Monday, 21 May 2018

'nids part 255 - Biotitan Tyranid Hierophant pt.10 - Bonewhite highlights on the ribs

Having had my 'busman's holiday' with the display base I've returned to the Hierophant. That's not through want of trying to crack on with the other two parts of the 'Big 3'. I tried a of metallics on the Armigers, got as far as Balthasar gold on the carapace, then started on the legs and literally refused to carry on! What is it with my bronze that I now can't even stand painting it? So it was back to the monster.


Army painter Skeleton Bone was my weapon of choice, because it's slightly darker. When I started the nids way back when I'd have considered highlighting the ribs as a single entity. Obviously I now do it with 'pinstripes' to add more texture. Once again it makes the silhouette of the rib busier but I'm going all in on this now. I'm not sure the quality has ramped up but the effort certainly has - no shortcuts here.


Right hand side was session 2 and from a distance my pinstripe striations look pretty cool. I might have liked more variety in them rather than the three stripes per rib but the line and paint thickness isn't particularly uniform, even if the amount is.


Once again I'm not sure it stands up to close scrutiny - the brush strokes are far from tidy but I'm confident further highlights will create more definition that will justify the imperfect nature of the bioform - it'll all make sense in the end.


I think I still managed to retain some of the underlying tones from the bone and washes, maybe not as much as I'd hoped but possibly more than I would normally.


Tail and guns followed by front and back legs - roughly 3 to 4 sessions I'm guessing but it feels like it's progressing really well ☺

Friday, 18 May 2018

Yet moar pics from GW Manchester

My train got cancelled the other day and I had to hot foot it across Manchester from Piccadilly Station to Victoria Station for my next train. It did give me chance to go via GW in the Arndale, chew the fat over the Warhammer Fest announcements and take some picture of these treats for your viewing pleasure.



Loved the quality of the blending on these gradients.




Wish I could have got a better picture of these Necromunda guys.


Hope you like them, just thought, did I ever share these too?



Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Terrain is everything - New display board - 'bloody marbleous'

I really didn't expect to progress so quickly with my new display board but I had a puncture last week which meant I had to take a day off to get it replaced. This afforded me some time during the day to work on the board. In the hobby for me, some jobs are 'day jobs' and some jobs are 'night jobs'; for instance painting the Heirophant is not something I can do during the day, it requires far too much patience and focus. But my new display board is definitely a day job, something I can fit in if I can snatch a few minutes. Considering my hobby time is supposed to be at night that makes the situation both challenging and rewarding when I get stuff done in the day. Seizing the opportunity I mixed up some black and Vermilion and sponged on the resulting brown to break up the previous Vermilion layer.


I then shaded all the cracks between panels. I did plan to paint Bonewhite mortar down the centre, I was amused by the concept that the Imperium would be collecting the Wraithbone shards across Ferron Proxima, grinding it up and then using it just as 'glue' to stick stone slabs together. The utter arrogance and ignorance for the revered Aeldari substance tickled me no end.


However, I wasn't sure it would look right, so for the time being I stuck with the shadow. Unfortunately my pics don't quite do justice to the gamut of colours applied so far.


Even so there was another set of highlights here, possibly Vermilion again, just to knock back the brown a bit. Towards the end of this project I may well have wished I'd stopped here but I went on with my next step regardless.


I then did my Red Planet BASE! effect on the Ferron sand bits, although I admit it looks more Orange Planet BASE! than red, but that had to happen to make it stand out against the Rockcrete. I also applied extra orange highlights to the slabs for yet more texture/depth.


If you hadn't guessed already here's where my intent is revealed. I'm going all out and recreating my Dark Angel Jetfighter/Dark Talon red marble. Now I'm not certain this was the original plan but as I progressed I thought why the hell not? However, at this stage I was thinking I'd made quite the mistake as the bonewhite veins had been supplemented with a dragging sponge across in places for fine scuffs and bone scratches. I mean it's not unpleasant but it was über busy, much lighter overall  and I was seriously regretting doing it. I then tried to mitigate the starkness of the veins by another light sponging with Vermilion but the decider would be the shading step, which was up next.


Resulting in this... now I'm, a lot happier with that finish. It's still ridiculously OTT, even more so than the previous step, but it does look considerably better - more deliberate, controlled and better executed. The big question is - should a display base overshadow the figures you but on it? I'm not sure there is a correct answer either way. I think I was similarly worried with the amount of bonewhite spots I did on my Realm of Battle and AoP boards but observed once you put your army on it covers up 75% of the boards anyway. So hopefully adding my figures, that will match up with the Red Planet BASE! effect on the Ferron sand bits, will break up the marble even more.


