February 2023 retrospective

Hey everybody,
Well, February has been and gone, and it was about as long as January in the end, all told! At the start of the month, I wrote a blog where I outlined some of my priorities for the month, which mainly consisted of painting the Escher gang, and starting work on the Promethium Forge terrain kit. Well I am happy to say that both of these goals were achieved! In fairness, the Escher gang wasn’t that far off completion by the end of January, so it wasn’t a huge job to get them finished.

The Promethium Forge is a lovely kit, and I have really enjoyed working on it so far. Of course, there is a lot still to do with it, mainly the weathering on the main structure, but also there is a wealth of stuff to go up top, with all the railings and chimneys to still paint as well! I hope that it will be a really nice piece when it’s finished, anyway, and I do look forward to seeing how the table is going to look with three big Mechanicus structures on it!

I really like this terrain. Using one of the smaller Kill Team boards, you can make a really claustrophobic set-up that I think would work really well for Necromunda as well. Adding in stuff like the plasma conduits and the haemotrope reactor is just gravy, really! In the set-up above, I’ve tried to make sure these structures are connected to have something of a running walkway around the whole board, however there’s nothing to stop me having the three just stand-alone, and maybe connected via ladders or something. 

I’ve been playing around a lot with terrain this month, fiddling about with several layouts for the Zone Mortalis board, as well. I think I was having a bit of a problem with the fact that I’ve made three structures with stairs, but have no idea how to link them all up in such a way as makes sense. Well, I think I am possibly getting somewhere, the more I’m using it all as well. I think it’s key to get a good balance of open areas and the more narrow corridor type of set-up. Especially now that I’ve started to work on the Underhive Market terrain, as well! It makes sense from a gameplay perspective to have a bit more open areas to work within, after all, so hopefully I will be able to strike a bit of a balance with this, moving forward.

And as luck would have it, I was able to test some more layouts in a game of Necromunda at the weekend! James and I are playing a Law & Misrule campaign, mainly as he has moved away from Orlocks and started to work on Enforcers. I’m still with my Goliath for the time being, as I’m enjoying getting to understand how to play them effectively. We played the Experimental Stimms scenario from a recent White Dwarf, and I made out like an absolute bandit with XP and credits! I have a proper blog coming soon on the campaign, though, so keep an eye out for that!

Gaming has otherwise been pretty good this month – I’ve already chronicled how I’ve managed to reach my goals for playing Marvel Champions 10 times this year, but as you can see, I’m making good progress with other stuff, as well! Only one game remains to be played now, Eldritch Horror, so I need to crack on with that I think and play some of the bigger games in my collection! The issue I’m finding, though, is that I really enjoy Marvel Champions, and so it’s almost all I ever want to play! I’ve started a separate tally of how many games with that I’m playing, as I think it might be funny to see just how many games I get to by the end of the year. I think it’ll be close to 100, but we shall have to see!

You’ll see from the chart above that I’ve also chosen game 10 now, Necromunda. We’ve played one game each month so far, and I think the way we’re going, it’s going to be quite easy to get a good number of games under our belt this year as we play through the campaign. Speaking of campaigns, though, I’ve not really found myself all that interested by the Dunwich Legacy re-play, oddly enough. I don’t know if it’s just a matter of riding this Marvel wave or something else, but while I have everything set up and ready, I just can’t bring myself to try it. Well, we’ll see what next month brings.

I’ve also started to keep a tally of the games that I’m playing overall in the month, because as time goes on I think the 10×10 thing is going to be a bit superseded, if that makes sense. So for example, in January I played 20 games for the 10×10 thing, however I played 22 overall because I’m not counting 40k in the first count. In February, I played 21 games in total, but only 9 of them count towards the 10×10 because, among other things, I also played 11 games of Marvel Champions, but only 3 of them were in that 10×10 count. As you may be able to tell, I am a bit of a stats geek.

In addition to painting the Escher gang, I’ve also managed to paint up the Crisis Suit team for my Tau, a project that got a bit derailed almost twelve months ago. But they’re finished now, so I’m happy about that, although I definitely need to get some more brushes before I move on to painting other stuff, as all of mine are pretty much rubbish now! It’s been really good to be painting more Tau, I have to say, as I do enjoy that colour scheme, and it’s nice to see the army taking shape. Hopefully next month I can get a few more models painted, and keep chipping away at things slowly but steadily.

