Mid Year Hobby Check-In

Hey everybody!
Things have been a bit sparse here on the blog in recent weeks, due to the fact that I’m moving house again at the end of this week. Two moves inside of two years isn’t really all that bad, if I’m being honest, though it’s still one move more than perhaps I’d like! Well, anyway – we’re having lots of fun because Jemma is now six months pregnant, so can’t do a great deal of anything when it comes to packing and moving stuff, but the heir is apparently developing beautifully, so that’s the most important thing!

Anyway!

I’m a bit late to the party on this one, for sure, but I wanted to check in with how I’ve been doing, hobby wise, especially in comparison with the hobby resolutions that I made back in December! So let’s get cracking, and see how widely I’ve strayed from these goals…

First of all, though, let’s take a look at what those resolutions were to be:

So then! I think the easiest thing would be to just run through the list quickly and see, one by one, what I have managed to do…

Build and paint a third Ravager
This one is still a work in progress. But it’s on my mind, which is good!

Build and paint an Imperium tank of some sort
I was hoping to do a Predator or something – you know, something that really looks like a tank? But I haven’t gotten anywhere with this yet.

Buy, build and paint Inquisitor Karamazov
None of these things has happened yet.

Continue to build up and paint the 1500 point Grey Knight List
This project has well and truly stalled!

Finish off painting the Deathwatch models that I have
This project has also well and truly stalled!

Work out what to do with those Tyranids, if anything
Finally, something that I can tick off! Check out this blog post for those plans! I’ve had several thoughts, plans and ideas since then, as well, though I don’t think they’ve yet made it into blog form. But give it time…

Work out what I want to do with the Tau army, if anything
Another big tick in the box – I’ve sold the whole lot on ebay, including the Codex. That Tau bridge has been well and truly burnt!

Paint 10 more Neophyte Hybrids, and paint 5 Hybrid Metamorphs
The models are built and primed, ready and waiting. I just need to get myself sorted out! This has actually stalled in favour of the next bullet point, however:

Paint 10 Skitarii, the Tech Priest Dominus, and the Dunecrawler
Well, I haven’t quite managed the Dunecrawler yet, but the Skitarii are coming along quite nicely, as it happens!

Paint some Ravenwing Black Knights, and the Deathshroud
Okay, so this has also well and truly stalled, but my buddy Matthew has been recently sharing some progress he’s made with his Dark Angels, which has in turn started me thinking once again about a return to the First. Watch this space on that one!

Paint at least one proper terrain piece (not just an ammo crate)
Well, I have plenty of terrain pieces that are built and primed – it’s just finding the time, at the moment, to get anywhere with them! I think I’ve just been much more focused on getting dudes painted, their surroundings have kinda lapsed into nothing for me at this point. Though I have started painting four more ammo crates…

Paint some Nighthaunt and see what AoS is all about
Okay, so this is probably the biggest one for me thus far – I’ve painted up quite a decent chunk of spooks at this point, and have had three games of AoS, which has been really positive overall! I’ve had some hiccups with it, whereby I’ve almost been branching out too much again, but I think I’m now contained to just Death and Slaanesh armies, keeping my AoS adventure much more understated and in keeping with the factions that hold the most interest to me.

Hopefully when I move, I’ll be able to get some more games in!

Paint the Doomsday Ark
Well, this one is still in pieces somewhere, so let’s move on…

Try out ShadeVault and Necromunda
Again, not managed to do anything here except paint gang members, so let’s continue…

Play more games, dammit!
Well, I’ve managed to play 9 games so far this year, across 40k, Age of Sigmar and Kill Team. Bearing in mind that I only managed to play 11 games in the entirety of 2018, 9 games in 6 months isn’t bad at all! So I feel quite good about this one, even though it isn’t as good as perhaps it could be!


So far, then, I’ve not been doing that well, but I think that’s partly because I was so focused, back in December, on getting my Deathwatch and Grey Knights painted, that I somehow thought I could do it to the exclusion of all else. Now, my buddy Kev has often said I just need to be focused here, but I do tend to lack that over a long stretch. I mean, if I had two weeks where all I painted were marines every day, then I might actually come out with a few hundred points of army at the end of it. However, I’ve been painting for one or two nights a week, for one or two weeks per month, and my focus is diffused over a wide variety of projects. Inevitably, I just end up doing nothing, or very little, and I think I need to get better at that aspect.

