Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The Faithful Few

I've had a soft spot for the Emperor's Children for a long, long time now. Right from the earliest mentions of them in old cannon, their search for artistic and martial perfection coupled with their tragic downfall ticks all the inspiration boxes for me (plus the colour scheme of purple and gold is badass).  Now that the Horus Heresy universe has had a good decade worth of fluff and excellent miniature support built around it, it seems like too good an opportunity not to make a commitment to building up a little narrative force. I'm going to be theming them as loyalist survivors on Istavaan led by none other than Saul Tarvitz, who should be really fun to convert. Until recently, the only figure I had got around to painting was this classic, post-heresy fella. I'll be using this colour scheme for the force and will be adding crap tons of weathering too.


Essentially evil Rimmer in power-armour.

I've never been overly fond of working with resin despite how wonderful Forgeworld's models are and I was stoked to see that GW is now supporting core parts of the HH universe in plastic. Last week I finally got around to picking up a copy of the amazing Betrayal at Calth boxset, and with the local GW's Armies on Parade kicking off in October, I thought it'd be cool masochistic to try and get the majority of the contents painted up for it. So far I've work my way through base coating up all weapons, torsos and backpacks as well as finishing off the bases which is lighting fast considering how slowly I usually paint! At this rate, I'll have all the marines done by the end of August, which leaves me with a month to sort out the Contemptor and Saul Tarvitz conversion. I'm also planning on constructing an Istavaan-themed board to display the completed project on, which may be pushing the realms of realistic expectations!

If all else fails, I'm sure the old Orks won't mind stepping in for their first public outing!

More painting updates when I have more than bits lying around the front room!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Yellow Hulking Peril in Space

Having returned from a wonderful holiday, I've been lucky enough to have some spare time to wrap up a few bits I've had sitting an the hearth (literally, the front room has the best light in the house - crafts project central). Firstly, I've been trying to paint up some of the random figures I've collected over the years either as parts of job lots or as trades and have managed to make a little Lamenters force out of them. One of the aims of this project was to paint everything - no-decals involved. This was a little bit of a chore to begin with, but pretty sure I've got the gist of painting checks and circles. So stoked to have finally gotten over the fear of painting bright colours too - no going back now!


Psychic Mohawk.

I'm a huge fan of the 1994-65 range of Marine figures and painting this fella up was a treat. I must admit that painting the black design directly onto the loincloth was a little scary, but thankfully it worked out okay.


Sgt Lorenzo.

I've had a massive thing for this figure ever since I first painted one up over 20 years ago. That dynamic posture is so sick and the little crux terminatus swaying from his belt is just the best. One thing I didn't recall about this figure is how small the shoulder pads are compared to the plastic versions - was a real challenge to try and make everything scale up correctly!


Squad Lorenzo.

I have no idea where this strike force box set MK8 marines came from, but they look awesome! They're more imposing than their later MK7 brethren, with wider helmets and stockier stance. I did have to trim their arms lugs off to accommodate the later arms, but other than that, they're straight up marines. The heavy bolter was a pain to put together though, forgot how guff those devastator arm/weapon assemblies were!


'If it bleeds, we can kill it' - The original Predator.

This Predator was an ebay rescue gamble that cost around £8.00 if I recall. It was missing sponsons, exhausts and some other little bits that I luckily had in my bits box. After being stripped, sanded down, undercoated and sanded down some more, it sat waiting for a year or so  before I could decide what chapter to paint it. Really stoked on how this turned out, although I managed to drop the entire thing near completion and have lost one of the sodding exhausts - so frustrating!

I'm toying with the idea of painting up a chaplain, an old RT terminator squad and a second edition Dreadnought for these guys too, but that won't be for awhile yet. For the meantime, they'll hang out with my existing Blood Angel army and bemoan the fact they'll only ever get played with once a decade.

The other project I've finished (well the first part of anyway) is a squad of classic RT Space Hulk terminators. I've a copy of the new version of the game and enough painted Genestealers to run a full campaign, but until now, no appropriate terminators. Whilst the figures included in the modern version are amazing, I've not felt compelled to paint them yet. Here's the first squad more or less completed. I plan on adding some more guff to their bases and maybe adding some kill marks to the armour to differentiate them.


