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Return with a bang!

Well, I have finally moved into the new house and set up one of the rooms to be my painting lair! I am so relieved to be back in a routine of painting and working! The move went as well as these things can, with only the minor hitch of the Hire Van Window being broken – it had slipped downand the electronics decided to not work. A quick fix with gaffa tape and some plastic and we were all good.

It took a while to get everything sorted out, but here is my new painting set up.

Rolando is proving to be a capable assistant

The first thing I wanted to do was finish off a couple of Salamander’s tanks that I had worked on before the move. It was a good way to get back into painting again and they served as a refresher as well.

I am now working on a Judiciar for my Blood Angel’s force, this involved edge highlighting and I am sure that will be more of a challenge that the battle damaged tanks I have just finished.

It is good to be back, that much I will say!

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Feature photos

A quick post today. I was asked to photograph five miniatures for a feature on YouTube – when the video is up I will post links. They were to be my favourite miniatures. These are the results:

I also submitted Ahriman and the Ahriman, because that is a hilarious diorama which I am still very proud of!

These are some of my finest miniatures and it was good taking proper pictures too!

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Legit Members of the Black Legion…

I bought these two miniatures at a War Boot some time ago and have had them both half finished for almost as long. I had a bit of time to finally get them finished this week and I am really pleased with how they turned out. I do not collect Alpha Legion, however I thought these two looked interesting so decided to paint them as Black Legion. I wanted to show they were infiltrating, as the Alpha Legion do, and their disguises were not that good.

I used green contrast paint over silver to make the chips and then highlighted the edges with light grey to match the other highlights. I also painted the Chaos Star over the Alpha Legion symbol to add to the rubbishness of their disguise attempt. I am pleased with them as they are a bit of fun more than anything else.

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Mephiston – Finished

I have finally finished Mephiston! And what a learning curve he was too. I’ll start off with some pictures and then say what I think!

I am very pleased with the results. In particular the sword. This is the first time I have done multiple blends – dark, to light and back again – on the same weapon and I think it turned out well. It looks smooth and the edges look sharp.

The wings worked well, I am pleased with how the yellow brightens the tips and highlights them too. The freehand on the cloak is some of my best work to date when it comes to freehand and although it took an age, I am sure I would be able to recreate the brocade pattern even better if I were to use it again.

Pipe Bloodletter adds amusement to the piece and I got to use the UV resin mixed with some green wash to create the horrid goo in the pipe with him. I love how that worked out. I am not convinced about the copper pipe itself, but regardless of that, the diorama works.

This is not the Mephiston I will be using on the table top though, he is too big and I do not want him to get damaged. I may have to paint another version of Mephiston in the future, but for now, I am content to just have this one!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!