Last month, I started painting Skitarii like there was no tomorrow – at least, by my standards! And while it might not sound that impressive, I managed to get fifteen Skitarii Vanguard, a Tech Priest Dominus and a Tech Priest Enginseer painted up! That’s not bad, considering I’ve also been slowly packing up the house!

So I think I need to really try to hone myself into just concentrating on one project at a time, and going from there.

However!

Lack of concentration is one thing, but there has also been a number of new releases that have just grabbed my attention, and I feel now like I really need to alter my original resolutions in order to take account of them!

First up is, of course, Slaanesh. I’ve been a great fan of the Dark Prince since my Warhammer Invasion days, and I am thinking more and more about the need to start painting more of these things, and soon! I did also get a new Keeper of Secrets, which is just glorious but, due to the impending move, I haven’t yet made a start on it. So I’m thinking that might be a good project to keep for later in the year – we’ll have a small person to contend with, but I’m sure I’ll be able to cope with a centrepiece miniature! Ha!

Slaanesh has been a big deal for me for years, so I’m really looking forward to getting some of those daemons painted up – both the new stuff, and the old!

Towards the end of last year, I got into Chaos Marines again in a pretty big way. All of that Blackstone Fortress stuff was coming, and it really fired my imagination. Well, Shadowspear brought us loads more, and we’re currently on the cusp of Traitor Command for Blackstone Fortress, so it’s probably little wonder that, with so much heretical good stuff coming, I’m once again feeling the pull of the dark gods. I really fancy having a Word Bearers army, and have made some fairly slow progress in getting these things planned out. Chaos was one of my three “going bigger with” blogs from February, as I really fancied getting a Chaos force to the table sometime this year. The way that real life has intervened, I don’t think that will be possible now, but it’s something that I have on my mind at the moment, along with some other bits and pieces for a Chaos army, so I really hope that I can at least get a few more things painted before the end of the year!

I think I need to take a minute to talk here about the new line of Contrast paints from GW. They came out last month, to much fanfare, and I was actually pretty surprised at the results when I finally managed to try them out myself. The genestealer above was painted using Gryph-Charger Grey, and the blotchy appearance it left was really quite a surprise, and quite an eyesore. I’ve had that finish before with washes, and haven’t always managed to remedy the situation with some drybrushing or overbrushing, but considering these paints are supposed to get the model ready for the tabletop with one thick coat, I think the results are very poor.

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been doing it wrong, but even when mixed with the medium, that seems to tone down the pigmentation, while still leaving this blotchy finish. Is there some secret to it? I’m applying the paint as I think I’m supposed to, but it’s just leaving this horrendous look that I’ve yet to see work well.

I did try it on some space marines today, while I had some small dose of calm amid the flurry of cardboard boxes, but they just look bad. I’m particularly annoyed at this, because one of them was the 30th anniversary Primaris Lieutenant, which is actually a very nice model. Very annoying!

So I’m not a fan of contrast paints, which is just as well because I’ve only bought four of them. I think I’ll stick to the usual methods, but I’m quite pleased GW have brought out so many more base and layer paints, as it means I can start exploring new territories with them! I’ve already been thinking of a new Tyranid colour scheme after getting my hands on some of the old Forge World colours, so that’s exciting!

I’m also keen to continue painting up units for my Dark Eldar army that I’ve not had as a part of it so far. Incubi and Mandrakes, as well as Scourges, have been on the table as I inch closer to getting these chaps finished! So that’s all encouraging stuff.


In the middle of all of this, however, is my desire to just improve as a painter. There is so much that I can do to get better, top of the list being calm down and have more patience! A lot of the time I see myself rushing through things and getting sloppy, only to then need to go back and revisit the whole thing. I think I also need to try and get better with my brushes, as I usually wear them into the ground, while still using tufty things as if they were XS artificer layer brushes. While I have no problem replacing them when they wear out, I’m still a little nervy about starting to use a new one. I think I need to get over that, as it’s holding me back a bit.

