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 51

It’s the penultimate week of my hobby progress blogs, and for those of you who are into this stuff, Merry Christmas! Get yourself another mince pie, and let’s take a look at what I’ve been up to this week!

It’s actually been another fairly slow week, as I’ve finished off a couple of the things I talked about in last week’s update, but very little else.

First of all, let’s look at this, my first ever attempt at proper freehand stuff. For a first attempt, I think it looks pretty great actually, but for what I was trying to achieve, it does leave quite a bit to be desired. The marines themselves look nice, though – I’m actually really pleased with how the Centurion has turned out, and the Command Squad guys look fine and stuff. Standard Alpha Legion scheme at this point, really, and there’s not a lot else I can say about them!

My attempt at OSL for the Corvus-Alpha legionaries has turned out pretty okay, again for my first serious attempt at doing it. I’d built up the blue on the armour with Temple Guard Blue, which is brighter than the usual Teclis Blue that I highlight it with anyway, but still hadn’t provided enough of an effect to be really noticeable, unfortunately. I then went in with Baharroth Blue, going lightly over the plasma coils and then building it up with a vaguely drybrush/stipple effect to create the diffuse glow, and while I do think it looks decent enough, I still think the fact that I’m basically doing a blue glow on blue armour leaves the effect somewhat lacking. But it’s serviceable, and I suppose that’s the main thing!

Finally, I’ve got a second Tactical Support Squad finished! These guys are equipped with flamers, so it’s the unupgraded version of the unit, and again, they’re just the standard Alpha Legionaries. Since reading about the concept of the tactical support squad, I’ve always enjoyed the idea of having these guys launched at the battlefield in a drop pod and just dousing the whole place in flame, covering a retreat or something super dramatic-like, so I’m glad to have them in the army, even if I never end up doing anything of that sort!

All together, it was a productive week for the Alpha Legion, as yesterday I built up a second Tactical Squad! And an apothecary…

I’d set myself a bit of a challenge for Christmas Eve, to get as far as I could with these chaps, and in the event I was just impressed that I’d managed to build them all. Once these have been painted, that will mean I have the minimum force required to play some 30k, so I hope that I can start getting some games in in the new year!

The apothecary is for the January painting challenge at my local GW store, where we need to paint an elite unit. I’m kinda taking the easy route, as I believe most people are using the plastics from the Calth and/or Prospero sets, so terminators, while I’m going for the single apothecary. I do now also have the necessary weapon options to start looking into building some Lernaean Terminators, but I’m hoping to work on some other stuff as we move into 2017, so I want to go easy on it!

Along with finishing off some of the Necron things I’ve had hanging about for a long time, I’ve decided to make my dream of a Slaaneshi daemon force a reality, and so want to get moving with the Daemonettes and Seeker Chariot that have both been built up since the summer, and then start adding things like Hellstriders and Daemon Princes to the roster, and eventually some bigger stuff like the Warshrine! Looking forward to seeing where that goes, anyway! Age of Sigmar is still as big as it ever has been at my local store, and I get the vague impression that the uncertainty around 40k’s future as we look at 8th edition has been causing a few 40k regulars to drift into AoS – the chap I played a few weeks ago has started a zombie force, for instance, and there are skaven rumblings from die-hard Eldar players. So I think it’ll be good to have a force for each system – while I do have Stormcast Eternals coming out of my ears, Slaanesh is something that I’ve wanted to build for a long time…

Finally, I built up five Tree-Revenants. I actually have no idea what I’m going to do with them now as, while I do have some dryads and whatnot, I don’t really need yet more miniatures to paint at the moment!!

Anyway, there’s just one week left before the end of the year and the culmination of my hobby progress blogs for 2016. Fortunately I do have the week off work, so I hope to get some things finished – stay tuned for that, at least!! And whatever you’ve been up to today, I hope it’s been a wonderful time!

We are Alpharius!