In the woody depths of deep space, nobody can hear you alien quotes.

The first squad! I'm already prepping the second as I made the mistake of assembling one with an assault cannon rather than a heavy flamer (because it looks loads better) which is used more in the primary missions. Once the second squad is done, I will have a game of Space Hulk. I promise. Honestly.

So fucking red. 

Very much indebted to Pob for sending me this figure - thanks fella! One thing I noticed with all of these models is how soft the lead is. I've got some figures that have been hard to paint up with crisp edge highlights because the edges simply aren't there anymore. Thankfully these guys weren't too bad, but it's such a shame are these are such nice sculpts.


Dakka dakka dakka.

Couldn't resist copying the paint-scheme used by McVey in the 90's for these guys, I messed up with the hazard striping, making it a little wider than the original, but the thought is there! You can just about make out some of the damage to the crux terminatus on his shoulder plate - will try and make a feature out of it perhaps!

So once these guys are all done, I'll be painting up a set of Deathwing terminators, complete with the original Bill King inspired character names and stuff because I'm so fucking sad. By a weird stroke of coincidence, I also have enough Genestealer Hybrids to make up a complete set for all of the original blip tokens which could be interesting! So, theoretically, in a years time, I could be running a weekend-long campaign like I was 14 again. 

I need help.

  

Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Green Ripple

Over the past few days I've finally had a chance to finish off the Ork project I was hoping to have wrapped up by February (yeah, I'm ever the optimist when it comes to self-imposed deadlines). The whole army was a blast to work through and although I'd like to eventually add a dozen or so more gretchin and maybe another few boys, the army is pretty much complete. As a note of gushy fanboyness, I can't say thank you enough to both Kev Adams and Paul Bonner for being massive inspirations for this project, and also a massive thanks to Pob and Melon for flowing me some excellent models that help kickstart and finish off the project - you guys rule!


We've seen this battlefield before surely??


As I tend to do with all big projects, I saved the best thing for last, finishing off the classic 1991 Battlewagon donated by none other than the Melon which thankfully didn't need too much repair work doing to it. Considering this kit was launched around the same time as the original Rhino, Predator and Land Raider, it's a much more complicated and interesting kit to construct and comes with a shedload of bits such as wrenches, oil cans and spades. Sadly, I was not able to do much with the original plastic axles and had to replace them all with some heavy-duty brass rod. That unfortunately means that the driving compartment was not able to be painted up and occupied, but I did get to make up a cool little scratch built door!


Battlewagon!

I love this thing so much. I decided to place it on a base to give it a little extra height, plus it fits in with everything else too. Originally I was going to do something with the mast (why does it have a mast?) such as adding some rigging or pennants, but decided against it as it'd make it difficult to get models off the deck area. Here's the mob's acoustic backup 'The Squigsters of Mercy' borrowing it for there upcoming tour.


Azzbutt and his sweet ride.

I can safely say that I've made my peace with the evilest of the primary colours, yellow. Infant, I'm kind of enjoying painting it! Although the majority of the colour scheme is a dirty, musty tone, it still took a fair few layers to get right. The only thing I'm not completely happy with is the paintwork on the flames. Thankfully, the chips and damage help cover up the shonkier bits, but I still can't quite work out how to get the perfect 90's 'Eavy Metal style flames on the go.

Rammy end.

Not unsurprisingly there were a few bits missing, which is to be expected for a kit of this age. However, I was lucky enough to have some good bits floating around, so instead of scythes on the front wheels,  I got to use these old goblin shields with appropriately fitting moons on them as hubcaps. The headlight came from some unused Imperial Guard tank parts and work surprisingly well with the rest of the kit.



Don't you open that trap door!

I know it's lame, but this is probably my favourite part of the model! A little scratch built door to the crew compartment made from sprue off-cuts and a handle. You can jut make out one of the rad little glyph plates that come with the kit too, the moulding on those pieces was so sharp and crisp.


