Tuesday, 13 April 2021


Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity you may recall [pre-COVID] my local* Manchester Warhammer store had a monthly painting challenge. In fact this was my plan in February 2020... best laid plans and all:

February - Big Model - Dark Angel Redemptor Dreadnought
March - Character - Blood Bowl Ogre
April - Squad - Blood Bowl Team
May - Big Model - Land Raider? 
June - Character - ?
July - Squad - Deathwing Knights

Of course the pandemic scotched that, but in August they decided to create their #McrBattleOfTheBrush challenge online. Since then I've been entering my efforts but hadn't really kept track of what I entered so thought I'd keep a record here:

August 2020

My Blood bowl Ogre in the Single Figure category.

September 2020

My Old Skool Middenheim Marauders Team [minus the Ogre, but I like this picture more] in the Squad category.

October 2020

Oops, somehow I totally missed the entry post for this and didn't share an entry. So much for #HobbyStreak

November 2020

Deathwing Knights in the Squad category. This won one of the three 'Best in Show' awards for the category.

December 2020

Galvanic Servo-haulers in the Squad category. This won one of the three 'Most inspiring' awards for how the judges would paint their version if they got that model.

January 2021

Tyranid Tyrannofex in the Large Model category. This won one of the three 'Best in Show' awards for the category.

February 2021

Nurgle Blood Bowl Team in the Squad category. This won one of the three 'Best in Show' awards for the category.

March 2021

Adeptus Titanicus Cerastus Knight Lancer in the Single Figure category.

So, you can see I've been a tad successful in my efforts, despite the quality of the entries being exceptional. Not just super-high quality but entrants with significant quantity - dozens of miniatures over all categories. I'll say it again though - I don't participate for the awards. I paint my figures, I had always tried to meet the criteria of the entries - 4 of each category. If I had something I was painting and meet a deadline then that was in, if I couldn't meet the deadline I entered something they'd never seen or I'd submitted before. It was all about motivation, joining in and sharing with my local hobbyists. Gutted I missed that October one but I've got plenty more to share - my Tyranid VSG, Rippers etc. Maybe I'll even finish these bloomin' Aberrants, or EVEN the Land Raider...! Check out if your own local GW/Warhammer store is doing a similar challenge and join in.

*local - as in that's where I work, I'm also joining in a lot of WiP posts at Warhammer Liverpool, which is actually my nearest store to where I live. This is also great motivation, even if I'm not being particularly productive at the moment.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

'nids part 316 - Genestealer cult - Aberrants

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity I've been #paintingwarhammer. Playing around with skintones again I've applied some highlights to these three.

It's really weird as I went all in with raw Khorne Red on the interface points on the turquoise ones but then couldn't get my head round the highlighting still to do [hence why I switched to these]. Now I need to do the Khorne Red on these but their cleanliness is annoying me.

I have to be patient and hold fast, stick to the plan - get another few highlights on and then I can add more detail. Fingers crossed.

Here's my previous Bronze Flesh example, hoping I can match them up.

Highlights and then the red should keep them similar, but skin variations aren't a problem really on organic things. So long as I can identify them in groups of five it's fine.

Loads to do on these but I need to get them done, I'm hoping they'll be finished by the end of the month as I think I'll have more hobby time soon. With them done I may do a full army photograph [in May], definitely all my nids, with these done maybe nids and Genestealer Cult... It depends how they fill out my board.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Terrain is everything - Munitorum containers primed

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity it's #TerrainTuesday but lets not kid ourselves, I'm never going to stick to a routine of sharing terrain WiPs EVERY Tuesday! Anyway, munitorum containers...

I primed these with black first and if it looks ropey, that's deliberate. I used some almost empty cans and half-pressed the nozzle to get really spitty spray droplets to add some texture. This first one then had some Green Stuff World One-step Crackle Paint [Martian earth] added to create paint flecks.

The other two started with Vallejo Oxid Paste for rust effect and then crackle paint.

I was experimenting to see which was the best order and I think crackle paint then oxid paste was probably the best way to go.

