Ghazghkull Thraka

WAAAAGH! I’ve finished my Ghazghkull, appropriately for Orktober! If I’m only going to finish one model this month, I can think of no better one than him. I got the model as a birthday present from my wife and started working on him in June. So yeah, it took quite a while to finish (to be fair, there were a couple of other models in between, as well as some other distractions:)), but I couldn’t be much happier with the finished model! I think it might be my best work yet!

There were quite a lot of firsts and otherwise experimenting with this model. The biggest one was the black armor with multiple edge highlights, but using glazes to alter colors for fades and weathering were pretty new to me, as were the subtle OSL effects. Not to mention that this was the first model to be completed after the birth of my son!

For the color scheme I tried to replicate the studio scheme. As Ghazghkull is a legendary Goff character I wanted him to keep the black armor, but I also wanted him to tie in with my “orange orks”. That’s why I replaced the red accent color for orange on my model. I also used the same recipes that I’d used on the boyz for the skin, cloth, leather, and of course the wasteland base.

For the black armor and the metal bits I followed the recipes from “Painting Ghazghkull” article found in White Dwarf #453. That involved some paint mixing (purple-ish highlights for the armor and a brownish basecoat for metals), which was interesting and not all that scary in the end. Just for the convenience though, I’ll probably be using paints straight from the bottle for my future black armor highlighting needs. But yeah, I’m loving the final result! While painting, I thought that the highlights on black looked a bit too much like TRON, but when the model’s all together the armor looks black as it should. The highlights are a bit too chunky in places, but I’ll improve my highlighting game with future models!

The orange presented me with a peculiar challenge that I hadn’t really noticed before: orange is a color that doesn’t have a lot of tonal range. There is no dark orange like there is dark red, for example. Dark orange is brown! In the ‘Eavy Metal version the power klaw (and the glyphs) are dark red, but I didn’t want mine to be brown. I had to leave these bits more vibrant so that they would read as orange, so in that way the studio model is stronger compositionally, but I did try to punch the highlights on the iron gob so that they would draw the eye towards the face.

Ghazghkull towering over the boyz.

Weathering was done by glazing various brown tones on the crevasses and the lower parts of the armor plates. Scratches were painted pretty much only on the freehand patterns, otherwise I ended up relying on the modelled damage. I considered doing some sponge weathering as well, but in the end I left it out. Mostly because I thought the model looked great already but I was also feeling a bit of painting fatigue.

A lone Space Wolf about to be pooped on.

There are still quite a number of things that I could improve or add to the model, but I’m calling it done. Seriously, I think the more time I spend painting a model, the more I notice places where I could do better if I spent the time! My original goal was to give this centerpiece model the paintjob it deserves, but it’s not a competition piece so I’m not sweating over every tiny detail. I’m super happy with how it came out and proud to have painted such a big, initially very intimidating model! Next up, something much smaller!

Last but not least, I’m one square closer to scoring that elusive bingo. Ghazghkull qualifies as a monster, which means that I only have to build a piece of scenery before the end of the year! I’ve been thinking about going into build mode for a bit now that I’ve finished a major painting project, so maybe I’ll have a simple piece of scenery in my hands before too long!

minimattila

Alright, a quick PSA: I’m a dad now! Around a week ago my wife gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. After a few days in the hospital we came home, everyone safe and sound. It has been an interesting week full of learning new things and a little less sleep than what I’ve been used to!

I guess it goes without saying that my rate of finishing models is going to take a hit. Of course, I’ve been saying the same thing for years now, so there’s a chance you’ll not even notice! I’ll have to get used to a new daily rhytm with a lot more responsibility, and try to sneak in some hobbying whenever I can. Before the birth I was a bit worried about how I would feel about not having a lot of time for my own hobbies. But I got to say, after the baby arrived my hobbies haven’t seemed as important as they did. I’m sure this will change eventually (:D), but for now I’m getting a real kick out of taking care of my wife and my son. Of course, miniatures are still on my mind and I’m slowly trying to get that ball rolling again. Today I wrote the boy’s birthday on the bottom of his commemorative Space Wolf! Yeah, the day ended up being a day of national mourning for some, but a familial day of celebration for us!

