Mid Year Hobby Check-In

Hey everybody!
Things have been a bit sparse here on the blog in recent weeks, due to the fact that I’m moving house again at the end of this week. Two moves inside of two years isn’t really all that bad, if I’m being honest, though it’s still one move more than perhaps I’d like! Well, anyway – we’re having lots of fun because Jemma is now six months pregnant, so can’t do a great deal of anything when it comes to packing and moving stuff, but the heir is apparently developing beautifully, so that’s the most important thing!

Anyway!

I’m a bit late to the party on this one, for sure, but I wanted to check in with how I’ve been doing, hobby wise, especially in comparison with the hobby resolutions that I made back in December! So let’s get cracking, and see how widely I’ve strayed from these goals…

First of all, though, let’s take a look at what those resolutions were to be:

So then! I think the easiest thing would be to just run through the list quickly and see, one by one, what I have managed to do…

Build and paint a third Ravager
This one is still a work in progress. But it’s on my mind, which is good!

Build and paint an Imperium tank of some sort
I was hoping to do a Predator or something – you know, something that really looks like a tank? But I haven’t gotten anywhere with this yet.

Buy, build and paint Inquisitor Karamazov
None of these things has happened yet.

Continue to build up and paint the 1500 point Grey Knight List
This project has well and truly stalled!

Finish off painting the Deathwatch models that I have
This project has also well and truly stalled!

Work out what to do with those Tyranids, if anything
Finally, something that I can tick off! Check out this blog post for those plans! I’ve had several thoughts, plans and ideas since then, as well, though I don’t think they’ve yet made it into blog form. But give it time…

Work out what I want to do with the Tau army, if anything
Another big tick in the box – I’ve sold the whole lot on ebay, including the Codex. That Tau bridge has been well and truly burnt!

Paint 10 more Neophyte Hybrids, and paint 5 Hybrid Metamorphs
The models are built and primed, ready and waiting. I just need to get myself sorted out! This has actually stalled in favour of the next bullet point, however:

Paint 10 Skitarii, the Tech Priest Dominus, and the Dunecrawler
Well, I haven’t quite managed the Dunecrawler yet, but the Skitarii are coming along quite nicely, as it happens!

Paint some Ravenwing Black Knights, and the Deathshroud
Okay, so this has also well and truly stalled, but my buddy Matthew has been recently sharing some progress he’s made with his Dark Angels, which has in turn started me thinking once again about a return to the First. Watch this space on that one!

Paint at least one proper terrain piece (not just an ammo crate)
Well, I have plenty of terrain pieces that are built and primed – it’s just finding the time, at the moment, to get anywhere with them! I think I’ve just been much more focused on getting dudes painted, their surroundings have kinda lapsed into nothing for me at this point. Though I have started painting four more ammo crates…

Paint some Nighthaunt and see what AoS is all about
Okay, so this is probably the biggest one for me thus far – I’ve painted up quite a decent chunk of spooks at this point, and have had three games of AoS, which has been really positive overall! I’ve had some hiccups with it, whereby I’ve almost been branching out too much again, but I think I’m now contained to just Death and Slaanesh armies, keeping my AoS adventure much more understated and in keeping with the factions that hold the most interest to me.

Hopefully when I move, I’ll be able to get some more games in!

Paint the Doomsday Ark
Well, this one is still in pieces somewhere, so let’s move on…

Try out ShadeVault and Necromunda
Again, not managed to do anything here except paint gang members, so let’s continue…

Play more games, dammit!
Well, I’ve managed to play 9 games so far this year, across 40k, Age of Sigmar and Kill Team. Bearing in mind that I only managed to play 11 games in the entirety of 2018, 9 games in 6 months isn’t bad at all! So I feel quite good about this one, even though it isn’t as good as perhaps it could be!


So far, then, I’ve not been doing that well, but I think that’s partly because I was so focused, back in December, on getting my Deathwatch and Grey Knights painted, that I somehow thought I could do it to the exclusion of all else. Now, my buddy Kev has often said I just need to be focused here, but I do tend to lack that over a long stretch. I mean, if I had two weeks where all I painted were marines every day, then I might actually come out with a few hundred points of army at the end of it. However, I’ve been painting for one or two nights a week, for one or two weeks per month, and my focus is diffused over a wide variety of projects. Inevitably, I just end up doing nothing, or very little, and I think I need to get better at that aspect.

Last month, I started painting Skitarii like there was no tomorrow – at least, by my standards! And while it might not sound that impressive, I managed to get fifteen Skitarii Vanguard, a Tech Priest Dominus and a Tech Priest Enginseer painted up! That’s not bad, considering I’ve also been slowly packing up the house!

