Saturday 31 October 2015

What's on my palette

Bless me readers for I have sinned, it's been over five months since my last confession. Obviously I was a bit busy with Man Caves, Dangles and Lancers but what now?

I've blog wars in a few days and as I'm no longer taking the Dangles they've pretty much gone off the boil. However I will not foresake them but I will be refocussing my efforts. First up I'm going to finish off my Teleport Homers/Energy Field/Objective markers. They're on my To Do List, so they're sin free and given I'll be weathering them up with Verdigris it will help build confidence for the weathering ahead on the Lancer.

The Lancer is the next priority. I need to be decisive about choices to be made and crack on with him. He could be so close to completion if I manage to put in some concerted effort in getting him done.

I will also fish out the Tactical Squad, see if I can crack on with them and perhaps finish up on the Bastions while I'm at it. Again these are potentially 'quick wins', I mean they're not, I'll obviously take forever doing them but they're considerably more progressed than a lot of other projects so it feels liek I should be able to finish them up quick[ish].

No real surprises here but it's what comes after that's the big question and to be honest I don't know. Of course I do have my list of things to do but I'm not looking at that as priority order. I do have the second Knight to paint but I still have to full magnetise him first which I think may be a Winter job, y'know prepare stuff during the cold weather ready for a Spring surge.

One other thing I want to get better at is 'brevity'. I was recently at a seminar where the head of Government Communications highlighted brevity as extremely important nowadays. We live in a society where twitter and it's 140 character limit has shown that people don't want tomes of text. He quoted Mark Twain

“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

And I know I'm guilty of doing just that, which is odd as quite often I find myself railing against other people doing just that. I've talked abotu this before and 'micro-blogging' but this time I'll endeavour to be more succinct [as I'm failing to do right now ;) ] Anyway, if I get the hang of it it should make the blog better maybe help other bloggers too. Towards that end if you didn't know of it already and I only looked it up recently I'd advise checking this out if you needed convincing of brevity TL;DR.

Thursday 29 October 2015

5+ Happy Blog Day

I usually add a Legion heraldy badge to celebrate my Blog Day, but in this case I couldn't really find a decent White Scars Legion badge. Then I looked for Dark Angel 5th Company badges and many of those images I found were just pictures from my blog, of my own 5th Company marines! However, I did find this Blood Ravens banner which I thought would do.

Anyway, 5 years a Servitor! Who'd have thought? I know I've posted quite a few arbitrary milestones recently but I think we can all agree this is the big daddy, the non-arbitrary measure 5 years of solid blogging. Sure the 1,000 posts one is important too because a five year blog with 5 posts isn't much to shout about and the followers and comments are also fantastic measures of how people feel about the blog which helps lift it beyond just shouting into the the void.  But 5 years! That's like time man! Time spent chatting about little plastic men.

Looking forwards though I can't see the blog ending, I worked out I had about two years worth of miniatures to paint, or more like three or four the speed I paint. I'm a little sad this year will deliver the least amount of posts since I started but the Winter slump hit me hard and hobby progress was more important than blogging about it. In time I think I'll try and get a bit more feedback from you all about what you like, don't like, what I can do to improve things; not saying I'll act on it or anything but the best of intentions and all that. Feel free to start the ball rolling, criticism equally appreciated I know I waffle on, not sure I can stop it but if it really is too much sometimes I'll aim for brevity as it makes writing the darn posts easier anyways. So thanks for popping by and we'll reconvene in 2020!

Saturday 24 October 2015

Armies on Parade 2015

PeteB and I dropped by GW Southport on Thursday to drop off our stuff, even with 45 minutes to set up I still couldn't fit everything on to my board that I wanted to. I think there's at least around 40 Termagants and my Gargoyles that didn't make it and it could have been displayed a little better but hey, the Manager does have to close up of an evening! Sadly I was in such a rush so didn't get to take pictures of PeteBs Eldar :(

Funnily enough I'm not sure this is as impressive as I thought it would look, does that mean I have to get me some more bugs? I think so and if the latest rumour about some new treats in January are true I may well treat myself, not so sure about the potential new Stealers, however much I love them I think there's plenty better value options and I do have those 30 still to paint, but Biovores and a possible Gargantuan - I'm in!

One other thing of note was just how compact I've been able to make my nids, this must be the least amount of bags, boxes and containers I've ever taken for the most amount of miniatures, goodness knows how I'll get it all back in.

