More Poxwalkers

I’ve slowly been settling down to the new digs and the new schedule. While I’ve painted a bit less than before, I’ve now managed to finish a few new models! Here are the rest of the Poxwalkers from the ETB kit:

Not too much to say about the painting that I didn’t say last time – these guys were basecoated with Contrast paints and then refined with “regular” ones. For some reason the whole process was a lot longer than last time. I think I was a bit more careful with the painting and did a bit more back-and-forth in some areas. The extra time probably doesn’t show anywhere (I hope they’re consistent with the last batch), but nevertheless I found the painting very enjoyable and relaxing.

While some of the sculpts have room for improvement (the big guy’s pose being a prime example), I’d quite like to get a hold of the Dark Imperium Poxwalkers as well. As I said, these models are fun to paint and would make good conversion fodder, models for dioramas, or just a nice looking horde for a plague lord to boss around. But as they’ve now gone OOP, they might soon cost as much as the Dark Vengeance Cultists, at which point there are other cool models to consider. I guess I’ll have to keep an eye out for eBay “bargains”..

Visiting the Hobby Shops in the Capital City

One of the perks of moving down south for work is that Finland’s one and only Warhammer store is now quite a bit closer. As in, a 45min drive instead of seven hours! When Games Workshop recently announced that each of their stores would sell Sergeant “Ripper” Jackson from 12th-20th of September, I thought what the heck, I’ll go and get her. And while I’d be in Helsinki I thought I’d check out a couple other hobby shops as well!

The result of my shopping spree

I ended up going to four in total and buying an item or two from each. First stop was Poromagia, an independent hobby shop / gaming club. Not only did they have a great supply of GW’s products, they also stocked a lot of AK Interactive and Greenstuffworld products. This is great, as I’ll be able to get all the cool things without waiting 2-3 weeks for a delivery! But the highlight of the store for me were the many display cases, all filled with beautifully painted models. I even found the “Orange Mechanicus Orks” I saw in the Warhammer store a couple years back, and stupidly didn’t take a photo of. They were a big influence on my own orange Orks, so I was very happy to be able to correct my mistake and take a picture of them. I bought some GSW barbed wire and a bottle of VMC Gold.

Noa Kaistinen’s Orks @Poromagia

Next I visited Hobby Point, which is a big crafting and model making store. It doesn’t sell wargaming miniatures, but scale models and model railroad stuff (among other things). They had a lot of Noch stuff, which could be useful in the future. Now I just grabbed a trio of paints and additives before proceeding to the Warhammer store. It’s a rather small space, and with Covid-19 there wasn’t as many gaming / display tables as there used to be, but it’s well stocked with minis and the staff was friendly and helpful. I got my Ripper and grabbed a copy of Helsreach novel too (I’m a bit excited about Black Templars at the moment).

Finally, I decided to check out Fantasiapelit as well. They are a bigger company and have a store in many/all of the big cities here, but I guess this one in the capital is the biggest. Certainly well stocked with GW kits! The biggest surprise was stumbling on some really cool models in an unassuming, largely empty display case surrounded by manga books. I saw the models and thought to myself “whoa, someone’s really pulled off the Blanche style..” I then circled around the case and read the card beside the models – “Creator: John Blanche”. So now I’ve seen genuine models from GW’s creative mastermind in plastic and paint! Of course, while I was surprised, I remembered that mr. Blanche visited Helsinki for Mordheim 2019, so that’s how the models got here. Apparently, the models were gifted to Tuomas Pirinen (the creator of Mordheim), who then loaned them to Fantasiapelit so that everyone could see them. Kudos, Tuomas!

John Blanche’s Nighthaunt models @Fantasiapelit Helsinki

I almost made it out of Fantasiapelit without buying anything, but then I noticed a copy of Gretchinz!, a board game which I remember reading about quite a while back and liking the look of. As the price wasn’t too bad I grabbed it. Don’t know when I’ll get to try it out or with whom, but that’s beside the point!

So yeah, four really cool shops with amazing inventory. I’ll surely be visiting them at least a couple of times before my eventual move back north. Oh, if only I’d have the space and time, I’d buy all the things..

WIP: Cawdor Heavy Stubber

Time for another work in progress post, and a pretty exciting one at that! I’ve finally built my first model from the wonderful Cawdor box, and I’ve jumped straight to a conversion.