So I think I need to really try to hone myself into just concentrating on one project at a time, and going from there.

However!

Lack of concentration is one thing, but there has also been a number of new releases that have just grabbed my attention, and I feel now like I really need to alter my original resolutions in order to take account of them!

First up is, of course, Slaanesh. I’ve been a great fan of the Dark Prince since my Warhammer Invasion days, and I am thinking more and more about the need to start painting more of these things, and soon! I did also get a new Keeper of Secrets, which is just glorious but, due to the impending move, I haven’t yet made a start on it. So I’m thinking that might be a good project to keep for later in the year – we’ll have a small person to contend with, but I’m sure I’ll be able to cope with a centrepiece miniature! Ha!

Slaanesh has been a big deal for me for years, so I’m really looking forward to getting some of those daemons painted up – both the new stuff, and the old!

Towards the end of last year, I got into Chaos Marines again in a pretty big way. All of that Blackstone Fortress stuff was coming, and it really fired my imagination. Well, Shadowspear brought us loads more, and we’re currently on the cusp of Traitor Command for Blackstone Fortress, so it’s probably little wonder that, with so much heretical good stuff coming, I’m once again feeling the pull of the dark gods. I really fancy having a Word Bearers army, and have made some fairly slow progress in getting these things planned out. Chaos was one of my three “going bigger with” blogs from February, as I really fancied getting a Chaos force to the table sometime this year. The way that real life has intervened, I don’t think that will be possible now, but it’s something that I have on my mind at the moment, along with some other bits and pieces for a Chaos army, so I really hope that I can at least get a few more things painted before the end of the year!

I think I need to take a minute to talk here about the new line of Contrast paints from GW. They came out last month, to much fanfare, and I was actually pretty surprised at the results when I finally managed to try them out myself. The genestealer above was painted using Gryph-Charger Grey, and the blotchy appearance it left was really quite a surprise, and quite an eyesore. I’ve had that finish before with washes, and haven’t always managed to remedy the situation with some drybrushing or overbrushing, but considering these paints are supposed to get the model ready for the tabletop with one thick coat, I think the results are very poor.

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been doing it wrong, but even when mixed with the medium, that seems to tone down the pigmentation, while still leaving this blotchy finish. Is there some secret to it? I’m applying the paint as I think I’m supposed to, but it’s just leaving this horrendous look that I’ve yet to see work well.

I did try it on some space marines today, while I had some small dose of calm amid the flurry of cardboard boxes, but they just look bad. I’m particularly annoyed at this, because one of them was the 30th anniversary Primaris Lieutenant, which is actually a very nice model. Very annoying!

So I’m not a fan of contrast paints, which is just as well because I’ve only bought four of them. I think I’ll stick to the usual methods, but I’m quite pleased GW have brought out so many more base and layer paints, as it means I can start exploring new territories with them! I’ve already been thinking of a new Tyranid colour scheme after getting my hands on some of the old Forge World colours, so that’s exciting!

I’m also keen to continue painting up units for my Dark Eldar army that I’ve not had as a part of it so far. Incubi and Mandrakes, as well as Scourges, have been on the table as I inch closer to getting these chaps finished! So that’s all encouraging stuff.


In the middle of all of this, however, is my desire to just improve as a painter. There is so much that I can do to get better, top of the list being calm down and have more patience! A lot of the time I see myself rushing through things and getting sloppy, only to then need to go back and revisit the whole thing. I think I also need to try and get better with my brushes, as I usually wear them into the ground, while still using tufty things as if they were XS artificer layer brushes. While I have no problem replacing them when they wear out, I’m still a little nervy about starting to use a new one. I think I need to get over that, as it’s holding me back a bit.

There have been a few miniatures that I’ve churned out in the recent past where I’ve thought: yes, this is actually a decent looking mini. The one that immediately comes to mind is that Rogue Psyker from Blackstone Fortress, which is really quite neatly painted, and while the majority of the miniature is actually just basecoat and shade, I still look at it and think it’s come out pretty well. I suppose I’d like to try and capture that more and more as I go along, and paint in an unhurried manner but still get to make decent progress. It’s the dream, for sure, but I’m fairly positive that I could actually make it happen! It does help, of course, that the Rogue Psyker is one model, and did not require any sort of batch painting nonsense that I’ve recently been encountering as I’ve been doing the Skitarii, or preparing myself as I look down the barrel of the Chaos Marines from Shadowspear!

As the year goes on, then, I’m thinking I’ll be doing some much smaller-scale projects, five marines here, five daemonettes there, maybe a vehicle if I can manage it. Certainly from October, when Junior will arrive, I can’t see me getting much of anything done this side of Christmas 2020! But hopefully there will be bright spots on the horizon, as I can begin to get some things finished in the small hours while on the night shift!

