Tuesday 31 October 2017

The Army Painter Quickshades

I've professed my love for Army painter Quickshade, I just want to illustrate this with the above picture. Some of those bottles are 'used' but it does not change the fact I get through a lof this stuff, and then end up with a FREE dropper bottle - how cool is that? I've still to go beyond Anti-shine varnish, Soft, Strong and Dark Tones but I wouldn;t hesitate should the need arise.

If you're still not convinced, but the great Ron From the Warp had this to say: http://fromthewarp.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/devlan-mud-and-badab-black-wash.html

Just in case this feels like an advert and you might think they've approached me to do this, they haven't. The only personal interest in this for me is I mentioned on their Facebook page would they consider doing bigger bottles, which they suggested they might consider it. Maybe if enough folk make the switch and pressure them, we can buy gallons of the stuff...

Monday 30 October 2017

Armies on Parade 2017 - Double Up/Down [delete as preferred]

Originally I wrote this when I was under the impression this year's Armies on Parade was two weeks of parade. Obviously I've since discovered that's not exactly the case. To save re-writing the post take that into account when reading and perhaps you will understand why it has come as such a disappointment to me to discover for most stores it's still just a one day event...

Armies on Parade 40k week begins this week and I'm taking the Genestealer Cult and Deathwatch to my local Southport GW. It may not be quite as impressive a parade as previous years but I'm just pleased to share something new.

As I've said before winning isn't my priority, it's nice but taking part is what this event is about for me. I've no allusions to winning, the same as any painting competition - people vote for whatever they want, I can't control that so I'm just in it for the expereince.

With that in mind I had an epiphany the other week. My local train company had a strike and I was forced to go to a different station in Manchester and walk across the city, through the Arndale to get to work. In that moment I realised the revised format for AoP gave me the chance to do more than just enter in Southport...

With a week to display your army I could easily transport my Dark Angels to Manchester and join their event in store. Then at the end of the week I can go back and collect it. A one day event would have been quite the hassle but this was definitely worth the effort.

And now you can see why it's disappointing. To display in Manchester required me to negotiate with the store to deliver the army on the Friday, for them to set it up on the Saturday and then pack it away and for me to collect on the Monday. It may seem odd that I'm fine with my army on parade for a week and yet I'm touchy about them unpacking, displaying and repacking for one day, but I'm peculiar that way. They rightly pointed out that it'll be fine, looking after figures is their business, so I couldn't argue with that logic, but it still feels like a big ask.

I had hoped this new format was evidence that the event was to be more organised but so far it feels the opposite. Considering how much I enjoy AoP and keen to support it, I'm becoming less and less inclined to take part, which I find really sad. At least I've a week longer to make my decision though.

Sunday 29 October 2017

7-Up Happy Blog day!

I really don't know how this happened, I'm not sure I ever would have imagined in 2010 that I would still be writing this blog seven years later. I'm deeply honoured to still have folk interested in my hobby exploits

That's not to say the blog is in it's absolute prime, views have halved over the last 6 months, except for August when I was slightly more proactive sharing pics of my Genestealer Cult To Done pics on Reddit. But I've said before that hobby-blogging should be a personal record of your efforts first and foremost. When starting out you will unlikely have an audience so you have to do it for yourself. Therefore the pursuit of numbers is a lesser concern. By nature we crave validation and numbers and milestones [arbitrary and real] have always been a way to keep momentum in your blog, it just shouldn't be your prime motivator.

I'd be false in saying the drop in numbers hadn't been a little disappointing though. There's possibly a belief that a blog will continue to grow and grow, that more followers will generate more followers. But I think a lot of the views are being generated by my own efforts to promote the blog, which is time-consuming and gets in the way of actual hobby. Using a variety of social media groups and forums helps bring new people to the blog but converting them to regular readers is another thing.

An additional theory might be people are just following the blog in a different way - maybe using a reader of some sort. I don't know at this stage, I'm beginning to think that blogging in this form might be on the wane, for those that somehow make a living off it I think they're delivering more a personalised website, not the traditional blogspot experience we, in the hobby, might be more familiar with. Either that or folk are just jumping straight into YouTube channels, which is far simpler to monetise... 

But I've had a number of people profess that they find the blog much easier to engage with than YouTube, it's certainly less data hungry, which for those that commute and need a consistent data connection blogs are a much safer media choice. What also amazes me that in the 1,369 posts I've made is just how much I've actually written. I found a website that claimed to perform a deep word count of any URL, including all it's related links. I think it had some maximum amount of links [5,000 or so] but it managed to parse at least 1,035 of the pages on my blog before the system seemed to hang. At that stage it calculated I'd written 2,168,810 words, not surprising considering I never quite got the hang of the 'Brevity' component of the 'A,B,C of modern communications'. So my estimate with an average of 2,095 words per post is around 2.9 millions words over the last 7 years...

