Monday, 24 June 2019

Hobby project management - trello

Every Hobby Season I write [or re-use the same] hobby 'To Do List'. I have a couple of apps on my phone to tick off when things are TO DONE! but I've not really been dilligent about it for a few years. Usually I just cross them off on my To Do List blog post and have a showcase. However, I wanted a better representation of projects and their progress and decided to have a look at trello. This is a site [and app] some of my colleagues were using for project management and I thought I'd adapt it for my own nefarious hobby needs.


So I set up my 'board', unfortunately my efforts to embed it directly in the blog have failed but you can view it here: https://trello.com/b/NssOU5zc/40k-list

I have my first list of Things To Do, granted it doesn't match my Hobby Season To Do List, but it's a little more fluid. It's difficult to explain the criteria but these are projects that keep imposing themselves on my consciousness and I had to just acknowledge their existence, even if I'm not actually doing them.

From there I have the Building list, clearly these lists are pretty self descriptive, so obviously these are things being built. Basing is the next stage, which again speaks for itself and then the Painting list. I've tried to colour-code priorities with the most important Green, but you know how I flit from one thing to the next. Again these are mainly guidelines, although I appreciate the irony of going to all this trouble to organise my efforts and then dismissing them, but the hobby is both order and chaos so I'll persevere :)

Finally I have the TO DONE! list, so I can further record what I've completed. A number of my recent blog posts have been trying to reconcile hobby and home life and this isn't a solution to that problem; but when you're constantly thinking about projects and possibly trying to find a way to not spend time hobbying, this is another form of 'methadone' to at last feel like I'm on top of things, even if I'm not actually doing something

Anyway, thought I'd share. I'm sure there are other tools to achieve a similar sort of thing or you too may find this useful.



Friday, 21 June 2019

Ad Mech - Ferron Proxima Forge

Since their creation I've always had a fondness for the Ad Mech range. Back when I was disciplined enough to stick to just my Dark Angels and Tyranids as armies I said to myself if I ever had a third it'd be Ad Mech. Then along came Genestealer Cults and as is their insidious nature it was such an easy step to build a complimentary force to go with my Tyranid Genestealers. Deathwatch Overkill also supplied a Deathwatch Kill Team [but that's not REALLY another army is it...] and my one Imperial Knight, became two which became six! And the Forgebane box that gave me the Warglaives finally provided me with the beginnings of my Ad Mech force. As time has gone on it seems I want to paint them too and as they make a more reasonable CP 'farm' than my Dark Angels for the Knights I may need to paint them as well.

Ad mech have already featured briefly in the history of Ferron Proxima and I always had an idea they would be yellow, how that fits with the yellow parts of my GSC I don't know. Despite being my favourite colour I'd not wanted to contemplate a yellow army [until the GSC] purely because my Elf Blood Bowl Team was yellow [sadly a lot of those image links seem to have come undone ☹️]. This has nothing to do with the almost universally known difficulty painting yellow, because the chevrons on my Imperial Knights convinced me I can do it no bother. So I wanted to use that as a basis - instead of red with white cogs I was going to go more construction - yellow with chevrons and wanted to see what that looked like - Photoshop! I probably wouldn't do that much chevrons on the edges and on occasion would increase the scale but I was reasonably impressed with my rendered vision.


I also was considering trying out the new contrast paint to achieve the yellow because the results for that colour look great and it would be so easy. The hard part is accepting that process when in my head I have my yellow recipe and I'm not sure I want to compromise on it. It would save time but would I feel the result is as good? I know these figures are fiddly to paint so time saving would be a good idea but would I 'feel' I'd not put my best into it? Then again how awesome does that yellow look?


And then I considered an alternative. If I was going down the Contrast route why not go full Grimdark - oily brown leather overcoats, with dark weathered oil-stained armour and clothes with faded orange markings. Finally trying to do some Blanchitsu...?


I've no immediate plan to follow up on these concepts, I may build some if I can settle on their load-out but it's either go with something that totally fits my existing 'world' and painting or go completely left-field [not to mention does not have the same impact visually for the likes of painting comps...]. Lots to think about still but at least I have two interesting opportunities to explore.


