January catch-up!

Hey everybody,
It’s been a while since my last blog post on here – in fact, I hadn’t realised just how long ago it was! Time to catch up, methinks!

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Should see me through the festive season! #nowReading

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First of all, I read the very wonderful Grey Knights, the first novel in the Grey Knights omnibus, shortly before Christmas. It follows Justicar Alaric as he works alongside Inquisitor Briseis Ligeia to prevent the rogue Inquisitor Valinov from bringing the daemon Ghargatuloth into the universe. There is so much to enjoy in this novel, even though I found it difficult at times to get the time to actually read it! Having recently made a commitment to getting back into my Grey Knights project, I think this made me enjoy it even more, seeing the way the Grey Knights do battle. We get some really great descriptions of the Fortress-Monastery on Titan, and there is the real sense that Space Marines are, at their heart, warrior monks.

I very rarely read an omnibus as a single book, but rather treat it as the collected individual titles, and come back to it each time I want to read a particular book collected within. However, this is probably the first time I’ve wanted to carry on with the books, and I’m definitely planning to read the second book very soon.

Sadly, painting has not been something that I’ve been enjoying of late. I think I’ve been really out of practice since not having the time after the firstborn came along. Painting is, of course, something that improves over time and, after having a significant break, I’ve found that my brush control has really fallen by the wayside, and as a result I’ve become really frustrated with myself for not producing the sort of miniatures that I want.

I’d been wanting to paint up the House Orlock gangers that I’d started to paint almost two years ago, but a combination of the loss of confidence with a brush, as well as the fact the primer on some of these is a little thick in parts (it’s a grey primer, too, and I hate painting over grey!) has made me give up and strip them.

I’ve been watching Duncan’s video on painting the Sump Dogs, though, and as always, he has inspired me to give them a proper go. I mean, none of the lazy “just give it a drybrush and call it quits!” – I’m going to (try!) and follow this guide to the letter. We shall see how I get on!

Incidentally! How sad is the painting world now that Duncan has left GW?! I was gutted when the news was leaked shortly before Christmas – Duncan’s videos were basically how I learnt to paint!

This classic was, probably, the first miniatures-painting video I ever watched, and the massive collection of videos have been some of my favourites over the years – always come back to them, and I always look for a Duncan video when I’m going to paint something to see what he has to say about it. Hopefully they’re going to keep the archive up there, at any rate!

Model of the Year was announced the other week, and it was none other than the new Abaddon the Despoiler! I’m not sure if that was a shoe-in, though, as my personal choice was the new Keeper of Secrets, which is just such a phenomenal creation, it’s almost unlike anything else they have!

In a year when we had all of the Genestealer Cults stuff, the new Chaos Marines, new Drazhar, Ossiarch Bonereapers, new Slaves to Darkness, new Sisters of Battle – and all of that incredible Warcry stuff!

There were so many amazing new models in 2019, it was definitely a hard call. 2020 is already shaping up to be wonderful, now that we’ve had some of the new Sisters released – that Triumph of St Katherine centrepiece model is just astounding – so I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

Hopefully by then, I’ll be more confident with painting once again, and can actually knock out some of these new models!

So yeah, I think I need to get cracking with regaining my confidence when it comes to painting. There are so many miniatures that I have on the back burner of course, so I really need to crack on! I think a lot of this will be helped by going back to basics, to some extent, and trying to re-learn a lot of stuff. It’s definitely going to be worth spending the time to do this, though, as I so many models that could be outright ruined by sloppy (or worse) painting!

I mean, I’m going to be picking up the Triumph of St Katherine, for goodness’ sake! I definitely need to up my game for something so fancy!

Hobby Progress, week 39

Hey everybody!
We’re swiftly approaching the end of the year now, and I’ve been thinking on how I actually want to make some effort to finish off some projects that have been started this year, so that I’m carrying over a minimum of bare plastic, though this hasn’t actually seen much fruition this week! But you should all probably expect this by now!

So what have I been doing since the immensely productive week last week? Well, not a great deal!

First of all, let’s talk about my board for Armies on Parade this month. I’ve been trying to get the effort to paint this bad boy for pretty much two weeks now, having sprayed it Zandri Dust and pretty much done nothing else! While I was off, I painted the cracks with Naggaroth Night, and the metallic circles there with Warplock Bronze, but that had been the extent of my work on the thing really. So after casting about for some inspiration, I recalled that Duncan has done a video on exactly what I’m trying to produce with the exact board! I’ve therefore decided on a bit of a scheme for it, and have now painted all of the paving stone areas with a mix of Karak Stone and Baneblade Brown – that is, some are one colour and some are the other, mainly to add interest. I’ve also shaded the metal areas and all of the skulls with Agrax Earthshade, which alone has allowed me to feel much further along with it than I have been!

