Friday, 17 December 2010

Retrospective - Space Wolves, Wolf Guard bikers

Today im starting what will be an irregular series of retrospective articles about a few of my older projects, that should give a bit of an insight into what I enjoy doing in the hobby.

The first army to get the retro treatment are the Space Wolves, very different to my current armies as they aren't actually mine. Firstly, some background on the project.

About 5 years ago, I was living with a good friend of mine, Sorrowshard from Rant in E Minor, going through the usual motions of a night at the painting desk (drinking a ton of whisky, not much actual painting) trying to decide on the next project. We've both been major fans of the Wolves and Nordic mythology for years, and while thumbing a well worn copy of the excellent Lone Wolves graphic novel, the idea was decided - a kill team based on the Wolf Guard from the book.
[Ss] Yeah I went all dribbly over lone wolves, best depiction of wolves I have read/seen thus far , though prospero burns may eclipse it ....I actually have both hard and softback copies of lone wolves ,lol 

They couldn't be any old Wolf Guard though, these had to be bad-ass bike riding Wolves, based on a couple of panels showing them on bikes.
[Ss] Yeah most of the ideas were mostly robbed from lone wolves plus I think I had to cook up a couple more to pad out the squad. The bitz box massacre produced these , Steve contributed some stuff , I think a load had to be mail ordered, which existed back then.  

Sorrowshard will tell you himself he's not the greatest converter on the planet so I was drafted in to do some sculpting and fix a few of his more obvious anatomy based errors. What I didn't know is that an entire army was going to follow, and we'll be showing the rest of the army in the coming weeks, with plenty of notes from the painter (Sorrowshard) and myself.

[Ss] Living so far from El'D since has forced me to up my game conversions wise, I'm still nowhere near as expert as Steve, but have definitely improved. They started of as essentially a bitz mash with crude filling, which is about as advanced as any of my 'conversions' were for years, Steve essentially cleaned them up and added some finer details. I enjoyed doing the squad so much it kinda snowballed into a whole army as doing it created a whole load of new ideas that 'had' to be pursued. El'D had to carry more and more of the modelling as the army became ever more ambitious, as you will see in the coming weeks.....  

My Eldar painting work is over on E Minor  for anyone who is interested. 

Thats about if for now, but I will have something up on sunday, starting work on one of my biggest projects yet.......

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Second Coming.......

A week between updates? That's better. 

Managed to knock out the second Deff Dread this week, bringing the painted total to 2 Deff Dreads, 3 Killa Kans and a Big Mek. Must admit im relieved to have it finished, the sheer amount of chipping on it is a real time killer.

Next up for the Orks will be the second Big Mek, which i'll be showing a WIP of next week.

Also coming up next week will be the start of a retrospective series focusing on my Death Guard army, who will soon be receiving some reinforcements in the form of some Traitor Militia and a small warband of Chaos Renegades. I'll be starting the retrospective next sunday, Dec 5th.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

It's been a while.....

Wow, nearly 3 weeks without a new post. Thats really not good, and nowhere near the amount I wanted to be posting. Sadly it'll probably be going at a similar rate for the next few weeks running up to Christmas, solely down to work - when you work in retail Christmas is hell, don't let anyone tell you any differently.

Work aside it's not been the most pleasant last couple of weeks, I spent most of it down with a chest infection that I still haven't fully shaken off, added to that some severe back pain and your left with no hobby mojo whatsoever.

Well, there was some mojo, but nothing for painting. Instead, I spent the last few weeks dreaming up ideas for new armies, but thats for another post.

The one thing I did manage to do is get the first of the Big Meks finished. There's bits im not happy with but it's done at least, and that means one less figure to paint. Still needs a couple of coats of varnish to even everything out but the weather isn't great for spraying anything at the moment.

Seeing as I forgot to add a pre-painted pic of the first Big Mek i've dug one out for all to see. Built mostly from the Nob kit, with an added burna, the Kustom Force Field from the metal Big Mek and some plasticard and plastic tube for the welding mask and burna tanks.

Next up on the block will be the second Deff Dread as it's the only thing i've got undercoated at the moment, then i'll be doing a blitz on the rest of the work for Mol over at INQ28.

I've also got something in the pipeline with Sorrowshard over at Rant in E Minor, that should happen in the next few weeks. If he pulls his finger out.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

First among many......

