Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Mortis Engine manifests just in time for the new year

Wow the last weeks went quite the opposite way as planned. I was about to put the final signatures on paper and move when the new house fell through, so I've been a bit busy searching for a replacement home to house the family (both my wife and son seem to be opposed to living in a scale model building made out of balsa wood, foamboard and plasticard). Luckily I finished this guy just before the excrement slapped against the fan (a large industrial one that still looks like a computer fan of course). As it was on my bingo card I've decided to put him in the last post of the year.

As usual I haven't actually read the rules to this unit, so here's hoping it does something useful on the tabletop.
To paint this Mortis Engine I used an old article in White Dwarf so the entire job started by figuring out what new colors more or less the colors when this article was printed. This also ticks of the Try to replicate the paint job of someone that inspires you box on the Miniature Painting Bingo chart. Speaking of that chart, Rob Hawkins has made a new and improved one I'll be using next year to get some extra motivation (assuming I'm not living in a box by then (damn you flat screen tv's you can't house a family of three in those boxes!).
I have a lot of White Dwarves and I'm still wondering why I don't have a subscription now. I have an even large archive of pdf'ed White Dwarves (from number one). For those keeping score: the first letter complaining White Dwarf was no longer as good as it used to be was in number three :)
I diverged from the White Dwarf version of the blind Corpsemaster on top. Well I actually tried to follow along going from Dark Angles (Caliban) Green up to Rotting Flesh (Nurgling Green) but as usual with edge highlights it looked like the town drunk had painted a way to contrasting color on top of a dark one. So I washed it all down with a few layers of Nuln Oil. I think it works.

Getting better at edge highlighting is on my skills wishlist for next year. This White Dwarf article did rather nicely illustrate how a combination of edge highlighting, home made washes and drybrushing leads to nice results.
One of the things I can never resist is going wild in big spell books some models have. This engine has a beautiful black magic tome that begs to be made extra mysterious by splashing some color and semi-illustrations in it.

Always paint cockpit controls and books, it gives you something to point out to your opponent while playing, the 'wow' that usually follows gives the ego a nice small stroke.
Another thing I went to town on was the hidden casket that features the locked-up corpse of a powerful Necromancer. Here is a bit of a problem with a CAD-designed kit like this. Let me illustrate it with pictures.

The casket leaning against my wet pallet while being detailed.
Here is the altar with the yellowed candles, I even took the time to paint the roses and skulls at the bottom and edge highlight the stonework.

The casket looking cool inside the Mortis Engine.
After this step I decided to do the skulls and roses on the rest of the Mortis Engine as well. Looking cool (I even remembered not to bother too much with the bits that will be hidden under the Corpsemaster's robes.

And with the last step I glued to gate to the casket in place, ensuring htat my hard work detailing the inner sanctum will only really be visible if I accidentally drop this model and the bits break off. A well, knowing a reasonably painted bit is hiding might just improve the good will of the dice gods. All in all I'll quite proudly bolster my undead forces with this Mortis Engine. Next up, finding a place to stow my hobby overflow (and live), there is time, so it will work out in the end. Lets end with a quote from the venerable Bob Ross to kick off the new hobby year: “All you need to paint is a few tools, a little instruction, and a vision in your mind.” Happy new year everyone and carry on painting!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Not quite Bingo this year, but still a lot of fun

I spotted this Miniature Painting Bingo card over at Rob Hawkins blog, being a shameless thief I had to steal the idea and replicate it. So I picked up my folder with hobby shots and endeavored to fill out my hobby bingo card. Alas, no bingo for me this year, but who knows what the next has in store (I got so close. Here's my final score (I'll post the empty picture on the bottom of this post).

Almost bingo, if only I had finished the Red Baron....
Why fill out a painting bingo card you ask? Well at the very least it'll help me put up another blog post while finishing a slightly bigger project then anticipated (more on that somewhere after Christmas). Without further ado I'll present my official reckoning for filling out the boxes above (and some bla bla for boxes I missed). 

Repaint a badly painted mini from e-bay
Incidentally I also painted the modern variant of these two.
In May I celebrated my birthday by adding to my skaven army. Aside from visiting GW and spending more than planned there I painted a stripped second hand classic Thanquol and Boneripper duo. I was rather happy with them, but forgot to take a proper picture. The pair was part of the overview of my Skaven army I posted in may.

Paint a new version of a mini you painted years ago
In July I got started on a Genestealer Cult and kicked off by painting a Genestealer Broodlord (and five Tyranids) in classic purple and blue colors. Not only did I quietly pause this project, I forgot to post pictures of my smallish succes. They are in boxes now, so I'll have to stick the completion of this one on my word as a Skaven Warlord and Gentleman (oh dear).