This brings me on to the modified version of Hobby Bingo 2023 that I’ve decided to play! You may have seen this in White Dwarf in recent years, where you have a 5×5 square of goals to tick off as the year goes on? I’ve decided to change some stuff up for the 2023 edition, as I don’t really play with Lords of War and the like, and have got my square ready to go! So far, then, I’ve ticked three boxes – I’m counting the Escher in this, although they aren’t a traditional unit per se, but also the Crisis Team and the Promethium Tanks from last month! So that’s all good stuff. It’ll be interesting to see how far I get with this, anyway!

I’ve spent a few evenings building the terrain from Into the Dark, and I have to say, it is quite beautiful! I’ve talked about this recently, of course, but I do like the clustered walls and corridors feel of this stuff. I had initially bought Into the Dark with an eye to getting two boxes of this terrain for Boarding Actions games, but subsequent Kill Team releases have saved me a lot of money by just not being available in the wild. We’ll see if the story changes with box four whenever that is due, but I think I might well end up being the proud owner of just a single box from this season of the game! I suppose it can still be used for Necromunda, though, even though I’m not playing Kill Team, so that’s no big deal.

In terms of reading stuff, February has seen me finally catching up with all of the books that I’d read in January but not published any reviews on. I’ve also read the fourth Witcher novel, Tower of the Swallow, ahead of all my comrades in arms (mainly because I’d got it out from the library prematurely!) There will be a review of that coming at some point, possibly when everybody else on the team has caught up, the way I’ve been lagging with my reviews so far this year!! Suffice it to say, though, I thought it was a very good book, going against the grain of a lot of reviews I’ve read for it since I finished reading.

March is so far shaping up to be a bit more Star Wars orientated, as I’ve been catching up with Andor, and obviously building towards another Star Wars Easter! The third season of the Mandalorian is due out from tomorrow, of course, so that should be fun. I’ve also been thinking a lot about re-reading the New Jedi Order series, something I don’t think I’ve ever done since I initially read the series as a teenager when they came out! Unlike last year’s Prequel re-read, though, I might not try to read them all in such a short space of time, which should in turn leave enough room for me to read other stuff as the fancy takes me. We shall see. But don’t be surprised if a post comes up soon enough about Vector Prime, I guess!!

Painting Tau

Hey everybody,
A while ago, when talking about my Tau army plans, I mentioned researching the “proper” painting guides and whatnot for Tau miniatures, so today I thought I’d share the fruits of these labours! In some ways, this is a bit of a companion piece to a post I wrote last time I was collecting Tau, where I looked at all the different support systems that are represented by bits in the plastic kits. Of course, the correct way to paint your miniatures is “however you want them to look”, but being a huge lore nerd, I do often like to paint my stuff correctly in terms of the established lore. If you’re like me, then you might find this useful!

First of all, Tau are divided into Septs, in the same way Space Marines are divided into Chapters. Unlike Space Marines, however, Tau Sept colours are limited to the markings, not the overall armour colour. The armour, instead, is meant to be painted as camouflage, to help the warriors blend in to their battlefield surroundings. The classic Tau scheme of ochre is a generic desert camo, and the Tau Sept colour is white. Vior’la markings are red, but the armour is mostly shown as white in the promotional stuff from GW, I presume as a kind of snow camo. In theory, you could paint Vior’la in the ochre scheme, with red Sept markings, and that’s fine – the Vior’la are fighting in the desert! I’ve only really come across it with my Sa’cea Sept, but the lore suggests that different Septs are more proficient on certain battlefields – Sa’cea specialising in urban warfare, so their armour is largely shown as that blue-grey colour. Sa’cea Sept markings are orange, though, which always makes me smile because surely they’d be a dead giveaway in an actual war setting?

This brings me on to the next point, though. Whereas mostly we’re taught that basing should complement the miniature, and allow it to stand out to some degree, with Tau you almost want the miniatures to blend into the basing – something I’ve only seen rarely, but it does look fantastic when you see it done well. As if the miniature is somehow rising up from the base, or something.

Moving away from painting for a second, we need to talk about Castes. The Tau civilisation is a caste-based system, with the Tau people split into five. The Earth Caste is the engineers, the Air Caste is the air force, the Water Caste is the diplomats, and the Fire Caste is the infantry. The Ethereal Caste is a breed apart, and these mysterious beings form the ruling elite of Tau society.

For the tabletop game, Fire Caste is really the only one that matters, although Ethereal miniatures do exist (and of course, Air Caste is represented by fliers and in Aeronautica Imperialis). Let’s look at the ranking system:

Cadet: Shas’saal
Line trooper: Shas’la
Sergeant/veteran: Shas’ui
Elite bodyguard: Shas’vre
Field Commander: Shas’el
General: Shas’o

This structure is somewhat mirrored across the other castes, with different prefixes for each (Por’ for Water Caste, Kor’ for Air Caste, Fio’ for Earth Caste, and Aun’ for Ethereal Caste).