Anyway, I've no idea how the event is going, what with being in Paris and all but I'll certainly let you know how things went and if you had a Parade today be sure and drop a link to any pictures in the comments.

Friday 23 October 2015

Imperial Knight - Cerastus in manufactorum pt 10

As I reach double figures in the Cerastus in manufactorum series I do worry that it feels this has been dragged out a bit, although I'm aware progress has been well recieved and I appreciate all the comments to that effect. However, as the blog is less scheduled at the moment each post is pretty much 'this is what I did last/the other night'. Otherwise I'd have collated two or three sets of pics together in which case the blog would be less 'little and often' and more like once a week. Anyway, this was last nights progress and yes Monkeychuka the OCD kicked in and I had to paint some pipes, and now I want to paint more. I think a couple of bonewhite ones might break up the mass at the front, but I'm not sure if I should have done shtis after doing the verdigris as it may well screw up some of the pipe detail...

And this is all you see once the chest plates go on...? I kind of want to break up the colours on one of the plates, either by diagonal bonewhite stripe through the middle of the red, or halving it diagonally with yellow/black chevrons, what do you think?

I also got his undercarriage piping done, these match up with the ones I did for the Dark Angels Scouts. I did miss those two tine pipes on the back of hiships though, wil lhave to do those later. It does conjour up images of it being bitten on the arse by some kind of poisonous striped snake though!

The head has pipework stripes too.

And here's it together. I'm getting very close to the point where I have to start building the courage to do the verdigris. I know this will raise it another level but it's still a big risk but I've got my Reaver Titan out for reference. Although I didn't go quite the same red I can still be as economical with the verdigris as I was with the epic scale miniature - allowing real metallics and weathering to share the spotlight.

And I also managed to do remedial repairs on this Broodlord, I'd dropped him, breaking both his right arms off and chipping the spine vents. I used the opportunity to bring a few more reds into his liver/brown fleshy bits and will fix his tongue next.

So, steady but not amazing progress but this is the amount I'm getting done at the moment. I did really enjoy the session though. The other night I'd noticed that the computer desk feels a bit clammy so I've decided to always have the radiator on when I'm in the shed over the winter. It's not likely to keep the potential damp completely out of the shed but I think regular warmth can at least mitigate any problems. It was really cosy though, and it had started to rain so it was just a really nice place to be. When I decide to finish I switch off the main lights an put on a little spotlight which is much more pleasant and feels like a wind down [from the hectic high-adrenaline stakes in figure painting!].

Anyway, tomorrow the family and I are off to Disnelyand Paris, our first holiday abroad. It's only for four days but hopefully we'll have a great time, all of October is Hallowe'en themed. I should have still prepped a load of pictures from my Armies on Parade board that I set up last night at GW Southport but if it takes a couple of days to hear back from me don't worry, I've not been crushed under a mountain of old White Dwarfs. Have a great weekend, au revoir [yep that's all my GCSE french right there!]

Parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

Wednesday 21 October 2015

'nids part 177 - OHNiOOE- Oh Hell No! its Old One Eye

Suddenly possessed with a need to finish Old One Eye [in case I choose him as my special character for Blog War. I cracked on with the Bonewhite and was shocked how quick it all got done.

I pulled out one of the other Carnifex to ensure consistency but couldn't recall the process being so quick on those. The legs take a while but the rib cage was really quick.

And all that's left is the black highlights on claws and hooves, matt varnish, gloss varnish and then Tamiya Clear Red X-27. Seriously this has gone so quick I'm asking a couple of questions - 
  1. what have I missed? This has taken no time at all, I must have missed something.
  2. why didn't I do this months ago? It was so easy to do and such a quick win!

Sadly, looking at my choices for Blog Wars, I may not even use him! I realised he was just too expensive so I'll probably stick with Deathleaper again and my actual list will be between 80-100% exactly the same as last time. I'm really struggling to do anything kookier than last time. I wanted to reduce the model count - more MCs but that meant swapping out the Manufactorum Genestealers for Children of Cryptus but having asked Alex a couple of questions I realised the army list choices have actually been blown wide open as it now says two detcahments so I could actually run two Flyrants and Deathleaper but I'm just not sure how viable that is. I know the Flyrants are awesome but I still believe it causes problems too as the Flyrants swooping means they're not scoring.

Anyway, Old One Eye is not completely redundant as he will be an extra body on the Armies on Parade board. Fingers crossed I will fit everything on it but this could be the first time everything is shown in one place [aside from the odd model that is incomplete, are 30 genestealers classed as the odd model?]

