Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ettin Update, Stags & Vanishing Terrain Kits

Work continues on the ettin's skin. I have to say, I do love acrylic medium. It's a magical liquid. I've used it plenty before, but never in the quantities I'm using on this guy. I created a series of flesh washes for the initial shading that were much thinner than usual. At his size, the ettin's skin needed much less contrast than a 28mm model. I added more yellow to the mix for recesses, under the arms and between folds of flesh. substitute in red and purple for wounds and around the eyes and jowls and he's almost ready. I dirtied up his feet a little too, I wanted it to look ground in rather than filthy. I still need to do the lips, and touch up a few areas. Then onto his loin cloth, rock and goat-bottle.

In other news the wild riders images are prancing about the internet this morning. Now here's a kit I can get some use out of. I'm a little concerned the stags are too slender to mount a hefty fimir mistmor on though. I'll need to see the sprues up close. The helmets are the business. I also noticed the elf rangers have hooded heads that would make great cultist conversion bits.

Finally, it seems that a great deal of the terrain kits Games Workshop produce for both Warhammer and Warhammer 40k are being discontinued. Looking at Element Games and Wayland Games, most of the Warhammer kits are already unavailable. On the UK Games Workshop site they have started vanishing too. Kits like Dreadstone Blight are unavailable, and the old Temple of Skulls is gone altogether. So far only the barricades are gone from 40k, but I did hear kits like the Skyshield Landing Pad and Honoured Imperium are getting the chop. If you're looking to get some of these plastic terrain sets, now is the time.

I want one of these. Anyone?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cover me in Glory, Liebster Award

The Liebsters are doing the rounds again, and this time Carsten from the tremendous Clamshells and Seahorses (best blog name ever) has seen fit to bestow the Liebster upon me. Though undeserving of such a glorious accolade, one will do one's best to muddle along.

Seems the first thing is to reveal 11 truths about myself. Hmm. Okay so. BEHOLD.
  • My real name is David. That's an easy one.
  • I live in the West of Ireland, near Lough Corrib. I used to live in Dublin, but as a pal of mine once said: "It concerns me, Dave, that you appear to be moving further and further from the prying eyes of civilisation."
  • As you may have gathered, I do love miniatures. But the new, as well as the old.
  • I've made a LOT of friends through gaming. Go to events and tournaments. Gamers are a friendly lot, if prone to shouting and sometimes trying a little too hard.
  • I've nearly died twice now. I escaped once by being rescued, the other time by negotiating. I'm so hardcore.
  • I have a genuine concern I won't get through all my bucket list projects before kicking said bucket.
  • Golden syrup and cheddar on toast. Yummity.
  • My favourite comedy is Evil Dead 2.
  • I watch Adventure Time even when the kids aren't in the room.
  • I inadvertently shouted 'Yeeehhaaaaa!' at the top of my lungs when emptying the clip of an AK47. SO hardcore.
  • Crispy baby crabs are my favourite beer snack.
There you go. Now, questions from Eval!
  • Sci-fi or fantasy? Ancient or Modern warfare? And why?
Fantasy, if I'm honest. Why? Swords.
  • How did you first get into the miniature/war-gaming hobby?
White Dwarf 95. Warhammer 3rd edition release issue. Hooked ever since.
  • What's the latest hobby-related book you've read?
The GW dwarf book.
  • What's your latest game you've played (tabletop/boardgame)?
  • Would you say you are more a collector, painter or gamer and why?
More a painter, because it's easier to pick up the paints than get a group of mates together to game.
  • Who is your favourite miniature sculptor? 
Jes Goodwin if I had to choose one. Which is hard.
  • Who is your favourite rule-book/source-book - illustrator/artist and/or writer?
Russ Nicholson, for the work he did for the Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Heavily influenced by youthful awe mixed with elderly nostalgia.
  • Who is your all time favourite miniatures producing company? 
It's Citadel.
  • What's you favourite miniatures game/rule producer?
Games Workshop. Yeah?!
  • What's your dearest item in you collection - and why?
Morbius the liche. My alter ego in my undead army for almost thirty years.
  • What recent hobby purchase do you most regret (if any)?
Don't be ridiculous.

Now to pick eleven blogs wot I like. Carsten already picked a bunch I would have, but here's what does it for me today:

King's Miniatures
The Realm of Zhu
Dave Taylor Miniatures
Sprocket's Small World
Spiky Rat Pack
Somewhere the Tea's Getting Cold
Rob Hawkin's Hobby
James Wappel Miniature Painting
Realm of Citadel
Eldritch Epistles

And the questions for these blogs that are like unto the Gods themselves.

