Wednesday 23 November 2022

#DeathGuard #KillTeam Plague Marines - session 3

Afternoon #WarHamFam and #WarhammerCommunity I've been #PaintingWarhammer Death Guard Kill Team. Technically my #NewYearNewArmy for #ArmiesOnParade. These are from the end of September, when #DreadTober took over all my attention. They're completed now, but at this stage I'd added my Colvin & Co Burnt Umber Art Acrylic to get the grime. Now it was on to moar washes! 

Sepia, Strong, Red, Purple and even Green tone in places. I genuinely didn't think I could get these 6 done at the same time, given the 2 characters were bigger, had details that required different approaches and perhaps deserved a little more attention. But, they were coming along OK and I wasn't hating the process.

Having chosen filthy purple for cloaks and hoods I had to try and replicate my previous effort, which had mostly been by accident.

But it somehow worked really well on the Lord of Contagion. I loved how we got the purples and browns to both be apparent. If I'm honest the rest of it lacks some focus, it all seems to blend together, although I'm not much fan of the helmet, a bare head might have looked cooler, but I don't have anything instead.

Nevermind, it's just for fun. TO DONE! pics next, but I have to take new ones for clarity as the originals are Camera360 illustration effect ones...

Monday 21 November 2022

#DeathGuard #KillTeam Poxwalkers washes

Afternoon #WarHamFam and #WarhammerCommunity I've been #PaintingWarhammer Death Guard Kill Team. Technically my #NewYearNewArmy for #ArmiesOnParade. These are from the end of September, when #DreadTober took over all my attention. They're completed now, but at this stage I was adding some washes. Again, basecoated with AP Skeleton Bone, washed with Vallejo Game Extra Opaque Heavy Red.

These four -  basecoated with AP Skeleton Bone, washed with AP Green Tone Quick Shade.

These four -  basecoated with VGC Stonewall Grey, washed with AP Green Tone Quick Shade.

These four -  basecoated with VGC Stonewall Grey, washed with Vallejo Game Extra Opaque Heavy Red. This would give me a subtle variety among all 16. The one on the far right has also had some highlights on the flesh - 1 thin coat to let some of the underpainting show through.

The next session was even more shading and griming up with some highlights on the skin

That trench coat looking absolutely filthy and disgusting. Camera360 is once again making these images look like illustrations when seen at the right size. It's a cool effect but for these purposes I need clarity not effects.

It's great for making the background white and the Fuji Velvia high contrast film effect but I really need to come up with a better solution.

I had real concerns about these and not keeping the aesthetic from the Marines but I think despite cleaner highlights on the pants they still fit.

And the colours have come out really well too. Using the same highlight on skin means it's just the shading that different.

That way I can see enough to split them into groups, if need be or as one big mass there will be diversity in their finish when all mixed up.

Really pleased with the results, just need to take the TO DONE! pics in a way that doesn't look unnatural.

I enjoy the effect, but it's not what I need for my showcase. So I have to do all the pics again.

Luckily, I've got a few more things to photograph too, so at least I've got some new content to share. Finally finished some long term projects - Adeptus Titanicus I mean you. I can't wait to share them with you, move onto some of the other items on my palette.

Thursday 17 November 2022

#ArmiesOnParade2022 Thoughts, what GW should do next

Afternoon #WarHamFam and #warhammercommunity as my #ArmiesOnParade coverage has come to an end, or until the Twitch live stream of the awards ceremony I just wanted to share my thoughts on this year's AoP. I first entered in 2013 and have taken part every year since - 9 years. I've paraded instore [sometimes twice in 2 different stores] and online and I'm a strong believer that AoP is for everyone in the hobby, for everyone who's painted an army - from and Underworlds Warband to the entire 1st Legion of the Horus Heresy. For this reason AoP should be celebrated for its inclusivity. It's for all hobbyists of all abilities, not just the best and most fantastical parades. Although the best boards rightfully deserve recognition, so do the many 1000s of entries who's owners would be made up to just get their board on a hobby round-up, let alone some kind of medal or certificate.

OK, so what are my thoughts about #ArmiesOnParade2022? 

A year of Armies on Parade

If you recall 23rd November 2021 GW came hot out of the blocks from their 2021 awards stream on the 20th November with this community article announcing a 'year round schedule of AoP events'. And here they are:
At the time I gave my thoughts on this which were broadly positive. 12 months on lets see if it was a success or any of my fears came to fruition. From what I could see online, for those who followed the bi-monthly structure it really helped. Having a plan and something to aim for meant some people took part that either may not have done so in the past or found preparing an entry much easier. For me it was mostly irrelevant, as I have my own projects and whims that didn't always coincide with the current theme. At the beginning of each two months there was a reminder on Warhammer Community of the theme, with a hobby round-up piece that showcased hobbyists efforts on the just finished theme. I've included the links above so you can check them out.

