Hobby catch-up! (May 2017)

Hey everybody!
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do any kind of serious hobby update on my blog, principally as my degree has been taking over the world since January. My final essay was in last week, and while I still have an exam on 2 June, I’m otherwise done now! So there shall be revising going on for the next few weeks, but I feel like I have a lot more time back, and so I’m obviously spending that time painting little people!

Dark Eldar

Dark Eldar are obviously still high on my list to get done, mainly I’m planning to get a force ready in time for playing some 8th Edition from as soon as possible. I’ve still only gotten one actual unit of Kabalite Warriors finished, but these guys are well on the way, so I’m hoping I can turn them around quickly enough. Something that I’m finding to be quite the chore right now is getting round to doing the vehicles for these guys, as well. Of all the miniatures involved in the game, I think I prefer doing infantry the most, and vehicles are just too much like hard work. I’ve currently got three venoms and a raider just hanging about waiting for me to do stuff with, but I find it very difficult to want to do stuff with them. If Dark Eldar retain their flavour of a vehicle-heavy army in the new edition, I might have to up my game here – or at least, find an easier way of doing them!!

Genestealer Cults progress

I’ve also been painting Genestealer Cultists! These guys were done around Easter, as it happens, and while they still aren’t finished, I think they look pretty great as a start to my forces there. While I definitely enjoyed doing all of these little chaps, I think they were too much like a distraction for me, as I’d been wanting to get back into painting something since struggling to get anywhere with my Wracks earlier in the month, so now that I’m better-predisposed to it, I’m moving back towards the armies that I actually want to play with, rather than those I want to paint. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to eventually getting the cultists out there as well, but for now, I’m all about the Dark Eldar and the Necrons!

Yes, that’s right, I’ve resumed painting my undead space robots! I’ve actually made hardly any progress with these guys yet, of course, but I stripped a bunch of Lychguard at the beginning of the year and had them just hanging about since, so I’ve been wanting to get going with them – again, mainly because I want to have some dudes ready to go with 8th. My Necrons are easily the most numerous force I have, so if I can get a few more done between now and then, I’ll be happy. If 8th Edition gives back the rule to allow the dispersion shield to bounce hits back at the shooters, then I’ll be even more happy!

While I’ve been really quiet as regards the painting side of things, I most certainly haven’t been as far as building minis goes!

FOLLOW ME, MY CHILDREN! #DarkEldar #HaemonculusCovens #Warhammer40k

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First of all, I built up a Dark Artisan formation, getting it built scant weeks before the announcement came that formations are a thing of the past! I do hold out hope there will be several thematic formations like this, of course, but it’s a little sad that something fairly iconic that I was looking at has now gone. I’ll still be fielding them though!

In the midst of all the angst over 8th, Shadow War really seems to have hit it off – it’s almost like GW planned to have an awesome alternative to play while the new edition was being prepped for launch! My local store was running an Armageddathon on 1 May (Mayday! Mayday!), which I eventually couldn’t be a part of as I went on a date, but I had prepared a force of Harlequins in the meantime! So it’s 1000 points in Shadow War terms, and I still plan to do something with them soon. I’m definitely not going to do Masque of the Midnight Sorrow diamonds, as that way lies madness, but instead I’m planning to do them themed as DC villains. This instagram post explains it a bit more, but basically they’re being led by Deathstroke. Stay tuned to see how that turns out!

And finally, there has been a lot of Dark Eldar building taking place! I’m still building my force according to the points system and organisation of 7th edition for my 40k Oath down at the local GW store (the oath was detailed in this post, where I also showed off my Wracks!). While the Scourges weren’t a part of that list, I’d built five Kabalite Trueborn that used haywire blasters from the Scourges kit, which had got me thinking about them generally, and so I eventually built five of them up. I’ve since also used the dark lance from the Scourges kit to build another group of six Kabalite Warriors (it was supposed to be five, but I’d snipped off enough bits that I decided to just build another). That Scourges kit is a bit of a goldmine for Dark Eldar bitz, I have to say! It’s almost an auto-buy, even if you never plan to field the winged postmen themselves! I actually dislike the bat-wings that come in the kit, however, so built them all with the feather-wings, and have since bought some more in bitz from ebay, where I plan to sell the bat ones. I’ve only recently built these guys, so have primed them but that’s it for now, however I’m planning to do them with brown wings – they have Kabalite armour, so the colour scheme will be the usual browns I’ve been going for, and I wanted something that would complement that rather than anything else. So I’m thinking about doing them in a sort of dark tan. Not sure how to get there yet, but we’ll see…

So yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to so far this year! I have this week off work, so I’m hoping that I can at least get all of the Kabalites finished, and maybe I can also do some work on getting my Wyches finished alongside this. I’ll then have at least some things that I can do stuff with! Though I do need to make a more serious effort with those venoms…

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 51

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

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

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

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

Bam! Another tactical support squad finished! #AlphaLegion #HorusHeresy #Warhammer40k #SpaceMarines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hobby Progress, week 50

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

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

Hobby Progress 50

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

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

Hobby Progress 50

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

Hobby Progress 50

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hobby Progress 50

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hobby Progress, week 49

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

hobby progress 49

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

hobby progress 49

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

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

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

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

hobby progress 49

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

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

Novamarines Dreadnought

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

Hobby Progress, week 48

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

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

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

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

hobby progress 48

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

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

What else has been going on?

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

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

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

hobby progress 48

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

Novamarines

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

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

Hobby Progress, week 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!