Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Covid-19 lockdown

You may recall I was taking a little break, both in the blog and the hobby. In some respects I don't really feel like blogging at the moment but I do feel I 'have' to blog, it's a subtle difference and not entirely healthy when scrutinised. It's one of the reasons I had taken a break but I think I reached a point where I had been painting/making and needed to write down my progress and with so many people in lockdown there's a need to keep people occupied, eve if it is just my toy soldiers.

I'm currently in a really lucky position in that I can work from home and I've got plenty of animating to do to keep me busy. My wife had been into work at the local hospital but because the youngest had a sore throat at the weekend they've insisted she stay away for 2 weeks. Much like everyone else we've been staying in, although we had to nip for Oscar's latest MRI scan. Stable again, which was a relief but they have seen some other anomalies in his bone they want to check out with a different sort of scan in the next 2 weeks.

So all the motivation  I had to get back to blogging suddenly feels like it'll evaporate, or it might just be what I need I can't tell. The world is pretty grim and although I was having it easy in some respect I'm now facing something unknown again. Anyway,  there's nothing we can do until we've had the new scan so I'll just write some new posts and see where we're at when the dust settles.

I hope you all are keeping well, stay safe!

Monday, 2 March 2020

Old Stuff Day 2020

Afternoon #warmongers it's #OldStuffDay 2020. A few years ago now warhammer39999 wanted to join a movement to rediscover lost gems from the world of hobby blogs. To choose one of your own blogposts that your most proud of, or may not have got the attention it deserved or any thing that may warrant some necromantic blogpost bothering. On top of that you were to share blogposts from other bloggers which you thought deserved the same spotlight of attention before they were returned to their dark nightmare infested slumbers.

Here's some great posts from other bloggers [apologies to the many great bloggers out there I haven't included, you do sterling work too, these are just the ones I was reminded to remember over the last 12 months]:

Siph_Horridus is a huge support to 40kadddict and the blogging community, much like Greggles, constantly commenting on posts - I don't know how he reads so many blogs, I wish I could do the same. But he's also a blogger in his own right as part of the WeeMen collective. Their blog has been going for 12 years, you know a blog is old - when it has a From the Warp Blogger Group Badge. So, why not go back to the very beginning - 6th November 2008 and basing made easy:
While you're there also check out what Siph did over the next 10 years with those Relictors:

Speaking of Greg from greggles tabletop, how about his amazing rust cart for the Nova Open 2017. There's amazing close-ups and more importantly the recipe, for how to do that weathered rusty yellow:

I'm not entirely sure what specifically prompted me to include this link [I add posts throughout the year and then cobble together the Old Stuff Day post just before the date]. However, there is plenty to look at from tutorials to painting galleries, so just explore the blog.

You know me, I love a good weathered bronze statue. Brian from A Gemtleman's Ones hasn't updated his blog since 2014 but he did this post on verdigris back in 2010
Now the weird thing is a month back, when thinking about what to add to the links for my Old Stuff Day post I recalled a series of posts about some amazing Kill Zone [one of the intermediate home-brew rules for Kill Team that existed before GW brought '40k in 40 minutes' back in from the cold]. I knew they had been for some big American event but I did a search and there were just too many Kill Team boards from recent events, not helped because I didn't know if it was Nova, LVO or Adepticon. Anyway, when I go back and research why I picked these posts to resurrect I have another look at the blogs and lo-and-behold Brian was the creator of the tables I was looking for. He made these amazing tables and if you click the link and go backwards through the posts you can see how they were built. There is so much more to see on his blog so go check it out:

I know this isn't quite 6 months old but this post by Andrew about the hobby, social media and self-imposed expectations on your efforts is an amazing read. He managed to encapsulate so much about the way we as hobbyists might aspire to the heights of social media notoriety that other hobbies/interest have, when in reality we should be content to pursue our hobby at our own pace and to our own goals

