40K · Painting Tutorial · Uncategorized · Wh40K

Tutorial: Galaxy Cloaks!

I have never written a tutorial before but when I was asked about the galaxy cloaks the other day and how I did them I volunteered to do one. I have tried to keep it as simple as I can!

Step 1: Coffee – an essential must have for all painting endeavors

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Step 2: Background – I use Abaddon Black as the base for the galaxies so I make sure the entire area is covered and even before I start. I also find that having an image as a reference is very useful, though I do not often refer to it!

Step 3: Base colours. As I was going for a blue based galaxy, I used Kantor Blue and Xereus Purple. At this point, I use one of my very old brushes and stipple the paint on carefully. I don’t put a great deal of paint on the brush and I create the outline of the galaxy.

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This is a little dark, sorry about that!

Step 4: Using the same brush, I then go over the outline with a lighter colour – in this case, I used Caledor sky and Xereus Purple mixed with Mephiston Red. I also make sure not to put as much on the brush as at this stage, you want to start seeing spots of colour.

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The spots are important later on!

Step 5: Here is where I swap to a smaller brush and begin to build up the layers that form the galaxy. Using watered down – this makes the paint much easier to manipulate – Sotek Green, Temple Guard Blue for the blue and Xereus Purple with a mix of Emperors Children, I then blend and build up the colour until it looks natural.

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This one has a swirling appearance to it – use the watered down paint to build the colour up!

Step 6: Stars. This is the step where I add the first layer of stars. I use a very fine brush to spot on the stars that are the same colour as the blended parts. You can add them at a varying sizes too.

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Use a variety of sizes for good effect

Step 7: More Stars. This time, I use white to add in stars. They add a final striking layer to the cloak. I also use a range of sizes and this time, I put in a small cross to show one as twinkling.

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Oooh, shiny

So, there you have it, a whirlwind explanation of how to create groovy galaxy cloaks. I am going to be giving them to all psyker type models for the time being as I think they fit the theme. Space Wizards need wizardy cloaks that look like space… Here are a couple of others I have done!

40K · book review · Uncategorized · Warhammer 40000 · Warhammer 40k · Wh40K

Review: Black Legion – Aaron Dembski-Bowden

BLPROCESSED-Black-Legion-coverThis book is so awesome I am going to leave the picture huge. I was fortunate enough not to wait long for the second installment of the Black Legion series, which was a relief seeing as I loved the first one.

The story picked up a ‘few’ years on from where the last one left off, once again being told through the eyes of Iskandur Khayon, former Thousand Son Legionary. He has become Abaddon’s assassin and seems to be struggling with the role. I won’t go into details because spoilers but I will say when he overcomes these inhibitions, awesomeness ensues.

The narrative of the novel is in the first person once again, something I found well crafted before and was not let down this time. The voice of Khayon comes through clearly throughout; you can definitely tell that he was a member of the Thousand Sons before his change of allegiance. When he is explaining things to you, he does so from the stance of a scholar – it is a little like being in a lecture. Instead of detracting from the pace of the novel, it explains things about the Eye of Terror that the reader doesn’t know. Khayon never gives up the opportunity to enlighten the reader about the trials and tribulations he and his brethren face on a daily basis!

Although the book deals with the serious, and often deadly, threats that face the newly established Black Legion, there is no shortage of funny aspects either. Each character is well established with one another and there is no shortage of bickering and sniping a one another, which provides the novel with some much needed comic moments. We all know and understand that life in the grim dark future is just that but these interactions remind the reader that there is humour too.

Also: Abaddon fights Sigismund… Well paced, perfectly written and oh my word what a page turning ending to the novel! Just amazing! The rest of the fight scenes are amazing – highlighting the brutality needed to win and the lengths of the character’s ambitions too. There is also a wicked space battle that had me turning the pages quicker than I thought possible.

It is a perfect follow-up to an epic start, I just hope the next installment isn’t too far in the future!

40K · fine detail · miniatures. · space marines · Wh40K

The Cloak of Stars, a 50p Heretic and The Second Company.

I’ve been a bit busy getting married these past few weeks and as such have not had a great deal of hobby time to get either writing or painting. The wedding was wonderful and the honeymoon a big pile of fun too. However, after recovering for a day, we did manage to get some hobby in to make up for it. While away, I was browsing Pinterest and saw an awesome effect on a cloak of a miniature and decided that I wanted to try and recreate it myself. Here are the results:

The effect of painting a galaxy on a cloak was a tricky one that involved creating a base of the swirling colours and then painting an awful lot of little dots over the top finishing off with some white ones. The colour of dots depended on which part of the cloak I was painting but I think it worked out well over all. I think I will be trying this technique again on psyker/librarian characters too. It’s just a shame that this heretic – Ahriman – will likely never see much play time.

