The Tree People Project

Hey everybody!
Following my post the other day about Wood Elves and my thoughts on making a small force for Age of Sigmar. Well, that has kinda been ramped up in the last couple of days!

I’m really quite taken with the idea of putting together a combined Dark Elf and Wood Elf force, though of course how that would work remains to be seen. I suppose I’m waiting for the Cities of Sigmar book to come out before I can see how things will go down from there.

In the meantime, I’ve picked up a couple of things for the big tree force, starting with a box of Kurnoth Hunters and the Start Collecting box.

I’m thinking that the trees will be headed up with a Spirit of Durthu. It’s a beautiful model, absolutely stunning, and I’ve been wanting to get one again for a long time now.

I really love this dude, though while I originally preferred the staff, I’ve come instead to prefer the sword. Which is quite helpful, as the official painting guide for this model is for Durthu with his sword:

I am going to stick with my winter theme, though the Sylvaneth Battletome has a whole wealth of colour schemes for the “wargroves” now, and I may well take some inspiration from there.

But seriously, that sword!!

There is definitely something about the Sylvaneth that has inspired me right now. There is an element of nostalgia here, as I think back to my early days in the hobby, when I was probably equally into fantasy and 40k. I’m trying to re-capture that a little bit, I suppose, with the thought of using a number of older, Warhammer Fantasy miniatures. That’ll be where the Dark Elf side will come in, I suppose, and I’ll get to that in due course!

Sylvaneth Kunroth Hunters

For now, I’ve decided to try and get started with this project with these chaps. I want to try and complete one unit per month, and thought these guys would be suitably engaging to try my hand with it to see how far I get! With a baby on the way, I’m not sure I’ll get very far once we hit October, but until we get to that point, I suppose it’s a good way to keep motivated!

So there’s the plan! We’ll see how it pans out…

And now, Wood Elves!

Hey everybody!
In a move that will no doubt shock nobody at this point, I’ve found myself thinking about painting something completely different to what I’m used to, and feeling the need for – not a new challenge, as such, but just feeling like I want to try painting something different… and so I’ve been thinking about new armies, and looking at different stuff online, and have returned to an idea from a few years back now: the Wood Elves!

Wood Elves don’t really exist in Age of Sigmar. They were a faction from the Old World that encompassed the new Sylvaneth alongside their elven counterparts. I think this is the aspect of Wood Elves that appeals to me the most; the image in my mind of some tree-spirit creatures like the Treelord and Dryads, alongside their “mortal” followers, the Eternal Guard and so on.

I don’t honestly know enough about the elves (or aelves, as they are these days) to know if they’re worthwhile in an Age of Sigmar army. I still think I’d like to try and put together a small number of miniatures though, simply because I love the appeal of walking trees alongside elf hunters!

There seems to be an interesting mix of units available to the Wood Elves, which is another appealing factor. Of course, I’ve not looking into it in any great deal, so I suppose this could be equally true of any other faction, but I do like the fact that there are a lot of utility units, and nothing really seems to be too wasted. Of course, there are a lot of units that do their own thing, but then it isn’t simply reliant on heroes to then buff those units.

One of the units that first drew me to the army was the Wildwood Rangers, hooded and masked warriors wielding these massive two-handed draichs. I have previously picked up a box of these gents, in an effort to kit-bash them into plastic Incubi for my Dark Eldar army. Unsurprisingly, that was a project that ended in obscurity (well, ebay).

Of course, there have been so many new model releases that are just awesome for the Sylvaneth side of things since Age of Sigmar first launched, I think anybody would be hard-pressed not to want to include these in any such army! The exciting thing now, of course, is that we’ll hopefully be able to do exactly this, with the upcoming Cities of Sigmar battletome that was previewed at the weekend!

Back in the day, I was leaning heavily into Sylvaneth after I’d grown tired of painting Stormcast Eternals in the gold-and-purple scheme I’d been using, and had picked up several kits in an effort to build up a second force. The Tree-Revenants I later decided would be used as Mandrakes for my Dark Eldar, and I painted them up to match the main force:

I had also been painting Dryads, the first unit that I was building up for my Sylvaneth army, using the winter colour scheme from back in the day:

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Sylvaneth Dryads

I also had the big daddy himself, the Treelord that would form the centrepiece of this collection of living trees:

I really like the Sylvaneth. I suppose part of it is because it takes me back to my early days in the hobby, where I would buy all kinds of random stuff and build and paint while the youtubes was on in the background. Back then, I used to listen to Joey Berry a lot, whose videos would chronicle her own beginning journey in the hobby and served as a nice sort of mirror. Given that Joey was a Wood Elves player, a lot of that has stuck with me down the years, and it’s a nice way to look back on my hobby “journey” (if that doesn’t sound too corny) and reminisce!

