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Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Acastus Knight Porphyrion - Complete at last!

If you've read any of my posts over the last month or so you'll know I've been slaving away on my Knight Porphrion. Well, behold the fruits of my labours!

She's such a bruiser.
I started painting her at the College of Artisans event at Warhammer World and made some good progress. This is such a huge detailed miniature though that even with a jump start it still took ages for me to finish. Still, I feel it was worth the effort.

Feels like it's been a long time coming.
The paint scheme uses a lot of the same colours as my Imperial Knights and Adeptus Mechanicus models. However, I added some hazard striping borrowed from my 30k models and tried for a bit of a heat staining effect on the magna-lascannon barrels too. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.

I wore my paintbrush down to a nub.
I also tried to be a bit more creative with the base. For those that aren't aware, the Porphyrion isn't supplied with a base so I had to source one separately. In the end I opted for a laser cut mdf oval which I found on Ebay for a few quid. It seems to have suited my purposes pretty well. However, it is an absolutely huge area of base to cover, so I added, rocks, terrain, grass tufts and some splashes of different colours in an effort to break it up and make it look more realistic. I don't know if it really worked, but I feel like I was able to stretch myself as a painter and modeller when doing it.

Detail of the base.
I have become accustomed to smothering my Imperial Knights with transfers and the Porphyrion is no exception. I even treated myself to a horribly expensive transfer sheet from Forgeworld with which to decorate her. I have to say, despite the price, the Forgeworld transfers are really nice to work with and go on very smoothly. If you can afford it then they're well worth springing for.

Note the gold transfer on the face guard.
I have found that working on a model of this size leads to a bit of scale blindness after a while. So once I was done, I dug out one of my other knights to do a bit of comparison.

Truly titanic!
I hope you all like her. For me, it's been a bit of an arduous journey and I think I'm going to go and lie down in the recovery position for a little while. We'll see what emerges next once I recover my painting mojo.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

College of Artisans - A week of painting at Warhammer World!

I've mentioned this a couple of times, but I figured I should do a post about it. In early August I was lucky enough to attend College of Artisans at Warhammer World!

How posh!
For those that are unaware, College of Artisans is a five day painting event held at Warhammer World for a small group of hobbyists. Basically, you bring a project (or two) with you and spend the week working on it alongside the Games Workshop studio painters and the 'Eavy Metal team.

Day 1: The painting area set up in the events hall.
I chose to bring my Acastus Knight Porphyrion to work on during the week. I didn't think I would get it finished, but I was determined to put in a good week's work. I also hoped to get a few painting tips from the 'Eavy Metal team.

I played around with some hazard stripes early on.
To my surprise, the event was sold out, with the maximum ten participants. Speaking with the team at Warhammer World, they hope to increase the capacity next year to allow more people to participate.

The new Primaris vs Chaos display in the exhibition.
Included in the ticket price is a guided tour of the Warhammer World exhibition with one of the curators and a member of the diorama building team. This was a really enjoyable experience and gave me the opportunity to ask questions about how the dioramas are made and what happens to them when they are retired. Horrifyingly, most of them end up in the trash compactor! I'm sure there must be a better home for these gorgeous dioramas once they reach the end of their lives.

Lunch was also included in the price. Yum!
I tried hard on these lenses after some advice from the studio team.
I progressed well with the Porphyrion over the week. I have to say though, painting for eight hours a day is quite challenging and I found myself pretty exhausted on a couple of evenings. Still, it was delightful to be able to carve out such a big slice of hobby time.

Bob Ross was always on hand to motivate me when things got tough.
Getting to meet the 'Eavy Metal team was a delight though. I got a few good tips as well as a couple of 'Eavy Metal brushes to take home with me. Now all I have to do is find a model worthy of being touched by one! It was interesting to handle some of the miniatures which grace the front of the boxes in person as well; you get a much better sense of the techniques used when seen with the naked eye.

A huge pile of Rhino halves ready for the weathering tutorial.
There was a painting tutorial on weathering and battle damage one evening which I hope to use to paint some terrain pieces to add to the base of my Porphyrion. We'll see how it comes out when she's done.

This was as far as I managed to get in the week.
All in all, College of Artisans was a brilliant event run by a team of enthusiastic staff. I was really happy with my progress during the week and it certainly gave a kick start to a huge miniature which might otherwise have been daunting. 

Life permitting, I will certainly want to attend next year.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

2018/2019 Hobby Season Roundup

It seems the hobby season is at an end. (The hobby season by the way, is defined by Dave over at 40k Addict. Thanks Dave for continuing to run and support this event.) 

It's been a productive and interesting year for me. I've learned quite a bit and developed as a painter in ways I wouldn't have anticipated. So, what goals did I set last year?