But I don’t think I’ll get 1500 points of Grey Knights finished in 2019…!

Hobby Progress, week four!

Hey everybody!
It’s been another quiet week this week, which is perhaps to be expected with Christmas and all. I’ve been trying to make some time for painting during the latter half of the week, with the intention being that I’d have something to show you all for this blog here on Sunday – which I suppose is the point of me doing these blogs in the first place, so well done me!

I’m still very busy with army lists, and having pretty much finalised my first plans for the Grey Knights, I’ve started work on the Purifier squad with gusto! I’m really enjoying these chaps for the moment, so I hope that continues. Unlike a lot of projects (Tau instantly spring to mind here), I’ve got quite a clear idea of what I want to achieve with the paint scheme, so I’m hoping that means it’ll go quicker for me! I’ve done the silver quite quickly – just a Leadbelcher base, with a bit of a focused shade of Nuln oil, then a soft drybrush of Ironbreaker. I’ve not yet gone in with the blue glaze, as I’m building myself up to that one! Having base coated the helmets with Celestra Grey, I’ve today gone in with a diluted shade of Coelia Greenshade – 1 part shade to about 4 parts Lahmian Medium. It’s left them with enough detail, but there’s a definite greenish hue to them that I quite like. The tabard on the Justicar has been painted Zandri Dust and shaded with Seraphim Sepia, and the gold details are just base coated Retributor Armour. Finally, the Force weapons have been base coated with Caledor Sky.

I’m hoping to be much further progressed as this week moves on, so hopefully I’ll have more progress for you all then!

I had the Grey Knights Paladin Squad for Christmas, and so have built myself a Grand Master using the parts from that kit to really flesh him out as a fancy chap. I’ve also been building models for both the Deathwatch, and the Ravenwing projects that I have going on at the moment – I’ll get to the latter in due course here on the blog, but for now, let’s talk about the xenos hunters!

I’ve been slowly building up a Deathwatch army since Death Masque arrived back in 2016, but have left it quite a while between the last phase of my painting and this current spurt. The reason being that I’ve been talking to a fellow gaming buddy about entering a doubles tournament in 2019, in the assumption that Warhammer World will be holding the event again!

Now, I’ve played in card game tournaments in the past, but I’ve never even attempted to go along for a miniatures tournament, as I get the impression that it’s just far too competitive for my liking. Well, Kev has not given me any reason to think I was wrong in this assumption, so far! He’s going Grey Knights (it was against his kill team that I first encountered that game, and he’s been building up the army since) so I’m going with another branch of the Inquisition, and hopefully we’ll either face Chaos or Xenos to make our army choices worthwhile!!

All weekend, then, I’ve been working my way through list ideas, and I think I’ve finally managed to come up with something that I would be reasonably happy playing – bearing in mind that I prefer fun things to play, as opposed to lists that are just too tailored and end up being boring:

Initially, it’s quite a cheap battalion list, with a fourth group of veterans that includes a Terminator taking up a significant number of the points. I’m fully intending to use this as a distraction unit though, hoping that it will draw enough fire that the other units will survive reasonably unmolested. The Venerable Dreadnought needs a new arm, which I thankfully have thanks to the bits box, and I’ve got a Razorback for the more melee-orientated unit of Veterans to get them closer to where they need to be. I did initially want a Chaplain in there with them, but I’ve instead gone for the JumpMaster as he has a slightly better stat line. Though I am wondering if the Terminator will be worth it, so might make some adjustments over time!

The first thing that strikes me about Deathwatch is just how many crazy options there are in the Codex, and how many interesting squad permutations you can get. I’m a bit confused by the whole mission tactics / special issue ammunition thing, and with the stratagems on top, I feel like this army is something that can be quite unwieldy quite quickly, so I definitely want to get some games in with it as soon as possible, as I need to get used to that side of things before I get into any kind of tournament setting, I think!!

To that end, I’m thinking I might need to make an alternative list, just to get to grips with the army in general, and then see how it goes adding in the relevant units. I do already have a sizable Deathwatch army, so I’m hoping to get to the shop in the new year and see how it goes! Stay tuned for those exciting updates, anyway!


It’s been a lot of fun resurrecting the old hobby progress blogs for December, and I almost feel a bit sad to finish the series! I do think they’re a great way to check in and keep me on track with my goals, so I think I’ll definitely be doing a monthly iteration throughout 2019. I have a lot of goals for next year, so we shall see how those pan out!

Come back on Tuesday, 1 January, to find out more about those goals!!

Hobby Progress, week three!

