Monday, 13 August 2018

Oi, oi, I'm back

I've had two weeks holiday from work but I haven't been away, what I've been doing is finally decorating our back room. I moved out of the 'den' three years ago into my man-cave and it's taken that long to get our act together to finally turn it into a proper dining room. There's still some organising to do but I repainted the ceiling from varnished wood to white - a primer and four thick coats [that primer was the single most unpleasant experience painting I've ever had!]. The walls also got four coats and we eventually got a new carpet down [stain proof to cope with our cat's regular vomiting, she is 18 poor thing] and this sideboard was built.

I need to replace the sockets with some fancy silver ones and we'll be getting the table and chairs in soon, which may well be the backdrop for any future games of 40k, if I ever play at my house! But that's what has been keeping me busy these last two weeks, so blogging was put on hold.

In truth my passion for the blog is waning - I'm running that fine balance between using it for my own benefit as a record and wanting it to be successful. The former helps with the creative process the latter is the path to insanity and yet it is hard not to feel a little upset at how the viewership is back to what it was in 2015, although I don't think the medium is dead I definitely think its popularity has waned greatly. Forums too seem to be on the out, 40kforums is closing soon, around 8% of my referrals come from that forum [only just beaten by BoLS].

But I think blogs may never die, but YouTube has clearly taken over and either way the effort to promote your work can be as much, if not more than what it takes to create the content in the first place. The blog is not going anywhere I just need to find the time/mojo to be reinvested in it. That said I have continued apace with my remaining projects of the Hobby Season and [SPOILERS] finished my Old Skool/Nu Skool Rhino/Razorback.

I've also finished up the weathering and varnished the last three future containers, which prompted me to dig out the green one to add a big number on it and some more weathering, I love these things! Like big old kids toy blocks ;)

I'll be preparing some TO DONE! posts for both of these. I've been cracking on with building my Knights, both have completed torsos now. I need to sort all the weapons  and get the legs reposed, which Liam has helped with on one. I've loads I want to get on with, its just finding the time to do it.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

'nids part 263 - Biotitan Tyranid Hierophant pt.17 - TO DONE! [but moar shots 1st]

We all know the deal by now, I take some 'accurate' pics with a digital camera and then some of the more 'filtered' cool pics with my phone. That way I always have pics to hand and I get the best of both worlds. Well, the digital camera pics need a little more editing before I can share them. Obviously this is a big beast and I couldn't fit it in my light box, these pics are on my kitchen table, but using the clip lights from the box.

In particular the white background images will need some tweaking on Photoshop to get rid of the reflections - it was a glossy white background. Thankfully my phone pics could be tweaked as i took them. Anyway, that's by the by and I can share these now and come back with the other pics in a week or two.

But she's complete, although as per usual I have some reflections. I had considered adding far more Tamiya Clear Red X-27 in the rib crevices and between each chitin plate on its back.

In fact you should be just about able to make out a line of Tamiya Clear Red X-27 behind the third head plate. I just wanted to see what it was like but I was smudging the highlights which wasn't quite what I was after. Really it needs a watered down Khorne Red first and then Tamiya Clear Red X-27.

That way you get to see the red in play, currently it's just a bit odd looking, so I stopped before it went weird on me. The carapace cysts did OK though.

And the join between thorax and abdomen came out OK too.

The head is OK, I'm still thinking there are more FX I could have done to make it cooler but I was losing patience and this is good enough for me to move on. Should I wish to explore those extras I can do that down the line [I probably won't, so they really don't matter do they...!]

A nice desktop pattern.

And some white background shots.

The irony is after taking the pics it was immediately dismantled and stored in my dice rolling box. Of course that's not just sad because it was stored away but it was stored in the thing I 'need' to roll dice in, which just goes to show what my gaming is like at the moment. 

Which further highlights the issue that I'm painting allsorts, just not playing, which begs the question "why?"

I enjoy the painting for sure [Formula 1 bingo there], it is my primary enjoyment but the gaming is part of it. I'm more than happy to keep painting away and denting my grey tide but the ultimate query would then be "why buy any more?" 

Right now I'm considering Kill Team, suggesting to Liam we go halves on Adeptus Titanicus on its release and even Shadespire!

All of those are determined by the desire to play, but in actual fact that's highly unlikely. I'm not moaning, it's just merely an observation that I've come to. 

GW has brought out some amazing box sets and my carefully controlled approach to investing in factions seems to have gone out the window. 

The Tyranids have been joined by Genestealer Cult, the Dark Angels have Knights and now both 'allies' have become armies in their own right [and we won't mention the Ad Mech bits...].

No doubt I'll get back to gaming but I must try and focus on what I've got, there are definite 'bits' I need to kitbash some models but I really shouldn't be thinking of anything else at the minute - that's a sure fire way to end up buying more stuff! 

Regardless, I have a Big Gamboge Stamp of Approval, this baby is done. I'll get round to proper pics as soon as I can but tick this one off my list!

Friday, 27 July 2018

'nids part 262 - Biotitan Tyranid Hierophant pt.16 - Toxic plasma glow

Progress has been rather slow on this, mainly because I seem to be getting in the shed a little later than usual. All the talons have been done, but that took a double session where I actually got to start hobbying at 9pm. I'll cover the talons later but here's the greenstuff!

My Vallejo Dark Green is the first coat - making sure not to shake it up. Then I think it's the goblin Green followed by this cheap apple/acid green craft acrylic I picked up from Ryman's Stationers years ago.

It's difficult to tell at this stage whether it's working, I fear I'm dropping my standards/making mistakes in my rush to get this off my desk. I've already smudged grey paint from the talons onto the bone bits and had to fix the splodges.

The green was definitely needed to break up the colours a bit.