Paint a mini in a colour you don’t like using and find a way to make it work
White, After a massive Biel-Tan army, High Elves (this year) and some white Necron I still hate white almost as much as black. I painted both this year, but I don't quite feel that I have done the second part of this box justice, so I'll leave it unchecked. 

Paint a faction boxset (even if you aren’t a gamer)
Dark Imperium is a lovely starter box, next year I should find the time to work with the Primaris marines.
Over the course of June and July I painted the Death Guard part of the Dark Imperium box set. I think that counts. I'm still quite chuffed as to both the speed and the look of the models. I also actually used them on the table (twice) before losing interest in 40K and hopping back to Age of Sigmar.

Sell a mini you painted for more than you paid for it
I tend to sell a few unpainted miniatures over the course of the year, but never painted. So this box will not likely be ticked anytime soon.

Paint a mini as a gift
The Eindhoven Deathwatch (last time I checked it was a bit bigger then at the time of this photograph).
The local GW Warhammer Store asked all its customers to build and paint a member of the Deathwatch (including your own name on the base). Mine is the Space Wolf on the rop right of the building. Here is the post about painting him.

Paint a scale model (Gundam, Airfix, etc)
Now this is a bit of sad one. I decided to give the entire military modeling a shot, so I started on a Red Baron kit by Revel. Bought a big one (1:36 scale). It turned out this particular kit was aimed at 8 year olds, lacked detail, was stupidly simply to build and had no detail I hated it and have dumped the kit in the shed. Interesting sidenote, this plastic lump of a triplane set me back 30 euro's, and people think GW is expensive....

Paint a bust
I wouldn't quite know where to put it, so I don't think this will happen anytime soon. 

Paint a squad/unit above tabletop standard, include a display base
I paint a lot of squads/units, and I like to think I paint above tabletop standard (although nowhere near the incredible quality of the truly gifted painters out there). Unfortunately 'building a display base' has been on the unfulfilled part of my to do list this year, so no points for me.

Paint a garage kit
I have no clue what a garage kit is supposed to be. 

Buy a mini and paint it, including base, within 48 hours.
I am still rather pleased with how that shield turned out.
I have a serious Martkplaats problem (Martkplaats = eBay for the Dutch). One of the models I bought on a whim was this OrrukWarboss on Boar. To assuage the guilt I painted him the next evening, earning myself a crossed of space. Oh no, I've encouraged myself to spend more on second hand miniatures!

Enter a competition
I usually enter Armies on Parade at my local GW store, except this year as I had no time to build a required display board. 

+++ Free Square +++
Nailed this one! ;) 

Paint in the company of other painters
I usually try to set something up, but this year it fell through the cracks of being busy with family, work and the like.

Repaint a prepaint
I don't own prepainted miniatures, having successfully managed to avoid X-Wing so far.

Convert a mini
One of my favorite Orruk faces in my Greenskins army.
I convert quite a lot of my miniatures, but my Orruk BoarChariot project of this year takes a special place of pride for me. 

Paint a mini using a technique you haven’t mastered (and don’t worry if it goes wrong)
I went for some reckless airbrushing, trying to emulate the casual splatter style of Next Level Painting (and ending up quite a few floors below his level of skill ;). But still, the purple Chaos Spawn look amazing, and even the flesh ones are ok. Too bad I had a shit camera at the start of the year. Should try to photograph that army again next year.

Paint a mini that’s in a scale you don’t usually paint.
Well there was the Red Baron one, aside from him everything was in the variable scale known as 'heroic'.

Paint a mini that’s been at the bottom of your ‘to do’ pile
These guys were stuck in a plastic bag at the bottom of a box for so long, I thought I'd never paint them.
My rather too large collection of Snotlings finally got a bit of painting love this year. These aren't top quality, but they have paint on them, and that is enough for me.

Build something (a model, a base, a display case, a paint rack, etc)
This terrain set is actually quite fun, but I only got around to using it once.
I had the feeling my terrain building was a bit on the light side this year. I did start of with my Aqshy BloodGeysers that I actually used once during a game. The sad thing is, they actually work quite nicely as a terrain set, I just keep forgetting to bring them along. Other finished sets this year include my badlands terrain and the accompanying badlands scatter terrain, both have seen a lot more use. I also built a pair of siege towers that have seen no use outside pictures. The last set I made was for the rather disappointing Shadow Wars: Armageddon game I almost couldn't buy because it turned out to be a limited edition launch of new terrain. After acquiring that box I also built that. But as my Grudge of Drong project fizzled out after completing the mine shafts I ended up feeling as if I failed to build any terrain this year. Memory is a funny, fickle thing....

