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!