It was a wrench when I eventually sold all of this off a couple of years ago, thinking I would concentrate solely on 40k, only to then fall right back into it when Soul Wars came out and I found myself picking up more and more fantasy stuff once more as 2018 rolled to a close. I suppose thinking I would just stick to 40k was a bit disingenuous, as it was fantasy that got me into this wonderful game, and back in the day, I was actually really into Age of Sigmar and all the rest of it.

I’m probably not going to go wild with this project. I’ve definitely been thinking a lot about that Treelord miniature, and wanting to get one so that I can paint it up and enjoy it. Having a small band of miniatures adjacent to that would be just lovely, I’m sure, and making them a nice mix of tree-folk and elves is the dream.

I’m probably still going to stick to my plans for the Nighthaunt and Legions of Nagash being my main AoS focus, with Chaos being a close second. Sylvaneth have some beautiful models though – there is just something really pleasing to me about painting fantasy miniatures. It was the same when I was painting up the Nighthaunt, something that just strikes a chord with me, and takes me back to my early days in the hobby. I think this could be a really fun side project though, so stay tuned for some (hopefully) exciting updates to see where I go with this for the rest of the year!

Games Workshop in 2016

Hey everybody,
I thought it’d be fun to do a little retrospective of all the Warhammer stuff that has been coming out this year, much like my 2015 blog. Games Workshop has really been taking their product to the next level this year, from the Fyreslayers and Sylvaneth released for Age of Sigmar, to the Deathwatch and Genestealer Cults, and latterly the Thousand Sons for Warhammer 40,000. Things that we never thought we’d see got models releases, not to mention the community engagement we’ve seen on social media.

This has been an amazing year for Games Workshop miniatures, and it becomes really difficult to choose the top five…

5. Orruk Maw-Krusha
I really like a lot of the Ironjawz release, and did in fact invest in a Brutes kit to try my hand with. I love the look of the maw-krusha as a big grumpy beast, even if the wings do look odd. It’s a wonderfully compact kit, there’s a boxiness to it that I really like. This big boy is a wonderful miniature, and while I haven’t gotten my hands on one yet, I do keep thinking that maybe one day I’ll invest!

Orruks Ironjawz Age of Sigmar

4. Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower
Back in May, the second of two of the best boxed games put out this year by GW hit, and it was glorious. The game comes with 51 miniatures and, while a lot of GW games are usually bought for the miniatures and not the game itself, this time the game was definitely an attraction. Of course, my opinion of the game in the blog I’ve linked to wasn’t particularly glowing in comparison with other dungeon-crawl games but, when it comes to the miniatures, no other game on the market really compares. There are plenty of amazing sculpts in this game, but I have to really single out the elf characters and pink horrors for particular praise. But the Ogroid Thurmaturge… what a spectacular piece of plastic!!

Warhammer Quest Silver Tower Ogroid Thaumaturge

3. Sylvaneth – specifically, the Spite Revenants
There was a beautiful release of Sylvaneth this summer, to support the small force of tree-folk that had branched off (ho-ho-ho!) from the Wood Elves. So many beautiful models, including the Everqueen herself, but I have to single out the Spite Revenants. A dual kit, I love the fact that we have a new look to the tree people, and these part-spirit-part-wood chaps in particular are just amazing. There’s something delightfully malevolent about them, even within an Order faction, and even though I have yet to build up my box of them, I can’t wait to add them to my collection!

Age of Sigmar Sylvaneth

2. Thousand Sons – Rubric Marines
The Thousand Sons release from late this year was something of a surprise, as I hadn’t really thought we’d see God-specific plastic marines, well, ever. Clearly GW are moving in the right direction, though, with the year’s releases as a whole! Traitor Legions has some very exciting rules for all of the traitor legions (no surprises there), which gives me some hope that we’ll be seeing plastic marines for all of the demon primarch releases as time moves along! There are plenty of beautiful miniatures in the Thousand Sons release, but I really have to single out the Rubric Marines for special attention, as they’re by far my favourites. They’re so ornate, as is the rest of the release, but seeing ten of these guys on the front of the box is really stunning.

