Wednesday 30 August 2023

'nids part 351 - Tyranid Leviathan - Psychophage TO DONE!

Afternoon #WarHamFam and #WarhammerCommunity I've been #PaintingWarhammer on my Psychophage. Well this escalated quickly, although realistically the bulk of the work had been done.

Once the bone and turquoise is done there doesn't feel like there's lots left, although I'd say there's still 20-25% of the model, with all the fleshy bits and black talons, not to mention the varnishes.

It felt like I was burning out on it though but I had a couple of nights where I was able to push on with it and focus.

Deciding on yellow smoke also helped - decision making always has the potential to stymie progress. Making that decision to go yellow just meant I could crack on.

Fluff wise I can tie it into the yellow sulphurous clouds that are above Ferron Proxima, so now we know why! The Tyranids have been surreptitiously xeno-forming the planet!

It's not perfect by any stretch but I like it and the yellow will fit in with the flock on the base and all the bits of yellow scenery I have too.

It's cool to add more of these accent colours back it, rather than go for the lime green or plasma blue again.

More highlights got added to the abdomen and I even put in some faint veins with watered down reds and purples.

The gloss varnish gives it an unearthly feel.

The question remains if a red sack would have been better.

Should I have inverted it so the tentacles were pink, and stand out a bit more against the Red Planet BASE! 🔴?

It still looks pretty gruesome and I'm really pleased with the results and the finished marvel. I will say that it felt a lot less like painting Tyranids than usual. There are subtle differences with the sculpting and the chitin plates which made things more uncertain than I'm used to.

It's hard to explain but the design language meant I'm usually quite confident about how to do certain bits but this just had extra stuff and much densely packed armour plates.

So I was slightly uncertain, which meant indecision and slowing down. That said, it only took about 12 days of intermittent effort to achieve this - something I'm immensely proud of.

So is this the last GREAT Big RUSTY Stamp of Approval?

Monday 28 August 2023

To Do List 2023/24

Season of Blood

Afternoon #WarHamFam and #warhammercommunity having covered my achievements over the past hobby season, it's now that I look forward to the new one.

For once my list is looking significantly different. Sure, everything I still haven't completed from previous seasons is on here, but as I ticked off 17 items from last season's list [and already finished the Psychophage, which I planned to be in this Season's] there was a huge gap for things to do. 

As previous years I am going to begin with these two items, which are enshrined as the most important things TO DO every season…
  • Develop a more healthy hobby/life balance - go to bed at a decent hour[ish]
  • Continue to play games, they bring me so much joy and fun...
But for my painting goals let's start with Tyranids:
  1. #DreadTober - High Rule Dude
  2. #DreadTober - 2x Screamer Killers
  3. Leviathan - Neurotyrant and 2x Neuroloids:
  4. Leviathan - 5x Barbgaunts
  5. Leviathan - Winged Tyranid Prime
  6. Leviathan - 3x Von Ryan's Leapers
  7. Leviathan - 20x Termagants
  8. Leviathan - 11x Neurogaunts
  9. Leviathan - Rippers...
  10. Update all my old Termagants
  11. Genestealer Cult Sentinels
I'd originally thought I may end up painting my new Leviathan Dark Angels and elements from my Indomitus box - to be my #ArmiesOnParade2024 entry. But it may be the Tyranids as I'm not sure I can reconcile yet how to do my Primaris:
  1. Decide on how I will paint my Primaris... Silver and red 'Guardians of the Covenant style
  2. Dark Angel - Deathwing Terminators
  3. Dark Angel - The Lion
  4. Dark Angel - Old skool Crayola Whirlwind
  5. Dark Angel - Proteus Land Raider
  6. Leviathan - Brutalis Dreadnought
And the Death Guard, they're less of a priority with all the new Dark Angels and nids but for reference:
  1. Myphitic Blight Hauler
  2. Gellerpox Infected
  3. Dark Apostle
Build and paint a Turnip28 regiment:
  1. 3 Snobs
  2. 4 units of Followers
The Big Build continues, as always this season. The principle is sound and pays dividends with those items that tend to be off-list that get built through to painting and completion. It worked well over the festive season, when I couldn't prime anything. Some of these have been on my list for a while, so hopefully I'll finally get them built.
  • Dark Angel - Crayola Whirlwind
  • Dark Angel - Proteus Land Raider
  • Build some new terrain? 
    • Shrine of the Aquila
    • Galvanic Magnavent
    • Sector Imperialis terrain
  • Genestealer Cult Neophytes
  • Genestealer Cult Acolytes
  • 2 Armigers - Not sure about this, I haven't even bought them but I do fancy another 2, just in case so if I buy them they'll probably get built and painted
I've had a number of items that I classed as pipe dreams, both painting and building and they're still knocking around so here's they are just for my records as I don't want to forget about them, but with so many new items on my decks I must be realistic that they aren't getting done this season:
  • Tyranid Promethium Relay Pipes
  • Tyranid Bastion Crater [I have zero intent to do this this season, if ever, just want to remind myself it exists]
  • Space Hulk Genestealers - get them based!
  • 3 Tyranid Lictors
  • 3 Tyranid Shrikes
  • 5 Dark Angel Veterans/Command Squad
So that's my 2023/24 list, again a lot for me. All the best for your own efforts this season.

