Monday, 29 October 2018

8 Days of the Week


It's my blogaversary and somehow I've been blogging for 8 years! I wonder sometimes if I could even take a break now? I wish I could dedicate more time to it, make it more integrated and enjoyable, find new ways to share what I'm doing but I know such effort would require time I don't currently possess. Trying to juggle the everyday real life, hobby and blogging means this is as good as it gets for now.

I still find it amazing that not only do I keep it going but folk are still popping by and commenting, and I must apologise yet again for not always coming back with a response - almost all the blogs I follow [including my own] are banned due to the IT policy restricting keyword 'games'. So I only really get to follow up on my phone, which means the responses aren't great/timely. I really though the G+ commenting would make things easier but I'm not so sure.

And the popularity, although significantly less has stabilised. Hopefully one day there'll be a resurgence of blogging, like vinyl. I mean blogger even has emojis now 😀 although not so sure they always render properly but it at least shows the platform has had some tinkering with. Maybe we'll get a better update eventually?

As always though the blog is my diary, my record of achievement and my hobby 'penseive'. Without the ability to remove my WiPs from my memory and store them here I'd be overwhelmed by the projects I'm working on and still to do. I'm glad you all have come along for the ride.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Blog hiatus

I'll be taking a bit of a hiatus on the blog for the foreseeable future. Real life has reared its ugly little head and I will mostly have to focus on that rather than the hobby and all it entails.

Ironically I've already written my 8th blogaversary post scheduled it and that even posits could I take a break? But I'll be back when I can.

I know its cryptic like one of those annoying Facebook posts, sorry about that, when I can explain more I will. And the support I'll no doubt get in my absence will be appreciated, you're all cool that way.

Moar Armies on Parade 2018

Armies on Parade 2018 has been and gone and as mentioned I couldn't actually get in store on the day due to family commitments. On Monday I nipped in to collect my figures and there was still this board on display so I had to get some pictures as it was absolutely stunning.


I think this might have come second overall and it's one of those armies that when you see it you think, yes I would love to play/have and army like that - even when you don't even play that game!


Such attention to detials and all the little touches, like the static grass, clumps of flowers and mushrooms.


From my social media browsing I felt AoP 2018 was a much more pleasant affair. Plenty of small scale Parades being celebrated alongside amazing dioramas. In fact I only really saw one negative comment because someone felt they'd been misled about the date being this weekend and so hadn't been able to Parade with a board they'd been making for more than a year or two. Not entirely sure why they couldn't now Parade it in 2019 but it seemed the hobby community was overwhelmingly enjoying the spirit of the event.


And that was confirmed by the staff at GW Manchester who couldn't have been happier to have had my army in-store. We had a nice long chat as I packed up where I promised to make the effort to be there next year.


I'm not sure what I'll be doing but hopefully it'll feature mostly things that have previously been unseen and although the board will be made of my gaming terrain I'll see what I can do to come up with a new a dynamic board that still tells a story.


I had thought at one point to take the Tyranids in their entirity as it's a new audience and whatnot but I think something new would be more appropriate this time and I can't imagine how I would transport all the nids. Regardless I may well have an Age of  Sigmar board with whatever Shadespire Warbands I complete...

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Imperial Knights - House Corvus Twins in manufactorum pt5. 'skipping leg day'

I know I agreed to pledge both these Knights to Dreadtober it's clear now they are never going to be complete. At this point I'll be happy with basing and primed. As I want to do both I really needed to crack on with the re-pose for the second Knight. I can say right now I am not enjoying it one bit. The feet aren't glued to the ankles, which aren't glued to the legs, which aren't glued to the hip pipes which aren't glued to the waist and times that by both legs [the second not even joined the two halves together] and it's a blooming nightmare.


I'd been avoiding dealing with it but had to press on. I split the toes so it could stand 'clamped' on the old Ben 10 toy. I drilled and pinned all the toes. Then I split a 12mm [or 10mm?] wooden bead and glued it in place for the ankle joint.


I removed the molded ankle joint - *Top Tip* score all the way round the ball joint then twist the piece off with needle nose pliers. So long as you go perpendicular to the cut it snaps off with minimal effort. Much safer than trying to cut through it entirely.


Now, I wanted some squashed deformation of the 'gas chamber' [that's what we'll call it] and got out my heat gun. I tried heating a flat-head screw driver for five minutes to use as stamp for where the toes would go. It didn't work so I hit the chamber with the heat gun and tried impressing the spanner... as you can see it was far from a success. It blistered the plastic - no real hardship but the chamber did sag and has fundamentally warped the entire shape.