Hey everybody!
It’s been another quiet week for me, sadly, as I was a bit busy in work in the run-up to the holidays, so didn’t have much time in the week to get much painting in. It was my birthday on Tuesday though, and I had a few hobby-related gifts, including the Project Box from my brilliant wife, so I’ve been trying that out for mobile painting down in the living room, and it hasn’t been too bad so far! I tend to do most of my painting these days in the spare room, where I’ve got my paints and stuff set up ready, but I’d rather spend my evenings with my other half so tend to build on a tray on my lap rather than try to paint there, only getting to wield a brush in the hour or so before bed. Hopefully I can be a bit more mobile now, though, and get more done to the models I’ve been building up consistently for 18 months or more!

So I was due to have a game on Thursday, a final battle royale between six  of us at the store, but sadly that didn’t pan out. However, it did spur me on to actually get my stuff painted for the occasion, and I managed to finish both the squad of Immortals and Annihilation Barge – they’re tabletop standard, for sure, and the Barge definitely needs more work doing to it, but I do feel quite chuffed that they’re now significantly closer to being finished.

The next stage of my Great Reanimation is going to be more tesla Immortals, and then either moving onto something big like the Doomsday Ark, or maybe Tomb Blades. I do want both for the army, and quite soon, but I think the jetbikes might be more palatable in games than the Ark. Though with the way I roll dice, it could go either way!

I’m no further forward with any of the other projects, sadly, though I’m hoping to get moving on the Cultists as my next project in general, as I’d like to have them finished by the end of the year. I’d also like to have done more with the Skitarii, of course, but aside from the basecoat on the Tech Priest Dominus, I’ve not done anything further to those… Maybe next year!

I’ve been working on army lists in general, particularly for my latest new project, the Grey Knights, and with the arrival of Chapter Approved, I feel like there is a lot to digest with that now. I have primed the five Purifiers that I’d built up recently, so I’m looking forward to moving onto those guys soon, as I think they’ll look really awesome. So hopefully that will get me back into painting and stuff!

I think the time of year might not be helping, but I’ve been finding it difficult to motivate myself into painting. One of my resolutions for 2019 is to try and play more games, so I think that might help with the motivation factor – we’ll have to see! I have been trying to read a lot of Black Library fiction to keep myself immersed in the lore, in general, and I’ve been very active on my blog here in an attempt to further keep myself motivated, so hopefully all of these strands will coalesce, and I’ll see an improvement soon!

November Retrospective: goals and ramblings

Hey everybody!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a blast this last month here on the blog, there seems to have been so much stuff to talk about, it has been really great to talk about all the upcoming stuff, the current projects, theory-craft about the future and so on. It’s been really productive for me, and hitting that 800-post milestone was just the icing on the cake there. I published a new blog every day for the week in which post 800 arrived, though looking at the little calendar over on the right there, I actually posted for nine consecutive days, which is definitely more productive than I’ve been for a long time here! Which is interesting to me, as I love a good stat.

However, the month is now at an end, and so I thought I’d ramble instead about the upcoming projects that I have on the horizon, and see where I’d like to be at the end of the year – it’s something I have thought about lately, and as we launch ourselves at December this weekend, I think it’s about time to lay out some groundwork!

This month, I’ve managed to paint quite a lot, as it happens, between the Thorns of the Briar Queen warband, the Fulgurite Electro-Priests that I’ve been wanting to paint since they came out, and the recent batch of Necrons and Dark Eldar chaps. Starting work on the Elucidian Starstriders has, I feel, knocked me a little as I had been trying to focus instead on painting just one unit and getting that finished. It was fine when I could focus just on the Electro-Priests, or just on the Immortals, but I do feel that I have once more been branching off and, sadly, it’s no good to anyone! I’ve recently been feeling really annoyed at having so many partly-painted miniatures out on the desk, so I think I need to pare things down and just work on the unit I want to finish, then move on.

Which brings me on to the units that I want to work on!

Necrom Immortals / Annihilation Barge

I had been talking earlier in the month about Necrons first and foremost, and wanted to paint up some more Immortals and some Deathmarks. Well, I have finished the unit of Deathmarks now, so I think I will indeed go for the heavy armour and add the Annihilation Barge to that list, alongside some more Immortals. For the Great Reanimation project, I currently only have 15 troops painted, while my list requires 25, so I think I need to get moving there. I have, actually, nearly caved on a couple of occasions and bought some Warriors for the army – sculpts that I dislike so much, but I can see myself perhaps eventually adding in the new year. Never thought I’d see the day, but there we are! I’m still considering it, though, so haven’t pulled the trigger yet. We shall see.

I’m hoping that the fact the Annihilation Barge is partly painted already will give me a good head-start on this!

