Wednesday 29 June 2016

Where's my head @?

On this here blog I have my regular 'what's on my palette' posts that informs and structures what I'm doing and where I'm at. But I also have 'Where's my head @?' which is more to do with how I'm thinking and feeling about the projects, blog and all the great mysteries of our time.

Despite juggling a number of projects to keep my mojo going there is always a despondency after completing one, in this case the Ravenwing. So I thought throwing the Land Speeders into the mix would continue that momentum but as alluded to in previous posts the whole bronzing task fills me with the urge to do anything but move the speeders along.

So I shifted my attention to another onerous task. I'd tried to crack on with the Genestealers before I went on holiday. I'd made some serious in roads in the first set of highlights on the chest and back, well beyond my expectaions. Then I started to do the legs and these are much more laboroius, with the first gen stealers having three parts to their legs I managed to do only two on top of five 2nd gens before I gave up! So I committed to painting the remaining 1st gens as the newer ones are a fraction easier and I think I can manage the 15 left in one sitting and then it's the arms, which are even more depressing.

I have taken the opportunity to do the odd arm here and there so the little surprise of a model being complete is discovered during the next batch session but once it's done I have to do it all again with second highlights :( but here's the progress chart so far which somehow seemed doable before the end of the hobby season, now less so.

I've even took to throwing some paint down on the spare weapons for my Knight Paladin. It's definitely worth acknowledging that this is another diversion from more pressing or essential tasks. I've been mentioning those a lot in recent posts so it just goes to show how much of a mind game getting on with your hobby really is. 

I really want to achieve a few more things - the Knight, the Dark Talon, perhaps the Land Speeders before the end of the season [August 28th] but I'm sabotaging that goal by doing other things. Granted I'm doing things also on the list but I only have a finite amount of time and effort and it looks like I'll end up a number of 'nearly finished' items. Which will make 2016/17 look pretty impressive if they're completed next season but I did have plans to crack on with other projects.

The problem with how I write my blog, sometimes in advance, sometimes 'live', is that when I have a moment of doubt that it can be reconciled within 24-48 hours. Having near continuous hobby routine - 1.5 to 2 hours a night, when I struggle one night it can be resolved the next. As the downer from achieving the Ravenwing hit I struggled through all the above and then suddenly the Dark Talon/Jetfighter raised me up. I progressed, almost autonomously because the black shading and subsequent painting are pretty straightforward. Before I knew it I was out of the doldrums and [semi] focussed, semi because I threw in the remaining legs on the Genestealers.

So my head is back in the game and I have sufficient willpower to get the flyer done and we'll see how far that momentum takes me on other projects.

Monday 27 June 2016

North West Open

One of the next tournaments coming up is The North West Open. It's the brainchild of Acefacehickers with the support of Martin from Wargames in Southport.
It's 1850pts Warhammer 40k Tournament using ITC rules. 2 days 5 games. Loads of fun. £60 per ticket price includes food and drinks Lunch time on both days.

23 July - 24 July
23 July at 9:00 to 24 July at 18:00

All the details can be found here:

And Martin posted up this YouTube video of the efforts to prepare it for the tournament ans also so you can have a look at the venue, which I've been really impressed with every time I've been.

Currently though it's unlikely I'll be able to make it. Ironically the most local big tournament ever is taking place when I was actually supposed to be on holiday, 350 miles away in Cornwall! So I was not likely to attend. However, the situation was already in flux as my wife was due to work a shift on the Saturday we were supposed to leave. Now it transpires my mother-in-law is having carpal-tunnel surgery and so the holiday has been cancelled so we can be there for support.

That kind of brings my attendance back into the realms of possibility. Unfortunately as the wife has difficulty changing shifts she may not be able to swap the Saturday out, she would for a family holiday but for me to play toy soldiers, well it's currently a big ask. Bottom line, the event sounds awesome, I'd love to attend and if I can I will. In the mean time check it out

Friday 24 June 2016

Dark Angels - Jetfighter - Back in Black!