  • What's your favourite miniature release from the last year?
  • What does it take for a miniature to make you have to have it?
  • Tell me about a miniature you absolutely hate.
  • What's your favourite piece of game-related art/illustration?
  • Who's the biggest influence toward your painting style?
  • Basing. Love it? Hate it? Don't care?
  • Oldhammer. What is it?
  • Sushi, a fan? 
  • What's your favourite cartoon series?
  • Give me a song that makes you want to throw the radio through the window.
  • What's your favourite fantasy/sci-fi race? Reasons?

Go nuts kids.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Curs'd Ettin - Update 2

Last night I put down the base layer for the tattoos on the ettin. The large arm seems to be the natural home for them. I did consider adding some elsewhere, but thought against it in the end as it would start to draw attention away from the arm. Rather than painting one of two massive tattoos, I wanted to use the large space to apply a sleeve of sorts. I mixed the blue with the base flesh tone for the first layer, I'll add more blue once the glazes are on.

With a model of this size, I have to change my techniques a bit to account for scale. A wash and layer isn't going to work for this lad. The texture on the skin is incredible, and to make the most of it I think a series of washes and glazes is the way to go. I've been reading up on some techniques using only a light base colour (even white) and shading entirely with washes/glazes, especially on models with lots of detail or heavy texture like this fellow. When using the glazes, I won't simply wash the entire model. I'll probably mix medium into them for the more general glazes, and then apply the heavier glazes to recesses. Adding purple, yellow or darker browns to feet, hands, eyes and the mouth. I'll do a couple of tests and then onto the ettin.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Genesteal Cult - Hybrid, Update 2

Now that I'm generally happy with the look of a standard hybrid/broodbrother for the cult, I've been tinkering with more plastic to construct some more bestial hybrids. These will carry special or heavy weapons in the various units. I'm leaning towards using the Astra Militarum book as a guide to unit construction, but I'm not really big on loads of tanks, so the jury is still out. The Militarum Tempestus book looked promising, but the f@$k*%g thing is sold out.

The fellow above uses a Deadzone plague model as the base. (Many thanks to Paul from the excellent sho3box blog for some great leads on parts for the hybrids.) His original head is teeny tiny, which is great as the mask fits on lovely in it's place. He's so deformed that it looks suitably grotesque.  The third arm is verging on too large, but I'll be chopping it up to pose it better anyway. I still need some proper weapons, I guess the Cadian Imperial guard kit will furnish those, I can use the arms on my metal hybrids as well I guess. I have some dark eldar talos sprues coming my way, which are loaded with biomechanical goodies. Seeing as this is an infected mechanicus cult, they should fit in great. Tubes, limbs, odd spinal augmentations, this kit has them all. I think that should then finish the main quest for parts, and the assembly can really kick off. I'm already looking forward to converting crypt horrors into oversized mechanically augmented hybrids.

Nine Long Years - Wood Elves Incoming

Yep. That's how long it's been since we've had a wood elf book. I'm a little late to the party here as I've been away for the long weekend, but as soon as I plugged the jack back into my head this morning the net was agog with pictures and excited chatter about the woodies.

As a chaos dwarf player I know what it's like to spend a long time out in the cold, so I can empathise with the wood elf players, who have had to contend with an army list grown gradually more creaky as the years, and editions, wore on. There were even some cruel rumours that the wood elves would be downsized as a full army, or cut altogether. Thankfully these malicious whispers have proved baseless.

Now it'll be time to proudly don the blue woad once more and get those dusty wood elf armies to do a few stretches and a couple of laps around the pitch before unleashing them on the tabletop afresh. I've seen some pictures of some of the new releases, and the treeman looks rather fetching, and bloody tall. Durthu looks particularly splendid. The character Araloth looks pretty decent too, with the horns and wee birdy and all. Week two releases look to be another character, eternal guard (previously thought to be dropped) and the much anticipated stag cavalry. I'm personally looking forward to these, as if they are good and the right size I'll be picking up a box to convert one for my mounted fimir warlord. It seems the kits will each have two or even three units that each one can be made into, including characters, which we can see from the treeman/ancient/Durthu kit. This looks to be the way of it for fantasy now, as Games Workshop ploughs ever more resources into 40k.

All images are taken from Plastic Krak. For more wood elf images and rumours, head on over.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Genesteal Cult - Hybrid, Update 1

At lunchtime today I received some bits and bobs in the post, namely some empire flagellant pieces. The flagellant kit is one of those utility kits, like the ghoul or forsaken kit. It's full of useful stuff that can be applied to a myriad of modelling projects. I wanted to make a couple of test models to see these parts would work for hybrid/brood brothers for my genestealer coven, so I spent the rest of my lunch hour digging in bits boxes. Here's the original concept I did a while ago.

