So after being fairly productive last month I only managed to finish a single Skaven in November. He does have a rather nifty banner though.
It amuses me that the last time I showed one of these assault marines I received three key pieces of advice.
1. The jump-pack is too small.
2.The jump-pack is too big.
3. The jump-pack is just right.
Faced with such a united front from my readership what choice did I have but to forge onwards and build another one?
After a few quiet months things have been a lot more productive for my Skaven over the last few weeks. For those who’re new to this project, I’ve been collecting Skaven for a number of years (since the release of the most recent army book for Warhammer in fact, which was quite some time ago now). However the actual painting was proceeding at a snails pace – something only exacerbated when I purchased a friend’s collection and the pile of unpainted plastic grew overnight into a mountain. In order to remedy this situation I’ve challenged myself to paint something new for my Skaven army every month in 2017 – even if only a single clanrat. Truth be told some months I’ve come pretty close to achieving only that minor goal but, I’m pleased to announce, this month wasn’t one of them.
This brings the current clanrat total up to sixty – which means it’s high time for a celebratory group shot.
That’s not all however, this month I also managed to reinforce my stormvermin squad with four more of the rat elite.
Now much as I like the models I’m not sure I find stormvermin that much fun to paint – they’re jagged, vicious little things that fought back almost constantly, jabbing me painfully in the fingers with their various spikes every time I tried to handle them. That said I’m already planning a second squad, this time made up of the albino guards of the Council of Thirteen. Before that however this squad will need a command group to finish them off.
Time for another Dreadtober update and, with another week under its belt, the bloat-drone is starting to assume its final form. Washes and layering have started to define the model and the ugliest phase of harsh flat panes of colour has passed. Now we get into the really enjoyable part, building up the form of the creature and transforming it from a lump of dead plastic to a living denizen of the 41st Millennium.
Will it be done by the end of the month? If I’m honest I doubt it, too many other projects are clamouring for attention and Dreadtober itself is a quieter, less communal affair than we’ve seen in previous years so the impetus to the finish line isn’t what it was. That said Dreadtober has done its work in pushing me through the early stages of getting it painted so from my perspective this has been a success – from here on my preference will be to savour painting this wonderful model rather than rushing to the finish line.
Many of you will know the feeling of stumbling across a miniature you were once proud of but which you hadn’t seen for ages; the mixture of fondness for a well loved piece, joy at its rediscovery, pride in the way that your skills have improved and faint embarrassment that it’s not quite as good as you once thought. Indeed it was with exactly this mingling of emotions that I found myself looking at these next two models whilst sorting through boxes of old stuff (read; junk) at my parents’ house.
This battle-preacher has reappeared at quite a fortuitous moment, representing as he does another of my past forays into the world of the Imperial Guard. He may be very much a product of his time (my painting standards have come on I’m pleased to see – and why did I once insist on painting every rivet red?) but my idea of the Imperial Guard hasn’t changed radically. I still see them as medieval by necessity, a lack of resources rather than cultural affections giving the majority a ragged appearance. Like the murderous medic I showed earlier in the week I may well return to this model in the future as I think he’d fit in nicely with an Inquisitorial retinue. As it stands my Chapel retinue is far too esoteric for him but perhaps a more traditional Inquisitorial warband will come together in the future?
In the meantime here’s the “Hammer of the Emperor” gathered for battle – my complete collection of Imperial Guard models so far (plus a skullcrab from HeresyOfUs) standing ready to strike fear into the hearts of Ork warbosses and Chaos lords everywhere.
Whilst the preacher has a promising career ahead of him (following a few improvements) I’m not sure the same can be said of this killer robot. Finding him was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me – he’s one of my earliest conversions and clearly very much the product of a hobbyist whose imagination outstrips his skills by a considerable margin. I think I was aiming for “deranged mechanical killer” and instead ended up with “cute, and perhaps a little worried”.
So with these two rescued from life in storage it’s time to turn my attention to the future of my Imperial Guard endeavours, specifically the kind of men that the Imperium would send to do battle on the Thorn Moons as part of the Iron Sleet Invitational.
The road from Terra is long however and the journey only just begun…
For various reasons I’ve had the Imperial Guard on the brain recently. It started out as a recurrence of my long-running, but never fully realised, ambition to tackle the Guard as I see them, the under-equipped, under-valued troops of the Imperial war engine who survive, or more usually don’t, thanks only to their grim determination. The Iron Sleet Invitational, focussed around the Imperial Guard, threw oil onto that particular flame and boosted the whole thing to new heights so expect to see the fruits of that particular labour soon.
This chap isn’t part of that per-se, but rather a remnant of a previous exploration of my ideas on this front who never saw completion. So, whilst I think about the question of what it means to be a solider in the 41st Millennium, I allow myself to tidy him. He’s sketchy but for the moment that’s what he is – a sketch that links to my ideas for this yet to be realised project. Pretentious? Perhaps a little, but there you have it. In time I’ll return to him and tidy up the looser paintwork of my younger years but for now I just wanted to use him as a way of progressing my ideas before tackling newer projects (a claim which is both a woeful excuse and only makes me sound even more pretentious, surely the worst of both worlds, but again with my time very stretched at the moment, this is how things stand).
I’m rather fond of the way he’s pointing – there’s something malevolent about it, as though he’s picking his next victim more than conducting triage, which given the production-line treatment of those wounded in the Imperium’s wars may very well be what it feels like.
Should any of my inquisitorial agents require surgery this man is ready to assist. Should I ever get round to building my long planned Imperial Guard regiment, he’s ready to enlist as a medic. In the meantime; the Doctor is in!
It’s been a week since my bold assertion that I would paint a bloat-drone in the month of October and the question on everyone’s lips is; how much have I managed? For the uninitiated October has come to mean Dreadtober as hobbyists attempt to get their unloved Dreadnaughts finished before the start of November. Anything of roughly dreadnaught-sized proportions is welcome, with carnifexs, dreadknights, helbrutes and – in my case at least – bloat-drones all welcome. If you have a dreadnaught shoved to one corner of your painting desk it’s not too late – this could be its moment.
I’ll confess that much as I enjoy Dreadtober I actually hate posting WIP images of part-painted models, especially when they’re frozen in the moment when the first basecoats have been applied but the washes are still waiting in the wings and the whole model is a shoddy mess of flat panels and ugly colours. Nonetheless regular progress updates are very much in the Dreadtober spirit so I shall grit my teeth and reveal the current state of the bloat-drone to the world.
As you can see it’s not looking its best yet but you can’t pretend I didn’t forewarn you of that!
The khornate helbrute, originally painted for the 2015 Dreadtober, is also at a less than prepossessing stage, its flaying arms repaired and – hopefully – upgraded with garish lumps of greenstuff (hence the black and white image).
Still lots to be done before the end of the month then but progress is underway at least.