miniatures. · painting

INSTAR Metallics

Recently, I have become dissatisfied with the Game Colour range of metallic paints. I’ve used them for a long time but only now come to realise that the particles of metallic pigment clogged the brush which made them hard to work with. I needed to try something new.

Over on twitter, I have been following INSTAR paints for a long time and decided it was time to give them a go. So, I ordered bronze, because Night Lords. Gold, two shades of silver, a purple and one of their ‘flip’ paints.

I grabbed an old Chaos Space Marine who hangs around for testing things and decided to try them out. Here are the results:

The blue/purple flip is on the shoulder pad and the purple, which is a really pale amethyst is on his upper leg. This is with a couple of coats and shows great coverage. It was easy to work with and although it required a couple of layers, it didn’t look streaky.

The bottom is something I was sent as a bonus, something called a ‘Spectrum’ paint. I did have to look it up, but once I learned what it was for, I gave it a go. What you do, is mix this with a metallic paint and it turns it into a flip paint. This one I mixed with silver and it turned into a pale green. I want to do some more messing about with this before I make a judgement on it, but it seems like a cool idea and I always like getting a little something for free.

I then did some more serious testing on the latest Night Lord:

The grain of the metallic paint is much, much finer than what I have used before, so it suits my need there. It takes washes from GW very well, so that is good too. It blends with other paints of its make easily enough and so I was able to create highlights and low lights where I wanted them. I think Gloves’s brass looks really good. The silver needs washing and highlighting but so far, so good.

I also really like how there is a little ball inside the paint which helps mix it up when you shake it up.

All in all, I love them. I will be using them and ordering some more when I need to. I might just have to try their other ranges too, to see how well put together they are.

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book review · miniatures.

Review: Soul Hunter – Aaron Dembski Bowden

Soul Hunter

Several friends of mine pestered me to read this for a while. One of them loaned me the physical copy, another loaned me a digital copy and eventually I relented. I do not get a lot of time to read books, and I do not like to waste my time on bad ones. This book is not a bad book.

This book is in fact, a very good book.

I knew within the first couple of pages that I was going to like the Night Lords due to one incident. One of the characters gets shot in the middle of a discussion and his so called friend had to switch his vox off because he was laughing so hard about it.

The book is full of gems like this. You quickly come to realise that the Night Lords all hate each other. It is the typical dynamic however that as soon as an outsider starts to hate on the individuals, that they pull together and deal with problems – mostly.

I never like to write spoilers in my reviews and I do not plan to start now. Some key players appear in the book, and they are all true to their character. The novel provides another perspective on these characters which is insightful and interesting.

The story is well constructed, cleverly written and easy to read. Some of the fight scenes it contains were so good my coffee went cold as I was so engaged. There is no abundence of overly floral language, though there is no lack of description either. Some of the scenes push the boundaries of what is ‘sensible’ (I know, it’s 40K but…) however, they are not ludicrous and are certainly exciting.

I really look forward to Blood Reaver, and enthusing about this awesome read to those who encouraged me to read them in the first place.

40K · book review · Warhammer 40000

Review: Dark Imperium – Guy Haley

815M7vUNz+L Talk about late to the party! This was released a while ago now and I’ve only just gotten around to ‘reading’ it. Bit of a confession, I listened to it on Audio Book instead. This was a new venture for me, and after I got over the voices and overly English accent of the reader, I found it enjoyable. I was able to paint and listen at the same time. Who knew…

I’ll start with the good. There are some really well constructed scenes in this story that enable the characters to show their core values well. For example, there is a part of the tale where Calgar and some of his cronies are dealing with an uprising. The opponents are mainly youths who are being used by adults because they are impressionable. The Ultramarines quickly realise how shoddy the work is but instead of just wading in to kill them, they decide to capture them and re-educate them so next time they can do a proper job of it. It made me laugh, could anything be more Ultramarine?

There are other interactions as well, Mortarion, Typhus and a daemon prince are talking via phychic ‘phone’, to which the Death Guard Primarch is outraged. The part where Uriel Ventris introduces himself to Guilliman is also marginally hilarious. All the characters play to themselves and are enjoyable in one way or another. The internalisation of Guilliman’s thoughts are also interesting and the contrast between the modern Imperium and what he knew are good to read. His frustrations are very relatable too. The language used to convey the characters, and the setting as well, is easy to follow.