Why is all of this important? Well each rank has a slightly different paint scheme to consider! A single team of, say, Fire Warriors, will have Sept markings that denote they all belong to the same squad. The squad Shas’ui / Sergeant has the Sept colour on both shoulder pad and sensor vane, to mark him out among the rest. Speaking of shoulder pads, the symbol on the pads of Fire Warriors is that of their Caste, and not some kind of chapter badge-analogue.

Shas’ui are the lowest rank permitted to pilot a battlesuit. For a Shas’ui pilot, the Sept colour is used for the sensor vane only; for a Shas’vre pilot, the entire helmet is in the Sept colour. A Shas’el Commander has the helmet in the Sept colour with the sensor vane in the armour colour, and a Shas’O pilot has the Sept colour on the whole helmet, with Sept markings matching the armour colour. So for Vior’la, for example, a Shas’ui has a white helmet with a red vane; a Shas’vre has a red helmet; a Shas’el has a red helmet with white sensor vanes, and a Shas’o has a red helmet with white Sept markings.

For battlesuits, the breadth of markings seems to be quite random. There will be the usual markings that show the suit belongs to a specific Hunter Cadre (the term used for a Tau battle group), and then different suits can have honour markings, or heraldry, etc. It all seems to end up pretty haphazard as to which panels get the Sept colour, though, and some suits get additional colours to help break up the large panels – for instance, Vior’la have white and pale grey on the armour, presumably to help with the camouflage.

I’ve talked a lot about Sept markings so far, but what are these markings? Well, it’s basically a set of lines and pips, the arrangement of which is specific to the squad/cadre that a unit belongs to.  Hunter Cadres are the force organisation of Tau armies, organised into one grand Hunter Contingent under the Shas’o. The force will include Fire Teams, Broadside Support, Pathfinders and others. Stuff like this is always an interesting way to think about how to go about collecting a force, though obviously there’s more than one way to build your army! In the following illustration, you can see the Sept markings that are used for each of these squads, as well:

Ultimately, of course, you can build and paint your army however you like. Your choice of units and colour scheme is only really dictated by you. However, GW have gone to great pains to establish a lore behind these things, and this is something that does in particular interest me, so I do like to keep to that wherever possible. There’s definitely more to be said on this topic, but that’s something for another blog! Hopefully, if you too are a lore nerd, then this post will have been of some help in getting the Tau painted “properly”.

Painting Updates!

Hey everybody,
I feel like 2022 has started out in a really positive way for me and the hobby! I’ve been painting every evening, which always makes me feel better about things as I can see my progress with stuff.

To start with, I’ve been having a lot of fun painting up the unit of Tau Pathfinders. Initially, there were some hurdles to overcome as I was trying to devise my paint scheme for them, working from the old Citadel pdf guide, and even once that was sorted, I was somehow finding it easier to paint models one at a time. Urgh! However, since the weekend I’ve gone for more of a traditional batch paint style, and have gotten them to a decent point so far.

The cloth is drybrushed with Mechanicus Standard Grey and then Dawnstone, only lightly. I’m toying with the idea of then shading with Nuln Oil, but for now have left it as it is. The armour is then painted with Russ Grey – the original mini I painted up then had an all-over layer of Fenrisian Grey, but I’m thinking I may go for an edge highlight of that instead. I’m also going to try and line shade them with Drakenhof Nightshade. The skin is a light drybrush of Mournfang Brown and Squig Orange – a departure from the normal Tau skin tone, which would otherwise have been too close to the armour colour.

For the weapons, I’ve gone for a layer of Dawnstone and then Administratum Grey, then a shade of Drakenhof Nightshade, aiming for a slightly patchy look to simulate camo. This is largely the scheme – there are some metallic areas that I will paint accordingly, and some of the special kit is painted with Sotek Green and highlighted with Temple Guard Blue, but in the main the basic scheme is quite straightforward. The scheme is also replicated across the drones, and I was initially a bit concerned that they might look a little flat, having no highlights, but really that’s kinda the point – I want a sort of plasticky look to them, if you know what I mean?