Make a diorama
I have not done this yet, maybe I'll try one next year. I have an idea...

Contribute to the community (write an article, post a tutorial, etc)
Well there's this blog and the nonsense I splash on Facebook every so often. All in all, I think I am allowed to check that box.

Paint all the minis for a board game and play it with friends
Steelheart's champions were utterly trounced in my first game of Shadespire (as I was controlling them, I think I should take full responsibility for that loss).

I finished both the Sigmarite and the Bloodbound Shadespire Warbands and managed to finally try the game on Christmas 'eve. Just in time to check of this box.

Paint a mini from a range you’ve never painted before
I should finish the rest of these Ral Partha Dwarves, they are fantastic models.
I helped kickstart the Ral Partha dwarves and painted four of them when they arrived. Unfortunately right after that I had a 'squirrel' moment and started on a completely different project. Oh yeah, it was Shadow War...let's not grumble on about that in an otherwise excellent gaming year....

Try to replicate the paint job of someone that inspires you
I'm currently putting the finishing touches on a Mortis Engine painted using an old White Dwarf step by step guide. I think that counts. More on this model as soon as I've gotten around to the Banshees...

So that's it, my year in review (as seen from a bingo card). As I'm scribbling away I do regret not being able to mention a few other things I'm quite happy with. I painted a full Tzeentch Slaves to Darkness army with some Disciples and the new Lord of Change thrown in. I painted a full High Elf army, Skarbrand and inquistor Obiwan Sherlock Clousseau. On the other hand I also started quite a number of projects that are nowhere near completed. Luckily I'll probably find some time in 2018 to (not) finish them then. In the meantime. Happy hobbying, and until the next post. For those of you looking, here is the bingo card as stolen from the blog mentioned at the start.

Here is the original bingo chart.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Ready! Aim! Miss! Glide! Hit Anyway! Yes, my Doom Divers have paint on them!

As a copywriter I'm opposed to the use of exclamation marks (the only exception being: 'We've got your son/daughter! Leave money under the old oak tree!'). Having said that, I couldn't resist on the title of today's post. As (most of) the goblins in this Doom Diver battery have been languishing in half painted hell for about two years I am beyond happy to actually finish them.

I pity the fool who goes up against this battery...
The happy little Grots have a bit of history. The metal Doom Diver on the center of the table rolled out of a lot containing mostly snap-fit Space Crusade marines and the horrific hunchbacked Chaos Warriors from the nineties. It made a bad buy excellent. I remember enthusiastically stripping the model and painting the catapult only to lose interest and leave the crew unfinished. The Finecast catapult on the right is the newest in the bunch. I traded a bunch of plastic Chaos Space Marines for it. It was missing the Doom Diver crewman in flight but as the Doom Diver has a crew of four in Age of Sigmar that is no problem. Now the catapult on the left has a serious history.

Although I'm aware not everybody is overjoyed with the AoS ruleset I personally get a kick out of using my ancient eighties and nineties models in the new setting.
This is the original Doom Diver model and I fought against it when the 4th edition ruleset was brand-spanking new. It used to come with a single crewman (the one in the background on the left behind the catapult) and player's just imagined a horde of willing replacements in the back. With the 'crew of four' rule in Sigmar I had to get creative. So I borrowed the 'in flight' model from the larger metal kit, and had the luck to find a hammer wielder in the Snotlings I bought of GW. I picked up the crashing Doom diver in the foreground for a nice price as it was a damaged model. As for the paint job on this entire battery, I think I can do a lot better, but I am getting sick and tired of painting greenskins. Apparently my tax is about three months of painting (mostly) the same army. I'm about to stick the last groups of Orcs/Orruks I have into the project box. I didn't want these guys to suffer the same fate.  So here it is. With this lot I will (probably) stop the green tide and join in with Deadcember like the other regular well adjusted Warhammer painters out there. There is a second reason to temporarily stop painting Greenskins....

Part of my large display cabinet in the home office, I am willing to admit I regularly stand in front of it just to feel proud about my work (and also to remind myself I should reattach poor Ahriman to his base).
This is no way to proudly display an army, but my shelf space is used up. I actually had to stuff my trolls on the overflow shelf. I have promised myself more display room after the move. In the meantime I'm going to be painting a few undead (and after that I'll jump into the grimdark future for a bit of terrain building (if I manage to stick to my plans)).

Okay, painting Death because there is no space on the Destruction shelf will not solve anything....

