Hobby Progress 2017!

Hey everybody!
Hobby Progress is back! That’s right – after last year’s weekly update blogs, I’ve decided to go for a monthly update throughout 2017, as I had been feeling a bit pressured at times to get something done, and a lot of things were rushed as a result. I still think I managed to turn out some pretty nice miniatures, compared with my previous standards, but I really want to level up my painting and try to really improve my skills this year, so I thought I’d go for the monthly check-ins rather than the more relentless stuff.

That all said, January has been a tough month for getting anywhere with painting models! I’ve had several different kits on the tabletop that I’ve really struggled to get very far with, and I do believe it has something to do with the lack of any real incentive to get them progressed. But for now, I want to stick to the monthly thing. Without any further ado, though, let’s take a look at what I’ve been up to!

First of all, I’ve well and truly started on my Dark Eldar. I bought the Start Collecting box and a Venom on New Year’s Eve, and after giving the Codex a once-over, added a box of Wyches to the roster in order to start out by making a kill-team. Over the course of the long New Year weekend, I actually built everything up, but have been struggling to get the models painted ever since! To start with, I chose the Kabal of the Obsidian Rose for my colour scheme, a wonderful rich brown colour. Brown is something that I’ve had no recourse to paint before, of course, so I thought it’d be a nice way to increase the breadth of my painting.

The scheme I’ve used has a basecoat of Rhinox Hide, followed by a very light drybrush of Doombull Brown. I then lightly drybrush Skrag Brown and Squig Orange, increasingly focused onto the raised details of the armour, before a very thin wash of Agrax Earthshade across the whole lot. You can see in the above photo that it has worked better on some than others, but I think that’s more due to the fact I’ve been testing it with my actual miniatures – never a bright idea, I know! The splinter rifles, where they’ve been painted, have just got Leadbelcher shaded with Nuln Oil, with those weird bulbous bits painted Balthasar Gold. It’s very straightforward, which I want it to be for the line troops, but I think it has come out really well, by and large!

For the Wych Cult, I’ve gone for something that is different, yet still tied into the general scheme of things. Where they have kabalite armour, such as the left knee and arm, I’ve done the same scheme as the warriors. The wychsuit, however, is just Khorne Red shaded with Agrax Earthshade, then lighly drybrushed with Wazdakka Red.

For the longest time, I was trying to figure out what to do with the skin, as I wanted to try for that pale skin tone, but when I tried it, it just didn’t work out for me. I used Celestra Grey, washed with Druchii Violet, and then layered with Pallid Wych Flesh on the Wyches (urgh!) and Ulthuan Grey on the warriors (yikes!) It just wasn’t happening for me, and I couldn’t work out a way forward. Then, I was pointed in the direction of The War Gamer on youtube, specifically his Captain Artemis tutorial, and that put me in mind of painting the skin with the wash last. After talking about it at my local GW on Friday, I went back in with Kislev Flesh and Reikland Fleshshade, and it really came out looking nice, I think! I’ve subsequently painted the rest of the Wyches that I had hanging about with Celestra Grey/Kislev Flesh/Reikland Fleshshade, and I think they look okay. I do think part of my reticence comes from the fact that the hair is still making the models look a bit weird, so that’s my next port of call, and hopefully I’ll feel a lot better about them once that has been done.

The Venom has so far only been painted with Rhinox Hide. I wanted to get some kind of gradient going along it, but I’m kinda intimidated at the large surface area, so I think I’m going to practice my skills there a bit first…

Hobby Progress January

Moving away from xenos now, the “Strokes of Heresy” painting competition continues at my local Games Workshop store, with the January challenge being an elite choice. Many people have gone for cataphractii terminators or contemptor dreadnoughts, but I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to get anything major done, what with the Dark Eldar going on, so had bought the apothecary there specifically for the event. Even that one model has taken it out of me this month, though! I’ve eventually managed to get him finished with my usual Alpha Legion scheme, painting all of those vials and canisters all over him with a variety of washes. We’re in pre-Codex Astartes times, of course, so there’s no actual requirement for a white scheme – hence the black shoulder pad, I suppose! The narthecium has been painted with Stormvermin Fur and shaded with Nuln Oil, as per the usual scheme for bolter cases, to help tie him in with the rest of the army. I don’t yet know what the challenge is going to be for February, but I’m hoping that I can get the five terminators I’ve had built for over a year painted, if nothing else!!