This was a really nice touch to try and keep such a long term event relevant. It was also another way the community could get some recognition just by taking part. That said I somehow missed some of these posts. I don't know if that's my fault or what, but I think it was July before I saw the Wizards post that sent me scuttling backwards through the archives to see the missed articles. I'm not sure if they could have done anything better with this, they were afterall asking on Twitter for people to share their efforts so there was wider reach than just the round-up/heads-up.

The official Armies on Parade website.

I was disappointed to see that the official website still hasn't been updated, even after I emailed them twice about it - this time last year and also a couple of months back! It's still showing AoP 2020 information and is missing out on the opportunity to showcase more recent winners and other online entries. Maybe the site has run it's course and doesn't really fit into the Community and social platforms that are GW's main comms outlets. In which case, I'd suggest they even take it down. As much as the content is useful and inspiring it's out of date and undermines the current year's event if it's not actually kept current. So, either commit to it or get rid. I'd prefer they commit to it and find a way to cross pollinate content from Warhammer Community to AoP but if that's not possible, or cannibalises the Community hits, then quietly retire it.

Showcase as many Parades as possible to encourage more, not just the winners

As in my intro I strongly advocate for a less competitive promotion of AoP, I was sad to see that all too often it was the award winners from last year that were used to promote the event. These are stunning Parades and absolutely worthy of sharing again and again. But, I saw once again people openly admitting to being intimidated by the standard. I asked @WarComTeam repeatedly for more focus on all the other entries that were sent in. For Twitch hobby round-ups that showcased other great boards or first time entries, Young-bloods, small boards etc. Just anything that showcased the diversity of skill level to encourage all that they should be part of it. But they're not necessarily masters of what goes out and I'm only one voice on the matter. I think there may have been one Twitch show that did feature other 2021 boards, but I'm sure there could have been more and there was definitely scope for the official AoP page to host a gallery of entries, why not?

Get your date and socials right

As the deadline for entries approached I saw a number of posts on social media from those attending events instore and those that had entered online and here I think GW could do better. They don't appear to control in-store Parade days, Warhammer Liverpool were a week earlier than many other UK stores. I've even seen some posts over the 12th November weekend from store parades, weeks after my own! But they can try to be clearer when it is for social purposes. Pre Covid it was much clearer which was Parade day, it was set by HQ and the deluge of #ArmiesOnParade content on that day would have been sufficient to get it trending. Now I think it's somewhat diluted - is it your in-store parade? Is it online deadline day? Or, is it Twitch stream award day? Clarity of when it is will help swamp social media with everyone's hobby efforts and do more to raise the events profile. 

Additionally, get the hashtags right - make sure #ArmiesOnParade #ArmiesOnParade2023 [maybe even #AoP #AoP2023] are being used because I saw the first two independently of each other. I'm no expert on these matters, how many hashtags are relevant? But be consistent and push it with those who are entering and get them to use them all year round if you're going to continue it as an all year round event.

I must admit to feeling a little bit lonely in the online entries phase. I felt like the only one sharing or pushing the event. Even WarComTeam felt less supportive than I was. There were about 5 or 6 other twitter users sharing their efforts but no one seemed to be excited until some of the store Parades, but even so there was much less about it than previous years. After a year of trying to build some hype and momentum it felt somewhat anti-climactic being the only one that cared. I may not be the best at it, I'm not even bothered about winning but maybe I'm too passionate about it? 

And to date, I've seen zero YouTube content around AoP. There were a few Shorts on one channel, about the themes, throughout the year but that was it. You'd think it'd be an awesome opportunity for content, for these content creators. The perfect showcase for the 'slapchop' approach to painting armies quickly. What better way to thumb the nose at the hobbyists than for the gamers to flood the biggest hobby event with their netlist meta army painted in a week! Failing that - all those channels that have armies for their battle reports - they're already done. It's about 10 minutes for them to just take pics of an army they're about to play with. I just don't understand why they've overlooked the event and the opportunity it provides. 

Or, what of all the League of Votann and 30k Horus Heresy boxes sent out? I don't think I saw any turn up on AoP. They may well have provided content and promotion around their respective launch dates but weeks or months on there was another bite of the cherry there to both add content to their channel and push the latest kits. Maybe it'll come out after the Twitch awards but I'm not so sure.