Just to put that in context further Winston Churchill's corpus of works is 50 million words, 13 million of which he wrote himself, and this from a man who did preach brevity! Lets face it I've never done anything as significant as Churchill and my battles are trivial when compared to those he faced but nearly three million words on toy soldiers... man, I need to get a life ha, ha!

Cheers guys, you make this all worthwhile ;)

Friday 27 October 2017

Terrain is everything - 40k future container scatter terrain - OOCL

For those that have been following the blog since 2010... Holy Throne the blog is going to be 7 in a couple of days, finally getting into 'big-boy pants'! Anyway, you may recall I created a number of 'future containers' back before there were Munitorum Containers.

I made quite a variety of them here, here, and here. In the second and third post I make reference to and show the start of the OOCL containers which I'd added some unrealistic weathering to and had never finished up. As my Armies on Parade board used some of the other containers I thought I could quickly finish these off with added Typhus Corrosion and Ryza Rust.

Not to mention the OOCL logo, which I love. It was relatively easy to do. I sliced the end off an eraser tipped pencil so I had a circular stamp. Stamped three circles, added an L and then went back and added the void in each letter and a simplified cherry blossom. It;s not perfect but it doesn;t have to be.

Naturally some big numbers, and the Tare Weight index.

I've then added some gunmetal scuffs and scratches with a sponge, perhaps I should have looked at the previous containers as I was far more restrained with the metallics on the older ones and they looked better for it. Still, it's another two pieces of terrain to hide behind.

I love this logo.

I'm quite fond of this version with passive/aggressive strapline too ;)

Incidentally it's sad that the Mentos cubes are no longer in production, so it's not possible to recreate these, even with my FREE reinforcing STC template. I keep meaning to make a foamboard cube template to use as a base instead, or to redesign the the template to fit standard bevelled wooden cubes I've seen available on ebay. I'll try and get something sorted before the end of the year...

Wednesday 25 October 2017

It's a Tyranid Skyshield Landing Pad...

Funnily enough I can never seem to find a complete 'To Done' showcase of my scratchbuilt Tyranid Skyshield Landing Pad. The best I have doesn't feature the walls/petals, they hadn't been completed at that stage. In all honesty these aren't great pics but I needed to take some for the monthly Warhammer 40,000 painting competition.

This month it's 'Terrain' and there's a quite frankly insane spaceship diorama but I thought I'd throw my hat in with the old Tyranid Trampoline.

Currently I have no urge to use it in my lists as 8th has made even my backfield defense of Tervigon and Termagants far more mobile, or at least I feel they need to be on the move as a support for the other elements moving forward.

It's not how I've played for years but probably far more in keeping with how Tyranids are supposed to behave. I could be wrong though, maybe these are ace in 8th but I doubt it, and here's the evidence:

 They took a price hike and only convey a 5+ invul save compared to 4+ in 7th. What's worse is it now has a wound and Toughness profile and at T7 can even be plinked by las-guns on 5s. 

Sad thing is they're not likely to get a 'Codex fix' either as they currently sit in the Imperium Index 2 and I doubt any of the Fortifications will see changes, at the least it won't be until ALL the Codex are released :( So it's going to be a very considered choice to take this to any sort of tournament.  

It's only justifiable purpose now would be in support of a painting competition entry - modesty aside, it's one hell of a centrepiece, but in most of the tournaments I've been to it's made an appearance so perhaps it's time to go into hiatus...

On the plus side it was a nightmare to use in game and always a pain to transport, pack and then re-pack. I can't say I'll miss that.

But it looked awesome in the battle reports and despite it's awkwardness was often handy to transport the Tervigon and 30 gaunts from table to table - it was it's very own tray ;)

Still, at least taking these pics gave me a chance to patch up some of the paint chips on it :)

And when I put the Tervigon on it for scale, made me realise this Tervigon is my favourite model, of possibly everything I've done.

Monday 23 October 2017

Armies on Parade begins today... or not!

I've a future post to go up for Armies on Parade but for those who play Age of Sigmar AoP begins this week for them. Interestingly this was posted up from GW Hull and shows what's on offer for participants and winners.

All participants get the small silver pin-badge and presumably the card, winners get the gold badge. For those who will be wanting to win I'm not entirely sure whether that will feel a little underwhelming compared with this beauty:

This was last years participants badge:]

However, the awards are far less of a concern compared to the latest information I've got through that my local GW isn't following the 2017 week display and is reverting to the traditional Saturday only Parade. I had hoped this year with the various categories there would have been some formal criteria and opportunity to showcase for the entire week. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. I think they have another new manager just started which might explain what's going but it's a little disappointing as I'd really warmed to the idea of a week long Parade.


I've just been to the Manchester store to see if any Sigmar boards had been set up, and it turns out that I somehow misinterpreted how Armies on Parade 2017 was supposed to run. Somewhere along the line I thought it was a 'Parade week' and you could 'show off your army in-store over the Parade Week'. Turns out it's a week the stores get to advise people they can bring their stuff in for the Parade on the Saturday - essentially the same as last year, just with lattitude for some of the stores to choose to have the Parade on a different day.