David Soper is a 5 time Golden Demon Slayer Sword winner [among many other awards] his blog is fantastic if you want to see how the experts do it. I've shared links in the past, in particular his guides to stippling is well worth checking. What I wanted to share this time is two posts he made about 'building a better tank' I'm not sure if this ever got finished but you should look at it for the awesome kitbashing that goes on:

Another blog that sadly hasn't been updated since 2017, although that's what Old Stuff Day is about. But because it has gone into hibernation it may be unknown to many. That said the Painting Bunker has some awesome scenery posts. I recently saw someone questioning the parts used having just seen an image on google or some other image aggregation site and thought 'folk should see the rest of this stuff' - check 'em out.

I've not yet done a concept army or monotone one as I've dreamed of yet. I may have been able to adopt a more painterly style that I think is enjoyable to do, looks good and doesn't actually require the smooth blending skills I now have neither the time, patience, motor skills or aptitude to achieve. But check out this amazing cel-shade Robotech model - I mean it's just flat colours. Maybe there is another way, I wonder what it's like on more organic forms?

And now for something completely different. Before I fell off the wagon and started the hobby again I was happy in my kendo world and I blogged about that too. One of those posts was on the Japanese concept of giri which I may very well have completely misunderstood. But, without kendo, without what I believed giri was, without that sense of belonging, duty and commitment, I would never have been able to adapt to losing my passion and rediscovering my old love for the hobby. Being able to play a game as a shared experience, instead of 'win at all costs', without kendo that would never have happened.

Happy Old Stuff Day, I hope there are some gems in there that caused you some inspiration or motivation.

Friday, 28 February 2020

"Birthday beats"

Another year gone by. My birthday has mixed feelings for me with past events and recently I've had a number of things happen to put a dampener on things further. It's very tough but I keep thinking things are not as bad as they could be - the garden has flooded so wading in my wellies to the mancave for hobby time is disheartening, but my houses isn't flooded like some folks have had to deal with.

Also I had a lovely evening with Blue Warp Studios Liam on Pancake Day, he made my tea and we chatted so long the only thing we got to do was build some Adeptus Titanicus Knights and Titans, we had planned to play Blood Bowl too but we had plenty of chat instead. It was a good night but as I left it had just started snowing and 3 minutes down the road the slush on a bend took me by surprise and I fishtailed into the verge hitting a holly tree. Thankfully I was uninjured and Liam came to my rescue, at not inconsiderable risk given the conditions and location, to pull me out. I thought the damage was superficial - bumper, bonnet, light and grill but there was significant damage inside the car too and it's a right-off. I've had it for 4.5 years now and although there were some niggles - the alloys are both cool and ludicrous I felt I'd managed to get it to a sustainable point where I knew it's idiosyncrasies. Now I have to do it again. I don't like change and although I keep reminding myself I could have been injured, hurt someone else or worse it's cold comfort.

So I feel pretty crappy at the moment and the hobby isn't really helping me feel better. Writing about it does a bit, hence this catharsis, but aside from my scheduled Old Stuff Day post I may take some time to rebuild my confidence and motivation. So, despite the nature of the post it's not a pity thing, it's more a cleansing. And particularly in the hobby there are many challenged with mental health issues and the first thing to do is to talk about them. My issues are surmountable, they're predominantly 'first world', but right now they feel too much, which is what |I think most of us feel.

So I'm OK, but going to take some time for myself. Meanwhile, be good to each other, like you always are.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Dark Angels - Deathwing Land Raider Redeemer

Afternoon #warmongers and I am #paintingwarhammer Dark Angel Deathwing Land Raider Redeemer [what a mouthful]. I got this in a trade a few years back, I think it had been a Blood Angel ride but had been undercoated with the bone spray. It's been sat on the shelf for years [nearly 5] and it just started to annoy me

I decided to paint over the green doors, they may have fit with my Deathwing Knights eventually but for some reason I wanted to reduce the palette just with the bone and red.