Total so far: 5 Immortals and an Annihilation Barge

Before I move on, I thought I’d just mention my Dark Eldar, and the fact that I’ve recently managed to finish off a couple of things that have been hanging around the painting table for a while now, such as a Venom and the Sslyth. I’m quite chuffed that I’ve finally painted up a full Court of the Archon, which looks so gloriously weird that I love it! I’ve enjoyed getting these final few projects completed, to try and fully round-out the army, and have been trying to get more of the special-weapon Kabalites painted up as well. I now have the grand total of two splinter cannons and two shredders in the army – yes, that is apparently all! It’s surprising, really, that I’ve otherwise managed to get a silly amount of dark lances and blasters, when I try my hardest not to listen to the internet meta and go for these things! But there we are. I’ll probably continue to paint up odd warriors like this – I think I have at least three squads built and primed, so I suppose it’s inevitable that some of those will find their way to the table eventually. I wanted to experiment with taking huge blobs of Kabalite Warriors without relying on Raiders, so using 20-man blobs that include a dark lance, a splinter cannon, two shredders and two blasters (the max load-out). Not sure if that would be any use, as it would be a huge points-sink (200 points, without kitting out the Sybarite with any special weapons).

At any rate, I have no plans to paint anything further for the army this year, though that could change as I decide to try something new!

Skitarii Vanguard / Tech Priest Dominus

Let’s talk about Skitarii, though. I’ve been thinking about getting back into Kill Team with a force of the robot-men, and have been reading some short stories/novellas that feature them, so it’s probably natural that my attention would be turned that way. I’ve now got a grand total of 10 models painted for the AdMech army that I’ve been thinking about for years, so I think it’s time to really try and add some more to that. I’ve mentioned recently wanting to add in either some Rangers or Vanguard (probably Vanguard), and the Tech Priest Dominus, and while I think that’s definitely the goal, I don’t know if I’ll manage to get them all finished in December. The Tech Priest is such an amazing kit that I really want to try to do it justice, and so would need to spend a lot of time with it, picking out all the details of cabling and such. I’m fairly confident I can get some troops rattled off fairly quickly, though, so fingers crossed they won’t be too much bother. I recently built up some Vanguard with a lot of special weapons in the team, so I may actually try and get those painted as well, but for now I’m sticking to just five regular dudes with radium carbines.

Total so far: 5 Immortals, Annihilation Barge, 5 Skitarii

Let’s talk about Chaos for a bit!

Dark Vengeance Chaos Cultists

Blackstone Fortress has inspired me so much as regards getting into the Ruinous Powers, but my thoughts had turned from the Light of the Emperor with the Necromunda rules for Chaos Cults. I’ve currently got a bunch of these guys built up ready, having found my Dark Vengeance stuff as well as picking up some more off ebay, so I’m ready to get moving there. I currently have just five miniatures plus the gang leader (I think he was called Tetchvar in Dark Vengeance?) primed and ready, so I’m looking forward to getting round to those. I’d like to spend some quality time painting these guys, as well, as I think the miniatures look fantastic, and there is an element of wanting to do the models justice given the fact they are so scarce now!

However, Blackstone Fortress is also a thing, and I’m thinking about adding some of those miniatures to the fray, also. I’ve bought additional Rogue Psykers, as I thought it would be a good model to use as the Cult Witch in Necromunda when I get round to that, so I might add those to the roster. Some guys in my local group have also started on the Traitor Guard, and their results are amazing, but the feedback is they’re so detailed models that it’s taking longer than expected to paint them. So I might not move on to them just yet, as I’m trying to go easy on myself here!!

Between everything, I think there should be some excellent fodder for my budding Chaos warband.

I think the sensible thing to do would be to re-evaluate the situation once I’ve gotten going with my painting projects during the month. So for now, we’ll just stick to the Chaos Cultist models and see about adding in Traitor Guard later.

Total so far: 5 Immortals, Annihilation Barge, 5 Skitarii, 6 Cultists

Now then, let’s bring ourselves back from the brink and return fully to the Light of the Emperor, with some Space Marines! I’ve talked recently about two of my favourite projects from back in the day, Deathwing and Deathwatch, and I am quite keen to do some Imperium projects alongside all the Xenos and Heretic stuff I have going on! I had been thinking about trying to finish the Deathwing Knights, which have been hanging about half-finished for years, but I’m already feeling a little overwhelmed at this point, that I’m moving away from this idea a little bit. Similarly, I’d thought about trying to paint up some characters for the Deathwatch, but again, it feels like those models would require too much time to do them proper justice.

So I’m thinking that I’d prefer to hold back a little, and see how the month pans out before going too crazy here. I’ve got almost twenty models that I want to get painted during December, already, so I don’t want to just keep adding to the list and risk not getting anything done! But I shall definitely re-evaluate the situation once the month is underway!


