding the Doomsday Ark I had built, I’ve also got an Annihilation Barge and at least one Tomb Blade that I think I can salvage for the Great Reanimation, but everything else I think will likely need to be stripped before I can go about getting it painted in my new Thokt dynasty colours. If indeed I can be bothered to do that – I’ve often been thinking it might be easier to just sell them off and then start afresh, but I’ve so far only sold off the character models that I’d painted (badly!)

All of this stuff seems to date from 2015, which is quite shocking really. I know one of the things that always keeps me going with Necrons is the idea of the implacable tide of infantry, I thought I’d done more of the war machines than this! It’s definitely time to change that, though I’m still really finding it difficult to come up with a Codex list that I actually like the look of, so I’m not yet sure how I want to play my Newcrons in 8th edition.

I came up with the above back in March when the Codex was fresh, but that is a hell of a lot of infantry, with just the Command Barge as a big thing. It’s definitely time to do more with the Necrons than just Immortals and Lychguard, but the cost of these units is kinda prohibitive, and seems to lend itself much better to large-point games. Having the flyer will, I think, be a huge thing for my force, as it acts as a transport as well, though obviously I wouldn’t want to go filling it to capacity as the way the rules work for the Night Scythe mean that any models that haven’t entered play when the Scythe is destroyed are also destroyed. But I think it could be a very useful delivery system for Lychguard while the Immortals hang back as a bit of a gun-line.

Anyway, I’m rambling a bit here!

So I need to get my act together and write up a Necrons list that I actually like the look of; I’ve got a Drukhari list that I do like the look of, so just need to finish off the couple of models that aren’t yet fully painted so that I can actually field it, and then I should be good to go!

Honestly, I’ve never been as excited for the hobby as I am right now!!

Hobby Progress 2017

Hey everybody!
Well, it’s the end of another year, and I thought I’d come along here to ramble for a bit about my hobby successes during the course of the year. You know you love it!

2017 has been really quite remarkable in a number of ways. Despite the inherent problems when moving house, I have managed to paint up an entire Dark Eldar army that currently numbers something like 2000 points, as well as building and painting a variety of Imperium stuff, including the beginnings of my AdMech/Tempestus Scions army. So let’s sit back and take a look at some of my hobby highlights!

First of all, let’s talk about Necrons. My very first army, I started the year determined to re-do most of my miniatures, as I’d been feeling that I could do a much better job with them. Then over the summer I decided that no, I would actually build a whole new Necron army with a different paint scheme, and went for the Thokt Dynasty and its cool blue weaponry. To date, I’ve only got five Immortals (above) and five Lychguard painted in this scheme, so I do have quite a ways to go with them! But I have plenty of kits for the army just waiting in the wings, so I should be able to do something with them in the new year.

I mentioned it earlier, but I’ve also been planning a combined AdMech/Tempestus Scions army for a number of months, and spent rather a lot of time building up waves of Skitarii over the autumn months. I think I have just over 1000 points built, but to date, I only have five Skitarii and two Scions actually painted…

The army is one that I’m really excited for, however, so I’m looking forward to properly getting to grips with them all. A platoon of Scions working alongside waves of cyborgs and their various battle automata should look really good on the tabletop, I’m thinking!

I went for some wildly different paint schemes for these chaps, and have somehow managed to basically invert the usual schemes for each, having my Scions red and my Skitarii blue… At any rate, I’m pleased with the guys that I’ve painted so far, and I’m looking forward to getting more of them painted so that I can start having games with them!

2017 will forever go down in the annals as the year of the Dark Eldar, however. After a short period of casting about for something new to really get my teeth into, I knew from building my very first Kabalite Warrior (that guy with the agoniser, above, in case you were interested), this was going to be an army I would enjoy building and painting.

2017 has also seen me play more games of 40k than ever before, and the majority of those have been with the dark kin. While they are still somewhat new to me, of course, I have never enjoyed playing this game so much as I have when commanding the Haemonculus Covens and the Kabalite Warriors of my collection.

There isn’t really a lot more that I could say, if I’m honest. Dark Eldar are, for me, my favourite army, and I’ve loved getting them all built and painted, and then playing games with them since the release of 8th Edition. They’re an amazing force, and I’ve got no plans to stop adding to the ranks anytime soon!