IN THE TEMPLE OF WAAAAAAAAGH!

So that the end of those guys for awhile! I'm stoked to finally have a little Ork force to be able to use in mini second-edition campaigns and hope to pit them against some of my other armies soon. The next projects to finish off will be a small force of Lamenters Space Marines, the rest of the Chaos AOS army and some scenery that's been languishing in a cupboard for months. Will hopefully have all that done before August!



Monday, 18 April 2016

Spaceman Lust

I'm pretty sure that everyone involved in the Games Workshop hobby has a space marine story to tell and it seems fitting with the 30th anniversary of their creation just passed, that I should ramble on about my experience with the 41st Millennium's answer to Chuck Norris made out of guns and skulls. My first exposure to space marines that made a real impact was via a piece of Jim Burns artwork that was used for the original box for the Epic gaming system.

No words.
I spent so much time looking at this particular image that it pretty much shaped the entire palette of miniature painting for my formative years. Everything was undercoated black. Even when it shouldn't have been. Despite, it's proto-goffick influences, this image beyond all captures (for me) the essence of what a space marine looks and acts like. They're direct, thick-necked unrepentant super soldiers with 10000 years of psycho-religous programming that eat testosterone for brunch. They are unapologetic sic-fi versions of that nob-head in Predator that are humanity's only chance of existence in a universe that is bleak even by Hobbesian standards. To a pre-pubescent spaghetti-limbed kid, these were the coolest thing ever (until the Eldar came along with their much sassier hair).  On a more chapter specific note, this artwork by John Blanche will forever be the defining imagery of the Dark Angels.

Did I mention how much I adore John Blanche? 

Ignoring the terrible photo as well as noticeable scale and perspective issues, this is another piece of art that I've lost hours peering into. Even now I find new details or ways of looking at it and it's been a constant point of reference for my painting. I love the early 90's period of Blanche's pencil work (his forays into portraits of various Inquisitors at this point are of particular note, with bizarre references ranging from Sean Connery to obscure renaissance firebrand priests such as Bernardo Gui) and I would love to see this piece in real life one day.

So these influences begat my love affair with the Unforgiven and later, with the Blood Angels. At that point in time they shared a Codex and whenever I regularly played it was against my friend's Blood Angel / Imperial Guard allied force. That love affair continues to this day with my not insubstantial collection of both chapters. However, my favourites will always be the former because they're well miserable and goff, hate pretty much everyone and really easy to paint. Here's how the army looks these days,.


Obligatory Deathwing.

First tactical squad. 
Second tactical squad (with devastators and support Dreadnought hiding entrenched behind.
Ezekiel and chums. 
Command squad.

Sgt Ted Crilly Naaman and scouts.

I imagine I'll always be chipping away at this army. At present it features nearly a third of the entire 3rd company and I've a substantial Ravenwing biker contingent and additional Deathwing squad that is ready to be worked on too. Recently I've taken a break from painting up AOS stuff to paint up a model I've sat on for a few years and have been too scared to take on, namely Sammael, Master of the Ravenwing.


Inexplicable zooming noises.

Sammael has such a good face.

Apart from being an outstanding sculpt, this has got to be one of the easiest multi-part metal models I've ever worked with. There was very little flash or mold-line removal needed and the new thick super-glue that GW does is fantastic at keeping the whole thing together. My only real issue has been holding it without touching it too much as blu-tac on a cork really won't do in this situation! Thankfully I've been able to just rest the piece on foam when needed so it's not been as much as a chore as first thought. My only real problem was with the cape as I have a real problem with sculpted detail on material or banners - I have no idea why GW insist on doing this as it'd be so much easier to attempt to free-hand the design rather than compensate with chunky, blocky embroidery. I hindsight, I would have filed the whole thing off as I'm not 100% happy with the end result. However, I'm pretty stoked on how this project turned out considering how intimidated I was to begin with, very much looking forward to building up some bikes and land speeders for him to hang out with in the future.