This blog is already running quite long, but you’ll be pleased to learn that I’m not far from done now!

Now that I’ve outlined all of the stuff that I would like to get painted during the month, I thought I’d waffle a bit more about my thoughts for getting it done in time. I’ve really enjoyed the focus I’ve been able to maintain on the hobby during November, and I was talking about this sort of thing with my mother-in-law at the weekend, who is herself a very crafty person, doing all sorts of sewing stuff. Anyway! She was saying that she’s taking part in some kind of long-term thing whereby you commit to doing a little crafting each day for 50 days (at least, I think it was 50 days), and it has really helped her to get some projects moving along. So I’m planning to adopt this approach myself, and so every day during December, I’m intending to paint for at least an hour a day.

I think that a lot of my success during November has been due to painting miniatures as a wind-down before bed (though it hasn’t helped my sleeping much, given that I’ve been excited about getting projects moving!) So I’m hoping to continue that, and while I suppose I can probably write-off Christmas Day due to the usual family commitments, who knows if I may well still manage a few brush strokes?! I do have some time off though, so can always make up for lost time!

I think this approach of ‘a little, often’ should do quite well, and if I can keep the focus on getting units finished at a time, I should be fine! That’s the theory, at any rate!!

I’ll be documenting my progress over at my instagram account, with daily updates of what I’ve done (hopefully I’ll stick to this list, but you never know!) and, every Sunday, I’ll be reinstating the Hobby Progress blogs for the month, with a special one on New Year’s Eve that showcases all of the stuff that I’ve managed to paint throughout the course of the year. It’s surprisingly more than I had thought!!

So stay tuned for all of this and more, as we throw ourselves at December!

Painting Progress! November 2018

Hey everybody!
Well it’s day five of my 800-blogs celebration week, and to close with a bang, I thought I’d update you all with some of my recent hobby progress! As always, I’ve been building a lot, but more excitingly, I’ve also been managing to not only paint a lot of things, but to get some of those things finished! Win-win!

Let’s start with some Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault.

I’ve not yet played this game, but seeing these minis really inspired me to look again into fantasy and the Nighthaunt range for Age of Sigmar, and we all know where that has led me! These were some quite challenging models to paint, the Briar Queen herself in particular, because I’m not really used to having such light colours, and having to mix shades with medium to lighten them has been quite a learning curve for me. The models have so much character though, I really enjoyed getting them finished and seeing the whole band come together.

I enjoyed them so much, in fact, that I’ve already built my second warband!

I’m hoping to get a game of Shadespire in soon, so will be featuring that on the blog here at some point in the near future – stay tuned for that!

Next up are my Electro-Priests! They’re a unit that I’ve had some trouble with in the past, as I’d wanted to paint them for a long time but initially sprayed some white and it didn’t end well for me. I’d previously had the idea of painting their skin a charred black, with the robes a light pink. Well, that no longer fits with the look of my Skitarii, so I went back to the drawing board and have painted them with the blue robes of the rest of my army (which currently numbers five models, but whatever) There are a few callbacks to the Skitarii such as the grey tabards in front, which echo the pressure suits, and of course the various dangling bits and pieces are a strong resemblance between both squads. You can definitely see on three of them there is a chalkier finish, where the stripping hasn’t quite worked out for me, but overall I think they look great, and they’re a really nice addition.

Really chuffed to have finally painted them, after nearly three years since they were originally built!

Of course, I was wanting to paint something weird while I was waiting for the Blackstone Fortress stuff to land, so now that I’ve done these, I feel at a bit of a loss as to where to go next! Fortunately, however, I have found some of the Chaos Cultists from Dark Vengeance, so have been busy building up those gentlemen!

Not only have I got the Cultists being built up, I’m also building some House Cawdor gangers for Necromunda. They both kinda fit the bill of weird 40k stuff, after all, so I think they’ll keep me going nicely for the next week, until we get to Blackstone Friday! The Cultists are nice models, for early push-fit stuff, and I have previously painted up some of them at least, so I’m excited to try my hand once more at these guys. While building them, I was thinking that I’d like to try, so far as possible, to make a really nice job of them – partly because they’re comparatively rare models nowadays, but also because they’ve got so much lovely detail on them, and I don’t always try my hardest to really make an effort with the regular line troops. So I’m thinking that I’ll just do a few at a time, and try to make them really special.

The Cawdor stuff is really kinda weird, isn’t it? Such fiddly models, as well. But while I initially wasn’t thinking much of them, I think I would like to try some of these in a game at some future date, so it would be good to have them painted up and whatnot. While I’m definitely going to do more than ten Van Saar gangers, and will probably do more Orlocks as well, I think I will probably just build up the ten as per the box, and leave them at that.

