Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The 2019/20 Hobby Season starts soon, join me!

The 2019/20 hobby season will be starting soon so for those alumni who joined in last season it's time to look back at your lists - at what you've achieved, what might have slipped and those lovely unexpected successes that happened despite life getting in the way and loss of mojo - I speak from experience [yet again].

The original plan when I started with 'big stamps of approval' was that I wouldn't do multi-coloured stamps, just alternate between red and green but who was I kidding? So I give you the official 40kaddict 2019/20 Great Big GALACTIC Stamp of Approval! That's right folks I've gone full-on multi-coloured with a background galaxy picture. I was going to go black initially but it just looked uninspired, then black glitter effect but it wasn't much better and then I found this and knew it was right and proper. Feel free to download and use them on your blog as and when you get stuff  'TO DONE!'

Or you can record your achievements with an 'unbranded' version.

And should you feel inclined to differentiate your efforts yet further here 's the major goal stamps

And minor goals.

And I also got the Big Build...

 and Base [and obviously Prime] Stamps done too. I heartily recommend this video from Tabletop Minions to understand where I was going with the 'Big Build' concept, he's touched on and expanded exactly why I created this a few years back.

Just a reminder of what it's about, in 2011 I made my first To Do List, amusingly it now looks like this:
  • AoBR Tactical Squad
  • AoBR Dreadnought
  • AoBR Terminators
  • Scout Squad
  • Ravenwing bike squad
  • Dark Angel Drop Pod
  • Purity Seal all of my son's Tyranids
  • Gloss Varnish all of my son's Tyranids
  • Tyranid Prime
  • Mycetic Spore
  • Paint Vent Tower
  • Paint defence platforms x4
  • Complete pot pourri vegetation
  • Complete future containers
  • Complete 40k Cathedral tower
  • STC Single story ruin
  • STC Hex Defence platforms
  • STC Targus Assault Blockade
  • STC Vent tower
  • STC Athena plateau
  • STC Mercury plateau
  • STC 40k Cathedral tower
  • 60mm Dreadnought crater
So 4 things still haven't been done and quite frankly never will ;) . The purpose was to try to focus my efforts to outline a list of things I'd love to do over a twelve month period and if I achieved any of them great, all of them, so much better. But more importantly I needed a structure to cling to when my efforts became aimless. That's not to say deviations from the list were forbidden it was more for when I went 'well what's next?'

It became an annual blog post to review what I'd done and set new tasks and throughout the year I would reveal my 'To Dones!' as completed items both on and off the list. Showcase posts are nothing new to hobby blogs but again it was a structure to help build the identity of this blog. Then in 2014 I invited readers and passers-by of the blog to join in. Well, when you have a good idea why not share it around. I got about 10 people joining in and it looked like we were quite a supportive little bunch. I think over time steam ran out a little bit but folk continue to join in each year and hopefully the same will ring true for 2019/20.

To help things out a bit I've created a Hobby Season Facebook group, it's here:

So, if you're joining in just ask and I'll add you into the group, that way you can share your blog posts or any efforts to those also joining in. I hope this platform will allow more interaction for those taking part and keep us all motivated.

I guess the last question is why 28th August as the start/end date, why not January 1st?
I think back in 2011 it was at that time I thought a structure needed to be in place and it was as good a time as any to post a To Do List, afterall the footy season starts around this time too, no one complains about that, do they?

Anyway, 28th August join me for the new Hobby Season :)

Monday, 19 August 2019

GW Manchester Battle of the Brush - July - Squads

Following on from June's Battle of the Brush [or 'Tale of our Warlords', as it's also known], July's category was Squads. I entered my Chosen Axes I did finish Ylthari's Guardians in time but I'd already put the Axes in. My goal is just to achieve the 12 entries over the course of the year and as you can see the standard is exceptional each month so the competitive aspect will be tough, hence why I'm just along for the ride.

First place was this Khorne Warband

Which was really, really good and well deserved.