Hey everybody!
As you might well know, if you’ve been following my Painting Progress blogs I’ve been writing every Sunday this year, I’ve been slowly building up an Alpha Legion force, primarily to play 30k at some not-too-distant point. I’m a hugely fluffy gamer – by which I mean, I’m more interested in the theme of the game than whether I’m playing at all tactically – and so reading about the Legion has been a big part of this process. Of all the Space Marine Legions, the Alpha Legion is by far the most secretive, and while little is really known about them, there is a fair bit of conjecture, so I thought I’d add a little of my own thoughts to that in today’s blog!

Alpha Legion

The Alpha Legion was the twentieth and last of the Space Marine Legions created by the Emperor of Mankind during the First Founding. Unlike the majority of their brother legions, the Alpha Legion was created somewhat apart from the others, with a very specific purpose in mind. This purpose appears to have been one of secrecy and intrigue, assassins fighting in the shadows and doing the jobs that otherwise could not be performed openly.

Before they were reunited with their Primarch, there are records of a secretive Legion carrying out assassinations and other shady activities that were off-the-record, sometimes these operations took place alongside other legions, who had not been made aware of the Legion’s presence on the field.

Eventually, they were reunited with their Primarch, Alpharius. Or, that should be, their twin Primarchs, Alpharius and Omegon. Something that is truly unique to the Legion, nobody is sure if this was by accident or design that there are two of them – though, given the predilection for secrecy and misdirection, I would guess that it was more the latter.

Praetorian of Dorn

As a Primarch, Alpharius was the last to be found by the Emperor, hence the Legion was designated the XXth. Alpharius was a coolly calculating, brilliant tactician every bit the equal to Roboute Guilliman, and in fact the two legions formed something of a rivalry during the Heresy. Alpharius had few friends among his brother Primarchs, notably only Horus (though the Legion did campaign alongside the Dark Angels and the Iron Hands).

Alpharius’ wargear is particularly exotic, including the double-headed spear known as the sarrisanata, which is possibly of xenos design. I’m thinking about kit-bashing an Alpharius together, as a Stormcast Eternal paladin glaive might do the trick with this one, but I guess we’ll have to see. I kinda want to make him really stand out from the army…

Alpharius was said to be able to walk among his legion with some degree of anonymity, which must mean he was short for a Primarch. I mean, space marines are generally pretty huge, so he’s still definitely taller than the average human, but not as imposing as his brothers. Sources also talk about many other marines from the legion undergoing cosmetic surgery to further resemble Alpharius, deepening the level of subterfuge and intrigue. It was also common for any member of the Alpha Legion to call himself Alpharius when dealing with outsiders.

While a lot of folk online still say all of the Primarchs were super-human beings, I think the fact that his own legionaries could pass as his double must mean that Alpharius (and, by extension, Omegon) was of average space marine height, right? I mean, what’s the point in the rank and file undergoing cosmetic enhancement to further resemble him if he’s still two feet too short to pass as the Primarch?

Hobby Progress 43

That’s the principle I went with when I built my Omegon conversion a couple of weeks ago. The one concession I made to the idea that the Primarchs are stand-out characters was in using a head from the regular 40k range, which are slightly bigger/more rounded than those in the Betrayal at Calth marines. Otherwise, this guy is just one of the rank and file, and you’d never know who you were dealing with until it’s too late!

Hobby Progress 43

Omegon is the leader of the Effrit Stealth Squad, so I’ve paired him with the Reconnaissance Squad. In the game, Omegon doesn’t actually have any rules (yet), but the assassin Exodus does, and given the fact that he can only join Recon Squads, I thought it made perfect sense to basically use the Exodus rules for him.

In the lore, Exodus is thought to possibly be more a title than an actual person, with several deployments being made at the same time on some occasions. His skill as an assassin is legendary, rivaling even the members of the Officio Assassinorum.

