Getting into 8th

Not too long ago, I had my first game of Warhammer 40k 8th Edition, so thought that I’d ramble about my experiences for a bit in today’s game day blog!

I’ve been loving 40k for a long while now, but the arrival of 8th Edition last month really has me firmly on that path now. I’ve previously talked about my experiences playing 7th Edition here, as well as my first impressions on the new edition here, so it might be useful to take a look at these blogs as a bit of background!

I played a game of roughly 40 power against Orks, having arranged the game with a guy at my local GW. Having only played against Imperial Guard in all of my games of 7th, I was really excited to see what was in store for me! I’ve heard the tales of Orks from watching bat-reps around the internet, of course, and was prepared for waves of the greenskin menace and bucketfuls of dice, but it was really cool to see what was in store!

Necrons Overlord

The armies

(Again, I didn’t have my phone with me, so couldn’t take pictures, so there will be some generic indicative stuff on offer!)

My list shows off my usual love for Lychguard, though coming in at 8 power per squad, they are a bit of a points-sink. I had an Overlord leading two 10-man Immortal squads, both armed with gauss blasters. One squad of Lychguard were armed with warscythes, and another with hyperphase swords. To round things out, I also included my squad of Wraiths. In total, I had 45 power.

Robin’s Orks consisted of two squads of twenty Boyz, led by a Warboss, along with a Weirdboy, a Painboy, and two Killa Kanz, for a total of 40 power.

The game started fairly sedately, as I moved one squad of Immortals up the field and shot at the first squad of Boyz, but only managed to get rid of one of the buggers. Orks turn one saw the Weirdboy use Da Jump to move the second squad of Boyz almost to my table edge, which allowed them to charge into one of my groups of Immortals that turn. However, these Immortals were also very close to my Lychguard with scythes, and as luck would have it, I was able to start laying into close combat with them from my turn two.

Indeed, sensing the desire to be in close combat early from the Orks, I basically allowed the army to come to me, and while it would have been more useful to have had more Lychguard on hand to start slicing up the big fungus creatures, I think it was still good to see how the army worked. I charged my Wraiths across the board into the first group of Boyz, who were by now in combat with my Immortals, and the centre of the table quickly became a gross tar-pit of metal and green.

In the event, my Lychguard were quite effective at carving up both squads of Boyz, and despite the Killa Kanz killing my warlord, he was avenged when one remaining Lychguard with a warscythe managed to carve up one of the Kanz, which caused the other one to run away! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Lychguard are amazing! Both as a kit and on the tabletop!

So what are my thoughts?

Aside from Lychguard being awesome, I think the main thing for me is to not really bother with large units for Reanimation Protocols. The way this rule works now initially prompted me to automatically think of max-strength units (which is still only ten models for Immortals, Lychguard, Deathmarks and Praetorians – the only Infantry models I like). However, while it is undoubtedly useful to think of it like this, I had two ten-man Immortal squads which were tied up quite quickly in close combat, and so were basically neutered early on. Having a lot of smaller squads carefully positioned should at least allow me to have some models that can shoot, as even a green horde can’t tie up every single one!

While gauss has that wonderful -2AP, I think I want to invest in some more tesla Immortals, as I think the hit rolls of 6 becoming three hits could be really good. Indeed, I think I want to do more with tesla in general – that Annihilation Barge should really be finished off soon!

I tend to go for a lot of Infantry in all of my army lists, as I enjoy having miniatures in a miniature wargame. However, I think it might be tactically prudent to include a healthy dose of other things – the aforementioned Annihilation Barge being a case in point. Necrons don’t have a great variety of stuff, of course, but I think I want to do more with the Catacomb Command Barge. Depending on how vehicle-heavy I go, I might try to get more Canoptek stuff such as the Spyder into the list, also. Against horde armies, I don’t think the Doomsday Ark is going to be much use, though for pinpoint destruction it could be fun. The Triarch Stalker looks like it could be good, too – expensive, of course, but I’m also thinking about getting that model finished soon. I’m certainly looking to change up my lists a little – though I’m doubtless going to keep a core of Immortals and Lychguard because these units are my favourites!

