40K · Age of Sigmar · miniatures.

Lord of Change

I finished the Lord of Change today and I am glad I did so. I am glad to get the miniature off the table and into the cabinet so I no longer have to look at it. Not because the miniature is terrible, I just lost enthusiasm for it and wanted it done.

I started off using the airbrush to base coat it and try the blending on the wings. I have tried to use a mainly blue/green/yellow colour palette for the miniature, and I think this worked out well. I am especially pleased with the colour over the silver – watered down contrast paint – on the wings and the head of the staff:

I am not too thrilled with how the gold has turned out, but don’t think it looks awful. I’m glad to call the project done, and all in all, it’s not too bad. I did learn from it and that is the important part!

Age of Sigmar · hobby

Affiliates and other Goblins

A couple of points I want to make today.

I have set up an affiliates link page on the blog, http://www.blackhandmarines.com/afiliates, and I am looking to add to the list. If you are interested in adding yourself to the page, please get in touch and I shall do so. Please only give me one option to start with, this may change in the future, but for now I think one per person is enough. I hope to create a reference place for other hobby blogs and maybe even generate some traffic. Who knows, it might even work.

In other news, I have finished painting somem squig hoppers and I am pleased with how they have turned out:

Not only were they a lot of fun to work on, but I used the airbrush for the base coats and that gave me some practice as finer detail work. Hopefully, they will find a new home soon!

40K · book review · miniatures.

Review: Devastation of Baal – Guy Haley

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I won’t lie, I was a bit wary of reading this. I did not get along with Dark Imperium when I read it and so was unsure whether I would get along with this. All hesitation was blown away after the first few pages however and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel.

What makes this novel exceptionally good, is how invested I was in the characters. I knew of Mephiston of course, and his friends Rhacelus and Antros, and I knew names of the others but not what they were like. It did not take long for me to become truly involved with them and want them to win. Every character in the novel plays a part but there are no carbon copies, not one of them is the same as the other, despite claims to the contrary and it comes off well. They all compliment one another in some way and seeing them all work together is a delight – even if they don’t want to! This is a true writing skill, and shows how masterful Haley is.

I don’t do spoilers in my reviews because I want readers to go out and wnjoy books for themselves but character highlights are fine:

  • Gabriel Seth of the Flesh Tearers being an angry meathead at everything forever.
  • Dante’s speeches, actions and general heroism despite his personal doubts.
  • Mephiston’s questionable deeds, and the dynamic between him and the other librarians.
  • The genuine sadness as the planet and its system is devastated.
  • The Lictor.

Other points that made this book readable: pace, dialogue and balance. The pace is good. It kept me reading until late as I wanted to know what happened. It was punchy, didn’t linger too long on a single point and wasn’t too heavy on the description either. The dialogue between the characters is good, whether a rousing speech, bickering or banter, it works well. Again, it is not over written but in some places, it is funny. It hits the right tone throughout.

This novel is well balanced, quick paced and has some truly emotional points in it. I didn’t cry (only Graham McNeill makes me do that these days), but it was close. I was afraid, gutted and relieved through the book and that is down to the skill of Guy Haley.

I also bought Gabriel Seth so I can have my very own Angry Meathead to glare at the other Angry Meatheads in the cabinet!

Thanks for the great read!

 

 

hobby · miniatures.

New Airbrush!

I was lucky enough to get a new Airbrush for Christmas and today, I tried it out for the first time. I have only been using airbrushes for about six months, and find them to be a useful tool when it comes to base coating. The one I have been using, the Harder and Steenback Ultra has been brilliant when it comes to learning and is a great piece of kit, I have done a lot with it since I started as well.

When I went on the painting course in August, the model of airbrush used as the Harder and Steenbeck Evolution AL Plus. It’s made of aluminium and is less than half the weight of the other one at 56g. It might not seem like a big deal, however I use the airbrush for extended periods of time and I also have carpel tunnel syndrome in my right wrist. I don’t want to make the condition worse and although this is a small thing, it will make a big difference. This is the one I am now using!

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Also it’s black which makes it cooler

First thing I did was take it apart, which was easy – there were instructions to follow which helped. Once it was back together again and connected up, I had a go at some scenary to check the flow of the airbrush itself and see what it could do:

The paint flowed well, and the coverage was even. It’s not perfect but then my skills are still being refined. Patchiness in the paint work is down to my lack of ability rather than the airbrush itself. I was pleased with how these sections turned out and I want to try and do some fine detail work with the airbrush another time to see exactly how small an area I can cover.

This airbrush is a quality piece of kit. It has finer control of the trigger; I need less pressure to activate it and it fits in the hand better than the Ultra does. It’s more refined and suited to someone who has had practice with an airbrush and wants to move on to something a little more sophisticated.

