Hobby Progress, week four!

Hey everybody!
It’s been another quiet week this week, which is perhaps to be expected with Christmas and all. I’ve been trying to make some time for painting during the latter half of the week, with the intention being that I’d have something to show you all for this blog here on Sunday – which I suppose is the point of me doing these blogs in the first place, so well done me!

I’m still very busy with army lists, and having pretty much finalised my first plans for the Grey Knights, I’ve started work on the Purifier squad with gusto! I’m really enjoying these chaps for the moment, so I hope that continues. Unlike a lot of projects (Tau instantly spring to mind here), I’ve got quite a clear idea of what I want to achieve with the paint scheme, so I’m hoping that means it’ll go quicker for me! I’ve done the silver quite quickly – just a Leadbelcher base, with a bit of a focused shade of Nuln oil, then a soft drybrush of Ironbreaker. I’ve not yet gone in with the blue glaze, as I’m building myself up to that one! Having base coated the helmets with Celestra Grey, I’ve today gone in with a diluted shade of Coelia Greenshade – 1 part shade to about 4 parts Lahmian Medium. It’s left them with enough detail, but there’s a definite greenish hue to them that I quite like. The tabard on the Justicar has been painted Zandri Dust and shaded with Seraphim Sepia, and the gold details are just base coated Retributor Armour. Finally, the Force weapons have been base coated with Caledor Sky.

I’m hoping to be much further progressed as this week moves on, so hopefully I’ll have more progress for you all then!

I had the Grey Knights Paladin Squad for Christmas, and so have built myself a Grand Master using the parts from that kit to really flesh him out as a fancy chap. I’ve also been building models for both the Deathwatch, and the Ravenwing projects that I have going on at the moment – I’ll get to the latter in due course here on the blog, but for now, let’s talk about the xenos hunters!

I’ve been slowly building up a Deathwatch army since Death Masque arrived back in 2016, but have left it quite a while between the last phase of my painting and this current spurt. The reason being that I’ve been talking to a fellow gaming buddy about entering a doubles tournament in 2019, in the assumption that Warhammer World will be holding the event again!

Now, I’ve played in card game tournaments in the past, but I’ve never even attempted to go along for a miniatures tournament, as I get the impression that it’s just far too competitive for my liking. Well, Kev has not given me any reason to think I was wrong in this assumption, so far! He’s going Grey Knights (it was against his kill team that I first encountered that game, and he’s been building up the army since) so I’m going with another branch of the Inquisition, and hopefully we’ll either face Chaos or Xenos to make our army choices worthwhile!!

All weekend, then, I’ve been working my way through list ideas, and I think I’ve finally managed to come up with something that I would be reasonably happy playing – bearing in mind that I prefer fun things to play, as opposed to lists that are just too tailored and end up being boring:

Initially, it’s quite a cheap battalion list, with a fourth group of veterans that includes a Terminator taking up a significant number of the points. I’m fully intending to use this as a distraction unit though, hoping that it will draw enough fire that the other units will survive reasonably unmolested. The Venerable Dreadnought needs a new arm, which I thankfully have thanks to the bits box, and I’ve got a Razorback for the more melee-orientated unit of Veterans to get them closer to where they need to be. I did initially want a Chaplain in there with them, but I’ve instead gone for the JumpMaster as he has a slightly better stat line. Though I am wondering if the Terminator will be worth it, so might make some adjustments over time!

The first thing that strikes me about Deathwatch is just how many crazy options there are in the Codex, and how many interesting squad permutations you can get. I’m a bit confused by the whole mission tactics / special issue ammunition thing, and with the stratagems on top, I feel like this army is something that can be quite unwieldy quite quickly, so I definitely want to get some games in with it as soon as possible, as I need to get used to that side of things before I get into any kind of tournament setting, I think!!

To that end, I’m thinking I might need to make an alternative list, just to get to grips with the army in general, and then see how it goes adding in the relevant units. I do already have a sizable Deathwatch army, so I’m hoping to get to the shop in the new year and see how it goes! Stay tuned for those exciting updates, anyway!


It’s been a lot of fun resurrecting the old hobby progress blogs for December, and I almost feel a bit sad to finish the series! I do think they’re a great way to check in and keep me on track with my goals, so I think I’ll definitely be doing a monthly iteration throughout 2019. I have a lot of goals for next year, so we shall see how those pan out!

Come back on Tuesday, 1 January, to find out more about those goals!!