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My Stone Trolls are ready to Trollololol away

I have decided to close my rather busy year (with the move still ahead at the start of the next one sssssh) with a few weeks vacation. Unfortunately my projects seem to expand with the amount of time I have planned to paint. I'll just soldier on. First on the list was finishing two of these three trolls.

You've got to love these classic Stone Troll sculpts.
I painted the one on the left (with the River Troll face) a few years ago, but he's been rebased from 40mm to 50mm (amazing how much more impressive a model becomes when you give it a bigger base). I have loved these models ever since first spotting them in (I think) the old Blue Catalogue. But never got around to buying them. Surprisingly four of this type of troll are still for sale at GW today. Although in the Mortal Realms they go by the name Rockgut Troggoth.

And from the back, not that much to see, but for completeness sake...
Now I could have sworn these were Bob Olley sculpts. I have an annoying tendency to call anything with a mixture of evil and charm a Bob Olley sculpt. Exepting Orcs and Goblins of course, as far as I'm concerned all the cool ones that make you smile are by Kev Adams. A quick check on Stuff of Legends however tells me these trolls have been sculpted by one of the Perry twins (Michael). It goes to show how little I know (and how poor my miniature sculptor identifying skills are).

I take a lot of joy out of sticking happy little flowers on the bases of big bad monsters.
This is one of the currently available of the Rockgut Troggoths. The current (2017) price of the models is 20 euro each. Fortunately my set of three all came from different second hand lots (excepting one bought separately somewhere). I love the bulging eye on this one, although going by the picture I may have overdone the red glaze.

That is a half eaten bit of breakfast, not a mold line!
After carefully airbrushing the basic skintones on this troll I discovered very thick mold lines on the bone is his left hand. It was only after snapping the entire hand of at the wrist and screwing up the paint that I discovered it wasn't a mold line but intentionally sculpted bits of meat. Luckily no witnesses were present so I can keep this blunder a secret....

I want to rock!!(Rock!) Rock!!(Rock!) Rock!!(Rock!)
This Troggoth has the head of a River Troll Fellwater Troggoth. I painted it a few years back and the color is slightly off compared to the other two. But it has been rebased and he's blue so good enough to function in the unit. So far for the Troggoths, they can Trollololol away in the display case as I move on to finish the last bits of my Orruk project (although the project box beckons, and a few Undead seem to be appearing out of nowhere on my paint station...) What should I make of these Malign Portents?

Edit: a quick shot of the other trolls in my army....

Three old school River Trolls/Fellwater Troggoths and a Forge World Troll Hag/Troggoth Hag.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Well the weather outside is frightful, but the Bloodbound are delightful....

Did I mention being short on time? Sorry for going on about that one, but selling ones house as an avid kitchen table painter adds an extra layer of trauma. Apparently real estate agents don't like selling houses that smell like a chemical dump and look like someone's thrown a handgrenade in a box of plastic sprues and stones. Anyway with the house most likely sold I could go back to my painters ways. First off was tackling the Bloodbound in Shadespire. I have yet to play a game (or read the rules). With the small amount of miniatures in the box I decided it was about time to reinstate my 'no unpainted miniatures' rule for a bit.

The snow throws of all the automatic balance thingies in the camera, making the blood rather hard to see.
Here are the Bloodbound. As you can see my photo studio (*cough* outside *cough*) had changed from a rainy backdrop to snow. I guess I should've painted some Space Wolves... Because I was to viking to put on a coat or sweater, but not viking enough to stay out for an extended period I don't have any proper close-ups of the blood on the guys. But it was a hell of a lot of fun adding it. I think I've linked to this tutorial before, but I really can't recommend it enough. It is (as far as I'm concerned) the ultimate guide to make your bloody miniatures bloody.

I like the addition of scars and bone growths spurting from the models. These guys are here to hack and slay, no doubt about it.

Aside from the blood most work went into the skin. It was basically a straight forward job of airbrushing Cadian Fleshtone followed by a copious wash of Reikland Flesh. Then I let the miniatures sit for two weeks as I had to clear out my workspace (optional step ;) ). After that I layered from a wet palette starting with Cadian Fleshtone, then a mix of Cadian with Kislev Flesh, Pure Kislev Flesh and finally a highlight of what was left of the Kislev mixed with Pallid Wych Flesh. As an aside, what a joy it is to spell check the GW paint names. I keep discovering I've been reading names on paint pots wrong for years....

Right now I'm preparing for a long hobby holiday, so I have good hopes of accomplishing a lot this month (note to self: stay away from Steam). That might turn out to be necessary, I really want to finish the Orruks I have on my paint tray, but I've also bought the new Necromunda and I couldn't help but buy into the Christmass Special offering Flying Dwarves Khardaron Karhadron Karodron Kharadron Overlords (the problem goes way beyond paint pots). Then there are some plans for futuristic terrain.....I think the long hobby holiday is going to be too short....

