Friday 30 August 2019

Terrain is everything - Sanctum Imperialis - TO DONE!

Aah the Sanctum Imperalis… It's taken a while to get the opportunity to take pictures but I needed some to add to last season's hobby review.

It's a big piece and so it's a struggle to fit it into my homemade light box but I got there in the end.

As you may recall this was a project not without challenges, in particular the 'bold' choice of full verdigris on buttresses, supports and skirting boards.

The red glass lighting also suffered from a lack of contrast that I repeated on my Ravenwing Dark Shroud - sometimes Tamiya Clear Red X-27 is too good.

But the colour choices were made to stretch me, to do something more challenging than just the weathered brassy bronze and as you can see the Ferron Proxima background finally gives it the context it needed.

On the full red/orange background the verdigris provides the ideal framework to break up the monotony of the red rockcrete walls.

With the cream interior adding another dimension.

I can't wait to eventually see these used on my Realm of Battle board, although that could be a long time hence.

I had plans to add some creeping yellow flock up the walls and around the buttresses but didn't get round to it.

I did get the occasional propaganda poster in though ;)

And the white background pics, which aren't totally without merit.

At least it matches the interior a bit, there's consistency and sense of reason that grounds the turquoise.

But as I've maintained buildings in real life are not always colour-matched and consistent.

They often have elements that are incongruous and garish. So whatever the result I committed to the aesthetic and executed it.

Better late than never the [last] Big Teal Stamp of Approval for 2018/19 and completing some terrain!

Wednesday 28 August 2019

To Do List 2019/20

Having covered my achievements over the past season it's now that I look forward to the new one.

As usual my list is pretty much everything I still haven't completed from previous seasons. In fact this is almost a copy/paste from last years post! But I am working through these each year so the system does work. I've added a few new things though so there are some surprises to look forward to. Anything in bold is a priority, everything else is nice to have.

However, I'm going to be mainly going with the flow, real life is still very much the priority so I need to focus on these two…
  1. Develop a more healthy hobby/life balance - go to bed at a decent hour[ish]
  2. Find time to play some games, not just tournament play so I can have some fun among the daily grind...
But for my Dark Angels I'll be looking at these:
  1. Dreadtober - Redemptor Dreadnought
  2. Dark Angel - Deathwing Knights
  3. Dark Angel - Ravenwing Attack Bike[s]
  4. Dark Angel - Ravenwing Bikes [I might convert these to Black Knights]
  5. Dark Angel - Macragge Tactical Squad
  6. Dark Angel - Deathwing Land Raider
The remaining nid and terrain based items are these:
  1. Genestealer Cult Abberants [get them painted - have some fun]
  2. Genestealer Cult Acolyte Iconward
  3. 2 Tyranid Hive Guard 
  4. 4 Tyranid Rippers
  5. 2 sets of Ferron Fire Firs - paint.
  6. Tyranid Void Shield Generator [it hasn't had any progress for a while, I just need to do more, even if it's just as a terrain piece, although unrealistic in the face of other projects]
  7. Blood Bowl Humans
  8. Blood Bowl Orks [? yeah not likely but if I can get the hoomies done maybe...]
  9. Shadespire warbands - I've moved these lower down as I'm not sure there are any that interest me. I do find them a joy to paint and I've learned new skills doing them but if I want some variety the Blood Bowl Humans and Orks should come first [cos I quite fancy some Halflings too...].
Pipe dream items - these are things that have been on my list and in all honesty I'm not likely to tackle this year [or any other...] 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. 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]
  3. Tyranid Bastion Crater [I have zero intent to do this this season, if ever, just want to remind myself it exists]
The Big Build will continue this season. Still a lot of what was not complete from previous lists but  the principle is sound and pays dividends with those items that tend to be off-list that get built through to painting and completion.
  • Ravenwing bikes
  • Ravenwing attack bikes
  • Ravenwing Talonmaster?
  • Build some new terrain? 
    • Shrine of the Aquila
    • Galvanic Magnavent
  • Space Hulk Genestealers - get them based!
  • 3 Tyranid Lictors
  • 3 Tyranid Warriors
  • 3 Tyranid Shrikes
  • 5 Dark Angel Veterans/Command Squad
  • Remaining Deathwing Terminators
So that's me for 2019/20 again a lot on my plate, especially when you take into account I need to balance things a little more. All the best for your own efforts this season.