Parade Day is less than two weeks away now, though, so I need to make sure I can actually pull my finger out with this!! At least I have some Tomb Kings to put on the board, and the main feature is my Stormcast, which of course have all been finished already! I still have no illusions of winning anything, but I do think my army can look quite effective when it’s all on the board there, so we’ll see!

I’ve been building more than I’ve been painting, otherwise – starting with more Alpha Legion chaps! Last weekend I decided to look at my current batch of legionaries in terms of what I can do with them in the game, and have worked out that I needed the four pictured above in order to create three actual squads of five-man Veteran Tactical Marines:

So, all together I have 610 points of Alpha Legion – or I will have, when these last four are painted. Let’s take it clockwise from the top-left then:

Squad One has the sergeant kitted out with a combi-flamer (+10 points) and another marine has a meltagun (+15 points) Total: 150 points

Squad Two has the sergeant wielding a power fist (+15 points); one legionary carries the legion vexilla (+10 points) and another is wielding a missile launcher (+25 points) Total: 175 points

Squad Three has the sergeant wielding a plasma pistol and power fist (+30 points total), and another marine is using a plasma gun (+15 points) Total: 170 points

The Centurion has been upgraded to a Chaplain, who is wielding a plasma pistol (+15 points) and crozius arcanum (+15 points) Total: 115 points.

I’ve still got the Contemptor Dreadnought waiting in the wings, but that’s roughly 200 points from what I remember, so I’m hoping that by the end of the year I will be able to have 1000 points ready so that I can start playing games with them, so stay tuned for that!

Speaking of buiding more marines:

I’ve had these other five marines waiting in the wings since I built up the five Novamarines at the beginning of the year! So I’ve taken some time to kinda kitbash some really fancy-looking marines together: most obviously, the sergeant out front has got the power fist from the Devastator kit, and the power sword from the Ultramarines upgrade kit. That upgrade kit is widely-used for shoulder pads on the other guys, too. I’ve already talked about using Devastator parts on the missile launcher guy, who has been built up a few weeks ago. The only other bits are a right arm from the Vanguard Veterans kit that allows the marine on the right to wield his boltgun one-handed.

I’ve also finally built up the apothecary that I’d started to work on months ago, but couldn’t find a right arm that I wanted. Well, once again the Devastator kit has come through for me, there! What an awesome and versatile kit that is!

So I have five fancy marines that I’m thinking I might field along with the Novamarines, if they do indeed make a legal squad – there’s every chance they won’t, so more thought might be needed here! But still…

While I’m still on the subject of Ultramarines, I thought I’d share this picture that I put up on instagram last weekend – it’s the tactical squad I posted about last week, but arranged around the novel Nightbringer, which I did purely for a bit of fun, but has swiftly and inexplicably become my most-liked photograph on instagram in the history of me!

So there you have it! Other building projects from the week consist of:

The Genestealer Patriarch from Overkill is a lot of fun, even if it is the third iteration of this pose in, what, eighteen months – I should try to get my Space Hulk and Shield of Baal Broodlords together with him for a comparison… But it’s still a badass model, and I’m looking forward to getting it painted up along with the rest of my cult.

As I said in yesterday’s blog, whereas I’ve dabbled with models like the Electro-Priests or the Grey Knights, I’m actually going to build a Genestealer Cult army, so that will be (eventually) three full armies for 40k. Hopefully, by the time I retire I’ll actually have them painted up, too!

Finally, I started to build some more Tomb Kings last night, after winning some lots on ebay! I’ve got two done thus far, and while they are fairly simple to put together (the horsemen themselves have a body that’s all-in-one, so that’s useful) I’ve only managed this pair. I’ve had to leave the slotta bars on the horse feet, as the surface area is otherwise too small and I’d worry about them. I’m confident that I can built it up with basing material though, so they won’t be obvious! I don’t know if I’ll be pushing my luck to get even these two painted up for Armies on Parade, but it would be kinda cool… We’ll see!

So that’s the extent of my progress for this week! I’m planning to focus my attention on the board, with the Alpha Legion marines for a bit of light relief, so hopefully in next week’s blog, there will be some exciting times to talk about!!