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Shadespire Steelheart's Champions in Anvils of the Heldenhammer colors

I'm rather busy with actual work so I have to keep today's update quick and short. By the same token I seem to be in a bit of hobby overdrive and I fear that if I don't post these now, they will be pushed into the 'to be posted queue'. That one usually ends up on 'never posted' avenue. As I've cracked and ordered Necromunda, I suspect more painting will be in the near future. So without further ado, I've painted the three Stormcast Eternals from the Shadespire set.

Steelheart and friends stand ready to do something in Shadespire (I have not read the manual yet). 
I've opted for the black armor of the Anvils of the Heldenhammer, taking a small creative liberty with the loincloth. I picked white as I think the contrast helps cover up my still not quite there 'painting black' skill (it's my white whale and I've decided to just keep at it until I'm satisfied). Aside from that what an amazing set of miniatures these are to paint! Nice detail (especially for push-fit models) and the bases are gorgeous. Looking at my own pictures is rather humbling to see my carefully applied 'edge' highlights blown up to gigantic proportions on my computer screen. It looks as if I fingerpaint instead of using brushes and makes the Golden Daemon/Eavy Metal work that much more impressive (as if it needed that). Ah well, at least I can take some pride in the face of mr. Steelheart (although I don't think I'll even master painting pupils).

As it is actually autumn outside the rain is pretty much a constant, making miniature photography a bit more difficult. 
I approached the bases with the intent of adding subtle color to the grey (aside from the autumn leaves) and picked a version of the same approach I took with the Ironjaws Megaboss. This time I put interesting colors in the airbrush (instead of using leftovers) and sprayed thinned down colors on the grey bases. The rest of Shadespire is up next (brilliant concept to keep te model count fixed and small). The five Khorne-guys have jumped ahead of the painting queue (overtaking a large number of Orruks and Trollocs). If I can finish these chaps I might actually get a chance to try and play Shadespire. I've heard good things about it (damn the no-unpainted principles I occasionally still cling to). If only I had more time so I could build some pieces of Shadespire themed terrain....

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Back to the Greenskins: a Megaboss enters the fray

Yesterday I finished my Ironjawz Megaboss model. And even though I foolishly glued the head in place and picked a paint scheme that didn't seem to work while painting, I'm rather pleased with the end result. The rusted metal plate was inspired by the incredible work the various AoS28 (Dark Age of Sigmar) people have been showing off over the past few years. For those of you who missed this I think Ex Profundis is a perfect starting point and the Aos28 Facebook group features some nice work as well. Basically it mixes (attempts at) John Blanche's style of painting, Sigmar models and the gothic horror theme of the Old World. It turns Sigmar's high fantasy setting into a Hieronymus Bosch like hellscape. It's awesome :)

I'm here to swing axe and chew squig, and I'm all out of squig....
The problem with this Orruk (aside from the glued on head (last time I'll mention this, I promise)) is that the armor takes up most of his body. I planned to use the same style I used on my Black Orcs Orruk Ardboys. That is: start by airbrushing a dark metal (Vallejo Gun Metal), zenithal airbrush a lighter metallic tone (Vallejo Steel), follow with a wash of Agrax Earthshade, then apply Gryphonne Sepia and finish with a strong highlight with Stormhost Silver. Then (aside from painting the skin and wooden weapon handles) pick a few interesting pieces of armor and paint them red. This helps to paint a unit of Ardboys quickly and effectively (I think). Here is an example.

The unit of immortals I painted in 2016 is about to receive reinforcements.
The Megaboss is a much larger model and his armor is basically to big for this to work. It turns into a really boring valley of 'nothing to see here'. Thanks to some texture a drybrush helps, but just not enough. As I was painting my Deathwatch marine's base I decided to vent my frustration over the ugly look of the model by going a bit Jackson Pollock on the armor, albeit not with Oil Dripping but with Airbrush leftovers. I thinned down whatever was in the cup (mostly browns and rust tones) with some flow improver and then randomly added small splats of it to the armor. At a certain point I actually added a purple sheen too. It's quite well visible here. All in all don't think just spray and try to feel artistic while doing it.

I don't think I'll ever worry about adding weird colors to metal armor again, just go for extremely thin paints and channel Bob Ross's 'there are no mistakes, just happy little accidents'.
After this step the armor got a lot more interesting, but the model was still suffering from a very serious case of lack of variation. That's when I decided to make the blood indentations in the armor and the cords tying the skulls down red. This extremely small thing helped a lot more then I expected. It manages to make a rusty model look interesting and also ties it in with the rest of my army.