I wasn’t around when the original Necromunda was available, but after seeing some of the old metal Cawdor cultists with heavy stubbers (thanks, Azazel!) I got the idea of making my own, modern and plastic version. Now, I know there’s a heavy stubber in a Forge World weapon set, but as that costs almost as much as a new box of gangers, I can’t really justify getting it. Plus, making your own unique model is always cool! I ended up ordering a Chimera stubber from eBay for a couple of bucks, as it was the cheapest option and the scale looked about right.

In the Cawdor box there wasn’t a complete body that would’ve worked “as is”, so I needed to combine the body and arms from one assembly with the legs from another. Thankfully the sawing and glueing went much easier than expected, and the seam doesn’t stand out. Attaching the stubber was a bit fiddly and required slightly trimming the body/noose for the gun to fit as well as it could. The barrel was also shortened quite a bit, about a centimeter, to make it look more manageable (there’s “heroic scale” and then there’s “silly big”). The barrel might still be just a bit too thick, but as I don’t have the materials to scratch-build a new one, I say it’s close enough. The original ammo box was likewise way too big to use, but I found an ancient SM vehicle storm bolter from my bits box, which seems to fit very nicely. I finished the gun with a piece of an equally ancient CSM heavy bolter ammo belt. Finally, to balance the model a bit more I gave it a GSC heavy stubber backpack, which actually has ammo boxes on it quite similar to the storm bolter box!

Now, I don’t actually envision him to be a Cawdor ganger, strictly speaking, but an Imperial cultist wreaking havoc with Uriah Jacobus and friends. So rather than going with a stock Necromunda base I built a chapel-themed, tiled base. For added scene-setting I glued on some kind of a hose made out of greenstuff. Hopefully it’ll add some 40k techno flavor to the (eventually) white marble floors.

Looking at the pictures now I see there’s a couple of small things I need to fix/add to the model, but on the whole I’m really happy with how it has come out so far. The pose looks feasible and the gun functional, now I just have to think about the specifics of the color scheme!

Silverlions Lord-Relictor

A couple of months ago I painted the Bloodsecrator from the AoS 1.0 starter set. Now it’s time for his Stormcast counterpart – the Lord-Relictor. This guy also counts for another entry in Azazel’s Jewel of July-August!

If you’re familiar with the original model, you’ll notice that I’ve swapped his head. I hate the stock helmet with a burning passion – what were they thinking with that ridiculous nose? As Space Wolves heads have been shown to fit very well on SC bodies (not least by the OG Silverlions by Banzai1000 / Thilo Engels), I promptly copied the trick.

For the most part, he was surprisingly enjoyable to paint. Before this model I’ve basecoated the armor on the Silverlions with GW’s Ironbreaker, which is a bit rubbish and requires a lot of layers. This time I used Vallejo Metal Color Duraluminium, which is a pretty close color match but covers better (two layers, tops!). After an Agrax Earthshade wash and a drybrush of Runefang Steel (VMC is too thin for drybrushing, I imagine), the result is indistinquishable from Ironbreaker. Well, there might be some difference, but not due to the different basecoat! Comparing the Relictor to my older models, there’s a bit more Agrax showing through, which is an effect I like. More definition and a bit more weathered look. I think it’s down to me getting on the “make-up-brushes-as-drybrushes-train” a little while ago. They really are great (and cheap!), and can produce a really smooth result. With the Citadel’s small drybrush I tended to go a bit too heavy. It’s still a good brush for small details though.

Speaking of details, they were the most fun part of the model. Once again I tried adding a bit of color on to the face, and while it’s not my best work it’s one of the better ones. I think I got the black beard relatively nice as well. For the hourglass I took some pointers from an ‘Eavy Metal tutorial in an old White Dwarf (#362). Went a bit overboard with the reflections, but I guess it’s fine for a first attempt. Also, I’m not sure if the blue-gray color is the best choice here, as it’s not repeated in other areas of the model. It certainly stands out, but maybe too much. Finally, after finishing the gold in my usual way, I thought I’d try enhancing the contrast a bit with some Guilliman Flesh. I think this worked out great, although it might’ve been beneficial to re-highlight some edges with VMC White Aluminium / Runefang Steel.