What I failed to notice was the foot was also in the path of the heat gun [or sgot too hot when I put it in place on the chamber] and you'll see it distorted some of the toes. You can just see a 'nipple' on the left toe, that's the metal pin poking through the plastic! It won't be too bad when it's painted but I was pretty P'ed off at this point. The white powder is baking powder from super-gluing the pinned toes ahead of green stuffing some flexi-pipe.Adding baking powder makes it set really quick and creates a rock hard material almost like concrete.


I had an entire day visualising the task still ahead and the mistakes I'd made. I finally came to the conclusion I needed to find a fixed point. Fix one leg in place and find a way to make the second leg work [similar in principle to this Tip of the Day from Warhammer TV]. So I put the left foot in situ and drilled a hole for the rod that'll go through the leg.


As you can see the heat distortion [and probably the pins] means the front and back toes no longer sit flush on the chamber :(


Whereas the sides just about make physical sense.


So I was forced to add some Milliput in a very crude and possibly unrealistic attempt at crushing the chamber. I'm hoping the distressed paintwork will disguise then hamfisted sculpting but we'll see.


The toes were also filled out with Milliput - to ensure the panel pins remain solidly in place. I also sculpted some tread on the front and back toes. Although the sculpture on the chamber will go some way to hid the gap I thought some 'stacked heels' would create a more solid fit and allow a greater contact zone when I come to glue them in place.


I stuffed a load of Milliput inside the shin - so much it was busting through the seams. This was to support the coat hanger rod into the ankle. I put some super-glue on the rod and poly-glue on the front and back piston ball joints and joined it all together adding a final blend of Milliput between the ankle and wooden bead. Hopefully there are enough adhesives in place to hold this steady. Next up will be the two side pistons and then to glue the ankle to the foot.


I'll then work on the hip pipes and with one leg as a solid foundation it might help in positioning the second. The over-riding problem with these is eventually you have to make that leap of faith - as above I then cocked it up but I've dealt with the mistake and I'm now closer to finishing even if it's less than perfect. My dryfit image from the top looks like a pose I would be more than happy with but even only small discrepancies in the posing so far the pose might look very different

Monday, 15 October 2018

Imperial Knights - House Corvus Twins in manufactorum pt4. All your base...

Here we go, back on familiar ground - quite literally. Red Planet BASE! I used my Valejo black wash for this. Slightly thinned and mixed with the Sepia, it's worth noting that in some recesses the powdery residue, always present when using Seraphim Sepia, also materialised. But a quick touch up on those spots with Army Painter Dark Shade covered those up.


Vermilion drybrush.


1st stage highlight [Vermilion + pumpkin orange, roughly 4:1 ratio, maybe 5:1].


2nd stage highlight [Vermilion + pumpkin orange, roughly 3:1 ratio]


Lastly 3rs stage highlight - pumpkin orange.


The pipe is going to be very rusty but yellow - next level grunge compared with my Genestealer Sentinels. The supports might just be rusted metal though. I was really chuffed how quick this progressed and the knight is almost ready for priming too, but you see the guns in the background that need magnetising, while the second knight needs posing and basing too...

All of this is something I can get done in a week of concerted effort, I'm confident of that. However, this last week I've actually felt really tired in the evening and got a few 'early' nights in [10pm]. That doesn't help my progress and actually stunts my momentum because those parts are hurdles anyway, which is why I find it so easy to 'take a night off'. That said part of this years goals are hobby/life balance and burning the candle at both ends is just not sustainable [as I get older] so I have to accept some limitations. I might feel a bit on edge because I haven't moved these forward [the deadline still looms] but I'll get them done...

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Armies on Parade 2018


Everybody knows I'm a huge fan of Armies on parade so you'd be forgiven for assuming I wasn't entering this year as I've been unusually quiet. There's a number of reasons for this, firstly I'd written an article about AoP for the Warhammer Community team covering many of my previously expressed views on the essence of the event. Sadly it wasn't published but I'll keep on trying.


Secondly I haven't actually entered anything new. You may recall my local GW Southport closed down and last year the Free Radical Collective were my entry. This year they've ambushed the GW Manchester Arndale and this makes me feel rather odd. I'm genuinely disappointed I haven't anything 'new' to enter. I've been through this before when my third time with the 'nids was disparaged because it was their third time and it was deemed 'lazy'. Yep, we sensitive souls cut deep.


The fact is though this Army is Parading in front of a new audience and it is all about showcasing your army. I'll say it until I'm blue in the face [even at the risk of summary Inquisitorial execution as Xenos scum] AoP is about taking part and if I don't enter something that has been created new I don;t get to join in - simple as.


