Monday 12 November 2018

Hobby Update: Assorted models from 2018

For one reason or another, I've painted up a handful of different models from various factions this year, none of which have made it to the blog. So I present for your amusement, a bunch of odd photos of unrelated miniatures. First up:

In a departure from my usual fare, I've painted an Ork Warboss in Mega Armour. Annoyingly I finished this chap just as Games Workshop decided to remove the option from the codex. Even more annoyingly, he is a gift for a friend, who I hope will still be able to get some use out of him.

As you can see, he's converted from the Age of Sigmar Orruk Megaboss. It's about time 40k Orks had a suitably gigantic leader and this guy fits the bill with a couple of weapon swaps and some extra gubbinz.

Could possibly also be used as Ghaz?

Next up is a commission piece for another friend of mine. Inquisitor Torquemada Coteaz. I was able to knock this guy out over a couple of days and he made a nice break from my Adeptus Mechanicus/Knights. Not only that, I earned a few quid into the bargain! He was fun to paint too, with all that gold armour and a funky blended hammer.

So moody.
As you can see I had a bit of a play with the photo backdrop when taking pictures of these guys. I grabbed some of my terrain and got a bit snap happy. It made a nice change though.

So shiny!
In a somewhat related note. If anyone is interested in having a single model commission, drop me a line and we can work something out. I always enjoy painting single models, especially if I don't have to find a home for them afterwards!

The happy couple.
I also painted up The Emperor's Champion which was a lovely gift from my lovely wife. He has sort of become the starting point for a small army of Black Templars that I have amassed. I didn't really mean for them to be an army, but I love Templars and once I had done the Emperor's Champion I really wanted to do a Supreme Command detachment of them.

Back in black!

So I bought a Terminator Chaplain and scrounged up a Primaris Lieutenant from my bits box (both of which still haven't been painted). Then came Conquest magazine and I just had to buy two copies of the first issue so I could have a squad of Black Templars Intercessors........they haven't been painted either, oh dear!

Turns out I like painting Inquisitors.

The final entry in this little parade of oddballs is none other than Inquisitor Eisenhorn. This was another commission piece which was a lot of fun to do. He even has a delightful sculpted base!

Winner of Inquisitor Rear of the Year.

So, there endeth the little summary of odds and ends which don't belong to one of my 'main' armies. Like many wargamers, I am an army painter first and foremost. But, little projects like these can really expand your painting repertoire and provide a break from the tedium of trying to paint the next unit/500 points/whatever. I'd encourage everyone to give it a go now and then.

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Hobby Update: Dominus Knight Valiant

Once again, things have been a bit quiet here on the blog. There are a number of contributing factors but rest assured I have been hobbying away quietly in the background. I'm working on a handful of small commissions alongside a Dominus Knight Valiant for my growing Knight household.

Knight Valiant! Most of the parts aren't glued on.
I was fortunate enough to receive the Knight Valiant as a Birthday gift (thanks Blazmo!) and have been excitedly working on it ever since. This is the first Imperial Knight kit I've had from new and it was a delight to build. The instructions are clear and luxurious and the design of the components is perfect. As is my preference when painting large models, I've built it in sub-assemblies which will be glued in place only once they are painted.

Looks a bit weird without the arms.
I've now made some headway with the painting. As with my previous knights I'm using a spreadsheet to track the progress and by my estimate I'm now 51% complete! Not bad if I do say so myself! I find tracking the progress of these models is essential so that I don't become disheartened and give up because it can feel like slow progress at times.

As you can see I've tried my hand at a bit of blingy hazard striping on the shoulders. I'm not 100% happy with it, but I think it will look ok as part of the finished model.

The legs are now virtually finished.

Once again, following the process of my previous knights, I'm painting from the ground up. The legs are now done and I've started working on the body armour. The next big step will be the arms and weapons.

Armour approaching completion.
I need to find time to polish off those commissions as it isn't fair to have paying customers waiting while I mess about with my own stuff. But for now, the Valiant has captured my interest. Wish me luck as I try to polish off this beast in the next couple of weeks!

Oh, and as an aside, I did consider entering this bad boy in Dreadtober but it would have been a very challenging model to complete in the month. It's a shame, as I love the community painting events but I felt like it would be too much pressure this time around.

Friday 7 September 2018

2018/2019 Hobby Season - To do list

This is new territory for me. I have been vaguely aware of 40k Addict for some time and the annual setting of hobby goals for the season. Well, this time around I've decided to play too.

