Saturday, 15 February 2020

Squaduary - Week 2?

'Finally Finished'.  You see that expression all the time on forums and social media.  "Hey guys, I finally finished my <<insert latest project here>>!".  I try to avoid using it, because somehow it implies that I wasn't going to finish or that I didn't really want to.  Or that it took so goddamn long to finish that I secretly wish I hadn't started.  But in this case it's appropriate.  I finally finished my second batch of Skitarii!

Except I haven't really finished because there's a 3rd batch to go.  I have to admit it's a bit of a chore now.  I thought about making the Squaduary pledge to keep the momentum going but I'd started this project in January so it was more or less cheating.  However, Thousand Eyes from Stepping Between Games was kind enough to let me join in and the final 10 Skitarii were not even built until last week so they definitely count.  Most other people who have pledged a squad are still in the early stages of  painting (apart from DAM who appears to be nearly finished, dam him) so that puts my troops at about the same level.  It should be good and having a deadline will help me get across the line before the dreaded hobby ennui kicks in.

I converted 3 Transonic Aruquebus rifles for this batch, taking the total up to 6.  I didn't want to waste time and money with a faithful re-creation so they were cobbled together almost entirely using spare parts from the box.  The stock, receiver and muzzle/sights are made from Radium Carbines. I've got lots of these spare since I didn't build any Vanguard.  The main barrel is from a Galvanic Rifle and the monopod stands are taser goads.  I used bolt pistol magazines for the ammunition clips.

My spreadsheet has been audited by the Holy Inquisition and is telling the stark truth again.  But I feel motivated to finally finish!  The troops, at any rate.

So week 3 is fine detailing.  With Contrast Paint.  Marvellous!

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Echoes from the Warp

The warpstorm in my garage had abated; receding into the unreality from whence it came.  Like a storm swell which had run its course, the tides of the immaterium ebbed, leaving long forgotten detritus in their wake.  One of these items glinted in the dust-bunny darkness beneath the fridge. Beached treasure waiting to be discovered.  It was the Iron Halo of Captain Precarius, commander of my Red Scorpions detachment, missing presumed lost over a year ago now.

This revelation occurred whilst I was inflicting some mild heresy on one of my Skitarii Rangers.  I was about to perform cranial surgery on a hapless Alpha when his head pinged off the sprue under the pressure of the clippers.  I was quick enough to see it skitter across the concrete floor towards the refrigerator. When I bent to retrieve it, there was the Iron Halo, in plain view.  I was completely flummoxed.  It can't have been there before.

I remember searching the garage meticulously all those months ago.  Surely I would have seen it?  The only explanation was the supernatural.  Of course it was warp tainted now.  The Skitarii Ranger wanted to try it on and since no agent of the Imperium would ever want to touch the corrupted thing, I let him.  It lent him a certain Electropriest air but he didn't like it much. However he was wearing a despoiled holy relic of the Astartes now and he had ideas above his station.  "Got anything more... spiky?" he asked.

I sighed and sifted through the bits box until I came across some whip handles from a Witch Aelf set.  "Will these do?", I suggested.  "01000111 01110010 01101111 01101111 01110110 01111001!!" he said, in his best Bruce Campbell voice.  I decided to leave the purity seals on.  He doesn't know he's Dark Mechanicum.  He still believes in the Omnissiah, bless him.  Besides, removing 70 plus purity seals from 30+ models sounds a bit too puritanical for me.

Meanwhile, back in the land of the living, I have still not painted the second batch of Rangers.  It's giving me hives.  I did update my spreadsheet.  But I started cheating and ticking things off as done when they're not finished.  That's the other thing about statistics.  When those in charge don't like them, they just fix the underlying data.

This is my boomstick!

Friday, 7 February 2020

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

It's true that you can make statistics say pretty much whatever you want.  Take the chart below for example which seems to indicate that I have painted half an army.  In reality, I have painted 15 models out of 39 which is more than a third but definitely not half. 

38% being a fairly depressing statistic, I decided to split the total by points cost rather than model count.  A Knight Warden is much larger and harder to paint than a Skitarii Ranger right?  So its got to be worth more in real terms.  Interestingly, the relative sizes suggest that the Onager Dunecrawlers look a bit undercosted in painting effort.  Maybe in gaming terms too? Should I spam them?  I've gone for 6 snipers which doubles the number in the kits I bought (more conversions. Nice.). That's perfectly acceptable cheese so why not add more Onager redundancy?  No!  No more purchases until this is done!

