Saturday, 18 March 2017

The Weekly Review

Hi folks,

I don't usually post my progress very often, even though I have about ten projects rumbling away at once. Literally, ten. So I have decided that Saturday night is going to be my weekly review night. I'm hoping that it will give the people who are interested some insight into the process I go through to get things done. It is also to motivate me a bit more to get back into the swing of things. To provide some structure I will be splitting the post into three parts: On the Table, Under the Knife and On my Mind.

On the Table

As I mentioned in the preamble, I have way too much on my table at the moment. Among the unfinished projects are two that I have been working on for my friends, a Van Diemen's World transport for The Trooper and a star of Ghost Bear battlemechs for KuriboGoomba. Both projects have been at the top of my personal to-do list for such a long time it is driving me slightly crazy, but it has been hard to get the motivation to finish them off. Desperate to shake the monkey off my back, I have been working on something completely different (project... 11, I guess). Today I spray undercoated my converted Landraider Excelsior black, followed by some Army Painter Angel Green, which I sprayed carefully to add some subtle zenithal highlighting and shading.

I spent a bit of time this morning picking out some metallic details with Leadbelchers and Warplock Bronze. I then went about weathering the front tracks and assault ramp with Caliban Green and Rhinox Hide mixtures, and Leadbelchers, all of which were applied using stipling.

While I was at it, I also undercoated four Devastator Marines armed with missile launchers. I'm planning on using them to bolster my air defense. I also figure they will pop more MEQ's than my plasma cannons, without killing themselves in the process.

Under the Knife

To finish the Excelsior off conversion-wise, I needed to build something to represent the Data Augur and fill the hatch-hole on the top surface. I dug deep in my bitz box and scrounged enough pieces to build a little Dark Angels themed radar dish and a Techmarine driver (some of you may recognise him...). I am going to paint the driver separately before installing the cupola to the hull of the Landraider.

On my Mind

After I have blown away all of the cobwebs, I am going to get cracking on the unfinished projects I have lying about for my mates. I am also messing about with a "40K in 40 minutes" set of rules that includes instructions for simultaneous movement and shooting. I have play-tested this before and the small change makes for an intense game. If you are interested in giving it a go, let me know in the comments.

See you across the table,



Thursday, 16 March 2017

Dark Angels: Landraider Excelsior Build

Hi folks,

One of the unexpected products of the past couple of weeks has been a loss of sentimentality when it comes to my models. In particular, my Dark Angels tank paint scheme and overwhelming need to put plasma weapons on everything have withered under harsh scrutiny.

Back in the hazy days of 2nd Ed., put a bit of energy into painting an Unforgiven Crusade army, featuring the four paint schemes of the Dark Angels and their successors (Angels of Retribution, Absolution and Vengeance). My Predator Annihilator was the only model with an Angels of Retribution scheme, but it was so big compared to everything else that it seemed like an adequate representative to me.

When I  repainted everything to have the Dark Angels Chapter scheme, I left the Predator as it was because I had worked so damn hard to get the bone colour right. Every tank after that I have painted in the same scheme, or undercoated in preparation for that scheme. It has become a bit of a barrier for progress, however, as a plain green scheme is so much faster to paint (I have that stuff in a can). Additionally, the old paintjob is now getting on 15 years old. A lot has happened since then..., last week I grabbed my tanks and dropped them all into a plastic box of Simple Green and just walked away. After a test scrub, I could see that the Simple Green was doing its job.

After it was stripped as much as possible, I dug through my bits box and converted it into a Landraider Excelsior command tank. It only has one detail left for me to add: the Data Augurs (though arguably, the antenna will do). If I can kitbash anything interesting you'll see it in the next post.

Grav and amp.

The Aquila Aegis Field generator is a set of angel decorations from the Ravenwing Command sprue, as well as a Dark Angels icon of the style I would usually discard in favour of a decal. I'm planning on painting that icon with a glow effect, similar to a power weapon. Any similarities to Dan Abnett's chaos glyph concept in the Gaunt's Ghosts series is completely coincidental (voi shet, Magir?).

The open portal is for the Data Augurs. I haven't decided what that will look like yet.

Of course, with a Landraider Excelsior you also have to take a Rhino Primaris, which will be my next kitbashing project. I am also tinkering with my Dark Angels quite a bit to get a better balance of weapons, with the plan of jumping back into gaming when the next edition hits.

See you across the table,


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Old Stuff Day!

Hi folks,

For a few years now there has been a movement to rediscover old articles from the nether regions of hobby blogs. I still feel that my blog is a bit too young for this brand of blogomancy, but I thought I would throw back to a few articles from my first year that people may like. Here goes it:

1) Genesis: a short story about the night a girl loses everything and starts her journey as a Callidus assassin.

2) Old School Fathers Day: sage advice for Dad's that game and a bit of my origin story.

3) The Battle for Nurgle's Cookbook VII Part 1 and Part 2: If battle reports are your thing, here is my favourite homebrew scenario, played for the (nailbiting) 7th time. Come to think of it, it's about time I organised TBfNC VIII...

Last post I interviewed the wifey and she had a bit of a dig about one of my oldest and fondest miniatures: Suriel the assault squad veteran sergeant.

She remembers what this guy used to look like when we first started going out and liked the old look much better. In the old days he never had a shield and power weapon was painted with a solid blue glow effect. To give you some kind of an idea, here is a weird collage thing I did of the guy back in highschool. Talk about Old Stuff, this thing would be about 22 years old!

