Warhammer 40,000 news!

Hey everybody!
It’s the Warhammer 40,000 open day today in Nottingham, but I’m at home moving furniture about so couldn’t make it. However, catching up with the news over on the GW Community site, it looks like a tremendous time ahead for the game! Let’s take a look, and then I’ll catch you all up with what I’ve been doing of late, as well! (Spoiler: it isn’t what you might think…)

First of all, following its release yesterday, Necromunda has already got the next gang expansion lined up: House Orlock!

House Orlock is made up of miners and engineers who use ingenuity and grit to solve the various problems of the underhive, whether they’re making sure mining quotas are met or are just working out the best way to neutralise a charging Goliath ganger.

Exciting stuff, I have to say! I think this is actually the best-looking gang so far, and I can definitely see myself going for them – I was planning to go for Escher because I thought the Goliaths look slightly too over-the-top, but these chaps look like they could be exactly what I want in a gang! If nothing else, they are sporting some truly amazing facial hair…

In addition to a new gang, there’s a new book coming out with their rules, and new terrain tiles to further help expand the game! Looks like GW are truly making this a wonderful gaming experience! However, the new Hive Scum are being released in resin, which is not something that I’m looking forward to experiencing. Might have to pass on them.

I’ve not actually had the time to pick up my preorder copy of the game, so need to try harder and get my stuff soon…

While we’re on the subject of Necromunda, have you guys seen this video from Warhammer TV? 3D combat is, of course, what Necromunda was famous for, and while the new boxed game doesn’t have any multi-level terrain, the Gang War book apparently does. Anyway, I got on a real scenery kick earlier this year, building loads of stuff for an Armies on Parade board that never really got off the ground, given that I ended up moving house and all the rest of it, but I do still have a few kits lying around, and have recently managed to consolidate all of the stuff I had built up, following the move. Now that GW are releasing new terrain, and this has cropped up, I’m hoping that we’ll continue to see stuff like this into the future – and, indeed, more videos to inspire all manner of build options!

Back to main-line 40k, now, and the mythical Myphitic Blight Hauler is finally coming out in time for Christmas – and it’s just £15! Having decided to build a Chaos force that is predominantly these lovely chaps, I’m definitely going to pick up this demon engine for the army, and it just looks so cute!

It’s an easy-build kit, and we’re getting more for both Primaris Space Marines and the Death Guard – I actually think it’s a really great way of continuing the Dark Imperium box by having these things available as well. I’ve often thought it’s a bit weird how there are starter boxes with the push-fit models, then if you want anything more added to your force you need to level up your modelling game. Plenty of people are put off by the assembly of these things, and instead have picked up the likes of X-Wing, so having almost a complete range of easy-to-build kits can allow someone to assemble quite a decent army even when they’re an absolute beginner. Sure, it might not look as great to experienced gamers, but I think this is a problem that a lot of commentators seem to forget – experienced gamers are not GW’s intended audience for these kits. Of course, such folks will no doubt buy them anyway, but I don’t think these kits are intended for anybody other than those people who want to spend as little time at the hobby table as possible, and more time at the gaming table. A lot of people are complaining about the Redemptor Dreadnought coming out, due to its mono-pose look – well, luckily for you, you can actually buy a fully-customisable version already! So leave the easy-to-build one alone and move along!

Urgh. Rant over, anyway.

Speaking of Primaris Marines, however, we’re getting two new Lieutenants, one each for the Blood Angels and the Dark Angels, that have all the usual regalia of each chapter, to accompany their respective codex releases in December. Wonderful! I don’t actually have a Blood Angels force, but I have been trying to build a Deathwing army since GW made their first and only foray into the whole Black Friday thing a couple of years ago, and this is the first thing I wanted to talk about when catching you all up with my hobby progress of late!

My Deathwing force has been in a state of partial completion for about two years now, although to date I’ve only got about seven terminators and the venerable dreadnought actually finished. I had some time off work not too long ago, and spent a day building a land raider crusader for them. I love the Deathwing photo spread from the old Dark Angels codex, and have been vaguely modelling my force on that, so definitely wanted to get the big tank for my force.

When I spent some time trying to work out all of the points costs for this force, I think it came in somewhere around 1500 without the land raider, which initially surprised me for such a small force. However, I’m guessing that these chaps will do a lot more damage than otherwise expected… I have got two Vanguard Detachments, due to 3/5 of the old Command Squad now being deemed as characters in their own right, but I am wondering if I really need Belial in the force anymore. He used to negate scattering after you deep strike in, but scattering isn’t in 8th edition, so he’s mainly there for fluff. I suppose we’ll just see how the army evolves!

