Wednesday, 10 July 2019


Over the past couple of weeks I've started to notice a number of issues with blogger. Initially when I imported images to posts they would appear fine, but when I returned to the draft it would only show broken image links. Now, as soon as I place an image, I get the little broken pic icon. But this is only an issue for me as I'm certain it is down to the IT policy I have to contend with during my lunch break. Over the past few years it has got progressively stricter, I can't access Google Drive and I can't access my blog [or any blog that references 'games' - you can see the issue there]. I found some loopholes [that were subsequently plugged] and adopted Google comments so I could still respond to people, but that was ultimately doomed by google itself.

Which bring us to now - either the IT policy has changed, the slight shift by Google to how Photos and Drive interacts has precluded access or I have had my access curtailed [the usual dialog box is short on the usual explanations why I'm denied which feels suspicious].

Anyway, what does this all mean? Writing my blog was a lunch time exercise, something I used to de-stress and re-balance for the remainder of the day. When I write a blog post I import all the images and then go back through adding pertinent commentary above each image, using the image to inform the text. You can appreciate that is challenging if I can no longer see the image I'm trying to take inspiration from. Which means I'm left with a number of options:

Blog without commentary - not my style. The images are important, a record of my achievements and what you the reader is most interested in but the writing is what I have to get out of my head - I've said many times this is my 'hobby pensieve'. Without the text I'd feel stressed. 
Blog at home - this is the most likely answer, but not without its own challenges. I don't have a stable setup in the man-cave for internet access - the wi-fi is sketchy. But more importantly if I'm out in the shed I want to be doing the hobby. That was the joy of the current system, blogging when I couldn't paint. But if I'm to keep the blog going I'll have to set aside some time do it, how that manifests in regular posts I don't know. 
Use our 'standalone' laptop - feasible, except for the fact I just got a new work laptop [after 6 years] and it would be ridiculous to be getting that out regularly for blogging even if it is my lunch break...
Switch to a different platform - this isn't really an option but I did have a quick a look at Wordpress, just to see if it was more compatible. There seem to be a number of things to help migrate blogger but importing pics from Google Photos only appears to work one at a time, which is no good for me. There would be a lot of work migrating over and I'm pretty sure I'd have to start paying for the service to get some of the things blogger delivered for free.
Blogging at home seems to be the only feasible option, which is incredibly frustrating. I'm currently really struggling with the hobby, my mojo had fizzled out mainly because I couldn't face that darn Dark Shroud but I finally picked up Y'thari's Guardians and I've had a couple of hours of productive painting. It may not have achieved my vision of autumnal Silver Birch, but I could create that in half a dozen different variations anyway and it's still early days, so I should wait until it's complete to judge but the potential is evident.

In conclusion, the blog's been chopped off at the knees and I'll do what I can to keep it going but the motivation to do so is in direct competition for the limited motivation/time I have to do the actual hobby I want to write about - something has to give. It's not dead but after [nearly] 9 years it might have to start taking it easy for a while [I can't see the policy changing, if indeed that is the cause, but who knows...]. I know everyone will be fine with whatever I post, I'm just frustrated that this situation is out of my hands.

Friday, 5 July 2019

'nids part 270 - Rippers - Big Build TO DONE!

On to basing up the Rippers I used some cheap filler to blend the ground in a bit more.

Then I got some thin slate and crushed it up to make more of a fractured crust they'll burst through - more represetative of their tunneling rules.

Now, the red stuff is some Martian Ironearth that i thought I could just paint on and get the fractured earth effect. But the paint had started to dry out and it went on more like peanut butter. I really didn't think it would crackle, so I panicked and blobbed on the PVA and slate. It obviously did crack and even pulled apart the filler as it shrank! But the slate worked out OK too.

I may even give some of my older Ripper bases a little paint touch up when I get round to painting these - the older ones look a little tired and it wouldn't take too much effort just to bring them up to current standards, although I'm sure I'll live to regret considering it...

I final coat of PVA and sand and they're built

Wait a minute, look what's just snuck up as well. I couldn't just leave the Spinemaws in box. I have quite a few spare Infestation Nodes so I thought it would be nice to use une to raise them up. As the Spinemaws are all the same height you have to do something to get variety and for even more I glued the node on top of a 25mm base on the 40mm base. I then filled in some of the space with bits of hardboard and smoothed it all with filler again with a final coating of sand - so 'stretch goal' ;)

 Big Build - TO DONE!

I builds it, I gets the badge!

Monday, 1 July 2019

'nids part 269 - Rippers - Forgeworld inspired conversion

I'm continuing my Big Build theme and finally plucked up the courage to do my next three Ripper bases in the style of the Forgeworld ones. As you can see they got built and are considerably bigger and more representative than my first press-mold prototype.

I had been struggling to work out how to build these up, then I just started gluing chunks of hardboard to a 40mm base with the press-mold Rippers coming out of the base [plus one Warrior face pushing through the ground].

All in I think there are 12 Rippers on the base, 4 of which are the plastic ones.

  The next base I tried to use some of my Ripper side pieces glued to a vertical strut but it looked really odd and I ended up with the three heads running up the spine of the strut to try and hide it. Hopefully it won't be noticeable that those two halves are different.

I'll need to blend them in with a bit of ground material as they burst through the dirt. I think there are 14 on this base.

The last one, I think there are 15 or 16 on this, including 4 plastic and one Warrior face again. I pretty much used all my plastic Rippers.

All I have left are the Spinefist Maw variety, the two other upright versions [one with the horn on its head] and a couple of the others, in case I ever need to make any more press molds. It's unlikely though. The Spinemaw Rippers might make a base but it's an odd one I don't really need.

Now to blend them into the ground...

Friday, 28 June 2019

'nids part 268 - Genestealer cult - Aberrants - Big Build TO DONE!

I finally ordered some bases for the Aberrants. I didn't get the same ones as the rest of my GSC, something similar but some other urban rubble bases off ebay that were slightly more 'urbany' and slightly more 'rubbly'. I'm thinking they'll fit well with my Sanctum Imperialis ruins. The Hypermorph in particular looks very impressive on this raised bit of debris.

The Abominant's base is the same one I have Deathleaper on, I'd had a spare for a long time. I'll be doing the banner as a Free Radical Collective 'sacred colours'. He fit so perfectly on it I couldn't not use it.

I actually made the effort of pinning all these and super-gluing them, whereas all my other GSC models were just glued.

I still have the two Ork Boy/Aberrant conversions to finish, they're partially built, just need green-stuffing to complete them.

I've since undercoated these 8 so they'll be ready to paint their bases. I'll probably do that as a block, with the 5 Termagants, Warrior, Hive Guard and Redemptor Dreadnought. However, I don't want to to that just yet as I know as soon as I do they'll be tempting me further away from the Dark Shroud...

 Big Build - TO DONE!

I builds it, I gets the badge!

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:

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 Challenge was 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.


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.


The Soul Grinder was great.

Custode and Orruk warboss.


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.