Monthly Archives: September 2019

Rat Race – September

Sometimes it’s hard to be a Skaven, giving all your love to just one clan. This month on the other hand it hasn’t been so bad. Indeed things have actually been quite productive for the rats.  I’ve set myself the challenge of having the army done (in terms of currently owned models at least) by the end of the year and with quite a lot of ground to cover I decided it was time to get a wiggle on.

First up were the remaining Stormvermin for my second squad. The background fiction for Warhammer described how albino Stormvermin were used as bodyguards for the Grey Seers so I decided to paint this squad in that style. Truth be told I regretted it almost immediately and almost bottled out more  than once (only to be talked back into it by some of the readers of this blog). I still find pale fur to be a real nightmare to paint but now that they’re done I’m glad I stuck it out, it certainly looks striking (to my eye at least) and incorporates part of the lore that I was keen to include.

Objectively, these are nice enough models (certainly a huge improvement on the plague monks, which regular readers will be aware I hate with a truly Khorne-worthy passion) but truth be told I’m not a huge fan of either painting, or assembling them. They’re tricky models to put together, nothing quite seems to line up and (although this may make me unpopular in certain quarters it bears repeating) anyone who’s ever found themselves wondering why GW decided to move from old square-based Warhammer to new, round-based AoS has never tried to rank up a unit of Stormvermin (or ghouls, or beastmen, or pretty much anything else that wasn’t in a strictly two-dimensional pose).

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As well as these rank-and-file rats the squad also needed a musician…

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…and a standard bearer. Last night, when I was tired and trying to batter through getting this guy painted so I could get this post uploaded in the morning, I realised that I still hadn’t painted the design on his banner and I’d better come up with something toot sweet. Luckily the rune of the Grey Seers seemed like the obvious choice, given that these guys are the bodyguards of my Grey Seer and thankfully it’s fairly straightforward to paint as well (although not as gloriously simple as the rune of the Great Horned Rat which by this stage I could probably paint in my sleep). In a perfect world I would have made it a bit bigger but the folds in the cloth made it tricky enough as it was.

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Put them all together and here they are, this month’s recruits to the Skaven elite.

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With these done the squad is now complete (and naturally I’ll be counting at them as yet another submission to Azazel’s Squaddie September challenge!)

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I’ve certainly moaned a fair bit about painting Stormvermin over the last few years so readers may be as relieved as I am to hear that I’ve probably painted my last! Despite my claim back in June that I had a further 10 Stormvermin to paint, sorting out all the bits and getting everything assembled revealed only these 5 – plus some odds and ends which don’t quite add up to a single complete rat between them. I was quite sure that there were more when I inventoried them but it’s equally possible that I just miscounted. I’ll keep an eye out for the missing ones but given how challenging these have been to paint at times you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t look too hard. In the meantime I’m happy to call these two units of vermin elite complete. Here’s the whole swarm in all their glory; painful to work with, spiky to handle, tricky to paint, nightmarish to assemble and damn near impossible to rank up!

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That’s not all however. You may recall that last month a warlord appeared, presumably feeling it was now safe to do so. Of course the idea that he might be lording it over all the other rodents unopposed is quite intolerable so, as is the way with Skaven, another warlord has now showed up to make sure he doesn’t get everything his own way. This one first appeared in the Island of Blood starter set that accompanied the release of Warhammer 8th Edition (so quite a while ago then) and he’s been assembled and unpainted ever since. It’s been a long wait for him but today he can twitch his tail in pride at being finished at long last.

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And that’s still not all! By sitting up until the small hours last night I also managed to paint up a second hulking Stormfiend. I’m really enjoying painting these – I must admit I didn’t really appreciate them when they were first released but they’ve really grown on me. Bit tired now mind but I really wanted to include him in this post rather than ending up leaving him for another month.

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And here he is next to his equally ugly and fearsome squad-brother. Just one more to go to complete the squad.

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And even that wasn’t quite enough. I also turned my attention back to a couple of models I painted a while ago, the Plague Furnace and the Screaming Bell. I bought both models second-hand and, being more familiar with 40k, in which vehicles rarely come with bases, I didn’t spot that their bases were missing – or even that they should be mounted on a base of some kind. It wasn’t the biggest job but I’ve been putting it off – but riding a wave of verminous productivity I finally got the finger out and finished them at last.

