Monthly Archives: May 2019

Rat Race – May

It’s time once again to take a look at how I’ve been getting on with my Skaven army this month. As many readers will by now be aware I’ve set myself the goal of getting my long unpainted Skaven army completed and to keep the ball rolling I’ve challenged myself to add at least one model to the army every month until it’s done. Having gnawed my way through the unpainted pile to great effect already, I’ve added the target of getting everything I currently own finished off by the end of the year.

Just a couple of models this month as the sheer busyness of life and work has invaded here just as it has with every other hobby project. First up we have another rat ogre to join the hulking brutes already in the collection.  I’ve been hoping for some time that GW might get around to replacing the old rat ogre kit, truly one of the worst things to currently (dis)grace their catalogue, but as yet they’ve stubbornly stuck with them. The Island of Blood versions were far nicer, but sadly were limited to two sculpts, neither of them easy to convert. Difficult to convert perhaps, but not impossible. Armed with some spares from the Hellpit Abomination that I painted back in January I set about creating a unique rat ogre to add to the squad I’d previously built.

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For comparison, here he is next to the model on which he’s based.

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And here’s the whole squad so far. Next to their brothers from Island of Blood (themselves over a decade old now) the two to the left really do look awful – and when you remember that these are still current models it’s hard not to feel a little embarrassed on GW’s behalf. Never mind though, perhaps if I get everything painted GW will finally respond to my entreaties and get some new ones made. We can but hope…

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Anyway, this is not all for this month because I was inspired once again by Azazel’s monthly challenges. This time it was Mechanismo May – time to paint anything of which at least a significant part is mechanical. I had various plans for this but life put paid to all of them, and those ambots and their ilk will need to wait a little longer to be painted. Somewhere along the way however Azazel mentioned that he would be working on a Skaven with a mechanical hand and immediately the little cogs began to turn in my brain – I too had a mechanical Skaven in need of being painted; the great inventor Ikit Claw.

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I’m not entirely sure what I’ll paint next for this project but, with next month’s update bringing us to half way through the year (already?!) I’ll take the opportunity to look at what else needs to be painted and perhaps even come up with some kind of strategy – otherwise there’s always the risk I end up painting everything in December!

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The Cult of Ruin – Part 6

Next up, something I can only describe as a rabble of Chaos cultists. As I’ve mentioned before work has been particularly crazy recently and, despite actually managing to finish some models last week, painting time has been thin on the ground. Thus when I did manage to claw back some painting time I went for a few “easy wins” and tackled some of the part-painted chaos cultists that have been waiting on the edge of the desk for some time.

First up there’s this savage beastman. I built him a number of years ago (indeed a quick look back into the archives of this blog tells me it was 2015) but he’s spent most of the intervening time with nothing more than a few basecoats to his name. Time to put in the (fairly minimal when it came down to it) extra effort to get him finished and ready to rage through the Underhive in full colour!

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Whilst I was working on him I found my attention drawn to the traitor guardsmen from the Blackstone Fortress box. Now as I’ve previous noted my aim with Blackstone Fortress is to paint up those models that I can’t easily proxy from elsewhere in my collection and then work on the rest – that way we can actually play it with a full set of painted models sooner rather than later. Traitor guard are something which isn’t in short supply so my plan was to shove them to the back and crack on with things like Negavolt Cultists and Ur-Ghuls in the meantime. A good plan sure enough, but not one which survived first contact with the painting desk! After all, it’s all very well to have these organised and sensible aspirations but how could I allow models as cool as these to sit unpainted for long?

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In turn working on these gave me the impetus to go for a few more “easy wins”. All of the above models may well find their way into my long-gestated Chaos Cult gang for Necromunda. When I originally planned this gang last year the idea was that it would be quick and easy to put together, just a case of gathering models I’d already painted and going for it. However I quickly became dissatisfied with this idea. The models I had to hand had mostly been painted several years ago and the quality of the painting really didn’t hold up next to the newer stuff. Thus I picked out several cultists that I wanted to use in the gang and decided to make a start by giving them a quick repaint – and of course having made this plan then proceeded to do absolutely nothing about it.

However with other chaos models on the painting desk and feeling the temptation to do something quick and easy with what little painting time I could scrape together I finally got around giving these three the love and attention they deserve.