There have been a few miniatures that I’ve churned out in the recent past where I’ve thought: yes, this is actually a decent looking mini. The one that immediately comes to mind is that Rogue Psyker from Blackstone Fortress, which is really quite neatly painted, and while the majority of the miniature is actually just basecoat and shade, I still look at it and think it’s come out pretty well. I suppose I’d like to try and capture that more and more as I go along, and paint in an unhurried manner but still get to make decent progress. It’s the dream, for sure, but I’m fairly positive that I could actually make it happen! It does help, of course, that the Rogue Psyker is one model, and did not require any sort of batch painting nonsense that I’ve recently been encountering as I’ve been doing the Skitarii, or preparing myself as I look down the barrel of the Chaos Marines from Shadowspear!

As the year goes on, then, I’m thinking I’ll be doing some much smaller-scale projects, five marines here, five daemonettes there, maybe a vehicle if I can manage it. Certainly from October, when Junior will arrive, I can’t see me getting much of anything done this side of Christmas 2020! But hopefully there will be bright spots on the horizon, as I can begin to get some things finished in the small hours while on the night shift!

But I don’t think I’ll get 1500 points of Grey Knights finished in 2019…!

Warhammer Fest catch-up

Hey everybody!
It’s been a while, as real life has once more taken over. I’ve been buying a house, which has been all manner of joy! But it’s a bigger place, and hopefully it will all be sorted by the time our firstborn arrives in October! I’ve found I’ve had barely any time to keep up with the world around me, as hobby stuff has been pushed a bit to the back burner while we were selling ours. But I’ve had a week off, down on the south coast of England, so it’s been nice to get away from it all!

Well, it was Warhammer Fest at the weekend, and while it probably wasn’t as exciting as last year’s event, there were a few things of interest to come out of it. Let’s talk first about the new paint range, which is probably the biggest thing to come from Coventry, despite my liking for more model announcements…

From what I’ve been able to understand, from reading the myriad posts on facebook groups since the weekend, they’re pretty much like the Nighthaunt technical paints that came out with the new ghosts last year. I’ve painted a fair number of my Chainrasps with Nighthaunt Gloom, and found it to be quite a decent way to paint them up quickly, though of course I can’t see how I’d do an entire miniature in these colours, but rather use them to do the heavy lifting and then fill in some details later. Of course, it’s best for horde armies, which would have been ideal for my Slaanesh plans, but I’ve now got a colour scheme for these that wouldn’t really help things, so I’m likely to pass over these for the most part until I have a use for them. Probably once I get my Khorne plans underway…

I’ve been quite surprised to see a number of Space Marines painted with these colours, and looking quite well for it, too. Unfortunately, though, I’ve set my heart on painting my Space Marines as Novamarines, which I’m not sure would work. But maybe – I suppose it might work for the cream quarters, but I feel like these paints might be best used on the many scenery pieces that I have waiting in the wings!

I’ve been looking forward to seeing the new Sisters of Battle coming along, though I have to say, now that we’ve seen the first painted one, I’ve begun to wonder whether I’ll actually pick any up. Don’t get me wrong, they look great, and I think it’ll be exciting to see the army come out fully-formed later this year, but I reckon I’ve got enough to be getting on with. Maybe if they come out for Kill Team…

Speaking of Kill Team, the new Elites book is due out tomorrow, and I’m cautiously excited about getting it. I’ve been playing a fair bit of Kill Team recently, and have been enjoying it, so I think it’d be cool to add some different units to the mix. I’ve been playing my Necrons, using four Immortals and two Deathmarks, so I think it might be nice to add some Lychguard or Praetorians to the mix. Maybe both?!

I’m also quite excited about the new killzone, Sector Sanctoris:

There has been quite a lot of annoyance online with this one, given that it only seems to have odd bits of terrain rather than the more full kits we’ve seen coming with the other battlefield expansion sets. I suppose part of the issue might also be the fact only the walls are available separately so far, so it isn’t immediately apparent how big of a saving it might be. Personally, it has all of the terrain that I would want – those two massive statues from the Basilicanum set, as well as the scatter terrain from Urban Conquest. With some low walls to boot, I think it’s a great set and I’m looking forward to picking it up – I’d otherwise been thinking of getting the Scarab Occult terminators set in order to get that scatter terrain, so this has worked out well for me!

I think I might branch out a bit soon with Kill Team, and have been considering either Space Marines or Militarum Tempestus. I’ve got plenty of models for both of course, but it might be nice to have an Imperium force. I’ve thought this about regular 40k before, and had wanted to get moving with the Adeptus Mechanicus army that I’ve been wanting to do things with for what feels like forever (though in actual fact, it’s only been two years!)

