miniatures.

Review: Indomitus – Gav Thorpe

This is the first time I have read a book that has come alongside a release, and I want to talk about that as it had both pros and cons that come with it.

On the one hand, I was able to relate to every single character and unit mentioned in this novel because I had the miniature that went with it. I knew what the plasmancer looked like, I knew what a Judiciar was and this meant that in some scenes of the book, it was easier to follow. Knowing that an Eradicator has a huge flamer weapon was definitely helpful in understanding who did what in the fights.

The downside of this is that there are so many units and characters that came out in the release, that at times it was hard to keep up with so many names.

What this book offered me was an insight into Necron culture. I knew very little about the faction until I read this and find they are rather interesting. The part from the perspective of the Destroyer Character was really good. I won’t spoil it but you learn some details about his past and why he is set on destroying all life. I could relate (if not condone) to his actions and that was surprising.

I think my favourite character was the plasmancer. She was belaboured by incompetence on all sides and she fit nicely. I never knew how heirarchical necorn society was, or how many different factions were working within it until I read this novel.

Of course, there are plenty of good Ultramarine characters within the novel too, and the little details written add a layer to them that can sometimes be lacking in Space Marines. The Captain remarking to himself that carpet is strange underfoot after so long on a voidship is the one that springs to mind. There is plenty of bickering and banter, but underneath all that, the will to get the job done without hesitation is there too. All good stuff.

The plot of the novel is no real stretch of the imagination, but it’s not dull or drab and it certainly doesn’t drag. The ending is fitting, and it leaves the reader wondering what happens as well. I wonder if there will be a sequel at some point – I do hope so!

All in all, a good read!

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Battle Report: Blood Angels v Necrons

I managed to get my second game of Warhammer 40K in the other day. It was against Necrons, and an opponent who had not played the new edition, or the game in a long time either. Seeing as I haven’t played much either, I felt this match up was more in my level of playing.

I took the same miniatures as my previous game, I want to get my head around a few things at a time, rather than use loads of different things and confuse myself. I had 10 Assault Intercessors, 3 Bikes, a Primaris Liuetenant and Captain. I faced 20 Necron warriors, a Plasmancer, 2 murder buckets, scarabs and a Canoptek Reanimator. We also played the ‘Supply Drop’ mission; the objective was to hold objectives until the supplies came in – these translated into victory points as the turns progressed.

I went first this time. The bikes moved up the board to secure one objective, while the intercessors moved to capture another. Most of the intercessors got shot by Necron Warriors, but not before doing catastrophic damage to the Reanimator!

My Captain called in an orbital bombardment, which wasn’t that good. It cost me three command points and didn’t do much. I won’t be using that again in a small game where it can only get a few units.

The bikes were charged by the plasmancer and murder buckets, which could have been really bad for them, however dice let my opponent down and they did far less than they should have done. They lasted the entire game, finally succumbing to the buckets in the last turn.

The other half of the board fared a bit better. The Lieutenant killed the reanimator with a shot from his volkite pistol, allowing the remaining two intercessors to charge into the unit of warriors. One died to overwatch, however the sergeant fought valiantly on, until he too fell to necron ‘headbutts’.

Sergeant Nic’s day went downhill from here

The lieutenant took his place however and continued to beat on these warriors. This allowed the Captain to remain on the objective and score all the points I needed for the win.

Points I need to remember for next time involve scenery – I need all the guys to be in the scenery for it to be a benefit, rather than have someone sticking out of it. I do like how it works, it adds an interesting flavour to the game. I am also getting quicker at remembering what to roll and the numbers, which is a bonus!

miniatures.

Mephiston’s Cloak

As mentioned in a recent post, I have been working on the Mephiston diorama. Many of you know I am a bit of a freehand nut when it comes to cloaks (though I have an idea for a tank brewing) and so I wanted to create something a bit special. I have done galaxy’s and other motifs but this had to be something that pushed my skills, else there would be little point to doing it.

I decided to go with a deep red with a brocade pattern over the top. I am not the best at creating regular shapes, but I tried it anyway. This is how phase one turned out:

To achieve this pattern, I used Khorne red as a base coat and then did some very thin black glazes in the recesses to give the red a bit of depth. I then created the pattern – I may do a tutorial on this sometime in case other people want to give it a go. I used Ushabti bone for this. When it was done, I glazed it down with very thin Khorne red until it looked mroe natural. It took several layers but you can see the difference between the two pictures.