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Now I just need to find the time to get this month’s Skaven photographed and write some words about them. Perhaps if I give up sleep…


Blackstone Fortress: Pious Vorne

When we first sat down to play Blackstone Fortress we all grabbed our favourite characters and naturally I went for the mad lady with the flamethrower strapped to a chainsaw. Don’t you judge me! Thus having already painted UR-025, the not-so-Imperial robot, I couldn’t help but continue my love-affair with Pious and paint her next.

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Navigator Espern Locarno (who more than proved his worth by frying enemies aplenty with his soul-stealing third eye) and debonair king-of-style rogue trader Janus Draik, made up the rest of our original party so I may well paint one of them next – or I may decide to mix things up with one of the other heroes.


Faith Healer

This next miniature comes from the Sisters of the Burning Rose Kickstarter from Anvil Industries. The theme of the range is essentially futuristic warrior nuns (a fine and original idea – I can’t imagine why Games Workshop haven’t tried something similar…). Smart arse remarks aside there is of course a distinct thematic cross over between these and the Sisters of Battle which GW – after abandoning them for so long that they have become almost synonymous with neglected miniatures – have announced they will be revamping and re-releasing by the end of the year. Speaking personally although I’m pleased to see them finally getting the attention they deserve I’m not particularly fired up about the Sisters of Battle – although I’m hopeful that they will be accompanied by plenty of gothic accoutrements which can be put to use in creating weird and wonderful Inq28 conversions. Likewise the Sisters of the Burning Rose themselves weren’t the thing that grabbed my attention, rather it was all the crazy characters that appeared alongside them.

In this case we have a nun with a more “real-world” aesthetic than many of the other models in either range of Sisters. She’s clearly some kind of healer and I can envision her either following my Imperial Guard around to patch up wounded soldiers or running some kind of chapel/surgery in the Underhive. That said she strikes me as being more like a “Doc” (as in Visiting the Doc in the post-battle phase of Necromunda) than a Rogue Doc (a gang’s hanger-on who seems to me less like a fully qualified healer and more like an alcoholic with a large collection of knives and a can-do attitude). She’d also tie in well with all kinds of Inq28 ideas, from joining a warband to being a handy NPC.

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Speaking of religion I’ve got another model with a keen interest in the teachings of the God-Emperor, specifically those which relate to immolating anyone  who might be deviating from His vision for humanity – I’ll try to get her finished and uploaded by the end of the week.


Lone Wolf Winter

Recently I was sorting through a box of old models given to me by a friend when I stumbled upon this old Space Marine. I might have just passed over him but something about his hairdo and aggressive pose made me think of the Space Wolves, which in turn made me think of fellow blogger Alex of Leadballoony, who’s been working on some of these grey-armoured space barbarians recently as part of his Wolf Time project. Over the last several months Alex has been lovingly, and with outstanding attention to detail, crafting a horde of Orks and Space Wolves in order to recreate the Wolf Time campaign from the Rogue Trader era of 40k – a project that’s well worth taking a look at and being inspired by!

Anyway, given my aversion to the Space Wolves (something I could go into the whys and wherefores of but which I think I’ll save for whenever I get around to my long planned Space Wolf kill team), and my close and long-standing affiliation with the Orks, you would have assumed that this would inspire me to paint something green – all very logical but you’d be dead wrong in this case. Instead, in the kind of headlong, spur-of-the-moment charge often associated with the Sons of Leman Russ, I found myself painting my first ever Space Wolf. Plus, it gave me the chance to use some of the vast drifts of modelling snow I was given by another friend who was having a clear out and, given my tendency to base my models in a grubby, Underhive and distinctly precipitation free style, hasn’t really done very much apart from sit on the shelf making me look like I might be a cocaine dealer.

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I went for a darker grey scheme than is usually associated with post-Heresy Space Wolves, partly because I think that suits a scout better and partly because I feel the baby-blue scheme is just a tiny bit naff. Throughout painting him I kept thinking that I recognised the colour choices I was making, and sure enough it’s exactly the same as the scheme I used for my first Van Saar (another project I must get around to working on again soon…).

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Surprisingly, given that work remains flat out at the moment, I found the time to work on a couple of other models over the weekend as well so, all being well, I should be able to finish them off, get them photographed and string together some words about them over the next few days.


Cursed In Eternity – Part 3

Time for painting has been thin on the ground lately but over the last few days I have at least managed to squeeze in a bit of kitbashing and assembling models. Back when I reviewed the latest Chaos Space Marine releases I theorised that both the Master of Executions and the Dark Apostle would be greatly improved by a few judicious tweaks and adjustments. Time to put my money (or my foot) where my mouth was.