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 11

Hey everybody,
It’s week eleven already, where has the time flown! I’ll give you all three guesses as to how much work I’ve done on miniatures this week…

If you said “none”, then you’d actually be wrong – however, you’d be right if you guessed that I still haven’t finished anything! In a weird move, I almost abandoned the Deathwing in favour of some Ultramarines that have been kicking around for a long time – in part following last week‘s update, where I looked back at the first painting progress blog and noticed the Razorback still hasn’t had any work done on it, and also after seeing some Ultramarines a chap had painted up at my local GW from the Betrayal at Calth stuff.

Hobby Progress 11

In the interests of not biting off too much at any one time, I picked five of the marines from the ten-man tactical squad I built up back in November, and have currently done stuff to three of them. Er, yeah. I’ve drybrushed and washed them, then picked out the gold, silver and black details on them so far, but I’m already struck with a little nervousness over getting them finished. More on this shortly.

Hobby Progress 11

I’ve also been working on the famous assault squad – famous because it’s taken so long for me to do anything with these guys! They’ve been built up for close to a year now, which is alarming in itself. To start with, I’ve done the silver and black details on the rest of them – for some reason, I’d only done some bits on one or two marines before stopping last time. I’ve also re-based them onto 32mm bases, to keep them in line with the others. Back when I built these guys up, I don’t think they’d invented 32mm bases, so that was a bit of hassle. But they do look a little better when seen side by side with the others.

I’ve been finding it hard-going with these guys though – and with the Deathwing terminators, too – because I feel like I’m at a stage now where they need those sorts of finishing touches that will really bring them alive for the tabletop, and I’m concerned it might be beyond my skills to get that level of detail on there. The eyes in particular are bothering me – when doing the White Scars a couple of weeks ago, I had some really poor luck in getting them neat, though you can’t really tell when you just see them on the table.

I usually find it difficult to get those final touches done to a model, which is why I think I find stuff like Necrons so much more amenable to paint as, by and large, they don’t really require anything like that to get them truly done.

At any rate, we have Easter coming up next weekend, so that’s four days off work, which will hopefully mean I can get more done for the week twelve update!

Speaking of next week’s update…

As you may have seen, Space Marines are turning 30 next month, and there are store-wide celebrations planned by Games Workshop on 16 April to mark the occasion. I’ve decided to mark the event in my own way by finally making good on a plan I began to hatch last month, and paint some marines in the Novamarines livery! I’ve already got five models primed and ready to go, so I’m hoping it won’t be all that much hassle to get started there, but I thought it’d be cool to have something like this going on. I’ve just posted about it in my local store’s hobby page on facebook, so we’ll see if anyone else has any similar plans (though we do have a painting event on 2 April, so it might not become A Thing).

So while I know I have lots of things fairly close to completion now, expect to see some new figures gracing the screen this time next week!

Hobby Progress, week 10

It’s week 10 already! Doesn’t seem like five minutes since I started work on this project! It’s been another slow week, largely because I’ve got an essay due for the OU degree I’m doing, and have been concerned about the quality of that. My essay troubles notwithstanding, I have managed to devote enough time to the painting here to actually get some fairly decent progress in on the Deathwing stuff! However, as prophesied last week, I haven’t managed to actually finish anything!

The aquilas, crux terminati and all the red bits (chapter icons and gun casings) have now been done, and since taking the above pictures, I’ve also managed to do the purity seals, so there are only the odd bits left to do now, really! Then it’ll be a case of basing these guys, and then I’ll have the first ten done! Not to mention, some bits left on the dreadnought, too!

Hobby Progress 10

It’s been a really tough slog, then, but I’m really pleased with the results, I must say. I have five Deathwing Knights (and Belial) built up and primed, so I guess they’ll be next on the list, but I also want to build up five more terminators to get things like the standard bearer and stuff. I have a land raider and drop pod waiting in the wings, then I’ll probably call my Deathwing army done! Then it’s back to the Ultramarines. And the Necrons. And the Stormcast Eternals.


Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing these models coming together like this. I just feel like I might have way too much on my plate right now! Aside from the Deathwatch game, I’ve not bought any models for a number of weeks now, which I’ve been seeing as an improvement, though these new Dracoth Riders have really interested me, so I’ll be picking up a set next weekend, obviously. Hopefully once all the essays are out of the way, I can get stuff finished much quicker, anyway!