Anyway, I'm still dicking about and haven't finished the next squad.  The Techpriest Enginseer was lumped in with this painting batch.  The more I painted it, the more I realised what an interesting sculpt it is.  His legs are massively armoured and wide and I imagine his gait would be slow and ponderous.  His axe is actually a giant monkey wrench.  Just think of the cyclopean sized sinks he could unblock with that thing!

I decided to give him a bit more love than the standard troops.  He is an HQ after all.  So I put more spot colours in and was careful to stay in the lines (mostly).  Did a bit of recess shading, painted more details and used more washes.  I'm quite pleased with him although the maxillofacial dendrites look like a jumbled mess.  I was going for that look but could have used less tentacles.  I've got to curb my tentacle addiction.

With the Enginseer looking all nice and buff, I thought I'd give a little more love to the Alphas as well.  They're still painted in the same colours but with more detail than the job lot of Rangers.  Which are still not done!  At least I'm not muttering to myself, twitching and complaining loudly to nobody at all that edge highlighting was invented by the Devil.  So that's got to be good.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Inception level sidetracked

The trouble with plans is that they go awry.  I was already bored painting Skitarii and decided to change the recipe to make it more efficient.  Hagen mentioned using contrast paint over layer paint rather than the base coat and I thought I'd try it out on Vallejo silver.

It looks pretty good although I still had to highlight the brass and silver edging.   So not much time saved but I was on a roll and decided to try Cygor Brown on the rifle instead of the 2 step Skeleton Horde and Rhinox Hide.  Finally, I changed up the spot colour, using Warlock Purple and Pink horror instead of red.  I threw a Reikland Fleshshade glaze over the top and put a coat of it over one of the finished bases to make it match the more reddish brown marble effect on my vehicles more consistently.  Not bad, not bad at all.  I was now ready to paint the next 10 Skitarii with my new and improved recipe.

Then the LVO reveals came out on the Warhammer Community page.  Batplanes, Cowboy Skitarii and Flying Monkeys!  Very excited!  My wallet started to weep uncontrollably in my pocket.  I ignored its plaintiff cries and began fantasising about what heresy I could achieve with the new models.

This got me in a converting mood, so I went back to the Spider Onager and started thinking about weaponising it.   I built the various options from the original Onager and decided I liked the Icarus Array the best.  A couple of spare autocannon thingies from the Lord Discordant kit will do nicely.  But then I got bored and nothing about it seemed as exciting as flying monkeys.

I felt the need to destroy something, so I chopped up the legs from my second Armiger kit and messed around with different poses.  Nothing seemed right and a short spell on YouTube watching films about sprinting ostriches seemed like a good idea.

This got the creative juices flowing and I've now got the basic shape and idea for my Nurgle themed Armiger Warglaive.

The pose I want will be quite difficult to achieve since the whole model has to be balanced on the toes of one foot.  I'm going to have to run a shitload of brass rods through that leg to make it work.  A solid base was needed to work from so I cut up some more scenery and created a bit of scaffolding to hold up the torso while I work on the leg.  The scaffold slots into a hole in the base.

Then I realised I had made an unholy mess.  Distraction upon distraction upon distraction and nothing finished.  My paint station looked like a medieval torture chamber.  I need to calm down and take stock.

But sometimes when the ideas come you've just go to go with the flow.  Discipline is for the servants of the False Emperor!

Wednesday, 22 January 2020


I should just go all out and play Chaos really.  Several people have mentioned it. I wouldn't have to kitbash horns on my dudes; they come ready made.  But where's the fun in that?  And what Chaos army has a Mindflayer Enginseer? Huh? Huh!? (Ok there's probably one on Forgeworld somewhere).

R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

I'm a wizard!

Last of the Mohicans

Right! Time to stop dicking around and get back to assembling/painting Skitarii!

Oh dear God no, not Kill Team!

Monday, 20 January 2020

Caving in to Contrast

 I'm a contrary git when you get right down to it.  I often have a perverse desire to do the opposite of what I'm told and sometimes cut my nose off just to spite my face.  When all the hype surrounding the release of contrast paint was hosed directly into my hobby feed for months on end, my knee jerk reaction was to completely ignore it and buy more models instead.  I doubt that GW were particularly concerned about this decision and I was still spending money on their product in one form or another anyway.

