Hobby Progress, week 23

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

Hobby Progress 23

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

Hobby Progress 23

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

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

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

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

Hobby Progress, week 22

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

Hobby Progress 22

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

Hobby Progress 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hobby Progress, week 20

Hey everybody!
Last week was the start of something wonderful for me, clearly, as I began to put base coats on more Stormcast Eternals. For those of you who didn’t click on the link, I painted six Protectors with Balthasar Gold, and pretty much left it there. It was a promising start, but with an essay due at the end of the month, I hadn’t thought I’d be able to get much done this week to report. Well, I was wrong!

Hobby Progress 20

Let’s start with the Protectors. These guys are some of my favourites from the entire Stormcast line released to date. Last week, I’d thought about trying to make them look really ornate and stuff, but decided I didn’t want to make them stand out too much from the other guys I have. The gold armour is the usual thing: Balthasar gold base, washed with Agrax earthshade, then drybrusged with Golden Griffon. For the purple, it’s a basecoat of Naggaroth Night and then a thin, almost-glaze of Xereus purple. I think the official Lions of Sigmar scheme that inspired me initially also calls for Genestealer purple, but I’ve never really wanted to highlight it up that much – I prefer my models to look almost dark, with more realistic highlights provided by the natural light on the model. Anyway! The metal is the usual Leadbelcher/Nuln oil/Runefang steel thing, though I’ve also done a very light drybrush with Liberator gold on the glaives, as I wanted them to appear somewhat special. The haft of their weapons is Screamer pink washed with Agrax earthshade and drybrushed with Pink Horror, and that’s pretty much that!

Hobby Progress 20

I’ve done four more paladins, as well. The base set for Age of Sigmar comes with three Retributors, but the paladins box has enough for five guys, which has always been a bit of an annoyance for me. I’ve previously built up five Decimators, but when I was building the Protectors, I decided I’d make three units of six for the three paladin types. Hence the six Protectors in the first picture, of course. My prime motivation for doing three more Retributors was my second game of Age of Sigmar, in which my Retributors did extremely well. I also thought the Soulstar Mace was a really powerful weapon, so wanted another one!

Hobby Progress 20

My Lord Castellant is still one of my favourite models to work with so far! Unfortunately, I think he’s currently at the very limit of my skills with a paint brush, yet I feel there’s still a lot that could be done to him. However, I feel really pleased with the achievement here. Especially considering I painted him fully built! That lantern has turned out so well! Sometimes I’m overly modest about my work, but I feel really proud of what I’ve done, even though I know it won’t be winning any awards or anything.

The basic armour and stuff is the same as with the other guys. For the tabard and the ribbon that comes off his axe, I painted them Warpfiend grey and washed it Druchii violet, something I’ve previously done with the standing Lord-Celestant. For me, the biggest thing on this guy was his cloak. I just didn’t know what to do with it for days! I’d painted it Celestra grey, but had no idea where to go from there! This morning, however, I took the plunge and washed it with Drakenhof Nightshade. It looks good, and ties in well with the Primes from the various warrior chambers, whose feather crests on their helmets are all done in the same manner.

The lantern is basically Leadbelcher, washed in Nuln oil, the lightning bits done in Retributor armour, and then very lightly drybrushed with Runefang steel. I think it’s quite a simple thing that looks really effective now that it’s finished. Really happy with that, in case you can’t tell!

Hobby Progress 20

Something else I’m really happy about is the completion of these Prosecutors! They’ve been hanging about since September, and despite trying to get them done earlier in the year, I haven’t actually managed it until this week. It’s just those wings, you know? I’ve tried painting the wings first and then the golden bits, the golden bits first and then the wings, but no matter which bit is done first, it always needs to be re-done as I manage to either get blue on the gold, or gold on the blue. Gah! That said, they still look damn sexy as hell when they’re done, and I’m so pleased to have them done. The masochist in me wants to immediately start work on three more, perhaps wielding a grandhammer or grandblade, but I think I’m going to start on something different next…

Hobby Progress 20

Finally, I think my Orruk chap is completed, too! As with the Lord-Castellant, I think he’s as good as my skill can make him right now, so I’m going to leave him there. The bone has been done, just Dawnstone with an Agrax earthshade wash, and the wrappings have been painted in Kislev flesh and a mix of Agrax earthshade and Carroburg crimson – basically, I wanted the wraps to actually be strips of flesh torn from his enemies!