Out of curiosity I spent 10 minutes playing around with my cheap Burnt Umber art acrylic - stippling on, watering down, just having fun. I know a lot of people do this sort of thing with oil paints but I'm amazed at the effect I can get with this paint

There's still questions about how further highights will look, or whether I should add the highlight first before I put the shading on. There's some Army Painter Strong Tone been added in the deepest recesses too.

I added some more metallics. This is actually Army Painter Worn Iron - a Warplock Bronze equivalent and I have to say it is great. Lukes Aps did a review and advice on Army Painter paints as they admit they put too much of the acrylic medium in to make them better. However, that makes them slightly difficult to use straight out of the bottle. That said, this Worn Iron didn't need any shaking and I still needed to thin it down so it would cover better - flow off the bristles and yet still be really opaque.

There are still some more bits to paint bronze, details, the heavy flamers, all of the track wheel end caps. Then I'll be at a stage where I'll be highlighting with Balthasar Gold. This will sync up with my Deathwing Knights - in a stroke of efficiency to do them both I've ended with the masochistic task of doing loads of brassy bronze metallics at once! However, I think the Knights will be the more laborious task. I am hoping that this will be quite a relaxed project - I have almost no expectation for the outcome, nothing has to be perfect - although I have added a few Dark Angel details since and some simple heraldry markings. But it's going to be quite grunge, maybe a little battle damaged but overall just play around and sod the results - it's very freeing.

Friday, 21 February 2020

'nids part 275 - Genestealer cult - Aberrants - Ork Boyz conversion

Afternoon #warmongers I so want to tick off my Aberrants as built, OK technically I already did but deep down these 2 Ork Boyz to Aberrant conversions still needed to be finished off. I did them before the Rippers but as the second conversion stalled I thought to delay posting in the hopes I might eventually complete the second one. Unfortunately I didn't take any intermediate WiP pics on the first, which I had envisaged being a second Hypermorph but that's definitely not an improvised weapon and he has no tail.
I trimmed away most of the Ork body and the Aberrant shoulders went on like American Football padding. It got glued in place and then I filled it with greenstuff. I bizarrely wanted a 4th vestigial arm which I cut from a spare broken Termagant torso. It's kind of rubbish but I had to give it a go. I also added a tiny GSC glyph as a belt buckle, replacing the Orky one.

I also added a chitin plate to his shoulder, while using some Drop Pod bits for the base and part of some Sanctum Imperialis girders which will blend with the other resin bases and my actual Sanctum Imperialis model. Although Red Planet BASE! is my philosophy I try to adapt them a bit so there are some that are more 'rural', with all the slate and those that are urban - Genestealer Cult. Ferron Proxima is red all over but that doesn't prevent weird and wonderful debris from adding further interest to the bases.

The plan with the greenstuff was just to pad out the torso but I did some pretty ham-fisted sculpting and I think it'll do. I added a little spine crest on the lower back, hopefully the painting will blend it all together. I also added some chains, that had previously kept him locked up. A dot of super-glue gel to hold it in place and then liquid superglue to bond all the links together.

The GSC knife and belt pouch completed the look, it had been the one I cut the glyph off for the buckle and just hides the waist a bit - makes it less orky. It was the only one without grenades on too, as I don't think they carry them.

As kitbashes go I think it does the job, certainly won't stand out too badly once it's painted.

The second one had a leg removed above the boot and a spare Genestealer leg was added [again no pics] then I decided to sculpt a cult skirt... or hakama. This is the early stage just to give a base to build the folds on. The front isn't too bad.

But the back has still a long way to go. I need to prepare a base that he's stretching up onto with his right foot.

I had the headless body mounted on a base for months, but couldn't find the motivation to sculpt the remaining folds on his skirt. It started to annoy me so I decided to set aside some time in my lunch break at work to do it. I quick splodge of terracotta Milliput and I think I did a half decent job.