That said I really wanted to understand if this sort of multi-entry approach was somehow contravening accepted painting competition etiquette. So I contact this years Golden Demon Slayer Sword winner Paweł Makuch at Monstroys for his opinion on the subject:
Indeed I do take my works to as many comps that I can. I don't see why would that be wrong. You have spent a lot of time on a piece/army and would like to enter in two or more separate places and hopefully be rewarded. It's not that You are cheating, it's still the same work, that have costed X many hours to finish. For example I spend around 300-400 hours on one competition piece (sometimes even more), and I couldn't bring them to different places I probably wouldn't go at all, or would make 1 in a year, and not 3-4. I think it's both interesting for me (us painters) for the audience, and for the competition itself, that there are hundreds of quality works. Couple years back I probably wouldn't be so sure, but now, when I know how much effort and time is put in creating such stuff - I dont have any objections, in seeing same piece in more than one competition.
Indeed classic car competitions feature the same cars all the time. Someone doesn't lovingly restore an old Bentley, enter it in a Concourse, and then start again with a new Roller next time [some might but many stick to what they've got]. And it would appear Paweł is not the only world class painter with this view - multiple Golden Demon award winner Richard Gray entered his Cerastus Knight Lancer in both Golden Demon Classic 2017 [winning Forge World Best of Show] and Salute's Best of Show [both fully deserved],.


Bottom line I should stop feeling guilty about this - it's sharing the hobby and that's all that counts. :)


Anyway, unfortunately I can't actually be in-store today to join in the celebrations - I am however taking my son to Chester to look at their university so that should be fun and I'll catch up with all the gorgeous hobby on my return, check out the 40kaddict facebook group for some choice Parades I've already seen.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

2000pts battle report - Imperial Knights & Dark Angels v ORKTOBER!

Ben has been busy home renovating recently so it's been a challenge to arrange a gaming but as we've all signed up for the Last Chance Open we thought we'd better learn how to play 40k again 😃 We rolled Front Line Assault deployment map - long-ways arrow. We were trying to understand the ITC rules but I think we gave up in the end - bodes well for January!


Ben has just 2,000pts of Orks so his army had no options or opportunity to fine-tune. Lots of Boyz, Nobz, Bikerz and Tankbusters in Trukks. There was also Snikkrot and his Kommandos.


I took my Cerastus, 2 Warglaives, My Knight Errant [as a Freeblade], 2 min Dark Angel Tactical Squads [one with Plasma cannon], Scout Snipers, Techmarine, Chaplain, 2 Ravenwing bike squads with Plasma Guns and my Old Skool Predator - in use for the first time ever.


Ben won first turn and I failed to steal. As you can see everything got up in my face pretty quick.


Snikrott's Komandos appeared on my flank, although he turned up in the middle of the board.


There was a lot of greenskins coming my way, they killed one of the Ravenwing and failed to make their charge but I really began to worry I had too many targets.


Made even more worrisome when the Tankbusters, their bombsquiggs and small dakka fire took out one of my Warglaives


Snikrott made a big charge into one of my Tac Squads, but my Chaplain Heroically Intervened to steal their resolve. He killed 2 Marines and in return was taken to his last wound thanks to the Chaplain and his bonuses on the Dark Angels. The Bikerz completed an 11" charge on the Lancer, surrounding him alongside their Warboss and Painboy. The mob managed to do very little, one wound or so but it would suffer 8 wounds in total at the hands of the Warboss and other Characters. In return it lanced the Painboy to oblivion, didn't quite kill the Warboss and stomped on a couple of bikes.


My turn 1, the Ravewing moved to the woods with the Predator moving to intercept the Kommandos and sit on the objective. Looking at the table it felt like I had far too many threats and not enough bodies/attacks to deal with them all. I wasn't even sure on the most urgent target priority.


I did however figure the Tankbusters were high on that list  and I was able to blow up their Trukk and take some of them with it. The remaining Warglaive moved to take them out.


Than Lancer Fell back, luckily I didn't move him far before I started it's charge as it only made 2" - so much for it's big gangly legs. The Tac Squad and Chaplain also moved to assault the Warboss on his bike. Euronymous the Fallen Knight moved to multi-charge the bikes and the Trukk full of boyz. He was also back up by the Ravenwing who moved to the midpoint between the two Trukks to give me options.


The Lancer and his buddies were able to smash the Ork centre. With the Trukk also tied up that left the Ravewning free.