Monday, 17 June 2019

GW Manchester Battle of the Brush - May - Large miniatures

The Battle of the Brush Challengewas judged the other week, I'd put in the Sanctum Imperialis and if I'm honest I was hopeful for one of the placings, despite the many entries and high quality. Therein lies a problem though as my priority is purely taking part and the competitive aspect and how that manifests in me is not something I'm comfortable with.  The completion of projects and sharing my hobby is the prize and feeling this fell somehow short of top recognition makes me feel like a brat. It took me a long time to put most of my ego behind me, but clearly it's lurking there to trip me up. Then again if Golden Demon Award winning painters can feel disappointment at the risk of their celebrated miniatures falling short I suppose it's just human nature


Anyway, these were some of the other entries, Ridge Runner and some Tzeentchian nonsense.


Scythed Hierodule/


Zombie dragon.


Magma-thingumy-bob


Awesome Slaaneshi Greater Daemon and Deathwatch dreadnought.


Adeptus Titanicus Titan, with an awesome mottled drybrushed highlight. The new Goblin terrain which would have got a vote from me [if I was judging].


Storm Talon and Canis Rex which either won or placed in the top 3.


This Knight got the Warlord's Award - that's the prize voted by the 'warlords' who are store hobbyists who completed last years 12 monthly challenges. So if I manage it this year I will get that honour. It was well deserved.


Robo-Ambulls.


The Soul Grinder was great.


Custode and Orruk warboss.


Abaddon.


Tyranid Hive Tyrant.


I also noticed they're preparing a new gaming table, here it is unprimed so you cna se eit;s construction.


Liberal use of aquarium gravel for varied rubble.


Loads of really tall ruins.


An  expensive array of plastic!


Characters for June, so that's either the Assassin - because it should be painted and will be so unlikely for a prize it might cure me of my hunger for success. Alternatively I have my Space Hulk Librarian [my most recent completed 'character' I think] or Deathleaper - one of my favorites but the 3rd party base is also unlikely to rate it highly, so it'll purely for taking part which is good.

Friday, 14 June 2019

'nids part 267 - Tyranid Warrior and bits Big Build TO DONE!

After the sleep post I'm thinking my mojo is on the wain at the moment. I honestly cannot entertain that Dark Shroud and the Assassin isn't much more appealing. What's frustrating is I 'want' to do so much, I just can't bring myself to do it and I think fatigue plays a hand in that. However, I have felt the urge to build, even if the end result feels less productive despite the cool new model to drool over.

So, after convertingthe  2 Warriors to Hive Guard I went back to my 'docked' Warrior and re-attached its tail and thought I'd base him on one of the bases I'd prepared but didn't fit the Hive Guard. I'll probably paint it alongside the gun-beasts for convenience. I fixed his tail with some greenstuff too.

And I had a couple of Termagants and Hormagaunts knocking around that I just made into Devgaunts and based. I've 20 Devgaunts already, so this just adds to them, though I could do with another 5 so I cam make a full brood. I'll get these and the Warrior primed so I can paint them 'someday'.


Whilst I was at it I based the Redemptor. It was all a little flat so I added a Genestealer infiltration node too. I'm much happier with it but less so at the missing right shoulder guard! That's the thing about building stuff - bits always disappear. I'm sure I'll find it eventually but it's things like that that just scupper further progress, the loss of the relic lanyards being another example. With some spare greenstuff from the Warrior's tail I added some chunky ribbing to hide the out-of-socket torso ball joint [you'll see it eventually]. With the remaining greenstuff I did some more press molds of Rippers. I think I'll build the 3 Ripper bases next.


 Big Build - TO DONE!

I builds it, I gets the badge!





Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Promethium resource log 2018


Back in the day there was a very popular book called 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾'. Adrian, obviously going through bodily changes at that age takes regular measurements of his private parts and records the continually varying results in a graph, that he hides in plain sight, on his wall, marked “Norwegian Leather Exports”. Now don't worry, I've not done the same but I have been whimsically creative about the title of my sleep log, so I give you my Promethium resource log.