I've started blending the black into my first level highlight. You can see this has been done on the left side - smooth blending compared to the right wing. It's actually really simple and easy to do, there's just a lot of it on this model, which is why it's a little daunting. The thing is it's not difficult so I'm stunned at how I could theoretically strom through this but the amount is what's hampering progress.

By the end of the evening I'd got the rear wings done and most of the tail section 15-20% of the Jetfighter, so it's not too hard. I also tried a little Dark Reaper highlight on right wing so again it's a simple, enjoyable but large task ahead.

So, to try to break everything up I decided to paint a wing. It was always goign to be red, I pondered bronze but thought it's be a pain and too much. Dark red might be more interesting, as I'd never seen a Jetfighter with red wings. But now I look at it and I'm unsure...

I'm reminded of this:

But it's not really a decision that's at stake it's a maelstrom of thought's, ideas, preferences - could I do this? What about that? Eventually I made a decision [did I not just say a decision was not at stake?]. Rest assured the next post I think is a doozy, possibly Bastion growth pt8. level so look forward to how I took a simple red wing that was supposed to be flat and dark and brooding and painted it into something completely different to my own plans/expectations. You've got to love the unexpected things that happen when you're painting and in the zone.

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Look Around You

This is a post I've had in draft for probably four years at least. It was actually only the last couple of pictures that constituted the post, hence why it had never got past draft state. But I did at least a couple of these back when I was creating my STC terrain templates. When you're in the business of making templates you really start to take notice of buildings and structures to help with ideas of your own. My recent holiday to Wales was great for pictures and I thought there was sufficient to add to this post to make it worthwhile.

So we had the opportunity to return to Portmeirion, famous for featuring as 'the Village' in The Prisoner. I cannot emphasise enough how much I love this place. It may be a pastiche of a real Italian village and some of the elemtns are clearly 'home made', bodges even but in some respects that makes it even more special because it feels like a scratchbuild by those artists who lived and worked there. Anyway, this sculpture captured my attention for obvious reasons.

In particular it highlights that some areas do not weather at all. Should I go all out verdigris it's definitely something to think about, although to be fair I have already been there with my Honoured Imperium Statue [and I added rust streaks too!]

Funnily enough this was 'Atlas' [?] when we went in 2005!

So if you ever get chance to go to this place I heartily recommend it, they even hold a music festival in the summer. We've been about 5 or 6 times now and aside from Warhammer World it is probably my favorite place ever.

But to get back on track about finding inspiration in the places we go I did discover this awesome rust that could be recreated with a variety of weathering powders, technical paints and what have you. It may even stand out [just] on Ferron Proxima as the yellow rust might just show up against the red, which might get 'swallowed' by Red Planet BASE [but then that is the point of the fluff about my modular hills...] And some Nurgley rust too!

Now, speaking of rust brings me back to the original inspiration for the Look Around You post. This is a car park next to my office and it's always struck me as very grimdark .

Of course the use of Cor-ten weathering steel helps, but it's also the variety of shapes and textures. It may not be some high gothic, but it definitely smacks of underhive.

These pics were actually taken a few years later. I took them so I could get a close look at the textures and weathering

Perhaps they'll be inspirational for your own hobby projects.

And this is what inspired me back in the day. It's my stalled Maufactorum STC. It was really just supposed to be a framework with the gridded area used to create the patchwork effect seen on the car park. Cutting various pieces of board and corrugated card to duplicate all those textures and surfaces. One day I'll get round to completing it...

Monday 20 June 2016

Double Trouble 1500pt battle report - Dark Angels & Dark Eldar v Space Marines & Tau - Game 3

Game 3 and all my Christmases at once I'm not only paired with From the Fang event organiser Alex for the last game, but I also got to play against Luke Fogg from Darksun Life and lets not forget Matthew Spencer and his Tau who paired with Luke

The low down:
  • Each force deploys diagonally opposite to their partner in a 27" x 15" rectangle
  • Double Trouble Maelstrom missions - 3 cards per turn. No secondaries.
  • Warlord Trait - Move through Cover and Stealth in Ruins
  • Night fighting first turn, we went second, failed to steal.
OK, do I have a clue what went on in this game? Perhaps Luke and Alex can fill in the details in the comments and I'll try and add them in. Clearly I infiltrated my scouts into these ruins with Alex's Dark Eldar.

