Monthly Archives: July 2019

Rat Race – July

It’s time once again for an update on the progress of my Skaven army. This month inspired by Azazel’s Jewel of July challenge I decided to tackle something big and surprised myself by getting the plagueclaw catapult built and painted in just over a week.

Plagueclaw ConvertOrDie Skaven (1)Plagueclaw ConvertOrDie Skaven (2)

For once I actually remembered not to glue down every potential moving part so the catapult retained a degree of possibility. Then I added the crew and discovered that once they were in place the degree of available movement was only about a millimetre. Oh well…

The crew themselves, along with the cables, warpstone and hideous ammunition, added a much needed splash of colour, and a chance to bring in some yellow robes to tie the vehicle into the rest of the army.

Plagueclaw ConvertOrDie Skaven (3)Plagueclaw ConvertOrDie Skaven (4)

Just the one model this month then but, with another of the bigger models done I’m feeling confident that I can get everything done as we rumble into the second half of the year.

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Beam Me Up Orky!

I’ll confess I may have Orks on the brain at the moment. Despite intending to work on other projects *cough*BlackstoneFortress*cough* I seem to have found myself unable to leave the greenskins alone. I had thought that the five boyz I painted earlier in the week would be sufficient to scratch the itch but apparently that only wet my appetite for the violent, fun-loving xenos. When I remembered that this Big Mek was not only in desperate need of some attention, but also met the criteria for Azazel’s Jewel of July challenge, I couldn’t help but shove those (unbelievably frustrating and tricky to paint) Negavolt Cultists a little further back on the desk and turned my attention to the big green lad instead.

Wudugast Big Mek Ork (7)

In fairness this particular Ork has been crying out for paint for a very long time indeed. I built him at the same time as his force-field lugging companion, back in 2017 and have considered him for every Neglected Model challenge and Ork-Tober since, to no avail. Indeed over the last few months it’s become something of a mental challenge to find ways in which he counted towards the theme of whatever challenge Azazel was running that month, and despite that he remained stubbornly unfinished. At last however he’s able to give up his seat on the shelf-of-shame and join the rest of the ladz in their unruly, painted ranks.

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Of course the real brains of the outfit was always going to be his oiler-grot sidekick. I’ve always loved this little guy but never got around to painting him until now so it was a fine opportunity to get him finished as well.

Oiler Grot (1)Oiler Grot (2)Oiler Grot (3)

Hopefully this has been enough to sate my love of Orkyness for a while and allow me to concentrate on some of my other projects. Of course, knowing me, I’ll be back to the greenskins sooner or later – I still need to get another twenty boys finished by the end of December for one thing.


Green Iz Best – Part 7

For a long time I’ve harboured an ambition to own a hoard of one hundred unique ork boyz. The last time I mentioned it here a few months ago it struck me that with seventy-five already painted at that point it would be fairly straightforward to get the remaining at twenty-five finished by the end of the year.

Ever-productive blogger Azazel even went so far as to declare that if I can get twenty-five orks painted over the coming month then so shall he. Of course, given the rate at which he paints that shouldn’t take him more than an hour (I jest – but seriously, he’s a painting machine and produces distressingly high quality results to boot! If you don’t already follow his blog then do yourself a favour and head over there now).

With that in mind here’s another five warlike greenskinned lads, cutting the number still to paint down to an increasingly manageable twenty.

Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (9)Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (10)Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (11)Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (12)Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (3)Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (4)Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (5)Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (6)Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (7)Ork Boys ConvertOrDie Wudugast (8)

With the year end deadline still comfortably distant I’m not in a huge rush with this project but it would be nice to get it done at last so expect to see me continuing to chip away over the coming months.


It Takes A Village – Part 1

…to raise a ganger… Or, for that matter, an Inquisitor.

The game of Necromunda is set upon a hive world, with almost the entirety of the human population crammed into cities far larger and more crowded, not to mention more violent and squalid, and anything found on Earth today. The setting may have a great deal in common with post-apocalyptic fiction with its planetwide irradiated deserts and domes full of crumbling machinery but it is in the massively overcrowded metropolises that the vast majority of people live – and by extension that’s where all the action happens. As a result I’ve been keen to create some hapless civilians with which to populate my stretch of the Underhive – downtrodden unfortunates just trying to go about their business when the bullets start flying once again.

Officially most of the people on a hive world live where they work, in the huge manufactorums, with block after block of habs crowded up against grumbling, fume belching engines. The Underhive itself, and the crawl spaces, waste domes and labyrinthine sprawl of decaying shafts and tunnels that lies hidden within and around the walls of these factories, should be relatively sparsely populated – but on a world as overcrowded as Necromunda even that will still undoubtedly  equate to a vast number of people. Even if those who find their way into these liminal spaces are only a fraction of a percent of the hive’s population there will still be plenty of them. What’s more, people gather only where there’s something worth gathering for, a useful resource or a meeting of tunnels or trade-routes – something which in turn will attract gangers looking to seize whatever it is for themselves, or deny it to their rivals. Indeed, although I was first drawn to this project as a spin-off from my Necromunda gangs it soon occurred to me that wherever one goes in the Imperium, a few generic civilians would go a long way, and thus this would tie in nicely to any and all of my Inq28 plans as well.