Description wise, I think there are good and bad parts. The language used to describe the Death Guard and the Nurgle aspects of the novel are exceptionally well done. I had no idea there were that many words for guts. It allows the reader to really picture what the disgusting creatures look like. Some of it is quite nauseating and I liked that part. When it came to describing arches and other such things, I was less bothered. Some of the pacing of the novel is lost due to long descriptive passages or history lessons, which while vital for the background, I found rambly. There are some that enjoy such aspects, I am not one of them. I like to read the action and I like it to be fast paced.

There is also a lot of information on the Primaris marines and how much superior they are to the older spec of marine as well. It was when they had first been released however and I suppose they needed to be bigged up to the readership. They are fine by me and I rather liked the characters, especially when they they were relaxing in the mess hall lamenting that there was no booze to toast with. It made them seem human in many ways and I have always enjoyed reading about the human side of Space Marines.

This novel ambles, rather than surges, along and I am sure that if I was to tackle this as a read rather than a listen, I would have struggled with it. Still, it is worth reading all the same to get an insight into the mind of Guilliman. The other characters are no less engaging either and are certainly interesting.

40K · science fiction · Wh40K

Review: Prince of Crows

Time for reading is limited at the moment, however when I found myself with an hour to spare I knew what to do. I had left the Night Lords Trilogy at home but knew I had Prince of Crows on my iPad. I didn’t get it all finished in the one hour, I am not that quick at reading, but I certainly wanted to. I could not put this story down.

I shall try and relate its merits without too many spoilers.

Prince-of-Crows

The novel occurs after the disasterous Thamas Crusade and depicts the Kyroptera trying to piece back the broken fragments of their legion and work out what to do next. The first thing that struck me with this novel is that Sevatar is hilarious. I don’t think detatched, mass-murdering bastards are supposed to be that funny but he is written in a way that makes him utterly relatable. From the moment he decides to clean house, to the end of the novella, he is cracking one liners and shows an irrepressable cynicism that keeps the reader on his side. There are aspects of his personality that surprised me, and he does the COOLEST thing I have read about for a long, long time.

The narrative shifts in the middle of the novella to show an exploration of the childhood and growing up of Konrad Curze. I enjoyed the insight into the homeworld of the Night Lords. It was interesting, dark but interesting. It made me feel more sympathetic to him as well, in many ways.

Moving on from the great characters, I want to talk about the superb minimalist writing of the author. I always enjoy Aaron Dembski-Bowden and this novella is no exception to that. There was a particular line that gave me goosebumps when I read it, ‘The pale man burst the minister’s heart in his hand, in a rustling squeeze of abused meat.’ I don’t want to think waht thay says about me but this line really got me. It is not over described, it’s not over written and it allows the reader to fill in with their own imagination what it actually looked like. I discussed this with a friend of mine and they indicated this was one of the aspects that made the author brilliant and I find I am inclined to agree with them.

I won’t waffle on further about how amazing this novella is. Just go and read it. Do it for the quick witted, one liners. Do it for the immense action scenes, it is well worth the read.

40K · Uncategorized · Wh40K

The Black Legion

In my last post, I talked about the amazing new miniature that was Abaddon the Despoiler and the levels of excitement he managed to produce in myself. I felt that I should perhaps talk about his pals in this post.

Let’s start with some quality pictures I have collected of my particular favourites:

Haarken Worldclaimer was what sparked it all off. He was announced at the Open Day in December while I was at Warhammer World. I remember thinking he was stunning then and that I had to have him. I’ve collected Black Legion for a while and as they were the first Chaos Army I have for 40K, I have a bit of a spot for them. What I love about Haarken is the dynamic pose he is in. I can really imagine him getting all stabby in someone’s face.  I look forward to getting him on the painting table.

The Master of Possession and the Greater Possessed are also lovely miniatures. Again, the posing on them is sinister, interesting and look like a lot of fun to work with.

Now let’s have a look at some new troops:

The new Chaos marines look way, way more interesting than the old ones. I have had some of the old ones on my painting table for ages now but don’t really do anything with them other than use them for testing paint and different schemes here and there.