While we’re on the subject of the Mechanicus…

Yes, there are Chaos Knights coming, complete with their own Codex – but I’m not interested in that. I’m much more interested in this:

The Skitarii are finally getting a transport! Cool beans, for sure. I’m hoping it’s open-topped, as well, so I can be throwing out a butt-load of galvanic rifle shots (or better, radium carbine shots!) in a binharic drive-by! While there have been plenty of people unhappy with the look of it, thinking it belongs more appropriately as a Cadian transport, I think it looks really on-point for the faction. Doubtless that is helped by the design cues such as the top hatch and all the vents, but it looks exactly like something you’d expect to see floating across the radium wastes.

I also like the tank variant. Up to this point, we’ve only had the walker vehicles for the army, which I think have helped to establish the faction as being, well, weird. Seeing this version as well really just reinforces this weirdness, and I love it!

The AdMech aren’t the only folks getting vehicles though, as the Primaris Marines are due for a variant on the Repulsor tank. The new Repulsor Executioner looks, well, hilarious, but also like it would likely fit in perfectly with a Primaris force.

While we’re on the subject, I’ve been thinking a lot about perhaps finally painting up all the Primaris marines that I have hanging about, from Dark Imperium and the like. I split the Shadowspear box and only got the Heretic side of things, but I’ve since picked up some phobos-armoured bits, and feel like trying my hand at a small marines force, maybe to go alongside my Skitarii or Tempestus Scions… I’ve previously thought about an all-Primaris list, headed up by Marneus Calgar, though I’ve more recently been thinking about making a list around the Vanguard marines.

I’ve painted a small number of Primaris chaps in the colours of Genesis Chapter before now, but I can’t currently decide if I want to continue like that, or else do Primaris Novamarines… 🤔

I’ve never even considered playing Apocalypse games, as I’ve previously given over an entire day to playing just regular 40k back when I was first getting into playing it, and I can’t say as though I really enjoyed it. In all honesty, it’s just a bit draining! But it’s exciting for those people who do enjoy the game that much, so I’m glad to see folks getting what they like!

There’s been some further news for Necromunda expansions, with the alternate heads and weapons for the Delaque gang, and some more hive scum and a champion for the Cawdor gang. While of course, that dude looks cool and all, I think it has made me more excited to think about how the Delaque hero will look! Aside from all of this, however, I think the more exciting thing here is the prospect of Palatine Enforcers coming for the game! Of course, I think it would have been amazing to have actually seen models for these guys, and given the rumours that these things are due in Q3, I find it a bit of a let-down that we’ve not seen anything. I’m therefore assuming that the rumours are false, or else I think it would be a bit of a shame that Warhammer Fest didn’t have anything more for us…

I think this is a very exciting development, seeing yet more warbands for the upcoming Age of Sigmar skirmish game. I’m still going for the Iron Golems, as I find them wonderfully creepy (and almost perfect fodder for Dark Eldar Grotesques), but the snake folks are pretty exciting, I won’t deny:

I mean, look at this chap! With such a proud beast of a cobra at his feet there!

I’m really looking forward to this game, though obviously I’m not sure about whether I’ll be able to pick it up at release! I think we’re probably in for a similar situation as Kill Team last year, with the core set selling out quickly.

On the wider subject of Age of Sigmar though, we’ve got more releases to look forward to in just over a week, with the arrival of the new scenery pieces that form the Dominion of Sigmar stuff. Much like the new Sector Imperialis terrain that came out of Kill Team, I think it’ll be really exciting to see these things come out and what people do with them.

I would have liked to get hold of some of this stuff myself, but while I do enjoy playing AoS, I think I’m still more of a 40k player when it comes to this sort of thing.

Forbidden Power has finally be revealed to have been basically Malign Portents volume 2, bringing more generic endless spells and a book for their use. The spells look cool, but I’m hoping that we’ll get the book released separately so that I can take a look at what the whole thing is all about.

It’s interesting, isn’t it, that while I started my AoS journey with the Nighthaunt and have been branching out almost expansively with ideas for Legions of Nagash as well as Chaos Daemons, I’m still more interested in the wider world of 40k than AoS, and stop myself short when it comes to getting this sort of stuff as well.

I suppose last year was a hard act to follow, bringing the new edition of Age of Sigmar, as well as Malign Sorcery and Adeptus Titanicus. But there are definitely some exciting things on the horizon to look forward to!