Part of the Warhammer Underworlds Sepulchral Guard came 2nd.

Armiger Warglaives were 3rd.

These Sylvaneth got the most inspiring award - staff award for hwo they would like to paint that faction should they so choose.

1000 sons.

Steel Custodes.

Kastellan Robots

More Sylvaneth in these Kurnos Hunters, which I absolutely love, hence why I've taken so many pics in previous post of the rest of the army in the store display cabinets.

Iron Snakes for Marcelis.

Fire Warriors on a crackled snow base + matching movement tray.

Some Gobbo fanatics, sadly difficult to see due to reflections and their insane poses.

Homebrew/successor chapter - topical.

Space Hulk Termminators, which had been criticised for lack of bases, but they come with them and primarily for the game this shouldn't have been an issue.


Orkses in dustbins.

Demigryph riders.

Squig riders.

Skinks done with Contrast paints

Some old-skool Marauder Dwarves by the looks of it.

Lastly a unit of Genestealer Neophytes. Honourable mention to the Nagash model which had been entered in the Everchosen competition - it was HUGE! I honestly didn't realise quite how big he was in the bones [cos he has no flesh, see?]

Big models for August, I'm pretty sure I'll complete the Dark Shroud for inclusion, if not I've got Lady Pettorini [who'll be November's entry if the Ravenwing is completed].

Friday, 16 August 2019

Angels - Ravenwing Dark Shroud part 9 - Almost there

The Dark Shroud is almost complete now, for the life of me I don't know what all the fuss was about. The DJ has his orange targeting lenses done, you can also see some of the scribbled oaths of moment on the front of his booth. I spontaneously decided to edge it in red, I don't know why. It harks back a little to the Typhoons, as their launchers are edged red but it really wasn't that considered.

The Icon of Caliban had its Ferron marble painted. It might be a little busy looking but I can live with it. The Calibanite ruins had a wash of Waywatcher green just add a little mossiness to the effect.

I kept the purity seals pure white, that might be a mistake, but again I'm past caring at this stage - I can always add a sepia wash later on.

The glow FX on the battery are a little clunky, not so much on the barrel but the plasma coils. I can always tweak them but I can't imagine using them anyway so it doesn't deserve any more effort at this stage.

The anti-grav glows far more effective and almost the same as my Typhoons. I know it's suspicious it has the same colour as the plasma weaponry and the jet turbines but neregy transfer is a funny business in the 41st millennium! The here orange targeting lenses came out OK, pitty most of that shading will disappear with the Tamiya Clear Orange X-26.

So, tasks left on the Dark Shroud:
  • Orange targeting lenses
  • Purity seals/scrolls
  • Scribbled oaths of moment
  • Red tribal markings
  • Company numbers
  • Orange plasma FX
  • Orange anti-grav FX
  • Icon of Caliban red marble
  • Varnish
  • Taniya Clear Red X-27 [windows]
  • Tamiya Clear Orange X-26 [targeting lenses]
  • Highlight window frames
  • Re-varnish
Yep, everything's done and I just need to take pics so I can add it to my Hobby Season Review post. Don't worry, new stamps of approval are incoming...

Monday, 12 August 2019

Dark Angels - Ravenwing Dark Shroud part 8 - Windows and lenses

Work continues gradually on the Dark Shroud. I'm sure you had thought the 'stained glass' windows had looked a bit rough around the edges and will be glad to see they've been cleaned up a bit. The window frames still need some tweaks but I need to varnish, Tamiya Clear Red X-27, highlight black and varnish the frames [possibly] again.

The cockpit windows also got highlights. It's doubtful any of these highlights will be noticeable, if at all visible with the pilot in-situ, but the process must be done.

The 'DJ' is mostly complete, just need to do his targeting lenses, although his helmet lens is done.

As is the gunner's. 

And the pilot. They're all a bit rough around the edges, and I don't mean the slight OSL I usually apply, but the quality isn't what I normally manage. However, the eye-lenses are somewhat smaller and harder to define than usual so I've done the best I can considering - just need to move it forward.