These new ones will not be getting that treatment. They looks as bulky as you would expect but interesting as well. Ther also seems to be some scope for individualising them as well, but I will see when I get a chance to look at the sprues when the multi-part kit comes out. The terminators as well, though I am not sure how different they are from the old ones.

Then the man with the bog chopper was announced today. The Master of Executions looks like he will be a barrel of laughs to face on the battle field… Or not.

What I am trying to say here is that I want them all and I need to paint them up. I then want to go and smash people with them. That would be a great deal of fun!

40K · Warhammer 40000 · Wh40K

Ahriman Appreciation thread.

Seeing as I am known for my apparent love of Ahriman, and I have been asked about the range of cloaks I have painted him. I decided a post here would be better than an easily lost thread. So, here were are: Ahriman and his many, many cloaks of space.

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Ahriman number 1 – this was the one that sparked it all off about eighteen months ago.

This second one is the one I did for the tutorial. I thought that would be it then, but oh how I was wrong…

This version happened during the paint-a-thon I did. 12 hours of non stop painting in order to raise money for luekemia. He now lives on my desk at work.

Ahriman number 4 was his 40K incarnation. I painted a vortex on his cloak and thought I would be done with the miniature. Again, I could not have been more wrong. The next four Ahirman I painted were for the diorama for Golden Demon.

This took a long time to construct, earned me a commended entry and was a lot of fun to build. The Eye of Terror on his cloak was tricky to get right, but I surprised even myself with it.

Ahriman number 9 was a commission from a good friend, who wanted a star being sucked into a black hole on his cloak. So, here he is in all his shiny glory!

Let’s have some images of those cloaks all next to each other.

Other appreciation things I want to share are some of the amazing pictures people have drawn for me and sent in:

Art by TragicFanGirl,  https://tragic-fangirl.tumblr.com/ https://amriinthewarp.tumblr.com and https://misterculexus.tumblr.com/

Last, but not least, I have to pop up one of my favourites from Abaddon and Teal:

heresy 321

40K · book review

Review: The Ahriman Series

Some of you may have noticed that I have a little* bit of a soft spot for Ahriman so, I thought it would be a good idea to actually give the books by John French a read. I looked up his blog for the reading order, loaded up the kindle and off I went. I will try and do this without too many spoilers, but the books have been out for a while and I think most of us know the outcome by now anyway.

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One day, I too hope to shoot lightning out my hands…

I enjoyed All is Dust – a short story from the perspective of a Rubric Marine. What is that you say? They’re just dust floating about in armour! This one seemed to be able to recall his name and some basic emotion when roused to battle but rapidly forgot it when he returned to the inert state. I liked this because it offered insight into what are basically suits of armour that are pushed about by sorcerers.

In the series, there are three novels and a collection of other short stories told from the Point of View of a sorcerer known as Ctesias. These are told in first person narrative and I am going to admit that Ctesias did my head in. His insights into what was going on was irritating, though I think that was the character rather than the tales he was telling, which were good. I do enjoy it when a character grates on my nerves. Not all characters are written to be liked after all and Ctesias certainly got a reaction. The outcome of one particular story was rather satisfying for me as a reader, if not Ctesias himself.

So, the story of Ahriman then. Well, he sulks a great deal. The start of the series is after the rubric and he is hiding away from what he did. The three books follow his journey to ‘power’ and ends with the (and this is the HUGE spoiler here) failure of the second rubric. The books are easy to read, well constructed and even the characters that I don’t like are engaging. There is a range of different personalities within the three novels but none of them dominate. They all get a good amount of ‘screen time’ as well. The plots are well constructed, elaborate and engaging. I know for a fact that I will read these again and not just because I am fan of the Thousand Sons.

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Just a regular day in the warp.

The one thing that these tales confirmed for me, again, is that Magnus is a giant, selfish jerk who really needs to get his head out his butt and think of someone other than himself once in a while. There was rage… I do like it when characters and books make me actually feel something! It is a real treat!

The next book I am reading is Primogenitor by Josh Reynolds. Friends have been on at me for months to read it and I managed to grab a copy at the weekend.

 

*It’s not that little really, my adoration of the Persian Space Wizard is well known and unashamed.