Wednesday 30 August 2017

'nids part 221 - Genestealer Hybrid Neophytes - TO DONE!

It was with some relief I did in fact finish these guys ahead of the new season. It doesn't really matter either way but having set out to do them to a deadline I do feel good about achieving it. It doe smake me think I should have some sort of cut off point for inclusion though as running so tight to the deadline is a little stressful to say the least.

The pictures are a bit hit and miss in places but there are obviously MOAR shots to come that might help pick out some more details.

I'm beginning to think these are far less 'ragtag' than I intended, although they are grouped into the half orange and half red so I guess they should match up a bit.

I certainly think the diversity among the Hybrids works which is a relief. Some elements I'm not as happy with but the diversity I think is really interesting and allows scope to do a whole unit of 'Turqs' fo instance. I was looking at getting one of the Imperial Guard starter sets which I'd have as Turqs to further link up with the Rogue Trooper-esque element.

Red Squad

I love the guys with the goggles.

All of them together. Now I didn't get round to doing the completed Free Radical Collective just yet, perhaps that will come with the Armies on Parade board. It has made me automatically think about the second Deathwatch Overkill box I won in the raffle at Double Trouble. I can't imagine I'm going to throw all those Hybrids onto my freshly minted 2017/18 To Do List, but certainly the Aberrants and Familiars might creep into the mix before the end of the year.

White background shots because apparently having shared some of the Ferron Proxima 'context' shots I've recieved some criticism about how bright the red is and difficult to see. Certainly an issue I can appreciate but Ferron Proxima is my thing and I'm not about to give it upjust yet,

You can see here how I purposely held back on some of the highlights on the lower legs. It still feels like I was cheating but I think if I'd used the same highlights as the trousers and jackets it would have been too much.

Top down view so you can look at the patination on their heads.

I love the grenade launcher guys.

OSL on the mining lasers potentially suspect and I could have perhpas picked out some finer details on the weapon but i just wanted them done at this stage.

The replacement drill heads could have been a little better as well as the back pack but again time constrainst and patience with the project meant this was as good as it got.

The Orange gang.

I love how these remind me of the Star Wars X-wing pilots uniforms. I am considering the next set potentially wearing black environment suits but I don't know whether I should just stick with the white.

And there you have it, the last of my Big Pruple Stamps of Approval for my  2016/17 Hobby Season. Now I wonder how long it's going to take me to complete something for 2017/18...?

Monday 28 August 2017

To Do List 2017/18

Having covered my achievements over the past season it's now that I look forward to the new one. If I'm honest the list is still in an embryonic stage. I've been so focused on what I've been doing on the last season I haven't thought much about the next one because I was running projects to the wire and I didn't know which season they'd be completed.

A lot of my list appears to be mainly Dark Angels, they're still my focus despite those Genestealer Cultists creeping into the mix at the end there. Anything in bold is a priority, everything else is nice to have
  1. Deathwatch Marines
  2. New Armies on Parade board
  3. Dark Angel - Predator
  4. Dark Angel - Razorback [I'll probably double team this with the Predator]
  5. Dark Angel - Deathwing Knights
  6. Dark Angel - Terminator Librarian
  7. Dark Angel - Ravenwing Dark Shroud
  8. Dark Angel - Ravenwing Bikes 
  9. Dark Angel - Macragge Tactical Squad
  10. Dark Angel - Aegis Defence Line [totally low down as most of the Fortifications suck game wise but it'd be nice to have some extra terrain pieces and I think it's actually the best value out of the pieces I have]
The top two are to add to my Armies on Parade board, hence their priority status, although I suppose everything else is also valid. The Predator is something I like the idea of for the Warhammer World GT in February. They worked really well against my nids at the NWO, so both useful and on the list! The remaining nid and terrain based items are these:
  1. 2 sets of Ferron Fire Firs - base up and paint.
  2. Project Z?! Still a mystery project ;)
  3. Tyranid Void Shield Generator [it had some progress last season, I just need to do more, even if it's just as a terrain piece]
  4. Some bits of Imperial terrain I have knocking about [Sanctum Imperialis, etc.]
  5. Armorium containers STC
  6. Blood Bowl Humans
  7. Blood Bowl Orks [? yeah not likely but if I can get the hoomies done maybe...]
Pipe dream items - these are things that have been on my list and in all honesty I'm not likely to tackle this year but I do not want them forgotten so I'll just note them as things I'll eventually do, one day:
  1. Tyranid Promethium Relay Pipes
  2. Tyranid Bastion Crater [to a certain extent unnecessary as I use my digestion pit]
The Great Build has been downgraded to the Big Build this season. Still a lot of what was not complete from the last list but I think I did OK, the principle is sound and did pay dividends - the Assault Squad.
  • Ferron Fire Firs - new trees based and primed
  • 3 Tyranid Lictors
  • 3 Tyranid Warriors
  • 3 Tyranid Shrikes
  • 2 Tyranid Hive Guard kitbashes...
  • Tyranid Trygon
  • Ripper Swarms
  • 5 Dark Angel Veterans/Command Squad
  • Space Hulk Genestealers
  • Remaining Deathwing Terminators
  • Sanctum Impearialis 
So that's me for 2017/18. I think overall a low key set of goals, and perhaps a little uninspiring given it's everything I didn't quite complete from last season, sorry. And I think even if I complete all the Imperium and Tyranid stuff I may well feel a little disappointed but as I say it's embryonic and may well evolve once Armies on Parade is done and the GT is bearing down... In the interim this will do and all the best for your own efforts this season.