But everyone comments on my Dark Talon's wings and this is just as good an execution. In actual fact it has a life beyond Double Trouble 3 and will form the base for my Armies on Parade board at Southport this year. the plan for that display does not require anything bigger than this board so it will be perfect.


From the first picture above to the last this was done in one day, including the metal debris. I varnished it last night so it is fundamentally finished but I will obviously have to do a TO DONE! photoshoot. I may just add some yellow flock inbetween some of the slabs - pernicious weeds always find a way. Other than that I've ticked it off my list - the AoP board, even if it was not the complete 2'x2' board I had originally planned for that task, but the concept is still in the bank. Now I just need to do a backdrop [not neccessarily for DT3] and if I can eventually get the Sanctum Imperialis done that would be even cooler! What do you think, should I have stopped before the veins or did I do right to go all whistles and bells on it?

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Warhammer Fest and GT Final

Just a quick congratulations to my mate Liam from Blue Warp Studios. He'd got through to the 40k GT finals at Warhammer Fest, following GT3 in February. He only went and walked away with Best Painted Vehicle, Best Painted Character AND Best Painted Army!


I know how much the latter means to him, even when he won three of the categories at Throne of Skulls the year I took home Best Painted Army it was cold comfort for the accolade he really wanted. He's now achieved that goal and I couldn't be happier for him. At my insistence he also entered the Golden Demon but did not make the cut, which is nothing to be ashamed of - he now knows what is required and I fully expect him to look at this for his next challenge. He'll enter in earnest no doubt and not display something already painted. I've no doubt he'll do really well.


Obviously lots of announcements over the weekend, I'm particularly looking forward to Adeptus Titanicus. The GT itself seems some attention though, by all accounts the terrain was not great and out of the 120 GT Heat invitations only 64 competed on the day. I was even told that some that lost on the Friday didn't bother coming back on the Saturday. I really hope the events team look into a reserve list - once you have your invite you have a time limit to book your ticket otherwise those that didn't quite make the cut get a chance to take part. I still probably would have been out of the running but far better to sell out your tournament than have it half empty [or half full ;) ]


Lastly, big up to Morgan Cole who won the 40k GT. I played Morgan in the Warhammer TV live Twitch feed and it was an amazing experience. It's been rather sad to see that some have subsequently felt he 'slow-played' during the final, using game turns as an indicator and also referencing our GT3 heat as yet more evidence. Having played against him I know that wouldn't be the case, we both played hordes, we both played as efficiently and economically as possible. In fact I was amazed at his tactical acumen under such time constraints.


Folk also seem to ignore that half the Chapter Approved missions score on continuously holding objectives each turn, so not having too many turns could put you in a disadvantage. Planning to just play 3 turns a game and getting all those objectives early enough so your opponent can't do the same would be more difficult than just playing the game. Regardless, Morgan had contacted me on Facebook on the Thursday night asking if I was going, he was far from confident of his army's chances - he certainly did not sound like a man who had meticulously planned to 'game the system'.

I know how difficult this criticism will feel for him, for those that played him and now feel aggrieved they should have raised their concerns at the time - the situation could have been resolved either way. The sad result is an online witch hunt with all sorts of folk chiming in without any first hand knowledge or experience. This isn't the LVO, there was no $5000 prize money at stake and there was no evidence of gamesmanship. My first hand experience tells me that's not how Morgan plays, that's not how he'd want to win, fingers crossed he won't let it get to him too much.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Terrain is everything - New display board

I started this display board the other week. This patterned sheet of hardboard was left at my Aunt's house when we cleared it after she passed away. It has a glossy finish to look like tiles and I hoped the slightly embossed pattern might still be visible when it was painted. The original plan was for one of these to be a platform in last year's Armies on Parade board but I didn't have the time or space. However, this one on its own will make a decent display for Double Trouble 3: Double harder [tickets still available]. With only 875pts to display, a 40cm square board will look far less empty than my 60cm square AoP board. So I added some Valejo Red Oxid paste and some sharp sand so the rockrete slabs weren't completely featureless.


I primed the board with grey and then Red Oxide Primer, trying to retain some of the grey underneath for variety. I also added a few toy packaging bits to look like metal debris, these are the things that usually have tie-wraps attached to brand new kids toys to keep them in place - keep your eyes peeled for them as they're really useful for debris.


I then followed the undercoat, stippling on Vermilion.


It's here where it came apparent the embossed pattern wasn't going to show but it's not too much of a problem.


With Double Trouble 3 on the 9th of June this was the perfect interval project. I have a deadline to do it and the quicker I finish it the sooner I get back to the Heirophant.