Army-wide Leadership 10 is really useful for the Necrons. Even when my Lychguard were being picked off one at a time, nobody was running away. The new way of working out to wound rolls was so much better than 7th -I was still having to check the toughness of the Orks I was hacking apart, but I think it went to much quicker than trying to remember that bloody chart from the last edition. It may just be me being thick, of course! But I think this is a hallmark of the new edition – certainly, as much as I can make such a statement after only one game: everything just moves along quite nicely! We were playing a small game, of course – a small number of units per side, and only having three command points each to use meant we both pretty much re-rolled something, and interrupted each others’ combats once. But it didn’t feel as bogged-down as my previous games of 7th have felt, and while it took 3 hours, I think that was definitely more because we were both quite new (well, I was brand new!) to the rules. I’ve previously set aside entire days for one single game of 7th, so I definitely appreciated how quick you can move through a game.

I didn’t really have a plan for my battle. I started out wanting to get a sort of firing corridor for my Immortals, but the Orks’ charge just floored me and so I was put onto the back foot. While I could adapt a little and managed to charge my Lychguard into a couple of combats, I think overall I need to have a little more flexibility into the list to allow for shooting and melee, and a little bit of shenanigans as well. I think this is where Deathmarks could come in handy, as they can teleport onto the battlefield and snipe at characters etc. Synaptic disintegrators aren’t the greatest weapon in the arsenal, of course, but with My Will Be Done giving them +1 to hit if there’s a nearby Overlord, it could be decent enough!

Necrons Deathmarks

Overall, I really enjoyed this game, and I’m looking forward to getting up to the store for more games soon! It took 3 hours to play, as I said, mainly because we were both quite new to the game (though also the fact that Necrons are very tough to get rid of, even when my reanimation protocols aren’t going too good – I was still getting at least a couple of models back each turn!)

Definitely excited to not only play more 8th with my Necrons, but also to get some experience with more armies!

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!

Preparing for 8th Edition

Hey everybody!
I’ve got my first game(s) of 8th Edition Warhammer 40k scheduled for tomorrow, and have been thinking a lot about list-building and the like in advance of this. I’m taking Necrons, and my opponent will be fielding Orks, so I have no idea what to expect there beyond a massive green tide. My Necrons list is primarily Immortals and Lychguard – the Immortals now fielded as groups of 10 to help with the Reanimation Protocols changes. It’s very basic, especially seeing as how Lychguard are such a points-sink now that taking even five of the buggers can mean you’ve got very little room for anything else! I’m also including three Wraiths, though I’m still weighing up whether I want to bring them or another squad of Immortals… Despite the new edition stuff, I still feel that Necrons are the faction I feel most at home with, and so I’m excited to see how they work and stuff!

I’ve also been thinking about Dark Eldar, or Drukhari as they’re now known, and trying to come up with a decent list to finally get the kabal to the tabletop. I’ve played with Necrons before so, despite the rules changes, I think I’m still most comfortable with them. Trying to develop a Drukhari list, I initially thought about just adapting my current list that I’d been building towards since the new year, but which had been written for 7th Edition. I’ve come up with the following, anyway, and don’t really know how good it would be (especially with me at the helm!) but I really want to try these folks out soon!

Drukhari list v1

So this list is my first attempt at creating an army specifically for 8th. Dark Lances seem to be the thing here, with Strength 8 and AP -4, putting out D6 shots to boot, I suppose it’s clear to see why. The blaster is a shorter-range version of this, so I’ve kept them wherever they can go, as well. It’s a very shooty army, of course, which is kinda what I’d been expecting from the Drukhari when I first started looking into them.

I did have some spare points that I didn’t want to turn into just more of the same, so have devoted them to some Arena-folk, a squad of Wyches and a trio of Reavers. Aside from hopefully prompting me to finally start painting the jetbikes that have been built and primed since new year, this is very much an experimental list and I’d like to change it up every so often, playing around with this 200-point slot by adding in maybe some Scourges or some Hellions as time moves on, and I can get more games in. I don’t yet want to go heavily changing it up for Coven units, but I have got quite a few painted now, so I could well end up slipping some Wracks in here before long…

The basic idea is to have pretty much everything flying around the table shooting stuff up. The Wyches are the only unit not in a vehicle, simply because I can’t fit another one in, but I’m thinking I should be able to clear away enough threats to get them into close combat with the amount of shots I’ll be firing from everything else each turn. I’m considering shrinking the squad to five, and giving them a Venom, however; while it is cool to have the special weapons in my Kabalite squads, the splinter weapons are definitely easier to keep track of, as they always wound on a 4+, so there’s less “What’s your toughness, again?” questions to ask!

But I definitely want to try out this list as it stands, before making any further amendments!

So how does this fare with what I’ve got built and painted to date?