Claws and talons, all done with Incubi Darkness, Dark Reaper, turquoise/white, white highlights. Not sure if there's too much highlighting now but I can always work some black back into it and shade it down.

Toxic green highlights 3 and 4

I mixed some yellow and a little white into my apple green to go more toxic and then finally some white spot highlights.

I'd already put the 3rd highlights in the vent stacks so the white highlights aren't too noticeable as they wet blended together. I'll add some pure white tonight and some additional highlights in some of the recesses.

I still think I need to add a little bit of extra highlights on the red areas but I've already started varnishing the legs. They'll be completed tonight alongside the arms. The body will be varnished mostly tomorrow night and I expect it should be complete Sunday or Monday - phew! Hopefully I'll get chance to do some To Done! pics next week.

Part 1. | Part 2. | Part 3. | Part 4. | Part 5. | Part 6. | Part 7. | Part 8. | Part 9. | Part 10. | Part 11. | Part 12. | Part 13. | Part 14. | Part 15. | Part 16. | Part 17. | Part 18. |

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Whats on my palette?

Bless me readers for I have sinned, it's been over 2 months since my last confession.

If you recall my last 'What's on my palette?' you'll know I was focusing on the 'big 3':
  • Tyranid Hierophant
  • Forgebane Warglaive Armigers
  • Old Skool/Nu Skool Razorback
The Warglaive got To Done and the Hierophant is so close I can almost taste it [although there's not much to share, hence no post on Monday]. But I also had three 'big builds' that I threw in the mix as distractions:
  • Build the last 3 Future Containers
  • Build/paint my 0.5 Armies on Parade/display base
  • Build my Sanctum Imperialis 
The first two got To Done and I've moved the containers onto painting, while the Sanctum Imperialis was paused at it's priming. So, with a little over a month left of the Hobby Season what can I get done? I'm confident the Hierophant will be complete this week, just toxic glows, varnishes and Tamiya Clear Red X-27 to do now. Then it'll be the Razorback, and I'll finish off painting the containers at the same time.

That should leave me with a week or two to play with. The Shadespire Fireslayers could get back on the table but I also need to build my Imperial Knight bases. Liam is busy re-posing one set of legs to be walking 'in motion' for me. All I have to do is the base and bond the foot to it so it can support the entirety on one leg. Now I found an old Ben10 toy that I cut down to make some kind of buried silo. I can't decide if this would be ideal for the 'in motion' Knight stepping off.

Or the second Knight stepping on the silo?

Option one will be really dynamic, but I can theoretically make a mound out of anything to achieve a similar pose, whereas I don't have anything quite so interesting for the stepping on pose. Alternatively there is this base on ebay at the moment from dands-gaming that looks really cool, that would work for the 'in motion' Knight and make my decision for me...

What do you think?

Friday, 20 July 2018

Third Anniversary of the birth of the Man Cave

It's the third Anniversary of the birth of the Man Cave. For one reason or another I forgot to celebrate the second anniversary of 40kaddict Towers - the 40k man cave. Some would argue the man cave was a luxury, all in it was £1,200 - £1,400 but that's around the same price as a Warlord Titan and I'm pretty sure I've got more hobby bang for my buck with the man cave. In actual fact it was a necessity as utilising space in the house for hobby became a continuous source of friction between me and my '40kwidow'. Of course the problems still exist but for the most part 'out of sight, out of mind' has meant the friction rarely causes a spark so for this reason the actual value of the shed is priceless.

As you can see from this picture last year it's very cosy, with far too many projects on the go

Since it's completion it has had a small upgrade in the magnetic fly screen over the door - the likes you see on all those infomercials. Absolutely amazing, I've painted a few times in the evening on a hot night with the door open and the winged insects that gets stuck on it can be really spectacular. I've since added some over the window that opens too.

I still have plans to get a solar powered ventilation fan, but that will require cutting a 100mm diammeter hole in the wall, which I'm pretty worried about. But this will mean that I'll get a little more air circulation going, to expel the hot air in summer and help with the humidity and concerns about mould in winter. Thankfully the mould has been kept at bay with my dehumidifier and I occasionally organise all my stuff so I'm making better use of space, even if it's really untidy.

Lastly I hope to completely recoat it with my waterproof paint. I've gone over all the nail holes with filler so they're easier to paint. I might have sealed in some rust that'll no doubt come back to haunt me but I feel like I'm doing something to maintain it's structure at least. I had enough paint left in my tin to paint the two main sides you see and are exposed most to the elements but a new tin is required, although £50+ for 5 litres is a big ask, even though it's top quality protection.It only took 90 minutes so I should remember that for the next time.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

'nids part 261 - Biotitan Tyranid Hierophant pt.15 - bone To Done!

Grinding this out now, having made the decision to go straight to the final highlight on the bone. I probably put too much of it on, which was my concern about making it too light, even if that is my standard across all my nids now.

I'll tackle that issue later in the post, but for now here are the built pictures. Black claws and talons to do next, pink bits, need to fill in the vents Khorne red before I start doing the toxic plasma glows and then...

...then what? Varnishes and Tamiya Clear Red X-27 and she's done!

And I've still got 39 days left in the Hobby Season! Which means some other tasks might get ticked off too.

I have actually had some opportunity to progress the future containers to sponging stage. Once I finish shading the the Razorback I can do that on both at the same time as a batch.

Cocked the white balance up on this one.


So here's the other step I need to do, some additional shading, going back over the highlights with Soft Tone in areas which would be in shadow. It's really adding extra dimension to the ribs, compare that to the hips on the right.

It's not exactly a difficult task, in fact its really easy but adds so much more depth to the model. I may have one more update showing the glow effect WiPs but then it should be To Done pics!