The only part that was a bit tedious to paint was his cape. Those SC parchments are pretty annoying to paint, at least the way I do it.. And as if that wouldn’t have been enough, I also had an Agrax mishap which left the whole cape glossy after the wash. Thankfully after some coats of matte varnish and Lahmian Medium I was able to fix it. Hopefully now that I’ve painted the Relictor, who surely has the most flappy bits, the rest of my SC models will be easier to paint!

New Desk, New Old Job

One of the reasons the bikers didn’t get finished sooner was that I’ve made another update on my hobby area. This time far more substantial than changing my light setup, as I got myself an adjustable/standing desk! Setting it all up took me a good couple of days, mostly on tidying up the cables.

For the most part it’s a big improvement! Being able to adjust the height to fit both working/gaming on the computer (lower down) and painting (higher up) is brilliant. I haven’t yet tried out painting standing up, but there’s certainly enough height even for that. The thinner desktop is also great, as it’s easier to clamp stuff on, and to actually get the chair under it.

Now, just like after my lighting update, unfortunaly I won’t be able to enjoy this setup for a long time. Next week I’m moving back to the other side of the country, to continue in the same job I had last spring, substituting an English teacher. This time there’s couple of hours more per week and the job lasts for the whole school year. Me and the wife are obviously a bit bummed about having to live apart for so long, but the pay and the additional line in my resume left me little choice. Just have to make it work. I don’t yet know how the new job affects my hobby time, but I’ll try to keep up with painting and modeling as much as I can, that’s for sure.

Revelators Bikers

This project has taken waaay longer than I would’ve thought, but the two bikers I built a month ago are now finished! There’s still one more to build and paint for a complete squad, but I think I’ll paint something else before that..

I’ve got a bit of a confession to make. I don’t find my Revelators power armored marines much fun to paint. All the main colors – gray, yellow and gold – are more or less a struggle to paint. Well, maybe “struggle” is a wrong word, tedious would be more apt. The base paints cover well, but the layer ones are terrible. I very much like the end result, but getting there is mostly dull, very time consuming work, and I feel that I could use that time better on some other model. But I’m kind of locked in with the paint recipe now, and as I’d like to see some kind of a “finished” army at some point, I’ll continue to add a unit every now and then.

And oh yeah, if you see any out of place silver spots (hopefully not) on the models, that’s because the Vallejo Metal Color bottle caps are the worst! For some reason they occasionally leak while shaking them, resulting in a spray of silver droplets all over the place! This time a couple hit my models, of course in a way that required three paints to fix each splotch. I need to remember to cover the caps with a paper towel while shaking the bottles..

It wasn’t all bad, of course! The detailing and light freehand work (check out the “navigator” screens below) were enjoyable, as was the basing and even edge highlighting the gray armor. I’m pretty happy with the chipping as well. The goal was to do a very light application to the bikes only and leave the riders clean, to echo the rest of my Revelators. All in all, again, I think the finished models look great and are a cool addition to my collection, even if there are one or two mistakes on them..

Another great thing is that these bikers also qualify for a couple of hobby challenges: firstly, they’re my submission for Azazel’s Jewel of July-August. I’ll try to paint a quick character or something before the month is over for an additional entry, but yeah, we’ll see how it goes.. Secondly, they count for the vehicle square in the hobby bingo. Heh, I’m really setting up those sweet bingo rows, aren’t I? Hopefully I can actually follow through on at least one of them!

Corvus Cabalist

This weekend I took a slight detour from finishing the bikers I showed in the last post, to build and paint a single small model. Here’s my first Warcry model: a Corvus Cabalist.

So on Friday I was browsing the local (/national) wargaming forum’s trading area, and spotted someone selling quite a lot of unopened kits for half price in my city. Apparently he had excitedly bought a bit too much and was selling off things he didn’t see painting in the near future. Probably a wiser man than many of us 😀 Even so, I got in touch with him and a couple of hours later a brand new Corvus Cabal box changed hands. And a few other kits as well, but more on those later..

Having bought new models and the weekend ahead of me, I had the perfect opportunity to finish a hobby bingo square that has so far eluded me: finish a model in 48 hours of acquiring it. Now, this shouldn’t be too hard, as surely we’re all eager to get those new models finished as soon as possible! But for one reason or another, they often go to the cupboard of unfinished models to wait for their turn, and might stay there for quite a while. Now, truth be told, I’ve mainly wanted the Cabal box to own the Shrike Talon and maybe some cool conversion bits, I’m not really interested in playing Warcry. I reckoned that painting one of the standard Cabalists would be good practice for the Talon and should be quick enough to paint even at my slow pace.