With a year-long lead up to Parade day it was somewhat disheartening to discover that prizes for my store's competition had not [all] been sent. Now maybe that was them parading early, I'm not sure, but we were lucky with participation pins at least, I value these more anyway. There were some gold category pins but I've since seen online there were Gold and Silver certificates too. Liverpool took our phone numbers in case anything else turned up so there could be more incoming. And weeks later I start to see glass trophies pop up for 'store champion'. There seems to have been a lack of consistency on what's on offer, so for in-store entries be transparent. Previously I loved the 'crux terminatus' prize medals, still want a bronze one for the set. I'd happily sacrifice that goal for continuing the certificates and pins given out this year, as the glass trophies feel like an afterthought. 

The competition aspect is my least favourite part of AoP and in no way do I wish to devalue the winners. But, much like the Blog Wars approach to tournament prizes I'd rather the overall prize was less significant than rewarding all those that took part. By highlighting what each and every participant is gifted with, you will get more people entering. Arguably you might suggest that means people won't put in as much effort but the online entries can take care of that. There's still prizes and trophies there. But be honest, show what's up for grabs, both in-store and online. You're doing it with the 'organised play' packs going out for the various games, so show off the pins, the certificates etc. and keep them low-key to encourage participation first and foremost.


Touched on in places already but be clear about the rules. I love how simple the rules are but much like 8th edition 40k the [initial] simplicity often leads to confusion. Pre Covid there were more categories introduced - best theme, best painted, young bloods, first time etc. Since then we have Young Bloods, 40k, AoS and 'Best of the Rest' but I saw one hobbyist claim they'd been called a 'cheater' because they had two armies fighting each other - no such rule. In the past someone, who through no fault of their own, had to display just Guilliman and Magnus and told it 'wasn't an army', was made to feel bad for just wanting to take part! Just say every Parade is valid, so long as it's Citadel/Forgeworld minis. Make it as open as possible, so people don't start making up their own rules and making people with less minis feel excluded. Granted, a single Warhammer Underworlds warband is never likely to 'win' AoP, but stop with the focus on winning! Tell them their Parade is welcome and be clear about it. More entries means more exposure.

Thursday 10 November 2022

What's on my palette?

Bless me #WarHamFam for I have sinned, it's been 2 months since my last confession! But I knew what was going to keep me busy through #DreadTober and #ArmiesOnParade so I didn't really need to structure what came next.

Although I didn't finish everything I would have liked for AoP - ALL the Ravenwing and the Gellerpox Infected, I am really proud of what I did get done. Almost everything I eventually committed to I achieved. Just some finishing touches on a container and then I quickly realised the 3 Black Knights and all 3 bikers were unachievable. Kept 1 biker going and put the other 5 on hold. They were supposed to be next on my list, but nah! I had a few nights off and did not fancy getting back on that merry-go-round. Luckily I have another long-avoided ride - my Adeptus Titanicus Titans. I had wanted to do them for DreadTober but they got pushed out, as they have been many times before. But, I actually have started to put some paint on them.

I also have the Munitorum Containers, I'm awaiting some decals but they will also be finished after the Titans. Concurrently I have my lone Tyranid Zoanthrope and he is having some basecoats applied. When that's complete I'll do some basecoats on my Adeptus Titanicus Cerastus Lancer and also start the Ravenwing. I predict this should get me through December and possibly January.

THEN... Haemotrope reactor, which may mean my Imperial Pomethium Relay Pipes get done at the same time, but they're not primed which might be a problem as we go into the Winter. This will be my painting project but I have plans to build - I will finally get my remaining Deathwing all built up. The I'm going to prep my original Land Raider Proteus and my Crayola Whirlwind. I want everything ready for painting. If all that comes to pass I will have completed ALL my priority items from my TO DO List! I am on it this season. If I get though all that I may finish my Orc Blood Bowl team...

I'm already chuffed at my progress this Hobby Season - the Death Guard and Ravenwing are enough to make me feel content but I know that means I will go above and beyond those goals. Can't wait to see them all done... I think that's the unexpected bonus for Armies On Parade - you see soo much concentrated hobby in such a short period you just want to paint all your pile of shame! I will get though it, you mark my words.

Monday 7 November 2022


Afternoon #WarHamFam and #WarhammerCommunity I'm sure no one has been waiting for my take on the current Twitter-pocalypse, but here it is anyway. I've made the decision to delete the app from my phone, I'll no longer be tweeting in a casual sense. I will revert solely to automated tweets that are cross-posted from this very blog. I might dip in on my PC from time to time but I've done that once so far and all the reasons that prompted me to leave actively posting/reading are still valid, so I may not check that often.


