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!