Monday, 29 June 2020

Devil in the detail

This took far longer than it should have done.  I'm going to put it right up there with new Guilliman model in terms of being a fiddly nightmare to paint.  I wanted it to be intricate and baroque but seeing the finished product I reckon I went too far.  The base in particular is very busy and a lot of the detail is obscured.  It's difficult to tell what is actually going on.  The idea is that he is locked away in a remote, forgotten corner of the Imperium performing unethical experiments on a Canoptek Scarab.  

I should have left it at that but just kept adding more and more stuff.  He is utilising proscribed texts and has some daemon familiars helping him out under the watchful eye of the servo skull.  Taking notes with a quill pen and ink as well as keeping a fire extinguisher handy along with his trusty Volkite blaster in case things go wrong.  I even threw a spanner in the works.

But you can't even see the Scarab unless you look at the model from a very specific angle.  If I'm trying to tell a story with a vignette like this, its important to actually tell the story rather than saying, 'ooh look how teeny-tiny the details are!  How clever I am!'.  The end result has too much going on and doesn't draw the eye to a focal point like a painting would.  It's all over the place.

Despite this, I still like the model.  Its a cross between a mad scientist and a wizard and sort of painted itself.  I didn't really plan it out or think too much.  The spell book he is perusing was inspired by the Necronomicon from Evil Dead and I painted it in one session, with no do-overs or mistakes.  If I'd stopped to think about it, the whole thing would have taken days.  I started painting the cogitator and immediately realised that it was just a Sinclair Spectrum 48k with a few modifications (more 80's references. The Space Hulk C.A.T. is from 3rd Edition but it's still Space Hulk).

Maybe the little nurgling should have been green but he is leaning out to grab green Tyranidy bits whilst holding on to the tail of the greenish book familiar for balance, so I chose to paint him red.  Aside from that, I didn't really think about the colour scheme and all the practice of painting 30 odd Skitarii was extremely helpful.

So I kind of like it, despite the fact that I have a tournament in 3 weeks and no hope in hell of being ready now. There's a lot of me in this model, and not just the 80's references.  I always wanted to be a sorcerer, conducting absurd and fairly pointless experiments whilst procrastinating endlessly. There's a lot going on but much of it is irrelevant or unnecessary.  A whirl of ideas with no focus, fuelled by inner demons who pluck little pustules of evil out of the basement of the subconscious and fling them into the mix.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

The Eagle Has Landed

Surprise model of the week.  I only picked this one up on Thursday.  Games Workshop have re-opened their Wellington store and Nathan was busy setting up the gaming tables when I popped in.  I didn't stay for a game of course, because I'm a miserable bastard (and it was my lunch hour).  

I figured that if I was going to make an ornithopter then I should make it birdlike.  I think opinions are divided on the Archaeopter.  Maybe it looks a bit too Jules Verne or steampunk.  A little too dorky to be an instant hit.  But I think it's a really interesting model and opinions are always divided on the AdMech releases.  I'm still not sure whether I like Kastelans and the hovercraft are a bit strange for my tastes.  I suppose that's what the aesthetic is.  Marmite models. Love them or hate them.

Anyway, I'm glad the shops were open and there was new plastic crack to feed upon because I've run out of ideas for the spider dunecrawler. The similarly costed Archaeopter allows me to drop it from my list and finally put a Slaaneshi model in the mix.  I wanted to have a Chaos undivided theme, so all 4 gods must be represented.  It probably doesn't have nearly enough teats to satisfy the devotees of  'She Who Thirsts', but I don't feel very sexy at the moment.

Still a work in progress but I don't want to do too much more with it.  I might have made it too birdlike.  But then a lot of my vehicles have dynamic, animal poses and I enjoyed tinkering with this one.  A working title could be, 'The Budgie of Slaanesh'.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Inertia Creeps

I think I'm having a bit of an existential crisis. Covid19 lockdown produced feelings of total apathy in me.  I'm an introvert (or at least I thought I was) who indulges in mostly solitary pastimes and I didn't think it would make much difference to be honest.  I was scared shitless for about 3 days when I thought I was going to lose my job for the duration but they set me up for home working at the last minute.  

A huge relief but having no real structure to the day or change in environment means that work and leisure seem to blur endlessly into a general sense of unease. "Should I be working now?  Should I have stopped working now?  Will anyone even notice?  How many people died today?"

I descended into Nurglesque sloth.  By the time Easter was over, I wasn't even sure what day it was.  I never thought I'd say this but I'm desperate to go back to work. Added to that, the virus has affected my immediate family back in the UK quite dramatically.  

There was nothing I could do, they closed all international borders in March, but it didn't stop me from feeling guilty.  Suffice to say, I didn't get much hobby time in. Eventually I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started hobbying in an effort just to feel normal. Painting for an hour every other night eventually turned into two or three hours and I had a good session today to finish him off.  Maybe there is something to self discipline after all.

It definitely made me feel better and was much more productive than playing Avorion compulsively or poring over Worldometers stats.  At least the pandemic seems to be winding down a bit now.  Next up, The Great Depression. Or Wave Two.  Reminds me of a line from 'Inertia Creeps', a Massive Attack song: "Been here before. Been here forever".

Anyway, I don't think he looks like Darth Maul any more.  He reminds me of Thumper in 'Bugs Life' now that he's painted up.  Completely demented. Fueled by insanity and stripped of his humanity by constant 'self enhancement'. 

He capers into battle on a weaponised chassis, cutting a fine figure of a cyborg.  Part man, part machine, part grasshopper.  I'm sure he will make an excellent general.  I'm going to have to call the other tech priest 'Bambi' now.