Monday, 11 April 2016

The Saddest Space Marine

I've a mega-lame post about my infatuation with all things Space Marine coming up, but until then please take a moment to feel a little sympathy for the Lamenters Captain. As you may know, the Lamenters are the unluckiest of all the Astartes chapters and have a potentially awkward paint-scheme to boot. I've had this wonderful 1991 Gamesday Jes Goodwin sculpt in my bits box for well over five years and decided that he deserved a paint job that was a little bit different to anything I'd attempted before. What with the Lamenters being descendants of the Blood Angels, I decided to give it a go.


The very literal definition of Noble-Bright
Skulls on everything.

I've sworn I'd never paint anything yellow again several times, but I actually really enjoyed working with the colour with this model. I've found that using a mixture of neat paint thinned with glaze really intensifies the overall colour. The shoulder pad design was also more fun to work with than anticipated, and in hindsight, I should have painted the checkerboard much smaller. My only issue was making the sword scabbard not look like corn on the cob - something I'm not entirely sure I managed to successfully achieve. I've a few other models that I'd like to use to make a very small Lamenters strike force over the next few months to mop up a few odds and ends I've got gathering dust in various boxes  - I love the idea of them being some noble suicide squad!

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Off the map

Contrary to a lack of posts, I've actually been quite busy on the painting front! The Ork project is now nearly complete with just the Battlewagon, a few Gretchin and some scenery to finish off, which I'm hoping to get done in the next few weeks. Here's some recent additions - apologies for the darkness in the photees!


Mekanik and Gretchin Assistant.

Painboy with Gretchin Assistant.

Runtherd on his lonesome - finally had an excuse to use an ugly old power claw too!

Ork projects. 


This scenery first started life in 1995 as a weekend project with my Grandad. Being made of hardboard, they lasted much longer than the cardboard and polystyrene scenery I was used to smashing together with retarded paws building and I'm stoked I still have them. However, I felt that they need updating (or more accurately, finishing them off how I originally wanted them!) and it's been a fun little side project. Here's how they used to look,..


Halford grey primer, you've served us well.


Even aged 11, I was pretty misanthropic.

 
And just as juvenile as I am now. 


Little hut.


Ork spelling is the best.


I'll be mounting these on hardboard and adding some awnings to increase their footprint and make them a little more interesting. Obviously I'll be including a poster for forthcoming Goffick Rok events - watch this space for a tour from the mighty SQUIGSTERS OF MERCY soon!

Oh, also finished a couple of the Hybrids off that have been hanging around that Bob sent me awhile back (cheers fella, the Epic stuff is in the queue!) Pretty sure I have a complete set for playing old Space Hulk with now. Really excited that GW have brought the Genestealer Cult back in the last few days with the advent of the amazing looking Deathwatch game. I'm hoping to pick a copy up in the future as the miniatures are wonderful homages to the original look and ethos of the Cult!


Causing a ruckus in a Hive City near you.


The other project I've been preoccupied with has been starting an AOS force. I've never really been a fantasy gamer or painter, but there's a great group of guys at the local shop who got me hyped on the idea recently. I've working my way through the Chaos 'Slaves to Darkness' boxset which has some really nice plastics, painting purely for gaming rather than being a prissy bitch like I usually am. (On a side note, the new starter boxsets are incredible value, seriously considering picking up the Ad-Mech one soon just for fun.) It's been weird switching my brain around to painting in a different way, but it's actually been pretty liberating as I'm also using this set to experiment with some of the effects paints and different painting techniques. I'm not usually one for breaking habits and it's been refreshing to try some new approaches. Here's some progress pictures.



Casting all the spells with ma creepy Beadle arm,...

There's something vaguely Monty Python about these guys and I can't put my finger on it.


Hoping to have the chariot and the cavalry done before the end of the month so I can get some games in. AOS looks pretty simple to play and it'll be fun to get to hang out with the local CH crew. I'm already planning on adding a Giant and some Beastmen to bulk out the force, but more importantly, because I really fancy like painting them! The other old Chaos stuff I was working on will now go towards making up a Mordheim gang for potential future use as they don't really go with this new Chaos force. Was still great fun painting them though!


Jes Goodwin radness!

Accidentally almost did non-metallic metals on the Slaanesh icon - stoked!