1. Deathwatch
The Deathwatch has been my absolute favourite of all of this year’s offerings from Nottingham, and while it has been difficult to pin it down to one single model, I think I’ll have to settle for Chaplain Cassius for my all-time favourite miniature of the year. The Chaplain is available from both the Overkill game and his own kill-team box, and is a stunning miniature that I absolutely love! Of course, I also love the MkVIII armour of the Kill Team kit, and have had tremendous fun converting all manner of space marines into Deathwatch battle brothers over the summer! I debated loading Genestealer Cults into this slot also, as they have had some truly amazing kits as well, but I think overall, I prefer the marines of the long watch!

Deathwatch: Overkill - Space Marines

2016 was an absolutely tremendous year for Warhammer miniatures, and I can’t wait to see what amazing stuff is coming our way over the next twelve months…

Hobby Progress, week 51

It’s the penultimate week of my hobby progress blogs, and for those of you who are into this stuff, Merry Christmas! Get yourself another mince pie, and let’s take a look at what I’ve been up to this week!

It’s actually been another fairly slow week, as I’ve finished off a couple of the things I talked about in last week’s update, but very little else.

First of all, let’s look at this, my first ever attempt at proper freehand stuff. For a first attempt, I think it looks pretty great actually, but for what I was trying to achieve, it does leave quite a bit to be desired. The marines themselves look nice, though – I’m actually really pleased with how the Centurion has turned out, and the Command Squad guys look fine and stuff. Standard Alpha Legion scheme at this point, really, and there’s not a lot else I can say about them!

My attempt at OSL for the Corvus-Alpha legionaries has turned out pretty okay, again for my first serious attempt at doing it. I’d built up the blue on the armour with Temple Guard Blue, which is brighter than the usual Teclis Blue that I highlight it with anyway, but still hadn’t provided enough of an effect to be really noticeable, unfortunately. I then went in with Baharroth Blue, going lightly over the plasma coils and then building it up with a vaguely drybrush/stipple effect to create the diffuse glow, and while I do think it looks decent enough, I still think the fact that I’m basically doing a blue glow on blue armour leaves the effect somewhat lacking. But it’s serviceable, and I suppose that’s the main thing!

Finally, I’ve got a second Tactical Support Squad finished! These guys are equipped with flamers, so it’s the unupgraded version of the unit, and again, they’re just the standard Alpha Legionaries. Since reading about the concept of the tactical support squad, I’ve always enjoyed the idea of having these guys launched at the battlefield in a drop pod and just dousing the whole place in flame, covering a retreat or something super dramatic-like, so I’m glad to have them in the army, even if I never end up doing anything of that sort!

All together, it was a productive week for the Alpha Legion, as yesterday I built up a second Tactical Squad! And an apothecary…

I’d set myself a bit of a challenge for Christmas Eve, to get as far as I could with these chaps, and in the event I was just impressed that I’d managed to build them all. Once these have been painted, that will mean I have the minimum force required to play some 30k, so I hope that I can start getting some games in in the new year!

The apothecary is for the January painting challenge at my local GW store, where we need to paint an elite unit. I’m kinda taking the easy route, as I believe most people are using the plastics from the Calth and/or Prospero sets, so terminators, while I’m going for the single apothecary. I do now also have the necessary weapon options to start looking into building some Lernaean Terminators, but I’m hoping to work on some other stuff as we move into 2017, so I want to go easy on it!

Along with finishing off some of the Necron things I’ve had hanging about for a long time, I’ve decided to make my dream of a Slaaneshi daemon force a reality, and so want to get moving with the Daemonettes and Seeker Chariot that have both been built up since the summer, and then start adding things like Hellstriders and Daemon Princes to the roster, and eventually some bigger stuff like the Warshrine! Looking forward to seeing where that goes, anyway! Age of Sigmar is still as big as it ever has been at my local store, and I get the vague impression that the uncertainty around 40k’s future as we look at 8th edition has been causing a few 40k regulars to drift into AoS – the chap I played a few weeks ago has started a zombie force, for instance, and there are skaven rumblings from die-hard Eldar players. So I think it’ll be good to have a force for each system – while I do have Stormcast Eternals coming out of my ears, Slaanesh is something that I’ve wanted to build for a long time…

Finally, I built up five Tree-Revenants. I actually have no idea what I’m going to do with them now as, while I do have some dryads and whatnot, I don’t really need yet more miniatures to paint at the moment!!

