Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Sidetracked



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



"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.


Friday, 10 January 2020

Counts as: Darth Maul


I returned from a family visit to the UK this week with my sons. This year produced a reasonable haul of plastic for Christmas, including 2 Lord Discordant kits.  Lots of ideas for converting but I had to wait until I got back before I could start cannibalising the parts.  The 35 hour journey home was pretty gruelling and quite eventful towards the end.


We couldn't get back into New Zealand with our Kiwi passports (I bought the tickets using our British ones and lost the visa confirmation letters which had arrived 1 day before our outbound flight.  Actually I didn't so much lose them as throw them away after drawing a probability matrix on the back of one during a family game of Settlers, whilst explaining the statistical likelihood of rolling a '7' on two six sided dice). However, it was obvious that we were NZ citizens from our documentation so we got through passport control.  Then my youngest son filled out his customs declaration incorrectly and we got pulled out of the line. Having only slept 5 hours out of the previous 48, I appeared to have lost the power of coherent speech and the authorities became suspicious.  Then the bio-security sniffer dog went crazy over my hand luggage.  I explained to an increasingly annoyed customs officer that I had spilled half a bottle of apple flavoured vape juice inside but she was having none of it. "This dog is trained to ignore vape liquid, sir."  I love how minor public servants can make the word 'sir' sound like 'asshole'.  I half expected an Arbites Enforcer to appear out of a side door with a rubber glove fitted up to the elbow. "Step this way, sir.  We'll soon get to the 'root' of the problem."  But they let me go shortly after they discovered my soiled underwear which I had changed after the 13 hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Sydney.  HAFE is a clear and present danger on long haul fights.  They must have decided to let it slide, so to speak.  Chaos is good.  We can fight Chaos with Chaos.  Just like Inquisitor Eisenhorn I believe that I am slowly descending into the radical philosophy.


I wanted to make a spidery Onager Dunecrawler out of the disco lords but have been struggling with it.  I've got a basic body shape which is not quite what I envisioned and I'm worried it might be too small.  I think an Onager is about the same size as a Redemptor Dreadnought (4" tall?) but this thing is only 3.5" and despite having more legs, it doesn't have the bulk of the dunecrawler.  I'm tempted to just go and buy one and find out.  The 'Start Collecting' admech box is quite reasonable.

When you're stuck for ideas it's best to do something else, so I started mucking around with the leftover legs from the kits. I stuck them on the bottom of a Tech Priest and bingo, the model was pretty much done!

It sort of reminds me of spider Darth Maul.  The resemblance isn't striking but I like to think this is what Maul would look like if the Chaos Gods swallowed him whole and shat him out of the Eye Of Terror upon an unsuspecting Imperium.


At the risk of sounding banal, I think it needs more tentacle.  Or at least tidying up around the legs and hem of the robe.



Sunday, 8 December 2019

Khorne Cares Not



Blood for teh blood god et cetera et cetera! I spent a lot of time mucking around, editing videos in Blender instead of finishing this model off.  I recommend watching a few tutorials first if you're going to use it.  In fact the learning curve is pretty horrific when you're a complete noob.  Just figuring out how to export the video was perplexing.  I also completely missed the difference between a soft cut (K) and a hard cut (shift-K) in the tool and got myself into a terrible mess.  Fortunately the internet community is very good about teaching you.

I found a cool soundtrack on the creative commons.  Its a merry little tune by JVNL called 'Demon' which seemed appropriate.  I couldn't be bothered learning how to splice audio in Blender so I added some chainsaw effects with Audacity.  The finished result is a bit rough around the edges but I'm rather proud of it.




My potato PC takes around 15 mintues to render a 2 minute video which means that most of my mistakes were compounded by having to wait a quarter of an hour before discovering that it looked awful and needed editing.  This became quite frustrating and so the length of the video was shortened.  But I slowly got the hang of it and can now cut and splice video, add a soundtrack, as well as doing timelapse, text titles and cross fade. I think I've levelled up from 'Initiate' to 'Novice'.  Not bad for someone who never reads instructions (until it goes catastrophically wrong, that is).  Instructions are like spoilers anyway.  They give away the ending and who knows where your chaotic, half-arsed journey would have taken you otherwise?


I thought it was worth mentioning the blood effects.  It was a bit experimental but I'm mostly happy with how it turned out.  UHU glue is wonderfully sticky and icky but it's too plastic and doesn't keep its shape.  I tried adding human hair to simulate rivulets of blood streaking off the chain blades.  But  was too straight and you can't sculpt UHU.  Not really.  You just have to stretch it and dribble it and hope it looks alright.  I uhmmed and ahhed for a bit and then gave up.  Later, I was brushing my fat, ginger cat, Ronald because it's coming into summer and he is shedding bright orange fur all over the furntiture.  The little bastard does it deliberately.  I wondered what cat fur dipped in Blood for the Blood God would look like.  It seemed legit, so I tried it out (I removed it from the cat first. In a humane manner.)  You can get some weird, streaking patterns with it which I really liked but cutting all the excess hair away was a nightmare (not to mention pretty gross).  So by the time I'd stuck it to the model, it didn't look quite as organic.


Also, Blood for the Blood God technical paint sprayed on with an old toothbrush (touched up with a detail brush) is really good. But it seemed fairly dull when it dried out sometimes.  I wanted my kill to look fresh.  I spotted a bottle of red lacquer in a hobby shop and thought I'd give it a coat over the top.  That turned out well and really adds a gloss shine.  I wanted it to look bestial and obscene.  I have no idea how a chainsaw functions in reality but the opposing movement of the chains is designed to literally rip you apart if this daemon engine decides to kiss you.