The concept here is to make a 'to do' list for the coming hobby season (August to August for some reason) and give yourself a big old tick in the form of a delightful stamp when you get something done.

I've been tracking the progress of my Adeptus Mechanicus army over the past year or so using an Excel spreadsheet and I've found it enormously motivating. I'm going to continue with this and hopefully add in some miniatures from some other 40k armies and other game systems.

So without further ado, let's see what's going on the list:

  1. Complete up to 3000 points of Adeptus Mechanicus/Imperial Knights.
    • Paint another Onager Dunecrawler.
    • Paint another five Skitarii Vanguard.
  2. Complete up to 4000 points of Adeptus Mechanicus/Imperial Knights.
    • Build and paint a Cerastus Knight Atropos.
    • Build and paint a pair of Kastelan Robots.
    • Build and paint a pair of Kastelan Robots.
  3. Finish painting Tyranid Heirophant Bio-Titan.
  4. Finish building and painting 300 points of Infinity Nomads.
I think that's a reasonable basis to start from. I'm going to consider these my core goals for the year and add some stretch goals below:

  1. Make a spreadsheet to track the completion of my Tyranid collection.
  2. Make some progress with the completion of said Tyranids. (Preferably paint more troops.)
  3. Play some games of Infinity with fully painted forces.
  4. Get a better grip on the rules for Infinity.
  5. Paint my Forgeworld Mechanicum Thanatar Siege Automata.
  6. Finish building and painting Mechanicum Vultarax Stratos Automata.
  7. Paint my Necromunda Goliath gang.
These goals are a bit more wooly in places and will hopefully firm up if I make any progress towards them. Infinity is a game system that I've really enjoyed but haven't played very much. I'd like to remedy that and get a good few games in this year. Necromunda falls much in the same boat; I haven't played it much but it's a lot of fun.

The couple of Mechanicum bits I have are beautiful models but they currently have no official rules in 40k which kills the motivation somewhat. I still hope to paint them soon though.

So there you have it. A year's worth of hobby progress goals. I'm bound to get sidetracked along the way somewhere (which can have it's own rewards) but I'd be thrilled if I could get to the end of this little lot by next August. Only time, and this blog, will tell.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Freshly painted - Archmagos Belisarius Cawl

As I said in my last (rather rambling) post, I have been working on painting up Archmagos Belisarius Cawl to join my Adeptus Mechanicus forces. Well, I'm pleased to present him in all his cybernetic glory!

So many robot arms!
What can I say about this model? It's an incredible vision of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Cawl is festooned with different mechanical arms and legs; it really gives the impression that he has been upgrading himself constantly over thousands of years. As fashions change, he's added some hooves, or some claws or a weird set of shears. Really, all credit to the sculptor for bringing a piece of the 41st millennium to life.

The detail is incredible.
Perhaps understandably, Cawl took me a little while to paint. The level of detail really is intimidating; so much so that when I built his sub-assemblies (back in 2016) I thought 'There's no way I can paint that!' and he was shelved until just recently. Working my way through the Adeptus Mechanicus range gave me the confidence I needed to have a crack at him though and I'm really happy with the finished result.

A whole different set of arms.
As you can see I've gone for the green and beige of my usual Mechanicus scheme rather than the traditional red of Mars. I know Cawl is proudly Martian and should really be all in red, but surely he has some different coloured robes for special occasions? Or maybe it's just wash day??

The colour scheme seemed to work pretty well with the miniature though and I've tried to work in a bit more pink in various places to really make it pop. I think it's worked quite well and I might try to add a little more pink to my Ad Mech models in the future.

The Roomba of Doom-ba.
I particularly like the little metal spider/hoover thing above. There are loads of cool details on this model but I think this thing is my favourite.

So there you have it. Another 240 points added to my ever growing forces and a great model for the collection. I doubt he'll see the tabletop much, mostly because I find his points cost a little hard to swallow, but also because I like to use forgeworld Graia for my army and Cawl forces you to use Mars. Still, I will give him a try sometime soon and perhaps he will surprise me.

Stay tuned for my next post as I slowly creep towards 3000 points!

Monday 20 August 2018

Hobby Update - What have I been up to this Summer?