The heads (from the witch elf kit) sat well on the neck, so first obstacle passed. The old eldar power fist is a nice scale and reinforces the mechanicus connection. I did find I am desperately short on 40k plastics though. I have container after container of fantasy bits, but not so much for 40k, so I'll need to acquire some guns, and hands to hold them. I had thought maybe the flagellant arms would be too beefy, but nope, they look fine. (Does anyone know if Catachan Imperial guard arms are much bigger than empire flagellant arms?) I'll also need to find some company that does human scale bionics. Most seem to be designed for orks or space marines. Lastly, the old hybrid arms looks massive on this lad. The new plastic genestealer arms look even bigger, which means I may have to sculpt some hybrid arms to fit ordinary human size models.

Originally, this was going to be a chaos-worshipping coven, masquerading as a mechanicus cult. That might be a bit to many themes, so I may drop he chaos angle, I'm still mulling it over.

Still though, first model!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Curs'd Ettin - Update 1

The ettin, or fomorian as I'll be using him as, crawls along. I've not had much time over the last week with work, but I have gotten him mostly assembled. His lion cloth is going to be a bit of a bollox to do as it hangs loosely over his groin, well, where it would be, anyway, had he one. Gluing it on first would mean you'd need some pretty bendy brushes to get paint it the back of it, so I'll need to paint it separately and then attach it, which means pins, as there's no point gluing paint to paint. Same with the big rotty animal head and his pointy rock. I was going to give him a bigger weapon, but the angle of his arm would make it look awkward.

His base is pretty much ready for primer though, I just need to smooth it off a little. Again, I'll add pins to his feet and paint the base separately. I'm continually delighted by the detail on the model, it's just a wonderful sculpt, and it needed almost no clean-up, which is a major bonus.

More soon!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Major Hobby Train Derailment

Over the course of the weekend I've been inundated with hobby-based tribute to soften the blow of hitting forty years old. The softening effect was considerable.

My normal steely resolve has been heavily eroded, and I've cleared the decks to make room to work on a model I've been hankering after for some time. Here he is laid out on the table.

The Ettin awaiting a good scrub.
The curs'd ettin from Forgeworld is a nasty model, in the best possible way. He's like some kind of horrible Francis Bacon sculpture. The deformities make him a great candidate to represent a fomorian in my fimir army. I'll add some extras to him, maybe give him a bigger weapon than the tiny rock he comes with, some armpit hair, couple of boils and so on. I'm very much looking forward to working on this fellow.

Literally sweeping away all current projects for something groovy like this is kind of symptomatic of how my approach to the hobby is changing lately. After chatting to a few folks on how they tackle painting and how they manage the teetering piles of lead, resin and plastic most of us own, I've decided to step back a touch from a military style plan of painting x units and y armies in z time to something more laid back. I won't be leaving pile of half assembled and black-primed models all over the place either, as that would drive me utterly insane, but I'm going to be a tad more whimsical and try to remember this is a hobby, not a job. With some shiny new boxes of yum piling up from the weekend, I think this is the right road.

Is there any greater joy than a box of models?
I think it's part of the rules that once you get to a more, ah, mature gamer, you receive a mandatory interest in historical gaming. I've been cooing at Bolt Action for a bit, and my bluff was well and truly called with a bloody great brick of a boxed set as a present. I'll be posting on this box of WW2 goodness soon. The thing is now I'll have to figure out how to paint WW2 lads with the right gear, colours etc. I hear that's a slippery slope.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Time & Tide Wait For No Gamer

Mmm... death.

I recently organised a weekend of gaming and general shenanigans in celebration of my upcoming 40th birthday. It was rather a LOT of fun, with games of all ilks getting played and it was great to hang out with so many good mates. This post is not, however, about telling you all how great a time we had and the fact I nearly passed out from laughing while playing cards against humanity.

No. This post is about death.

How's that for mid-life crisis?

I recently had a chat with some fellow oldhammer pals, and while discussing upcoming projects the conversation turned to the much more morbid subject of how much hobby we had left in us before the reaper decides he's had enough of our crap. It turns out some of the painting techniques we now use are employed so we can make the best of the time we have left, horrifically enough. In my youth, I would repaint figures and spend hours on skin tones, and that might be for a rank and file zombie. Those days are gone. I'm not saying I up-end cans of house paint over armies while checking my watch to see if it's death O clock, but on the edge of my consciousness the consideration that I don't have forever to get things done is creeping into my decision making.

Painting techniques that save time while still giving me great results are what I am all about now. My painting time is limited anyway, but after that rather sombre chat and the fact I'm hitting 40 has me reconsidering the projects I want to get done, and how long it's going to take for me to do them, and the way they will be painted. The days of thinking 'I'll get to that someday.' are past.  Projects I've had in the back of my head either need a time-scale, or perhaps it's time to forget about them.

So with that reality trundling about my head, I think it's time to set my house in order and get some long cherished ideas out of my head and onto the painting table. Also, check out these beers one of the fellows brewed specifically for last weekend. Magnifico, no?

It's all about me.

So, with beer and mortality I leave you for now. Enjoy your day!

Wayland Games

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