However, I’d also like to look forwards in this blog, and see what I’d like to accomplish in 2018. These things never go according to plan, of course, but I think it’s good all the same to get some idea of where I’d like to be headed as the new year begins!

If you follow my on instagram, you’re not only a very discerning individual, but you’ll also no doubt be aware that I’ve spent some time building up quite a sizable Tyranid force already. This has developed out of a desire to have a small detachment of big bugs alongside my nascent Genestealer Cult, which has seen barely any work go into it over 2017 – at the most, I’ve managed to get three miniatures painted for them!

Genestealer Cult

In 2018, therefore, I’m planning to get this off the ground in style. I’ve talked somewhat already about my desire to have this kind of force, with Cultists forming a central point around which is built an army including elements of Guard and Tyranids, so I’m hoping that I can very much get this going in the new year! I’m going to start with the Tyranids properly, and may even do a sort of Tale of Four Warlords-style series for it, so we’ll see how that goes!

Alongside this, I want to keep playing my Dark Eldar, and have been planning to start adding Wych Cult units with gusto. I’m also going to get myself a Tantalus in March, so that will be cool! In addition to this, I want to continue to tinker away with the AdMech/Scions list, and see how far I can get with that – probably going to start small and build up. For some light relief, I’m also planning to throw the odd Necron squad in there as well, as I continue to build up my new dynasty. The rumour mill seems to be pointing to Necrons as being one of the next codices after Daemons, so I may find myself with the impetus to finally get going there!

I’m really looking forward to 2018 in terms of the hobby, as I’m feeling like GW are going to be doing some amazing things, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming!!

A New Dynasty Arises

Hey everybody!
At the very start of the year, I’d made a couple of plans to do with miniatures that largely involved trying to get myself in gear for actually finishing with painting the massive number of little plastic people I have hanging about. After 52 consecutive weeks of hobby updates, I was feeling flushed with success to actually keep to these goals, but the inevitability of real life soon returned, and I’ve been putting a lot of these plans off. Well, now that I’ve finished my degree, it’s time to make a return!

One of said plans was to revitalise my Necron army, and go back to actually repaint some of the soulless space robots. Necrons were my first foray into 40k, of course, and among some of the first ever miniatures that I had painted. Since then, I’d been swelling the ranks while trying to match that original paint scheme, meaning that I wasn’t really progressing with my skills. I’m not suggesting that I’d become a phenomenal painter in that time, of course, but rather that I felt like I was stagnating. As 2016 drew to a close, I began to think of how I could spruce up these original miniatures, yet keep the original scheme going, and promptly stripped the paint off a number of Lychguard. However, it took me a good while before I started the Great Reanimation of 2017, as my Novamarines and Dark Eldar plans came to the fore! I don’t think I’ll ever not have a dozen different things going on (what kind of self-respecting hobbyist only focuses on one project at a time, anyway?)

Last month, however, I managed to finish off the Lychguard that had been stripped down, and began to think about what I wanted to do next with the army.

One of the things that had been bothering me initially was the fact that I could see brushstrokes within the paint on a lot of the miniatures, particularly the faces. Indeed, the faces in general were starting to bug me, as I’d been painting them too white for all these years! Long time readers may remember me talking about the miniature showcases at the end of the “how to use Citadel paints” videos, where a Lychguard is used to demonstrate the various paints in the then-new system – the face is supposed to be painted with Ulthuan Grey, and edge-highlighted with White Scar. I’d just been painting it White Scar and leaving it, which had led to some decidedly ropey-looking miniatures in my army!

Necron Lychguard

This introduction is turning into quite the essay, but I’ve nearly finished!

The turning point for me began back in November, when I had a game up at my local GW against a beautifully-painted Guard army. Seeing my own attempts against these really inspired me to actually try to get my army looking good, rather than merely wanting to, essentially, colour-in some models. I’d been trying to paint well since starting with the Deathwatch project, and my Novamarines were a similar effort to up my painting game, but I was still a little less than enthused for my Necrons, due to the fact I was trying to match a paint scheme that I’d come up with years ago.