Here you can see how I used the oxid paste to blend the crackle paint into the texture.

This one was oxid first and then crackle and it appears odd looking to me - too separate.

Perhaps the next zenithal prime will blend it together?

Yep, sure did. So much so I don't know which is which now.

And the red oxide primer has even blended the spitty black prime too, mores the pity. 

You might just be able to make out some texture on the flat, but the oxid paste overshadows any subtlety elsewhere. 

I have planned these three to be red, yellow and white, but I also complicated things by deciding they will have centre stripes - red/white, yellow/black and white/orange. I can never just make things easy on myself!

I'm hoping the red one can be a darker red, which will be a challenge as usually I just end up with my vermilion across the board [literally].

I may even try the salt weathering technique again on the white one - it'll be white anyway so any errant salt stains won't be too bad, but will these cool cracked paint flakes stand up to scrubbign off any subsequent paint layers?

Lots more shadow washes and weathering to do before I apply the top colours. Until then, in absence of a 'base' [I always consider it 'base and prime' anyway] here's my Big Build Great Big Granite Base Stamp of Approval.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

#MERP #MiddleEarthRolePlaying Game

Afternoon #warmongers and I've not been especially productive on the old painting front. However, part of my To Do List was to 'play more games' -  a difficult task under lockdown. Luckily Ben came to the rescue, and after some aborted suggestions that we could play Blackstone Fortress online he created a Middle Earth Role-Playing campaign for us to play over Zoom. Back in the day we evolved our gaming over time. We played 40k, Blood Bowl, Talisman, Space-Hulk, Fantasy, Epic, pretty much everything GW brought out and then we got into role-playing. We had Warhammer Fantasy characters and a couple of game systems, I forget their names now. We then ended up live role-playing and some of the other guys went on to do re-enactments, black powder stuff and everything!

Anyway, we've been playing MERP for a few months now, with a session once a week or so. It has been the most fun I've had gaming in a very long time. My cheeks are regularly in pain as I've been grinning so much. It's been hilarious as our merry band of adventurers stumble around alternating between shockingly bad dice rolls and at least one 100 a session! 

I sometimes have to remind myself to actually role-play though as a lot of time I just enjoy watching the other guys make stuff up and micro-manage how best to protect our loot 😂 That's the problem when you've role-played a bit, you become paranoid at every turn there will be traps, ambushes or thieves! Still we've found a load of money in a big pile of bear-dung and we've also met Gandalf - we're kind of a big deal now 😉

So, although my painting hobby may not have progressed too much right now, I am happy with where I am and these gaming sessions are doing wonders for my well-being. I don't know if you're in a situation to set up a game like this, but if you're missing gaming why not look at role-playing until things improve?

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Terrain is everything - Munitorum Containers - Big Build TO DONE!

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity just a quick one, I've built some Munitorum Containers and I feel really good about it. I've kept one with an open end, so some models can potentially hide inside. It's nice to have them done. I want a dark red, white and yellow one... or a grey, or turquoise, not sure. Red is definite. The other two are testing for how I ptoentially paint my other mechanicum terrain

 I'm feeling better in my head. I think it's like lancing a boil sometimes. As soon as I share how the hobby is having a detrimental impact on me I tend to feel like I can move forward. I've still got a couple of simple tasks on post-it notes that I can do and by focussing on just those tasks I can ignore the weight of everything else that may or may not have been planned and prioritised.  So slow progress. When I;ve ticked those things off I can write a couple more and see where I'm at. For now - my Great Big Granite Big Build stamp of approval.

Monday, 22 March 2021

Where's my head @?

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity I've not been #paintingwarhammer,  so much, the mind is willing, but the flesh is weak. Further to my last post about hobby excess, I do indeed have an overload of projects. Not so much active ones but those that are swirling around in my head while I try to resolve those that are actually on my painting table. We all know the mental health benefits of the hobby. So many of us feel peace and wellbeing through our efforts. But, there is definitely a flip side to this. I've said it many times - it is an addiction or at the very least a compulsion and when you reach a point where you can't pick up a brush and paint, then those withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating.