Things have been a bit quiet around here lately; I think that's due to a variety of different factors. All the usual mundane stuff, work, home life etc etc. I've been trying to work towards a 3000 point army of combined Adeptus Mechanicus and Knights which has consumed all of my hobby time but has been a lot of fun. All of the knights have appeared on this blog and I've really enjoyed painting these amazing models. However, it has left a bit of an unhealthy bias in my army as I hardly have any painted infantry to stand alongside these leviathans!

Time to paint some infantry then!
In an effort to remedy this, I've added a handful of Skitarii to my 3000 point plan and have begun painting them. I completed the chap above sometime in July along with a few of his comrades but I still have another five to do to complete 'the plan'. I love the Skitarii models to bits, but there's something a little unsatisfying about finishing one and thinking 'well, that's another eight points in the list' when the last model you turned out was worth around 500! Still, I will persevere and get some meaningful blocks of troops on the table!

Speaking of on the table, I've managed to play a few games of 40k which continues to be a heck of a good time. Long live 8th edition! The photo below was taken at my FLGS when my Knight Errant took on 500 points of Orks just for a laugh.

I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew!
This was the situation after a massive mob of 40 Orks used 'da jump' to pounce on my poor unsuspecting knight. Not a situation I could really prevent but it certainly made me laugh. I actually went on to win the game in spite of being assaulted by these guys and a Shokk Attack Gun armed big Mek rolling two volleys with a strength of 10 or higher!

I also went up to Warhammer World for the Specialist Games open day with a bunch of the lads. It was my first visit to Warhammer World and I was certainly not disappointed! Meeting the designers was a lot of fun and I spent quite some time chatting to the guys working on designs for the Horus Heresy and Necromunda. I also got to meet Louise Sugden who is an incredible miniatures painter working for Forgeworld (go follow her instagram if you don't already).

Titan table at WHW.
I got a couple of games in at Warhammer World, one of which was on top of the amazing fallen Warlord Titan pictured above.

The exhibition at Warhammer World is not to be missed and I took hundreds of blurry photos of all the amazing displays which look surprisingly similar to other photos taken by nerds from around the globe. A couple below for your amusement.

Leviathan Dreadnought wrecking face in the Burning of Prospero
Lizardmen Diorama from back in the day.
A bunch of amazing Eldar.
Other than all of that? I've made a start painting the big boy of the Mechanicus himself - none other than Belisarius Cawl. He certainly is a daunting miniature with all his many arms and appendages but I'm making decent progress so far. A couple more photos below in case you don't believe me.

Half of  Big-Boy Belisarius
And most of the other half.
He's progressing pretty well in spite of the complexity of the miniature and I hope to have him finished off in a week or so.

Well there you have it, a brief roundup of my hobbying from the last month or so. Stay tuned for another update next week when I hope to have some proper completed photos of the Archmagos.

Monday 2 July 2018

Battle Report - Astra Militarum vs Tyranids

So this Saturday I was fortunate enough to face off against Blazmo of Tabletop Apocalypse and his newly painted Steel Legion army.

'A dud!' Quoting my own words has never been so amusing.
Blazmo has been kind enough to write up a detailed battle report with some fancy pictures too. It's well worth a look and you can (and should) check it out here: Tabletop Apocalypse.

Monday 4 June 2018

Hobby Update - A Knight Household

Things have been a bit quiet around the blog lately, so what have I been up to?

Lords of War anyone?
The photo above should make it pretty obvious that I've been building my knight household! Regular readers may know that I painted the Cerastus Knight Castigator as part of Monster March back in.........well March. Since then I've added an Armiger Warglaive from the Forgebane box set and a Questoris Knight Errant which I picked up from a friend for a knock down price. At the time I really didn't need it but it had exactly the loadout I wanted and it was in decent condition too.

The pre-owned Knight Errant. 
As it turned out there was a bit more rebuilding work needed on the Errant than I had anticipated. The waist joint had been stuck together using unmixed green stuff (WTF!?) and so had the Icarus Autocannons. Speaking of the Autocannons, they had been assembled completely upside down! Which meant the barrels didn't align properly. At any rate, after a bit of scraping, cutting and gluing I managed to get it back into shape and ready for painting.

The rebuilt autocannons.
As for the Armiger Warglaive, I had it fresh from the Forgebane box. It was a lovely kit to work with and you may have seen my work in progress Armiger Helverin conversion which will be the fate of the second Armiger from the box.

Striding past some Mechanicus oil derricks.
The Armiger is currently very lackluster on the tabletop but I'm hoping the new Imperial Knights codex will change all that. If not? Well, I guess I'll just have to play with beautiful models that are a bit uncompetitive. It could be worse!