Monday 19 October 2015

Imperial Knight - Cerastus in manufactorum pt 9

The Knight has had all it's panels highlighted, this is pre-glaze which has helped to sooth out some of the transitions. I also decided to fill in the black chevrons which has definitely helped me feel happier about them and the rest of the colour scheme. I also added some highlights to the yellow stripes too. I'd only had Mecharius orange on there with a sepia wash and it somehow looked yellow so I didn't want to go extreme highlight. This is just Tau Sept Ochre [still rocking those Foundation paints!]. I regret not having the texture of the red panels but I did paint the stripes a little roughly so although they're not even stippled or textured there is an illusion that the paint has not gone on smoothly

I also painted the pipework on his legs orange, ahead of painting more chevron stripes on it. As mentioned previously I now have to decide on picking out other pipe details. Its a weird thing because I have to choose now as there are chest plates to add later and I won't be able to pick some of them out when they're in place. Which begs the question do I need to do them? If I can't get in there to paint them and they'll be obscured is it worth sweating over what I need to do and doing it?

Like I say, too much time in my own head.

Parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

Friday 16 October 2015

'nids part 176 - OHNiOOE- Oh Hell No! its Old One Eye

Probably not what you all want to see, me back on the nids but abandoning the Dark Angels for Blog Wars did suddenly allow me a little scope to return to what's familiar. He's also on my To Do List so I don't feel too bad. OOE has been in hibernation for a good while now, having completed the base [except bonewhite chips] and all the base colours and washes. All I needed to do was the chitin, bonewhite, black claws/hooves and SFX. So with the pressure off on the forces of the Imperium I quickly painted all these chitin highlights, but you can see it wasn't all plain sailing as I got bored part way through the vents and stopped, probably did some little bits on the Cerastus

Then I was able to finish the first set off the following night, had another flit back to the Cerastus and then the next night I did all the second stage highlights. I have to give myself some credit that I did those spots on the chitin way back when. Looking at the pic above compared to the one below there's no way just the feathered highlights alone would suffice. The spots just add something extra, break up the carapace and actually draw your eye away from the dodgy brush strokes on the feathering!

The Sything Talons had already been highlighted. There are some Crushing Claws to do but I still have my magnetised Tervigon Claws so I can use those instead.

I'm still very much committed to the Dark Angels and the Knights, so do not fear this is me back-sliding into the digestion pits of the Hive I'm just very conscious that there are elements of the Knight I may yet agonise over and as I've identified on numerous occasions having a variety of projects on the go allows me to direct my efforts on things I can and want to do when other things are beset by hurdles ot overcome. Hopefully then I'll have time to reconcile the issues while sitll being productive elsewhere. For instance I glazed all the Cerastus armour plates the other night - a complete non-job that would have slowed progress waiting for the glaze to dry if all I was doing was the knight. Meanwhile I have questions about picking out details in some of the pipe-work on his torso which I need to answer or just leave as is. Hopefully this detour will help clarify or perhaps jumpstart me to just do it and stop questioning. I think that's the problem with painting, you end up with too much time inside your own head!

Wednesday 14 October 2015

1850pt battle report - Dark Angels v Orks

Ben asked me for a last minute game the other night so I took the opportunity to get some more practice in with the Dark Angels and this time borrowed his Cerastus so I could field my potential Blog Wars list

The low down:
  • Hammer and Anvil
  • Kill points
  • Night fighting, won deployment, elected to deploy first and go first.
  • Warlord Trait - Ezekiel - Fearless to all units within 12"
  • Psychic powers:
  1. Psychic Shriek
  2. Terrify
  3. Shrouding
  4. Mental Fortitude
I had my Devastators in my Bastion, this time with an armorium cherub [the Watcher] which I never actually used.

I had Ezexiel taking cover in the wrecked Rhino from the blasted copse, we 'Forged the Narrative' that the Orks had blown up the tank prior to the game starting and the squad were abotu to leave it's confines. The Cerastus had the lead, in front of the other Combat Squad and the scouts while the Plasma Cannon Tactical squad held the sacred shrine. There was only 7 in this squad as I had to drop a couple of member to fit the Cerastus in. One unit of Deathwing and the Techmarine were int he Land Raider the others were dee striking.

Ben's set up, this time with a fair few tank busters.

I was able to wreck one of the Trukks thanks to the Devastators Missile Launchers but then was unable to use the Quad Gun because the target was no more. First strike to me.