You may recall my number 1 hobby goal this season was to try to create a better hobby/life balance and in particular that meant more sleep. Sure I have managed on roughly 5 hours a night for quite a few years but that just isn't sustainable. I'm not getting younger and changes to my commute make it just that little bit more challenging and tiring. They also say lack of sleep can reduce your life expectancy - which is worrying but if an extra 3 or 4 years equates to extra sleep you're still unconcious while you're living longer... Anyway, it's not sustainable and I needed to do something and this was the best I could come up with - track my sleep, set some goals. So this was my Shutdown graph - the time I went to sleep.



Which isn't a great graph really cos you can't hardly see how much that hangs around the midnight mark, but this table has all the bed times together with how much sleep, alongside the regular naps I got during my daily commute.



So, what does this all mean? Nothing really. I thought keeping a log would help me be more disciplined but this was July last year, even before I'd committed to a 'better hobby/life balance' in my To Do List. Not only did I abandon the log because it didn't help I probably haven't made much, if any, improvements to my sleep routine.

So why share this? Well, it is 'confessions of a 40k addict' afterall and having written this last year it's annoying still seeing it in 'draft'. Will it force a change? Doubtful but it's of passing note, more insight into the compulsion this hobby has over me. Obviously I've had a slight shift in my need to paint recently, so that's a start, I just need to follow through and use that time to rest instead of fill it with other activities.

Monday, 10 June 2019

'nids part 266 - Tyranid Warrior to Hive Guard conversion TO DONE!

I confess I'm back in avoidance mode at the moment, but I'm also going with the flow. The urge to build came over me and manifested as finally making 2 more Tyranid Warriors into Hive Guard so I can finally field a brood of 6. I originally did this conversion way back when and I've had enough parts to do these 2 for ages, although not all the same bits as last time. For these I'm using the blind Genestealer heads and I've some Tyrant Guard bits to create the armoured chest instead of the previous Termagant armour plates. I'd been delaying the kitbash because I was convinced one of the warriors was too good to be converted and I was sure I had a more damaged donor Warrior torso and legs somewhere. When I came to 'dock' the tails they were a little too short and predictably having docked them I immediately discovered the damaged torso was in exactly the same 3"x2" bits box. Anyway, the damaged one on the left was duly docked and I'll be trying to reattach the tail of the un-shown decent Warrior.


Poses and basing was next, I'd already created the Impaler Cannons [you can just see a completed one in the top right], and went about gluing the legs on, with the chest plate and head. I also added some thick texture paint inside the crest so it'll look fleshy.


I had to leave this overnight for the poly-cement to set properly but even at this stage it was clear the two bases I'd prepped with slate might not work too well with how the legs were positioned.


So I glued some slate to two more bases and found a much better fit. With polycement now dry I could drill and pin a foot to the base to ensure the superglue join was strong enough. I then added the Warrior rending claws and and gun - heaven knows how I'm going to prime and paint this now! 😲


I think I kept the guns separate last time but this was such a hatchet job I wanted it all solid. To that end I even glued elements together, so where I could get a gun arm resting on a claw arm I dropped some liquid poly between the too for added stability.


As I left it to dry overnight I hadn't quite realised how the guns were pointing downwards so much, nevermind. I'm still pretty chuffed with the result, I don't suppose it's as much of a necessity now what with the plastic kit, but they're still comparatively expensive for 3 models and only available through the GW website so having a kitbashed alternative is still worth the effort.


So many elements of the kitbash are unused bits [although those Stranglethorn Cannons tend to be prime fodder for use in Biovore kitbashes - now that is a guaranteed improvement. I'd still like to see them next to the new kit for a size comparison, as these are on slate they're a fair bit taller than my other 4 giving a lot more bulk to them so less 'modelling for advantage' not that I've ever been challenged regarding this kitbash.


Anyway, built and ticked off my list and I'll prime it so it's ready to be based and then have it on hiatus till I feel compelled to complete them, which shouldn't take too long. Big Build - TO DONE!

