Get Sick Or Die Trying – Part 14

Today we’re going to tackle an experiment in amateur psychology. The premise is very simple; for the last couple of years I’ve been working away slowly at painting up a horde of poxwalkers with the aim being to complete 40 of them. At the most recent count I’ve finished 28 – and 28 sounds like its a long way from 40. Whereas 30 on the other hand is a much more pleasing result. Once I’ve painted 30 I’ll be three-quarters of the way there, I’ll be on the last leg (much like some of these zombies!), I’ll be counting down the last 10 with the finish line in sight.

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Azazel also reminded me that it’s Zomtober, which would certainly make for a fine opportunity to paint some of my remaining zombies. That said, with a number of other projects also demanding my attention I’m going to be sensible and, unlike a zombie, not bite off more than I can chew (for the moment). Still, the end is at least on the horizon for my zombie horde so I’ll keep bashing on – only ten more to go now!


Squaddie September 2019

I’m not going to lie – this one is sheer self indulgence! September turned out to be a very productive month for me and I couldn’t resist acknowledging that with a post summarising everything I managed to paint. However, just in case this seemed too gratuitous, I decided to use Azazel’s latest monthly challenge as a thinly veiled excuse for a bit of back-patting. For those not in the know (assuming there actually are any hobbyists left who haven’t heard of this phenomenon) blogger Azazel runs a painting challenge each month and encourages anyone who’s interested to join in – the aim being to clear our collective backlogs of unpainted models. After all the purpose of these miniatures is to be painted, enjoyed, perhaps even played with if you’re so inclined. It’s not to sit around in boxes getting dusty, be that base-coated, under-coated, or even still on the sprue. Usually I try to use the challenge to push myself to get something done that I otherwise wouldn’t. This month however I seem to have gone completely mad on it! Let’s take a look a look shall we? This month’s subject was Squaddie September and – to quote the man himself – set out this definition for what counted;

“Obviously a “Squad” (a term I’ve chosen this month for alliteration’s sake) is often a military term, and often means a unit of about 10 or so individuals….Though in the interests of flexibility, inclusion and achievability, the “squad” size we’ll be using is a minimum of three models. This lets many of those boardgame units also qualify…Of course, not everyone is a gamer of any kind, so Hell, the models don’t even have to be a strict “unit” or squad. Figures from different forces, ranges, manufacturers. All good, as long as they fit together thematically…”

Obviously that gave me a lot to get my teeth into, and with heaps of models half-finished and waiting for attention I set about painting with abandon. Let’s take a look.

To start with I tried to focus my attention on my Necromunda gangs, of which I have several on the go – including two that I’d been failing to complete for quite some time. First off the block were the Ladykillers of House Escher. Like all my Necromunda projects I have plenty more ideas I’d like to explore but with these three warrior women joining the ranks my initial plan for the gang is finished at least 

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My Necromunda Chaos Cult was originally planned as a quick and easy project but once started it grew in unexpected directions (much like a Chaos spawn then). Once again I decided that this month would be a fine time to tie it down into something I was happy to call complete – for now at least.

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Not wanting to rest on my laurels I turned my attention to another of the Great Houses of Necromunda, the tech-geniuses of Van Saar. At the moment the project is still in it’s infancy but I plan to learn my lesson from the previous two and get the rest of the current crop of models finished up in the next few weeks.

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Turning my attention to the bigger picture of the 41st Millennium I added three new recruits to my Chaos Space Marine squad. My interest in this army has been reinvigorated since the release of the range of new models earlier in the year and I plan to get my teeth into them properly as soon as I’ve completed a few other outstanding projects.

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Continuing the chaos theme I also added a few newcomers to my horde of poxwalkers, bringing the total population of foul plague-zombies up to 28. My plan is to complete a swarm of 40 so I’m aiming to tackle a few more of these very, very soon…

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Nor did my chaos focus end there. Turning my attention to the Mortal Realms I also rounded out my Blades of Khorne warband for AoS Skirmish, first adding a flesh hound and then completing the group with three bloodreavers. Its particularly auspicious, and completely co-incidental, that it took my eight posts to complete the warband – eight being the unholy number of Khorne – but I suspect that there will be plenty more attention focused on the Blood God’s hordes in time.

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Continuing my exploration of the Age of Sigmar I painted three squigs. I’ve been a fan of the Night Goblins for a long time and it took me a while to get used to seeing them in the Mortal Realms as opposed to the Old World of WHFB but, after too many nights peering out of my dank cave at the baleful light of the bad moon, I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to the reinvented Gloomspite Gits.

