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!

Who knew plastic could be so exciting! #2016bestnine

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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!

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 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!

Hobby Progress, week 46

Hey everybody!
It’s week 46 of my hobby progress update, and this week has been a bit… disparate, I suppose you could say. Having finished up the current batch of Alpha Legion folks, I was a bit torn as to where to go next with my hobbying, and I think that shows in what I’ve been up to! So sit back with a cuppa, and let me ramble on for a bit about what I’ve been doing this week!

First of all, I started to do more Deathwatch people. The two on the left there were kinda started back in the summer when I was all-in on these guys, but I moved my focus to just finishing a small core than all of the models I’d had built at that time. I’ve resumed, anyway, trying to focus on marines with bare faces, as I still want to try and improve, and essentially conquer that fear of painting skin!

But thinking about painting marines with skin got me to move over to another, even more long-standing project that I had lying around:

Yes, the Deathwing Knights I built up on Christmas Eve last year!

These guys are really quite wonderful – much like the regular Deathwing Terminators, they are incredibly detailed, but I’m really looking forward to moving along with these chaps and getting them finished. Painting them this week has actually made me feel incredibly festive, too!

As you can see in the back there, I’ve also built one Deathwatch Terminator out of Deathwing Knight bits – this was inspired by flicking through the Codex last weekend, and the Purgatus Kill Team formation.

Having used a lot of the terminator bits from the Dark Angels Company Veterans kit that I bought last year (the most expensive bits box I have bought to date!), I essentially had one Terminator left over. So why not?! The only thing that caused an issue is the back of the torso, which was plundered from the regular Terminators kit. Having looked briefly online, it seems the regular Terminator back bits are more readily available than the Deathwing backs, with their gothic arches. But anyway! I do like the look of this chap, anyway, so I think I’ll continue to work on him alongside both the Deathwing Knights and the Deathwatch chaps that were started this week, too!

I’ve also built up two more Deathwing Terminators, so that I now have three full squads of five, one of which can be fielded as the Command Squad, so I’m pleased with that! Unfortunately, I thought I’d save some time by using the spray of Zandri Dust that I had left over from doing the Armies on Parade board, and it went on far too thickly, obscuring much of the detail. So I used Biostrip 20 to clean them up, and I’m happy to report that it worked a treat! I painted the stuff on with an old wash brush, rather than soaking them, but it worked fine like that! I also stripped the primer from the three Necropolis Knights that I’d also built up earlier in the year, but had left languishing after the primer went on powdery, and it worked fine for them, also! So they have been primed white – smoothly, this time – and the Terminators have been re-primed and base coated by brush, so all is well with the world once again!

Last week, I mentioned the 160mm ‘Armies on a Plate’ thing my local GW is doing in December (still don’t know if that’s the official name they’re going with yet). Well I picked up said plate on Friday, and it was both larger and smaller than I’d been expecting, so I’ve been reconsidering my options for this thing – cue instagram montage!

So I’m not entirely sure yet, but I’m thinking about using the Deathwing Knights among the Daemonettes, as the Knights have become a bit of a project for me once more, and I do like how that could look! On a side note, I’m kinda surprised at how many things I still have hanging about unfinished, like the Bloodletters, so I think I’d like to try to get a few more of these models done and dusted by the end of the year. Though top of the list is the Deathwing Knights…

But I’ve also made a return to painting the Slaaneshi hosts! First off, I’d actually put basecoats and washes on four of them – which seems a bit weird considering I had twelve built up over the summer – so got the rest of them painted. I also put some basecoats onto the Seekers from the chariot, as well! And finally, I’ve built up and now based/washed the finecast Herald of Slaanesh, despite having made up the Herald from the chariot kit as well – I suppose they’re just desperate to bring the Dark Prince back!

So the #Daemonettes are coming along! The dream of a #Slaanesh army is within my grasp!

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Finally got that herald built up, and work has begun to the Seeker Chariot, too! #Slaanesh

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I’m really enjoying these girls – not in a pervy way, I hasten to add! I mentioned it back in the day, of course, but I’ve always been a fan of the Slaaneshi aesthetic of purples with all the opulence and stuff, so it’s really good to finally be getting these guys looking more like the army I want! With the recent made to order thing going up for the older Daemonettes, I was momentarily concerned they might pull these or something, but while I’ve managed to calm my fears there (family friendly GW surely won’t want to replace the plastics with the boobs-out version, surely!) I do still think I might well invest in a second box of Daemonettes sometime soon. And also, a second chariot. And an exalted chariot. Basically, I see my Slaanesh army as being built around the three chariots, with the Daemonettes, Seekers and Hellstriders converging all around!