Hobby Progress January

Finally, let me share with you a true labour of love: the conclusion of phase one of my Novamarines army build! I started to build a kill-team a little over two months ago, now, and managed to get the assault squad and the veteran sergeant of the tactical squad painted up back in December. The four remaining tactical marines, however, have been waiting around patiently until the last week or so, when I’ve really scrabbled around to get them finished (however, I’ve since noticed that the purity seal on the rightmost marine’s leg hasn’t been painted – gah!)

I’ve also added the Chapter Master to the ranks. He was a miniature that I’ve really enjoyed kitbashing together – the legs are from the Sternguard kit, as is the power fist and backpack; the body is from the Commander kit that I had as part of the Demi Company box set I’ve had hanging about for a while now; the sword is from the Vanguard Veterans, and I’m honestly not sure where the head is from! Possibly the Sternguard kit as well. That kit is actually a treasure-trove for kit-bashing fancy marines like this, I have to say!

While I’m pleased to have them now finished, I do feel unfortunately that the Chapter Master is a little beyond the realms of my skills to complete to a properly high standard. I’d have liked him to look a little better, but I think for now, he’s as good as I can absolutely get him!

I do still have a dreadnought that is in the throes of almost being completed, and I’m in the process of rescuing the marines from my initial attempt at painting Novamarines from last April, so I’ll hopefully be able to add them to the force soon enough (though unfortunately, they won’t have the fancy shoulder pads). I want to try to get these guys built up into a fighting force soon enough, but obviously it’s not the sort of scheme that lends itself to fast painting!

Hobby Progress January

So that’s been my progress this month! Check back in with me next month to see how far I get with the Dark Eldar, and whether I manage to complete any other miniatures… I’m aiming to paint one unit per month, so we’ll see how well I can manage that!

Hobby Progress, week 50

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

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

Hobby Progress 50

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

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

Hobby Progress 50

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

Hobby Progress 50

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hobby Progress 50

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

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

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

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


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

Hobby Progress, week 49

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

hobby progress 49

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

hobby progress 49

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

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

hobby progress 49

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

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

hobby progress 49

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

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

Novamarines Dreadnought

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

Novamarines! part one

It’s time for a new army!

Or, more accurately, to revive the idea for a new army!

I first started to collect Space Marines around Easter of 2015, and while I’d decided on Ultramarines as my chapter of choice, I didn’t really get very far with them at all. I’ve currently only managed to complete one ten-man tactical squad, but have a lot more partially-painted blue models! While casting about for inspiration, I painted up a five-man terminator squad in Genesis Chapter colours, one of the many successor chapters of the Ultramarines, and that planted the seed in my mind. Rather than worrying about the potential boredom of a sea of blue soldiers, I could include detachments of successor chapters for a bit of variety!

Hobby Progress 2

That idea waxed and waned for a couple of months, but almost independently of this I hit upon the idea of doing a small, five-man tactical squad of Novamarines back in April of 2016. I didn’t get far, only managing to paint three in the quartered blue and white livery, but I also got myself a dreadnought in an attempt to liven up the project.

I actually really enjoyed how these guys turned out! Sprayed white, I was using the undercoat for the white quarters, and painted the blue inspired by this scheme, starting with Kantor Blue and moving up to Aldorf Guard Blue. It always seemed a bit too dark, however, and the contrast between the blue and the white was always too much for me, really. However, the project died a death, given up because I lacked the patience to really make it happen.