Something I’m particularly excited about with this model is that I’ve used Blood for the Blood God for the first time ever, pooling beneath the severed head. It’s actually a lot different than I thought it would be, and I’m already thinking I might try it on other models. I’m not really one for making my models look dirty and whatnot, I prefer a clean finish, but it might add to some of the scenery or whatever on the base!

Anyway, that’s all the progress for this week! I’m surprised there’s been so much of it, to be honest – particularly seeing as how I’ve also managed to read two books and write a 3000-word essay! I should clearly have time off work more often!

Don’t forget to come back next week, for what I hope will be a really exciting update blog!

Hobby Progress, week 19

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

Hobby Progress 19

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

Hobby Progress 19

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

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

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

Hobby Progress, week 18

Hey everybody!
Welcome to another week of hobby progress! This is a week that, despite my thoughts to the contrary, has actually seen some real progress made, so I’m quite chuffed!

To start with, I’ve been building stuff. Quite a lot of stuff, actually. A disparate band of miniatures, aren’t they? I bought a box of Tempestus Scions last week, as I’d been thinking since reading Legion that I’d like some normal human soldiers to accompany my Space Marines, and the beret look is how I think I’d like them to look. So I’ve built two of those guys, one of whom is the vox caster, and he looks hilarious!

I’ve also built some more from the Deathwatch: Overkill game. This board game has really excited me to be exactly that, a board game, but unlike with Space Hulk, which I built up pretty much the weekend it was released, I’ve been really quite drawn-out with this process so far. I think I have something akin to miniature fatigue, still. Well anyway, three more models for the game, slow and steady wins the race!

If you saw my post yesterday, you’ll know that I finally got some new Orcs in my life. I’ve actually been inspired to do something with at least one of the new Orruk Brutes, and built and primed him up yesterday afternoon. This morning, then, I’ve painted his skin with Waaagh! flesh and Warboss Green, and have done some thin coats on some of his armour plates with Screaming Skull. I’ve decided to do the Stoneskulls, though I had thought briefly about doing the Kryptboyz. I basically wanted to do something different to how I have a lot of my other Age of Sigmar stuff.

In addition to this, I’ve also dug out a genestealer from Space Hulk, and have done some little bits to him! Only some purple on the skin and bits on the base, but still!

Last week was potentially going to be a really quiet week for miniatures painting, anyway, as I had an essay due on the Thursday. Well, that’s now in, but I don’t have much rest as the dissertation for this module is due on 27 May, and I don’t really know what I’m going to write about! I’ve got a week off soon, so I’m not really at panic-stations just yet, but there is always the chance that the next few weeks will also be quiet as I focus more on that.

But hopefully over the summer, things will get a lot busier! I’m planning to properly get back into playing both Age of Sigmar, and to start properly with 40k, so I hope that, by having games planned, it’ll incentivize me into painting more and actually getting projects completed!

Such is the plan…

It’s Saturday!

Hey everybody!
I woke up in such a good mood this morning, and so far, the day has not let me down. It’s been rather wonderful, even if I say so myself, so let me share some of this awesome with you fine internet folk!

I went up to Chester this morning, which in itself is nothing really new as I tend to go there most Saturdays – it’s where my nearest Games Workshop store is, after all. I picked up some Ironjawz, after eyeing them up for a long while, so I’m hoping they can lift me out of the painting lapse I’ve been in for a while now.

This week is all about the Flesh-Eater Courts, the new zombies basically being repackaged. However, while there aren’t any new models coming, there is a new Battletome to accompany the release, something I found quite interesting. We’ve seen this with Seraphon/Lizardmen, of course, but still. There is something irresistibly creepy about the lore of these guys, and I find myself marveling at the way Games Workshop manages to seduce me so well – I was actually considering a pre-order!