Maybe with Daemon Primarch Fulgrim somewhere in the midst, too…?

Finally, I’ve managed to get this bad boy built up!

It’s taken me nearly two months – though ironically, it only took three building sessions. This is going to be one complex kit, though, due to having to make sure I paint the ribs and cannon separately, and the “cockpit” part is so detailed that it’ll also need to be done separately… Yikes! But I did a kind of dry-fit last night when all the parts had finally been cleaned up and whatnot, and it does look pretty great, so I’m hoping I can do a good job of it!

I had my third game of 40k last Thursday, at my local GW this time, and it was a whole lot of fun, I have to say! I only played 1000 points, but it was good to get to grips with the rules, and all the rest of it, but it’s also shown me that I need to get that Night Scythe painted! And I probably need another! I’ve been thinking much more critically about what I want to do with the army, however, so I want to get moving now and see if I can put together something that actually works well, with some kind of game plan. As such, I suspect I’ll be doing a lot more Necron things in the coming weeks and months, alongside whatever else I’m painting!

Hobby Progress, week 44

It’s incredible to think that we’re on week 44 of the year already! I’m also really pleased with myself for having done a blog each week of the year for my hobby progress, so let’s dive into what I’ve been up to this week!

Hobby Progress 44

First of all, the next Alpha Legion project that I mentioned last weekend has gotten off to a fine start! Not only have I done the armour on the ten tactical marines, but I’ve also built and painted the armour on the rhino! It’s the same technique that I’ve been using since May-time, which I wasn’t sure would translate well to the rhino and, while in all honesty it could look a lot nicer, I’m still happy with how it’s turned out. The Sotek Green base needed, I think, 5 coats to go on smoothly, and I’ve ruined the large base brush I’ve been using for these things, but overall it went on smoothly. The Drakenhof Nightshade shade didn’t work quite as well, it looks a bit streaky unfortunately, and the Teclis Blue drybrush hasn’t been as good as I’d hoped to clear that up. But I think it’ll look better when it’s finished, with the tracks and the silver bits, etc.

I’m also plotting to do some weathering on this thing, partially because I want to draw it in with the rest of the army and have red mud in the tracks, but also I think it’ll help to make the large panels look more interesting. We’ll see how that all goes, anyway!

I’ve not had much time to do anything else last week, because of both work commitments and working on an essay for my degree. I have managed to build up five more Deathwatch marines, built as Kill Team Excis as an expansion to the Overkill box (the rules for these marines were featured in the first issue of the new White Dwarf back in September). I’ve now gone over all of the Deathwatch marines that I’ve got on the table, and painted them with Abaddon Black. I was clearly in that kind of mood, I suppose!! At least they’re one step closer now, anyway.

We’ve had some half-decent weather this weekend actually, so I managed to prime up a bunch of models for the Genestealer Cults, as well as the other guys from my Militarum Tempestus command squad, so that’s been really useful as I’m now set with a lot of primed models for the rest of the winter.

Finally…

This. #Warhammer40k #DarkAngels #Deathwing #SpaceMarines #awesome

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Last year I started to paint a Deathwing army, which is still currently in need of a few touch ups here and there, but consisted of ten Terminators and a Venerable Dreadnought. Despite having since built up five Deathwing Knights and Belial, and bought a Land Raider Crusader and a Drop Pod for them all (Knights and Belial in the Drop Pod, Terminators in the Land Raider), I’ve felt like my whole impetus to get these guys painted has just stalled. I tried building up some more Terminators to revive my interest, but it didn’t really work. So, this afternoon I’ve treated myself to something that I’ve had my eye on for quite a while now, in the hope that it will spur me on!

I know it’s a Ravenwing thing, and all that, but I think it could look super cool in Deathwing colours. I’m thinking of changing the iconography so that the three marines riding in it have normal Dark Angel shoulder pads, but I’ll be painting them all cream and the winged sword will be red rather than white, to tie in with the Deathwing scheme. I’ve also got enough icons and stuff from the Ravenwing upgrade frame that I think I could make it look pretty cool. So that’s going to be my project once the Alpha Legion rhino and tactical squad are finished. I think…

I am feeling a bit adrift right now, so I’m not quite sure where to go next. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see!

Hobby Progress, week 38

Hey everybody!
I had the week off work this week, and it has been awesome for my hobby-time! Prepare for one of the most exciting and prolific painting progress blogs since I began this series back in January!