Horus Heresy Legion

The Legion relies on stealth and subterfuge, and makes use of a lot of non-astartes personnel. This is seen quite prominently in the novel Legion by Dan Abnett, which is a remarkable novel in the Horus Heresy series for the fact that the space marines have such a small role – at least, it seems that way at first! It’s true that the genhanced space marines would find it difficult to move around in stealth even out of their power armour, but regular guys from the Imperial Army would be much better-placed for the most part. I’m not entirely sure how I’d add some regular troops to my army, but I’m bearing the thought in mind for the time being…

Hobby Progress 29

Something I couldn’t quite get my head around at first – but now really like about them – is the unit organization. Space Marine Legions were usually formed into some kind of fighting companies of varying sizes, such as the Fellowships of the Thousand Sons. Not so the Alpha Legion, however, which was organized into whatever fighting unit was required for the mission at hand. In painting up my Ultramarines, I’m trying to take some pride in the fact I will have the proper unit and squad markings, colours and all the rest of it – like a real military unit, essentially. With these chaps, though – I have no idea! But there is a bit of freedom to being able to use the miniatures however I feel, and I just know when it comes to fielding them in battle this will be right up my street. I never like to use the exact same combination twice, so a flexible fighting force really appeals to me like that.

I do love these guys, and I’ve really enjoyed building up my force over the last few months! All in all, I feel like I’m going to be in for some exciting times once I get into this Heresy game play!

Hobby Progress, week 50

Hey everybody!
Week 50 of hobby progress is upon us! Can you believe it? Well, here it is, anyway! I’m just so surprised because I hadn’t actually thought it would keep me going for the whole year by simply posting updates of my progress like this, but, well, it has!

Week 50 has actually been kinda slow, which is a surprise considering I had the week off work. But even so, progress has been made, so I can’t really complain on that front! First of all then, let’s take a look at what I’ve been painting.

Hobby Progress 50

Novamarines have been a theme for a couple of weeks now, and I’m now calling these guys done. I’m not 100% happy with them, but I think they’re as good as I can get them now, and anything more will just be making a mess of the buggers. They do look somehow better in real life, I think, though I could probably do a better job with highlighting the blue. I’ve done the laurels in the usual Ultramarines scheme, and have painted the chapter badge with Celestra Grey, which I think looks good but I might end up going over it with White Scar as it is supposed to be a stark white. But anyway, for now, these guys are finished!

I do have the dreadnought still to finish off, and I have four tactical marines that now need to be painted as well, but I think I need a bit of a break from all the quartering!

Hobby Progress 50

The Alpha Legion stuff I’ve had on the go has been going pretty well, too. First off, the Corvus-Alpha tactical support squad is pretty much done, I just need to sort out this attempt with OSL! I’ve painted the plasma coils with Caledor Sky, shaded with Drakenhof Nightshade, then layered over with Temple Guard Blue, which I’ve then stippled and lightly drybrushed over some areas of the armour to make it look like the plasma is lighting up those areas. Unfortunately, the armour already has that teal/turquoise look to it, to it blends in a bit too much and hasn’t had much of an impact! I’m going to go back in with something like Baharroth Blue though, so maybe that will brighten the whole thing up.

Hobby Progress 50

The Command Squad has gone pretty well, I have to say. The banner is causing me the most problems, unfortunately – because I’ll need to attempt some freehand on it! I’ve found some inspiration online for the colour of the cloth, at least, so have gone in with a mix of Abaddon Black and Eshin Grey to have that really dark grey look to it, then went back and very lightly highlighted the edges and folds with Kabalite Green. It’s an extremely subtle look, but I think looks nice! I’m going to do the simple alpha/omega logo rather than try to paint the three-headed hydra thing, anyway, and I’ve seen some fairly easy ways to paint the unbroken chain logo as well, so want to try that on there also. Hopefully it won’t turn out like total crap, anyway!

The Centurion has pretty much been finished, as well! I’ve painted the face as I’ve been trying to do all of my bareheaded chaps in the legion, Doombull Brown then shaded with Reikland Fleshshade, which has given a bit of a coppery look, then highlighted with a Doombull Brown/Karak Stone mix, which has provided a bit of a highlight without losing too much depth. I’m still too terrified to paint eyes, but I’m fine with that. I’ve tried to keep him standing out from the rest of the legion by keeping things like the backpack the turquoise colour, and have taken the time to pick out all of the rivets on his armour with Leadbelcher, which has taken forever but does look quite striking, I think! So I’m definitely getting there now!