The other model I have been painting was found at the Warboot at Element Games a few weeks ago (with a huge hangover no less) and was picked up with a friend who is some sort of demented chaos apothecary with Fabius Bile’s pack back. The Thousand Son miniature was already undercoated and having just finished the novel, I decided to paint him up all nice. He is a fine-cast miniature but let’s not hold that against him, he looks alright and I am sure he and Ahriman will be running off with all the cookies in the cabinet in some sort of heretic shenanigans.

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Look at them both – planning on raiding the Ultramarine Cookie Jar already!

Another I wanted to mention was sorting out the marines I had into squads. It was a job I have put off for a while but I finally got the time to sit down and get it done. I knew I had a lot of models and that they needed to be sorted – more so I know who belongs where and who gets what markings. Turns out I have enough for seven squads of a battle company and some Terminators, Dreadnoughts and Bikes (not assembled yet) for support. I also have other models that are not yet put together which will form the majority of the command unit too. Here they are, the Black Hands Second Company in all their ‘organised’ glory.

And finally,  I have to mention one of the awesome gifts my husband and I received as a wedding present. We were given a lot of gifts and are exceptionally grateful for all of them. I feel this one needs a special blog mention though:

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The Emperor’s Palace on Holy Terra – Now on our living room wall in all its glory.

 

 

book review · Wh40K

Review: A Thousand Sons – Graham McNeill

Thousand Sons I had the distinct pleasure of reading this novel on the decks of the Thompson Majesty while on my honeymoon – often with a cocktail or two; it would be rude not to after all.

What a real pleasure it was to read too! I’ll start off by celebrating all of the rich description within this novel. During parts of the novel, I could easily picture the setting, to the point where I felt as though I was actually walking down some of the Tizcan streets with the characters as they spoke. Maybe that could be attributed to the warm climates I was in too but it was a real pleasure. The choice of words used paints a truly wonderful picture, one that I devoured gladly and you should too! It was as though I could smell what was being made in the markets, hear the traders calling and feel the heat of the sun too.

Characters in the novel are spectacularly well written; the leading cast are well rounded and layered. McNeill carefully ensures that the Space Marine characters are not carbon copies of each other and that they are different from the contingencies of remembrancers (humans) too. Not all the characters are likeable, they’re not meant to be, but they are well written. I found it very difficult to be sympathetic to the Primarch of the Thousand Sons; he came across as an aloof, arrogant being without a trace of thought for those he used – he was meant to. I could find solace in the fact he was well written and that his sons were far more likeable than he was.

The pace of the novel was perfect too, there were no points where the story lulled or seemed to drag on either. Each twist and turn of the novel is woven carefully together and the differences of opinion of the characters are artfully displayed.

I cannot stress enough how I enjoyed the novel and really look forward to reading a lot more about the Thousands Sons legion. I hear there are some pretty devastating turns in store for Ahriman and his friends.

40K · miniatures. · Warhammer 40k · Wh40K

Sergeant Flowers

As some of you will know, I am getting married tomorrow. The past few days have been a bit of a whirlwind, trying to organise various things; decorations, relatives, cakes and other assorted bits and bobs. I’ve had a lot less time for painting and playing and even less for writing. Fear not, the story is still growing just at a much slower rate than before.

We are not having a huge formal wedding, we’re not those kind of people. We wanted to do something that reflected our quirks and would be enjoyable for everyone, not one of those huge formal affairs were everyone appears tense. I always knew I wanted something in my bouquet; I just wasn’t sure what…

That’s where this guy comes in.

This is Sergeant Flowers. The history I with painting miniatures began when I was around 14 years old and is a story too long for the telling on this post. My recent ‘obsession’ is with 40K and Space Marines so it seemed like a fitting idea to have a guy with a jump pack hidden in the flowers.

A little bit about Flowers then – his first name is Iris (which is painted on the banner in the centre of the black hand). He is the sergeant of the fourth squad in second company and is known for being mean. With a name like Iris Flowers, one worthy of The Emperor’s Children, he has to be. He has served for over 200 years so far and is a dab hand with the lightning claw.

After the day,  intend to take him out of the bouquet, fix him to a base and field him alongside the rest of his assault squad. I will leave you with the shot of him all ready for the big day tomorrow.

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There will be no problems with heretics or xenos on the big day!
book review · Uncategorized · Wh40K

Review: The Talon of Horus – Aaron Dembski-Bowen

 

Talon of HorusWell, I read this one a bit quickly! The Talon of Horus had been on the shelf for a little while now and I fancied reading something that wasn’t in the Horus Heresy saga. Those of you who know me well will also be aware that I have a bit of fascination regarding Abaddon and so this book seemed like it would be an interesting read.