Even though I usually shirk away from adding blood to a weapon, it adds the right amount of menace to this model.
Last, but certainly not least was adding blood to the axe and claw. I'm always slightly worried about adding blood as I think it can quickly look like a cheap effect (or worse perform the same ignoble job as badly placed mud (i.e. attempt to cover a painting mistake)). But thanks to this blood painting tutorial by ThirdEyeNuke from Tale of Painters I have a technique that works and looks spectacular (IMHO). Although I usually just mix Tamiya Clear Red with Vallejo Smoke for the effect. For the Megaboss I waited with the blood until the base was glued on so I could add some blood drips to match the location of the axe. All in for a model I've been cursing at for the last few weeks I'm quite satisfied with the end result. I think he looks big, grim, intimidating and deadly enough to boss all my other Greenskins around. As soon as the Orruk bug leaves me I'll shoot a bunch of pictures of my army so far which will serve nicely to get a better sense of size, especially of old models versus the new (my Orruk collection features models from as far back as 1987). 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I'm temporarily suspending the green tide to bring you this member of the Deathwatch

The local GW here in Eindhoven has sent out a request to all customers to build and paint a Deathwatch Space Marine before the end of November. I think it is actually a cooperation between a lot of European stores, but being very blonde and easily distracted I have to admit I forgot most of the details. I just remember: 'end of November', 'Deathwatch', 'Black rim on base' and 'Paint your own name on the rim'. So the relevant details (I hope ;) ). As I was planning to convert my Primaris marines to Deathwatch I already had some shoulder pads on hand. And here is my marine.

Eat your own medicine you Eldar scum!
As the Deathwatch are allowed naughty things my marine is carrying an Eldar weapon. Sure as the Adeptus Mechanicus would point out it is an ancient and inferior design, but well it was on hand. Being a proud Son of Russ my marine picked it up and is using it anyway. The fact that I will give this model away so I won't be using it in regular games gave me an excuse to make a conversion that is not covered in the (modern) rules.

Given that my Space Marine is holding a flamer and a plasma pistol I have to assume this is someone else's victim.
One of the takeaways from this is that I still suck at painting black. I tried giving some gradients with different shades of grey and finished up with a thinned down purple to make it a bit more interesting (I actually regret that, I don't think it looks that good). I tried subtle highlights but they were practically invisible. Overcompensating I used highlights that look a bit too harsh I guess. So, lets say black is not my color and take some time to paint more black power armors soon, who knows practice may make perfect and all that... I did have a lot of fun setting up the dead Eldar on the base. I also improvised a small dais from bits to make my marine stand out amid the expected crowd of other models.

I think I can finally check 'successfully apply a decal' of my bucket list.
This shoulder pad makes me very happy. I think this is the best decal I ever applied to a model (and to think my initial respons to decals was 'this is cheating'). After painting the shoulder pad I applied a layer of gloss varnish. When this dried I applied Micro Set followed up by the Decal. I gave it some time to dry in place and then applied Micro Sol to melt it down. After that I managed to refrain from immediately applying more gloss varnish (my go to mistake at this point). My Vallejo Gloss reacts with Micro Set forming tiny white grains (and generally destroying all the hard work). I waited for the Micro Set to dry completely overnight and then applied the gloss varnish. After this had dried I ended up using an airbrush for a layer of mat varnish. I think I can safely say this works. So next step: visit my local GW to drop off the model.

Monday, November 13, 2017

An(other) Orruk Warboss steps onto the stage...

Has any serious research been conducted regarding the sanity of wargamers? Just as I was about to actually finish my remaining Orruks I went ahead and bought even more Orruks! *sigh* Anyway a bunch of Black Orcs Orruk 'Ardboyz and an Orruk Warboss (in two versions) have joined the 'to be painted' line of models. It was a second hand offer that proved to nice to resist. As a way of atoning for my reckless spending I've finished the Orruk Warboss on a boar.

I can't wait to bum rush this villain into some hapless enemies. 
I bought this model waving a flag and sporting a different head. A few deft flicks of the scalpel later and it is a warboss with an axe, a shield and a killer one eyed stare. Orruks on boars shouldn't be in the background waving flags, they should run screaming ahead of the horde and start putting the axe to the enemy. I've switched the flag to his counterpart on foot (to be painted).