Deathwatch Army thoughts

Hey everybody!
I seem to be in a bit of a reflective mood of late, looking through a lot of the armies that I’ve had built but not necessarily ones that I’ve been doing a great deal with for some time now – today sees me turn this attention on the Deathwatch, a force that I was really excited for back when they first arrived on the scene with the Overkill boxed game. Having painted up a number of units rather quickly, they’ve since been left to gather dust, so I thought I’d take a look at what I have, and see where I can potentially take them!

Imperium armies for me have, for some time now, been confined to the smaller-scale things like Tempestus Scions or Skitarii. Certainly, I don’t think I’ve painted a single marine since I moved house 18 months ago…

My Deathwatch force is pretty much as you see it above, anyway, and on paper looks something like this:

My Deathwatch army is a bit of a mix of a couple of squad ideas that I’ve built up initially, then picked a couple from each to paint. So there’s the original Kill Team Cassius from Deathwatch: Overkill; there are the veterans from Death Masque that came alongside Watch Captain Artemis, along with the Vanguard Veterans and Venerable Dreadnought from that box; there are also a group of Veterans that I built to represent Kill Team Excis (the original Kill Team from the Overkill storyline, who had stats in White Dwarf back in September 2016), as well as some odd bits like the Deathwing Terminator and the Black Templar that I built out of bits from their upgrade kit that I found online. So it’s quite a mixed bag!

I do have a number of unpainted miniatures, though, which I have been thinking about returning to at some point, as I would like to make these guys into something more like a playable army. Having played against Deathwatch a couple of times, I would like to wield that kind of power rather than be coming up against it, for sure!! The kind of army I think I’d like to have would be something along the lines of this:

It feels, to me, like a well-rounded force, capable of doing enough interesting things to, well, keep me interested!

So it’s a little over 1000 points, but hopefully that won’t be too overbalanced if I want to try it out in some games once I’ve gotten going with it. Pretty much all of these models have been built and primed, as well, with just the Watch Master that needs building. I think, of the 20 models in the army, I’ve got 9 of them painted, so 45% completion isn’t too bad! It’s certainly a good start, I feel, although I may well find myself swapping out things as time moves on.

I’ve also got another Veterans sprue that I can build, so I’m thinking that I might wait for a bit, get some games under my belt with this army, and see how well it works and what I might need to add in to the force before I go and build those. I do like the idea of building up the sergeant to have a xenophase blade, though, as it has become quite an iconic piece of wargear since it has now featured on the cover of both Codexes!

I do enjoy these guys, as the models are so wonderfully detailed, and the results of the gold and other bits against the black armour is really quite striking. There are definitely a lot of options for painting these guys to look really good – I think the black base really lends itself well, in that respect, and it makes not only the gold pop out, but also the chapter iconography that adds some colour to the force.

I’ve not yet played an Imperium army in 40k, despite having several on the go, so I think it could be fun to try out something different for a change!

Nobody expects the Inquisition!

Hey everybody,
My recent return to the light of the Emperor with the Deathwing army that I currently have on the go has got me thinking more about the Imperium as a whole, and looking at the other armies on offer to us outside of the Dark Angels. From Deathwing, I started looking at the Deathwatch army that I had started to paint up over the summer of 2016, and there will be a blog coming shortly with some of my thoughts on those chaps, don’t you worry!

But I’ve also started to think a lot about the smaller-scale stuff, and in particular, the Inquisition. This is a range that is quite woefully under-represented in 40k miniatures terms, which is odd considering the success of Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn and Ravenor novel series. Most of the Inquisition line is made up of old finecast miniatures, with only the new finecast Eisenhorn mini and the plastic Greyfax that show any real attention for it over the past few years.

It got me thinking about what GW have been up to, what they are up to, and what I think I’d like to see them be up to, based on the first two.

First of all, though, let’s talk about some history
The Inquisition dates right back to the original Rogue Trader years, where they would combat the myriad threats to the Imperium, most often rogue psykers (more on this in a bit). Further lore expanded on this, introducing secretive sub-factions, and produced the little nugget of information that one of their secret tasks is to discover the sensei. For those who aren’t familiar, the sensei are the offspring of the Emperor of Mankind, who possess the ability to hide from the warp and are something of a perfect weapon to use against Chaos. While I don’t know whether the current GW will want to pursue this storyline, I think it has some potential to advance the story of 40k, which does seem to be a current objective for the company, so whether we will see them reimagined for this, I don’t know.