I’ve bought a Start Collecting set for the army as well, as I thought it would be good to get the Crisis Suits and Fire Warriors for such a good price, as well as a bonus Ethereal. They have recently announced the Combat Patrol box, which switches up Crisis Suits for a Ghostkeel and Stealth Suit team, and includes a Cadre Fireblade as well as Ethereal and Fire Warriors. So that’s very impressive, though the price will be adjusted as well, no doubt! However, I paid £54 for the SC box, and CP boxes are £65.50 at my local shop, so it’s not much of a hike – and I have been thinking about a Ghostkeel recently, more for the model than any kind of desire for a stealth aspect to the force! I really think the Stealth team looks goofy, so I don’t know if I’d want those guys as well. But anyway!

I’ve also been painting some more terrain, which is just wonderful! Back in 2020 I painted up a Ferratonic Incinerator but didn’t make any notes on the scheme, more fool me. Interestingly, though, it is fairly close to my Tau – the actual vats are drybrushed with Russ Grey and Fenrisian Grey, and then Administratum Grey, in a crosswise pattern to try to simulate paint. The walkways are Macragge Blue, which has been heavily drybrushed on, then further drybrushes of Fenrisian Grey and Screaming Skull have been added to lighten it up a little. The support struts are just drybrushed with Administratum Grey. I’m then picking out pipes and associated bits and pieces with metallics, trying not to go too overboard.

I’m painting up a Galvanic Magnavent this time around – it’s one of two that I have built, though neither of them is built according to the instructions! I think I’ve always been a bit like that – as a child with Lego, I would always enjoy more the alternative builds from the back of the box, you know? So I have the current build, and I have this one, which was the first one I had built.

I love this scenery, and I really want to do something fancy with it all. I mean, certainly do something fancy to link up some of the kits that I have! In addition to the big pieces, I’ve got the Haemotrope Reactors and Alchomite Stack stuff that would possibly look fantastic with something to link it all together. I’m not sure what, though, and I’m not sure how, but I think it would be marvellous! I guess we’ll just have to see.

Hobby Update 2021!

Hey everybody,
It’s New Year’s Eve, which can mean only one thing – let’s evaluate the past twelve months, and tot up all the places where I succeeded and where I missed out on my hobby goals that were projected a year ago! Spoiler alert: I don’t think I did very well…

Paint up the Sisters of Battle 500-point list (well, it’s a little more than 500 points, but the point stands!)
Hm. I did make some efforts with the Sisters during the year, and I think I have a colour scheme that I like now, but I have not made massive in-roads here, as the project was fairly quickly abandoned, if I’m honest! I don’t want to get rid of these models though, so I think I might give it some more thought in 2022 and see whether I can make more of an effort to get some models finished.

Finish up the Drukhari models – 5 Wracks, 3 Grotesques, 5 Incubi and Drahzar.
I did actually paint up 5 Incubi, and I’ve done the skin on both the Wracks and the Grotesques. But that’s pretty much as far as it goes. I don’t know if it’s been the lack of games, or something else, but I just haven’t really been feeling the Dark Eldar in 2021.

Paint up at least 2 Tyranid units, at least one of which is a big bug!
Well, this one failed pretty badly! I have sort of painted five Genestealers, but I don’t think that’s even a minimum-sized squad. Tyranids have been big on my radar during this year, but for whatever reason, I’ve just not really found the inclination to actually make this one come through, either.

Continue rescuing Necron models – Triarch Praetorians, Canoptek Spyder, etc
Okay, so I have painted some Necron models, but I haven’t really rescued all that many. They’re on my list – heck, some of them have been on my painting station for a long time! – and while I still have a lot of affection for the undead space robots, I haven’t managed to get all that many models painted this year. I did paint the five Triarch Praetorians that were a rescue job around two years in the making, and I have painted up a couple of the character models from Indomitus and the Psychomancer, so it’s not a complete failure on this one.

Paint more Grey Knights! At least three more units, maybe a vehicle too.
Well. I’ve not actually finished any further Grey Knights units just yet, but my goodness, I’ve been playing with them, and it has been great! I’ve started work on my second Strike Squad, but I really want to do these models justice, so I’m just slowly taking my time and working through them, and I hope that eventually I’ll have a good force fully painted up. As ever, stay tuned for this one!

Also paint more Chaos Marines! At least three units, and perhaps a bigger thing, as well.
I haven’t painted anything for the Heretic Astartes this year – shocking, I know! I believe there is a huge new release due for them in the new year, however, so I imagine there might be some more movement on this one soon…

Make a decision about the Scions, Deathwatch and AdMech models! Do I want to keep all of those Space Marines kits?
I don’t know! I really don’t know if I want to keep all of these extraneous models. I just want to have them, but I can’t really imagine myself ever playing games with them, really. AdMech I can possibly see myself playing as allies for maybe the Grey Knights or something, though I just don’t know yet… These are mostly just kept in the loft still, though. Shame!