  • Complete up to 3000 points of Adeptus Mechanicus/Imperial Knights. I managed to smash this one, bringing the army up to just over 3800 points. Goal completed. You can see most of the collection here.
    This has grown somewhat since the photo was taken.
  • Paint another Onager Dunecrawler. Goal completed. You can see it here.
    I also experimented with new basing techniques.
  • Paint another five Skitarii Vanguard. This is an odd one, I didn't paint five Vanguard but instead I painted five Rangers (as seen here). I'm calling this one done.
    Wait a second. Those aren't Vanguard!!
  • Complete up to 4000 points of Adeptus Mechanicus/Imperial Knights. Another odd one, I didn't technically manage this. However, if I count the 30k Automata which I painted to match the army (using the fan made points values) then I'm well over the 4000 point mark. I'm calling this one done too.
  • Build and paint a Cerastus Knight Atropos. Very much no. I haven't even had it out of the box since I first checked the components.
  • Build and paint a pair of Kastelan Robots. I built two and painted one, so about 50% done.
  • Build and paint a pair of Kastelan Robots. As above, this one is another crushing failure.
  • Finish painting Tyranid Heirophant Bio-Titan. A major victory, I got this big beauty done a few months back.
    The big bug.
  • Finish building and painting 300 points of Infinity Nomads. Nope. I haven't played or painted Infinity this year. That doesn't mean I've fallen out with it and I fully intend to play lots of it in the future.

Stretch goals:

  • Make a spreadsheet to track the completion of my Tyranid collection. Done! Perhaps this was an easy win but I'll take it regardless.
  • Make some progress with the completion of said Tyranids. (Preferably paint more troops.) Another major victory, I painted a huge batch of Tyranid troops recently which gave me a fun, playable army.
    Quick and nasty. But fun to play with.
  • Play some games of Infinity with fully painted forces. Nope. Haven't played Infinity this year.
  • Get a better grip on the rules for Infinity. Obviously, also no.
  • Paint my Forgeworld Mechanicum Thanatar Siege Automata. Done! I was very pleased to get this finished and I think she looks great.
    I love these 30k robots.
  • Finish building and painting Mechanicum Vultarax Stratos Automata. Same as above, this was a really enjoyable project and I'm very happy with it.
    Such a cool model.
  • Paint my Necromunda Goliath gang. No. I haven't worked on my Goliaths, but I feel a Necromunda session coming on in the near future.
And where does that leave us? Well, I think I'm going to scrap a lot of the leftover goals from last season and start afresh. Nothing like wiping the slate clean (sort of). So, without further ado, my 2019/2020 hobby goals are:
  • Paint five Skitarii Vanguard.
  • Paint five Fulgurite Electropriests.
  • Paint my Necromunda Goliath gang.
  • Build and paint a Cerastus Knight Atropos.
  • Paint a tech-priest Manipulus.
  • Paint some more 30k robots.
  • Attend College of Artisans at Warhammer World again.
  • Complete the Acastus Knight Porphyrion which I began painting this year.
  • Paint at least one Black Templar model and one Imperial assassin.
I think that will do to start with. I'm sure I will wander from project to project and have some surprising things come up that I can't currently anticipate. Here's hoping for another year of fun hobbying and gaming!

Monday, 29 July 2019

Everchosen Open Category - I'm the winner!

As we all know, this weekend was the in store portion of the Everchosen painting competition. I haven't been painting anything specific for the competition as I haven't had time at the moment (other hobby projects have taken priority). However, I always like to support my local store, so I picked out a couple of miniatures from my collection and entered them anyway. And, lo and behold, I managed to win the open category with Belisarius Cawl!

Got a big shiny certificate for my trouble!
I'm absolutely thrilled to have got a win, especially when I entered without painting up a specific competition entry.

The winning entry, Mr Cawl.
If you'd like to read more about the painting of Belisarius Cawl, you can check out my old posts here

But, there was more good news from the Everchosen competition. Not only had I won the open, I placed second in the main category with the Emperor's Champion!

I promise that's not a monochrome version of the previous photo.
So, sadly, I just missed out on going to the online voting stage. But that's probably a good thing, because I've seen loads of incredible entries from around the world and I don't particularly need to be crushed by them.

Second place in Everchosen, not bad!
All in all, I'm ecstatic with how the competition went. I came away with a couple of certificates and I'm pretty damn proud of myself. Hopefully I can paint a few more one off miniatures this year and push myself even further!

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Big batch painting - Over forty Tyranids

Well there's a post title I never thought I'd write! Historically I've been awful at batch painting. I've never attempted more than about five models at a time and never successfully completed any of those. I just find (found?) it soul destroying, seeing so little 'real' progress whilst mindlessly applying basecoats etc.

Boom! 41 Tyranids painted as a single batch!
So, what gives? How was I able to crash out such a huge number of models in a couple of weeks. Well, unfortunately there's no single factor involved here. Frankly I'm kind of stunned to have managed it myself. But here's a little summary of my ability to suddenly do batch painting:

1 - Lowering the quality.
I'm always loath to drop the quality of my miniatures. They are expensive things and deserve the best quality I can manage. I certainly apply this attitude to all my other armies, so what's different about the Tyranids? Well, for one, a lot of these are Ebay rescues which had a hard life the first time around, so they're cheap and not in the greatest condition. This certainly helps to break the attitude of painting them to your best standard. In addition, I knew that to complete a batch of this size in a reasonable time frame I would have to drop the quality a bit. This doesn't mean they're sloppy, it just means sacrificing a few details and using simple painting methods. This brings me on to....