Saturday 26 August 2023

Hobby Season 2022/23 Review

Afternoon #warmongers and #warhammercommunity The 2022/23 Hobby Season (the Season of Rust) draws to a close, and how did I do? So lets start with my first task:
    Develop a more healthy hobby/life balance - go to bed at a decent hour[ish]   

    I tend to go to bed around midnight and get up at 7:30-8:00 but I've recently been getting later and later to bed though, so it's still something I have to work on. My average sleep time continues to increase though so I think I'm doing OK on this.

    Continue to play games, they bring me so much joy and fun...

    Fun has been on the agenda, whether it be MESBG, role-playing via Zoom or even Middle Earth Bolt Action, I've had a lot of fun. 

    First on my list of TO DONES, is Durbûrz & a Blackshield. He was a gift from Otty, to repurpose as my Warband leader, who currently is rather diminutive alongside all the Blackshields I have. Here you can see he stands tall as a worthy leader.

    Second, are some Moria Goblin Prowlers. I thought they were a bargain on ebay, but was mistaken. I've found a use for them in my warband at least, so they weren't a complete waste.

    At this point it's worth noting that although when I initially published my TO DO LIST August last year I mentioned the Death Guard as a primary focus I did not list what was needed. I've since added them back in so you can see they were completed, these 4 Plague Marines were the start of that effort this Season. Chronologically on the blog it doesn't look that way, but that's because I had to focus on my #DreadTober posts when these were all boxed off.

    The Tally Man was also part of the force that would make up my Armies on Parade display.

    And the Lord Of Contagion would be the leader of this rotting force of evil that my Ravenwing would hunt down.

    It's difficult to describe the sense of satisfaction I get from them.

    It's nowhere near the months of afterglow I felt for my Tyranid Void Shield Generator.

    But what I managed to achieve and how I feel about them, flaws and all, is a sense of peace with the result that I'm unsure I've ever felt before. 

    I reached zen enlightenment with them, the question will be if I can be just as satisfied in the future.

    The Foetid Bloat Drone was my #DreadTober effort, which was far too easy to paint. This scheme practically paints itself sometimes with only the anxious decision on the damned Verdigris challenging to overcome.

    Throwing these ancient Space Crusade Chaos Space Marines into the mix with the same Death Guard colour scheme was fun too. 33 years in my collection, so pretty cool to finally get them done.

    And I finished off my Ravenwing Attack Bikes. Bought these in 2017 and hanging around unbuilt and unpainted for years - I was just glad to get them done for Armies On Parade.

    I had to make some sacrifices in what I could achieve in the time before Parade day. 3 Black Knights and 3 bikers became 1 biker alongside the essential attack bikes.

    But I also got this Primaris Chaplain biker done too as a centrepiece for my Ravenwing hunter force. 

    And this was the culmination of my effort for my #ArmiesOnParade2022 display

    Having used the Death Guard and Ravenwing to avoid finishing off my Adeptus Titanicus models I could swerve it no longer. The results were great, despite both less than and more than my expectations. I immediately wanted to paint more of them

    The Warhounds were also pretty cool but there is so much more scope to play with the heraldic patterns that I would love to add to this small force. In progress for 3 years I do worry if that would be played out again or I could get them done quicker.

    Tyranid Zoanthrope had been hovering around for a while but having completed it and it fit well with my 2nd Zoanthrope it really highlighted how old my first looked. So, updating the original suddenly became a new task.