I’ve already mentioned my Chaos force that I’ve been assembling, of course and wanted to point out the other half of the army – Thousand Sons! I was very taken by these chaps when they were released about a year ago, and had thought about getting some for a Kill Team, but only recently pulled the trigger and picked up a box. Well, I enjoyed putting the Aspiring Sorcerer together so much last weekend that I’ve since bought a second box, as I think I’m going to have at least one Patrol Detachment in my Chaos army of Thousand Sons!

I just hope we get some plastic Noise Marines at some point…!

Finally, we have this handsome fella. I’ve been flirting with Tyranids for so long now, they were almost my first army (but lost out to Necrons), and a couple of times over the years I’ve found myself buying bugs without any real thought to making a force, but just having something utterly alien to paint. Very much like Lizardmen from Warhammer Fantasy, I think I’ve been drawn to Tyranids because they were part of my first exposure to 40k (Space Hulk, of course), and the fact that you can paint them with some really outlandish, almost venomous colour schemes.

More so than that, however, I feel that there is just something so utterly 40k-ish about Tyranids: while Chaos is probably the most over-arching enemy across the majority of 40k literature, I always find myself enjoying far more the books that throw space marines against the big bugs. Shield of Baal is definitely one of the best settings I’ve come across, and books like Warriors of Ultramar and Space Marines Legends: Cassius have proven just how much I enjoy these things.

Since the codex has been released, I’ve been scrabbling about, sorting out my Genestealer Cult models, as well as looking for the other Tyranid models that I’ve bought – I have a Maleceptor kit somewhere, and need to find those Zoanthropes that I built up a while back, too.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on building up the Tyranid Warriors from the Shield of Baal: Deathstorm box, as well as purchasing more reinforcements in the shape of the old Start Collecting box (I do want a Trygon as well, but that Hive Tyrant model looks so damn good!)

I suppose it’s somewhat inevitable, given the fact that I’ve been recently thinking about my Cult models as well, that I would have moved towards building a force – however small – of the bugs those cultists worship. I’ve not properly worked out a list just yet, but I think it’s going to involve a Hive Tyrant surrounded by Warriors, a Broodlord surrounded by Genestealers, and a psychic contingent of Zoanthropes and at least one Maleceptor. I can start thinking about Carnifexes and Trygons further down the line, I think…

I’m really happy to have started in earnest with building some Tyranids to go alongside my Cult. While it has previously always felt a little like a distraction from my main force of Necrons, I think I have enough on the go nowadays that adding one more faction isn’t really going to harm anything!

And who knows? Maybe if plastic Sisters of Battle ever happen, I’ll be adding yet another faction to the never-ending roster!

A New Dynasty Arises

Hey everybody!
At the very start of the year, I’d made a couple of plans to do with miniatures that largely involved trying to get myself in gear for actually finishing with painting the massive number of little plastic people I have hanging about. After 52 consecutive weeks of hobby updates, I was feeling flushed with success to actually keep to these goals, but the inevitability of real life soon returned, and I’ve been putting a lot of these plans off. Well, now that I’ve finished my degree, it’s time to make a return!

One of said plans was to revitalise my Necron army, and go back to actually repaint some of the soulless space robots. Necrons were my first foray into 40k, of course, and among some of the first ever miniatures that I had painted. Since then, I’d been swelling the ranks while trying to match that original paint scheme, meaning that I wasn’t really progressing with my skills. I’m not suggesting that I’d become a phenomenal painter in that time, of course, but rather that I felt like I was stagnating. As 2016 drew to a close, I began to think of how I could spruce up these original miniatures, yet keep the original scheme going, and promptly stripped the paint off a number of Lychguard. However, it took me a good while before I started the Great Reanimation of 2017, as my Novamarines and Dark Eldar plans came to the fore! I don’t think I’ll ever not have a dozen different things going on (what kind of self-respecting hobbyist only focuses on one project at a time, anyway?)

Last month, however, I managed to finish off the Lychguard that had been stripped down, and began to think about what I wanted to do next with the army.

One of the things that had been bothering me initially was the fact that I could see brushstrokes within the paint on a lot of the miniatures, particularly the faces. Indeed, the faces in general were starting to bug me, as I’d been painting them too white for all these years! Long time readers may remember me talking about the miniature showcases at the end of the “how to use Citadel paints” videos, where a Lychguard is used to demonstrate the various paints in the then-new system – the face is supposed to be painted with Ulthuan Grey, and edge-highlighted with White Scar. I’d just been painting it White Scar and leaving it, which had led to some decidedly ropey-looking miniatures in my army!

Necron Lychguard

This introduction is turning into quite the essay, but I’ve nearly finished!

The turning point for me began back in November, when I had a game up at my local GW against a beautifully-painted Guard army. Seeing my own attempts against these really inspired me to actually try to get my army looking good, rather than merely wanting to, essentially, colour-in some models. I’d been trying to paint well since starting with the Deathwatch project, and my Novamarines were a similar effort to up my painting game, but I was still a little less than enthused for my Necrons, due to the fact I was trying to match a paint scheme that I’d come up with years ago.