All in all, then, I’ve got 300 more points to add to the collection! The Centurion hasn’t been upgraded, while the two Chosen in the Command Squad are both equipped with charnabal sabres. The whole foursome comes to 170 points, while the tactical support squad with plasma guns comes to 175. So added to my existing army of 1270 points, I’m now up to 1415 points overall – but still no legal force organisation, as I still only have one troops choice! So I think I need to work on a second tactical squad next, and get moving on that!!

Huh, that was probably more painting than I’d thought, then…

However, I have been building up a whole load of stuff! Because obviously!

Hooray! Ready for drop pod assault! #AlphaLegion #HorusHeresy #Warhammer40k #SpaceMarines

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Let’s continue with the Alpha Legion theme for the moment, and talk about the drop pod I built yesterday. This thing was really nice to finally get built up, since I’ve had it waiting for a long time now. (Well, technically, I bought the drop pod for my Deathwing, but anyway). It’s certainly an iconic miniature for any space marines army, and while it was nice to get it together, I can’t say it was fun to actually build.

Pretty much all of the large pieces were an absolute nightmare to clean. The five pieces of the main structure, I don’t know what you’d call them, they were attached to the sprue at something like 9 gates each, which means an excessive amount of rubbish to clean off. The doors seemed a bit better, though I will never understand why they can’t make these in one piece. Tank armour, fair enough I’ve made my peace with that being in two sections, but drop pod doors? Hm. I think the most annoying part of it all, though, is that three of the doors don’t actually close – one of them keeps falling open all the time, actually. From what I can tell, it isn’t out of alignment, but there we have it! So I’m not a fan. It does look cool, don’t get me wrong! I just wish it went together better!

(Drop pods have a troop capacity of 10, in 30k at least, but there is only space for 5 marines if you build the harnesses and stuff, so I’ve decided to forego that additional fiddly bit and leave the interior reasonably clear. Just in case you were wondering why I’ve missed some bits!)

Hobby Progress 50

This past week has mainly been about Genestealer Cults, however!

I went up to GW on Wednesday looking for a big kit to have some kind of project for my week, and settled on the Hydra. I’d had my eye on this thing for a while, mainly because I love the fact there’s a guy in the back trying to make sense of the instruction manual, and thought it would be perfect for my cult. Of course, Hydras and Wyverns aren’t in the Cult codex, but you can ally with the Astra Militarum and get one that way. So I was all for it. I spent some time talking over my plans with the guy in the store, and have settled on building it as a Wyvern for the troop suppression rather than the anti-air Hydra build.

The kit was amazing, anyway, and went together so much better than the drop pod! I started to build it up on Wednesday afternoon, only really intending to build up the two guys as Genestealer Cultists, but eventually built the whole thing! The allied detachment doesn’t have a lot of scope for adding stuff like this to it, unfortunately, but I am kinda tempted to get a full squad of three just because I love the kit so much!

Of course, having that does mean I need to look at my allies now. I’ve settled on buying a Start Collecting AM box, as I think it would be hilarious to get the Commissar built up as a Neophyte Hybrid as well! In talking over these plans at the store, it occurred to me that the Primus does have a vaguely Commissar-y look to him, of course, so it isn’t entirely beyond the realms of possibility! So I think the Commissar, the troops and the Wyvern will be in my allied detachment, then the Leman Russ from that Start Collecting box can be taken by the Cult anyway, so it does actually work out really nicely! The only problem, of course, is having enough heads for the entire box to be kitted out as Cultists… Even though they will actually be AM and not Cult, that’s more from a rules perspective than an army perspective, and I want them all to be cultists deep down!