Speaking of the weirder elements of 40k, all that talk about the Kill Team Rogue Trader expansion the other day has gotten me into painting the minis, finally! I really, really like these guys, so while the going has been quite slow so far, it has also been a lot of fun. The models are so wonderfully detailed, they really show just how good GW is at sculpting their models right now – it’s stuff like this that really puts the argument that Citadel minis are the best in the business out there. I’m not really used to painting regular human skin and whatnot, so I have been finding it a little tough at times, but they are so enjoyable to paint that I can’t help but want to plough ahead with the project!

Something that I’m really pleased with is getting this squad of Necron Immortals finally painted up, having stalled with them a few weeks ago and not really having gotten the inspiration to finish them off. I’m a big fan of gauss Immortals, but I think the tesla carbines have really come through here, and the soft drybrushing from Kantor Blue, through Alaitoc Blue and up to Teclis Blue has really come through quite well, I think – rather than looking messy, it actually feels more like a glowing effect, to my eye, so I’m really chuffed!

While I’m still a long way off from my projected list from September, I think I’m feeling more in the mood to get moving with the Great Reanimation now, so hopefully my Necron army will be getting back to the tabletop soon!


So I’ve been painting and building a lot, but I think the Necrons bring me on to the next part of this blog, and my plans for the immediate future, and where I would like to be by the end of the year (just six weeks away!)

Obviously, I’d like to get more Necrons painted in my Thokt Dynasty scheme, so I think somewhere near the top of the list will be more space skeletons. I think I’d like to get more troops, with more fancy units, so I’m thinking I’ll probably aim to do five more Immortals (gauss most likely!) and either five Deathmarks, or an Annihilation Barge. I’ll stop short of saying both, but I’ll decide which I’d rather do soon. I’ve got both units built, at least!

I talked about Skitarii before, and I think I’d like to get at least five more Rangers or Vanguard painted – possibly Vanguard, as I’ve been thinking about some effects I could try on the radium carbines. Not sure if I’d do anything else, though the Tech Priest Dominus is a strong contender. I had one built up, but I think it broke; I do have a total of four further Tech Priest kits (between all the Start Collecting, Forgebanes and now the Kill Team Commander that I picked up the other day!) so I could build up another and see if I can get anywhere with him. I started painting the Tech Priest Enginseer, but he’s currently on my painting table broken, so I’ve been thinking about trying to finish him, as a part of which I’ll try to fix him.

The Chaos Cultists are a project, but while there are a load of them, I’m going to paint them in fives, so as to not overwhelm myself. Whether I get to them before the end of the year or not, I don’t know, so I’ll leave them off this list for the time being. I also don’t know if I’ll manage to get the Elucidian Starstriders finished before new year, but I’d like to see how far I can get. So far, anyway, I’ve almost been painting them while I had a certain paint on the palette for another unit, so I might just keep them there and see where I get to.

Three years ago, I started to build a Deathwing army, and I am really feeling in the mood to do some more with that this year. I have a lot of models that are basecoated and such, so I might see if I can get the details finished on them, as they are a wonderful-looking force, and I’m really proud of those models that I’ve so far managed to finish. So I think I might like to add in the Deathwing Knights to this list, as I think I’d like to get those done in particular.

So what’s on this list? Necrons, Skitarii and Deathwing, with perhaps some odds and ends mixed in to keep things moving and interesting. Necrons are possibly my priority because I want to try and get the army up to a level where I can start having games with it. I need to make sure I don’t get distracted by Lychguard or Praetorians, and instead focus on the troops that I need, and some of the good support stuff that will make a core of the army. Skitarii will be my Kill Team project – I’ll be writing a blog on that sometime soon – so they’re again something that I will be painting up to play, with a view to finally getting the army going, but I think that’s more of a long-term goal. And the Deathwing thing is almost something of a passion project at this point, but I would really like to do some more work to them: as December is traditionally my time to do stuff with the First Legion, hopefully we’ll see at least some movement on that front!

I have the feeling, though, that Blackstone Fortress may be taking up a lot of my time, once I get it in my hot little hands!!


So there we are, my painting and hobby progress to date! I think this focus on just finishing one unit is definitely the way forward for me, so you can expect to see more updates where I have complete units in the future. And what a week it’s been! 800 posts, huh? I certainly didn’t think I’d last longer than a year, but next April it’ll be my five-year anniversary! Amazing stuff!

Bank Holiday Painting Extravaganza!

Hey everybody!
It’s been a Bank Holiday painting extravaganza for me this weekend! Having two days pretty much to myself, as the other half was in work, I’ve managed to make some amazing progress with clearing the backlog!