First off let’s take a look at the Master of Executions. For anyone who needs a reminder here’s the official studio model in all his gristly glory.

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My hypothesis was that this model would be a lot more inspiring, for me at least, if he was wearing an imposing Khornate helm, as opposed to either of the standard heads included in the kit. Did it work? Well I’m happy with it, although of course you’re welcome to draw your own conclusions…

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The only other major change I made was snipping away the helm of the Primaris marine impaled on the top of his backpack – it was making that part of the model rather busy and its impact was lost behind the Khornate crest. I’ll find a use for it somewhere else though – you can always use more spiked loyalists in a Chaos army!

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The Dark Apostle was a little more complex, whilst the Master of Executions just needed a little added visual interest this one had some elements I thought were genuinely bad, which – combined with a general overabundance of details – made for a model in dire need of improvement. Again, let’s remind ourselves of how the studio model looks.

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…And that was the last time he was allowed in the library…

Given my often-expressed dislike of sculpted flame that was the first thing that had to go, followed by a lot of careful scraping and cleaning to hide the resultant damage. Some slight greenstuff touch-ups will undoubtedly follow before he’s completely ready for paint. The flames on the backpack also went although I kept the hideous drool emerging from the book. I also swapped out the head for something more reminiscent of a Space Marine chaplain – of which the Dark Apostles are very much the dark reflection. I’ve always thought the reaver heads would work nicely on Chaos models but so far I’ve only been using them for loyalists so this should be a fine chance to do something a little more grim and twisted with this particular component when it comes time for painting.

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Again any thoughts or suggestions are more than welcome, I feel he still needs a little extra before he’s ready to paint.

Whilst I was about it I also took the chance to explore more of what can be done with the new Chaos Marine kit, including making the champion for my first new squad.

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In turn this led to knocking together a few new plague marines. My love of Nurgle has drifted a bit lately but I felt pulled back to the plague god’s side whilst I worked on these so who knows, sooner or later I’ll give the Grandfather’s Legion the love they deserve.

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There’s certainly a lot of fun to be had by mixing parts from the plague marines and chaos marines kits together, something I’ll definitely explore more as I go on.

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Rather pleased with the choice of head on this one – anyone want to hazard a guess as to where it’s from? It’s not too obscure but I’ve not seen anyone else use it yet and I’m smugly proud of the fact (indeed the same goes for the head on the Plague Champion above).

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Anyway, that’s all for now but the weekend is almost upon us – who knows, I might even find an hour or two for painting!


Ortruum 8-8

Don’t worry, I’ve not leaned over the edge and fallen off the world, or anything equally dramatic. It’s simply that this is the time of year when work is at its busiest and I end up spending most of my time outdoors with not a paintbrush or a miniature in sight. Which of course tends to reduce my output of painted models rather dramatically!

Of course I still have all kinds of hobby plans I’m wanting to pursue, but – after a rather productive April – it’s a safe bet that things will probably slow down a little over the next few weeks. Even when I do snatch some hobby time it’s not automatically the case that my creative energies – always a wilful beast at the best of times – will go in the direction I want them too. Thus once again the Eschers were left to languish whilst I found myself distracted by Ortruum 8-8, the bizarre psi-hound dispatched from Lord Helmawr’s secretive psykanarium to seek out those the lord of Necromunda deems undesirable.

It’s a weird beast this one, and not to everyone’s taste, although personally I love the fact that they were willing to create something so strange, ugly and utterly unlike anything else – either in the range or elsewhere. Plus, it was a fine opportunity to paint lots of unhealthy looking skin!

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The little hands it uses (presumably) to feed and care for itself – in as much as it can – always struck me as particularly creepy and so, rather than paint them as mechanical (as on the studio model) I decided to go for living flesh instead. To me it emphasises the clinical, industrial cruelty of the 41st Millennium – why manufacture mechanical hands when literally everyone is walking around with two already attached. Plus, in comparison to the bloated bulk of the rest of the model they look oddly small and delicate (although, the more I look at him, the more I realise that as a pudgy, baby-like figure, barely cognisant of the enormous power it wields, which struggles to understand even basic concepts, has something ridiculous on the top of its head and is controlled by shadowy puppet-masters, it’s no surprise it has small hands as well…)

It’s worth noting as well that this is a big creature, it’s swollen, suspensor-borne flesh easily outsizing even the most muscular of Underhive locals.

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As mentioned above progress is likely to remain somewhat erratic for a while yet but hopefully that just means the creative fires will burn all the hotter when I do find the time to indulge them!