The first of these civilians are now ready, coming in the form of these three monkish characters courtesy of the first Black Crab Kickstarter. One of the greatest strengths of the Inq28 scene has been the encouragement of, and reliance upon, converted models – many of which have been startlingly creative and evocative. It’s rare to find something which suits the aesthetic from the word go so when I spotted these I just had to snap them up.

Black Crab Inq28 Wudugast (1)Black Crab Inq28 Wudugast (8)Black Crab Inq28 Wudugast (9)Black Crab Inq28 Wudugast (2)Black Crab Inq28 Wudugast (3)Black Crab Inq28 Wudugast (7)Black Crab Inq28 Wudugast (4)Black Crab Inq28 Wudugast (6)Black Crab Inq28 Wudugast (5)Black Crab Inq28 Wudugast (10)

Of course I really must get on with building up more of my Underhive terrain collection so that they have somewhere to live (not to mention all the muties, Inquisitors, cultists, gangers, scum and whatever else I think of).

Black Crab Inq28 Wudugast (11)

Needless to say these three won’t be populating the hives and back allies of the Imperium alone, plenty of other civvies are on their way – so watch this space.


The Cult of the Abyssal Gaze – Part 8

I’ve been feeling the itch to add some more genestealer cultists to my partner’s Necromunda gang lately. Ever since I painted three new recruits last month I’ve been hearing the call of the hive mind once again and watching the development of IRO’s very gribbly army has only made the siren song of the star children louder. I’ve been thinking of adding a close combat focused leader to the gang, as opposed to the Magus who specialises, as you might imagine, in unearthly psychic powers. What’s more Azazel’s Jewel of July challenge is a perfect time for painting leaders and characters so I seized the opportunity to work on the Locus.

Lucus GSC Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Lucus GSC Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Lucus GSC Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Lucus GSC Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

A new unit added to the genestealer cults range earlier this year the Locus serves primarily as a bodyguard to the cult’s Magus. That also ties in neatly to the background I’ve come up with for the gang, with their attempt to seize Ironhouse from the Goliaths being led by Vyrion the Elder it makes sense that the monstrous lords of the cult would dispatch a Locus to ensure no harm befalls the venerable magus.

Lucus GSC Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)

There’s a real joy in painting genestealer cultists and in my opinion these are one of the best ranges in GW’s arsenal so – despite all the other projects I’m juggling and the fact that the orange colour scheme is more than a little challenging to paint – expect to see a few more of these xenos appearing over the coming months.


The Knight Is Young

If you’re a follower of 40k, and especially if you’ve sworn your soul to the dark powers, you’ve almost certainly noticed that last weekend saw the release of a new kit and codex covering the wrathful and rapacious Knights of Chaos. Like the Space Marines long before them these once noble and hale warriors of the Imperium have been twisted and corrupted into monstrous servants of the thirsting gods.

ChaosKnightsRampager

I’ve yet to get a proper chance to read through the new codex, or pour over the new kit as much as I’d like, but it goes without saying that this release grabbed me by the throat from the very beginning.

Most of us I think assumed that this kind of release would never come or, perhaps more accurately, wouldn’t appear for many years yet. On the other hand there really isn’t any reason to be surprised. To a casual observer (without the benefit of any statistics to back this claim) it often seemed that the popularity of the original Knight kit was almost as high amongst Chaos fans as it was amongst those sworn to the Corpse-Emperor. Indeed the first words on everyone’s lips when the model was first revealed seemed to be “how can I create a Chaos version of that?”

Chaos Knight 2

In a lot of ways this is democracy for Titans, or at least Titan ownership. My vision for my Chaos army has always been a massive horde not dissimilar to an army of fantasy barbarians, the traitor marines surrounded by swarms of twisted cultists and mutants, whilst amongst them daemon engines and hellbrutes come stomping out of the murk like monstrous beasts. Greatest of all would be the Titans, looming over the advancing masses like the terrible gods themselves.