Anyway, there’s just one week left before the end of the year and the culmination of my hobby progress blogs for 2016. Fortunately I do have the week off work, so I hope to get some things finished – stay tuned for that, at least!! And whatever you’ve been up to today, I hope it’s been a wonderful time!

Enter the Sylvaneth!

Looks like a super exciting weekend of Age of Sigmar goodness is coming!

The Everqueen herself, Alarielle, has finally awoken to the abuses of Nurgle, and has brought the forests alive to battle the plaguefather. Something that has kinda been in the background for what feels like an age, but is in fact only a year or so, is now brought to the fore as the Realmgate Wars conclude in explosive style!

Okay, so enough with the hyperbole, this weekend’s pre-orders look ridiculously good. So good, in fact, I may have to start selling organs to fund it all. First of all, it’s Sylvaneth week. We’ve seen releases for these guys back in the day, though it was only a case of re-packing existing kits for sale. Now, we get new kits, with a new Battletome, and all of the usual pomp that comes from these things. I’m really excited by all of this!

Age of Sigmar Sylvaneth

The kits themselves, first of all, look amazing. Starting with the woman of the hour, Alarielle looks fabulous. At £80, of course, she should look pretty amazing! Riding into battle atop a wardroth beetle, that part kinda looks goofy, but it’s the kind of goofiness that we’ve come to know from Age of Sigmar and, I feel, it’s the kind that we now love. She’d look distinctly underwhelming just as an elven lady when put among kits like Archaon and the Maw-krusha, so I guess we knew she’d be riding something, but yeah, I think this one is fine!

Next up is “Drycha Hamadreth“, something that looks like a wooden dreadnought, and follows the main theme for this release, namely of spirits trapped inside trees. Drycha has come a long way since her original model, and while I think this looks the silliest of all the releases we’ve gotten this weekend, I may well end up picking up a box at some point over the summer. I very much want to bulk out my existing Dryad forces (and get round to actually painting my Treeman!) so it’ll be nice to have at least one of everything.

The last single model we have in this release is the Branchwych, which looks very much like a Dryad champion, wielding some kind of scythe. Looks okay, though seems a little weird to see trees wielding weapons.

However, the two army kits from this release also follow this trend, so maybe it isn’t so weird, after all! First up are the Tree Revenants, spirit/trees who have a lot in common with Prince Nuada from Hellboy 2. Part tree and part spirit, they seem to be the new style of infantry soldier for the Sylvaneth army, though hopefully the Dryads will continue to form the backbone of such armies for a long while yet. I do like the look of these guys, though I think I prefer the alternate build of Spite Revenants, who are more malevolent-looking, and merely use their claws rather than actual weapons. Might be nice to have a band of five, just to add a bit of spice to the look of them!

Finally, we have the Kurnoth Hunters, who look to be the elite choice for the army. These guys can be built with swords, bows or with sickle-scythes, but they’re nonetheless trees wielding weapons. As silly as that sounds, I still really like the idea, and have pre-ordered a box as I think it might be nice to get some archers – I’m looking to do an alliance of trees and Stormcast, so I think it could look great to have these guys supporting my Judicators! That said, the sword-wielding option also looks good, so might be worth getting some more for those. We’ll see.

In addition to all of this wooden goodness, we have the Battletome, which features a whole host of army customization options – something I’m particularly excited for is the relics and the “historical battalion”, special rules for a Stormcast/Sylvaneth army. Should be really exciting, that one!

I’m surprised that All-Gates is published as the final tome in the Realmgate Wars series, as I thought they would be just going on forever like this. However, it makes me think Games Workshop is planning to launch a new campaign for the second year of the hobby, which should be really exciting to see!

We also have a new Sylvaneth collection of short stories, and a painting guide, but perhaps the most eagerly-anticipated release of the entire Age of Sigmar line is also up for pre-order this week, the General’s Handbook! Yes, points are coming to the game, which I really don’t find that interesting at all, but it seems that’s going to be the only way that you’ll be able to get a fair game in at your local store. I’m a bit sad, because I really liked the social contract of arranging a game, but obviously most people either can’t or won’t play fairly, so need a framework to constrain themselves. But I do see its value for fair tournaments, so I guess there is that. I’ve volunteered to take part in a local tournament, actually, so I’ll hopefully get some battle reports or whatever written up here in the coming weeks and months…

That looks to be it for the new releases for Age of Sigmar this week, though I think you’ll agree, it’s a pretty bonkers weekend of stuff! I’m really excited for pretty much the whole lot, anyway!