The popularity of the Inquisition has always seemingly stemmed from the specialist game Inquisitor, released in 2001 as a skirmish game roughly double the scale of “normal” 40k. It was this game that spawned Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn trilogy, of course, and alongside several of Fantasy Flight’s RPGs, the popularity of the faction has bubbled along away from the wargame. In terms of the regular tabletop 40k, the expansion of the Grey Knights in 2011 to have their own Codex seemingly overshadowed the rest of the Inquisition, though it does seem that 2016’s Deathwatch Codex may have helped to balance that somewhat.

Power Armour connections
The Inquisition is made up of three major Orders: the Ordo Malleus (which deals with daemons), the Ordo Xenos (which deals with aliens) and the Ordo Hereticus (which deals with cultists). Each of these three has its own Chamber Militant: the Grey Knights, the Deathwatch, and the Adepta Sororitas, respectively. Now then, the Grey Knights have a decent plastic range of models, and the Deathwatch saw a new release of miniatures back in 2016. As has been well-documented by now, we’re expecting the plastic Sororitas range to arrive in 2019, with the current rumours pointing to sometime around October. With each of the Chambers Militant getting plastic releases, it’s gotten me thinking about when we’d be likely to see the Inquisition released in plastic sculpts to go alongside them.

Deathwatch: Overkill

Deathwatch have been something of a surprise, to my mind, as far as the new releases go. We saw a glorious release back in 2016, starting with the boxed game Deathwatch: Overkill, and it just went from there in terms of the amazing things we’ve been seeing. Genestealer Cults are such a fantastic example of this, and now again with the Rogue Trader releases, that it makes me thing GW is, to some extent, committed to bringing out some of the more weird and wonderful aspects of the 40k universe, not necessarily always via the mainstream tabletop game.

Within the space of months, we’ve seen two flamboyant Rogue Traders come out, surely it will only be a matter of time before we get the equally flamboyant Inquisitors in plastic?!

The Kill Team factor
Kill Team has already brought out so many fascinating sculpts with the Rogue Trader box back in September, and it doesn’t take a genius to see the possibility for a Kill Team: Inquisitor box to be quite the thematic expansion to that line. The fact that we have now got a plastic Death Cult Assassin in the Elucidian Starstriders makes me wonder if this is showing the possibility of further miniatures down the line. I know we’re wishlisting here once again, and most likely reading far too much into this, but I do like the idea that GW are perhaps testing the waters with these boxed games before going more down certain routes and creating miniatures on the back of those found in their specialist / board games.

It’s not just limited to the Kill Team game, though. Blackstone Fortress is set to be a major source of new, previously-unseen miniatures that might not be expected to have a full-army release. The fact that the Inquisition has been said to predominantly tackle rogue psykers in the past (Eisenhorn does it quite often, as we know), and there are rogue psyker models in the core set, makes me fanboy-dream that we might see a new “team” of heroes to choose from – the Inquisitor team. It would be so straightforward to give us a new plastic Inquisitor model, with some warrior acolytes and crusaders, maybe some sort of arco-flagellant or death-cult assassin, and a preacher of a lesser rank than Thaddeus from the core set. Throw in an Interrogator or Null Maiden as secondary leader-types (yes, I just want Ravenor and Bequin!) Heck, I’m sure people would like to play the Jokaero if they could, as well! It would be straightforward as anything to reinvent the current finecast/pewter range as a plastic warband here.

But I fully admit to leaping to this conclusion due to the tenuous link with rogue psykers, don’t you worry!

What does it all mean?
I don’t claim to have any kind of special insight into the future for GW. I’m just a nerd with a laptop typing all this junk up as I think of it. But given the popularity of the Inquisitors as a faction, it seems just wrong that they have one plastic mini, one (hard-to-find) resin mini, and the rest of the army is dated as all hell. Most of the line is made up of finecast versions of the old metal miniatures from back in the 90s, which admittedly is something of an improvement on the current Sisters line, which is all metal (but we know they’re changing that).

As it stands, we’re seeing a very slow drip-release of new miniatures that could potentially be used in an Inquisitorial retinue. Knosso Prond from the Elucidian Starstriders is a great example of this. Thaddeus the Purifier and Pious Vorne from Blackstone Fortress are also fantastic for making Preachers. Due to their heavy Redemptionist aesthetic, the new House Cawdor gangers could make excellent Warrior Acolytes. Without trying to read too much into these things, I do think it’s only a matter of time before we see the Inquisition brought back to life as a modern force on the tabletop.