Now, I wasn’t about to stop there. When I painted Mephiston for my friend, I placed a flaming winged blood drop motif on the cloak, so I thought I would do something similar on this one. I also added a brown hem at the bottom. I did think about writing his name on the hem, however the creases in the fabric meant that it wouldn’t look right if I did. Here is the end result:

The billows of the cloak make this rather tricky to photograph properly, and I know this is not finished – he has psyker tubes and the lining to work on as well, but so far, so good!

miniatures.

Blackstone Fortress and Speed Painting

A return client recently asked me to build and base coat some miniatures for Blackstone Fortress with the intention of finishing them off himself. I agreed of course and set about doing so. The difference this time was that the client wanted me to follow a speed painting video with the base coats. Interesting. I am not one for watching videos about painting, I like to see a picture and work out how it is done myself, or read a step by step tutorial like ones I have made myself. Still, I am always up for learning new things and so I gave it a go.

After talking about the techniques, I was then asked to just do the whole thing – which I was happy to do. The whole set of minaitures took me under twelve hours to finish, which I think is good timing, and the videos were super easy to follow. Here are the miniatures, I will pop a link to the youtube videos at the end of the post.

I really enjoyed this method of painting, it was quick, looks effective and easy. The videos were by Midwinter Miniatures over on youtube, the link below will take you to their page:

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Mephiston: The Diorama

Before the world went mad, I had planned on creating a diorama of Mephiston fighting a demon – Doonbreed – for a Golden Demon entry. A lot has happened and the event was cancelled. The parts of the diorama have been left in a box mostly forgotten about until the other day. I thought, it might not be for Golden Demon anymore, but it would be a shame to waste the parts I had collected. So I started working on it again last week. Fridays have become my ‘skills’ day – where I try new things and practice existing skills in a way that I am unable to while doing commission work.

Here are some snaps of the mock up:

The idea is that he will be landing on the pipe in order to mess up a horde of demons on the larger base. I want the smaller base to be able to come off in case I get the insane notion of using this large, tall miniature on the tabletop… Yeah, maybe not but the practice of building up a scenic base won’t be a bad thing.

So, next task was to crack on and paint him. He is in sub assembly in order for me to get into the hard to reach spots without making too much of a mess. Here are some of the parts:

I have quite a way to go with this as yet, but I am pleased with the progress. I have also done work on his cloak, but I am saving that for another post as I want to really talk about the process of creating it.

miniatures.

Freehand Banners

I have been working on some banners for a commission recently and I wanted to share them with you. Non metallic metals are not something I am overly confident with but they are a challenge that I really enjoy. The effect is striking and when done right, very effective. So, when I was asked to paint a couple of banners with chalices on them, I leapt at the chance to do so. Here are the minis:

The hardest part about this was getting the colour blend right. I wanted to create an old gold feel rather than it being super shiny. Chaos Marines grab me as not being the cleanest after all and their gear is thousands of years old. They are not new or shiny and so the gold would be tarnished.

I am pleased with how they turned out, and the owner of them is as well. I shall do a post in the not too distant future explaining the freehand process I go through, but for now, these minis are now on their way to their new owner!

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Grumpy Git – Results and Winner!!

A reminder of the entries first of all:

Judge 1 – Nerodine – said this:

I like that both entries thought on their basing, and decided to push the sculpted theme a little further.

Entry A – Good palette and great use of colour. Yellow accent colour works well to break up the space. – Love the colour glow brought onto the base and a cheeky bit of colour blending there. Would have liked to see more of that elsewhere. – Missed opportunity with that diamond pattern on the legs. – Big fan of a bit of glowy power sword action! Could add a little of that mid-tone blue onto the hair to sell the OSL further. – Nailed the face. Top job!

Entry B – Good colour choices, and the bright green really stands out. – However you took the second photo, do more like that. It adds just enough warmth and light to let me read the piece properly without any distractions. – Hair highlighting jars a little. – Loving the variety of tone in the purple and green fabric, then playing that green back into the darker green shards. Nice.

Got to pick a winner though, right? My choice is entry B. Tough, but I think the painter pushing themselves to execute a check pattern well is probably the stand-out difference for me.

Judge 2 – Leaky Cheese – said this:

I vote for B! I really liked your colour contrast between the face hair. The square patterns were beautifully done and repeating them as diamonds on his clothing works really well. Beautiful belt gem and the green sheen on the swords is another lovely touch.