However, the beginning of the end came in the most innocuous of ways.

I had my first game of 8th Edition at my local store, and as a result had decided to pick up some more undead space robots, thinking I might do some more tesla Immortals. These guys have been repackaged, and the back of the box now shows a couple of alternative paint schemes, which really stopped me short as I was looking at them in the store. “They hadn’t invented these colours when I’d started painting my Necrons!” I cried, indignantly. But of course, they had – back in 5th Edition, the Codex showed a variety of different colour schemes for them, including the blue scheme that so impressed me:

Thokt Dynasty Necrons

I was enamoured. The Thokt Dynasty, above, looks superb, with the cool blue glowing effects and the darker armour with those grey highlights – mmm, that’s quite a beautiful scheme, right there! I hadn’t really thought of it properly before, but the dynasties seem to be treated much like Space Marine Chapters, with the 7th Edition Codex talking about a couple of them and providing a look at their schemes and glyphs. The recent announcement that Codexes will be coming out and featuring unique rules for, among other things, Necron dynasties, has also made me more interested in painting up a “real” dynasty for a change.

But I don’t want to repaint all of my guys! I have over 3000 old points tied up in silver-and-green miniatures!

The nail in the coffin, however, came just last week, when I finished painting another trio of scarab bases.

I knew that Mourn Mountain Snow had been removed from the shelves of GW and other suppliers, but I had seen it still available on the webstore, and so wasn’t feeling too fazed by it. “Maybe I’ll pick some up when I’m next doing an order…” tended to be my thoughts, although I never seemed to get round to it. I now have about two-thirds of a pot left, and so decided to take a look to see if the snow was still available.

Catastrophe! It wasn’t.

Valhallan Blizzard has been out for a while now, of course, and I do have a pot of it, but it just isn’t the same texture/consistency/look/feel/thing as the other stuff. In a panic, I thought I might be able to just put any old texture on, and then paint it white (rationally, I think this is entirely possible and could well work), but over the course of an evening, I’d convinced myself that enough was enough! I’ve been talking for well over a year about trying to be better with my Necron paint scheme, but have never really done anything about it. If truth be told, I’m not even sure I like the scheme that I’ve come up with – I mean, it’s been fine all these years, but I’ve never really critically looked at it until now. I do like how I’ve painted the warscythes on the newly-rescued Lychguard, but the expanse of green on the vehicles and other places doesn’t really fill me with pride, or anything. Having recently built up a Monolith, the idea of having a huge green box on the table was just slightly too boring for me.

So, I’m going to do a new army.

I’m settled on doing the Thokt Dynasty, as you may have picked up on above, and I’ve been taking some time to really go through and work out how I want to do it. For the Immortals and Deathmarks, who are shown in these colours on the box, it’s pretty obvious. However, Lychguard are the focus of the faction for me, so I want to come up with something that will look awesome. I also have ten Triarch Praetorians built and primed ready to do a Judicator Battalion back in the day, so need to think about them, also.

Thokt Dynasty Necrons

My first attempt at producing the new Thokt Necrons has turned out pretty well, I feel! I managed to churn them out over the course of a couple of hours, all told. My recipe is as follows:
1. Base the body with Leadbelcher. Base the pauldrons and head with Mechanicus Standard Grey, and the gun with a 50/50 mix of Mechanicus Standard Grey and Abaddon Black.
2. Shade the whole thing with Nuln Oil.
3. Layer the pauldrons and gun with Skavenblight Dinge.
4. Layer the head (stripe) with Dawnstone.
5. Base the gun barrels and pipes with Kantor Blue.
6. Shade the pipes with Drakenhof Nightshade.
7. “Softbrush” these blue parts with Alaitoc Blue. Take the barrels further with Hoeth Blue, then Blue Horror.
8. Glaze the barrels with Guilliman Blue. Also glaze the eyes.
9. Use Stirland Mud / Stirland Battlemire on the bases, and drybrush with Praxeti White. Add in Valhallan Blizzard and ‘Ardcoat where necessary (‘Ardcoat to simulate ice).
10. Paint the rim of the base with Dryad Bark.