However, truth be told, the chances of me ever owning a Titan are next to nonexistent. If, by some strike of fortune or considerable hard-work and careful budgeting, I was able to afford one I’d almost certainly choose to spend the money on something else instead. Either that would be something else for the hobby (there’s always so many awesome things I’m interested in – and they all add up!) or, more likely, just the demands of everything else I want out of life. After all, having a Titan is nice, but having a home, good food, clothes, books and other creature comforts is altogether nicer. And even if I did acquire the necessary wealth, and the will to spend it on a Titan rather than something else, I’d still have to paint the damn thing – which looks like a lifetime of work in and of itself. Just look at how long it’s taken me to paint a single knight for instance (more on that below)…

However, whilst Titans may be beyond the grasp of almost all of us, a Knight is a little more affordable. It’s still pricey, there’s no getting around that fact, but it’s a lot closer to the realms of the possible. In the UK they may come in at almost £100 currently, a sharp kick to the wallet by anyone’s standards, but a Warlord is more than ten times as expensive. At that price a Titan simply ceases to be appealing, but a Knight – now there’s a proposition I can get my teeth into.

Crazy Knight

Let’s not beat about the bush here, the new kit is gorgeous. If you like big angry robots who’ve been corrupted by hellish powers then this is sure to appeal. It builds either the Knight Rampager, a true close-combat monster (and co-incidentally, also a communications device handy for contacting a sheep) or the slightly more restrained Desecrator, which prefers to stand back and shoot you a few times before tearing you to bits with a claw the size of a small house. Add to that the ability to mix-and-match bits with loyalist Knights and a whole world of conversion opportunities opens up – and if you want an army of these bad boys those are skills you’re going to want to call upon. After all, whilst the Rampager and Desecrator are things of beauty in and of themselves, there are other options laid out in the codex for which the kits are rather less ready to lay waste to the Imperium the moment they leave the box.

In an element of the new codex which to a modern fan must seem quite shocking, the majority of the entries have no official miniature to represent them. When I first got into 40K and Warhammer this was standard practice and in the Specialist Games like Necromunda and Blood Bowl it still is to an extent, but in the core range it’s long since been weeded out. GW have been firm; they are not in the business of making rules that are not accompanied by suitable models. Of course in this instance they find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Imagine the discontent amongst those who had carried a torch for Chaos Knights all these years were they do be told that their lovingly converted army could no longer take to the gaming table under the current rules. Thus the Chaos Knights range sits in a liminal space with most of the options borrowed from the loyalist cousins. One could just paint on a few chaos stars and have done with it but we’re encouraged to push the boundaries, to explore creatively, to kitbash and convert. How long, I find myself wondering, will this situation be allowed to stand? How long before official kits are produced for the War Dogs (Armigers) and their ilk?

Something which would have been nice to see alongside this release was a new version of the Chaos upgrade sprue. Naturally the best conversions and kitbashes of other classes of Knight (that’s everything in the range apart from the Rampager and Desecrator) will be those where the person responsible simply lets loose and allows their creativity free-reign. Unfortunately there’s always a risk that such enthusiasm will also produce rather shonky results. In GW’s own previews Armigers etc were shown decorated with the old Chaos upgrade sprue but it’s really showing its age now, the chunky, low detail components sticking out like a sore thumb amid the smooth lines of the new kits.

Knight Faces

As it happens I have a couple of Armigers that I picked up at a bargain price when Forgebane was released. My plan was to add them to my Adeptus Mechanicus army (the one you didn’t know anything about because I’ve still never built any of it? Yeah, that’s the one…). Like the rest of the army they’ve been gathering dust but now I’m finding myself reappraising them and I’m strongly tempted to liberate them from the clutches of the machine god and swear their iron souls to the True Mechanicum instead. And, although money may prove to be the sticking factor here, I must confess that, although I wasn’t terribly impressed with the look of the Valiant/Castellan as a loyalist warmachine a Chaotic version could be a whole other kettle of fish. Most obvious of all we have the Rampager/Desecrator itself, which has grabbed my heart in it’s savage claw and refuses to let go (a feeling which, although hard on the wallet, is a lot more pleasant than it sounds at first).

However before I run off to buy myself a new Chaos Knight I really ought to do something about the one I already own…

I last worked on it back in 2015, since which time it’s life has been one of ups and downs, but mostly – if I’m honest – downs. Here’s how it looked last time we saw it, all those years ago when it was just a pair of legs…

knight_legs

And here are those same legs now. I decided to rework them a little, adjusting the pose into something more fearsome and aggressive.

Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

As you can see the armour panels have been removed, allowing me access all over the model to make the required adjustments. Whilst I was about it I gave all the metalwork a quick spray of leadbelcher to allow me to start again with a newer, nicer paintjob rather than trying to touch up and work over the older paintwork.

Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

The main torso is assembled, including a suitably chaotic face looted from the warshrine (and idea which I may, I now realise, have borrowed from KrautScientist, the creator of one of my favourite Chaos Knight conversions). Again the metal parts have been sprayed with leadbelcher whilst the carapace (not yet glued in place) was sprayed with Army Painter Skeleton Bone. In many ways this proved to be a mistake, the coverage has turned out a little lumpy and “bubbly” – my error for trying out an untested paint on such an important and expensive model. Luckily, as far as the carapace goes at any rate, the damage is slight enough that I can cover it up with weathering. For a long time I planned to leave the carapace separate, so that it could be removed to reveal the inner workings of the knight, complete with pilot, engine and other chaotic gubbins. However at the moment I’m finding myself leaning away from this idea. Although it sounds in theory like an exciting mini-project to get my teeth into, and I’ve certainly enjoyed thinking through some of the possibilities I could explore with it, my concern is that the more extra challenges I add to the model overall the more likely it is that I’ll never get it finished at all. As there are already quite a number of issues and problems to overcome with this model adding more to the list when I don’t need to seems like making a rod for my own back.

Rather than just spray one panel of the kit (or better yet a suitable test model) with the untested Army Painter spray I decided to compound my foolishness by spraying both of the shoulderpads as well. This was where things went from “minor but fixable mistake” to “monumental fuck up” in short order. As an aside I’m not knocking the Army Painter spray, they seem to work well for some people, it’s just unfortunate that my only experience of them proved to be such a headache but I can’t pretend to have tested them exhaustively.

On one of the shoulder pads the result was pretty much perfect, a lovely smooth coat of bone coloured white that would have taken considerable time to paint, instead created in an instant. On the other shoulderpad however I found myself staring in horror at a gummy, lumpy mess of clogged details and fouled surfaces. Rather than step back and consider my options I panicked and doubled-down on the mistake. Surely another quick coat would smooth things out (two thin coats and all that right?). So I looked up into the clear, cloudless sky, shook the can like a terrier with a rat and fatefully sprayed the offending shouldpad again. I popped the piece to dry in the sunshine on a seat by the front door, stepped round the corner to get something from the shed… and the heavens opened…

Everyone knows that if you’re going to spray a model you do it in a well ventilated area, with nothing that can be caught by a dusting of paint (I once watched in horror as a colleague accidently sprayed the lenses of an expensive pair of binoculars with white paint – now there’s a screw-up for the ages). There’s really nowhere that fits that description better than the great outdoors, so long as any passing raindrops stay firmly up in the sky. A damp environment is death to a freshly sprayed model, a shower of rain is utterly cataclysmic. The most expensive model I’d ever bought, the product of careful saving up and planning, was now well and truly bollocksed.

Of course I knew, even then, that I was just being melodramatic, that a fix could be found and that as an experienced and enthusiastic hobbyist I was more than capable of finding one. Still the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth and so I kept putting it off and working on other things rather than face up to the chore of trying fix it.

Recently however I realised I really ought to man up and stop hiding from it so I set to work greenstuffing over the damage, adding some more chaotic elements and generally doing what I could to repair it and create the impression of corruption acquired over millennia of war rather than a few moments of carelessness. There’s still a little more to do on this front but here it is now, heading back in the right direction after a long and shameful period of abandonment.

Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

Lastly we have the Knights head. I’m particularly proud of this, the sweeping tasks really make it look especially fearsome and primeval in my opinion.

Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)

Put it all together with a few lumps of bluetac and a whispered prayer that it doesn’t collapse until I’ve taken a photo or two and it looks like this. Obviously quite a lot to still needs to be painted and some parts still need to be assembled but he’s on his way again at last.

Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie (8)

The right arm is entirely standard at the moment but I’d like to make a few tweaks to add some chaotic flavour. Likewise the left shoulder pad (not shown) which survived the destruction which consumed it’s brother now needs a little corruption of its own. The armour panels on the legs need to be reattached and the base has hardly been started. The biggest job of all is the left arm, which looks as though it will need to be sculpted in part, probably my most ambitious use of green stuff yet and potentially almost a project in its own right. Still with chaos on the rise at the moment I’m feeling very enthused about this project for the first time since that disastrous moment back in 2015. Indeed I’m feeling the urge to resurrect my entire chaos army and its time there was a knight at the heart of that – or who knows perhaps even more than one…

 


See You Later Alligator

Just a quick one today but this reptilian beastman (as opposed to a lizardman) has been sitting on my desk waiting to be finished for what seems like absolutely ages. A couple of days ago I realised that despite work on him stalling completely he really only needed another twenty minutes or so to be completed – and thus inspired I knuckled down.

Croc Man Wudugast Convert Or Die (1)Croc Man Wudugast Convert Or Die (2)

Amongst the various projects I have planned – but which are as yet untouched – I’d like to paint up an old school chaos warband based around the Knightmare Miniatures range, and so this cantankerous looking crocodile will hopefully be joined in due course by a savage brotherhood. Probably not for a while though as I’m trying to tame my spirit animal, the hobby butterfly, and focus on a few key projects for the time being.