But no more!

With the advent of the Deathwatch Veterans kit over the summer, and the inclusion of a moulded shoulder pad for the chapter, I decided I might give this chapter another try, but kept putting it off. Kill team arrived around the same time, and over the next few months, these two strands coalesced into the idea of seriously building a Novamarines army, but in true slow-grow fashion!

So now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s get to it!

I’ve decided to build my army following a bit of a plan, rather than merely going through all of the kits that I like the look of and finding myself with a whole bunch of models, but no legal army! The first step has been to get a 200 point kill team built. 100 points of tactical squad, and 100 points of assault squad. Things have been progressing quite well with this so far – despite a bit of a hiccup with getting the wrong shade of blue on some of them! But I’m still really pleased with the progress made to date, anyway!

hobby progress 48

So let’s talk about my colour scheme.

I’ve been undercoating these guys with Chaos Black spray, which might seem a bit counter-intuitive given the pale scheme, but I just have better luck with the black. I’ve then base coated them all with Rakarth Flesh, and layered Flayed One Flesh over the top. It’s a really pale bone colour, without the yellow tinges that things like Ushabti Bone have, so looks great for that off-white look. I’ve lined the armour with Seraphim Sepia, and where necessary gone back over it with Flayed One Flesh. It’s taken about three coats of each to get the strong finish over the black, but overall I like the look of it!

The blue has so far only been a series of thin coats of Alaitoc Blue. The Novamarines colours are described as cobalt blue, and I think Alaitoc Blue has the right sort of look to it. It’s brighter than Altdorf Guard Blue, at any rate!

I’ve now started to go back to those models from earlier in the year to improve them. The dreadnought hadn’t had much paint put on it, so I’ve gone ahead and put the Rakarth Flesh/Flayed One Flesh on there (as well as the four marines from my kill team) I need to strip the three marines that I first attempted to paint, but I think I’m going to wait for the time being. I don’t want to get too overwhelmed with these guys, anyway!


So where next?

Between the 200-point kill team models, the other five marines I have on the go in need of stripping, and the dreadnought I think I have enough to be getting on with, but I’m still feeling in more of a building mood, so I’m planning to get five more tactical marines built up, and an HQ choice. So I’m going to end up with two troops choices (one five-man and one ten-man tactical squad), an elite (the dreadnought) and a fast attack (the assault squad). The HQ though… I want to build a Chapter Master!

Gaius Hadraichus is the current Chapter Master of the Novamarines, but I can’t find any lore on him online. I’ve therefore decided to just build something that looks really cool: power fists and relic blades for the win! I’ve got a few ideas for bits, mainly pulling from the Sternguard Veterans kit, which is a real treasure-trove of bits for this kind of thing…

All of this will total 690 points, so it’s still a fairly small army after all. Looking further ahead, there are more tactical marines on the horizon of course, as well as the fancy marines of the Command Squad! But I want to keep things manageable, as I’m concerned about getting swamped in miniatures again!

So stay tuned as I get these guys built up and ready for the tabletop! There’s a guy doing Howling Griffons at my local GW as well, so we’re talking about getting some games in when our quartered marines are up to fighting force, so there are exciting times to come, I’m sure!


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…


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

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

Hobby Progress, week 47

Hey everybody!
Well, I’m closing that full circle of hobby updates this week, I feel, having put the Christmas tree up yesterday. In a few short weeks, it’ll be the 52nd update, and I guess I’ll be doing some massive retrospective, along with lots of statistics. I mean, I work as a performance analyst, so it’s only natural…

This week has actually seen very little in terms of progress, but I still want to talk about a few things, so sit back and take a look at what I have done!