These are the first Necrons that I’ve painted since starting my painting career all those years ago, where I’ve actually tried to do a good job. And I have to say, I’m actually very proud of myself! I think they look fantastic, and I’m really excited to start painting more Necrons in this scheme – I’ve already got more kits waiting to be built expressly for this dynasty!

Necrons

Has there ever been a more tortured, or more gratuitous reason for completely starting over with an army? Probably, but I’m looking forward to getting these guys done, and in time, I hope to re-do my entire Necron collection in these colours!

Let’s just hope the eventual Codex release doesn’t see me enamoured of a whole different Dynasty, and precipitate a further change!

Hobby Progress 2017!

Hey everybody!
Hobby Progress is back! That’s right – after last year’s weekly update blogs, I’ve decided to go for a monthly update throughout 2017, as I had been feeling a bit pressured at times to get something done, and a lot of things were rushed as a result. I still think I managed to turn out some pretty nice miniatures, compared with my previous standards, but I really want to level up my painting and try to really improve my skills this year, so I thought I’d go for the monthly check-ins rather than the more relentless stuff.

That all said, January has been a tough month for getting anywhere with painting models! I’ve had several different kits on the tabletop that I’ve really struggled to get very far with, and I do believe it has something to do with the lack of any real incentive to get them progressed. But for now, I want to stick to the monthly thing. Without any further ado, though, let’s take a look at what I’ve been up to!

First of all, I’ve well and truly started on my Dark Eldar. I bought the Start Collecting box and a Venom on New Year’s Eve, and after giving the Codex a once-over, added a box of Wyches to the roster in order to start out by making a kill-team. Over the course of the long New Year weekend, I actually built everything up, but have been struggling to get the models painted ever since! To start with, I chose the Kabal of the Obsidian Rose for my colour scheme, a wonderful rich brown colour. Brown is something that I’ve had no recourse to paint before, of course, so I thought it’d be a nice way to increase the breadth of my painting.

The scheme I’ve used has a basecoat of Rhinox Hide, followed by a very light drybrush of Doombull Brown. I then lightly drybrush Skrag Brown and Squig Orange, increasingly focused onto the raised details of the armour, before a very thin wash of Agrax Earthshade across the whole lot. You can see in the above photo that it has worked better on some than others, but I think that’s more due to the fact I’ve been testing it with my actual miniatures – never a bright idea, I know! The splinter rifles, where they’ve been painted, have just got Leadbelcher shaded with Nuln Oil, with those weird bulbous bits painted Balthasar Gold. It’s very straightforward, which I want it to be for the line troops, but I think it has come out really well, by and large!

For the Wych Cult, I’ve gone for something that is different, yet still tied into the general scheme of things. Where they have kabalite armour, such as the left knee and arm, I’ve done the same scheme as the warriors. The wychsuit, however, is just Khorne Red shaded with Agrax Earthshade, then lighly drybrushed with Wazdakka Red.

For the longest time, I was trying to figure out what to do with the skin, as I wanted to try for that pale skin tone, but when I tried it, it just didn’t work out for me. I used Celestra Grey, washed with Druchii Violet, and then layered with Pallid Wych Flesh on the Wyches (urgh!) and Ulthuan Grey on the warriors (yikes!) It just wasn’t happening for me, and I couldn’t work out a way forward. Then, I was pointed in the direction of The War Gamer on youtube, specifically his Captain Artemis tutorial, and that put me in mind of painting the skin with the wash last. After talking about it at my local GW on Friday, I went back in with Kislev Flesh and Reikland Fleshshade, and it really came out looking nice, I think! I’ve subsequently painted the rest of the Wyches that I had hanging about with Celestra Grey/Kislev Flesh/Reikland Fleshshade, and I think they look okay. I do think part of my reticence comes from the fact that the hair is still making the models look a bit weird, so that’s my next port of call, and hopefully I’ll feel a lot better about them once that has been done.