Paint more terrain – mainly for Necromunda, but also general 40k stuff.
While I haven’t painted any more terrain (certainly not to completion), I have built up plenty. The Gang Stronghold from last Christmas, the new Kill Team box, the Sanctum and the associated ruins… There is a lot of terrain that has been constructed in 2021, and I think I need to be better at chipping away at this sort of thing, though without a real plan for it I do find myself floundering at times! All that said, I have done myself proud with the Zone Mortalis stuff, getting a few walls and columns painted up there. So it hasn’t been a complete waste, at least!

Okay, so if that’s all of the stuff that I had planned to do – what have I actually been doing with my time?!

To start with, I painted up a fairly significant chunk of Ossiarch Bonereapers, I think the final count has it around 1500 points of models there, not quite sure. I do love those models, and I’m thinking I might come back to them in 2022 if there are more models promised for release – archers, maybe?! I also painted up some of the Sigmarite ruins scatter terrain, a fairly quick job across some small pieces, and finally finished the Unmade warband for Warcry. That game has informed a lot of my time in 2021, I feel – and a surprise discovery of Underworlds meant that I spent a good chunk of the early part of the year in the Mortal Realms – which, of course, I hadn’t planned for!

Back in September, though, all of my hobby plans were slightly de-railed when I decided to throw everything out the window and focus almost exclusively on my Genestealer Cultists, having had the models since their initial release in 7th edition, but never really making any serious effort to paint them. Well, I’m currently around the 1200 points mark with these guys, which is just great, so I’m looking forward to getting their codex in the new year, and hopefully getting some games in with them!

Speaking of games, I’m surprised at how many times I was able to play GW games this year. True, a lot of these were solo affairs while we were stuck in one of the many lockdowns, but I’ve still managed to play Necromunda, Warhammer Underworlds, Warcry and Warhammer 40k during the year! Underworlds, as I mentioned, was a surprise at how much I enjoyed it, and while I might not necessarily be following it in the new Harrowdeep season, I do like the fact that I have a good collection of stuff to have (hopefully!) many fun and enjoyable games in the future. Warcry is a firm favourite, and the recent Red Harvest set has just bowled me over once again at how much they put into these releases. I’m still in the process of building this up, so I haven’t yet been able to try out the new mine terrain etc, but I am very excited to get it all finished, etc!

40k has been good, as well. I’ve played a lot of games with Grey Knights, both small and large, and I think I’m getting to grips with the way these guys play now. It’s been a lot of fun to play the smaller scale games with James and his Black Templars, as we’re both learning these armies, but by extension we’re finally getting to cement the small rules tweaks of 9th edition in our minds, as we’re not playing particularly rushed or competitive, but instead taking the time to ensure we’re doing things properly. James is a great thinker about the game, too, and he watches more battle reports than me, so I enjoy the post-mortem afterwards as we go through what had happened.

Come back tomorrow, though, as I run through some of my hopes and dreams for the hobby in 2022!

2021 Hobby Goals check-in

Hey everybody,

We’re a little way over halfway through the year now, so I thought it would be good to check in on where I’m up to, as regards fulfilling those goals that were set out back in January!

To start with, I’ve been trying to do more with my Sisters, working on the original Battle Sister squad from the launch box, which I had previously tried to paint in a couple of different schemes, but haven’t yet managed to get very far! I have been doing a great deal of research into the faction, which had been inspiring me to get them painted, but the project stalled when Necromunda came heavily back onto my radar!

So far, then, not much has been done.

Next up we’re the Drukhari, and I had planned to paint up 5 Wracks, 3 Grotesques, 5 Incubi and Drahzar. So far, I’ve painted 5 Incubi, which is delightful, and I’ve also made some progress with the Coven models as well. I’m hopeful that I might actually achieve this one by the end of the year, anyway!

I need to think about what I want to do with those armies for which I have so many unpainted or partially painted things. AdMech, Deathwatch, Tempestus Scions and Blood Angels, specifically. I’m pretty much set on keeping my Genestealer Cults and my Tyranids, though at this point I don’t really have them on my radar. The same is true of my Grey Knights – I think the winter time is when I tend to go down that road, anyway – though with the new Castellan Crowe model on the horizon, that could well change. I still have Heretic Astartes on the radar as well, though not far enough up the list where I want to start working on them. Similar story with my Necrons really, I had wanted to try to rescue some more of the older models that I have hanging about, but so far all I’ve done is finish a couple of the newer models.