The fact that I managed to read it in less than three days whereas the last book took more than a month says a great deal about how amazing this read was. I was a little wary of the first person narrative to begin with. I’ve read a few books written in this style and they have been absolute rubbish. Not the case here. The narrator has a very clear voice and it never loses focus through the novel. The reader is never left with a sense of disembodiment and the point of view is clear and maintained throughout the tale.

There are plenty of moments in the novel that made me laugh out loud too, I don’t want to spoil any of the details but there are a few well thrown punches and dry quips that are golden. The World Eater character can be relied upon to act according to his nature in moments that are utterly brilliant.  One of the things that really resonated me with this novel was how the narrator highlighted how inhuman he was and yet in other parts would act in very human ways. He is very aware of the differences and is very keen to remind the reader of them yet his actions, at times, show the opposite

The pace of the novel is perfect. The blend of action and narrative is just right and it kept me turning the pages late into the evening and well into the day when I should have been doing other things. The action within the novel is well written, engaging and never seems to drag on as it has in some other stories I have read.

Within the pages of this novel there are some tastefully used metaphors, something I don’t normally pick up on. I am not known for subtlety after all… The part when the main characters are walking through acid rain and the colours of their former legion is washed off is just too poetic not to mention. Especially as the novel deals with the birth of the Black Legion! Hats off to you Aaran Demnski-Bowden

All in all, this was a devastatingly amazing read. You should go and read it right now. You’ll want to join the Black Legion afterwards, but that’s alright; what’s a little heresy between friends?

 

40K · book review · horus heresy · Warhammer 40k · Wh40K

Review: Fallen Angels – Mike Lee

Fallen AngelsIt seems to have taken me forever to read this book. Being busy at work has certainly not helped matters but I have finally managed to finish it! Not that the summer holidays have had anything to do with that, no sir!

I’ll start by saying that I wasn’t a huge fan of the first Dark Angels book – Descent of Angels by Mitchel Scanlon. I found the pacing a bit off and compared to the rest of the series, it was a bit of a bad egg. It wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t as good as some of its predecessors.

Fortunately, this one is better. The pacing at the start of the novel is slow, I will concede that point and it took a while to get going. When it did get going however, it turned into the ‘cannot put down’ page turner that I expect from a Horus Heresy novel.

The story picks up the two separate tales of cousins Nemiel and Zahariel; the two protagonists from the first novel and continues their saga. I’m not going to say overly much about what happens, I want you to go and read the novel for yourself and find out but I will say that it is exciting.

The plot of the two stories don’t really entwine with one another. Nemiel’s is based on the planet of Diamat, where the Dark Angel’s, along with their Primarch have to thwart the rebel’s attempts at securing the planet. Zahariel’s is set on Caliban along with Luther and the other ‘banished’ Dark Angels. The two plots are both engaging, when they find their momentum, and there are some astonishingly well written battle scenes to boot. There are some pretty hefty twists towards the end of the book too which were interesting, again, I’m not going to discuss them in detail but believe me, you’ll roll your eyes!

Give the book a read, it is well worth it despite the slow start!

painting · Warhammer 40k

Improvements

Someone close to me suggested that ‘art is a journey’. I’m not one to wax lyrical about the intricacies of art and what it means. I paint miniatures because I enjoy it, I find it calming and it is a great way to unwind after a day at work. I have been painting figures on and off since I was about 13 years old. The first model that I owned and painted was  an undead banshee – she is still in the house somewhere I think. I have come a long way since then.

What I want to focus on today is how far I have come over the past few months since finding my way back into the hobby. I managed to pick out one of my first Space Marines and took a picture – here he is in all his Black Hand glory.

When I look at him now, I see the thickness of the edge highlighting and how wonky the lines are. He was a good start however and since then, I have painted a ‘few’ more marines and practiced my brush techniques. Then the Primaris made an appearance and I was faced with new challenges. Here’s the first Intercessor I put my brush to a few short weeks ago:

Since painting this fella, I have improved on my line work and feel the coat of paint looked a lot more even too. I’m more confident in the style of painting – highlighting rather than blending and think the flat colour is really striking when the edges are picked out in a brighter shade. There is always room for improving however and we are always more inclined to see the flaws! The last model I painted was this one:

I am very proud of the ancient and feel it is the best work I have done so far, better even than the Deredeo dreadnought I was pleased with! People have been kind and commented on him on Twitter and Facebook, some going so far as to say it puts theirs to shame. I don’t like such comments! We are all working to improve ourselves and the only people we are comparable to is our self! I’ve compared and shown my progress against my own models, not anyone else’s. So long as we are constantly getting better at what we do, and that there is visible progress to a better looking model, then that is a win!

fine detail · miniatures. · Wh40K

Guest Post – Dynasty or Dallas

This is the first Guest Post I have featured on the blog and I have to admit this is rather exciting! The post had been written by Chris Frosin, whom I have mentioned before as being one of the most enthusiastic people I have met in recent times. Anyway, without any more waffle from me, here are his thoughts on returning to the hobby after an extended break!