A mixed bag of the remaining bits, the Plasma Battery has had a first pass of orange, while the icon of Caliban has had some vermillion sponge effects on the winged angel statue. This will be Ferron Proxima marble, supporting the Caliban icon. Interestingly the icon is the same colour as the Wraithbone chips that pepper Ferron Proxima... was this Caliban fortress made of Wraithbone? Are all those fractured pieces on Ferron Proxima a sundered Craftworld or splinters from the Dark Angel home world - who knows? Additionally I did my Knight missile launcher red, I'd prevaricated over it for a while. I'd intended to keep it black so it wouldn't be out of place on my Freeblade but just need to make a decision and go with red - more work but it keeps the task moving.

Lastly I added some green bits to my Callidus Assassin. Still some elements to pick out and I just can't highlight skulls, ever! They always look rubbish :(

So, tasks left on the Dark Shroud:
  • Orange targeting lenses
  • Purity seals/scrolls
  • Scribbled oaths of moment
  • Red tribal markings
  • Company numbers
  • Orange plasma FX
  • Orange anti-grav FX
  • Icon of Caliban red marble
  • Varnish
  • Taniya Clear Red X-27 [windows]
  • Tamiya Clear Orange X-26 [targeting lenses]
  • Highlight window frames
  • Re-varnish

Friday, 9 August 2019

Dark Angels - Ravenwing Dark Shroud part 7 - Highlights complete [mostly]

I followed up the Incubi Darkness with Grim Reaper, but forgot to photograph just that stage. I then added a pale blue craft acrylic fine highlight. It's not a particularly opaque paint which I think helps thin it.

All the Ravenwing badges were highlighted too up to their final white. Its a very odd model to paint in sections. I have the Speeder, the gunner [who snapped off his legs], the driver, the 'DJ booth' the 2 magnetised guns, the 2 Plasma Battery's and the Shroud Icon emitter. It's quite and eclectic mix, different sizes, different requirements. But the black is mostly done, just some tidy ups to do.

I threw on some green for dials and displays. It's a slight departure and a little 'disco' but what the hell. I also spotted I hadn't finished some more of the bronze elements so added a little more highlights. I've another highlight to add, a sepia wash to age it and then verdigris for patina. I did get carried away and started the orange glow FX on the Plasma Battery, not having done the verdigris, so I'll have to get all these elements on the same page as it's getting a bit unbalanced at the moment.

Still, progress and I have been playing around with my home-made wet palette. It works OK. I had realised I don't do a significant amount of blending so there isn't a huge need for it. Its main benefit is keeping paint 'alive'. Paint I put down the night before is still usable then next evening. However, you can see I need to keep the palette level, else it all spills off the paper and into the sponge bath underneath! 😝

Getting there now. Once I get all the metals complete and the glow FX it's practically done. All the time I struggled with this I knew most of the hard work had been done. This is definitely an example of mind over matter, only the mind had convinced me this was a problem model but I had said to myself a few times it really wasn't. I'm sure it'll be done in just a few more sessions...

Monday, 5 August 2019

Dark Angels - Ravenwing Dark Shroud part 6 - Highlights

I've documented how difficult the Dark Shroud has become and in part this is lack of time to focus and overcome elements in one sitting. Ideally I want to do all highlights in one go, it takes a mental effort to stop partway through. With only an hour an evening I just couldn't come to terms with that. However my eldest is away at Oxford University for four nights and having pushed to get Y'lthari's Guardians complete I had planned in advance to capitalise on the extra time in the evening to break its back. Incubi Darkness edge highlighting is the task at hand, but keeping that hand steady is the real challenge

However, I was quick to tidy up any overzealous highlights with an application of black. Foolishly I used Army Painter black instead of Abaddon Black. When applied it's not a problem but you can see clearly when its dry [around the filler caps] it is completely different to Abaddon. Fixable, but annoying. Also annoying is the bane of long-term projects that have been put on hold - dust! I tried dusting it with a big paint brush but clearly to no avail. Maybe a damp brush or a quick blast of air from my airbush would solve it.

