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


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.

Monday, 28 October 2019


I bought one of those turntable things from a model shop the other day.  Which felt a bit weird.  Almost like buying dirty magazines from my squalid newsagent down the road, years ago.  "Ooooh! Does Sir like to look at his models from every angle? Does he? Hmmm?  Does he like to make them ride on a pedestal? Ooooh, suit you sir!".

The 'Solar Spinner' is a rotary display stand made by Fascinations (wonders created by physicists). After the initial embarrassment wore off, I became captivated with the thing.  It's solar powered and I can't find a way to turn it off.  You can change the direction of the spin, but not stop it.  It works under flourescent lights and spotlamps too.  So it just spins round and round forever.  Unless I put it back inside the box.  But then I can't see it so I don't actually know whether it is still spinning or not.  Sort of like Schrödinger's cat.  It's about as interesting as watching things in a microwave, which is to say, vacuously mesmerising.

This is an opportune moment to see if I can upload videos to Blogger.  Never tried it before.

Sunday, 20 October 2019


Well its probably time for a blog post intervention.   I've been playing Steam games more or less obsessively for 3 months now.  A necessary escape hatch from the pressures of work but I need to stop before the psychosis kicks in.  Playing No Man's Sky is no longer healthy for me.

I attempted to arrest the compulsive feedback loop of sitting in a Trading Post for hours on end, waiting for a better ship to land so I could buy it.  But even binge watching an entire season of Altered Carbon in one night before falling into a drug induced coma during the final episode didn't help.  Some of my friends are trying to get me to resubscribe to 'World of Warcraft: Classic' which is only making things worse.  I thought I was well and truly over that particular nasty habit.

So I cleaned up the garage and my bomb-crater of a paint station and what with the warmer weather coming in I determined to do something (anything) productive.  Time to convert some Armiger Warglaives from the Forgebane set which has been sitting in a corner gathering dust for an innappropriate length of time.

The trouble is that enforced hobbying does not really get the creative juices flowing.  Thats the whole point of a hobby really.  You shouldn't have to do it.  When you have to do it, then its just work.  But my interest was finally piqued so I trolled the internet for ideas.  And eventually hit paydirt.  My intial attempts consisted of:




And then I spotted this on Facebook:

Fuck, yes!
 As an ardent Horizon Zero Dawn fan, I heartily approve of this model.   It's a pretty inspired version of a Watcher, the reconnaissance outriders of the machine swarm.  Nick Gralewicz converted it and you can see more pictures here.  I didn't want to replicate it entirely because I'm such a whiny special snowflake, but strangely I have most of the parts.  I'm saving that Maulerfiend torso for something spidery or eldritch horrory though (either that or I'll forget about it entirely in the course of time).  I also wanted more pointy bits than a Watcher and thought it would be interesting to try out a different Chaos God.  I think I've settled on Khorne for this one.

It doesn't get much more Khorne than a fucking walking chainsaw, surely?  I feel I should emphasise this point with copious quantities of arterial gore.  I'm getting ahead of myself though.  I need to do something about those God-awful, clunky feet first.  And then there's the tail.  I should probably bulk out the hips too.  And maybe some goofy T-Rex claws at the front.  And weapons, its got to have more weapons; this is 40k for Emprah's sake.

I shall love him and pet him and squeeze him and his name shall be 'Sawberus'.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

The Devil Rides Out

 This weekend, Chickenhawk made his debut appearance in a game of Apocalypse of all things, with Alistair, Jordan and Rhys.

I think we played 300 power level, Imperium vs. Chaos (ahh the classics!) but not entirely sure.

Since I haven't bought the game or read the rules and I don't have a Chaos army, this presented a bit of a problem.

Fortunately Jordan brought the 14th Black Crusade with him and flanked my newly painted model with two Warhound Titans, a brace of Chaos Knights, supporting Armigers and assorted Nurgly goodness.

This did not prevent Chickenhawk from being brutally violated in the end but he managed to give a fairly decent account of himself.  It was quite enjoyable and nothing like the all-day marathons of yesteryear.  I may even pick up the rules!

What are rules, really?
Still love my scenery
Grand Melee
Orbital Scan

Newly painted model syndrome strikes!

Infantry did not play a significant role in proceedings
Managed to get a side-by-side with a real Chaos Knight
This reminded me of William Blake's 'Red Dragon' for some reason
Hold the line! (Every single one of those missiles is individually magnetised.  All is right with the world)

Friday, 19 July 2019

No Chaos Knights were made during the harming of this model

Fresh from the fires of Forgeworld Monkeychuka, a new knight is summ... erm.. forged! (Helforge you say?  Goodness me, no!  That would be heresy!)

I finally got all the lights working by blu-taccing the wires and battery in place.  Turns out the battery was resting on top of two large neodymium magnets which attach the torso to the legs.  This had an adverse effect on the battery's machine spirit.  I stuck it further up the side of the main body and uttered a short prayer to The Omnissiah which must have worked because the lights came on.

I continued building and gluing stuff right up to the end.  Three cables were added between the legs where the pennant thing normally goes on a night.  I had no intention of hanging a flag off his balls but some dangly bits were perfectly acceptable.

A bit of oil splatter was added to the marble to symbolise the stain of chaos.

I've included a couple of pictures with the pauldrons in place but this was just to prove that I finished them really.  This bad boy wants to go bare shouldered and show off his muscles.

I have no intention of... game.. ..strangely..  .. butt it turned out ok...

Carefully dipped in Chaos

Together we will conquer
Together we will conquer

Wipe that cheeky grin and come on down.

 ++scrapcode detected ++

Oh well, the Devil makes us sin
But we like it when we're spinning in his grip.


I'm yours, I'm yours
Why does the blood never stick to your teeth
Mama stop giving me grief

++devotional psalm A237F1 inneffective++

The cradle is soft and warm
Couldn't do me no harm

++choral psalms 1 thru 6928 inneffective++

Why does the blood always stick to your teeth

Mama stop giving me grief

++cleansing prayer !Omnissiah! inneffective++

Cleanse me deep in the fire
I have become pure water
I wear my sword at my side

I wear my sword at my side

++scrapcode detected - multiple heresies++

System compromised...  

Cease all communication immediately...  

Punitive detachment inbound...  

May The Holy Emperor blot out your transgressions.