So what brought me to this decision? Well, aside from the obvious. I removed the app from my phone last year, or the year before for my own mental well being - I was finding I spent far too much time doom scrolling. Then I gave it another shot and I enjoyed a fair bit of the hobby community and there were various individuals that I was enjoying their tweets and interactions - I mean Duncan Jones - Director of Moon, World of Warcraft and David Bowie's son responded to one of my posts! But the new verification tick thing is really messing with my head because I can't work out if someone is legit or not. I tried muting the words Elon and Musk but even so I'm seeing commentary on him all the time and it's disrupting what I want out of the platform. With folk adding verification ticks or adjusting their name to something else with a tick I can't trust what I'm seeing.

Add to that the recent Spiky Bits, Juan Hidalgo, Army Painter Vallejo drama that everyone piled in on it just feels like an environment I'm no longer comfortable with. It was just relentless, I get why people want to defend themselves and rightly so but it became every other post and now that it's all settled just feels like a huge amount of uproar that should have been resolved in private. Not to mention all the people laid off from their jobs, which is despicable. Folk who know full well that the service is unlikely to be sustainable without their intervention, I expect it'll start to be disrupted soon anyway.

When this first kicked off I saw people ask what platform would they go to and I immediately said back to my blog, not that I'd ever left it, but as old-fashioned as it is it's the place I've always felt most comfortable. I may not have the reach that I did on Twitter, or the many interactions but it's never been about likes or followers for me. I'd rather have a small group of like minded hobbyists willing to come to my blog and play nice than try and communicate with twice as many in the middle of a riot at a bear pit. With no app to keep checking I think it'll be better all round.

What about Mastodon? Some might say. Well that appears to be the front-runner in the replacement. But that usually follows with a description of how it works, with 'federated spaces' moderated by groups on different servers. New terminology to get your head round, it's not beyond me, it's just it seems much more like Reddit than Twitter and I notice NO ONE is suggesting Reddit! I mean I've had fun on there, and if I was bothered about numbers, I've received quite the spike in views when I've posted. But it's not something I've been using for a couple of years now, because it just felt vague and ambiguous. Might not be the best description but that's how I feel. I still use Facebook, although my own hobby Groups are safe spaces I only use my automated blogposts, and sometimes those permissions stop so they may not get cross posted. Instagram? I still find the interface clunky and as mush as I enjoy seeing other peoples content on there, I can't be bothered to keep posting my finished gallery of TO DONEs as I intended to.

So, I really don't need to adopt a new platform at the moment, I'm happy right here. I'm sure I'm going to miss out on a lot of things but right now I'm better off isolating myself from it, or at least for as long as I can go cold-turkey. Who knows, it's addictive, I might not be able to stand it and need to randomly tweet again real soon. But for now, I'm taking a break.

#DreadTober - Dark Angels - Ravenwing Attack Bikes, bikes and Primaris Chaplain - White Pics

Afternoon #WarHamFam and #WarhammerCommunity with DreadTober TO DONE! my Ravenwing are need their white pics to finish them off. I also need to take some of my Death Guard pics again but I'll get to them when I can find time. There's a lot of them so I may not have too much commentary but some of the close-up images will reveal details I've mentioned in the previous posts.

I did enjoy having a small bit of resin sprue, that I cut into pieces to make the three bricks. The rest of the Ravenwing bases have lots of bricks and urban rubble and thought this might help tie them together.


Here's where I was disappointed. Frosting is the natural enemy of any hobbyist. I've been an advocate of Army Painter brush on Anti-shine for years but it is still not perfect. Luckily I did all the bases separately and it was the last drops of the bottle that clearly had too much matting agent which caused this. A sepia wash might solve this but for the moment I'm  just going to pretend it never happened.

You should be able to see in the close-ups where some black shading would have helped to blend the Incubi Darkness and Dark Reaper highlights. The steps are very defined and some blending of the two would have made that better. As I say it doesn't stand out too much from a distance so I can live with it.

The lone biker.

Close up  of the Freehand of his company number. Also, I always feel like I struggle painting moulded skulls. I don't know what it is but I never feel happy with the result. Which, if you think about Warhammer is a real issue.

Primaris Chaplain on bike.

The Ravenwing decal was from the Indomitus box. AP Strong Tone wash with some white highlights made it look less like a decal.

It reveals so many issues in close up but I like it nonetheless.

Now, the 5 remaining bike to do...