Reconnaissance footage from a Mechanicus aerial drone. 
Speaking of the tabletop, none of these models have been used in battle yet. It's a bit of a first for me to have painted over 1000 points worth of miniatures and never used any of them for gaming. I'm hoping I can convince my gaming buddies to take on some (or all!) of them soon.

Showing off my new terrain too.
These knights were originally conceived as Lords of War to add to my Adeptus Mechanicus forces. I have purposely matched the colour schemes so that they can be used alongside one another. However, the knights seem to have become an army in their own right! So much so, that putting them next to the Mechanicus makes the army look very unbalanced; I guess I need to paint a lot more Skitarii!

I never really thought I would be a fan of Imperial Knights. The kits are lovely but I've always thought of them as a bit unwieldy for everyday play. They cost a lot of points and don't really make for a 'balanced' force on the tabletop. Somehow though, I've painted three of the things and really enjoyed doing it. Not only that, one of my hobby resolutions this year was to paint a Lord of War and now I have three of them!

Here's hoping they get to stride out across the tabletop sometime soon!

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Knight Armiger Helverin - Work in progress

I'm sure you were all as excited as me to see the announcement of the new Imperial Knights over the bank holiday weekend. In fact, I was so enthralled by the new Armiger Helverin that I just had to have a crack at building one right away. "Madness!" I hear you cry, "the kit isn't even released yet!" Well, this is true, but I've always loved a bit of a kitbash.

So I present for your viewing pleasure, the fruits of my bank holiday Monday.

Autocannons? More like AWESOMEcannons!!!
If you're familiar with the Armiger kit then you'll see that I've just replaced the chain-cleaver and thermal spear with a pair of long barreled autocannons. I've no idea what the Helverin autocannons will do rules-wise but I just tried to make something that looks similar to the images GW have shown off. I think it's been pretty successful.

The GW version for comparison.
So, how did I make them? The bulk of the gun is made from an Icarus Array from the Onager Dunecrawler kit. I sawed the gun shroud in half so that I would have two identical pieces and then fitted the barrels in place. The rear part of the gun is made from a twin linked autocannon from the Ironstrider model. These were cut down and then shaped so that they fit inside the back of the Icarus gun shroud.

A work in progress of the guns.
I was concerned that the body of the guns would be too slender for the Armiger frame, so I bulked them out with some ammo packs from terminator assault cannons. I also added some small servo arms from the kataphron servitor kit (pictured above).

The completed Helverin autocannons.
The final hurdle was connecting the weapons to the Armiger arms. Luckily the bottom of the arm (elbow?) fits perfectly inside the radar dish from an Onager Dunecrawler which in turn connects neatly to the gun body.

So, there you have it. A good use for that second Armiger from your Forgebane box and all those Mechanicus spares that are cluttering up your bits box! I'm looking forward to painting it!

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Salute 2018 is this Saturday!

It's that time of the year once again!

What time is it?
That's right! On Saturday 14th April London's Excel will be hosting Salute 2018. The 'largest wargames expo in Europe' is back and bound to be filled with bargains aplenty. Last year I bought my own bodyweight in mdf terrain and I'll be back on Saturday to see what other delights I can get my grubby little hands on.

I will also be taking part in the speed painting competition run by 'Eavier Metal. 25 minutes to paint an ugly model with colours that refuse to dry - what's not to love!

Give me a shout if you're coming down, it would be nice to meet up with some of the people from these here internets.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Complete

Just in the nick of time! I'm pleased to announce that the Cerastus Knight Castigator is finished! (pause for rapturous applause, accept bouquet of flowers etc.)

Check out those decals!
This thing has definitely been a labour of love. There were times this month when I honestly didn't know if I would make the deadline and it even caused me a few sleepless nights! I'm really happy with the final result though and thrilled to be able to add such a spectacular centerpiece to my Adeptus Mechanicus forces.

Pretty happy with the head.
Half way through the challenge, I decided I would enter this in a local painting competition, which really forced me to up my game and try some new techniques. The blending on the sword blade (seen here) was particularly time consuming and pushed my painting skills to the max. I wasn't very happy with it at the time, but seeing it in the context of the finished model makes me feel much better.

The sword in question.
Transfers are fairly new territory for me as well and caused a few moments of doubt. I tried to plan them out carefully rather than just slapping them on haphazardly and I think the final result is ok. I used a mix of transfers from the Skitarii box and the new Knight Armiger kit. I have to say that Micro Sol and Micro Set were a godsend here, and I would recommend them to anybody looking to work with transfers.