As it’s week ten, I thought it’d be interesting to see how far I’ve come since the first instance of these blogs…

Hobby Progress 1

This was the first group shot of model progress, and I’m pleased to say that at least one of those models is now actually finished! The Knight-Vexillor has been done and is in my Stormcast case with his compatriots. The two Deathwing chaps at the back there are very much on the way to completion, and both the chaplain and razorback have seen some decent progress, as well! So not too shabby – I just wish more models had been finished!!

Everything is going in the right direction, though, so can’t complain too much!

Painting Progress: week 9

It’s week 9 of my hobby progress blog! This week has got some exciting news on the progress of my Deathwing Terminators, though is again a smaller update – however, the reason for this is that I’d spent four days out of the country this week, so I feel it’s justified!

hobby progress 9

As I said last week, I was planning to make a serious effort to move with the Deathwing that were started last Christmas. While the Venerable Dreadnought has seen some fairly good progress, the Terminators themselves were still pretty much floundering in a creamy state, having had the armour done and very little else! Well no more! Knowing I was going to be away, I spent a day painting to ensure I’d have something to report when I came to do this blog today, and I think in that respect, doing these regular update blogs has been a real success in motivating me do actually, y’know, work on the miniatures I have scattered around the place!

I’ve done a lot of work on the metals – gold and silver – and the feathers, ropes and the stony leg bits, as well as the cloak/tabard thing that the sergeant is wearing. After having spent so long looking like a bit of a mess, I’m actually really pleased to see them having come so far! I’ve still got a whole bunch of other details to do, notably the aquilas and crux terminati, but I feel that I’m well on the way now. Indeed, painting the details like this has been really fun, as I feel that I’ve been improving my technique once more to somewhere around where I was last summer, painting all of those Stormcast Eternals. So I’m really pleased, and hope to have at least a couple of finished models to show off next week! (Hopefully that last sentence won’t prove to be the kiss of death!)

hobby progress 9

I don’t know if I’ll keep doing this, but I think it helped to outline a plan of operations in last week’s blog, so here I go again! This coming week, I plan to do the finishing details on these Terminators, as well as any outstanding bits on the Venerable Dreadnought. Anything else I do will no doubt be a bonus, but these are the things I want to concentrate on. If I do manage to get anything else done, it’s currently going to be a toss-up between the Stormcast Paladin Protectors and the Ultramarines, both of which have been built up for months. But that’s the plan, and I’m looking forward to seeing how far I go with it!

As a post-script, guess what I bought today…

Painting Progress: week 8

Week Eight of hobby progress is upon us, people! And to continue the theme established in recent weeks, this is going to be another pretty short update, unfortunately! That said, it is also a pretty important one, as it features the first properly finished models I’ve painted all year!

hobby progress 8

It’s the White Scars again – the models that I was painting for a competition at my local GW, but which, in the event, I didn’t get finished in time. Oh, the annoyance! I mentioned a couple of posts ago how much I’ve come to really dislike painting white, and I think this is what has made me so apathetic to getting them done. However, they’re now as complete as I think my skills can get them, so voilà! The first finished miniatures of 2016! I am such a slow painter, and I also take a long time to get motivated into doing anything. I don’t think I’ll be doing any other White Scars in my life, though you never know what I might do!

The next painting competition is apparently going to be paint it black, though purple has also been mentioned. I’ve been thinking about doing some Stormcast Eternals as Anvils of the Heldenhammer, but also have a lot of purple ogres in varying stages of completion, so I hope I’ll have something completed in time for that one, anyway!

hobby progress 8

The only other thing I’ve done this week is to paint the fifth dwarf hammerer to go along with the other four that featured in the very first hobby progress blog – so now, at least, they can be fielded as a unit on the tabletop! I still want to do some bits to this one such as the face and maybe hair, and I’m also thinking about doing something fancy with the hammer, but for now, he’s done as much as the others have been!

We’re at the end of month 2, and while I’ve made some progress so far this year, it’s perhaps not as much as I’d have liked! I still have far too many kits in varying stages of completion, so I want to really get some kind of plan of action together here and tackle them.

By the end of March, I think I’m going to aim to have finished the Deathwing Terminators and Venerable Dreadnought, as those are models that I really love the look of, and feel that I should be okay to try picking up the details now, having done those of the White Scars. I also want to paint my Stormcast Eternal Protectors, if not the Lord-Castellant as well, because I want to try them out in the game. So while I still have loads of other space marines and Necrons and whatnot hanging around, I feel that if I concentrate on those two groups – one because I can then play games with them, and one because they should be really pretty (and can later play games with them, as well) – then I should have things a little more manageable. Well, that’s my theory, at least!!

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