 

It unfortunately doesn’t take much. Or maybe that’s fortunate, you can let me know by the end of this little post.

However, three weeks ago I met up with a friend of mine who I’d been meaning to catch up with for a while. It just so happened that the ‘catch up’ took place at Warhammer World where he was playing a small game of what I’d later realise was a new edition of Warhammer 40,000. Walking back in to an environment that I spent a lot of time in during my 20’s set my creative juices flowing again rather quickly and that certainly wasn’t ‘helped’ by the two guys I met nudging me to having a wander around the store there to see everything that had changed in the 12 years I’d been away.
Well, the models have certainly got even more gorgeous and the intricacies and details that I always loved to pick out have gotten even more precise and sharp. Unfortunately my beloved Tomb Kings seem to have been ‘killed’ off in a large explosion of some sort but seeing as they were playing 40k my mind was brought back to my small Necron force I pulled together all those years ago and a handful of Harlequins I’d converted. Now I love painting and converting so one of my first armies was what turned out to be a huge Ork force that I just kept adding and adding to; converted ork boyz everywhere, with a Land Raider based battlewagon, nobz with lightning claws and grots with guns they could hardly carry resting on their backs! If I was going to get sucked back in to the hobby I didn’t want to repeat that; but the sort of ‘been there done that’ feeling was satisfying enough that gradually throughout the evening watching Eldar PUMMEL (sorry hehe) the Space Marines into submission a plan of action was starting to form. Small numbers. I’d scanned the rulebook enough to see that I could form an elite force, maybe even a narrative army list based around fast attack detachments. Ultimately this would mean small numbers. But would I dig out the Death Jester and Shadow Seer models that I never face getting rid of, and do Harlequins again; the elite of elite, or my Necrons, an army that was more a couple of squads to test a colour scheme idea I had?
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Then a further suggestion was thrown at me.
‘We’re having a game of Shadow War in a couple of weeks. Why don’t you get a Kill Team together for that and join in’
‘Errr… hell yeah!’
There was already a Harlequin player so maybe that wouldn’t be the best choice… and then I was shown these!
The Necron Tomb Blades and Annihilation Barge!
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Tomb Blades
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Annihilation Barge
How. Cool. Are. They!
I was sold. I had to have Necrons again and fine tune my colour scheme to work with a vehicular based fast attack force for a new Dynasty! Mine! And it was going to be epic!
That week I headed in to my local store, had a browse around, checked out the new paints (which have tooootally different names to what I remember. Where’s Deadly Nightshade for instance?!?!) and picked up a box of Necron Immortals and the Shadow War rule book. I’d managed to find one rogue Necron warrior that somehow escaped the clear out all those years ago and that, with a little converting obviously, would be good enough to form the basis of a Kill Team.
And luckily one of the positives of my paint scheme is it’s rather quick to do.
What happened next sent me down an even more excited rabbit hole but I’ll save the story of bouncing around an amazing community on Twitter for the next post. Until then, here’s the first sneak peek of the Necron warrior that I dug out of the loft (attic if you’re from across the pond)
Warhammer 40k · Wh40K

Battle Report: Dark Eldar

We decided to kick off the weekend with a game on Friday night. I wasn’t playing against the Death Guard for a change; oh no, this was someone totally new. A friend of mine brought his Dark Eldar over and I was informed that it would be me doing the fighting! My long suffering partner helped me create the army list with some advice here and there about what to do! I took my new shiny Deredeo Dreadnought, freshly painted and gleaming to see what he could do, and a load of the Primaris lads that I have been painting too.

This was my first introduction to objectives. I had to clarify what they were for and I was reliably informed that in order to win I had to do said objectives or kill everything on the board. I looked at my friend and calmly informed him that I was going to kill all his models…

The Dark Eldar went first. They managed to kill a few of the intercessors in the first round. For a while, it was looking  pretty even; then the Dreadnought got to fire…

IMG_1127 This was the result. I must say that the Dreadnought had a hell of a lot of fire power in it and I almost felt bad for my friend… Almost. He dropped some reinforcements in from space (I cannot recall the name of the unit) and I destroyed them with another squad of intercessors. My Hellblasters peppered his troops with shots and my captain stood about and yelled at people to shoot harder! Those 1 re-rolls from both him and the Lieutenants is devastating. The dreadnought hits on a 2+ and I get to re-roll 1s…

As I had promised my friend, I killed every model on the board and scored my first ever victory in 40K. There was much rejoicing.

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With the Captain shouting at him, the Deredeo hardly ever misses… BOOM!