The folds aren't perfect but once painted I'm pretty sure it'll all blend in. I think the tattered nature helps sell this, in particular the little holes at the end of the fabric work really well - it helped to have a similarly dressed Abberrant as a reference to get the same look.

When I got home I stuck a genestealer icon from the upgrade sprue on the central hexagon thing on his back. But it looked odd, so I cracked open my Empire Flagellants box set bought solely to make some fanatical shotgun and flamer toting neophytes, that have never been used. I knew there was a banner [or 4] in there and this one was ideal.

All it needed was a slight twist with pliers on the bracket and it fit perfectly on his shoulder webbing straps. Not sure I could argue he was a Hypermorph - still no tail or improvised weapon but he does stand out so might be able to proxy him in friendly games with my crew. Not that we ever play, but you know - options...

Anyway, Big Build TO DONE! Big Galactic Stamp of Approval, because why not! He's since been undercoated and if I can get the base and a couple of basecoats done he'll be back up to speed with the others.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Blackstone Fortress - Amallyn Shadowguide Big Build - TO DONE!

Afternoon #warmongers I've built my second character for #blackstonefortress Amallyn Shadowguide [#paintingwarhammer]. Now I'd normally feel bad about including this as a 'build' they are afterall 'easy-build' - she comes in 2 parts! But I was compelled by a vision to put her on a step and it was a number of days cogitating about how to achieve the vision that brought us to this point.

The step was made out of a used plasticard gift voucher

And the back of a 25mm slotta-base to raise her up a little more. Some Milliput to smooth it altogether and triads of plastic to help obfuscate joins between the three basing elements [base > slotta > plasticard].

So despite the easy build nature this was a good week of contemplation and avoidance before I got it done. It was a stretch despite the simplicity so I get my Big Build Galactic Stamp of Approval

And it's kind of based too, I mean not painted base which is the true criteria but... that will come at the end.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Sector Mechanicus Galvanic Servohaulers - Big Build - TO DONE!

Afternoon #warmongers if you were unaware Hachette Partworks brought out a new Age of Sigmar weekly mag - issue 1 of which included 10 Night Haunt Chainrasps and 3 Stormcast dudes [and dudettes], dice, ruler and a 'battlefield' all for £2.99 as a loss leader. Now I don't play AoS but even I had to try and pick up one of those to play around with. While I was in the Smith's in the Manchester Arndale on the week of release, they did not have any, but they did have an issue of Warhammer Conquest with just the Galvanic Servohauler Crane sprue for £7.99 so I picked that up instead.

My wife picked up a copy of Mortal Realms in my local Smith's and the following week when I went back to the Arndale they had issue 2 and a [much] earlier issue of Conquest with the sprue for the smaller Galvanic Servohaulers and the crane carriage, but for just £6 [on offer]!

Well it was rude not to pick it up - with both sprues combined £14 for what is £30 retail! If I get them painted up they'll look pretty cool on my next Armies on Parade - which will be my Knights and possibly Ad Mech.

With some time over a weekend I built and primed them black with a red oxide zenithal base. I'll be adding a load of stippled brown and orange in places and ultimately sponge on yellow and weather similar to my Imperial Knight base.

I've just noticed the official model for this smaller servo-hauler has the claw pointing backwards, why did I not figure that out? Meanwhile none of the tracks are glued in place yet so I can get to the stuff behind. I don't need everything perfect but I need to match at least some of the grunge behind because it'll just about be visible through the tracks.

A totally unnecessary diversion from all my other projects and despite the battered nature of the weathering they'll no doubt occupy far more time than they should... BUT I think one of my motivators at the moment is doing different things. Granted I've done the weatherimg on the Knight's base already but its about exploring that further - embedding those skills.

Recently I've felt genuine progress in my painting thanks to doing different things [not nids or Dark Angels]. So allocating time to explore variety could be beneficial in the long run. I get my Big Build Galactic Stamp of Approval regardless.