I built and based the model on Friday evening. I did a minor conversion too, as I’m not super fond of the kama style weapons they have. I shortened the handle a bit and used the kama’s blade to give the model a knife with a hawksbill style blade, which I like quite a bit more than the original. On Saturday I primed her zenithally using rattle cans, which went a lot smoother than with the Poxwalkers. In addition to that, I washed the model with Nuln Oil and drybrushed it with White Scar, which gave me a really nicely defined and shaded starting point. I also used some Contrast and Base paints to lay initial basecoats on the model. I decided to go with the studio scheme for these, partly because I didn’t have much time to mull it over, partly because the studio scheme fits the Cabal really well. I did leave the bloody throats out, as I think they’re a bit silly..

On Sunday I painted the rest of the model and got it finished with a good hour left before the deadline! I know I could’ve just left her in the “battle ready”, basecoated stage, give her a simple base and call it done, but as I had plenty of time, I wanted to do it properly, and actually practice for the Shrike Talon. So I ended up covering pretty much all of the basecoats by layering and highlighting. It was a very enjoyable process though, so I don’t mind. I used a similar palette as for Mollog, and again finished all colors with highlights of Pallid Wychflesh. I’m particularly happy with the beak (on the mask), I think I got the transitions down pretty well. I also like her eye, which at first at first I was going to leave black, but while I “was in the area” with my paintbrush, I thought I’d paint just a small dot of white in the corner to give an impression of a pupil. Worked well!

White there are a couple of things that could be improved and I’ll probably change with the next Cabalist, I’m very happy with the model and feel that I can more or less paint the Shrike Talon and any other Cabalists with the same techniques and paints. So yeah, one more square down, which takes me quite close to getting my first completed row. Unfortunately, I won’t be making a 2’x2′ table in the foreseeable future, due to limited storage space and no real use either.. So it’s back to working on the bikes and the “vehicle” square!

WIP: Building Bikers

I haven’t had much hobby time in the last couple of weeks, but I’ve slowly been building a Space Marine biker squad for my Revelators mini-marines army. Here are the first two finished riders, a third will follow later.

I got these bikes from my wonderful wife as a b-day present a little while back. She doesn’t really know anything about the armies or rules of the game, i.e. which units are part of what armies, which would be good for games, or what models I have in my collection already. Well, I too am not really familiar with the rules, nor do I care, and I’ve said to her that if she wants to get me minis, she can buy anything that she thinks looks cool. She ended up with these, as the marines looked familiar and one of my other hobbies/interests is motorcycles. I really appreciate her putting thought into this, rather than just picking the first box she sees!

I quite like the models, even though in practical terms they’re a bit silly with the wide tires and low ground clearance. They look brutal though, and fit the marine aesthetic splendidly. However, there’s no denying that they’re getting on a bit.. Assembling the models was rather fiddly, and getting the bike halves to align satisfactorily took some work. I was also worried about the seamline in the middle of the bike, but I read a good tip on TaleofPainters: when putting the halves together, use a lot of (plastic) glue! Then press the halves together so that some of the glue goop oozes out. When it’s dry, the seam can be scraped clean, leaving a smooth surface. I primed these fellas last night and the trick worked out great!

I wanted to individualize the riders a bit, so I did some light conversion/kit bashing work on them. The sarge’s head is from the SM Commander kit and the fist is from a Tactical Squad. I also added a banner top from the same box to further mark him as the squad leader. Both of the riders got some pouches and grenades, and some purity seals on the bikes. The chainsword on the other bike is from the mk3 marine squad. As it’s originally meant to be holstered/strapped to a backpack, it was a bit shorter than a normal Tactical Squad chainsword and already had some straps so it looks like it’s actually secured in place. The idea for the sword came from photos of Imperial First bikers in an old 3rd edition SM Codex.

I wasn’t happy with the stock bases, and ordered some plain 75mm oval bases from eBay. I don’t think they’re exactly the same shape as GW’s (the oval looks like it has slight “corners”), but in the photos it seems to be okay. They also had to be washed as there was some black goo on them. So yeah, the quality’s not quite up to GW standard, but okay. As they’re bigger bases, I wanted to decorate them a bit more than just plain sand and the occasional skull and tuft. Of course, as some of my models have bases that are just sand, I didn’t want to go too mad. The sarge got a slight “ramp” made out of cork, while the other marine got a piece of H-beam and some DIY-barbed wire. Just something to hint at a battlefield, but still keep it in the desert/wasteland style.