I’ve been thinking about assembling a Kill Team for months now, and it’s actually the subject of this upcoming week’s game day blog. After going through a few ideas, anyway, I’ve settled on space marines, and have thus spent the week building up a five-man Tactical Squad, and a five-man Assault Squad. It’s a total of 200 points exactly, and I’ve done some judicious swapping-out of parts to get them looking as I want them. The Assault Squad is fairly standard stuff – it’s got the laurel-wreath head on the veteran sergeant, but otherwise they’ve all got the standard bolt pistols and chainswords. I’d bought a selection of bits earlier in the week, including four torsos with the aquila on them, so that I don’t have the usual odd mix of fronts.

The Tactical Squad is also standard fare, using all five aquila torsos (but leaving out the high-gorget of the Mk 8 armour) from the kit. The veteran sergeant has had the most work done to him here – he’s got the power sword from the Devastator kit, and the head from the Ultramarines upgrade pack. Finally, I’m building them as Novamarines (more shortly), and having bought as many shoulder pads as I could find reasonably-priced on ebay, as well as those I already had, I used the shoulder pad from the Sternguard kit for the Tactical sergeant, as it has a bit more texture to it and looks overall a bit grander.

I’ve painted them all with Rakarth Flesh as a base coat, and will be going over this with Flayed One Flesh. I think it should be a very light cream colour (may highlight with Pallid Wych Flesh), then I just need to find the right blue. I’m sure I used Altdorf Guard Blue last time, but it’s still not pastel-enough for me, so I may go for something else this time. I’m hoping that having them creamier will make them more interesting than that stark white colour, anyway!

I’ve tried painting Novamarines before of course, but was never particularly happy with how white they looked. Undercoating them with Corax White and doing nothing with that beyond shading the panels is to blame there, of course, but anyway. Because I had decided to go for a Kill Team, I thought it would be fine to just do ten Novamarines in their quartered blue and white livery and that would be it, but now I’ve been having different ideas…

I’ve been dallying with Space Marines for about 18 months now, if you measure it from when I bought the first kit, and aside from all of the Alpha Legion stuff I’ve been doing, I’ve only actually finished one ten-man Tactical Squad! So it’s about time I settled in for the long haul and really make an effort in this stuff, so I’ve decided that I’m going to actually build a proper army of Space Marines, starting out with the Kill Team thing, and build it out from there. So, exciting times are to be had there, I feel!

I’m going to start a blog series, I think, that chronicles the growth of my marines, so stay tuned for that soon!

I think this change has been brought about following the game of 40k I played the other week at my local GW. I’d not played there before, but it was a really good atmosphere and stuff, and I’d like to get up there more often for gaming, which has prompted me to start looking more critically at what I have to play games with. I’ve gone through all of my Necron stuff, working out points costs and stuff, and while I have 2200 points fully painted (however badly!) and ready to go, it is by no means a legal, or effective force! So I need to focus on what I want to add there, and then finish it all off. I think the Wraiths are top of my list there, so want to get moving with those soon. I also want to build more Tesla Immortals, and I’ve got ten Triarch Praetorians built and primed ready to take their place in a Judicator Battalion. So there is a bit of a plan there, I just need to get moving with it!

I seem to have become a little obsessed with calculating the points of what I have recently, having gone through all of my Necron stuff (I actually have over 7000 points in various stages of completion!) and, most recently, all of the Deathwatch kits that I’ve been building! I really like these guys, of course, but I’m a bit surprised at just how whacky the builds are – overall I have 1620 points built and primed, but of those, only one unit of veterans and the chaplain are actually fully painted, so 300 points. Hm! Time to get a move on there, I feel! I’m planning to get the upcoming deluxe start collecting box, though, so there will be plenty of kits for me to enjoy and add to the team from there.

While I’m doing Novamarines as my main force, I’m also going to keep going with the Deathwatch, mainly because I enjoy them so much, but there are perfectly valid fluff reasons for fielding Novamarines and Deathwatch together, of course! (Especially when going up against a xenos army!) I’ve also got my Dark Angels Deathwing project going on, but the more I think about that, the more I want to have it as a single army than any kind of allied detachment. I’ve currently got 1285 points of this on the painting table, some of it more complete than others, but a serious effort needs to be made there to get everything finished off, I feel, also! Very much looking forward to getting the cream terminators into battle!