Bit of a long one wait between updates, due to a single reason - Fallout New Vegas. Sadly im one of those people that can't do anything else until i've finished a game, which killed any hobby mojo. Luckily I managed to get the first of 2 Deff Dreads done just before the game came out.

Very pleased with how it turned out, even if it took a little longer than I wanted it to. Far too many edges to add chipping to.

Going to work on the second Dread next, then im going to work on a test figure for a new marine army.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Another Kan?

Not much to report for the last couple of weeks, im still reeling from the Forge World mojo killing from Games Day/

On the plus side, i've managed to get a couple of things done. Firstly, another character for Mol over at Inq28, and another Killa Kan, bringing the current total to 3.

I've also made a start on the first of 2 Deff Dreads for the army. This is at the basecoat stage, next its on to the washes, which should take half the time the basecoats took. Expect some finished photos in the next couple of days.

Thats about it today, though I can't really sign off without thanking Mol at Inq28 for the large box he sent me last week. Not going to give up too many details of whats in it, though it will be Mega....

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Tutorial - Ork Dreads and Kans.

Been a while since the last post, personally I blame Forge World for a post Games Day lack of mojo. But, I have managed to get the tutorial for my Ork vehicles done.

I've used a weapon arm for the tutorial as it was easier to photograph but the following applies to anything, from Battle Wagons to Kans to Warbikes.

The piece has been undercoated with black., all paints are from Games Workshop.

Stage 1

Stage 1 - Drybrush Codex Grey

Stage 2

Stage 2 - Paint any red plates with Mechrite Red.

Stage 3

Stage 3 - Basecoat any metal areas with Boltgun Metal.

Stage 4

Stage 4 - Highlight the metal from the stage 3, then add any scratches and chips, with Chainmail.

Stage 5

Stage 5 - Wash the entire piece with Devlan Mud.

Stage 6

Stage 6 -  
Start by basecoating the area with Fortress Grey. I use 2 thin coats as to not obscure detail. 
Layer a 1/1 mix of Fortress Grey and Skull White over the basecoat, again with 2 thin coats. 
Layer Skull White in 2 thin coats over the previous layer. 6 coats may seem excessive, but it's the only way to build up a decent white over black. These 6 layers may look a little streaky but don't worry too much, this is an Ork vehicle after all. 
Next, use thinned Chaos Black to mark out a checker pattern on the white area. Again with Chaos Black, fill in alternate squares. Again, neatness isn't a massive issue. 
After you've painted in the black squares, apply the chips and scratches over the checker pattern with a 1/1 mix of Chaos Black and Codex Grey. 
Once you've basecoated the damage on the white areas, go back over them with Chainmail to highlight.

Stage 7

Stage 7 - Wash with a 2/2/15 mix of Bestial Brown, Klear and water. Klear is an clear acrylic floor polish, found in most supermarkets. It works well as a gloss varnish, but i've used it in the wash mix to break the surface tension of the wash, which allows it to flow into the recesses on the figure without pooling.

Stage 8

Stage 8 - Wash with a 2/2/15 mix of  Macharius Solar Orange, Klear and water. Limit this wash to very rusty areas, rivets and deep recesses.

Stage 9

Stage 9 - Highlight the prominent edges of the weapon blade and add more chips and damage with Chainmail. Adding the brighter metal chips to the weapon alone will lighten the area, drawing the eye to it.

Using this method you could punch out a Kan in around 3 or 4 hours, not including drying time of the washes. Perfect time to make a cup of coffee. 

Im going to be working on a couple of figs for Mol over at Inq28, before moving on to the Deff Dreads.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 27 September 2010

UK GD Fail?

Well, GD UK 2010 has been and gone, what did I learn from it?

Forge World really need to get there act in gear regarding queueing systems. 

This year was an absolute mess, with people mobbing together, handing over their reservation emails, then being told do get into a second scrum (I refuse to call it a queue any more) where a single staff member calls out peoples names so they can pay. Overall I spent 2 hours waiting to pick up a reservation order. I thought reservations were meant to make things easier? Also, 2 hours out of a 6 hour day (UKGD runs 10am to 4pm) leaving 4 hours of the day left. I paid £30 for a ticket to stand in line for 2 hours? Not impressed.