The Venom has so far only been painted with Rhinox Hide. I wanted to get some kind of gradient going along it, but I’m kinda intimidated at the large surface area, so I think I’m going to practice my skills there a bit first…

Hobby Progress January

Moving away from xenos now, the “Strokes of Heresy” painting competition continues at my local Games Workshop store, with the January challenge being an elite choice. Many people have gone for cataphractii terminators or contemptor dreadnoughts, but I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to get anything major done, what with the Dark Eldar going on, so had bought the apothecary there specifically for the event. Even that one model has taken it out of me this month, though! I’ve eventually managed to get him finished with my usual Alpha Legion scheme, painting all of those vials and canisters all over him with a variety of washes. We’re in pre-Codex Astartes times, of course, so there’s no actual requirement for a white scheme – hence the black shoulder pad, I suppose! The narthecium has been painted with Stormvermin Fur and shaded with Nuln Oil, as per the usual scheme for bolter cases, to help tie him in with the rest of the army. I don’t yet know what the challenge is going to be for February, but I’m hoping that I can get the five terminators I’ve had built for over a year painted, if nothing else!!

Hobby Progress January

Finally, let me share with you a true labour of love: the conclusion of phase one of my Novamarines army build! I started to build a kill-team a little over two months ago, now, and managed to get the assault squad and the veteran sergeant of the tactical squad painted up back in December. The four remaining tactical marines, however, have been waiting around patiently until the last week or so, when I’ve really scrabbled around to get them finished (however, I’ve since noticed that the purity seal on the rightmost marine’s leg hasn’t been painted – gah!)

I’ve also added the Chapter Master to the ranks. He was a miniature that I’ve really enjoyed kitbashing together – the legs are from the Sternguard kit, as is the power fist and backpack; the body is from the Commander kit that I had as part of the Demi Company box set I’ve had hanging about for a while now; the sword is from the Vanguard Veterans, and I’m honestly not sure where the head is from! Possibly the Sternguard kit as well. That kit is actually a treasure-trove for kit-bashing fancy marines like this, I have to say!

While I’m pleased to have them now finished, I do feel unfortunately that the Chapter Master is a little beyond the realms of my skills to complete to a properly high standard. I’d have liked him to look a little better, but I think for now, he’s as good as I can absolutely get him!

I do still have a dreadnought that is in the throes of almost being completed, and I’m in the process of rescuing the marines from my initial attempt at painting Novamarines from last April, so I’ll hopefully be able to add them to the force soon enough (though unfortunately, they won’t have the fancy shoulder pads). I want to try to get these guys built up into a fighting force soon enough, but obviously it’s not the sort of scheme that lends itself to fast painting!

Hobby Progress January

So that’s been my progress this month! Check back in with me next month to see how far I get with the Dark Eldar, and whether I manage to complete any other miniatures… I’m aiming to paint one unit per month, so we’ll see how well I can manage that!

Hobby Progress, week 52

Well folks, here we are, week 52! It’s been one hell of a year when I look back, with a lot more models painted than I’d thought. But I’ll get into all of that in a little while. First of all, let’s take a look at the week!

First off, I’ve finished the Necron Wraiths that I’d built up about eighteen months ago for a Canoptek Harvest. You can see the original instagram post where I’d built up all the pieces here. I’ve actually built up a fourth at some indeterminate time – I’d bought some wraith bits to make a Cryptek with, and after building the three from the kit I realised I had enough bits to build more! I was convinced I could actually get three more, but alas, I don’t know what I’ve done with those bits anymore… At any rate, these chaps are now finished, which I’m very pleased about, though at times I did feel like I was rushing the blighters, so it’s not what I would call my finest work… That said, I think they do blend in perfectly with the Tomb Stalker that I’d done way back in 2014, so if nothing else, I’m pleased with that!

I’ve also finished up the small batch of Deathwatch marines that I’d started work on a few weeks ago. These chaps were a lot of fun to paint, and I’m really pleased to get them finished. The Iron Warrior isn’t one of my all-time favourite marines, so I was painting him along with some other bits like the Deathwing terminator just to get him done, really. The two vanguard veterans were more enjoyable to do, a Raven Guard and a Blood Angel, even though I had no idea what to do with their shields, and have settled for just painting the imperialis for now. I love dreadnoughts, even if I’m not the quickest at painting them, so was particularly pleased to get this one finished.