So while this week hasn’t seen much in the way of painting, I have been doing an awful lot of planning for the future and, while I’m fairly positive things will go by the wayside as I come across new units that I want to add to my existing forces or go off on tangents with, I think having this core idea in place will be a good thing from here on out!

Hobby Progress, week 14

We’re sure in the thick of it now! Week 14, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s going to be another short blog because I haven’t really done a lot this week, unfortunately! Work was just awful, so a lot of days I was coming home and didn’t really have the energy to move as much as painting with a paint brush allows, but it did mean I got to finish Legion, which was a stunning book that I can highly recommend to anyone looking for a good book set in the Warhammer universe.

So, what have I been doing this week? Marines! Let’s start with the ongoing Novamarine project…

Hobby Progress 14

These guys are not turning out as I’d hoped, though the important thing to note here is that they are turning out, all the same. Most of the stuff this week has been the metallics, which never seems to turn out as nicely on a white undercoat as it does on black. I’m probably going to have to give them another coat, at least, but slowly these chaps are getting there. I feel a bit more confident doing the eyes now than I was last time – particularly important on the white side, after all! – so after these, I moved on to the other five Ultramarines that I have on the table!

Hobby Progress 14

These chaps have been drybrushed Chronus blue, then washed with Drakenhof Nightshade, which has made the picture turn out a lot darker than they currently appear. The four chaps along the back have then had the eyes of their helmets painted and shaded, so already there’s not a lot else left to do now! The captain out front – Uriel Ventris, if you remember! – is another story. I have still not really attempted to paint Caucasian skin yet, so I’m a bit nervous about trying it out here. But I’ll just give it a go and see what happens. Stay tuned for that, anyway!

I’ve also done some work on the two dreadnoughts that I have on going from last week. The Novamarines dreadnought is annoying me, particularly the quartered greave there, which just looks silly. But that’s what the official scheme looks like, so… yeah! I don’t quite know what to do with all of the white – I’ve experimented on the power fist painting a thin coat of Nuln oil over it, which I’m then going to try to overbrush with Ceramite white to pull it back, but hopefully leave the depth there, etc. Stay tuned for that!

The Ultramarines Venerable Dreadnought is just slow-going, with the gold bits painted and shaded, but nothing else to report as yet. I’ve already drybrushed the main body as I did the tactical marines, so in theory it should be well on the way, but I just don’t know at the moment…

To try to alleviate some of these worries I’ve been having, then, I have begun to work on something new! Yes, my dining table still has some space remaining, I must fill it! I bought the Treeman Ancient miniature back when I was first getting into the hobby, as it’s a beautiful model and I had been inspired by the videos on the GW youtube channel, but had always been really put off by how fiddly he looks. Well, having done eight dryads, with four more waiting in the wings, I’ve been thinking a lot about building him up and giving it a go, as the winter scheme I’ve gone for with them is really quite easy to do. Obviously, it’ll require more of an effort for such a centrepiece model, but I’m really looking forward to trying it! Stay tuned for that one, anyway!

I seem to have done so many marines of late, I feel it’ll be nice to change the pace again soon. I’m hoping I can get a lot of these things finished in time for the anniversary next weekend, then maybe look at doing something different, maybe some Stormcasts or Ogres. In doing the golds on the Ultramarines dreadnought, I used the paint left on the palette to make a start on basecoating the Protector-Prime that I’ve had hanging about for a long time, so it might be sooner rather than later!

I’m also really excited to start work on yesterday’s Seraphon, as well!

Hobby Progress, week 13

Here we are, folks, week 13 of my hobby progress! In the spirit of end of the month and end of the quarter, there’ll be a bit of evaluation coming up here for you all to enjoy. Let’s dive in to the progress!

