Games Workshop in 2016

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

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

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

Orruks Ironjawz Age of Sigmar

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

Warhammer Quest Silver Tower Ogroid Thaumaturge

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

Age of Sigmar Sylvaneth

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

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

Deathwatch: Overkill - Space Marines

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

Hobby Progress, week 23

It’s week 23 already! Can you believe it?! I’ve had another fairly slow week, as I try to get the two Orruks that I’d started last week somewhere near finished. Progress has actually been good, I’m quite impressed with myself at least, so I’m glad to have that to report, anyway!

Hobby Progress 23

The new chaps were painted red rather than green, as I wanted to try something different, so in my headcanon, the red Orruks are the run-of-the-mill brutes who like to bash stuff up, while the green variety are more cunning and climb to the top of the pile. Hence why my green guy is the brute chief (do they have a name?) and the other two, well, aren’t.

Hobby Progress 23

These guys’ armour was painted following the Stoneskulls scheme as laid out in the How to Paint Ironjawz book from Games Workshop, and while I’ve probably been more heavy-handed with the sepia shade this time, overall I’m quite pleased with the result. I’ve once again gone for the flayed-skin look to the bandages and wrappings, and the loincloth thing on the one with the big choppa. I think the overall effect is of too much red in the model – and what with the bases and the armour having a similar colour scheme also, it’s led to a fairly narrow palette overall!

I quite like the effects on the weapons, though, even if I do say so myself! The wrappings are kislev flesh shaded with a mix of carroburg crimson and agrax earthshade; this shade mix was then used first on the axes to try to simulate dried/old blood. I shaded them lightly with agrax earthshade and then nuln oil to tone it down, but overall it looks nice and grimy – well-used, if you will! I’m toying with the idea of trying some kind of rust effect, but for now I prefer to have less than more.

And finally, the two remaining brutes! #Orruks #Warhammer #AgeOfSigmar

A post shared by Mark (@marrrkusss) on

Finally, I’ve built up the last of the models from the box. I said above that it’s quite the narrow palette, and that’s kinda putting me off jumping immediately into doing them, I’m half-thinking I’ll submit them to the next painting competition at my local GW, which is one where you need to paint up an entire unit of Age of Sigmar stuff. I could just put some of my recent Stormcasts there, but I think I’d rather do these guys. It’ll force me to complete the unit of five, at any rate! So stay tuned for that!

It’s been a quiet week, then, without a great deal of activity to speak of. I’m pleased to be making progress, of course, but still. Next week will hopefully be very exciting, anyway – and, dare I say, Chaotic…?

Hobby Progress, week 22

Well folks, week 22 has crept up on me, and due to a number of factors, I haven’t actually managed to do a lot this week! We’ve had some pretty great weather here in the UK, which is always cause to drop whatever you’re doing and enjoy it, because it won’t last! But some things have been done, so let’s take a look!

Hobby Progress 22

First of all, I’ve base coated two Deathwing Knights in Zandri dust. Not exactly cause for celebration, and I’m not exactly positive for these right now, given how long it took me to paint the regular Terminators, but I saw a post on instagram that inspired me to start work on these guys. I built up a five-man squad, along with Belial to lead them, back on Christmas Eve, and after the excitement of priming them, I’ve done nothing with them! Long time readers won’t be surprised by this, however. At any rate, I’m going to just plod along with these for the next few weeks, and see where I get with them. I enjoyed the Terminators, so hopefully I can say the same about these soon!

Hobby Progress 22

The main event, however, has been work on my Orruk brutes. I have got to say right now, I love these models, they are absolutely wonderful to work with! Of course, the arms lead to some fairly standard poses, and I don’t think I’d like to go with more than ten of them, at most, but they do look great. Like the Ogres of days gone past, but with much better detailing and stuff.

I’ve been reading a Pathfinder novel for what feels like an interminable amount of time now (don’t be fooled, it’s actually really good – I’ll be doing a blog when I’m done, so stay tuned for that!) that mentioned a blood-red demon, and it really inspired me to paint something that way. After a conversation at my local store about how I dislike painting red, though disliked white more, I decided to kinda challenge myself to painting these guys with red skin.

I have to say, I’m really quite pleased with the result. It’s a basecoat of Mephiston Red, shaded with Carroburg Crimson, and then lightly drybrushed with Astorath Red. I think my drybrushing technique has been akin to my general painting technique up to now, of just wanting to get the colour on the damn miniature as quickly as possible! So I really went for a lighter application, almost dusting it across the skin area, then a further dusting on the particularly raised parts, then a third dusting on the parts that the light would naturally hit. Finally, I made sure the faces were sufficiently highlighted, and voila!

It’s difficult to see on the guy with the gore-choppa as the weapon covers most of his body, but the skin has a bit of a smoky-red appearance, perhaps enhanced by the black of the surrounding bits at the moment. This will likely subdue once the armour is done, as I’m painting mine as Stoneskulls so have that cream look, though with the odd Khorne red plate to mix things up. How that will work with the skin being red will remain to be seen, though the Khorne red is more of a burgundy kinda shade, so should hopefully stand out enough!

At any rate, that’s pretty much it for this week. I did actually start painting last week’s Necropolis Knights, though made the mistake of trying the Corax White primer first. They’re chalky/grainy and, while it was only a light primer before I switched to Chaos Black, I feel that they might be ruined, which is annoying as hell due to their scarcity now!