I’m not done with the Deathwatch by any means – aside from all of the models that I still have built up and waiting for me to get on with them, it’s a bit of an ambition for me in 2017 to get every possible weapon combination for the veterans built up, and then rather than having them in squads of five or whatever, I can basically assemble a team each time I want to use them. As part of this, then, I think I might also build up another Venerable Dreadnought, as I’ve seen some other ideas online for building them, and fancy giving those a try!

2017 is already starting to excite me!

I’ve also been building stuff – because, of course I have! I want to start with this Leman Russ tank for my Genestealer Cult, because the thing is bloody hilarious! While I do enjoy the tanks of the space marines, I do feel that these Imperial Guard tanks look amazing and, well, tank-y. The Wyvern was a lot of fun to put together, but this Leman Russ was almost better, going together pretty much like a dream! I’d decided to start building it up mainly because I like these things, but I actually have no idea when I’ll be able to get round to painting the thing, as I seem to have so many other projects on the go right now… I think I’ve settled on a colour scheme, which I’ve written down and stuff, so I suppose I just need to get the time! There’ll be more on this shortly, anyway.

I’ve also kit-bashed Armillus Dynat together. Well, I actually clipped the bits off a long while ago, but have only this week gotten round to actually building him. I love the fact that he can wield two weapons like this, and while my original plan for having him with the hammer lowered and the sword raised to strike hasn’t worked out, I still like the fact that he looks somewhat of a centrepiece. The guy has been built out of 5 or 6 different kits, and was a bit of a labour of love in that respect, but I’m now looking forward to getting some paint on him!

The only other thing I’ve done this week is build up the Sisters of Silence from the Burning of Prospero box. I’d thought I’d have done more with these by now, as they were the part of this box set that I was looking forward to the most but, I have to say, I’ve been feeling particularly uninspired by this box. The Sisters look good, don’t get me wrong, and while I’m as excited as anyone for the Custodes, I do feel a little bit overwhelmed by those sculpts, as they look too ornate, somehow. Maybe I’ll think differently once I’ve gotten them built and whatnot. However, the MkIII armoured marines are just not what I would call my favourites, and I bought the box thinking I’d paint it up as the boardgame but, on reflection, I think it’d be better if I just sold these marines and reinvested the cash in something I actually want! So they’re up on ebay, along with the characters. I had briefly entertained the idea of using Ahriman for something else, but don’t think that will come to pass.

So, not the most productive of weeks, though it has been exciting all the same! Now it’s time for the retrospective you’ve all been waiting for!

hobby progress retrospective

So it’s time for the retrospective!

2016 has been a great year for progress with miniatures. Over the course of the year, I feel that I’ve made some real progress with my painting, specifically with how I paint the Deathwatch chaps, and my determination to conquer the fear of painting faces! Of course, I’m still not going to win any awards, but I think I’ve come a long way, and want to see what I can do to build on that over the next twelve months!

My day job is in statistics, so inevitably, I’m going to look at some stats for this year’s progress. According to my figures, I’ve bought 89 kits this year, though I think stuff like Death Masque has been counted as four distinct Deathwatch kits because some of them I’ve painted, and some of them I haven’t. I’ve managed to build 58 kits, though some of these I’ve had from previous years – only 35 of the newly-bought kits of 2016 have been built. I’ve also completely painted 28 kits, which is a lot more than I had expected, but when you see it in relation to the number of kits I’ve bought, it’s kinda sad. I’ve also part-painted a further 22 kits, which I suppose does help to mitigate circumstances a little!

I think most of my money in 2016 went on Tomb Kings stuff, though that is a little artificial due to the fact that the line was discontinued so I bought as much as I could afford in one hit. The launch of the Deathwatch army in the summer was probably the single most exciting event for me; as much as I love the Genestealer Cults, I think my enthusiasm for the Deathwatch is shown by the fact that I’ve finished quite a few of those models already, while the Cult is only part-built and part-primed.

hobby progress retrospective

The biggest success I’ve had this year has most assuredly been the Alpha Legion, however. While I was convinced I was going to collect an Ultramarines army, the XX Legion has infiltrated its way into my heart and, bolstered by the painting campaign at my local GW store towards the end of the year, I’ve managed to completely paint up more models for this army than any other single faction all year! I think the final count is 48, including the contemptor dreadnought and the rhino. Moving ahead into 2017, I’ve already got a further 12 models waiting for paint – another tactical squad, an apothecary and a drop pod.