However, now that the furore has died down and everyone has made their mind up, I feel a perverse desire to try it out.  The fact that I need to build and paint 30 Skitarii for my Dark Mech army may also have been a contributing factor.  The thought of painting so many models which (at the time) I didn't think were all that interesting left me cold.  My previous attempts to paint entire blocks of troops for various armies has produced mixed results.  I still haven't painted all my shitty Termagants for the Tyranid army and hate those gribblies to this day.  Buying 96 more or less identical models and having to build and paint them is completely overfacing.  Choosing a bad colour scheme and having to start all over again is beyond the pale.  I liked the colours for my Zombies in the Kings Of War undead army but again I bought too many models and bit off more than I could chew.

I really liked the colour scheme for my Space Marine army.  However, edge highlighting every single footsoldier nearly drove me insane.  I have no desire to do any more and think I set the quality bar too high.  The Necrons were a success and my carefully planned and scheduled speed painting exercise worked out well.  But painting a Necron army in two colours isn't particularly exciting and I went for a rusty effect in order to hide mistakes.  The end result makes the whole thing look drab.

Therefore, it was time to try something new. The vibrant colours and 'one thick coat' approach of contrast paint seemed like it would both save time and produce something pretty.

The 'Teal' contrast scheme on the Citadel paint app caught my eye.  The spear carriers of Helforge Monkeychuka will march into battle wearing turquoise!  It doesn't match the paint scheme of my vehicles but it's close enough.  I did a test model which seemed alright and ended up painting 10 of them.

Based with Grey Seer, one thick coat of  Terradon Turquoise is added to the cloak.

One thick coat of Basilicanum Grey is added to the metal parts.

One thick coat of Skeleton Horde is added to the rifle, base and purity seal.

Brass effects added with Hashut Copper and Liberator Gold. Silver effects added with Runefang Steel and Vallejo Steel.  Nuln Oil gloss washed over the top.  Wraithbone painted on inside of cloaks and pants.

Cloak highlighted with Sotek Green and Temple Guard Blue. Red detail added with Khorne Red, Evil Sunz Scarlet and Agrax. Wraithbone dry brushed on base.  Rhinox Hide used on base rim and rifle.

Once I started to build the Skitarii I quickly warmed to them.  There's lots of options in the kit even though the way the torso/cloak and legs fit together is mono-pose.  The steam punk, retro-future vibe is pretty cool.  I even managed a bit of kit bashing and reposing on a couple.  I don't think I'll begin to hate them until I've done at least 20.

Sunday, 12 January 2020


"Heretek is the name given by the Adeptus Mechanicus to those Tech-priests who turn their backs on the teachings and strictures of the Cult Mechanicus in pursuit of usually dark and forbidden technologies linked to the Warp and the Ruinous Powers of Chaos" according to Google.  At least that was the only reference I could find.  The rest of my search results pointed to the 'Heretek' expansion for the 'Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus' game on Steam.  I'd almost forgotten about about the DLC and wasted several hours surfing that particular wave.  It turns out that the final boss looks a bit like this fella.  Coincidence?  I think not, and will take this as a sign that I simply must buy the game.  For research purposes.

I've tentacled him up and found a use for an old Dreadnought base together with a dreadnought greave as an armoured cowl.  He's definitely a bit chunkier than your average Tech-Priest.  Lots of mechadendrites lurking under his dress which make him look creepier although I may have gotten a bit too enthusiastic.  I gave him an arrow head tail made out of a Trygon tongue which I think adds an insolent touch.

He's ready for paint but that's going to have to wait.  I've only painted vehicles in this particlar army (and a partially naked Drider) and the base colour was 'Psychotic Illusions' colorshift paint.  I'm not sure that will work on the troops.  Their robes would get all stiff and unwearable with armour paint.  So I'm going to have to figure out a colour scheme for my footsoldiers.  The Heretek has robes as well as armour plating and metal.  I was thinking they should be a teal or turquoise colour but I'm sure I will constantly second guess myself until I end up in a tailspin of indecision and just go back to watching The Witcher on Netflix.  Dear God, I'm going to have to actually build some Skitarii as test models!

Not much progress on the Dunecrawler; the reason I bought these kits in the first place.  I solved the problem of working out dimensions by buying an actual Dunecrawler, partly assembling it and putting them side by side.  I spent the kids leftover holiday money on this endeavour and there's a special place in Hell reserved for people like me.  Goddammit, I'll have put them both through university!  They owe me.  Anyway, I think I'll get away with my spider dunecrawler if I pimp up the arse end a bit.  I will of course finish the genuine version (as well as paying the kids back).  I'm told that Onagers come best in pairs or threes anyway.