Hobby Progress 13

I’d started some Novamarines last week, and felt a little dejected by them after the first blue base coat. Well, I’ve since done a little more work to them, and I do think they’re slowly coming together! Firstly, I’ve worked the blue up through Alaitoc blue to Hoeth blue, which was the plan last week of course, and that looks pretty good, I think. I sometimes think it might be a little too bright – the Novamarines art I’ve seen has more of a blue-grey, Space Wolf-ish look to it, which makes these guys look more like Sons of Guilliman. But in the absence of any official scheme, this is my Novamarines, so yeah! I’ve also painted the purity seals (having done that to all of the Space Marines I have on the go right now, as you’ll see) and base coated the aquilas and belts Abaddon black, shading with Nuln oil. While I had the wash paint out, I also shaded some other areas to help when I come to apply some darker paints, which I’ve noticed have a tendency to go on too brightly when painted over a white primer, hence why some of those bits might look a little weird. I’ve also done a second shade of the white armour, as the earlier shade had dried a bit too grey-ish for me. I’m going to drybrush or overbrush some white over this, so it looks a little messy right now, but won’t be a problem. Oh yeah, and I’ve painted the bases, as I feel it makes them look that much more complete!

Hobby Progress 13

Speaking of Novamarines, though, I bought a Dreadnought yesterday to support this three-man squad! This is the first time in a long time where I’ve bought something, built it up and primed it in the same day. It would be even better if I’d have started painting as well, but we can’t have it all. The Novamarines Dreadnought colour scheme is a lot simpler than the Marine scheme, anyway, so I think that’ll be fairly straightforward to get done. Of course, I say this now… I’m looking forward to it though, which is the main thing! I have to say, though, I was surprised at this kit. I’ve only built Venerable Dreadnoughts previously, and those kits are great to work with, but while this is broadly the same thing, it nevertheless feels a lot older and stuff. Not particularly impressed with the quality, unfortunately, so while I do have another one from the Demi Company box, I’m not all that enthused about building it.

Hobby Progress 13

My Ultramarines were going absolutely splendidly, until I decided to apply some transfers this morning. I’ve never done transfers on models before, but had the GW video on, so knew what I wanted to do, and went for it – and could have cried! It was awful. Some of them are passable – the ones in the above picture – but the other two are awful. Aside from the fact that each one is at a slightly different point of the shoulder pad, they’ve gone on too bumpy, even with slitting the middle to aid the curve. I’m really unhappy with these, and feel like I’ve ruined an otherwise nice tactical squad! Very sad. I asked for any tips on facebook, and so far all I’ve had suggested is using the sculpted pads from the Ultramarines upgrade kit – which would mean a lot of upgrade kits, given how many tacticals I have to do! Not sure what to do yet – though I’m fairly sure I’ll be attempting to freehand the arrow on the right pad… Stay tuned!

Hobby Progress 13

Speaking of Dreadnoughts, I’ve also resurrected this bad boy! I’m not quite sure when it was I built him up now, though this post on instagram would suggest around Christmas/Boxing Day. I’ve merely sprayed the armour Macragge blue, but already it’s looking a lot easier to work with, so looking forward to getting that one done!

Hobby Progress 13

And speaking of resurrecting models, I’ve once again returned to these guys! Again looking at instagram, I’m guessing it was about October when I last did anything to them, but have now got them on bases and done the purity seals. The bases are a bit of a nightmare – on reflection, I wish I hadn’t done scenic bases like this, but I’ve kinda shoe-horned them on, and while they look good, the agrellan earth has been really spooned on to help build up around the resin, which in turn makes the cracks too big and it literally cracks off. Might be re-thinking some of these soon, then. But in the meantime, I’ve got them now where I can start to work at getting them finished, so that’s exciting! The most exciting/worrying thing about this is that the sergeant of this little band, who you can see at the back in the above picture, is actually bare-headed – his head is currently stuck to a cork, having had some Reikland fleshshade over some Bugman’s glow. I’m really concerned about my ability to do a good job here, but I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes – practice makes perfect, and so forth! I’m hoping to really get into this faces-painting thing, though, as the other five tactical marines are awaiting paint, one of whom I modeled after Captain Ventris, so he’ll need to look pretty decent!