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Whew! Not a bad month’s progress if I may say so myself, and I’m pleased to say I’m back on target for getting the army wrapped up. On the other hand there’s not much left that isn’t either a)big, b)complicated or c)both so I’ll not be able to hide behind painting a few rank and file and putting off the tricky jobs until next month (and what could be more in character for a Skaven than hiding behind the rank and file?). The end is in sight though so hopefully all I need to do is ride that wave to the finish line. Here goes!

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Get Sick Or Die Trying – Part 13

As regular readers will know I’m working my way towards a zombie horde of forty poxwalkers, although my insistence on making each one unique is keeping progress relatively slow. However with Nurgle showering his gifts on my friends and family at the moment I decided to try to appease him by painting some more of his minions.

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Of course the completion of these three models means at I can count this as yet another submission to Azazel’s Squaddie September challenge. I’ve definitely gone a bit mad on the challenge this month but it’s certainly helped to clear the backlog!


War Eternal – Part 8

As promised when I showed the flesh hound I decided to round out my Khornate warband – for now – with a small group of kill-crazy barbarian cannibals in the form of these three bloodreavers.  They’ve been knocking around since the release of AoS First Edition and this project was the perfect opportunity to get them done.

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Together the three of them make-up another contribution to Azazel’s Squaddie September challenge – which calls for participants to paint at least three members of a squad or unit.

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What’s more I’ve started to gather a proper little band of cannibal savages. With the group now seven strong I’m finding myself tempted to dig around in the various boxes of miniatures I’ve acquired and see if I can find some more – I know they’re lurking somewhere! It shouldn’t be hard to get the squad up to ten members, or perhaps even extend it further still…

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With the addition of these recruits the warband has now reached the 250 Power target originally set for it and as a result I’m willing to call it “complete” for now. It looks like a much bigger group than I initially expected, but that’s mostly down to having four more bloodreavers in the ranks than I’d planned for. A big thank you is owed to Alex of Leadballoony, who first set out the criteria to which I adhered in putting the group together. If anyone else is thinking of trying out AoS Skirmish, particularly as part of a group of friends, I strongly recommend you give his suggested method a look.

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For me all this has really focused my enthusiasm for the blood god. For one thing there are plenty of daemons that I’d like to paint which would fit in just as neatly alongside the barbarian hordes of the Mortal Realms as they would next to the power-armoured killers of the 41st millennium. Plus, as mentioned above, I also have at least some of the Khornate half of the AoS First Edition starter set sitting around somewhere. Who knows – this could be the first step towards a warlike horde!


Tech-Hunters – Part 2

As promised I put in a bit of time over the weekend working on some Van Saar and so the gang continues to grow apace. First to be completed is Agent Nyska, who I’m hoping will make the gang slightly less ineffectual in close combat with her shock baton. I decided to mix things up a little by giving her a green, rather than blue, glow to her plasma pistol, partly to bring some variety to the gang and partly as an excuse to experiment with using contrast paints for this purpose. So far I’ve found blue and green to work well for this but red definitely does not so I’ll be falling back on traditional techniques whenever I need an evil red glow on a plasma weapon.

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Alongside her we have the gunslinging Agent Lucien. There’s something about his eyes that aren’t quite right but it took all my concentration, sniper-style breathing and steady hands to paint them into the little sculpted marks on the mask so I’m frightened of going back and trying to improve them. Maybe I’ll get used to them, or maybe I’ll find my courage – we shall see.

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And of course what progress report would be complete without a group shot?

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With these two done I’ve almost finished with the rank and file gangers already but I still have two champions (including one with the awesome looking rad cannon) and the gang leader to go so I’ll be tackling them next.


Tech-Hunters – Part 1

With the ladies of House Escher and those despicable Chaos Cultists both finally up and running we now have four Necromunda gangs available to choose from whenever we decide to indulge in some underhive violence.  Time to paint something different then and after some deliberation I decided to plump for the Van Saar on the grounds that they would provide a very different tactical and painting experience, with their smooth, clean armour and high-tech gadgets and gizmos. Plus, based on my experience with the test model I worked on previously, they should also be fairly quick and easy to get painted. By way of a reminder let’s take another look at said test model – now named Agent Kleiss.