Sisters?
Again, without trying to read too much into anything, I’ve been flicking through the old Codex: Imperial Agents from seventh edition, and I find it interesting that a Sisters army back then wasn’t all-female. Ministorum Priests, Arco-Flagellants, Crusaders and Assassins all featured in the army list, which gives it a strong crossover to the Inquisition army list in the same book. Could we be seeing new models for these coming as part of the plastic Sisters army next year?

Army releases for Games Workshop nowadays tend to be smaller affairs, with less of the more obscure elements like this. Since the announcement of plastic Sisters, I’ve been expecting a character or two, maybe two troops choices (multi-part kits?) and an elites choice. With maybe a heavy support/vehicle option. I’d not been expecting any of the, for want of a better term, “hangers-on” like the Priests. However, GW do seem to be treating this army project very much as an Event, and so it would perhaps be in keeping with that for them to go ahead and basically re-imagine the entire list, maybe even go crazy and give us entirely new units if they’re going to advance the fluff as well, and so in time we’ll be getting a whole host of new plastic goodness. The rumoured release of October 2019 does also make me think that maybe, by then, they will have released a lot of the Blackstone Fortress stuff separately, so could potentially be tying-in with that. I wouldn’t have thought they’d attempt to cash-in with Sisters and give the option for a Priest that basically means players need to buy a Blackstone Fortress set for £95, but maybe we’ll be seeing multi-part plastic clampack releases for the heroes by then?

On a side note, given the strong ties to both Grey Knights and Deathwatch, I’ve also been wondering if there will be rules to include special detachments of those forces, which won’t break your Battleforged army. Only time will tell!

It’s definitely an exciting prospect, and one that I hadn’t really given much thought to until now!

But what about Kill Team?
Ah yes, Kill Team. It feels a little like Kill Team is being dampened-down of late, with all the hype for Blackstone Fortress coming out this week and all. We’ve got two new Commanders being released, but there aren’t any tremendous rumours on the horizon for more expansions, or even to finish off the Kill Team faction boxes as they have been doing. (Probably because they’ve run out of terrain to include within those boxes?)

However, the rumour of Kill Team: Inquisition is still floating around, with nobody confirming or denying this, but also no further information beyond the idea that it will be a thing. I do think that Rogue Trader and, by necessity, Commanders were both rushed out somewhat due to the leaks that predated the core set for Kill Team itself, so perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into this gap. I do hope that we’ll see an Inquisitor expansion, and that we’ll see it in the first quarter of 2019.

If we do get such a box, then, I’m really hoping for a similar look to the Rogue Trader line-up, with the Inquisitor and his retinue forming maybe a dozen models, facing off against perhaps 20 Cultists. While this would be a perfect opportunity to bring back those push-fit Cultist models from Dark Vengeance, I think that rant is for another blog. At any rate, we’ve had Chaos mutants in the Rogue Trader box – an Inquisitor expansion would be better served with some Cultists (I’d also like some form of xenos race, preferably a new race that we haven’t seen yet, but that would likely take too much time). Indeed, the crossover between Rogue Trader and Blackstone Fortress was enough that I think it could be a nice touch to continue the Traitor Guard aesthetic and provide more of that, with a varied band of generic Cultists, peppered in with a Rogue Psyker or two – it would be on-theme, after all!

Blackstone Fortress

 

I am in danger of running away with myself on this (well, I’ve been running away with ideas for this entire blog!) But I do feel like there is the potential here for significant crossovers with actual Kill Team expansions like Rogue Trader and the Blackstone Fortress stuff. It would probably be too much to hope for some kind of expansion for the Starstriders and Gellerpox mutants in Blackstone Fortress, but I suppose you can never say what GW are going to do these days, as they have been coming up with some phenomenal releases of late, and I don’t think a lot of us could have predicted any of them, if we’re being honest. Who would have thought plastic Rogue Traders would ever see the light of the tabletop? At least we’re getting Kill Team profiles for the Blackstone Fortress minis, so we can (presumably) field a Kill Team of Traitor Guard and Rogue Psykers – which is quite an exciting prospect, given my desire to make a 40k army out of these guys!

But so much of this blog has been me just wishlisting and fanboy-dreaming, I’m not entirely sure if any of it has been worthwhile reading! If you’ve made it through this far, thank you! There’s not a lot to take away from this, really, beyond the fact that I absolutely love the weird and esoteric corners of the 40k universe, and the arrival of first Kill Team: Rogue Trader, and now Blackstone Fortress has got my imagination doing so many somersaults and backflips with the amazing potential such boxed games hold for the expansion of the universe in plastic!