I builds it, I gets the badge!


Friday, 7 June 2019

Callidus Assassin

My Callidus Assassin is something that has been based and undercoated for years. It was in among a group of minis I based, probably the Deathwing Knights  [although they were based in 2016!], but never really shared. Anyway, this gal was given to me way back when by PeteB along with some other bits, either in trade or just a gift as he went through a period where he wasn't into 40k anymore. Unfortunately we haven't gamed for a long time, no specific reasons I just think family commitments and game systems changed which is a shame as I really enjoyed our games together. But it was about time I finally painted this given it's only one figure.



This is after Incubi Darkness and Dark Reaper highlights. I'm considering a Waywatcher Green glaze over the top [while Glazes still exist]. It might be a mistake but it's worth a gamble - no regrets!


I don't think I'll add any verdigris to the bronze weaponry, the blade and crystals will be green tinted and the body suit so tru brass will help separate the elements instead of blending them altogether. There's really only a few nights work in this if I just stop thinking about it and just do it!

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

What GW should do - Sisters of Battle

Oh my, I just found this 'draft' post and as it was originally scheduled for publishing 24th March 2016 it stays on that page, in draft format and never having been published I completely forgot about it. So thought I'd just share it and ironically that first paragraph is now completely redundant! 😂 So now we know it's going to happen and they're keepign us informed on a regular basis I can't help but hope this will be a major success for them and a massive vindication for all Sisters fans.


A lot of my ‘what GW should do posts’ never get published. I’d hit upon an idea, start to write it up, postpone it, focus on hobby and by the time I got back to conveying my ‘expert opinion’ the situation had either resolved, my opinion had miraculously been the right one or it was no longer relevant. So this time I’ve hit upon an article that I can safely spend shedloads of time writing safe in the knowledge GW won’t resolve it before it’s published – release new Sisters of Battle!

Let me just say I have zero interest in them as a faction [good start there Dave] but that doesn’t mean I can’t see how passionate folk are about them, well they’d have to be. For years they’ve been buying metal miniatures at ridiculous cost just to keep their space nuns on the battlefield. These faction fans are more faction fanatics and they deserve their range in plastic. Of course there may be some concern that those who play Sisters won’t invest in new models, they’ve bought they’re armies so won’t need to invest… but I think they will. They’re so starved of attention and the neglect of their faction they’d throw their money at new models.

And let’s not forget new faction players. They’d lap up new models wanting to jump into the next big thing. They did it with AdMech they’d do it for Sisters and you can guarantee that due to the complexity of the models you’d be paying slightly more for them than say 10 Imperial Guard. And if it’s new players you want what about the 50% of the population currently under-represented in the hobby. Yes, girls will identify these, not all - they like to game with male figures too, but there’s a lot more for them to identify with and surely that’s a market worth exploiting exploring. But we all know that guys are into Sisters, for a variety of reasons, but also for just the pure escapism of running a different gender.

How GW can’t see how successful this would be is beyond me. Like I say it’s no loss either way for me but I feel for those whose faction has been woefully neglected and I really can't understand why commercially this isn't a no brainer. When you consider how much interest there was over recent kitbashes using Dreamforge's Valkir plastic kit, delaying is not doing them any favours And to think we've had Genstealer Cultists, Assassins and Harlequins before a proper plastic range for a current faction...?

Monday, 3 June 2019

Terrain is everything - TT Combat Gothic Ruins MDF kit - the inner sanctum.

Now that the Sanctum Imperialis is complete I should probably be putting this ruin kit in that big pile of projects that were fun at the time but really too much to do just at the moment.


Well I thought there was no harm in laying down some brown where the verdigris would go, I'm not even bothering with Warplock Bronze, it just isn't going to be seen. Wasn't sure about the crenalated battlement being coppery...?


I did add a bit of gold into the mix so there was some metallics, not entirely sure I should have bothered with it on the windows - it's just going to be a pain to do but nevermind.


And inside just a quick coat of cream paint.


Ready for the burnt umber next...


...unless I see sense and leave this and go back to something smaller! ;)