However, the beginning of the end came in the most innocuous of ways.

I had my first game of 8th Edition at my local store, and as a result had decided to pick up some more undead space robots, thinking I might do some more tesla Immortals. These guys have been repackaged, and the back of the box now shows a couple of alternative paint schemes, which really stopped me short as I was looking at them in the store. “They hadn’t invented these colours when I’d started painting my Necrons!” I cried, indignantly. But of course, they had – back in 5th Edition, the Codex showed a variety of different colour schemes for them, including the blue scheme that so impressed me:

Thokt Dynasty Necrons

I was enamoured. The Thokt Dynasty, above, looks superb, with the cool blue glowing effects and the darker armour with those grey highlights – mmm, that’s quite a beautiful scheme, right there! I hadn’t really thought of it properly before, but the dynasties seem to be treated much like Space Marine Chapters, with the 7th Edition Codex talking about a couple of them and providing a look at their schemes and glyphs. The recent announcement that Codexes will be coming out and featuring unique rules for, among other things, Necron dynasties, has also made me more interested in painting up a “real” dynasty for a change.

But I don’t want to repaint all of my guys! I have over 3000 old points tied up in silver-and-green miniatures!

The nail in the coffin, however, came just last week, when I finished painting another trio of scarab bases.

I knew that Mourn Mountain Snow had been removed from the shelves of GW and other suppliers, but I had seen it still available on the webstore, and so wasn’t feeling too fazed by it. “Maybe I’ll pick some up when I’m next doing an order…” tended to be my thoughts, although I never seemed to get round to it. I now have about two-thirds of a pot left, and so decided to take a look to see if the snow was still available.

Catastrophe! It wasn’t.

Valhallan Blizzard has been out for a while now, of course, and I do have a pot of it, but it just isn’t the same texture/consistency/look/feel/thing as the other stuff. In a panic, I thought I might be able to just put any old texture on, and then paint it white (rationally, I think this is entirely possible and could well work), but over the course of an evening, I’d convinced myself that enough was enough! I’ve been talking for well over a year about trying to be better with my Necron paint scheme, but have never really done anything about it. If truth be told, I’m not even sure I like the scheme that I’ve come up with – I mean, it’s been fine all these years, but I’ve never really critically looked at it until now. I do like how I’ve painted the warscythes on the newly-rescued Lychguard, but the expanse of green on the vehicles and other places doesn’t really fill me with pride, or anything. Having recently built up a Monolith, the idea of having a huge green box on the table was just slightly too boring for me.

So, I’m going to do a new army.

I’m settled on doing the Thokt Dynasty, as you may have picked up on above, and I’ve been taking some time to really go through and work out how I want to do it. For the Immortals and Deathmarks, who are shown in these colours on the box, it’s pretty obvious. However, Lychguard are the focus of the faction for me, so I want to come up with something that will look awesome. I also have ten Triarch Praetorians built and primed ready to do a Judicator Battalion back in the day, so need to think about them, also.

Thokt Dynasty Necrons

My first attempt at producing the new Thokt Necrons has turned out pretty well, I feel! I managed to churn them out over the course of a couple of hours, all told. My recipe is as follows:
1. Base the body with Leadbelcher. Base the pauldrons and head with Mechanicus Standard Grey, and the gun with a 50/50 mix of Mechanicus Standard Grey and Abaddon Black.
2. Shade the whole thing with Nuln Oil.
3. Layer the pauldrons and gun with Skavenblight Dinge.
4. Layer the head (stripe) with Dawnstone.
5. Base the gun barrels and pipes with Kantor Blue.
6. Shade the pipes with Drakenhof Nightshade.
7. “Softbrush” these blue parts with Alaitoc Blue. Take the barrels further with Hoeth Blue, then Blue Horror.
8. Glaze the barrels with Guilliman Blue. Also glaze the eyes.
9. Use Stirland Mud / Stirland Battlemire on the bases, and drybrush with Praxeti White. Add in Valhallan Blizzard and ‘Ardcoat where necessary (‘Ardcoat to simulate ice).
10. Paint the rim of the base with Dryad Bark.

These are the first Necrons that I’ve painted since starting my painting career all those years ago, where I’ve actually tried to do a good job. And I have to say, I’m actually very proud of myself! I think they look fantastic, and I’m really excited to start painting more Necrons in this scheme – I’ve already got more kits waiting to be built expressly for this dynasty!

Necrons

Has there ever been a more tortured, or more gratuitous reason for completely starting over with an army? Probably, but I’m looking forward to getting these guys done, and in time, I hope to re-do my entire Necron collection in these colours!

Let’s just hope the eventual Codex release doesn’t see me enamoured of a whole different Dynasty, and precipitate a further change!

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!

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!

hobby progress 49

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

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

hobby progress 49

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

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

Novamarines Dreadnought

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