Enough of that, however – I’m going to concentrate on these Orruks, sprinkling in the Deathwing Knights, so hopefully there will be more exciting progress next week!

Hobby Progress, week 19

It’s week 19 already! This week, I feel like I have a lot more to share with you all, though it isn’t quite up to the standard I’d have liked. But these things happen, and the important thing, for me, is that I’m feeling more positive about the progress I’m making, which is in turn making me want to do more. If that makes sense…

Hobby Progress 19

Firstly, let’s take a look at the Orruk brute I started a week ago. Was it a week ago? Seems longer, but anyway. He’s coming along nicely, thanks mostly to the shade that has been applied. I’m largely sticking to the Ironjawz Painting Guide for Stoneskulls, so have applied seraphim sepia to the armour, and Biel-tan green to the skin. As usual for this stage, it’s begun to bring everything together quite nicely, and I’m actually finding myself wanting to build and paint more, as I think it’s a scheme that will look really nice with a small throng! That’ll have to wait for now, however…

Hobby Progress 19

… because I’m painting Stormcast Eternals again! I’d built these gentlemen up in November, and have only now gotten round to doing anything more with them, which is just shocking! The Protectors are one of my favourites of all the Stormcast Eternals we’ve seen thus far (Prosecutors will always have the top slot for me, but Protectors look really cool as well). While I was putting the gold basecoat on them this morning, I found myself thinking about a kind of background for these guys within my stormhost, and came up with the idea that they’re like the obsessive weapons pros, who think they’re better than the average Liberator because the glaive is more difficult to wield, especially if they’re using it in defense. I want to make them look somehow perfect, with a lot of silver and purple details on the gold armour, to help promote this image of vanity, I think.

And this is something that I love about the hobby – the storytelling! Sure, the miniatures are just bits of plastic that we slap paint on, and the game is a lot of throwing dice around, but the fact that it can be made so much more is of huge appeal to me, and I find that I often start the story when I’m spending all of this time painting the models.

Anyhow, that’s about it for the progress I’ve made this week. I’m off work next week, as I have an essay to write for the degree I’m doing; the essay is due the end of May, so I have about two weeks to get it done, but I may not have much to report next week. I guess we’ll see, though, as I do feel like I may have rediscovered some motivation, at least!

Orruks! Ironjawz! Oh my!

It’s new Sigmar time again!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m actually getting quite excited about these gentlemen! I’ve not previously been all that into old-style Orcs, and while I have sometimes flirted with the idea of Orks, I never really did anything about it. While previously, you’d tend to pick an army and then focus on that section of the product range with something like tunnel-vision, Age of Sigmar has made things so much more free by allowing you to field an army with anything stuck to it, and I’ve already been attaching Sylvaneth and Seraphon to my Stormcast Eternals…

Ironjawz Maw Krusha Age of Sigmar

The biggest draw, for me, is this chap. I’m still undecided if I actually want to get the big dragon for the Stormcast Eternals line, which is part of the reason why I didn’t do any kind of feature-blog here as I tend to do when new models get released for pre-order. There’s just something about this model, however, that I really like somehow. The spoiler pictures have been doing the rounds of the internet for a couple of weeks now, of course, and initially I was wondering if I could adapt it, putting one of my Ogres on top there instead. These spoiler pictures weren’t too great, so I couldn’t really see what the Orruks themselves looked like, but had just assumed I wouldn’t really be all that interested in them.

Orruks Ironjawz Age of Sigmar

Well I’m actually intrigued now! Part of the reason, I suppose, is just the fact they’re shiny and new, but I do like variety as well, and often think of the Destruction faction more like mercenaries than anything else, so including some alongside my Stormcasts isn’t entirely out of the realms of possibility. I mean, Sigmar is trying to purge the Realms of the taint of Chaos, and Orruks and Ogors just seem to want to fight, so why not?

One of the reasons why I like these chaps is their fluff. This week’s White Dwarf has got a lot to say about the new Orruks, obviously, and a lot of it uses that Cockney twang that often looks so annoying, but somehow just fits right in here! It’s one of the things that makes the Warhammer setting so uniquely British, and I love it all the more for it!

Orruks Ironjawz Age of Sigmar

While I’m not always a fan of the big stuff (it is a miniatures game, after all), I plan to pick one of these up next weekend, along with the Battletome, because why the hell not, and possibly another unit of something. Not quite sure yet. But even if they don’t go alongside my Stormcasts, it might be the excuse I need to get moving with my Ogors and get a true Destruction army under way!

As for colour schemes, I definitely won’t be going for that eye-damaging yellow look. I don’t know if they’re trying to draw a close comparison with the Orks of 40k, whose studio scheme also uses a lot of yellow, but the teaser in this week’s White Dwarf has got me thinking maybe they intend to produce cross-system kits? “Dakka” is more 40k than fantasy, after all, so maybe they’re going to take a route similar to Chaos Demons and have stuff that can be used in both games. But that’s getting off-topic. I’m thinking I might go for some kind of red armour, though I’m not the biggest fan of painting red if I’m honest. There’s at least a week to decide, though – and knowing how fast I paint, I’ll probably have a lot longer than that!