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However in case anyone fears I’ve lost touch with the Old World I’m still chipping away at my Skaven army and finally, after a lot of mumping and moaning, got the last of my Stormvermin painted. Anyone who’s been avoiding the blog for fear of my constant carping can come out of hiding now!

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And there we have it – not a bad month’s output by any means. Indeed by my count I managed to paint 35 models, more than 1 per day – something I once thought was quite beyond me. A big thanks once again to Azazel for running his challenge, I already have plenty of plans for this month (it’s all about Orks, Orcs, Orruks and anything that’s been neglected – if you’re thinking of giving it a shot yourself I strongly recommend it). Expect to see plenty of greenskins here in the coming weeks, not to mention the rest of the Van Saar and whatever else takes my fancy. Watch this space!


Take Cover! – Part 4

You may have noticed that many of my recent posts have been contributions to the community challenge “Squaddie September” run by Azazel of Azazel’s Bits Box (so much so that I think I’ll put up a self-indulgent round up post in the near future!). However, never being one to shirk from hobby productivity, Azazel also ran “Scenic September“, with the aim of motivating us all to paint some of the terrain, large or small, which might otherwise remain unpainted for another month. As my own terrain collection has been suffering in the doldrums for a while now I decided to take the opportunity throughout last month to chip away at as much as I could, and although the larger projects are still not done (I’ve only got one pair of hands dammit!) I did at least manage to get my teeth into some more of the barricades, scatter terrain and other odds and ends I’ve had waiting for attention.

First of all we’ve got a heap of rusty junk that was released as part of the Speed Freeks Ork racing game from this time last year. In part I used this as an opportunity to experiment with contrast paints for terrain and I’m fairly happy with the results, although there are definitely things I think I could improve upon. However having faffed around with it quite a lot I think I’m going to call this one done – I have several more in the same style so I’ll take what I learned here and apply it to them, and then perhaps come back to touch this one up later if I still think it’s required.

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Then there’s this fungal monstrosity which forms part of the Deathworld terrain set released by GW a few years ago. It’s a pretty ugly model, and came packaged in with a bunch of other stuff that I bought second hand on ebay. Either some bits were missing or it simply doesn’t fit together all that well, either way a bit of greenstuff was required to turn it into something usable. Frankly I didn’t lose too much sleep over it – you’ll note for instance that not all of the trunks reach the floor and whilst I could have put some extra time and effort into fixing that or covering it up I simply couldn’t be arsed. If this is the best example of xenos terrain that GW could find no wonder the Imperium keeps purging the alien! It’s a shame really, I’m all in favour of terrain pieces (and models in general) which are  bit more creative and unusual but this one just misses the mark. I think it’s improved by leaving out the fronds which normally crown the top of the model (and which to my eye look particularly naff) but it’s still nothing to write home about.

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That said it should have a fair bit of utility as part of my terrain collection, handy for the badzones of Necromunda (or even an outcrop of the drug-producing fungus ghast), or to decorate the dank caves inhabited by Night Goblins and Gloomspite Gits.

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And of course it makes for a fine corner of Nurgle’s garden, he doesn’t mind if things are a little on the ugly side!

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Next up, something I had more fun with. I really want to get started on Warcry, I keep hearing good things about the game and the models are frankly gorgeous. So far I’ve only managed to absorb the setting by obsessively reading the core book and pouring over my box of unassembled models but as soon as I’ve cleared my feet a little more I’m going to be diving straight in. In order to play the game however I’m going to need to get a whole load of terrain built and painted and so I’ve dipped my toe into the water by painting up this barricade to get a feel for what it’s like to work with. This one was a real joy to work on so hopefully I can maintain my enthusiasm and paint up a load more soon.

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Finally we have another piece of scatter terrain for my slow-growing Necromunda collection. I know I’ve not broken as much ground on this front recently as I planned but I always expected that the project would take a while – I’m just not someone who knocks out large terrain pieces in short order. However I’ve not forgotten about it and I’m aiming to get back to it before long. In the meantime here’s a street light for what may be a little Underhive settlement (perhaps somewhere for my civilians to take up residence).

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And there we have it – four more disparate terrain pieces with which to decorate the far future and/or the Mortal Realms. I make no promises about when I’ll tackle any more but there’s certainly plenty waiting for attention so I’ll try to finish off some more soon(-ish…).


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!


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.

Khorne With The Wind

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.