I’ve been enjoying thinking about the possibilities for these things, though, and I really hope at least one or two of my ramblings might come true in the fullness of time!

Games Workshop in 2016

Hey everybody,
I thought it’d be fun to do a little retrospective of all the Warhammer stuff that has been coming out this year, much like my 2015 blog. Games Workshop has really been taking their product to the next level this year, from the Fyreslayers and Sylvaneth released for Age of Sigmar, to the Deathwatch and Genestealer Cults, and latterly the Thousand Sons for Warhammer 40,000. Things that we never thought we’d see got models releases, not to mention the community engagement we’ve seen on social media.

This has been an amazing year for Games Workshop miniatures, and it becomes really difficult to choose the top five…

5. Orruk Maw-Krusha
I really like a lot of the Ironjawz release, and did in fact invest in a Brutes kit to try my hand with. I love the look of the maw-krusha as a big grumpy beast, even if the wings do look odd. It’s a wonderfully compact kit, there’s a boxiness to it that I really like. This big boy is a wonderful miniature, and while I haven’t gotten my hands on one yet, I do keep thinking that maybe one day I’ll invest!

Orruks Ironjawz Age of Sigmar

4. Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower
Back in May, the second of two of the best boxed games put out this year by GW hit, and it was glorious. The game comes with 51 miniatures and, while a lot of GW games are usually bought for the miniatures and not the game itself, this time the game was definitely an attraction. Of course, my opinion of the game in the blog I’ve linked to wasn’t particularly glowing in comparison with other dungeon-crawl games but, when it comes to the miniatures, no other game on the market really compares. There are plenty of amazing sculpts in this game, but I have to really single out the elf characters and pink horrors for particular praise. But the Ogroid Thurmaturge… what a spectacular piece of plastic!!

Warhammer Quest Silver Tower Ogroid Thaumaturge

3. Sylvaneth – specifically, the Spite Revenants
There was a beautiful release of Sylvaneth this summer, to support the small force of tree-folk that had branched off (ho-ho-ho!) from the Wood Elves. So many beautiful models, including the Everqueen herself, but I have to single out the Spite Revenants. A dual kit, I love the fact that we have a new look to the tree people, and these part-spirit-part-wood chaps in particular are just amazing. There’s something delightfully malevolent about them, even within an Order faction, and even though I have yet to build up my box of them, I can’t wait to add them to my collection!

Age of Sigmar Sylvaneth

2. Thousand Sons – Rubric Marines
The Thousand Sons release from late this year was something of a surprise, as I hadn’t really thought we’d see God-specific plastic marines, well, ever. Clearly GW are moving in the right direction, though, with the year’s releases as a whole! Traitor Legions has some very exciting rules for all of the traitor legions (no surprises there), which gives me some hope that we’ll be seeing plastic marines for all of the demon primarch releases as time moves along! There are plenty of beautiful miniatures in the Thousand Sons release, but I really have to single out the Rubric Marines for special attention, as they’re by far my favourites. They’re so ornate, as is the rest of the release, but seeing ten of these guys on the front of the box is really stunning.

1. Deathwatch
The Deathwatch has been my absolute favourite of all of this year’s offerings from Nottingham, and while it has been difficult to pin it down to one single model, I think I’ll have to settle for Chaplain Cassius for my all-time favourite miniature of the year. The Chaplain is available from both the Overkill game and his own kill-team box, and is a stunning miniature that I absolutely love! Of course, I also love the MkVIII armour of the Kill Team kit, and have had tremendous fun converting all manner of space marines into Deathwatch battle brothers over the summer! I debated loading Genestealer Cults into this slot also, as they have had some truly amazing kits as well, but I think overall, I prefer the marines of the long watch!

Deathwatch: Overkill - Space Marines

2016 was an absolutely tremendous year for Warhammer miniatures, and I can’t wait to see what amazing stuff is coming our way over the next twelve months…

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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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!

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!

 

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 47

Hey everybody!
Well, I’m closing that full circle of hobby updates this week, I feel, having put the Christmas tree up yesterday. In a few short weeks, it’ll be the 52nd update, and I guess I’ll be doing some massive retrospective, along with lots of statistics. I mean, I work as a performance analyst, so it’s only natural…

This week has actually seen very little in terms of progress, but I still want to talk about a few things, so sit back and take a look at what I have done!