Blood on the axe, or no blood on the axe? That is the question. I always feel like adding blood to the axe but I'm worried that it will look like a cheap effect so I stop myself.
Of all the things that changed over the years I have to say ready to paint 'ogre face' shields are among my favorites. An ogre face adds a lot of character. Ready made ogre face shields look better than my mediocre freehand skills ever could make a shield look. But back to generalized insanity, here are a few snaps of my trays with models to be painted soon(ish).

Screw focus, just work on everything at once!
My main tray features Goblin crews for my Spear Chukka's and Doom Diver catapults (and one catapult and two Spear Chukka's). I've also assembled two metal giants that were languishing in the to-do box, two trolls that are 'almost finished', three ancient Ruglud Orcs that I just purchased to fill out that unit to twenty strong. Some of the new Orruk Brutes and a Skaven Doom Flayer that has inexplicably surfaced on this tray....Oh yeah and a bunch of Squig Herders and Grot Fanatics.

Almost done: just add a few more washes, some edge highlights, green for the skin, a few browns and some reds.
Tray number two currently features twenty Ardboyz. I painted a unit of ten metal Arboyz a few years back, and bought another ten metal Arboyz from a friend. With the plastic set I acquired two weeks ago I could finally glue together the right sort of Ardboyz to make one unit of twenty with two hand weapons (and command) and one of ten with two-handed weapons (and command). That'll save me a lot of head scratching and counting whilst playing. One major change Orruk 'Ardboyz have undergone as they metamorphosed from Black Orc is that you have to choose before battle what weapon combination they use instead of alternating between rounds. The models above have already been painted (airbrushed) metal and partly washed. It should not be a massive job to get the lot painted up. (at least that's what I keep telling myself).

Who was the idiot that glued this guys face to his body before painting? I was that idiot!
Last but not least is an Orruk Meganob in (currently) very boring armor. I do not want to follow GW's lead and paint it bright yellow, blue or red. But just metal and a bit of washing is not going to cut it. As I've already foolishly glued the head to the body (making it impossible to give the face a proper paint job) I think I'm going to go wild with this model and just experiment away. Not shown on the painting station is a solitary Deathwatch Space Marine. The local store manager has asked all customers to build and paint one for a special plan, and who am I not to join in on the fun?

A quick snap of the ten Orruk Ardboyz awaiting reinforcements in my display cabinet (with apologies for the poor lighting).
Anyway with the end of painting Orruks almost in sight I've foolishly bought even more Orruks to paint. Add to that an order of Shadespire and breaking ranks and ordering a non-GW miniatures game and I have more then enough to keep me painting for a long while....However Christmas is around the corner and with it will probably come the (special price) collection boxes...oh dear the to-do-list will just grow....let's not mention Necromunda just really...I should not go and pick up a copy....I can wait until January....oh oh....

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Boyz, Boyz, Boyz, get ready for a Waaagh!

Not that they need it, but my Snotlings have got some backup in the form of twenty angry Orruk Boyz.

Hack, slay, blood, gore, nothing less, nothing more!
As part if my (extended) Orctober I assembled these models and undercoated them with a Mournfang brown spray I had on hand. After that I painted five (the boss, banner bearer, drummer and two random boyz), planning to paint the rest in groups of five. As with the Snotlings this didn't work out, so inspired by just forcing myself to paint 'the lot' I sat down and painted them all (Ken Burn's excellent The Vietnam War documentary provided a very nice background that helped me keep going through the painting).

I love the expressions on Orruk models, and think the most important part of painting is giving some extra love to the faces. 
The banner is a piece of paper on a set of spare Pig Stikka's that come with the Orruk Boyz. It had to be done as I like big banners. With all the work on the Chariots last month I think I'm actually running out of spare Pig Stikka's.

After a single freehand I thought 'no', and decided not to do more. I'll save it for more important models.
The Orruk boyz could be spiced up with a some freehands (like the one in the center of the image above), but I have a lot more Orruks to paint, and I'm slowly but surely getting the ambition to actually paint my way through the entire supposedly green colored part of the lead&plastic pile. In other words, I'm calling this group finished.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Snotling gits reinforce my Greenskin ranks...well they'll be sort of standing there in the background....

Why would anyone in his or her right mind add Snotlings to a Greenskin army? Please feel free to put your answer in the comments, I don't have one ;) As to this ragtag group: a few years ago I had the chance to buy back almost all the lead models I sold around the start of the nineties. Among that lot was my Snotling Pump Wagon. I think I bought it in a blister when I just started collecting. On re-acquiring the Basic Pump Wagon I stripped and repainted it. As Age of Sigmar was not on the radar I based it square and stuck it in my display cabinet. Zap forward to opening my Orruk project box in September. It contained a rather large collection of unpainted Snotlings (41 plus a pair of drunk Snotlings) and a second (half-finished) pump wagon with expansion (a second deck was optional way back then). To jump forward to the conclusion of this post, all of the models have a coat of paint on them now and the old pump wagon has received a new base.