Saturday 26 August 2017

Hobby Season 2016/17 Review

The 2016/17 Hobby Season draws to a close, and how did I do? Well I managed to complete 7/14 out of 14/21 items on my list, depending on how you count the sub-bullets. But as you'll see the raw numbers don't tell the whole story. To be fair though I was really focused on the list this time with few deviations, except thanks to the output from the Great Build, but the To Do List was a real motivator this time. So, what did I do?

First up, the Dark Angels Land Speeder Typhoons were so close to being completed in the previous season, but just over a week after the new season began they were getting big purple stamps of approval instead of green. As I've mentioned in recent posts I'd effectively sabotaged myself in that regard, just putting them off for no apparent reason. But they got done and although there were some compromises made I was happy at the end, the finish was pretty good and to have moved these 'long in progress' models to completion is always a bonus.

My Imperial Knight was dutifully completed next [as it was next on my list]. The mix of freehand and decals was a particular challenge. The faceplate was also a bone of contention, which prompted me to magnetise it post completion so I can keep his Motörhead face but still cover him up should I feel so inclined.

Next up was the Dark Angel Bastion which again was a pretty big task. If I was in the business of measuring the scale of projects it would have been 'major', for that matter so would the Imperial Knight but as both had been worked on significantly in previous seasons that differentiation is somewhat moot [hence why major and minor stamps don't work for me]. What is worth noting though is that I said 'bastion' not 'bastions' and I completed both, just for the hell of it. To be fair there was not much extra effort to do the two at that stage. Once again compromises [I really am my own worst critic], the weathering was not how I intended it to look but positives outweigh the disappointments and completion trumps those altogether. Having extra line of sight blocking terrain is always handy too and in 8th positively compulsory.

And I did do the Quad Gun and Comms Relay [although it needs a base] so an Aegis Defence Line might be a nice addition next Season? Of course in 8th the Comms Relay is defunct and the Quad Gun may as well be for how useless it now is in the game, but c'est la vie.

I also managed to prepare my Dark Angels Armies on Parade display featuring many of last season's successes alongside my more recent and older achievements. This feels like a throw-away achievement perhaps because painting 1850pts of Dark Angels was something I managed last season but I think the fact I struggled to fit it all on my AoP board speaks to the effort I've put into these guys alongside my Xenos filth ;)

The Christmas period came along and although I was still productive the usual festive hobby malaise happened. That shouldn't be a bad thing really because wider context I did get tickets for the British Grand Prix. So the fact I wasn't painting figures but having a good time with my family shouldn't leave me feeling too bad. But part of the problem was I was struggling with the Drop Pods and in so doing I ended up completing my Genestealer Cult Patriarch.

Whilst I was at it I also managed it's Familiars, the Aberrants, the Primus and quickly brought the Magus up to scratch too. Although I'm happy with the results overall I actually think there's so much more to them that my style of painting obscures. I did a Google search for the Magus so I could try and get the little vials right. It turns out that almost all the examples on the net are like Golden Daemon quality. I don't usually mind but it was a little bit depressing even though I was quite chuffed with the blending on the Orange cloaks. Still, I'll get over it, it was just a little disheartening when I should be chuffed I'd just completed them... although the pictures I took did reveal my approach to highlighting has become slightly impressionistic now which I kind of like.

The Primus and the Magus were the last two parts of the Brood Coven to be complete because I did manage to finish the Drop Pods once the Aberrants, Patriarch and Familiars were done. Another point of note is my To Do List once again specified only ONE drop pod and I completed TWO! What's even more ground breaking is the original pod was six years in the painting and featured in my original To Do List from 2011. Funnily enough in a detached way, despite evidence to the contrary, I see them as relatively easy to paint now. Laborious and potentially tedious, but on paper pretty straightforward. No doubt I'd deny such a comment if I was presented with another to paint! Unfortunately it's the other projects that intervene and are far more inviting, hence why it took so long to do one, not to mention I had no real reason to have it completed ahead of anything else. Although I described it as 'less of a priority' I'm really pleased this got done and even more pleased with the results and that there are now two of them!