Hobby Progress 38

To start with, it’s the Skeleton Warriors that have been featured in previous installments! These are the first Tomb Kings models that I’ve actually managed to finish, and while they won’t be winning any competitions any time soon, I’m really happy with them! That said, they are actually going to form part of my Armies on Parade display – my Stormcast will be invading Khemri/Realm of Death!

I think I’ve mentioned some of it previously, but let’s talk about the scheme in its entirety here – mainly because I’ll probably forget otherwise… So the models were sprayed with Corax White, and the bone shaded with Seraphim Sepia. For the gold, I’ve used Balthasar Gold, shaded with Agrax Earthshade, and drybrushed with the new Skullcrusher Brass. The shields were actually more complicated than I’d expected: painted with Teclis Blue, shaded with Drakenhof Nightshade, and lightly overbrushed with Lothern Blue. I’ve then shaded them again with Agrax Earthshade, then finally overbrushed some Macragge Blue at the top near to the gold trim. The result is almost a blending look, though was arrived at pretty much by accident! The headdresses were painted with Macragge Blue, and shaded with Nuln Oil. All of the spear hafts were painted with Dryad Bark and shaded with Agrax Earthshade, and the spear tips were done with Leadbelcher and shaded with Nuln Oil gloss, which hasn’t ended up with as glossy a look as I was expecting. I kinda like the idea of having a more obsidian look to those, so I might go over them again. The strips of cloth on the standard, and trumpet thing, as well as some of the shields, were basecoated with Rakarth Flesh, and then shaded heavily with Reikland Fleshshade – because I want them to look more akin to flayed flesh than cloth. Finally, the bases were painted with Blackfire Earth, which I’m upset to report my pot has dried out, so I had to mash it up with a lot of water to get it going. I think I’m going to have to invest in some more for all of the Tomb Kings I have, though! Also, the rims were painted with Dawnstone.

Phew!

Hobby Progress 38

I’ve also painted up some more Horus Heresy legionaries, further expanding my Alpha Legion! I’ve actually merely finished them off, as the armour and some of the silver had already been started. But it’s always good to get things actually finished! Following the main scheme for these guys, the skin has caused me a lot of trouble. In the novel Legion, the marines are described as having coppery skin, so I’ve wanted to emulate this, but didn’t really have much of an idea of how to do that. So, I initially painted their heads – lightly – with Balthasar Gold. You know, for literal coppery skin. I then went for a bit of an overbrush technique of Doombull Brown and Wazdakka Red in a roughly 2:1 mix. While this worked wonderfully for the chap on the right, the chap on the left didn’t seem to come out looking that great. So I went to the usual Cadian Fleshtone and lightly brushed that onto the one on the left, making him a bit paler than the other guy. But I guess it all adds for the variety! Again, they’re not going to win any awards up close, but I think they look pretty good when they’re in the middle of the other guys!

Hobby Progress 38

I’m really happy with how my Alpha Legion has been growing so far this year, and while it has been fairly slow to get anywhere, I think that’s the best for me!!

On Wednesday, I gave myself a bit of a painting challenge for the afternoon, seeing how far I could get with the unit of Vanguard Veterans. These are the guys, three of which I’d attempted to paint as Scythes of the Emperor, decided better of it, and stripped them before spraying them with Macragge Blue. At some point in this process, the finish on these models has become a bit rough and uneven, and I’m left with some chaps that are less than ideal, if I’m honest, but seeing as how I actually want my Ultramarines to be 4th company anyway, I’m treating these almost as practice miniatures – their armour is sufficiently detailed that I’m trying to make a good job of them with some different effects or whatever, but I won’t be too torn up if they turn into an absolute mess.

The challenge lasted four and a half hours, anyway, and in that time I think I’ve done a pretty good job on them! I have done more work on them since, of course…

While I’m not sure if I’m calling them finished, I think I’ve done as much on them for now that I can. I’m still not happy with them, and I’ve been thinking a lot about stripping them again if/when I get an ultrasound cleaner, as I expect that would be a much more thorough clean. And speaking of models that I’m also unsatisfied with…

Hobby Progress 38

The five assault terminators that I’d started ages ago! I don’t know what it is, but these models just feel really horrible to paint right now, like the previous layers of paint were applied too thickly. If memory serves, I sprayed these with Macragge Blue and, while the original batch of space marines didn’t seem to be too badly affected, it feels a bit like that has obscured too much detail for me. Again, I’m really not happy with these, and if I do go down the route of an ultrasound cleaner, I’ll be throwing these guys in there as well.