I ended up on the phone to Forge World this morning to sort out some missing pieces (MK3 marines with no legs) and asked about the massive hold up - seemingly they were expecting around 150-200 reservation orders, but received close to 700. I would of thought that around 400% more orders than you were expecting would warrant a few more staff manning the reservation area.

On the other hand, they pulled out loads of cool stuff to show off, the new Warhammer Forge range being particularly interesting. I managed to pick up the 2 figures they were selling on the day, a Chaos Ogre and a Plague Toad with rider, which is basically a huge chaotically mutated toad with a Plague bearer riding it. Had to get one of those, im sure I can find a home for it in my Nurgle army. I would post some pics up, but after the sour taste Forge World left I really had no patience the rest of the day and didn't take any.

On the downside,as with every Games Day, I came home wanting to paint everything apart from what im actually working on (the Orks), though I shall force myself through the barrier and start work on the next of the Killa Kans, complete with tutorial on how I paint them. Dark Eldar will certainly be making an appearance at some point on the blog, even if it's just for something different to paint. Easily some of the best sculpts to come from GW in a while. Then there are the Word Bearers I want to paint in mk3 armour, and the Red Scorpions I need to start on, the list is endless.

For those of you that have got this far through all the text, I can only apologise. After GD I wanted to do a decent write-up of the day with loads of cool pictures but the scrum really took the wind out of my sails. As a thank you for getting this far I though i'd pull out an old figure from the photo archive that wouldn't of normally come out. This pre-heresy Dark Angel was an entry into a GW painting contest a couple of years ago, where it took top honours. Converted from Chaos Warrior, Marine and Chaos Marine parts, with plenty of Green Stuff.

Thanks for reading, hopefully the next post will be a bit more upbeat!

Friday, 24 September 2010


Time for the look back on some older projects I've been promising. Not a world changing piece by any stretch but it's nice to go through some of the old photos occasionally to check out the older work.  The 4 armies below show the general theme to my army collecting, namely Chaos and Power Armour. No doubt there's plenty of both in the future.

Black Legion

The Black Legion were started back around 2000, when I was working for GW. I went with them for 2 reasons. First, I was completely engrossed by the background – the clone son trying to finish the fathers work, the Black Crusades and attacking Cadia etc. Secondly, I was forcing myself to learn to paint black. I painted around 2000 points, all heavily converted. The champion above lead a ‘tactical’ squad, of 10 Chaos Marines set up for tank hunting. A project close to my heart that i’ll be returning to at some point in the future.

Sword Bearers

The Sword Bearers are a Marine Chapter I created around 2007, with the help of Commissar Molotov of INQ28. Primarily a Codex chapter, I wanted to emphasize the ‘knightly’ aspects of Space Marines, without going so far as the Black Templars. The use of the Sword icon, and the weapon itself, helps to reinforce the idea. The intended project was a complete company plus support but has stalled due to the deluge of new toys GW keeps rubbing under my nose. Again another project i’ll be coming back to in the future.

Death Guard

The first part of an intended ‘trilogy’ of armies, (the Nurgle Militia and a Nurgle Daemon army filling the other spots) the Death Guard were an excuse to use the awesome Forge World conversion kits, alongside a very quick paint job. Currently sat at around 2000 points, the army was primarily done with drybrushing and the then new GW washes, easily one of the best things GW have ever put out, and something that remains a major part of my painting. I’ll be doing a full blown article on the Death Guard at some point in future.

Nurgle Militia

The Militia are the second part in my Nurgle Trilogy, a wave of diseased, twisted Traitor Guard. Going for mainly infantry in the force, alongside a horde of Plague Zombies and very few tanks. The paint job is again very quick, using the GW washes. This was also my first real attempt at damage and weathering, with lots of chipped, rusted armour. Currently put back to work on the Orks.

With the weekend upon us it means only one thing - Games Day UK. I've got my Forge World order placed (Red Scorpions, more on that soon) and a bundle of cash waiting to be spent on crack toy soldiers. All I need to do now is get up at a time far too early for normal people on a sunday morning to make my way to Birmingham. Expect something in the way of a report on monday.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Get to da Choppa!

First of the Deff Koptas is finally finished! Would of been done a day or so ago but Nurgle decided to gift me with a cold. Not happy.

Not much of a post tonight im afraid as im feeling rotten. Friday however, i'll be attempting to go through some of my projects, old and new.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Break from the Kans.....