Judge 3 – Dr Dave – said this:

So… That’s a really tough one for me. I love both renditions of the miniature and they both stand out in terms of painting skill for different reasons. I like the colour scheme of both, I think I prefer the darker tones and cheques on the floor tiles of B more than A though. That being said I like the overall brightness of A. If you could combine the figure of A with the rules of B, that would be the winner! It’s really tough but after much deliberation I’ve gone for entry B, just because I think I prefer that overall colour scheme and some of the little touches like the reflection on the tiles

Judge 4 – Bees – said this:

My vote is for Entry B They are both beautifully painted and it was a difficult decision, as always. You’re both so skilled. I loved the colour palette on A, but B has so much contrast with the deep colours and bright greens and the galaxy detail on the squares just cinched it.

Judge 5 – Nick Bayton – said this:

Entry A: I love the colour selections – lovely pastel theme but a limited palette. The diamond work is really good, with the outlines suggesting diamonds being painted really neatly. I love the highlights on the black – looks like you’ve used Karak Stone in there to give it soft material-like texture. The highlights on the panels on the base are really good – with cheeky little spot highlights representing light spots. The face is really good too – painted really smoothly!

Entry B Again – I love the colours used here. You’ve gone the opposite way with strong colours used to create a clear theme throughout the model with plenty of contrast between surfaces. The dark teal and purples really compliment each other well – a classic vibrant combo for xenos models which really works. The check work is amazing – so neat and well done, and repeated across the model in areas that would have been quite hard to do, so props to you for that! The purple blending looks great – i must have taken a good long while! Again – face looks amazing too.

As for a winner?I vote Entry B… but only by a Gyrinx’s whisker.

So, the overall winner is Entry B.

As I am sure you are all dying to know, I can now say who painted which miniature.

Office painted Miniature A, I painted miniature B.

This year, Office owes me the pint!!

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Old School Blood Angels!

I have taken some time to paint my own miniatures this week. With the looming release of Indomitus, I want to clear some space on the ‘To Paint’ shelf. So I have worked on the base coated ‘mini’ marines. I collected the various parts from a load of bits boxes around the house and stuck them together. They are a mis-matched bunch of marines, but they are mine and I am sure there will be plenty of fights for them to get stuck into in the future.

There are twelve in the squad – I had extras so put them altogether and thought they may as well all be in the smae squad. There seemed to be no point in having two smaller squads and I am sure I can write a fluff reason for it if the need arises.

It has been really lovely as well to work on something for myself, rather than for a commission or for sale elsewhere. I plan on painting the Marine half as Blood Angels and keeping them, and then maybe actually playing some games with them! That would be a novel idea!

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Elucidian Starstriders – Take 3

So, as I painted the Gellerpox Infected, I have now painted the other side of the Rogue Trader set; the Elucidian Starstriders. It was a real treat to paint these miniatures again. They’re all very different so batch painting them can be tricky. Even the void-warriors in blue are different so require attention individually.

Here they are:

I have now painted these miniatures three times, and I have enjoyed every single one. It also gives me a chance to see how much I have improved since the last time I painted them – which was about a year ago. I find that painting the same miniature after a stretch of time is good to mark your own progress and see how you have improved. Here are the old ones:

I have also learned to take better pictures since then, but I can see my improvements from this time last year.

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Gellerpox Infected – Take 3

I love painting this Kill Team. The miniatures are well made, interesting with the right level of ‘gross’ factor for Nurgle without it going too far and just being awful. I have painted them twice before, but decided to give them another go and use some of the more experimental techniques. I used neon green again for some of the fleas – I used them to make a tutorial on them a few posts ago. So, I wanted to try another bright colour for the flys.

I went for neon pink. I used the colour wheel to determine which colour to use as a base – I think I used a dark blue, though I need to refine the process further and write it down. Again, there is that need to create a diary of what colours and techniques I use!

I do think the pink flies worked alright however, and so shall use that method again soon, if only to cement it in my mind.

The rest of the Kill Team has a more regular, nurgle colour to them, though I used watered down washes and other skills I have learned since I last painted them to get the look I wanted. Here they are in all their disgusting glory!

Of course, now I need to work on the other half of the box set, which I am very much looking forward to! I should have a post on them next week sometime!