I’ve got the Warriors and the Wyches done, and one squad of Trueborn isn’t far off – I’d painted them with haywire blasters, as that was the thing for 7th of course, but have got two built up with dark lances, so just need to get them finished. And then five more built and painted… The vehicles are always my major bugbear, however! I’ve got to pull my finger out on that front, and try to get them finished for the 1000-point Oath army that I’ve previously talked about, as well!

I think there’s going to be a lot of work taking place over the next few days with these guys, anyway!!

How’s everybody else faring with 8th so far? Hopefully you’ve been getting a lot of exciting games in! I keep hearing really positive things about all of the changes, anyway, so I’m really excited to get my miniatures onto the tabletop and into battle!

Warhammer 40k 8th Edition – one week to go!

There’s only one week left before we get the new edition of Warhammer 40k, and I’m getting so very excited it’s untrue! I’ve been looking forward to the new edition since I knew for sure it was going to be A Thing, and now I think I’m getting into overdrive!

Part of the reason for this is, I think, due to watching the short series of videos put out on Warhammer TV’s youtube channel, specifically this one:

It feels like not only is the game being given a nice, clean facelift, but also we’re getting a lot of story advancement, which is leaving me with the overwhelming sense of the newness of the setting.

While there have been plenty of dissenting voices about some of the new lore, mainly since some of the articles being put up on the Warhammer Community site, but I think splitting the galaxy in two could lead to some wonderful storytelling opportunities. I’ve heard some people compare it to the split of the Roman empire but, personally, I think it feels more akin to the Iron Curtain in postwar Europe, with the Imperium under Guilliman analogous to the west, and the Imperium Nihilus akin to the east. It would be really cool if this is the direction they take it, of course, but who knows what will happen?!

The fact that Phil Kelly says they’re going to expand further on this has also gotten me excited, and I’m left thinking that perhaps we’re in for more Gathering Storm-style events, perhaps with triumvirate boxes to accompany them. I think it’s a fairly safe bet that we’re getting Mortarion within a matter of weeks, so maybe he’ll be coming with some pox-friends?

Ultramar

The 40k universe has always been so rich and vibrant, and flicking through my Deathwatch RPG books this morning has really reminded me of that quite strongly. The idea of being able to explore this in a more focused and story-driven manner is incredibly exciting, and while the Horus Heresy series has been a bit of a lumbering juggernaut at times, at its best the series is just truly phenomenal! If they can capture the best of that and bring it into the 41st millennium, then I think I’ll be an over-excited chap for a long time to come!

Necrons

So, if you have a local gaming store near you, or you’ve been paying attention to the internet lately, you’ve no doubt now had a chance to take a look at these new Indexes and so forth. Last week I talked about the changes between a 1000-point list made in 7th edition and its 8th edition updates, but today I thought I’d share with you a basic 1000-point Newhammer Necron list that I’ve put together. My local store is holding a casual 1000-point tournament on launch day, which I’m not sure about getting to yet, but hope to be able to go along and try out the new edition. I think this is a very “safe” list, not using too many fancy units or any potentially confusing things, so I have no idea how competitive it could be. A lot of people have been bemoaning the fact that Necrons seem to have been nerfed by the new edition, but I think that’s predominantly since the loss of the decurion detachment, which I never ran anyway, so I don’t foresee any tears or tantrums here!

Necron list

It’s a simple thing, as I said, but I think I want to start off simple and build up my game from there! I’ve currently got the Immortals and Lychguard at minimum squad size, but due to the change in Reanimation Protocols (rolling to restore a model to the unit rather than rolling as an additional save), it might be worth bunching them up into bigger squads. I’m actually surprised at how close the points are for Immortals here to their 7th edition versions, which suggests to me that they were pretty balanced before! I’ve built up most of my Immortals with gauss blasters, and I think I only have one unit with tesla carbines, so I need to get a second built shortly. Tesla seems to be the thing for Necrons in 8th, with rolls of 6 causing three hits rather than one. I still like the gauss for AP-2, and the way I roll dice, I don’t think I’ll ever get maximum use out of the tesla. But it is still causing me to want to get that Annihilation Barge finished off!!

I’ve been trying to re-do some of my original Necrons since January, also. They were among the first miniatures I’d ever painted and, while playing a game last November, I felt they were really showing their age. It’s something I’ve talked about before, of course! In January, I stripped ten Lychguard and have been slowly getting paint back on them – hopefully I’ll have a Necrons update blog soon, where I can show off some of the things I’ve been painting here!

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 48

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

hobby progress 48

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

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

hobby progress 48

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

hobby progress 48

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

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

What else has been going on?

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

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

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

hobby progress 48

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

Novamarines

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

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