I might go back to converting before tackling the other one.  Or maybe do something completely different for a while.  Going out for bike rides definitely helps too.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Bring your daemons to work day

I actually read some alternative sci-fi this month rather than absently pleasuring myself with 40k bolter porn.  Hyperion by Dan Simmons is a good read, isn't it?  I had to stop and think about it in-between sessions rather than just leaving my money on the dresser and disappearing into the night.  I even rewound some bits just to aid with the digestion (Audible has changed my life, the printed word is so.. déclassé). At first, I couldn't get acclimatised and my brain kept tripping over apparent contradictions of the lore.

"Oh that kind of heresy would never be tolerated in such a heavily populated hive city!  So this must be in the Age of Strife or something, because The Emperor is barely mentioned at all!  Wait a minute! Farcaster network?! Teleportation is a costly and often violently catastrophic method of transportation!  What is this 'farcasting' nonsense?"

But eventually I settled in and reminded myself that the 41st millenium isn't the only science fiction/fantasy setting out there, even though it's probably my favourite.

I thought that I might as well do some hobbying while I was at it, but Squaduary had left me burnt out.  I didn't feel like continuing any major projects so I unboxed my last Magos Dominus and decided to use him as a test model for the 4 legged version I made back in January.

A bit of light conversion work wouldn't hurt and I cut off the walking cane to give the impression of his hand pointing at something.  This made him look like an old man trying to read a bus timetable.  So I gave him a book to read.  Which needed a book stand. The sad fate of the C.A.T., rescued from the bowels of the Space Hulk all those years ago, was to wind up in a forgotten laboratory, deep in the bowels of a heretical forgeworld.  Its once-human, almost primitive mind forcibly melded with the semi-sentient cogitation machine embedded into the structure of this defiled place.

Unfortunately that hid his face and the pointing finger.  I resolved to make him taller, reaching for the tentacle maker.  But I didn't have it with me, I'd lent it to Alistair and therefore an excavation of the bits box was in order. I came across a Corpsemaster on the steps of a Mortis Engine.  Damn!  That could actually work!  Time to go down the rabbit hole.

 Since tentacles were off the menu, how to make the mechadendrites more interesting?  This was when I really started to have fun.  I count at least eight acts of treason on the model now.  Contravening all that is most sacred to Ordo Xenos, Malleus and Hereticus.

1. Consorting with daemons.
2. Use of proscribed reading materials.
3. Profaning an Inquisitorial textbook.
4. Possession of and experimentation with alien artefacts.
5. Utilisation of non-standard fire fighting equipment.
6. Possession of Nurgle tainted household tools.
7. Illegal hybridisation of cogitator and servitor core processors.
8. Innappropriate use and mutation of house plants.

If the Inquisition happened across this poor fellow at his workstation, they'd nuke the entire site from orbit.  But he seems happy enough.  Just another day at the office.

My treemap is filling up slowly but surely.  I've signed up for Maelstrom XIII in May which will give me something to tilt at.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Squaduary Stretch Goals

 Batch painting is the pits.  Until you're done and then you're like, "Yeah baby, I'm a lean, mean painting machine!"  Overcome by ADHD I kept being distracted by Evil Dead Ash.  He was such a pleasing conversion, I wanted him to shine.  So I just slowed down and started painting him on his own.  Yeah, it wasted time but it was also good because my paints were ready and I could just carry on with the rest of the squad.  If I paint one rim, I might as well do all 10 while I'm here.  When I got deathly bored with the troops I went back to making Evil Dead Ash look spruce and manly.  It worked out quite well and seemed less of a chore as a result.  In fact, this is the first time I've enjoyed batch painting since, well.. forever.

Listening to the Ravenor trilogy on audio book also helped.  I'd forgotten just how good that series is.  Abnett, Haley and Dembski-Bowden are the holy trinity for me.  I have to be quite circumspect with Black Library these days and have several unfinished, forgotten Horus Heresy books lying around now.

I kept thinking of a comment by Siph in a previous post where he advised me to equip the squads with an Omnispex.  I checked back and it appears I have only built one of these out of all 30.  Time for a bit of creative, lazy-ass thinking.  So I came up with this:

Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up.  See this?  This is my BOOMSTICK!  It's a modified Arkhan pattern Galvanic Rifle with elongated barrel for increased effective range**. S-MARTian's top of the line.  You can find this is in the sporting goods department of select manufactorum outlets. Thats right, this sweet baby was made in Forgeworld Monkeychuka.  It retails for about #109.95.  It's got a walnut stock, adamantium blue steel with polished brass curlicues.

Plus!! This week, on special offer, is the Mark II Slaaneshi Omnisex Headset.  Providing 360 degree tactical battlefield data via remote view hololith projection.  Comes with multi-target painting runes and thrice blessed IFF indicators as standard.

Fully detachable, retractable and rechargeable for when you absolutely need to look bad-ass with your hood up.  Yours for only #99.99.

But that's not all!  For a limited time only, the Mark I Omnisex is just #49.99!  Great value with only mild side effects.  Hurry while stocks last!

Shop smart.  Shop S-MARTian! ***  Ya got that?  Now I swear, the next one of you primates, even touches me... eeurgggh!! Failed Ld test! Damn! I knew I should have bought the data tether.

** - requires Tech Priest Manipulus noosphere connection.

*** - Terms and conditions apply.  Your sanity is at risk if you do not make proper obesiance and warding incantations on all Sado-MARTian (TM) apparatus.  Product contains nuts.

All 30.  Done.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Squaduary - week 3

Starting to feel the burn now.  I am definitely over Skitarii.  Got to keep reminding myself that this is the last batch and then I've finished all 30.  I've just been doing an hour, maybe two, a day after dinner.

I've blocked out all the main colours and it's just down to finishing the detailing, highlighting and bases on the models.  The backpacks are detached and still only primed.  On target and confident I will get these done in a week.

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!