Wow, a week between posts. Im not pleased to have a big gap between posts but real life gets in the way sometimes. This week, real life meant Halo Reach. Quick review - looks pretty, plays well but it's too short with a pretty uninspiring ending.

I know I mentioned a tutorial for the Killa Kans this week but got a little side tracked on a Deff Kopta for a monthly painting contest over on The Ammobunker forum. This month was mounted figures, so figured a Kopta would be a good bet, and still have me painting something for the army.

Not the greatest of pictures admittedly, but it gives and idea of where im heading. Still the wash to do, then its on to details and basing. One thing to mention is on the use of magnets - i've used two on the Kopta, one on the rotor blades, and another on the base. Im not the biggest fan of using magnets to fix models to bases but as im aiming to get 2000 points of Orks into the smallest case possible it was a concession I had to make. I'll go into more detail about the assembly and the fitting of the magnets when I get round to another Deff Kopta.

Next today is my round up of some of the blogs i've been watching or in the case of one, contributing to.

Dave Taylor Miniatures - Is there anyone in the hobby who hasn't seen Dave's work and gone 'that is awesome'. Fantastic work from the Ex-GW man who brought us such delights as his Legio Custodesthe Genswick 33rd and more recently his Blood Pact and the charity Storm Wardens Space Marine army.

Mister Justin - A great blog from the owner of Secret Weapon Miniatures, who specializes in resin bases and weathering products. Some excellent tutorials on the use of weathering pigments and effects.

INQ28 - A fantastic blog on a fantastic theme, Commissar Molotov has taken an idea first given birth on Dakka Dakka and ran with it, creating a huge world of Inquisitorial intrigue at 28mm. Im nearing the end of a commission for him to paint a couple of Inquisitorial warbands with some very unique figures which can be found on the blog. Also worth a mention as he has been kind enough to give me my own little corner of the blog to show off my own. I'll be adding some work at some stage of my own INQ28 warband so keep an eye out for the future.

Lastly tonight, a piece on whats coming up next week. Mid week i'll be going through my list of current hobby projects and some older ones to give a taste of whats to come from the blog, while on sunday, Games Day UK will be upon us, so expect a report as soon as I can put down the swag and sort the pictures.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Sunday update.....

Seeing as i've not got much that could be deemed useful to say tonight i'll leave you with pictures of the current state of the army, 2 finished Killa Kans.

If all goes to plan i'll be putting up a tutorial next week.

First the newest Kan.

Next the 2 Kans together.

 Thanks for reading.

Friday, 10 September 2010

A Kan and a question......

I've had a couple of productive evenings so far this week and in the process managed to get the first of 9 Killa Kans finished. I say finished but it's not quite there as i've still got the base to do. More on that later.

I've deliberately gone for a very dirty/rusty feel as a bit of a cheat, the paint job is very quick and the weathering covers up a multitude of mistakes. To go from undercoat to the stage in the pictures has taken around 4 hours so far, not that much really when you consider the size. When im a couple of models into the force i'll knock up a tutorial for painting a Kan from start to finish.

The only problem im having at the moment is deciding on what to do with the bases. Previous armies i've done have all ended up being the usual sand/static grass combo seen virtually everywhere and while I think it looks ok, i'd like to try something different with the Orks. If you've got any thoughts i'd love to hear them.

Secondly, this week I was welcomed into the From The Warp blogging community, a hub of some of the best 40k blogs around the web.

To mark this, at least once a week i'll pick a few of my favourite blogs and do a little promo for them. If I read them, surely you should too?

Stahly's Paint Station, one of my favourite blogs at the moment for the sheer amount of great work Stahly posts. Some excellent tutorials on a variety of subjects that are well worth a read no matter what your painting.

A Gentleman's Ones, b.smooth's excellent blog covers a wide range of hobby related goodness, from campaign progress to painting tutorials. Another worthy addition to any blog roll.

Rant in E Minor The (mostly) Eldar related blog of Sorrowshard, a very good friend of mine. While he paints at a snail's pace, his work is some of the best i've seen anywhere in the world. Has quite a love/hate relationship with the Eldar, but is always pushing to see what the book can do. If the big blocks of text don't put you off and you like pointy ears it's well worth a read.

Now to go back and agonize over how to paint the base of the Kan. Might even be time for a cup of tea. Until next time, thanks for reading.