But to finish, I’ve been working on yet more space marines – it’s the second lot of ten from that first batch of marines I built up late last year! Including Captain Ventris and Sergeant Lysane!

Hobby Progress 38

These guys have been a lot better to paint, and over the course of Saturday afternoon, I got them done. The gold bits I’ve done slightly differently to my usual scheme, in that I used Reikland Fleshshade to shade it, rather than Agrax Earthshade, then lightly drybrushed with Golden Griffon. The green trip for 4th company is just three thin coats of Elysian Green, and the bolter casings are done with Abaddon Black and washed with Nuln Oil, as are the silver bits. Ventris’ face has caused me a lot of concern – it’s the usual Citadel scheme of Cadian Fleshtone, Reikland Fleshshade, and Kislev Flesh, but I think that last looks a bit too weird somehow. I’m still learning faces, of course, so I might change this soon. I still want to do something with the power sword, Lysane’s flamer I want to try and do the muzzle burn thing on, and I should probably add some decals to them too, so they’re not quite finished yet, but in the main, they’re done! I think the tactical squad looks great so far, anyway!

Hobby Progress 38

Shamefully, this is the extent of my Ultramarines army right now, also! I do have a lot of half-finished things on the go, of course, but still!

Going back to what I was saying about faces up there, I’ve also been painting a couple of others:

Hobby Progress 38

The two Dark Angels here are probably the easiest to talk about, as their faces are really hidden and stuff, so only the suggestion of skin and they look okay. The Blood Ravens librarian in the centre, however, has been more of a concern because his head is much more prominent! Again, it’s the same scheme as Uriel Ventris described above, as I was doing all of these chaps at the same time, though I’ve also put some Celestra Grey onto his eyes – some figures like the librarian here have more pronounced eye-bumps, while others like the captain actually have pronounced cheekbones, hiding the eyes. For the librarian, I’m going to paint his eyes vaguely glowing, so it isn’t a problem, but I think having the grey there looks a bit weird…

Unless it isn’t obvious, since the last time the librarian appeared in my progress blog, I’ve done a lot of the tan colours on his body – all Zandri Dust, though the tabard and shoulder pad have been shaded Seraphim Sepia, while the purity seals and librarian skulls have been shaded Agrax Earthshade. I’ve also painted his power sword, with a weird mix of Balthasar Gold and Leadbelcher. I basically wanted to see what happens when you mix these two paints, and it looks kinda nice, so I thought, why not?

Finally, I’ve been working on the Knight-Heraldor, who will be joining my Stormcast on the board for Armies on Parade next month!

Hobby Progress 38

He’s pretty easy to paint, actually, for all that he’s a character unit. The armour is Balthasar Gold, shaded with Agrax Earthshade, and drybrushed with Golden Griffon; the silver bits are Leadbelcher, shaded with Nuln Oil, and drybrushed with Necron Compound; the purple bits are Naggaroth Night highlighted with Xereus Purple, and the plume is Celestra Grey shaded with Drakenhof Nightshade. The pennant coming off the trumpet is Thunderhawk Blue, shaded with Drakenhof Nightshade, and lightly drybrushed with Celestra Grey. All I need to do is paint the hilt of the sword, and he’s finished! So that’s been surprisingly easy, anyway – I think it helps I used him to break the monotony of painting so many marines this week, which has certainly helped!

So, all in all, I feel like I’ve made some excellent progress this week!

As I said above, I’m going to abandon those veterans and terminators for the time being, while I figure out whether I want to actually keep them or strip them. It’s currently no great loss, of course, because my Ultramarines are hardly a force that just needed one of those units to tip them over the edge, but still! I think it’s shown me that spraying Macragge Blue might be best left for vehicles or larger things, and otherwise I’m best off just painting it on with a brush.

Getting those five tactical marines finished – pretty much in a day – has got me back in the mood for painting marines. Painting these faces, especially the Deathwatch Librarian, has got me back in the mood for painting more Deathwatch. So maybe next weekend, I’ll have some more of those chaps done! That said, I’m also feeling a bit in the mood for more instant gratification, so I might build some more 30k marines for my Alpha Legion. I really should try to work on my board for Armies on Parade. But all this talk of Genestealer Cults has got me thinking about making a start with those guys, as well! What to do, what to do…

I’ll probably end up painting something completely different to all of that, anyway!!