I’m always in a bit of a quandary over the Imperium armies, because on the one hand I think it’s really cool to have the sort of classic 40k army, with tanks and such – I just find it so inspirational! But on the other hand, I feel as though I’m forever taking on too much, and I do feel that need to trim back my projects!!

Lastly, I wanted to paint more terrain. Well, I’ve not managed to do anything with that one yet, either!! I really want to try and get some Sector Mechanicus stuff finished, in particular the Alchomite Stack that has been partially painted for a couple of years now. I have quite a lot of stuff though, but having finally figured out a colour scheme when painting up the Ferratonic Incinerator at the end of last year, I’m hopeful that I could get another terrain piece finished by the end of the year!

So, if I’m doing this badly at keeping to my goals, what the hell have I been doing?!

Despite all of my goals being centred around 40k, I’ve actually spent the year painting up a near-complete army for Age of Sigmar! I’ve painted up loads of Ossiarch Bonereapers, which makes me happy! I’ve even done some terrain for the fantasy game! Definitely unexpected, that one!

At the minute, I’m not really able to paint anything, as I’m in full-on baby-care mode. But hopefully as the year moves on, I’ll be able to get somewhere as life returns to something like normal. Fingers crossed!! It’ll be interesting to see how far I get with all this!!

Summer Painting Goals: T’au Empire

Hey everybody,
The other day, I published a blog detailing my summer painting goals for two 500-point Imperium armies, which you can take a look at here. I mentioned having a third plan, for my T’au Empire army, so today I wanted to talk a little bit about what my plans are for this curious beast!

Bork'an Sept Tau Empire

The list for my T’au is actually a 1000-point list, as I had written it with the miniatures I’ve already painted in mind. I’m still sticking with Bork’an, but I’m going for a 1000-point list that will provide a strong basis for future army builds. Anyway, enough rambling, let’s take a look at the list itself:

So this is a Battalion list with some added extra bits, mainly because I wanted to include the two models that I have fully painted, as well as some Pathfinders for the more accurate markerlights. Let’s talk about some of these units in turn.

Pathfinders are something that I talked about in my last blog devoted to the T’au, as I think the more accurate markerlights are a definite boon. I’ve since played a six-player game where I brought two squads of five Pathfinders, and they actually did some useful work. The biggest boon for bringing them, of course, comes from the Pulse Accelerator Drone, which I used in that game to fly back to support the main Fire Warrior gun line, rather than anything else, and between it and the Cadre Fireblade, it was a really beautiful thing! I have yet to try Pathfinders with any of their exotic weaponry, but I think when I look at building this list up to 1500-points, I’ll start adding in some of that.

Drones have so far been pretty hit and miss for me, so I’ve cut back significantly in this list. I like the fact that Gun Drones are buffed by the Fireblade, so have included a couple of them for good measure, but I’m sticking the shield drones along with the high-priority stuff like the Commanders.

The Enforcer Commander is something that I’ve only tried once, and the results were also mixed, so I think I should probably try him a bit more before talking about the joys of fusion blasters. The Coldstar Commander is still pretty great though, and as the first model I painted for the army, he does have a special place in my heart!

The Riptide is a glorious miniature, and one that I’ve been really happy with since getting him finished. It seems that a lot of advice I’m seeing for building T’au armies is recommending the heavy burst cannon, so I’m pleased to have included that in the build. I don’t really have a big plan for him beyond distraction at the minute, but I’m sure once I’ve played a game with the guy, I should have a better idea.

Which brings me to the bête-noir of my T’au painting right now, the Fire Warriors! I don’t quite know how to go about painting these guys quickly enough that I can get a unit finished, but still to a decent tabletop standard. As such, they’ve been languishing in the partly-basecoated stage for a number of weeks now! Hopefully, I can get moving with them soon enough and get the production line sorted.

As an aside, the eagle-eyed among you will notice there are eight points left over from this list. “Why not throw in an extra Pathfinder?” I hear you cry. Well, because I’m also painting up an Ethereal on Hover Drone, and I’m thinking that I’d like the flexibility to swap out the Fireblade for this guy. Doing so would bring the list to 1000-points exactly, which is what I want!

So there we have it, the three lists for my summer painting goals. While this one is a little large for such a thing – 51 miniatures still to paint, including drones and turrets – I’m hoping that I can get a lot of them done fairly quickly once I have the troops scheme hammered out. Then I can focus on getting some games in with my actually-painted force!