And here we have two new gang mates to keep him company in the dark of the underhive. First up there’s Agent Ivanek armed with a Hystrar energy shield and plasma pistol. I  must admit that I wasn’t sure about how the clear plastic shield would look on a painted model but now she’s finished I think it works rather well.

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Alongside her we have Agent Larz, toting a lasgun and ready to make trouble on behalf of his house.

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With these three done it looks as if I’m off to a good start already, especially given that the Van Saar tend to be a little more elite than many of their rivals. The eagle-eyed will notice that once again I’d forgotten to finish off the barrel on Ivanek’s plasma pistol, fear not – it’s been sorted now!

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However as it turns out there are even more, already painted and ready for action. This chap was intended as an old school space wolf but when I realised I’d painted him in the same colour scheme as my Van Saar I decided, following encouragement from several readers on this blog, to rebase him and recruit him into the gang instead.  My thinking is that he’s an agent or tech-scout sent down into the underhive by the house, who’s been living off the land for some time before joining up with my gang.

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Each house in Necromunda has access to a pet and, in the case of the Van Saar, that’s the cyber-arachnids. I received these a while ago from Mark at Heresy of Us and had already painted them as pieces of imperial tech, but incorporating them into the gang now seemed like an obvious move.

Add them all together and it starts to look like the gang is well on its way to completion already.

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However I still have several other murder-tech wielding nerds to add and I’m feeling confident that the paint scheme I’ve chosen is quick and easy to replicate. Thus despite having taken an inordinately long time to produce my previous Necromunda gangs I’m aiming to get them painted up in short order. Watch this space!


Cursed In Eternity – Part 5

Some readers may recall that amongst my various hobby plans I’m trying to reclaim my favourite models from my old chaos space marine army and recreate them using the new kits released this year.  Thus those of you familiar with the deepest recesses of this blog’s archives (you poor souls!) may recognise this chap from his previous incarnation.

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For those who need a reminder however here’s version 1.0 – now broken up to provide the bits needed to complete his rebirth.

Whilst I was working on him I convinced myself (against all logic) that it would be just as easy to paint two models as one – it’s all the same colour scheme right? With a second model already assembled and sitting close at hand it was easy enough to hitch him up to the enthusiasm I’d already built up and power through him as well.

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All this is very good and worthy of me and I was feeling suitably pleased with myself when, halfway through painting them, Azazel announced his latest monthly challenge “Squaddie September“. The goal of the challenge is to paint squads of models (this being a fairly rough number – with a suggested minimum of three models – check out Azazel’s original post for a full explanation, especially if you’re thinking of joining in yourself). Although I’m not a gamer by any means I am aware that a squad of chaos space marines need between 5 and 20 miniatures – one of whom has to be an aspiring champion. Why not use this opportunity, I found myself thinking, to paint up a champion as well? Somehow the will of the dark gods carried the day and rather than seeing all three stall as a result I built up a feedback loop of enthusiasm that saw them all over the finish line.

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With these three done I’ll allow myself a small pat on the back (the dark gods being generally in favour of hubris amongst their champions after all). However once again thanks are owed to Azazel for running his challenges, I’m not sure when I would have got around to tackling all three of these otherwise so I really can’t recommend them enough as a way of getting things done.

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What’s more, with three new recruits added the squad is starting to look more like a millennia old warband of hardened killers – how could I say no when they demanded a group shot?

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For now I think that’s scratched the itch for power-armoured chaos but the eye of the warp never closes so I’ll undoubtedly be drawn back to the worship of the thirsting gods soon enough.


Gnasher-Screamer

Another model that’s been sitting around close to completion for far too long is this Nightmare Hulk from the Kill Team: Rogue Trader box released late last year, the appropriately named Gnasher-Screamer. Readers who remember my review will recall that I rather liked the model but thought that the faces on his arms, not to mention the silly head, rather detracted from it. In the review I showed a mock-up of the model with a few improvements – and even started painting him straight away. And then I promptly left him untouched for almost a year…

Now, however, seemed like a fine opportunity to do something about it and get him off the painting desk at last.

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And for those wondering how big this chap is here he is next to the downtrodden but ever helpful size-comparison-guardsman.

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Undoubtedly its just a result of removing his bulk but the painting desk is looking tidier already!