Can't imagine how I got this one so wrong, anyone else think the same or am I just the biggest idiot in the galaxy?

Friday 20 October 2017

Dreadtober 2017 - Genestealer Cult Sentinels - Pilot's lounge

I think these are almost done now, which is why I'm picking out some of the finer details in the cabin. A quick Incubi Darkness drybrush, followed by Dark Reaper is all I wanted to do.Then the dials and lights, just simple RAG rated [in reverse ;) ]. Hindsight I could have added some yellow on the inner walls so that just the console equipment was black but I'll live with it as is.

The other console on the left, just glowy dials. It's fiddly to get in so this was the best I was after.

I then decided to add some Gunmetal scratches and scuffs, particularly on the feet and ball joint.

Really glad I did now as I think it adds a lot. Ordinarily I might have applied some extra shading behind it but this looks more natural than I usually do. You can also see I've started to edge the base with Valejo Heavy Red, so you know they're almost complete now.

I think the Flamer is a bit too grunged and the fuel tanks are slightly incongruous but some scuffs and Typhus Corrosion have blended it back into the whole a bit.

The exhaust stacks had a little Abaddon black drybrushed on the ends, for soot.

The pilots look identical, they're both 'Turqs' [vat-bred genetic-xenos hybrids]. I had some fun with my lime green paint making the glow effect on the visor and controls.

The pilots have both been varnished with Army Painter Anti-Shine, ready to be glued in place once the Sentinels have also been varnished. While I’m at it I’ll get the Deathwatch done too, which begs the question – what next? I probably have enough time to do the new AoP base, but having dismissed the possibility I now feel less inclined to make the effort…

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Dreadtober 2017 - Genestealer Cult Sentinels - Moar grunge

So the decision was made and I sadistically chose the finest number out of them all. I spent a significant amount of time cutting it out as a stencil and then the Martian Ironearth texture rendered it almost useless.

What I could see of the black that was stippled through was sufficient enough for me to free-hand the rest of the number. The results are pretty good, all of the alternatives would have been just as effective and there are possibly different layouts I could have tried but this delivers everything I expected so I need to crack on. But for a nights work - red stripe, two numbers and a black wash...

This is two nights on and I'm a little annoyed with myself for missing the intervening WiP. The main issue is the night before I'd applied Typhus Corrosion and Strong Shade and at that stage I could visualise that the addition of Ryza Rust might be a step too far.

Unfortunately I didn't record that step, but having added the Ryza Rust I knew I had to tone it down somehow which is why you can see the wet reflection off a further sepia wash that has helped blend the dry weathering with the existing grunge.

The exhausts stacks definitely look better rusted but still need toning down. I'll be adding some more Typhus and washes but I'm reaching a point where I might be adding stuff for the sake of it. If the Rust felt like a mistake I need to consider quitting while ahead.

There are still bits to do on the base and the Flamer and chainsaw need a bit of work.

The Pilots have also been painted and their cockpits need some of the lights and dials picking out but I can't see this more than a few more nights work.

If that's the case then I'll get them and the Deathwatch all varnished up and everything will be good for AoP. I must admit I never expected these to go so smoothly. I love the model I love how easy they are to paint. I could definitely see me wanting more, but must resist the temptation, although I'd love to do one considerably more grunged and rusted up...

Monday 16 October 2017

Dreadtober 2017 - Genestealer Cult Sentinels - Shading and the return of the abomination that is Seraphim Sepia

Last Fridays post and we left the Sentinels ready for some definition. I was feeling a little disheartened I'd covered some of the Red Oxide underpainting but hoped a fine sepia shade might fool the eye into thinking the yellow was warmer than it had become. To that end I considered the use of one of the few products that I'd sworn never to to use again - the abomination that is Seraphim Sepia. It's slightly lighter and brown/orange than Army Painter Soft Tone and the arch-deity Duncan had just used it in a video to great effect.

NEVER AGAIN! You can see the plastered powdery scum appearing from nowhere. I shook it and applied thinly - the common advice that those who defend this product suggest is a requirement to do it's sole function. But still no joy! I'd say it was just this batch but I know others have been caught out, hence all the helpful advice instead of just 'don't use it'.

That said, the residue did act as a substrate to which the further application of Army Painter Soft Tone would adhere to.

However, the Soft Tone is darker and the addition of the residue just meant it absorbed far more wash than without and so it was darker still!

Ultimately it was fixable, mainly because I was aware it might happen and was prepared to give it another chance. Sadly I really want some of the other shades but I just don't trust the product so I'm more likely to look at some of the other Army painter washes if I need a coloured one.

Other than that they're coming along great and the warmth of the yellow seems to have been restored thanks to the increased contrast.

Rear shot.

And the Photoshop samples I asked on facebook on how to add markings and numbers. Don;t worry I eventually made a decision.