We then found the rest of the family for my dice, I'm not sure we were taking this seriously, we'd already gone for drinks at the start of the game, ha, ha!

I was on the left, Matthew the right, Luke opposite me with his Howling Griffons and Alex top right. I'd scouted the bikes into the wood to score that objective, clearly.

Turn 1 and Luke and Matt get off to a roaring stat, slaughtering our forces and capturing objectives. Alex kept telling me excitedly how his Scourges were making their 6+ armour saves against Luke and then looked over at my side of the board asking where all my ravenwing had gone, failing to make their 3+ cover saves. I hadn't jinked so they could still fire so didnlt get to re-roll - lesson learned?

In response we managed to score 4 VPs in turn 1, not sure how far into the game this was but my tactical squad is on foot, so I'm guessing they lost their sweet old skool ride. I'd eventually storm those ruins and capture the objective inside.

Meanwhile the Tau went pretty unmolested, their stealth capabilities making them nigh indestructible and adding a further 2 VPs in turn 2. I think our cards were pretty dire, asking for unattainable objectives held by our opponents and we failed to score anything.

Alex's force wilted under the Centurions assaulting the ruins, my own scouts had been shot to pieces, denying us 3 VPs for holding the objective for two consecutuive turns, we'd gambled and lost.

Turn 3 and our opponents threw another 4 VPs into their tally, we didn't do so bad in return making 3 back.

Sadly turn four saw us drop another 4 VPs and we failed to score again! The final score being 16 to 7 with Luke and Matt suffering only 371 Blood points to our own 1,300! Jeez we were poor.

OK I admit the Battle Reports a bit weak on details but I honestly haven't got a clue what went on, it was just fun. 40k was just a reason to be in that space at that time with those people and all I get is a sense of camaraderie, laughs and giggles. I mean you saw that video Luke did of me after the game ended, I couldn't stop grinning AND I hadn't even won the raffle at that stage! Was it a 'good' game, it depends how you define good! Obviously we were slaughtered but I think it's a shining example of why I still play this hobby. And why 'win at all costs' [and the fact my gaming sobriety cured me of that nasty trait at least] should not be the be all and end all for enjoyment, certainly not when you're with such decent folk. In context I see these people no more than twice a year [with Dan I've met him once and that was 3 yeasr ago], but they comment on the blog and I read and comment on theirs and yet somehow it's turned 'virtual friendship' into friendship. For this I'm glad I play space toy soldiers and I'm unbelievably grateful for Alex for taking a gamble on organising such an event and the other attendees for giving it a shot too. Hopefully we can get another one next year, if you can make it I'll see you there!

Here's Luke's vlog to help fill in some of the blanks:

Saturday 18 June 2016

Double Trouble painting competition

Double Trouble Painting competition, I think I got most of the entries but given you could only enter one category there were fewer entries than normal. I think this was Chris Buckle's Imperial Fists who I played 2nd game.

I think this was Matt Callow's army

Liked this Techmarine on  a bike, I need one!

Blood Angels


The runaway winner of best conversions NafNaf's Harlequin/Dark Eldar Carnivale

Award winning objectives!

Winner of best army and opponent in my first game Steve Horne's Ravenguard

Sorry, haven't a clue :)

Rob Hill's Venator  and Dan Wellington's toy robot ;)

Like, totally Tau!

Best character, Ravnguard Chaplain [?]

Kai-Uwe's Dusk Wolf captain.

Matt Grime's Fateweaver [2nd place] and my own Techmarine [3rd]

Enjoy the pics, given the poor lighting I think these came out better than could be expected.