Hobby Progress 45

Space Marines remain some of the most numerous models that I’ve continued to paint in 2016, as I’ve done smaller numbers of Ultramarines, Novamarines, White Scars and Deathwing. In the middle of all of this, I’ve also managed to churn out some more Stormcast Eternals, some more Necrons, a couple of Orruks and the start of my Tomb Kings!

hobby progress retrospective

There are still an awful lot of partially painted miniatures hanging around, of course, and I hope that I can get the majority of these finished off in the coming months, as well as those bits and pieces that have been built but are still hanging around! In addition to all of those numbers I’ve been spouting off about earlier, there are still plenty of miniatures that I’ve built in 2015 and are as yet incomplete, including quite a few Necron things! So I do hope I can do things with those, also.

So!

It’s been a fun year, and has been really quite productive, but I think it’s time to look ahead to 2017 now, and set out some objectives for the year.

First of all, let’s talk about Necrons. This was my first army for 40k, of course, and is still the one closest to my heart. In building up my force, I’ve always made a conscious effort to match the look of those early models, which hasn’t always been great because I do think that I’ve progressed as a painter since those days. As such, over the course of this year I’ve tried to up my game with some of them, but I haven’t really decided what I want to do with the older models. Keep them as mementos? Strip them and re-paint them? I think I want to keep at least some of them as they’re a part of my painting career and stuff, but I have a lot of them that I want to just start again with, particularly the Triarch Praetorians. I’ve recently built up ten Praetorians to run a Judicator Battalion, but I think I might strip the five I’d built years ago and re-paint them to throw in there as well. There are a few other models I think I’ll do this with, also, including some of the Lychguard. Anyway, what I’m saying is, I want to make my Necrons look a bit better than they appear currently, as they’re still the force I feel most comfortable with playing right now, but it isn’t that great when you pull out some models that look ‘meh’ at best.

2017 will therefore feature something of a Necron rebirth!

I’m going to continue with my Deathwatch, as discussed earlier, and the Novamarines will also be on my list as the year progresses. I’m also going to continue building up my Alpha Legion, in part because the campaign at my local store is still ongoing! 2017 is the 30th anniversary year for Warhammer 40k, so even though I have no idea how it would happen, I’m still expecting to see some new Space Marine stuff released throughout the year. Given that Space Marines have become such a thing for me, I’m sure I’ll end up investing in any such thing, but I would like to try and keep new ventures to a minimum where I can! The fact I’ve managed to hold back on the Thousand Sons so well has really surprised me!

2017 will hopefully be the year of Chaos Daemons for me, specifically Slaaneshi daemons! I currently have a box of Daemonettes and a Seeker Chariot in the throes of being finished, so I’m looking forward to not only getting them done, but also moving forward with adding other stuff to the army. I’ve been trying to draw up a 2000 point list, but the amount of models needed for that is kinda scaring me! I want to keep it as Slaaneshi as I possibly can, though there will be some Slaves to Darkness involved because I want the Warshrine as a centrepiece! I have some minis already, and have ordered some more, so at some point very soon, expect to see these making an appearance!

hobby progress retrospective

So, at the top of the year, I’m planning to rejuvenate my Necrons; continue with the Deathwatch, Novamarines and Alpha Legion, and to get started building up a Slaanesh Daemons army. Undoubtedly Genestealer Cults and other stuff will also be featuring as I go along, and for the rest of it, well, I guess we’ll see what GW offers!

If you’ve been reading these hobby progress blogs throughout the year, thank you so much for being along for the ride! I hope they’ve been entertaining, and maybe even motivational – they certainly have been for me! I’m still not sure if I’m going to be doing them every single week, as I have been thinking about moving to monthly, but that seems somehow too long to wait. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

Happy New Year!

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Who knew plastic could be so exciting! #2016bestnine

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