So there you have it.  Sawberus unleashed! It will probably take me another six months to complete the next Armiger and I'm going back to the UK for Christmas so not much hobbying expected in the next month.


Lastly, I added a banner to my blog.  I've been using the simple text banner for nearly 9 years now.  "Hell, it's about time." as Tychus Findlay once said.  Actually, I commissioned my son to do it for me. He's studying film and animation and I've been paying for his education up until recently (student loan time!), so I'm glad to see some return on my investment.  I'm very pleased with his work and even paid him for it. (He casually informed me that it was super easy to do and even I could have figured it out. Smart-arse.)

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Sawberus Unremembered


I was reading the air freshener bottle label whilst idly sat on the toilet the other day.  It said, "Immerse yourself in intoxicatingly sensuous jasmine" at the top of the blurb, and I thought to myself 'This was written by a worshipper of Chaos.  I just know it.  There's a Slaaneshi cultist lurking somewhere in the Avon factory, making up innappropriate tag lines and advertising jargon.  These are the fucking end times, dude'.


Anyway, speaking of Chaos, I haven't been completely idle and I am semi-diligently working on my latest Hellforged abomination.  I made the base last, obviously, because dicking around, trying to pin a fully painted model onto its base positively reeks of professionalism.  But I managed it, in the end, without too much fuss and only a modicum of cursing.



Then I realised that I had absolutely no clue how to paint the damn thing and had completely forgotten the recipe.  Trawling back through previous posts wasn't much help at all.  I knew I had based it with Zhandri Dust and used Brass Scorpion at some point along with glazing medium.  And that was about it.  So I'm writing it down with pictures this time.   Its not the same as the original (of course it isn't!) but I'm ok with it.


The base tiles are different this time anyway.  I ran out of thick plasticard to use as the marble slabs, so I ended up sawing a bit of terrain up.

And lashings of Reikland Fleshshade Glaze! (not shown here)
Sorry, Alistair, but if you ever want the Secret Weapon miniatures Urban Streets board back, it might have a couple of holes in it.  I'll make it up to you, promise.  You probably don't even remember gifting it to me, so I'm being a bit stupid even mentioning it on my blog.  I shaped it and filed it down so it doesn't even look like the board tile.  The tiles were of a similar size to the knight, so I thought I could get away with it.

One man and his dog

Regardless, it's not finished yet.  Not by a long shot.  The original idea was to cover it in gore.  I meant to drown that fucker in claret.  I wanted it bearded in blood.

Here, Shep! Here, boy!

Now I'm not so sure.  I think I should at least practice on a test model or something before committing.  I tried using an old toothbrush and pot of Blood For the Blood God against the wall and the results were promising.  But it could go horribly wrong.  Not that Khorne will care.

C'mon, boy!  Fetch!

Monday, 4 November 2019

Decompressing


I thought I was more or less done with this conversion and decided to celebrate by taking a few snaps and maybe a video.  This is the problem with blogging (and also one of the advantages).  When I post my work and look at it objectively, I immediately notice all the bits I missed or did wrong. And it's out there, warts and all for the whole world to see.  So I decided to make a checklist of remaining tasks which turned out to be both depressing and demotivating. I'm not going to do it again:

1. R. hip plate, 2. R.hip spikes, 3.Base,  4. Adjust R.tail piston, 5 Ankle greaves, 6. Khorne thigh plates?!?, 7 Khorne dorsal plate, 8. Plug ventral hole, 9. Lower jaw struts, 10. Adjust claw spikes, 11, Tail armour fix, 12, Reposition exhausts, 13. Grey stuff gaps, 14. Tidy up


I still think its about 90% done but realistically, I've got about another 5 hours work to do.  And thats just the build, never mind painting the bloody thing. Does that mean I spent 45 hours on it already!?  Checking the dates of previous blog entries, I probably have. Of course, much of that time was spent navel gazing or prevaricating but I've come to realise that this is my rate of throughput and there's nothing I can do about it.  Nor would I want to.  Deadlines and schedules are for tournaments, work and family commitments.  When I'm hobbying, its all about 'decompressing'.


I thought it would be interesting to post some work-in-progress shots too.  I purchased a Skull Cannon of Khorne with the express intention of cannibalising it for the Marks/Symbols.  But the Skull Throne on the top just looked too awesome to ignore, so I had a brainwave to turn it into a sort of dog collar.  Forcing it to fit on the front of the torso was a complete pain in the arse and its got ruddy great holes in it, exposing the inner workings.


I had to kitbash all sorts of bits around the neck to pad it out.  I lost about 2 hours rummaging around and carefully cutting and dry fitting bits of chain and pipe to glue in there.  Which it turns out, you can't really see anyway.  Looking back on it, this was enormously enjoyable and I shouldn't berate myself for time wasting.  It's not a race and I'm not being paid by the hour.


Attaching the legs using the posable arm joints was pretty handy.  I can tilt the model at different angles to get more poses.  I've also been playing around with video editing software.  I settled on 'Blender' because I though it would be pleasing to Khorne.  Also it was free, open source software.  It's not primarily used for video editing however and the user interface was utterly incomprehensible.  I'm slowly picking it up with tutorial videos and have managed to add a soundtrack to my latest attempt.  I want to be able to crop the video to get rid of unwanted borders, just like a photo, but haven't figured it out yet.


The music from 'The Magic Roundabout' children's television series always reminds of spiralling down into madness.  I'm not sure Khorne would approve of that, but there will be blood.