Standing guard over a Mechanicus facility.
The banner proved tricky as well. Lining up the transfers was hard and the connection points were so fine that I had to reinforce them with green stuff; it's still not the best connection in the world, so I will be very wary when handling it.

The banner in question.
I'm pretty happy with the way the colour scheme scaled up to a larger model. Getting the beige right was a bit of a headache in the early stages but a bit of advice from Blazmo at Tabletop Apocalypse soon put me on the right path. The brass and green colours I was already fairly confident with because I had previously completed an Onager Dunecrawler in the same scheme.

An unusual angle.
I want to give huge thanks to Swordmaster at Path of an Outcast for running Monster March again this year. Without the motivation of Monster March, it's likely that I would have faltered somewhere along the way and this gigantic model would never have made it to completion. I also want to say thanks to my brother, Blazmo, at Tabletop Apocalypse. A well timed painting day and a heap of useful advice really turned this project around for me; without him, the Cerastus could well be languishing in the pile of shame.

The sword of the Imperium is ever vigilant.
Finally, I want to say thanks to all of those who took part in Monster March this year. Seeing your progress towards your ambitious projects really gave me a push to keep going to the finish line.

As always, you can check out the rest of my Monster March journey here, here, here and here. Phew! I think I need a lie down!

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Part 4

Welcome to part four of my Monster March pledge his year. I must say, trying to paint a super heavy in a month is starting to take its toll. Still, progress has been good and I was brave enough to tackle the Tempest Warblade over the weekend.

I went for a purple/pink fade roughly following a tutorial from a copy of White Dwarf from 2017. I'm fairly happy with how it came out but I also feel like I could have done better. There comes a point however where you just have to call something done and move on to the next phase. Speaking of which.

The current state of the model
In the photo above you can see that I've managed to finish up the left leg and that I got all giddy and glued on a bunch of armour panels that probably would have been best left until later. The top carapace armour isn't finished yet, nor is it glued in place but I was just posing for the camera.

Because shoulders need guarding too.
I also glued on the right shoulder guards which was really enjoyable and added a lot to the miniature. So, what do I have left to do? Well, my Excel spreadsheet tells me (because I am a sad bastard) that I have to finish painting the Bolt Cannon; highlight the head and the carapace armour; highlight the back of the torso; glue the remaining armour in place and sort out some transfers and the banner which hangs between its legs. There's still plenty to do but I'm pleased with my progress so far. Hopefully I can keep ploughing on and get this thing finished in the next ten days.

As always, a huge thanks to Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast for running the event. If you want to see my journey so far, you can check it out here, here and here.

Tune in next time for the final installment of Monster March. Will I succeed in my Knightly quest or will my dream fall in tatters. Only time, and this blog, will tell.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Part 3

So we're almost half way through March and, theoretically, I'm about half way through my Monster March pledge. For those that don't know, Monster March is a painting challenge run by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast. The basic gist is to paint something large and monstrous in the month of March. I have chosen my Cerastus Knight Castigator which has been hanging about for a few months.

So, what's the current state of play? Well, I think that's best described as, work in progress.

Definitely in progress.
As you can see from the above, I've finished a lot of the colour blocking and applied some basic washes. I often find that it's best to finish a portion of a large model before moving on to the next part. In this case, I've divided the Castiagtor up into six parts (both legs, both arms, torso and head) and I intend to finish them out one at a time working roughly from the ground up. So far I've completed the right leg and glued the armoured greave in place (and boy did that feel good!)

The completed leg!
The next job is to complete the left leg and then the entire lower half of the model will be finished (except for the base.......and the transfers....oh dear) Hopefully you can see that the left leg is progressing reasonably well too and should be finished before too long.

Sort of getting there.
I was fortunate enough to have a bit of a painting day with Blazmo over at Tabletop Apocalypse last weekend which really gave me a boost on the progress front. Conversely, I have been a bit under the weather and have a busy week of gaming this week so my daily progress has been slow. Still, my Excel spreadsheet (because I am just that sad) tells me I'm about 50% through painting this beast, so I'm still on track for the end of the month. Here's hoping that next weekend brings another good shot of painting power.

As usual, you can check out my previous Monster March posts here and here. Good luck to all my fellow participants, your work is an inspiration as always!