So, being the sensitive and responsive husbo that I am, I spent a few hours pulling the old model apart last night and wound back the clock 20 years. This involved repainting the power glaive/naginata and converting the left arm. He now looks quite a bit more... belligerent...

With some very simple changes I have captured the spirit of the original conversion I did all of those years ago, which was to become my favourite model and my little avatar on the battlefield. Best of all, the wifey approves ;o)

See you across the table,


Saturday, 25 February 2017

Old School Gaming: Wifey Speaks!

Hi folks,

A while ago, when I was starting to get into blogging more seriously, I had a serious chat with the wifey about my hobby. The journey from being a single gamer to a husband with two kids has been an interesting one, involving a bit of angst and loads of patience and compromise. It was very interesting to hear her perspective on the whole thing, so I have decided to interview her and post the answers here.

Regardless of your relationship status, her responses may give you some insight into how the hobby effects relationships. If you do have a significant other, they may find this post interesting as well. I don't know if this is worthy of being "a thing", but feel free to copy the questions and give your loved ones a voice on your blog.


1) How did you find out that I was a tabletop gamer?

I was a nosey teen and had only just met you. We were at your house and I found them in a draw. You had to explain what they were to me.

Wifey and two friends came over to visit one day after a uni lecture. One of them joked that I probably had a porn stash hidden somewhere, so they went searching for it. They found 3000 points worth of Dark Angels: bwah ha ha!

2)   What did you think of my hobby when you first found out?

To be honest I didn’t think anything of it, it was just something you did. It was only when I started dating you and the hobby came along as part of the package did I realise it was well, part of the package.

3)   Have you ever been tempted to have a go at it yourself?

Yes, I tried my hand at 6th edition Dark Elves and a Lelith Hesperax. I had some Dark Elves themed for mountainous/snow type terrain. I even glued amethyst stones to the bases. I used folk art paint and you were so jealous that I had flesh coloured paint out of a tube, where as you had to make it from scratch.

The Morathai model got me in. I really liked the horse she rode. But the horses for the mounted troops had really terrible heads so I didn’t want to paint them. Around the same time the LOTR Ring Wraiths came out. The horse models were so much better, but they were the wrong scale and too expensive to make a unit from.

I also tired quickly of painting 20 witches and 20 warriors!

5)   Do you have a favourite model?

Suriel -  He was always the tabletop representation of you. But I noticed yesterday that you repainted his Naginata blade. I don’t approve. And the shield isn’t great; I thought that was new too, but you said he always had it. I don’t think he has. He needs a makeover.

Yikes! The muse has spoken and she is offended! There was a period of a few years when he didn't have the shield and I was at high school. When the wifey started collecting Dark Elves I snaffled a shield to cover up a poorly executed join in the arm. I guess it is time to fix him up :-)

6)   Do you have a model that you hate? 

Na, I don’t hate those little guys.  They can’t help it if they are not too pretty.

7) What is something that you really appreciate about what I do?

In total I think you have been painting Warhammer for about 21 years? I have watched you paint Warhammer for 16 years. For most of this time I think that your skills were focused on army selection and paint schemes. The last 4 years have been all about making something interesting, trying new techniques and not being afraid of stripping paint and starting again. I like the last 4 years of the hobby better. I think the freedom of not being bound by a codex, theme or colour scheme has allowed you to create unique and interesting pieces.

Also, in theory you can fix the kids broken toys with your gluing and pinning skills.  I have several plastic horses who need their legs put back on, however they have been sitting on the hobby table for months…

I'll get right on it...

8) What is something that you don’t like about what I do?

There were a few things, not so much any more. In the old days, every Friday night you would go to a mates place to play. This was not conducive to dating and my social life. Maybe I should have hung out with my friends but they were hanging with their boyfriends.

I know there has been the odd occasion where I have really resented your miniatures because they received more attention than me. Are we having a therapy session right now!?

The other thing is, the need to hold onto ALL the bits and the sprues etc.

Please someone take away the Lord of the Rings miniatures that have hardly ever been opened.

After spending the week away from each other, choosing to spend my first free moments with my mates playing games instead of with my future wife was not sustainable or particularly sensitive on my part. Getting the guys to understand this was hard... until they started going out with people and getting married.

 Also, I’m never getting rid of those LOTR figures, I'm just building up the skills to paint them properly. Another 10 years and I'll be good to go!

9) If....IF you played 40K, what army would you collect?

I have a soft spot for Tyranids and Orks.  Neither if these armies/races/species (???) take themselves too seriously. Tyranids just need a good feed and Orks just wanna have fun.

Deathleaper having a good feed.

10) What army would you NEVER play?


11) What board games do you like to play?

We have Carcassone, Ticket to Ride, Akrotiri, Takenoko and Pandemic as faithful go to’s. I would like to try some others but at $80+ a game it is hard to justify going out on a limb and just buying a game to try.

I like playing games on the XBOX. I am working my way through the Assasin’s Creed games very slowly. We have played a lot of Halo and  I liked Fable until it glitched one too many times and I rage quitted. On the old XBOX I had a game that I absolutely loved, called Sphinx.

12) What do you think I should work on next?

I think you should finish the lighthouse that I saw on your to-do list. I also think you should use more rusting effects and play with the airbrush I bought you.

So there you have it; the wifey has spoken. We have come a long way, celebrating our 17th year together in 2017. During this time she has been wonderfully supportive, which has included helping me to realise when my hobby priorities are putting a strain on the relationship. She has a keen eye for rubbish projects: if something doesn't look right she will let me know and she is almost always correct. I have learned to accept her hunches about things, which has lead to some great growth in me as a modeller and painter.

Happy Birthday wifey, you're the best,