Big Shootas managed to get some good field of fire from their vantage points but I'm not sure they did much damage in their first turn [certainly no First Strike] thanks to stupidly good cover saves helped by Ezekiel casting Shrouding and night fighting too. I think the Knight may have taken a Hull Point or two though.

My turn two and the Deathwing arrive and shoot up the back of one of the trukks but not sufficient to wreck it. Ezekiel leapt from cover and raced up behind the Land raider hoping to get in range for Psychic Scream, which he did but couldn't hit!

The Painboys trukk had come down my left flank and the Scouts had not alternative but to assault. They were going to die in the Ork turn with only overwatch to reward their sacrifice, so I may as well assault and get twice my attacks at a better 'to hit' roll. Sadly they failed to do anything more than perhaps 1 wound and were promptly slaughtered.

My disembarked Terminators shot up the Orks nearest so I no longer could meet my charge roll. I also kept the Techmarine with them. which in Ben's turn I realised was a mistake as he could have trekked over to the Knight and tried to fix his Hull Points. I think the Knight was able to wreck Ghazgkhull's trukk though, but it may have taken far more fire than it should have done.

With their ride imobilised the Tank Busters set forth with a couple of Bomb Squigs adding a Hull Point or two to the Knight.

The Dakkajet turned up but I'm not sure he was particularly effective.

Which was irrelevant really as Ghazgkhull was bearing down on them.

Things were not going to end well.

Kommandos turned up and I immediately remembered their burners and just how useless that bolstered 3+ cover really was.

 But there was still plenty going on in the middle of the board.

Having killed the Scouts the Panboy and krew headed for the Tac squad

The get into Kombat and wreck face.

It seems the Dark Angels were sporting some Apprentice-crafted armour! So the four marines were chopped up with hardly a wound in return.

Orks consolidated onto the crashed Aquila.

Ghazgkhull got into combat having shot three of the Terminators. It's one thing to have a full compliment of Deathwing in that assault but just three was never going to hold up against the Orks.

The Knight was charged by the Tank Busters who managed to get another 2 Hull Points on him through various means.

My other Deathwing were surrounded also with one Terminator being lost before the charge. The Techmarine was trapped in the assault too

Ghazgkhull finishes the Deathwing off with ease and moves back up the field.

The Tank Busters blow the Knight up which takes out all but two of their number.

With most everyone dead I decided to call it.

Even with a Knight I feel utterly out-classed with the Dark Angels. I'm not sure if it's early days getting to know them, the fact I have units that are sub-optimal, the wrong tactics or a tough opponent going up against hordes. Bottom line is that although this was a fun game, and we had a right old laugh, the fact it suddenly fell apart so spectacularly was not fun and the army is just painful to use at the moment.

Therefore, I cannot anticipate with any joy taking this current army list to BWX. Sure it's a 'non-competitive' tournament so sub-optimal is fine but if it needs to be sub-optimal it will have to look cool and right now it's neither. So, following this I've abandoned the Dangles for BWX, it will be nids again. I'm hoping to try a different list with more Monstrous Creatures but we'll have to see.

Monday 12 October 2015

Imperial Knight - Cerastus in manufactorum pt 8

I'm actually not 100% sure what this stage represents, I think this is post sepia wash and if I'm honest perhaps should have stopped here.

However, I carried on with my standard recipe of a Devlan wash after the sepia wash

And pretty much removed the transition between Khorne Red and Vermillion. This panel shading is a bit to harsh for my liking but I'm reluctant to do anything with it.

I don't think it's wrong, just a bit OTT. Perhaps a bit of variety might have helped, not just darkening every panel to the same degree

Anyway, not too much to show, it's slow progress because as much as I love the man cave, as predicted, it requires a certain motivation to nip out, usually around 10-10:30pm and then it's only an hour or 90 minutes before I've got to come back in with the prospect of a 5:30am alarm call! So I'm having real reservations about what I can do for Blog Wars. I'm only hoping I can complete the knight, even then I may have to borrow Ben's Cerastus, so really should be focusing on the Tactical Squad, but all the time I'm reminded that the army isn't complete and as much as I don't want to take the nids again part of me thinks that taking the Dark Angels as is, is nothing short of 'fraudulent'.That the standard I've produced on the nids isn't refelcetd in the Dark Angels, even if that's mainly because it's incomplete. I don't expect to win again, with either army but I do feel as a past winner I've a duty to uphold the integrity of the painting competition, and right now what I can deliver just doesn't cut it.

Parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18