2 - A simple paint scheme.
My Tyranid scheme was concocted over ten years ago when I was just getting back into painting. At that time, two factors were paramount. It must be easy to paint yet look decent, and it must use as few colours as possible (I was a starving student at the time). This definitely helps when it comes to batch painting because the models are basically a couple of basecoats and some washes (with a few details picked out). Simple = fast.

Hormagaunts from the batch. Incredibly simple but effective.
3 - Accuracy and experience.
This is one of those things that only comes with practice. The more you paint, the better you get and the fewer mistakes you make. This means far less time cleaning up after applying a wash or basecoat.

4 - Inspiration.
My brother Blazmo (of Tabletop Apocalypse) had just completed a batch of 20 troopers for his Steel Legion forces. They are far more detailed (and better painted) than my Tyranids which got me thinking, if he can do it, why not me? In addition, we talked about doing a meatgrinder type game with successive waves of Tyranids assaulting a beleaguered Steel Legion force. Obviously to pull this off, I needed to have lots of Tyranid infantry! 

That all pretty much sums up how this came about. Even though I sacrificed quality a bit, I'm still really pleased with the finished batch. I guess quantity really does have a quality all of its own.

They ain't pretty, but they're painted.
As you can see from the above, they aren't the most beautiful things I've ever painted. But they'll certainly see plenty of battlefield action and hopefully revitalise my interest in Tyranids. Here's to the next batch!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Questoris Knight Gallant Conversion - Two Thunderstrike Gauntlets!

I finished building and painting this fine lady a few weeks ago but didn't have the chance to take photos of her until now. I am proud to present Caestus, a Knight Gallant with two Thunderstrike Gauntlets.

Finally, a knight that can applaud.
The conversion was inspired by this post from Stepping Between Games (thanks again Rory). Basically, I just thought it was a cool idea and decided to go for it. I had wanted to add a Gallant to my army for a while and this gave me the push I needed to commit to it.

The left hand which comes with the kit.
I tried to go for as dynamic a pose as possible without extensively converting the legs. I wanted her to look like she is striding forward ready to pummel something with those massive armoured fists.

And the right, which is converted from a spare left hand.
Converting the right hand proved to be a fairly simple matter. Once the thumb was removed it was easy enough to swap to the other side of the palm and then fill the gaps with greenstuff. The trickiest part was fabricating the armour plate which goes on the back of the gauntlet. This had to be cut to shape and then rebuilt with greenstuff. However I think it turned out pretty well in the end.

I think my lettering is improving too.
As for the paint scheme, she follows in the tradition of my other knights, with the usual green and beige livery. I did make one small change here, which was to add some hazard stripes to the back of each gauntlet, just because I wanted them to look extra menacing.

I also added a couple of stripes to her tilting shield using Tamiya masking tape. I think it breaks up the flat area a little and creates some interest. I did go to the trouble of putting a magnet in the top of the carapace so that a missile pod can be added in the future if desired. Currently though I'm planning to run her as cheaply as possible, so carapace mounts are out.

Obviously, crunch-wise it's illegal to have a pair of Gauntlets on a knight. So on the tabletop she's just a normal Gallant who happens never to use a reaper chainsword. I don't think any of my usual opponents will have too much of an issue with that (at least until after she's finished crushing their tanks like tin cans).

Stomp stomp, punch punch.
I've already had the pleasure of fielding this beauty where she performed admirably; punching a Wraithknight to pieces two games in a row. Here's hoping we have several more fun games together.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Revealed! Skorpius Dunerider Datasheet.

I found this laying about these here internets and thought I'd post it up for y'all to see.

Delicious new rules!
As a Mechanicus player I find these rules (and the model itself) a little underwhelming. It seems odd to me that the Skorpius doesn't have an invulnerable save, because every other Adeptus Mechanicus model does. 

Moreover, the loadout and weapons of the Disintegrator are a bit mediocre. This thing has to line up against the mighty Onager Dunecrawler and it loses out in just about every aspect. The Dunecrawler has an excellent 5+ invulnerable save which is so valuable in 8th edition; it can also carry a neutron laser which is surely a better anti-tank weapon than either the Belleros or Ferrumite cannon of the Disintegrator. Honestly, I'm just a bit unsure how this tank is supposed to fit in with the existing army.

The transport variant is pretty basic. It's cheap in points and isn't particularly durable. The weapon loadout of four heavy stubbers isn't going to scare too many opponents either. However, I reserve judgement on the Dunerider until I see it on the table. Adding a transport into a Mechanicus list does open up a lot of options that weren't available previously (except for the Termite).

Anyway, those are just my quick thoughts on the new rules. Feel free to comment below and let me know if you agree!