Monday 26 August 2019

Hobby Season 2018/19 Review

The 2018/19 Hobby Season draws to a close, and how did I do? Well, obviously events happened in October 2018 that meant the hobby wasn't high on my list of priorities. One could say that it forced me to focus more on real-life but that really wasn't what I was expecting from the first task of a healthier hobby/life balance:
Develop a more healthy hobby/life balance - go to bed at a decent hour[ish], keeping a record might help [although tried it already for 2 months and it didn't]...  
I don't think I managed that, I had some small breakthroughs in my attitude but I need to be better at getting enough sleep. Secondly I was supposed to play more games, I'm not sure that was achieved either. In my defence it was not just my real-world issues to deal with, it's been a challenge recently for all my mates. We need toplay more but I'm not going to feel guilty about it under the circumstances.
 Find time to play some games, not just tournament play...
Now to my actual hobby goals - I managed to complete 5 out of the 16 realistic items on my list [plus an additional Underworlds warband]. But as I said when I went on blog hiaitus in October what I achieved this year was unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Here's what I did manage despite everything.

First up was Shadespire Underworlds Steelheart's Champions I [loosely] followed Rob Paints Models guide for these and despite the instructions I actually felt a sense of freedom because I didn't have to make too many choices. This meant I could just paint without being crippled by indecision.

Secondly, the House Corvus [of House Raven] Imperial Knight Twins - Ser Ellenbogen and Lady Pettorini, named after Oscar's brain surgeons. This was a slog and given how the hobby was just not even on my radar at the time the fact I came along and finished them was enough for this season for me. Priorities change and my To Do list is always inspirational/aspirational, there are other things more important but these two were a fitting tribute when I could finally paint again. Bottom line, if my hobby season had have been just these two I'd have been content.

Shortly after the Knights I cracked on with my Shadespire Underworlds Garrek's Reavers. I didn't follow anything but my own vision of red-skinned worshippers of Khorne. It prompted some other colour choice issues but I got there in the end and they all have their little touches that surprise me in how I achieved what I did.

Sanctum Imperialis was next on my list. Challenging is an understatement. The extreme verdigris was a choice I still haven't reconciled. More bronze would have definitely been the safer choice than full on turquoise/green but it is what it is and they got done. When you look around things look odd sometimes but I cannot fault the quality of my funny looking buildings.

Y'lthari's Guardians followed but it was not without a lack of mojo around my other projects. I had been struggling to paint my Dark Shroud and despite holding off getting these for months I could take it no longer. What I achieved is potentially the best models I've ever painted since returning to the hobby. There are numerous compromises and issues throughout but I definitely can see an improvement and evolution of my own painting style. More importantly they did kickstart my mojo sufficient to face my Dark Shroud.

With some extra hobby time at my disposal I cracked on with the Dark Shroud. With that concerted effort it was much easier to overcome the perceived issues than I'd been worried about. Once again there are compromises, but far fewer than could have been. I'm just glad it's done and sits handsomely alongside the rest of my Ravenwing.

Size isn't everything... and although the tally for this season is nothing compared to the last [about one third] the results speak for themselves. I've painted some figures I'm really proud of, some massive projects alongside those that have been on my books for a couple of years or more. On top of that I painted terrain - you can't put a price on that! I've battled severe lack of mojo as well a refusal to even engage with the hobby for my own health but despite that I still created, blogged and gamed [occasionally].

This next season will be similarly challenging but I've a lot of stuff built, primed and ready to go, check out my Big Build efforts below to see what might feature in 2019/20...

The Big Build is my scaled down expectations to build miniatures. Building isn't always my favourite thing but without a construction phase I can't have a painting phase. I think I did OK on this years Big Build, mainly due to using it to avoid painting, but whatever gets results. It's not like I have done tons but a healthy crop of models built [and then painted] as well as some that were then prepped and ready for the future. Ironically it feels a little stressful with these ready to go - now I have too many options! I'll cope with it though.