Friday, 11 May 2018

'nids part 254 - Biotitan Tyranid Hierophant pt.9 - First chitin highlights complete

I finally got all the spots done, so thought it was worth a 'built' shot. I'm glad I did as it's helped reconcile the busyness of the spots, although it's also highlighted the discrepancy between the turquoise denisty on the big body plates versus the leg plates.


With the leg plates being much smaller you are seeing proportionally more turquoise on a plate than the big plates, but that's always been the case so I'm not sure what my point is exactly.


This is a nice little 'save point' though. Having pushed myself through the repetitiveness and not gone mad I don't want to tempt fate by jumping into more of the same.


Granted I'll be doing bonewhite highlights next, so it will feel different I'll take the opportunity to potter on with some other things.


Although I do hope I retain some more of this bone colour created so far. Usually I cover up quite a lot of it, which is a shame as the Valejo Sepia wash has come out really rich and I want to retain some of that.


Now I have actually done a little video of me picking it up and placing it down again so you can see how it settles and the support of the legs, but I haven't uploaded it yet.


It's really coming together though so as much as I'm trying some other projects at the moment I actually can't wait to crack on with it.


Don't worry, this will be back on the painting table very soon. I'm not putting it on the back burner forever, just need to do somehting else for a few nights. Anyway, some more pics...


And my painting log so far, again most sessions are one hour, 90 minutes max with a few 'half sessions' but 30 hours as a rough estimate of painting to date.


Right, now what have I been doing in the interval...?

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Terrain is everything - Sanctum Imperialis Big Build TO DONE!

After my last Confession I'd assessed what was on my palette and distilled it down to the 'Big 3' which begs the question why I was suddenly building the Sanctum Imperialis from my Imperial Knight Renegade set... In fact, on the sprue this took up far less room but I suddenly had the urge to sacrifice valuable time on the Heirophant to finish this off.


Now I made some choices about construction, to get as much out of it as possible and match up with the smaller pieces of it I already own. However, despite not looking at the instrucitons or the pictures I've made an almost stock version of it, the main difference being it has the walls, instead of the front wall leading to ruins.

The balcony is also twice as big, running the entire width of the buidling. I used 'granny grating' to extend the balcony, which meant gluing was a challenge. I sued Super Glue Gel, to bond it to the sprue 'cantilever' supports and varies bits of cable ties to support it underneath. it should be sufficient for the load of a few figures. And the grating allows light to pass through unerneath - no shelter from the caustic rains of Ferron Proxima but it does look pretty.



Side views, so that you can see how wonky the balcony is - no plumb lines in the 40k universe - it's heresy!

So I do get a Big Build Big Gamboge Stamp of Approval, it was even on my Big Build list! Regardless I need to see how quick I can actually paint this and it's siblings...

Friday, 4 May 2018

'nids part 253 - Biotitan Tyranid Hierophant pt.8 - "My God, it's full of stars"

Yet more 'highlights', I'm going to stop apologising for this now, it's a big model, there's only so much I can do so it's going to take a while and that means a lot of posts might not cover a huge amount of progress or highlight the same old process yet again. So lets just crack on...  I confess, although I had done some hard graft and fairly decent, consistent, highlights so far the model was a little underwhelming. Now I think Ive gone a little 'Liberace' on it. The spots and dots have been a key feature on my colour scheme since I first started.


Their primary function is as an 'interference pattern' to break up the expanse of blue on each plate. Given the amount I once again adopted my three sizes of cocktail sticks to create small medium and large dots without wrecking my brush and creating consistent circles each time. I may have gone OTT but they definitely achieve their function, as you can see below.


I'm a little dubious regarding the big circles. When you use the cocktail stick it does tend to make dots bigger than it's diammeter, thanks to the amount of paint you pick up. That siad this is as big a model as it gets and I was happy with that dot size on my Bastion/Skyshield/Defence Lines so I'm not going to worry too much about it.


I managed to do the entire body, legs and guns were limbs too far. I'm confident this is now better than it was and will look awesome but I accept it is way OTT, but as a centrepiece model it's supposed to be. I've actually seen a fair few Hierophants painted recently, very simply and I feel a bit sad folk didn't go all out on it.


I will at least know I gave it my all when it's done. Next up are its limbs, as mentioned above and then I may do an updated built photoshoot before I do the first set of bonewhite highlights. I want to do this in even stages rather than take the chitin through to finished and then play catch up elsewhere.


It's interesting that all the claws and spikes that have been painted black are already showing signs of wear due to all the handling this model takes to get it painted - that piece of foam comes in handy for resting it up and support. The rubber gloves help a bit too, but then they get snagged on a spike. Anyway, see you next week and I may have those 'built' pictures ready.