I've numerous tricks to help kickstart my motivation but I am in denial about whether I've 'lost my mojo' or not. I always say "if in doubt - base" but aside from my Armiger Helverins that's not really an option at the moment. Alternatively, blocking in base colours on the likes of my Macragge Tactical Squad is a no-brainer task that needs doing and can be slipped in among the compressed hobby time I currently have available. 

I have in fact done a small amount of painting but nothing feels productive, the down side of blocking in colours. I want something big and impressive, to complete something again. That hit of achievement when finishing a project - I'm far away from feeling that on any project. I've gone through this many times before and will go through it many times again. It's a cruel feeling when the hobby turns on you like this, wanting more from you than you're capable of giving. That's why I can't #hobbystreak and now I'm even slightly more annoyed because I just remembered I already have a post on this very subject that has been in draft for a couple of years or more!

Anyway, I'll be back to my old self shortly. And, when my eldest is back at university I'll have more time, so it's best I ensure I get a lot of things prepped and ready for when I can focus all my attention on them. Perhaps building and priming is my best route to satisfaction at the moment? Whatever, just remember the hobby can be fickle, but it does more good than harm and ultimately whatever obstacle is preventing you succeeding will surely pass.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Hobby excess

Afternoon, I've reached a point that I need to acknowledge to myself. After quite a while of being frugal I've made a number of significant purchases that leaves me with a lot of figures to paint, we're all familiar with that situation.

I had some birthday money and I've always wanted some Helverins. I wouldn't have bought them otherwise and I quite fancied some Munitorum Containers. That was a bizarre choice as I already have quite a few of my future containers that fulfil the same function. But more importantly aside from not playing games at the moment I don't often play at my house. All this lovely terrain and no reason to have it! Still I enjoy the painting aspect and will have fun painting them.

I also got Indomitus, managed to offload the Necrons but all the Primaris are still there waiting. I have some easy build Primaris from Conquest and also some Intercessors and Aggressors from the Tooth and Claw box set. So I have surprisingly ended up with a reasonably significant Primaris army. At some point I will want to paint them, I'm considering them as Guardians of the Covenant - I don't have much silver in my armies and I thought it would be fun to try it as a counterpoint to my normal Red Planet BASE! armies.

I also keep dipping into Blood Bowl because the figures are so interesting. I still want a couple of extra things like a Rotspawn and Kurnoth Hunters as Treemen but I do need to temper with the fact we don't play Blood Bowl often so there really is no NEED to get anything at the moment. I've got my Orcs and Troll too!

On top of all that I have loads things to add to my Dark Angels [Ravenwing, Greenwing and Deathwing], the three remaining titans for my Adeptus Titanicus not to mention the scratchbuilds I feel I should be doing because they feel so rewarding when they are completed. I also have a load of Night Haunt and Stormcast Eternals to play with from the Mortal Realms magazine as well as the Death Guard Kill Team I want to explore and Genestealer Cult models too. I have so much to do, so much that is sitting unpainted and I think I need to continue to make a dent in that rather than buy, buy, buy more.

So, I hope to hold off purchasing any new models for the remainder of the year. I may get bitz, and paint or hobby supplies but actual models need to be curtailed. Just watch new Tyranids arrive on the scene and blow this intent out of the water. I may need some Codex at some point but for now I think I've bought enough to keep me busy for years. 

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Blood Bowl - Halfling Team Big Build TO DONE!

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity I've been #paintingwarhammer the bases of my Halfling #BloodBowl team. The process is almost identical to my Red Planet BASE, except with my Burnt Umber as a starting point. Then with bonewhite mixed in.

Actually just two successive Burnt Umber highlights gave a pretty good soil colour and I could have left it with that.  I may even look into some meadow flowers! I'm also concerned because having just discovered I'm unlikely to get the Vermillion Craft Acrylic from Home & Bargains the Burnt Umber is also absent and I only have half a tube of that left. It's been so useful in my weathering effects, it beggars belief that such a standard artist colour is no longer available. I'll look into alternatives.