No one expects random Slambo.

So plenty to be getting on with! The next things on the painting horizon should be entries for the local shop 'Paint in Black / Purple' competition, but I think I may be being a bit adventurous going for both colours due to time. However, I really want an excuse to build the FW Contemptor and Ravenwing Sammael models that have been sat in the cupboard of shame for over two years - really tempted to take a week off in April when next year's holiday comes around and just spend it painting!









Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Birthday Times!

Not my birthday obviously! It's been a year since the first post arrived (via a stork and left to be found under a lettuce) on this journal and I'm pretty stoked on how I've been able to use it as a guide of sorts to plan projects and get enthused about current ones. I've had some really nice feedback on my painting and I'm stoked to have got know of so many other amazing painters out there through lurking from one blog to another - you people rule, thanks for being a constant source of inspiration!

For 2016 I've a few projects that I want to concentrate on. Thankfully, there's no wallet-worriers amongst them as I'd like to work off stuff that's been accumulating in the bits box. There's some real treats in there too! Firstly I'd like to finish off the Orks as I'm pretty close to finishing them off now. Here's where I'm up to so far,..

Weirdboy and Minderz.

Not 100% pleased with this as I'm not sure the purple pyjamas were the best choice. I may try and add some stars and moons and make him look like a cartoon wizard one day. Also, the staff is a stand-in until I get more confident with sculpting - spooky glowing eyes though!


These guys are the best!
Seriously, when did GW decide to ret-con Snotlings? These guys are awesome. I'm so impressed at how Kev Adams managed to sculpt so much detail on 10mm figures. The expressions and musculature is phenomenal! This is the first of four Snotting bases - that should be enough for the size of games I'll get to play hopefully!


In the grim darkness of the far future there is only mullets.

Squig-pup.

Finally managed to paint up this amazing proto-Gretchin and Azzbutt's pet Squig! The original target of twenty Gretchin will probably end up being more like ten as I'd like to maybe get a small squad of Madboyz (that and I'm running out of case-space!) The old Squig models are super fun, really characterful tangents that add a great deal of atmosphere to the Ork background.


Wagon with new axles!

This thing is going to be so awesome to build. I've finally managed to track down and fit some new brass axles that will strengthen the overall wagon structure as the old axles had to be removed and were notoriously spindly anyhow. Going to be making a proper go of this thing soon so expect loads of WIP photos! After that there's only a few personalities and I'll leave the green skins be. Pretty sure they clock in at around 1500 points with wargear which is a respectable amount for what I'd want to do with them.

As well as the Orks, I'm going to finish off some Genestealer Hybrids that I was kindly given a few months back. I've also got some amazing sculpts from the 'Wild in the Streets' game which are begging for some attention. I've recently acquired a RTB09 Terminator set, so would love to finally paint up a RT era Blood Angel Terminator squad for use with Space Hulk. Moreover, I'd really like to make an effort to paint up some Fantasy Chaos stuff as everyone around here seems to be on that right now - plus it's a massive excuse to paint up all the old Beastmen that I've had lying around - made a start on this in late December!

Cannot un-hear Skeleton vs Beastman now,..

Finally, I'd like to try and speed up my painting as I struggle to finish anything off in less than six hours. I think this is down to a combination of motivation, paint-scheme and model choice as the recent figures I've finished have all been done under three hours - the thought of finishing off anything in an evening seems unreal; it'd be so good to achieve that!


Only three hours!

I think the main aim for 2016 is to actually play some games. I only played one game of 2nd Edition 40k last year and two games of Space Hulk which is woefully shameful. I'm lucky enough to know loads of people who play various games and I'm hoping that they'll actually believe me when I say I'm going to at least try to roll some dice with them this year. There's already tentative plans for a meet up around late February with Pob and Melon for game and I'm hoping that I might be able to get a few more 2nd Edition battles in with Dave too. Also, I'm sure Stu wouldn't mind if I bullied him into playing Space Hulk once in awhile!

Ooof, that's enough for me to be getting on with then! Hope everyone else out there has a super fun and productive year!