Now these gits are ready for almost nothing!
Back to the 'why Snotlings?' question. Well there is the nostalgia fueled basic pump wagon. The other pump wagon has a nostalgia claim a well. I always regretted not buying an expanded pump wagon and had the chance to get one second hand. As for the Snotling bases I have to make an admission. I actually bought two bases of Snotlings from Games Workshop a few years back (against my all second hand rule for the Greenskin army). I was hit by a completionist vibe towards my expanding Greenskin collection and decided painting two bases of Snotlings fell within the realm of sanity. A week later I bought a second hand lot. In this case a badly photographed box labeled 'assorted warhammer' on the second hand website. Fate has a wicked sense of humor so Snotlings to cover another two bases turned up in this lot. Exit sanity enter a total of 41 Snotlings (and two drunks) to paint.
In Age of Sigmar regular Orruks inspire Snotlings that fight close by, this still does not make the Snotlings useful in a fight.
The hard part about painting Snotlings is that these models are actually lovingly sculpted. They have funny facial expressions that beg to be pulled out by the brush and they carry more accessoires then you would expect. On the other hand they are tiny, die in droves and manage to turn invisible when you put them between other models. Also I had 41 of them. The odds of finishing that many Snotlings to any sort of standard are small (at least for me). Attempting it will more likely result in putting my own collection in a second hand box labeled 'Warhammer' and selling it for next to nothing. I decided not to go down that road.

A dreaded part of any half-forgotten project: counting how many models you actually have.
Instead I assembled the Snotlings on my cutting mat and decided a number needed to be washed of excess old paint. Into the Aceton with you, my diminutive troops!

There they are, all washed and ready to be bascoated.
After (tooth-)brushing them I dropped them on some paper towel and allowed the Aceton to evaporate.

One advantage of Snotlings is that they don't wear more than a loincloth.
The next step was basecoating them by airbrush and after allowing the basecoat to set spraying the lot (Vallejo) Goblin Green.

I admit it! I dipped the little runts....I couldn't think of a quicker way to get them washed.

I followed this step by turning to the dark side. I used my large pot of Vallejo Sepia Wash to just dip the lot. As I lost all joy in painting Snotlings at this point I gave them ample time (weeks) to dry.

One Snotling done, another forty to go....groan.....
After some time I manned up and decided to finish a single Snotling. Only forty more to go! At this point I decided to go for a 'one a day' approach with the intent of finishing the lot within a month and a half. The next day I followed up by not painting a single Snotling. Another week passed and the kitchen towel with green painted, sepia-dipped Snotlings started to weigh on my mind. Was it watching me accusingly as I lavished attention on chariots and shamans? In the end I decided action was needed. I executed evil plan number two: drybrushing the lot.

Drybrushing is a fine technique for furs, chainmail and quickly getting a blob of Snotlings in a basic coat of paint.
To ease my conscious I then carefully applied a thin line of (human) skin color on the bottom lips of all Snotlings involved in the process. At this point all it took was for me to sit myself down twice. Once on Friday evening and again on Saturday morning I just had to take a few hours to finish the lot up. Not pictured: me cursing all Snotlings and the Warhammer painting hobby.

Two ends of a toothpick attached to a bit of plastic rod and we have something resembling a pump handle.
During this cursing I found time to make a quick emergency repair to the two story pump wagon (its crew and the pump handle are missing). Yes I really hate this hobby....mumble mumble...okay it's actually a lot of fun....

Just add some Mournfang Brown....
Sitting on the bottom floor I'm going to pretend the crew have taken a quick break from pumping to pelt the enemy with mushrooms, small rocks and harsh language.

Cleverly hidden on the bottom deck of the pump wagon: my improvised handle.
I have to admit I rushed the project just to finish it. Also the larger wagon is still missing a base as I had to mail order a fresh one and it isn't in yet. As to the other base I'm quite happy with the green stuff mushrooms I made for it. Should do that more often. So a bit of a rush job (between the scenes as it was spread out over almost two months), but still better then the alternative. I'm quite sure these Snotlings would be terrorizing a plastic bag at the bottom of a project box if I had tried to paint them with all bells and whistles. So there they are, ready to fail at achieving any serious battlefield goals. But where are the two drunk ones? They haven't been finished. Over the years I think I have painted the drunk Snotlings about a dozen times and every time I finish I hate the paint job so much I have to start's just something of a tick I have with models I love a bit too much. Next up: me finishing a unit of boyz (maybe).