Age of Sigmar Flesh Eater Courts

In case you missed it, there’s something afoot in the Mortal Realms, as it appears the rumours of an Age of Sigmar-themed boxed game appear to be true. Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower has had its teaser trailer up this morning, and it looks filled with Tzeentchy horror and some interesting barbarian-like folk – I’m particularly intrigued by that chap up in the top left corner wielding a warhammer, looks like a warrior priest to me…

While in Chester, I also picked up some books, including the new Bloodlines novel that purports to fill in many of the gaps in the lead-up to The Force Awakens, and another Justice League book, The Grid.

I haven’t mentioned some of the recent comics I’ve been reading, so I think I’ll do a bit of a catch-up here, anyway. Starting with The Grid, this appears to be one of the stories that leads into the Trinity War crossover event, and starts by swelling the ranks of the Justice League with all manner of extras, as seen during the previous arc, Throne of Atlantis. We have Firestorm, Atom, and Element Woman, among others, and if I’m honest, I feel a bit like we’re diluting the awesome team dynamic that hooked me into the Justice League in the first place.

The first part of the book, anyway, deals with the attack on the League by the villain Despero. He is given a Kryptonite ring and attacks the Watchtower, causing it to plummet to the earth and, when Superman flies up to prevent a catastrophic hit into the east coast, he is beaten back by the ring. It’s only by the intervention of Martian Manhunter that Despero is driven back, though he flees before any of the main Justice League show up on the scene, leaving everyone thinking Atom defeated him.

It was a cool story, though there are a lot of pages where nothing really happens – at least, nothing that feels like it interests me somehow. Which was a shame, if I’m honest.

The second part of the book is the Trinity War crossover, something I got really confused by when I tried to read the issues in Justice League of America. The Trinity War crossover arc deals with all three Justice Leagues – that of Superman et al, the JLA that includes Martian Manhunter, Hawkman et al, and Justice League Dark, which features Constantine and Deadman, among others.

JLA started off pretty interestingly, I thought. Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor set up a second Justice League, with the idea that it would stop any possible threat from the main Justice League of Superman etc. They investigate the Secret Society of Super Villains in what was a fairly confusing storyline, for me, though it was cool to see a new group of superheroes interact into a cohesive whole, something I really enjoyed about the first Justice League book. It was also great to read a story with Martian Manhunter, a character who had intrigued me since playing the DC deck-building game.

I’m not really a fan of Constantine, which has been putting me off buying the Trinity War storyline, but given that it seems to be a big part of this world, and I believe it leads into the Forever Evil stuff, I think I may have to invest at some point…

Almost completely off-topic now, I’ve also been reading the first Green Lantern book, Sinestro. I’ve never honestly been all that interested by this guy but, as happened with Aquaman, I was intrigued following the first Justice League book. I actually bought this one months ago and, after the success of Aquaman, I’d feared I might become enamoured of another superhero and throw loads of money at the various Lantern books. Well, it’s with something of a heavy heart that I say, I wasn’t as keen on this solo series as I was with Aquaman. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to see where this Hal Jordan came from and whatnot, but given the fact that he doesn’t actually have his powers during this book, and is essentially a pawn of Sinestro’s attempt to rescue the natives of his homeworld, I felt it was a bit odd, and I couldn’t really see where this fit with the Green Lantern of the Justice League book.

I’m prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt, however, and have ordered the second volume, which is on its way to me as I type, so my opinions may change soon, but yeah, I was feeling a bit meh about this. Plus, the art changed for the final story in this volume, which I really didn’t like!

At any rate, I’m sure I’ll be getting round to more of the comics on my shelf soon. Having read so much good stuff about it, I’m decided to move onto Star Wars: Bloodlines next, so I’ll be back soon with my thoughts on that!

Hope you’re all having as excellent a Saturday as me!

Orruks! Ironjawz! Oh my!

It’s new Sigmar time again!

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

Ironjawz Maw Krusha Age of Sigmar

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

Orruks Ironjawz Age of Sigmar

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

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

Orruks Ironjawz Age of Sigmar

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

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