    Munitorum Containers - terrain so that counts more 😉  A long time painting [aren't they all] but done and they look great, nothing that can't be buffed out!

    Adeptus Titanicus Cerastus Knight Lancer - the last of my AT models. Chuffed with them, still want to paint more but have found the whole experience far more challenging than I would have liked -  what's that about?

    Having varnished it, I went back and added some more red inbetween the scales on my Blood Bowl Troll - 17.63% happier as a result.

    This is my 50th model of the season - Moria Cave Troll

    My Orc Blood Bowl Team and Varag Ghoul-Chewer - another 17 models [in Orcs and markers]. I did around 49-50 last year. 67 at this stage and some of these figures have been really complex and tough to get done [even if a lot of the work was put in in previous seasons] but it was just 8 months in, what could I do in the remaining 4 months?

    I finished this 100mm base for something big.

    My birthday gift - the Parasite of Mortrex. Who knew it was an indicator in a shift in Tyranid design aesthetics as some of the new Tyranids follow some of these design queues.

    I know there's 3 Zoanthropes here, but the picture was better than just the 1 [blue] Zoie that I updated to today's standard of painting. With the green and orange one looking fresh, it was only fair I gave the full trio a glow-up.

    Cindy Piewhistle and Puggy Baconbreath slipped into the mix, making my Porkbelly Stuffers Halfling Blood Bowl team almost complete, just some Treemen to do.

    One extreme to another - I'd put some effort into my Deathwing Terminators, but this Haemotrope Reactor took my fancy and I had to finish it off. It's also terrain so I'm winning at life!

    I couldn't help myself, with the Reactor TO DONE! I had to throw the Thermic Plasma Conduits into the mix. It was on my TO DO LIST and is terrain so no guilt at all for it suddenly appearing out of nowhere. AND - it looks cool!

    By those arguments I should feel guilty about these three Treemen for my Halfling Blood Bowl Team. They too have come out of nowhere and were not on my list. BUT - they'll be part of my Armies on parade display so I'm cool with them. They may not look quite as cohesive as Y'lthari's Guardians [that they were inspired by] - their team colours are mighty garish but they work when they're with the rest of the team.

    As I discovered my goal of finishing my Terminators wasn't feasible I randomly decided that the Leviathan Psychophage was worth painting. It was always going to be the first model I painted from the box and was finished within 12 days of doing the first basecoats! #DreadTober looks promising...

    My #ArmiesOnParade2023 mega bowl pitch was also done this season, but the WiP and TO DONE! pics will come next month - just haven't had time to fit them all in.

    91 models, which is a significant amount for me, but it doesn't quite cover the sheer scale and effort in some of these figures. Nor does it cover ticking off models that have long been on my table. How do you measure the worth of completing something 5 years in progress, versus something done in a few months start to finish? Although, scrolling through the gallery above I flip-flop between being astounded by all I achieved and thinking it's not actually that much - there doesn't seem to be anything 'big'. Although arguably Munitorum Containers, Titans, Attack Bikes, Bloat Drones and a parade board aren't exactly small. And as said, these took a huge amount of effort.

    Regardless, I think my 'satisfied' point would have been with the completion of the Attack Bikes [which makes their move to Legends somewhat disheartening] - everything after that was a bonus [and there's a LOT of that!]. Although, I was a little disappointed I didn't get all the Ravenwing done for Armies On Parade, so maybe I was only 'truly' satisfied when they got completed too. Of course I started making a Sammael afterward, so maybe not 🤣 And I finished my Adeptus Titanicus Titans inbetween...

    As I take stock one final time before publishing I think 'astounded' sum's up what I've done. It may not quite feel like one of the best Hobby Season's I ever had, but on paper it could well be. So much variety, so much output and all to a standard higher than I've ever done before. Ranging from the clean highlights of the Ravenwing to the grunge and weathered Munitorum Containers and Orc Blood Bowl team, I can scarcely believe all this got TO DONE! It doesn't even include the many other items that are still WiPs, that will no doubt be finished next season, or the huge amount of BIG BUILD items that we'll get onto next. 

    The 2022/23 season is over, the 2023/24 Season of Blood starts now, what will I achieve next?