So where’s the third squad member? He’s still unassembled as I want to try something new: I recently got a package from Greenstuffworld, and with it a pack of Blue Stuff. I’m trying to make a mold of the bike wheels and copy them for terrain/basing projects! I made a couple of tries already, but wasn’t satisfied just yet, so I’ll try some more. The copies don’t need to be perfect, but I’ll try to get them as good as I can. When I get to the actual assembly, the rider will most likely be a meltagunner, but he’d require some work on arm posing, so we’ll see how it comes out.

Mollog

During the spring I went a bit nuts and bought a load of Underworlds warbands. I recently took stock of them, and noticed that I had seven boxes of unbuilt teams! Clearly I need to do something about the pile, and I started with one of the more novel warbands, Mollog’s Mob. In this post I’ll show you the titular, grumpy leader of the lot.

I’d normally paint the unit as a whole, but I’ve noticed that the summer months are usually spent working, travelling and with the wife, and if not, the weather’s often too hot to paint. So a bit strapped for hobby time.. But I wanted to enter something for Ann’s hobby challenge, Miniatures of Magnitude. Although the challenge ran for two months, I only had around three weeks to do my entry. Hence I decided to just paint Mollog, and leave the rest of the gang for another time. Fortunately all the models have somewhat different schemes, so batch painting wouldn’t necessarily have helped anyway.

For the paint scheme I mostly followed the box art and Duncan’s tutorial. I didn’t have all the paints used in the tutorial, but I thought that the scheme had a little to much purple in it anyway (the skin and the big mushrooms). My scheme ended up a bit more blue, and with more vibrant toadstools, a combination which I have to say I like more than the GW’s versions. I also took the highlighting a little further than Duncan did, as I’m trying to push the contrast on my models. Overall, I think this might be my best work so far, and it was a joy to paint!

There were a couple of new things that I tried on this model, and of which I’m really happy about. The first was that I used Pallid Wych Flesh for all (non-metal) final highlights, something that worked really well. It seems to pull all the colors together and of course makes those highlights pop. I also tried drying retarder for the first time, and did some rudimentary weblending on the toadstools and the blue mushroom. I think I didn’t yet get the right mix of paint and retarder, but I’ll surely keep practicing with it on future models.

And yeah, in addition to painting a big model for Ann’s challenge, there was an appropriate square in the hobby bingo as well: “paint a monster”. Done!

Termagant – Experimental Color Scheme

After the Khorne guys from last post I decide to go for another quick project, and one that I painted for my wife. It’s a single Termagant model, originally from the Battle for Macragge box.

Now, my wife isn’t interested in the Warhammer/miniature hobby at all, but on occasion courteously pays attention to what I’m painting. Some time ago she asked if I’d paint her something. “Of course”, I told her, as long as she’d come up with a scheme. I gave her a choice of some models and she picked an old Termagant, or “a tiny dinosaur”. Her thought process started from a Hello Kitty scheme, but as soon as she discovered someone had already stolen her idea (Hive Fleet Leviathan :D), she wanted a python pattern on the carapace.

Ok, something that I probably wouldn’t have tried myself, but as such a great challenge! I looked at some reference photos on Google, and it turns out that there’s quite a lot of different patterns on the snakes. What I ended up painting was more of an impression than a straight up replication. I think the pattern more or less works on the back carapace, but I messed it up on the head. I also don’t know how the scheme would translate for other (bigger) Tyranid models, but as this was a one-off I don’t really have to.

The painting process itself was almost as experimental as the scheme. I used three paints to lay down the base for the skin (Steel Legion Drab, Zandri Dust and Ushabti Bone), and then used washes and drybrushing to define the model further. The carapace bits got a bit more careful approach, with the pattern design and the striations. I used some new paints, or rather inks on this model, too! I recently bought some Daler Rowney FW Acrylic Inks, and I tried them out on this Termagant. I used black on the pattern design, white to highlight and burnt umber to outline some of the carapace panels. While all of them felt like great products, the white definitely takes the cake. I don’t think my pot of White Scar will see much action any more..

So yeah, another fun little project completed and new things were learned! And what did the missus think, I hear you ask? She seemed to like it!