Hobby Progress, week 41

Hey everybody!
It’s suddenly closer to the end of the year now, and I’ve started to look a lot more at the models I’ve had on the table for the duration of 2016 (and before) in an attempt to get more stuff finished before I get to week 52 of this blog series. While I’m not really getting very far, I am nevertheless thinking about finishing off more models than I am building more. But anyway, let’s take a look at some of the excitement from this week!

hobby progress 41

First of all, it’s this big guy’s time to shine! My Alpha Legion Contemptor Dreadnought is finished, and I’m really pleased with how he’s turned out! The armour had already been painted a few months back now, of course, but all of the silver details had been kinda scaring me. Finally, on Friday I had the day off work so decided to just finish him, and over the course of about four hours I got everything finished! It’s actually fairly simple, too – the silver is just Leadbelcher, with some Runefang Steel lightly brushed over the more prominent hydras on the front there. The right arm and leg have rope tassels that I’ve painted with Kabalite Green and then highlighted with Warpstone Glow, which I’ve also dotted into the eyes of the chest hydras, before rubbing off to leave it more as a suggestion, and I think it works better that way.

The biggest problem I had, though, was just what they hell possessed me to pose the legs in that manner! I built him up over New Year, and at the time I’m sure I had a plan, but when it came to actually basing the big guy, I had no idea how to get him secure – I’ve finally gone for one of those piles of skulls you can get from GW, though I feel he’d have crushed them to powder if he actually did tread over them… But anyway, I think it still looks pretty cool, and with that load-out, he’s 190 points, bringing my total Legion up to 800 points! I’m slowly getting there, now!

I got to play a game of 40k on Thursday, which was pretty great, too! 1500 point game with my Necrons, a lot of which were unpainted/partially painted (which will hopefully inspire me to get moving and finish them!) I’ll have a blog coming out on Tuesday with more on this, but I have to say, now that the rules are beginning to sink in, I’m seeing the benefits of building models in a specific way. For example, the squad of Triarch Praetorians that I’ve built up this weekend:

I have previously built up some Praetorians, back when I was first doing things with Necrons, and I have to say, they aren’t all that great. More than anything, they’re a mixed unit, and while I think those particle casters are cool looking, they look pretty bad in the game, so I’m probably not going to bother doing any more of them.

In fact, I’m actually thinking I’m possibly going to just re-start collecting Necrons, as my painting has come on a lot since I started. Part of me also wants to strip the models I have and have a second stab at them, but part of me is thinking I might just keep them as a sort of “this is where I started” or something. Not sure yet, but for now at least, I want to add and replace models in my army…

Finally… I entered Armies on Parade this year! My board was basically all of my Stormcast Eternals going up against a lone Orruk Brute defending an Ophidian Archway. It was really fun getting to join in with everything going on at the store yesterday, and some of those boards on display were just superb! I was definitely at the lower end of the range, let me tell you – sandwiched between an amazing Helms Deep diorama, and a collection of Eldar stuff that looked fantastic! But it was great to take part, and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year – I’m actually hoping to move closer to my local store in the coming year (not so as to be closer to the store – that’ll just be a fringe benefit!) so I may be able to get something more ambitious going on and not have to contend with the logistics of transporting it too far! We’ll see.

In the end, my store had 30 entries, which is believed to have been the biggest such event in the world! In all of that, my army placed seventh, which I think is an amazing achievement, considering I don’t feel like I’m all that good of a painter! So I’m chuffed there! My favourite board was this amazing three-tier Genestealer Infestation thing:

While the overall winner was the incredible Nagash and friends:

Did you enter Armies on Parade this year? Let me know how you got on in the comments!!

Hobby Progress, week 28

Wow, I actually have progress to report this week! This is definitely an encouraging time right now – check out my new stuff!

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First of all, last week‘s Alpha Legion marines have been finished! And what’s more, I’m calling the Chaplain figure finished, too!

These chaps were actually pretty easy to finish, if I’m honest. The Alpha Legion armour is Sotek Green, washed with Drakenhof Nightshade, and lightly drybrushed with Teclis Blue. I probably mentioned this last week. Anyway! From there, I did all the trim bits with Leadbelcher, the most tricky bits being the little studs on the greaves and, particularly, the shoulder pads, but I think I got there. The backpacks were also done in Leadbelcher, even though that of the Chaplain has more of the turquoise colour, though I’m thinking he’s a character, so there we are.