Happy Birthday to me! #SpaceMarines #Deathwatch #Warhammer40k #awesome

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Finally, it’s my birthday today, and I’ve given myself this bad boy to celebrate! It’s my current dream to build up every single weapons option for the Deathwatch chaps, so that when I come to assemble a squad, I don’t need to have any kind of “yeah, he counts as x” or whatever. The terminators and the bikers – even the rhino – are useful for whatever marines I end up building, of course, so I thought the saving of £70+ in this box made it worthwhile in the long run. So that’s the plan for 2017!

Hobby Progress, week 49

Hey everybody!
This year of hobby progress blogs is drawing to a close, and I have to say once again, just how amazed I am to have been motivated enough to do this series of blogs! Writing up a progress report, even when there’s no progress to report, has really helped me to keep focused on doing things with this massive mountain of plastic and, while I’ve of course been adding to said mountain of plastic over the weeks and months, I’ve also been doing things with it, including playing games of course, so overall I think it’s been quite the success! By my calculations, week 52’s blog will be out on New Year’s Day, and will contain a fairly lengthy retrospective so, for now let’s take a look at the most recent week’s work!

hobby progress 49

I think I’ll start with my Alpha Legion. I mentioned last week that my local GW store is doing a painting campaign challenge thing, where you paint up a specified unit in a month and get points, and if you fully build, paint and base the miniature you get to roll off for additional challenges. Well, I’m somehow in the lead for last month having built and painted and based the entire tactical squad, as well as a rhino! So this month it’s time for an HQ choice, and I’m keeping it simple by doing a Legion Centurion, on the right there. He’s accompanied by a tactical support squad, all kitted-out with flamers as per the base stats. I’d been thinking about the flamer guys for a while now, as I love the idea of throwing them down in a drop pod, and they just torch up the battlefield to cover a retreat or something! Fabulous!

hobby progress 49

My additional challenge this month, unfortunately, is to “attempt OSL” on a miniature. Why didn’t I leave the rhino for this month?! I did that with the headlamps! So I’ve built another five-man tactical support squad, this time all wielding plasma guns, and I’m going to attempt some of that… You may be wondering, “why have they all got beaky/Corvus/MkVI armour on?” Well, this is because the Alpha Legion stole the blueprints or something during the Heresy, so have a stock of “Corvus-Alpha” armour they used at this time! I’m not actually a fan of the beaky helmet, and have been giving them away whenever I buy marine kits, but managed to get five of them for this project. I have to say, they look kinda good when they’re painted like this, especially given that they’re in full Corvus armour rather than the usual hodge-podge of pieces. So I’m pleased with that, at least!

Work will continue with these guys slowly, no doubt, but I’ll certainly get them done by the end of the month!

hobby progress 49

I’ve also been building, of course! Again, the local store challenge has included an additional thing this month – because of the HQ thing, there are additional points on offer for painting up a Command Squad, so I’ve pounced on this as reason to build up more converted marines! I’ve so far only done the two Chosen on the left, and am a bit concerned about the Standard Bearer, mainly because it doesn’t feel right for a legion like the Alpha Legion to be announcing their presence in that way, but what the hell, I’ll give it a go somehow! Might be one of these things I never really use, but I would like to have the options, I suppose!

Also, on the right you can see another of my conversions! As you know, I’ve started to build a Novamarines army, and while I’ve been faffing around with the assault squad (more shortly), I’d drawn up a list of what I wanted to have as my first phase, and the Chapter Master was head of that list. So, after doing some pondering, and looking through some of the boxes I have, I built up Gaius Hadraicus, using parts mainly from the Sternguard kit, with the torso from the Commander, and the sword from the Vanguard Veterans. I think he looks awesome, anyway, and can’t wait to start painting him up! However, first of all, I want to get these other chaps done:

hobby progress 49

I’ve saved the best (I think!) til last! My five-man assault squad is almost finished, and the tactical veteran sergeant on the right is also tantalizingly nearly done. After having used the wrong blue on the four assault marines, I’ve re-done them with Alaitoc Blue, and shaded the recesses with Drakenhof Nightshade. This doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect in the photo there, so I think I might go in again with Nuln Oil in some parts, to really get some contrast going. The aquilas have been done with Abaddon Black and shaded with Nuln Oil, then lightly brushed over with Eshin Grey. I still want them to be dark, but I’m a bit concerned they might be too black at the moment, so might go back with Administratum Grey or something. The purity seals have been done with Zandri Dust for the parchment and Screamer Pink for the wax, then shaded with Agrax Earthshade. The metal is the usual Leadbelcher and Nuln Oil, then I’ve done the gun and chainsaw casings with Incubi Darkness, also shaded with Nuln Oil. There are some gold details on the models that have been done with Balthasar Gold and shaded with Agrax Earthshade, as well.

The dreadnought has been resurrected from the last time I attempted Novamarines, and has had the armour panels done in exactly the same manner as the marines. The metal parts have been done with Leadbelcher and Nuln Oil, and the odd gold bits have also had the Balthasar Gold/Agrax Earthshade treatment and, while there’s probably still a long way yet to go with this gentleman, I do think he looks pretty good! The reference I’ve been using is this image, in case any of you are wondering why he hasn’t been properly quartered like the marines themselves:

Novamarines Dreadnought

So there we go! Some pretty decent progress has been made this week, I feel, and with a week off work coming up, I’m hopeful that I can get a lot more done before we turn into week 50…

Hobby Progress, week 48

The end of the year draws closer! Initially, I hadn’t thought I’d made as much progress with my painting this week – I’ve been suffering with man-flu, and have an essay due on 8 December so have been trying to catch up with my degree work, and just hadn’t thought the time had been there. But in checking out last week’s progress update blog, it turns out I actually have made some forward motion! Let’s dive right in…

hobby progress 48

Always afflicted with a bit of hobby-ADD, and while it can often lead to having a morass of unfinished projects on the go, it also seems to have served me well this week, as I’ve made a lot of progress on some of these things! I’ve been painting up the Necron Wraiths following my last game of 40k, as they do pretty well and I want them finished, rather than two part-done and two merely undercoated. So I’ve been powering through with those, and they’re inching closer to done, I feel! Having the gold on the palette just to do the heads meant that I could get on with painting up the four Liberators that I’d originally built for my Armies on Parade entry, but didn’t get round to painting in time – so they’ve been basecoated and shaded, and are a sort of mini-project that I expect will be done when they’re done…

After a lot of wrangling, I think the Deathwatch Librarian is now done, as well. I’m not particularly pleased with how a lot of him has turned out, but I think he’s as good as I’m going to get him now…

hobby progress 48

The Deathwing Knights are slowly progressing, much like the Stormcast! I’ve been trying to find a way of highlighting the green robes without making them too bright, and have discovered the joy of Kabalite Green! It doesn’t really look right in the pot, but over three or four coats (whatever it was in the end) of Caliban Green, it’s really done the job for me. In fact, it looks good enough that I think Warpstone Glow as a final highlight might be enough, rather than going straight from Caliban to Warpstone. So I’m really pleased there!

hobby progress 48

Remember these girls? I made a joke on instagram how they’d aged so badly in the time waiting for paint, which really makes me chuckle I have to say! But anyway, since they last made it to the pages of my blog, I’ve gone over the skin with Warpfiend Grey, and I think I might actually leave it there, but I’m also thinking I might do a final highlight of Slaanesh Grey before calling it done. In the meantime, I’ve painted the hair Celestra Grey in preparation for shading it blue. Remember my Ogres? The idea is the same, purple skin and blue hair:

I mean, it makes sense to me! I also think it looks cool, and could make the Daemonettes really look great. I’m still vacillating over the corset things they’re wearing, but I think I will end up doing them black rather than metallic, and highlight them with Dark Reaper like the Deathwatch armour I’ve been doing, as I think it will keep them looking quite harmonious, keeping them on the blue end of the spectrum. We’ll see!

What else has been going on?