 I've also highlighted the plasma battery weapons and the driver but altogether it only took two sessions, about 4 hours. It's nothing really and clearly illustrates that the perception of a task can be more overwhelming than the actual task itself. But it is not all imagined, black is notoriously difficult to paint, although I've never really had problems highlighting it. Whether it was my nid claws or the black on my Imperial Knights that hasn't been a problem. Incubi Darkness and Grim Reaper are a perfect recipe. What spoils the finish is the black itself and so far this is quite clean, without brush marks or strange reflections but I still have the task of applying a varnish...

I am thinking I may airbush the varnish on though. It was never really a problem on my Knights, they're rounded panels, textured and weathered so variations in the matt properties of Anti-shine don't show up so much. But flat panels with limited distortion [there may be some litany scripts written on the fairings] means any brush stroke or discrepancy in mixing the varnish will stick out like a sore thumb. That happened with my Dark Talon and I resorted to the airbrush. It worked but the finish was a little grainy. Regardless, Dark Reaper 2nd gen highlights will be next.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Warhammer Underworlds - Ylthari's Guardians - TO DONE!

Ylthari's Guardians - TO DONE!

Lets start with Ylthari, admittedly my least favourite, and still so, but she came good in the end. The tree sprite is cute, vines were defined and the dark wood is alright but her face didn't quite work for me and I couldn't quite get the detail I was after.

Still, I'm far from disappointed, in fact I'm really quite pleased with the result as she was so far behind compared to the other 3 and I just couldn't see the vines working.

Admittedly I haven't done much to them to make them 'work' but just the basic application of the highlights to the washed and glazed base coat has managed to lift it out of the realm of mediocrity. The Silver Birch bark markings on her wand/staff worked out nicely too.

Horny Dude aka - Skhathael. What works - 
sword, [possibly] horns, hair and skin. What I'm dubious about is his bark loin cloth and his face. The horns are reminiscent of Silver Birch thanks to the bark splits but because they're obviously horns it's a little confusing - like painting a fire engine as an ambulance...

But the sword came out so well, once again I'm so impressed with just painting with washes and glazes and how much variety of tone it can create. This is definitely what I've taken away from painting these Underworlds figures. I'd have not had this experience without experimenting beyond my 40k armies. This also indicates I may find Contrast paints much to my liking, but as they've also been compared to watercolour painting, which I always found painful to do, I'm still a little reluctant. I'll give it a go eventually.

Archer aka - Ahnslaine, Revenant Archer. Definitely my second favourite of the four. I love the pose, bizarre 'quiver beetle' and the yellow eye just worked out. The minor green glaze just adds those extra touches here and there alongside the limited bark splits.


If I ever do another I'll try the bow all Silver birch so I have more opportunity to add bark splits.

Halberd guy, aka - Gallanghann of the Glade my absolute favourite. The bark splits on the halberd haft came out so well. I doubted myself as the shading look so cool but much like battle damage and weathering a little goes a long way to adding more to the model.

I'm not 100% convinced of the yellow flowers but I couldn't think of any other colour to do them.

And the floral four in all their finery.

And the white background for White Dwarf [which is never going to happen, but nevermind].

Just n overhead shot so you can see I added some gloss varnish in the middle of the base, like it's a puddle in the forest. I've added a bit more since then, it adds a nice extra touch for those willing to scrutinise further.

Lastly a close up and you get to see everything - the slightly blobby highlight on the halberd but the smooth highlights on all the skin tones, the accidental shading around the bags under his 'right-first-time' eyeball. The subtle green glazing, the flint like claws [gloss varnished] the stippling on the tree-sprite wings and the Silver Birch haft in all its natural glory - Love it

And the Big Teal Stamp of Approval for a job well done. Now lets do the same on that darn Dark Shroud!