Hobby Progress 13

Finally, I’m about calling the Deathwing finished. There are still some bits and pieces left, such as the decapitated Chaos Marine on the base of that chap on the right, but otherwise, I feel that I’ve done all I can for these now, and I’ve reached the high-point of my skills for the time being. They’re most definitely playable right now, I’d say, so I can look at getting them into a game at some point (once I learn how to play, of course!) and when I come to do some more soon – both normal Deathwing terminators and the Deathwing Knights I build up over Christmas Eve! – I can always return to any bits that need finishing then.

I’m really happy with them, anyway, and have really enjoyed painting them, but this is getting on for three months of slowly chipping away at things now, and there comes a point where you just need to say, I’m done! So, I’m done!


So like I said, we’re at the three month mark here, Q1 of 2016 has now elapsed, and it’s time to take some stock, I think!

I’ve really enjoyed writing these posts for the past three months, because it has really helped to give me a focus in what I’m painting. I know it may not seem that way, because I’ve largely taken something of a scattergun approach and have been working away at a broad range of models, but I think that way is the best way for me, as it keeps me focused on the overall task of painting, rather than risking getting bored with one miniature/squad and just packing up the brushes. So I definitely think I’ll continue in this vein for the time being.

While I’ve not really finished a lot of miniatures in this time, I have managed to get the White Scars done, I’m calling the Deathwing done, and the first five Ultramarines are done except for the transfer mishap. Earlier, I’ve also managed to get a couple of Stormcast miniatures finished. I’ve also recently done a whole lot of basing, applying the finishing touches to several Necrons that had been languishing for an age.

Since looking at the waiting area at the end of February, I feel that it has also helped to focus me on only working on what I have. I only bought one kit in March – the Dracothian Guard; I’m not counting the Deathwatch game as ‘a kit’, really – and haven’t built anything new, but have been working away at the stuff that I’ve had built for weeks or months. Over the last couple of weeks, in fact, I’ve come around to thinking that I really ought to get some of the stuff finished that has been hanging around, such as the aforementioned Necrons.

I’d say this has been an extremely positive few months, where I’ve been doing a little, often. I’ve forever been an up-and-down painter, sometimes going weeks without doing anything, then having a splurge on a dozen models or more, I think this regular thing is much better. I’m really pleased with the progress that has been made, anyway, and I’m especially pleased that I’m feeling confident enough as a painter to try something like the Novamarines scheme! That it currently seems to be working, as well, is even more exciting!

Let’s see how much I can do in the next quarter!

Hobby Progress, week 12

I’ve been doing this for twelve weeks now, can you believe?! It’s been pretty great for motivation, I’ll say that – the thought of not having anything to publish here of a Sunday has really helped to get me painting, and I need all the help I can get sometimes! So many unfinished projects have been languishing since the summer last year, and this week, I’m taking a look at quite a few! But let’s start with Space Marines.

Last week’s update featured some progress on some Ultramarines, as well as the suggestion of doing something fantastic with the Novamarines successor chapter. Well, take a look!