Necron Immortals

First up, I’ve added five more Immortals to my new Thokt Dynasty that I was talking about the other day, giving me now two troops choices, an HQ and an Elites slot, along with a dedicated transport. Hooray! I’ve bitten the bullet and listed a lot of my older Necrons on ebay this weekend, in the hope that it prompts me to really make the effort and paint my current batch of unpainted models. If nothing else, I really want to get the Catacomb Command Barge and a third squad of Immortals painted (tesla this time), and then I’ll have the first Battalion ready! That’s also going to be well on the way to my first list finished, so we’ll see how far I can get with that… It only took me five months to get round to painting these, after all!

Dark Eldar Ravager

Much like last weekend, I’ve been painting a mixture of Necrons and Dark Eldar, my true 40k loves! This weekend, I’ve managed to get the second Ravager finished – something that, annoyingly, I’d been very close to for a long time anyway, as I’d done the main hull back in April. The crew are finished, though, along with the crew for the next Raider that I’ll be working on, so that’s a very positive step!

Dark Eldar Kabalites

I’ve also finished off four infantry chaps, in the main because I had a game today and wanted to try out some different things! I’d built up all of these guys back in January, when I was building a lot of Dark Eldar as I was waiting for the Codex to drop, but have finally gotten round to painting them up. I’d picked the two blaster-wielding chaps to finish as I was painting the Ravager crew anyway, but now I need to get moving with another batch of Kabalite Warriors. I have a lot of these guys, as it happens, as I’d originally build up enough to get myself two full Battalions of pure Kabal. Then the Rule of Three came out, and without Drazhar, there aren’t enough HQs to now do this and keep the Kabal Obsession. So I lost interest in the idea, but have now started instead to think of either a Brigade with just three Archons (not even sure if that’s possible?), or else sticking with one Kabal Battalion but having a massive unit of Warriors on foot. I’m not entirely sure what I want to do yet, so we’ll see. I definitely want to get more of the special weapons peppered into my squads, so I’ll probably be working on some of those soon.

It may be nearly five months since I first picked this book up, but I have today had my first game with Codex Drukhari, and it was an absolute blast!

A chap at my local store was looking to try out an army list he’d come up with, but only at 550 points. So I set about building up a basic Patrol detachment, an HQ and two troops (ah, the old FOC!) all in vehicles: two squads of 10 Kabalite Warriors in Raiders, including a splinter cannon in one, and a blaster/agoniser in the other; in a Venom, the Archon (splinter pistol/huskblade) along with a Court of Lhamaean, Ur-ghul and Medusae. Obviously, I was playing Kabal of the Obsidian Rose, so had some pretty decent range on all my weapons.

On the Deathwatch side, there was a squad of Veterans, a squad of Terminators, and a Captain in Gravis Armour. As it happened, my opponent was as great at throwing dice as I was, so it all went quite well! Having nothing much to do against my army, as they were all in vehicles, it felt a bit one-sided, as I was able to shoot up the table from within my Raiders. I charged everybody out of the Venom just for something to do, though was quite impressed with some of the Court characters. I think I’ll look at using them more often!

While I don’t think there’s been much change between the Index and the Codex, the addition of Obsessions is definitely something that I enjoyed. I’ve been playing about with some list ideas off and on for a while, and having been initially very keen to start a Wych Cult this year, I’m leaning more towards the Kabal/Coven lists I used to play during the Index days. So I’m busily planning to paint more stuff to make it what I hope will be a decent enough list to play, so stay tuned there!

Summer Painting Update
So, since my last update on the three armies that I’d wanted to get a move along with, I’ve done very little of any of them! Earlier this month, I had started work in earnest on the Tempestus Scions, though that was primarily for Kill Team rather than the 500-point list I’d outlined here.

The Scions haven’t advanced much at all since I took that photo, but I’m currently keeping them close on the painting table as I’m not going to write them off just yet. The Skitarii haven’t seen much of anything since I started vaguely working on the blue of the Dunecrawler back in June, either:

I blame the arrival of Kill Team and wanting to finish painting the Genestealer Cultists that I’d had one the table since way back when. Having finished a Neophyte Squad, I shouldn’t really complain, of course, but I’d really like to be further forward with a lot of these projects!

While summer may be almost over, I’m not going to be entirely writing off these goals just yet. I feel like I’ve stalled with the Tau, but I always get quite nostalgic for Necrons at this time of year, so I want to use that to get moving finally with my Great Reanimation. I also feel nostalgia for the Skitarii, so we’ll see how far I can get with those, as well! And I definitely want to paint up some more units for the Dark Eldar list I’m working on…

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!