I’ve been thinking about assembling a Kill Team for months now, and it’s actually the subject of this upcoming week’s game day blog. After going through a few ideas, anyway, I’ve settled on space marines, and have thus spent the week building up a five-man Tactical Squad, and a five-man Assault Squad. It’s a total of 200 points exactly, and I’ve done some judicious swapping-out of parts to get them looking as I want them. The Assault Squad is fairly standard stuff – it’s got the laurel-wreath head on the veteran sergeant, but otherwise they’ve all got the standard bolt pistols and chainswords. I’d bought a selection of bits earlier in the week, including four torsos with the aquila on them, so that I don’t have the usual odd mix of fronts.

The Tactical Squad is also standard fare, using all five aquila torsos (but leaving out the high-gorget of the Mk 8 armour) from the kit. The veteran sergeant has had the most work done to him here – he’s got the power sword from the Devastator kit, and the head from the Ultramarines upgrade pack. Finally, I’m building them as Novamarines (more shortly), and having bought as many shoulder pads as I could find reasonably-priced on ebay, as well as those I already had, I used the shoulder pad from the Sternguard kit for the Tactical sergeant, as it has a bit more texture to it and looks overall a bit grander.

I’ve painted them all with Rakarth Flesh as a base coat, and will be going over this with Flayed One Flesh. I think it should be a very light cream colour (may highlight with Pallid Wych Flesh), then I just need to find the right blue. I’m sure I used Altdorf Guard Blue last time, but it’s still not pastel-enough for me, so I may go for something else this time. I’m hoping that having them creamier will make them more interesting than that stark white colour, anyway!

I’ve tried painting Novamarines before of course, but was never particularly happy with how white they looked. Undercoating them with Corax White and doing nothing with that beyond shading the panels is to blame there, of course, but anyway. Because I had decided to go for a Kill Team, I thought it would be fine to just do ten Novamarines in their quartered blue and white livery and that would be it, but now I’ve been having different ideas…

I’ve been dallying with Space Marines for about 18 months now, if you measure it from when I bought the first kit, and aside from all of the Alpha Legion stuff I’ve been doing, I’ve only actually finished one ten-man Tactical Squad! So it’s about time I settled in for the long haul and really make an effort in this stuff, so I’ve decided that I’m going to actually build a proper army of Space Marines, starting out with the Kill Team thing, and build it out from there. So, exciting times are to be had there, I feel!

I’m going to start a blog series, I think, that chronicles the growth of my marines, so stay tuned for that soon!

I think this change has been brought about following the game of 40k I played the other week at my local GW. I’d not played there before, but it was a really good atmosphere and stuff, and I’d like to get up there more often for gaming, which has prompted me to start looking more critically at what I have to play games with. I’ve gone through all of my Necron stuff, working out points costs and stuff, and while I have 2200 points fully painted (however badly!) and ready to go, it is by no means a legal, or effective force! So I need to focus on what I want to add there, and then finish it all off. I think the Wraiths are top of my list there, so want to get moving with those soon. I also want to build more Tesla Immortals, and I’ve got ten Triarch Praetorians built and primed ready to take their place in a Judicator Battalion. So there is a bit of a plan there, I just need to get moving with it!

I seem to have become a little obsessed with calculating the points of what I have recently, having gone through all of my Necron stuff (I actually have over 7000 points in various stages of completion!) and, most recently, all of the Deathwatch kits that I’ve been building! I really like these guys, of course, but I’m a bit surprised at just how whacky the builds are – overall I have 1620 points built and primed, but of those, only one unit of veterans and the chaplain are actually fully painted, so 300 points. Hm! Time to get a move on there, I feel! I’m planning to get the upcoming deluxe start collecting box, though, so there will be plenty of kits for me to enjoy and add to the team from there.

While I’m doing Novamarines as my main force, I’m also going to keep going with the Deathwatch, mainly because I enjoy them so much, but there are perfectly valid fluff reasons for fielding Novamarines and Deathwatch together, of course! (Especially when going up against a xenos army!) I’ve also got my Dark Angels Deathwing project going on, but the more I think about that, the more I want to have it as a single army than any kind of allied detachment. I’ve currently got 1285 points of this on the painting table, some of it more complete than others, but a serious effort needs to be made there to get everything finished off, I feel, also! Very much looking forward to getting the cream terminators into battle!

So while this week hasn’t seen much in the way of painting, I have been doing an awful lot of planning for the future and, while I’m fairly positive things will go by the wayside as I come across new units that I want to add to my existing forces or go off on tangents with, I think having this core idea in place will be a good thing from here on out!