Hobby Progress 12

First up, let’s talk Novamarines. These guys look amazing in artwork for the game, and I really want to get a small squad together, but having done these two guys to just this point, I’m no longer sure I want to do a full squad! The quartered scheme is certainly different, and while it’s always fun to try out new stuff, I’m already wondering if it’s beyond me! This is just a base coat of Kantor blue and washed with Drakenhof Nightshade, as well as a recess wash of Nuln oil on the white parts. It took almost an hour to get these two painted to this point, as I was trying to be so damn careful to get the lines straight etc. I want to do a third, as I have a sergeant-type guy who was built out of specific bits so as to be the Novamarines sergeant, but whether I’ll get all five done will possibly remain to be seen. The tutorial I’d found seems to leave the blue at this stage, and just edge-highlights from there, but I feel this is far too dark for my liking, so I’m thinking I might go for Alaitoc blue, with some Hoeth blue highlights. The armour is described (somewhere) as cobalt, so I’m thinking it needs to be quite bright. We’ll see, anyway! Suffice it to say, I’m glad I haven’t planned an army of these guys!

Hobby Progress 12

The Ultramarines are coming along nicely – I’ve actually been doing some work on the other two as well, though they’re nowhere near as far along as these chaps. I’ve been feeling a bit down on them for the past couple of days, in part because of the blue-ness they have. This sounds weird, but when I see the model being blue, with a blue base, it just looks weird, and I wonder if I’ll ever finish it. By painting the base like this, I suddenly feel like they’re almost done. It’s clearly a psychological thing!

Hobby Progress 12

I hate painting eyes, but have done them on all of the Ultramarines and the Deathwing I have going on right now! They’re not perfect, but I’m hoping that the Carroburg crimson wash has helped to define the lens enough that any overspill onto the face can be seen as a glow-effect, anyway! So they’re coming along. I think I might have to do the bases for these guys as well soon, as that’ll help make them look a lot more complete than they have been! There are still a lot of small details to do, of course, and I think it really needs a concerted effort to get done. But for now, they continue to plod along, slowly but surely.

I’ve been having something of a basing extravaganza yesterday, where I took a whole bunch of models that were almost done, some except for the bases, and over the course of about four hours, got them sorted there. For many, it’s now just a case of some small details before they’re finished.

Yes, folks, it’s Necrons! In my end of February post, I shared a picture of my waiting area, with a whole host of models in varying stages of completion, and most of these are Necrons. Among other things, I had ten Immortals that needed serious attention, five more that just needed basing, and ten Lychguard that needed some kind of attention, including basing. Having spent so long with a variety of different models, it felt really great to be back with models that I’m not only familiar with, but know I can pretty much churn out fairly quickly.

Hobby Progress 12

These chaps are now pretty much finished, I might drybrush some green onto the snow at the rear, to simulate the glow of the weapons, but that’s it. I have another squad, with tesla carbines, who are very close to completion, but in all, I think I now have six squads of Immortals painted up. At some point, I hope to really get into playing 40k, and my dislike of the Necron Warrior model has led to my having these guys as my troop choices. Well, anyway!

Hobby Progress 12

Finally, we have this big guy. My local GW store is doing a paint it purple (and paint it black) competition next week, so I thought it’d be the perfect excuse to finish off at least one of my Ogres! I’ve had this guy sitting there waiting for so long now, it’s untrue – the base colours were all done some time last year, and the green base was done over the last August Bank Holiday weekend. However, there have been a number of small, maddening details that remained incomplete. Notably the hair. I can’t tell you how many philosophical musings I’ve had about “what colour would hair be if your skin is purple?” I’ve finally hit upon this blue colour, done the same way as I do the crests for my Stormcasts – maybe the crests are made from dead Ogors! Well, anyway. I don’t think he’s going to win any awards, but it’s been a great impetus to finally get one of these chaps done! Now that I’ve seen him, maybe I’ll get some more finished, as well!

All in all, it’s been a really fun week for painting! I think I like to have this variety of models on the go – not too big that it puts me off doing anything, but enough that I don’t get bored doing the same colours over and over again. Anyway, it’ll be the end of the month again next time, so I’ll probably have another retrospective-type of post. I’m certainly hoping to be progressed with the Novamarines, and also have more done to the Deathwing and Ultramarines.

Until next time!