I then did the lenses with Wazdakka Red, shaded with Carroburg Crimson to basically try to tidy it all up, then lightly put some Evil Sunz Scarlet in there to brighten it up. The bolter casings were done with Stormvermin Fur, then shaded with Nuln Oil, and the leather belts/pouches/holsters were done with Doombull Brown and shaded with Agrax Earthshade. You can’t really see it in the picture above, but I’ve also done the little tubes near the feet in Balthasar Gold and Agrax Earthshade, because the Alpha Legion Headhunters released earlier this year by Forge World have this, but anyway!

The Chaplain also had his eyes tidied up, the belt done, and some other bits tidied up such as the studs along his helmet and greaves, then all of them had Martian Ironearth on the bases, and rims done in Stormvermin Fur also. Really easy to get moving with, so once these had been completed on Thursday, I built up four more! Including the heavy weapon guy with the Proteus missile launcher! And…

That’s right, it’s the Alpha Legion Contemptor Dreadnought! That guy has been built since roughly New Year, and while I had done one coat of Sotek Green on it a long, long time ago, which you can see in this photo from February, but it has never gotten any further. Well, it’s time to change that now! So all of the marines and the dreadnought have had the armour pretty much done, and I had been hoping to get some more work done on them all today, but that didn’t happen! So I’m going to try and get some more work done on these in the coming week, then hopefully there’ll be even more progress next week!

But for now, yeah, I finished some models!!

Hobby Progress, week 27

Hey everybody,
There is actual progress to report this week! I can’t believe it! Let me walk you all through what I’ve been up to…

First of all, after three extremely busy days in work, I have almost two weeks off. Trying to plot some kind of plan for that time, I’ve decided to take on a bit of a project – not only to make the most of having time off work, but also because I want to try to get back on track with painting stuff. Following the uploads of five tutorial videos to the Warhammer TV youtube channel, I decided to make a start on some basic tactical marines, albeit Maximus marines, and assembled three chaps on Saturday morning.

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I’m actually really pleased with these guys so far. I think I’ve been thinking about space marines again lately, though I didn’t think I actually had any built up ready, so after watching the Sons of Horus and World Eaters, I set to work! I’d decided to do Alpha Legion back in the day, and had seen the suggestion of Sotek Green and Drakenhof Nightshade, which I tried on both the Chaos Marines box I bought, and the Chaplain figure I’d made some progress with earlier in the year. To this mix, I’ve now added a very light drybrush with Teclis Blue, and I think it helps to bring the colour closer to turquoise rather than green. So I’m going to get the silver bits done this week, and hopefully that’ll get them looking closer to finished, which should help me finish them quickly!

We’ll see!

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Finally, I’ve gotten round to putting the Zandri Dust basecoats on all of the Deathwing Knights, as well as getting the little Watcher in the Dark painted, unfortunately he seems to have to have turned out looking a little too much like a Jawa… So they look like they’re a little strange with the black central bits, but hopefully that’ll change soon enough. At least they’re now all at the same stage, I guess!

So there we have it. Perhaps not as busy a week as I have had in previous blogs, but definitely better than I’ve done of late, as well!

Hobby Progress, week 26

Week 26 is here, and I’ve been doing a few bits and pieces – finally!

First of all, let’s take a look at the Bloodletters!

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I’ve been working quite a lot on these guys, but you can’t really see any of the results compared with the original picture of them from two weeks ago! I’ve used Carroburg Crimson to shade the recesses, then a light drybrush of both Astorath Red and Kindleflame – however, my Kindleflame has turned into something approximating rubber, so I didn’t really get the effect I wanted. I’m considering doing something with perhaps Troll Slayer Orange instead, but have left off for now.

I got talking with the manager of my local store the other day about these very guys, and he talked about shading them with green rather than red – by this time, I’d already used the Crimson, but I liked the idea of the green contrast, so decided to put some Kabalite Green on them, starting with the fins that run down their spines. That looked really nice, so I went ahead and did a similar thing on the horns – they’re kinda drybrushed, more to “dust” the colour onto the surface, rather than actually pick out details etc. I kinda like it, as it brings me back to when I originally sprayed the minis red but you could still see the black through there, it had a nice visual effect, anyway!

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I’ve also been building more Stormcasts! I’ve had these chaps hanging about for a while, so it’s time to get down to business. I’m still holding off getting the Stardrake itself, but I’ve got a few plans for the dracoths, so looking forward to getting round to them!

We’re halfway through the year now, and to be blunt, I’m nowhere near where I’d hoped to be! I still have so many things hanging about that were still in progress on week one! I have some time off work coming up, so I think I might start making a serious effort to get that stuff finished. It’s been nice to have a variety of projects to work on, of course, but I’d like to be a little further forward with some of them, you know?!

Hopefully, you’ve all been having much better progress in 2016 than I have!