My local GW Horus Heresy thing now has a name: Strokes of Heresy. I believe it’s meant to sound kinda wrong, but basically it’s a painting competition campaign, where each month a challenge is set – paint a troops choice, paint an HQ choice – and you get points at the end of the month based on whether you’ve built, painted and based the unit. There are additional points on offer if you fully paint any additional units, and if you build and paint the maximum unit size for the month, for instance, and all of this then goes onto a campaign map. You roll dice to gain territory, which then gives you additional challenges for that month, ranging from using an unspecified texture paint to converting and painting a Remembrancer. So for November, it was a troops choice, which I’d finished off mid-month along with a rhino, so I’ve got 4 points right off the bat! Unfortunately, the man-flu has kept me away from being able to roll off for this additional challenge yet, but anyway. This month, it’s an HQ choice, so I’ve gone for a Legion Centurion, keeping things simple, but I’ve also been thinking about doing a tactical support squad for a while, so have also built them up! Exciting times inbound!

My Alpha Legion is growing quite well now, I have to say, and I’m really pleased with how much progress has been made with the Betrayal at Calth box this year. I suppose it’s inevitable at this time of year to be looking back at this stuff, but considering I’d built up the Chaplain, terminators and dreadnought in January, then did nothing with it for months, once this tactical support squad is finished I will have painted up all thirty of the marines, as well! (I’ve actually bought three more sets of marines off ebay, as I don’t want to buy another Calth box just for them, so there are still plenty more marines to make before I venture wholly into Forgeworld territory!)

Next up, I definitely want to do a second troops choice of another tactical unit, which will finally get me the required minimum for a combined arms detachment that I can then start to play some games with. As usual, I have too many fancy units and not enough basic guys! I think I’ll also want to do another rhino to move them around in, but if I’m being honest, this will probably be something for next year, now…

hobby progress 48

Finally, I wanted to show off my Novamarines to date! These guys excite me quite a great deal, I have to say! I’d painted the quartering onto both veteran sergeants earlier in the week, using Alaitoc Blue, and I think it looks pretty great. Unfortunately, I cleared my dining table (where I do all of my painting) on Saturday and forgot which blue I’d been using for them so, when I came to paint up the remaining four assault marines later on in the day, I used Hoeth Blue, which is the next shade lighter, and am kinda gutted about the whole situation! Novamarines are cobalt blue, which is nearer Alaitoc than Hoeth (to my eye, at least), so I’m going to have to go over the four rather than the two! The good thing, hopefully, is that it probably won’t need three coats to block it in on the lighter marines…

Novamarines

I’ve also gone through and lined the armour recesses on the cream parts with Seraphim Sepia, overbrushing with Flayed One Flesh to bring the flat panels back up, and I think it looks pretty great overall! So they’re definitely coming along now!

I’ve still got the four tactical marines to basecoat and stuff, but I am feeling really pleased with the progress on these chaps – I’m already further along than I got last time I’d attempted this chapter! I’m now thinking about what I want to do next, and I think I want to kitbash a fancy HQ choice. Flicking through the codex, you can upgrade a captain to a Chapter Master, which just sounds wonderful, so I’m thinking I might do that! I’ve got one or two bits in mind already, so I just need to figure out the weapon options, and then get building! For this next stage, I want to do a second troops choice so that I can have some measure of legal force with which to hopefully play some games, rather than always going for the fancy options and never having a proper CAD done! So stay tuned for that!

Hobby Progress, week 45

Hey everybody!
Week 45 has seen some more productive efforts with my hobbying, some more projects finished and some others in the planning stages. Let’s start with the finished stuff:

Hobby Progress 45

My ten-man tactical squad for my Horus Heresy Alpha Legion is now complete! I have to be honest, I’ve really given these a bit of a rush job – which isn’t all that bad, as the scheme isn’t exactly complicated. But I could probably have taken some more time on these things than I ended up doing. That said, there are also some elements where I’ve taken the time for some details, such as the plasma pistol, adding a hint of the pale blue in the muzzle as well as on the coils. Overall, they’re a serviceable tactical squad, and I’m glad to have them done. Especially as I’ve met the pledge of getting them finished in two weeks!