I managed to finish building both Knights [although I don't seem to have a BW pic of Lady Pettorini post build :( ] My Imperial Knights were last year's Dreadtober effort, with my hope to finish building them both but due to Oscar's illness I couldn't face the hobby for a good couple of weeks, which was roughly the time it took in November [after Dreadtober finished] to get them 'built'.

This TT Combat MDF building was a Christmas gift I hadn't had chance to tackle but I managed to get in some lunch-time hobby at work. A week or so gave me plenty of time to add extra bits of detail even if I was filthy with laser cut carbon soot after every session!

I won the Tooth and Claw boxset at Double Trouble in June 2018, so it was about time I built some of it. At this stage the Aberrants had been built, but not based, as I wanted them on the same resin bases from as my other Cultists. So the Redemptor Dreadnought took a sneak lead in the queue, getting glued to his base and some slate before the mutant stealers.

Tyranid Warrior to Hive Guard Conversion. It comes to something when I'm avoiding my Ravewning 'must paints' by actually building these!

Random nids - in the process of yet more Dark Shroud avoidance I built up 5 Devgaunts and a Warrior

Genestealer Aberrants finally got based but I went with a different style of base than I'd originally planned.

The bases were off ebay and were a little more decorative, which I think these models deserve.

Tyranid Rippers were my next build, sometimes avoiding my actual painting tasks is a handy way to get other projects built, primed and ready. Hopefully getting them done now in the good weather will give me plenty to work on over the coming months and the dark and miserable winter.

As a fug of demotivation enveloped me I did the only thing I could and bought more toys. As I said about the Chosen Axes it's almost rude to include these as they are so easy to build but actually there was probably an hours worth of faffing to get these built so Ylthari's Guardians joined the 'Bog' Build list [pun not intended but retrospectively spotting the spelling mistake I'll own it as intentional ;) ].

Friday 23 August 2019

Dark Angels - Ravenwing Dark Shroud part 10 - TO DONE!

And here we are the Ravenwing Dark Shroud is complete. I think I'm satisfied with the result. As usual there are elements that exceed my expectations while there are others that fall short, or are compromised.

But I'm not overly fussed about the result, which I appreciate sounds a little underwhelming. This is a model I need in my army to make the Ravenwing more effective. Their function/inclusion is a key element of taking Ravenwing so he had to be done.

And the result matches my existing Ravenwing so all those boxes are ticked. The black highlights are exactly as expected which is good but as predicted the varnish did show up some brush strokes, but I'll not lose sleep over them.

Almost everything else went to plan, although I didn't take any pictures with the plasma battery.

The red glass windows are another area that falls a little short. A lot of the preparatory shading/highlights have been neutralized by the Tamiya Clear Red X-27, which is a shame. 

I should probably go super contrast next time, probably not even bother with reds, just do pure black and white.

I'll probably use the Heavy Bolter more than the Assault Cannon, but it fits best with the magnets and because I cut off a bit of the rail mounting for the HB which makes it a little unstable :(

2 other elements I'm unsure on - the red edging on the DJ booth. It was just 'plonked' on and I can't tell if it looks it or somehow ties it altogether. 

I'm also sceptical regarding the purity seals and parchment. My other Land Speeders had a sepia tint on them which looked really cool. 

I don't know whether leaving these pure white keeps the palette reduced or makes them stick out unrealistically?

The Ferron Marble was just as I'd done before but appears a little 'busy' after trying to compress so many veins into such a small space. But I'm not sure what else I could have done.

I know a lot of people dislike the design of this model and I wouldn't say I'm a 'fan' but I do like certain elements [although this is perhaps its least flattering angle...]

Whereas the 3/4 view isn't too bad and I do like the DJ booth. That's why I had to get one of the old 'Crayola' Whirlwind launchers, so the deign aesthetic makes sense - 2 DJ bopoths. 

I was surprisingly pleased with the crew. They felt like an annoyance throughout as I kept missing metallic trim and having to repeat steps I'd already moved on from. They're also much smaller pieces than the rest of the model so the sense of scale was difficult to reconcile.

But they all came out OK, with enough unique touches to make them out separately. Job done!

And the Big Teal Stamp of Approval for completing this 'Darn' [sic] Shroud!