 I'd primed them Red Oxide, and again used a kitchen roll tube to mask the model to get a [mostly] black base. They will be grassed over mostly, so it doesn't have to be perfect.

Here's where I started to block in some skintones. Again, I want diversity in my team but I'm not sure if I've seen halflings that aren't white. 

They're such characterful models I wanted some additional diversity to help identify different players.

But I haven't painted white characters for a long while so I thought I'd use this as an opportunity to explore that facet. Perhaps lift my game with rosy cheeks and florid noses from all their feasting. it should be fun.

For now I get my Great Big Granite Big Build Basing stamp of approval.

Monday, 15 March 2021

Dark Angels - Macragge Tactical Squad - Red Planet BASE TO DONE!

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity I've been #paintingwarhammer this Macragge tactical squad. I started with a black prime all over and zenithal Army Painter Angel Green on the models.

I then used a kitchen roll tube to mask off the model for a Red Oxide Primer on the bases.

It's always useful to have that red starting point and extra protection on the base rim. I know it;' going to be coated with Khorne Red but both primers give it that extra durability.

I then do my Red Planet BASE technique. Let's be honest though, it's orange! I do sometimes wonder what it would have been like if I'd have discovered weathering powders at the beginning.

More realistic and then I can dust to all the greaves, get Warhammer TV Peachy all giddy. Too late now. I mean the greaves look pretty dirty after basing, but I will clean all this up, which is a shame in a way.

Maybe one day I might consider going back and adding weathering powders around their feet, see if it works out. In the mean time I have to plan finding a replacement for my Home & Bargains Vermillion craft acrylic. I have 2.5 tubes left that will last me a year or two but eventually what am I going to do?

For now I get my Great Big Granite Big Build Basing stamp of approval.

Friday, 12 March 2021

Blood Bowl - Nurgle Team - TO DONE!

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity I've been #paintingwarhammer on my Nurgle #BloodBowl players and they are all TO DONE! This was an exercise in two things - experimenting with various skintones and grunging up the armour and uniform.

Well he second part has been a success. I am well pleased with the way I've done the armour and clothes and been brave enough not to overwork the 'cream' colours on the pants after I've grunged them up.

The skintones have been a mixed bag. Some have been better than expected, some have been less. The 1 dimensional cartoon ones aren't bad, but they're a style of painting I'm familiar with and confident in. I hoped to push some boundaries but sadly didn't quite do that in some cases. 

It might have been that I tried too many. Certainly there are three green ones and with more chance to explore I got variety and success alongside the ore mundane.

The purple ones too are unique in each way and some are more successful than others. It was also challenging because I saw a number of amazing Nurgle teams over the last year or so and they followed the more uniform approach. That coherency and ability to make all their skintones, raw areas and diseased elements match presented a strong display.

Whereas my disparate gang seems less cohesive but bold in its own right and certainly helps define each layer as an individual.

And I think that grungy effect also helps to tie them together, despite their difference. Certainly if I make a display board it should make them even more impressive looking. 

I particularly like the Bloaters. The green one may be my favourite player, then the white one. My only other annoyance was that yet again I didn't really think about converting them. I have a metal tentacle arm somewhere, it would have been nice to tweak them a bit for more variety.

I actually had a game with my son who used them and I can see there are a couple of additional players I could add. I mean they're a surprisingly good team and we only played basic rules, no special skills.

There was another original plan for these - that I would paint them with my son. I may have ditched that idea early n but it was rewarding to finally get a game with him, for him to enjoy it and he also won, which might encourage him to want to play again.

Overall I think the team look great. Despite the parts I didn't quite achieve and my concerns about the mish mash of colours I think it all works together, especially on these black backgrounds.

Another item completed and if it gets me playing games with my son it will be worth the year it's taken to be finished.

This gets me my Great Big Granite Stamp of Approval - TO DONE!