One squad down, one to go. I think my second mandatory troops choice is going to be Assault Marines, which means FW resin, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Hobby Progress 45

The rhino is the second project I’ve been working on this week, and I have to say, I’m not really that sure about a lot of it. First of all, I mentioned last week how the chassis has turned streaky in parts because of the Drakenhof Nightshade – I’ve tried to do some kind of overbrushing with, alternately, Teclis Blue and Sotek Green again, and while it has helped with some of this streakiness on the top, it is still an issue. However, it’s gotten to the point where I’m thinking I’m fine with the overall look – it’s kinda blotchy, but more importantly, it’s pretty much the same as every marine in the army, so I can live with it.

For the headlamps, I’ve painted the bulb with White Scar, then gone over it with Cassandora Yellow to add some depth of shape. I then lightly brushed on some Yriel Yellow, not just on the bulb but also on the surrounding hood and in a cone shape out from the base of the lamp, and finally added some Flash Gitz Yellow as a highlight here. The photo above doesn’t really show it, but I think on the tabletop, the effect is actually pretty cool – even if I do say so myself!

Of course, this is my first ever attempt with weathering a miniature, and I wanted to tie it to the rest of the army by adding some rust-coloured mess to suggest the tank is moving through the same battlefield as the troops. So I’ve stippled on Tuskgor Fur after speaking to the manager of my local GW, and I think, for a first attempt, it is actually pretty decent! I still want to do something more to it, as the Fur doesn’t really look much like Martian Ironearth, but I’m afraid of going too far, so have called a halt for the time being. I’ve also added in some Martian Ironearth to the rear tracks in an effort to make it look like those tracks have clogged up a bit.

Overall, it’s perfectly serviceable I think. I do want to try and get better and improve, and after showing it off to some folks at the store, I’ve been pointed in the direction of weathering powders, so I think I might investigate those next!

So what else has been going on this week?

First of all, my store is also having a bit of a painting competition like an Armies on Parade redux, involving a 160mm base. I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned this already, but it sounds hilarious, so I’m going for it! I’m going to have some of my already-painted Deathwatch marines going up against some Tyranid bugs, so chose the Zoanthrope kit because it looks absolutely hilarious! The initial idea was basically what I posted on instagram: three marines against one Zoanthrope, but I’ve since built up the other two models for the kit, and am thinking I might try to squeeze on the whole brood:

These models are amazing – really easy to build, but those cheesy grins! I love them! I don’t actually know if all three will fit on the base, especially as I’ve also been considering adding more marines, but I’ll certainly paint them up as a threesome. I’ve long nursed ideas for having some kind of Tyranid force, but have never been able to settle on any kind of colour scheme. I love the Behemoth scheme, but have always wanted to try Eumenides. I even bought some cheap Termagaunts to practice on, but that didn’t turn out well at all. Last year, I bought a Carnifex in an effort to break out of a painting funk, and attempted to do my own colour scheme, but having build the monster first, that hasn’t ended well, and he’s still in this condition:

More #Tyranids progress! Going slow… #Warhammer40k

A post shared by Mark (@marrrkusss) on

However, my current plan is to go with my own scheme, though different to the Carnifex above: pale blue body, and shocking pink carapace. I’m still not sure how I’m going to do any of that yet, but the competition isn’t being judged until 18 December (my birthday!) so I should have enough time to get something ready.

 

That’s pretty much been it for progress this week! I’ve done a few odd bits, as always, but certainly nothing to write home about. For a few weeks now, it’s been all about the Alpha Legion – or at least, it’s felt that way! So I’m thinking about doing something different next, maybe turning back to some of the many Necron projects I still have ongoing. My legion currently stands at 1270 points with all the fancy upgrades and stuff, so is certainly getting there and all that! I’ve also been thinking about what to do next for that – I know I should do another tactical squad and get the minimum force org done, but I’m thinking instead of an all-flamer tactical support squad. I guess we’ll see!!