I also base coated a tank, which is the first commission of the year:

I am very pleased with it so far, and look forward to being able to refine my skill with the airbrush as the year progresses.

miniatures.

Mephiston!

A very good friend of mine is a bit of a Mephiston fangirl – no shame in admitting that, he is an awesome character. Happily enough, he has also just had a new miniature (and novel) released and I was only too happy to paint him for her.

I wanted to do something a bit special with him; he is a Christmas present after all, and I wanted to push my skills. There is no point having them if you’re not going to use them. I used layered blending to create depth on the red cloth and armour. I have done this with blue before but not red, so it was good to try it with a new colour.

I then gave my friend some choices about freehand on the cloak. I could do a fancy pattern, the Blood Angels symbol or a galaxy. She went for option number two, and after some discussion, we opted for a flaming blood drop. It was tricky to do and took a while to get right. Symmetry is something I find difficult, so when it turned out how it did, I was most pleased.

Enough of my waffling on about it though, here he is in all his red glory:

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figures · miniatures.

2019 – A Year in Review

A lot has changed for me over the last year and I wanted to have a look back at some of the things I have achieved over it. Last year, I was teaching full time at a primary school. I had a lovely class of children and great colleagues too. Unfortunately, being a teacher means that you have no real time to do anything else. Weekends are spent working and worrying and trying to get ahead of the demands placed on you. Hobby-wise, not a great deal happened in the first part of the year, however I do have a few pictures I can share in regards to what I did:

Night Lords, Ahriman, Tzeench demons and Reaver Titans galore!

The first part of the year saw me trying some new techniques, experimenting with freehand a bit more and working on skills I already had. I left my job as a teacher in May due to mental health and decided to become a miniature painter instead. It is not easy, but I have never been healthier. I went on a painting course and gained insight, and validation, into what I have been doing.

Here are some of my favourites from the previous six months:

June and July saw me working on miniatures for Everchosen, in which I came Third in the Open and Second in the Everchosen category – by one point! I also painted Mephiston for a good friend. I love working on dioramas and want to do more of them in the coming year.

In August I went on a painting course and learned how to use an airbrush – another skill I want to work on in the new year. I also began working on a large commission of D&D scenary miniatures for the local games store, which took most of October to complete.

In November, I painted a lot of Space Marines. Mainly Iron Hands. I also learned how to lighten pictures and so managed to begin taking better ones. I also finished Shalaxi, who is one of the best painted miniatures I have ever done.

December was a quiet month mainly due to illness and travelling and winter craziness, however I did paint the Sisters of Battle boxed set, which was fun.

Going forward, I have a few things I want to work on in the coming year:

  • Non Metallic Metals
  • Airbrush techniques
  • Creating dioramas
  • Conversions
  • Painting a whole army!

I have a lot to work on in January and some good ideas to work on too. I am looking forward to it!

miniatures.

Book Review: Blood of Sanguinius – Darius Hinks

It’s been a while since I have done a book review, though that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. I have indulged in a lot of short stories, which would take forever to review them all. It doesn’t mean they are not good, or engaging and they certainly are worth reading however I would be here forever if I posted about them all.

One group of short stories has led me down a rather delightful path, and those feature the oddity that is Mephiston. Recommended by a close friend, I decided that it was time to venture out if the realms of chaos and see what the Imperium had to offer. I must say I was very well surprised with the two short stories: Eclipse of Hope and Lord of Death by David Annandale, however the character really comes into his own when penned by the capable hand of Darius Hinks.

Technically, the language is beautiful. While reading, there were no clumsy sentences, wonderfully crafted metaphors which were wrought in a careful, considerate way. Hinks’ choice of language complimented the carefully crafted world he created for the story and it was neither heavy handed or awkward. The pace of the novel was excellent and it kept me turning the pages until many a small hour – always a successful point. I was gripped.

What truly seized me however were the interactions between the three main protagonists. After reading a lot of novels set in the realm of chaos, it was a true pleasure to read about characters that liked one another. The dynamic between the young Antros, the older, sterner Rhacelus and the enigmatic Mephiston is expertly executed. The three compliment one another, even if they often do not understand each other. I never felt as though there was deceit between them and it was clear that although there was definite fear of death, none of them would die alone.

I don’t post spoilers in my reviews, but I want to discuss one point at the start of the book that was refreshing. Antros seeks the aid of a guardsman in locating a position in a dangerous place. When the inevitable danger occurs, he is desperate to ensure the guardsman survives. The fact that there are Chapters that still regard mortals as valuable and worth saving was brought into this novel clearly, however it never forgot the elements of Grimdark that are associated with Warhammer 40 000 either.

Darius Hinks has done a wonderful job with this novel, and I do look forward to reading the next one, right after Devastation of Baal, which is what I am chewing through rapidly at the moment.