They assaulted the Trukk on my left flank to keep the Scouts safe and hold the Orks at bay. I'm not sure if Ben was counting up or down on his wounds on the '3 dice' there but my bikes had taken 1 wound [possibly in overwatch].


Not sure what damage they did.


But they suffered a casualty in return. I think that was the end of my turn 1 and we'd managed to do it in just 3 hours! How rubbish are we?


As it was getting late there didn't seem much point in carrying on. Although there was plenty still on the board I'd effectively removed most of Ben's heavy hitters meaning he'd struggle to damage my Knights. The only thing he wanted to see was what his mob of Boyz would do to the Knight.


As it turns out not very much, I think I got wounded 5 times.


And my saving throws were on fire!


We called it there with many questions still unanswered. Our ITC prep was useless, we couldn't even follow the secondary missions [even though they appear straightforward it's keeping track of them] so we've no idea what we scored, we gave up. 

Ben's Orks are completely uncompetitive. They are what he has unfortunately and new Codex or no he's doubtful now he'll run them. He'd require major investment of units and painting to be ready in time. He's far less competitive than when we first started playing but like all of us we don;t want to be steam-rolled either. He's thinking of switching back to his Astra Militarum but throwing in a Super-Heavy.

I was pretty impressed with my army. I was sad the Warglaive got plinked first turn but much like Alex's situation in my last game at DT4 - a loss of a single Warglaive is a small price to pay to then succeed with everything else. The bike's did OK, I forgot how good they are with their 4 bolter shots each at Rapid Fire range, Plus the Plasma Gun. I'm undecided on some items, the Predator was cool but it's not very fluffy a Dark Talon might be a more suitable replacement but it's 20pts more I can't really afford. Alternatively I could add two more bike squads or a unit of Black Knights plus change? 

Regardless at GT4 I'll have to lose 250 points, which will either start with the Predator or one of the Warglaives and I'll have to find 70 points from somewhere else... lots to think on.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Google+ commenting


Back in January 2017 I decided to switch to Google+ commenting as an experiment. Keeping up with replying to comments had become a challenge due to certain IT restrictions. I thought this might help alleviate the problem and it helped somewhat, but I have noticed that not all comments showed up in my G+ notifications so often went unnoticed and thus unanswered.

That said I had been thinking recently that I should perhaps switch back to blogger's in-built commenting function. It's far from perfect, doesn't offer me the opportunity to respond directly but does collate all my comments in one place and gives me a record of them all. It would appear though that this decision is ultimately out of my hands, in that Google has announced it will be winding down G+ itself over the next 10 months.

So, I'll probably switch sooner rather than later but it also means the variety of 40k groups I occasionaly showcase finished miniatures to will also be gone, shame.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Imperial Knights - House Corvus Twins in manufactorum pt3.

With my base 'iced' with tile adhesive it was time to put on some sand and slate. I freely admit I hadn;t really thought about the placement of the slate and so the sand needed to go some way to blending it all in. However when the Knight was put in place it just looked so dull. There was just too much empty space and I thouhg it needed something in the foreground to break ot up...


I may have gone a little overboard though. It definitely solves the problem but it's a little overwhelming in some respects. Overall it's better though so I can live with it.


I found th eplastic tube in the garage, no idea what it was from but new it would work. I had some Drop Pod harnesses to use as supports, the round thing was another bit that PeteB gave me years ago that looked like a cool pipe manifold. I then used masking tape to make pipe collars, wrapping them round the pipe.


I had to dig/drill/gouge out chunks of grout/slate/MDF to fit it all in and then Valejo Red Oxid [sic] paste to blend it all in


I also added the extra bit of slate to where the Knight will be fixed, it adds another few degrees of backwards lean so it balances the pose better.


This is even leaning too far forwards, once it's glued it'll be better. The left foot does make a nice interaction with the silhouette of the pipe though.


I mean I've no idea where that foot is going to land, if the pipe is likely to be stomped on but the context of the huge Knight makes the oversized pipework less silly.


So it all got primed with Red Oxide car primer and I cannot convey the sense of satisfaction this gave me. I'm on to painting, familiar territory it feels like progress. Going back and putting the pipes on was a setback now I could taste the advancement.


And yet I've still got the other Knights legs and base to do. Both need their weapons options built and magnetised as well as their Carapaces finished off and heads magnetised.


There is so much to do and although there is a big milestone sense of achievement to move onto some painting a reality check has tempered some of that satisfaction, sadly. Nevermind, I can paint this separatelt to completion and use that momentum to help me get through all the other build elements. I might be more productive and efficient to be solely in 'build mode' but motivationally I need painting to feel like there's progress.