Before I close up this blog, though, I just want to point out that the new Gorechosen boxed game is also up for pre-order this weekend, not due for release until September. I find this really interesting, as they did a similar thing with Lost Patrol. Makes me wonder if the releases of previous games have made them a bit more wary, and they’re testing the waters rather than going for big-splash releases. Execution Force seemed to do extremely poorly, while Betrayal at Calth and Deathwatch Overkill seemed to fare much better overall. Rather than risk holding excess stock, maybe they want to see how popular it would be beforehand? At any rate, I’ll probably get it, though at least this way I can plan ahead somewhat!

Age of Sigmar Sylvaneth

Hobby Progress: week 15

Fifteen weeks in, and my laziness has returned! I’ve been pretty organised with my time over the last week, unfortunately that time-management didn’t make much room for painting! As a result, I have a pretty short blog for this week’s progress…

Hobby Progress 14

First of all, the Treeman Ancient is now finished, and looks absolutely beautiful, even if I do say so myself. He’s since been primed black, and stands proudly among a whole host of other things that have also been primed black but are awaiting further work. I absolutely love this model, however, and have been pondering getting a second, though I think I’m going to get this one sorted properly first. Super fun to put together, though – and as I said, it looks incredible!

Hobby Progress 14

I suppose these chaps do look a little misleading for being featured in this blog, as I’ve not really done that much work on them. They’re some of the Ogres/Ogors that I’ve been painting off-and-on for over a year now, and this week has seen me paint… their beards. Don’t get me wrong, I have like twelve of them on the go, so it’s still something of a decent undertaking. But yeah… One day I’m going to have an army of these guys – but that day will not be any day soon!

Hobby Progress 14

Let me take you back to January, for a moment, when I first assembled three of these Electro-Priests. I don’t honestly know why I didn’t assemble all five, but then it isn’t the first time I’ve done this. At any rate, I have been slowly working on the three, which had been primed in white roughly around the time my local GW store had a “Paint it White” event, for which I painted some White Scars. The Priests took a back seat, therefore, and I returned to them this week really for a bit of respite from weeks and weeks of painting Space Marines.

Unfortunately, the white primer had gone on really very grainy, and in painting their robes with Screaming Skull, it became really noticeable. I’ve persevered, but in doing the gold I became really annoyed with how chalky the primer coat is. Yesterday, therefore, I built up the remaining two and primed them black, and so far have done the skin and robes, as you can see. I do think that Chaos Black spray is just superb and wins over the white, even though I want to do the robes really light, so I guess it’ll just be multiple layers to get the tone right! In the picture above, both white-primed and black-primed Priests have had three coats of Screaming Skull on their robes, and I don’t really think there’s a lot of difference between the two. The skin I’ve painted in Eshin Grey, and have shaded it on the white-primed trio with Nuln Oil. In the lore, Electro-Priests are so consumed by the power of the Omnissiah they kinda burn up from the inside, and it has long been my plan to paint them with charcoal-grey skin to signify this process. The scarring I want to do in a lighter grey, and I’m currently undecided over whether to paint the details in red or green, hence the flash of green you can see on one of them.

I really love these models, the level of detailing is superb and, while some of them are a bitch to assemble, they look fantastic so are well worth it. Given how disappointed I am with the white primer, I’m currently weighing up whether I want to get another box, but I think that’ll also have to wait for the moment.

And finally, while we’re on the subject of building…

Hobby Progress 14

I assembled this chap this very day! I picked up some Lizardmen the other week and haven’t done anything with them up to this point, but had been pondering whether I want to get the Start Collecting box, given its insane value, but have so far resisted. I have to say, while I love the Lizardmen, the models are fairly old now, and the mouldlines are just awful, particularly on the torso of this one, which looks like the mould had slipped or something. Hence, for now, he is very much alone as I can’t face putting any more together right now! That said, I do still have two resin Lizardmen sort-of built up from my previous attempt at them…

At any rate, that’s pretty much all I’ve done this week. Work has been ridiculous, but I’ve also been trying to get on with my degree work, so haven’t had much time, as already stated, to get a lot of painting done. I have some time off in the coming week, however, so I hope that I might be able to get some more done by next week – in particular, I want to actually get some more models finished and off the work space (read: dining table) rather than having them scattered around all the time.

Until then, here’s an instagram post I shared yesterday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Space Marine; a selection of those that are pretty much complete!

Hobby Progress, week 14

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

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

Hobby Progress 14

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

Hobby Progress 14

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

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

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

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

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

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