Although the Birthday Bash was not the reason the Drop Pods were prioritised their completion and subsequent comments about my army list choices at the event meant that my Ravenwing Black Knights became my next project. The Knights had been built and left in hiatus since June 2016.

I started in earnest on them in mid-March and the whole process became a mental battle as I ended up doing the seven Knights and six Ravenwing bikes simultaneously. 13 bikes at once was just a mammoth task for me, I don't know what I was thinking.

I did digress a few times, basecoating my Assault Squad and various Genestealer Hybrids which where equally moribund, forcing me to return to the Ravenwing as they felt more appealing.

Once I'd overcome the 'wall' of black it all seemed plain sailing, even if there was still considerable work left to do to complete them, but complete them I did. I think we can all agree this was a Herculean task borne out by the many posts I had to write just to keep the momentum going. I won't mention the five or six bikes and two attack bikes that still need doing though!

As the Ravenwing came to a close 8th Edition dropped and this provided me with some additional motivation to look again at some off list tasks. By no means they would get completed by the end of the season but a quick nudge here and there meant they were added to the Great Build list below which would potentially get them set for next season, time permitting. I then cast my attention to the Hybrids but yet again quickly got bored and jump-packed back to the Assault Squad, finishing them off with extreme prejudice!

Following that short successful detour I returned to the Hybrids for a third time. As pleased as I was with the wealth I'd achieved so far this season I thought adding 28 Genestealer Hybrids to my tally would be the raw quantity of number to the quality I'd already completed. If I could pull it off I'd be super-stoked. Last season I'd been close with the Land Speeders and sabotaged my chances by 'taking my foot off the gas', this time it was fatigue and the endless detail on the Hybrids that eventually held me up. I continued on all 28 where possible intending to switch to the Acolytes to guarantee one complete item and one 75%, rather than two items at 60%. I managed to do them all but as you know only the Acolytes have had their 2016/17 To Done! post so far.

However, I'll add in the Neophytes retrospectively here, once they're photographed.

So how do I feel I did this season? To be honest pretty, pretty good. I think even at the completion of the Bastions I felt as if I'd achieved sufficient to be happy. The Drop Pods just cemented that feeling and I'd added the Brood Coven inbetween so despite the fact most of these had been started in previous years I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. I did then check out what I'd done last season and was reminded how prodigious I'd been but then I realised how daft it was to compare my own efforts against each other. Sure it was a measure of what I could do but there is no shame in any of it, these things still exist in a finished state where previously they were not.

What I did in 2015/16 in no way takes away from what I achieved in 2016/17, or vice versa. The continued effort I put in is all additive so how can I feel less at the end of it? In the 90's I had very little to show for my efforts, now look at what I've done over the past seven years and more importantly what will I achieve next? And I did finish the season very strong, delivering a not inconsiderable model count in the final quarter to add that quantity I felt was lacking! In fact with 64 models painted [near enough] I was only 1 off last years total. Looking at it all - the big projects, the 'long in progress' projects finally off the list and all the doubling up to achieve twice my expectations I actually think I might just have eclipsed last Season - so much for being disheartened!

The Great Build

On top of all that I also undertook to get a lot of things built ready for painting. I actually wanted them primed and based too but the B/W build pics look cool so I'll use these. The point being to get things ready so when the urge strikes I've already got a headstart on them - better to have projects ready and waiting than a 'blank canvas' staring at me. To that end I managed:

Dark Angel Assault Squad
Blood Bowl Human Team
Blood Bowl Ork Team
Tyranid Lictor 1

I did get these primed [basecoated too] and ready to go as well

Dark Angel RT Razorback

Dark Angel RT Predator
In truth I think I underestimated how much I would get done in the 'Great Build', but I was probably doing all those painting tasks. At the very least the Great Build did provide a number of opportunities/distractions [delete as appropriate] in base coating these models when my main projects filled me with dread. I'll definitely try and do some more bits next season but I may well rename it the 'Big Build', y'know to lower my expectations ;) Although one stand-out success was the Assault Squad that went from build, through to prime and eventual completion in just one season - now that's accelerated delivery. It's not conclusive but a nice result from something that otherwise would not have been acheived.

I'll just leave this here again as a reminder, it struck a chord with me last year and again I think it'll be an effective mantra for all going forward.