    The Big Build is my 'self-help' initiative to build miniatures. Building isn't always my favourite thing but without a construction phase I can't have a painting phase. So I recognise the special effort this challenge is to me, so I can progress through to the painting stage.

    I built a Munitorum Container, but I built it with working hinged doors, which is pretty cool!
    I thought I was getting a real bargain with these Prowlers, I didn't, but it didn't stop me getting them built quick smart.
    I forgot to take build pics of Durbûrz and my Blackshield, so this will have to do. Durbûrz in particular was challenging as he's a metal model and his arm required pinning!

    I got the Crimson Court as they were on sale at Game and they're amazing models. It's been so long since I got an Underworlds warband I'd forgotten/unaware the build instructions were sealed in with the card deck. So I had to build these without instructions. Slightly hard to d, but I followed Nick Bayton's online guide and having done one it made it a lot easier to figure out what to do with the rest.

    My 'enabler' Pete got me Varag Ghoul-Chewer for Christmas. Getting him built was enough to motivate me for #NewYearNewArmy and crack on with my Orc Blood Bowl team for #ArmiesOnParade2023

    I've had the Canis Rex Sir Hekthur model for a while but wanted it to be a female pilot. Luckily I got the introductory Age of Sigmar Stormbringer magazine which has an option of 2 heads on the miniature it comes with. I think it works, although I see now the pose is with both feet on the ground, not front foot down as I thought. Still, explains why she looks like she's off balance 🤦‍♂️

    I got sent a Moria Cave Troll from Marc at Old School Gaming. He was going to be added to my Moria warband so some hefty pinning and gluing was required for this metal monstrosity. I've some models to send in return, just ned to get round to it.

    I've had my second sprueof Deathwing Knights for years alongside a second lot of Dark Vengeance Deathwing and a sprue of vanilla Terminators.

    Building them had stalled as I couldn't decide their loadout [try telling my Dark Angel Veterans about that - 8 years!]. In the end I went for rule of cool, even if they're sup-optimal in weapon choices.

    Some cool builds with an Apothecary, Champion and Heavy Flamer [for Space Hulk missions should I ever be so inclined].

    And lastly, whatever command role this guy is. Now obviously I couldn't tolerate #SwordsAsWalkingSticks and so had to fix it as Carl Frederiksen would have done. Green stuffing that tennis ball was not great and it looks woeful but it's a stupid joke so the fact it looks rubbish - I just don't care! I did the best I could.

    After doing all these I still had plenty of bits, but this was the only extra Terminator I could cobble together, using Space Wolf Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield.

    My mate Pete continues to feed my addiction, when it's my birthday and Christmas and here he got me the Parasite of Mortrex. The supplied base was a bit lacklustre but this piece of slate had been waiting in my basing box for years [and probably millennia before that] just to be turned into something that literally and figuratively elevates this model! 

    I don't know what is wrong with me, £26 for two tiny figures! WarhammerFest made me giddy, but they're casting was exceptional - Puggy Baconbreath and Cindy Piewhistle for my Armies On Parade.

    Followed this up with 3 Kurnoth Hunters to use as Treemen. Just some minor kit bashing and adjustment of poses to make some dynamic big guys to join my stunty halflings.

    I'd had these Thermic Plasma Conduits for ages and couldn't decided how to build them, but I was really frustrated not to have done so with my Haemotrope Reactor nearing completion. So I bit the bullet and made them up hoping I could keep some momentum going from the reactor, by using the same scheme/process.

    Leviathan arrived and after doing all my jobs I treated myself to 3 hours of pure hobby time building all the [cool] nids [and the Ballistus Dreadnought]. I'd subsequently build the Termagants and Neurogaunts.

    But also made this guy, although he still needs some blinging.

    But for them to count in the BIG BUILD, they need their bases doing. I loved building the Screamer Killer [even if I was a little on the fence when I first saw the model]

    So I got a second one and reposed it slightly. As it was about £10 cheaper than your average Carnifex on ebay, it was rude not to, even if I never field it.

    Psychophage also got based, with some old Genestealer nodes for decoration.
    Neurotyrant and Neuroloids.
    Winged Prime

    Half the Termagants

    And the other half.


    Von Ryan's Leapers

    And an old Lictor that had been knocking around [I've still got 3 more unbuilt]

    54 models built, 19 of which went on to be painted to completion and the rest mostly got primed and based, if not actively in progress. Just a few ended up back on hiatus.