I’ll also show a picture of my current project, Ghazghkull Thraka, and where I left him before we had to leave for the hospital. The arms are not glued on yet, I think I’ll add a couple more things before attaching them permanently.

The face and the base are already finished, actually even before the move, I just haven’t shown them here before. But here they are:

Very chuffed with both of them! Hopefully I’ll have the time to finish the model before the end of the year ๐Ÿ˜€

Space Wolf Grey Hunter

After a week or so of painting, I’ve finished the Space Wolf Grey Hunter that I built in honor of our firstborn, due in a month or so.

The whole model was built and painted around the idea of “baby blue”, and as WH40k already has an excellent baby blueish color scheme on the Space Wolves, I thought I’d make a model out of it! (read more about the build in a previous post) The main color of the armor has changed somewhat during the years, from a blueish gray to a more neutral one, but I tried to go for a second edition look that in my mind is quite iconic with its happy, bright and bold colors. Of course, I did mix in some more modern elements like the base color scheme and some minimal weathering of the lower legs to tie the model to the base, but overall the goal was to paint the model very cleanly and neatly.

Unfortunately, painting the model started with almost ruining the model, as the automotive can of white spray primer I tried to use had gone bad and the model was blasted with gritty paint. Thankfully I didn’t spray it on too thickly and was able to brush and poke almost all of the unwanted paint specks off the model. I then bought a can of Corax White which, while expensive, worked perfectly. After the priming the painting was enjoyable if a bit time consuming. I’m not in a hurry to paint any more Wolves in this scheme, but I’m very happy with how this one came out!

For the armor I followed another tutorial on Tale of Painters (thanks Garfy!). It uses the same basic paints as in the Games Workshop’s guides, but is lighter. The process was also a bit different than the default basecoat-wash-layer-highlight, so I got to try my hand at recess shading a Space Marine armor. I don’t know which is faster, all-over wash and re-layering or just recess shading, but the recess shading didn’t feel too tedious. I kinda have a hankering to paint some other marine scheme with this method! Maybe get that “walk of the legions” project going! If nothing else, I’m sure my brush control and edge highlighting skills would improve.

I spent quite a bit of time on the face, trying to incorporate some color on it – a bit of red on the nose, cheeks and ears to suggest a colder environment and a bit of blue-gray on the eyelids for that weariness. I think the face could still use some more definition, but it’s good enough for now! I was also happy to be able to use an old water transfer on the left shoulder pad – the decal comes from the same box as the bolter. It took quite a lot of decal softener to get flat on the pad, but I think it came out great in the end!

The only thing on the model I’m not super happy about is the freehand on the chainsword. I thing the triangle motif is more appropriate for the Wolves than the hazard stripes, but with the orange shading on the yellow the sword reminds me of cartoon tigers! Oh well… Let’s call the model done and get back to Ghazkhull.

Necron Plasmancer; More Scarab Swarms

It’s been quite a couple of weeks as me and the missus moved to a new town. Everything’s slowly finding its place and perhaps most importantly I’ve got the painting area set up. Yesterday I finished my first model in the new home: the Necron Plasmancer from the Indomitus box!

As I’ve probably mentioned once or twice, this is probably my favorite Necron model from the box. He’s like a techno Cairn Wraith, many of which we’ve seen from the INQ28/blanchitsu community. I painted him sort of as a treat after finishing the Warrior squad earlier in the spring.

The painting was largely the same as with the Warriors, I just used thinned down Contrast paint for the black bits instead of multiple Nuln Oil washes. There were of course a couple of things which do not feature on the more basic troops, mainly the power weapon and the ribbons. I didn’t really want to use gold for the ribbons, but I think I got just about enough variation on them with the small gradients. In hindsight a few cream colored squares could’ve looked cool too, as with the hidden ribcage and no gun case the model features very little cream.

The power glaive was a first for me and I pretty much tried to copy the light placement from the boxart, just with orange instead of green. It ended up a lot brighter than the green one, but I suppose it’s an okay first attempt. I think I managed to keep it looking mostly orange instead of red or yellow, and more or less in keeping with the other orange lights. I wasn’t too concerned about smooth blending as I’m trying to keep these relatively quick to paint. And in any case I’ve got plenty of models to practice with!

I’ve also finished another trio of Scarab Swarms. I didn’t use the previous ones as reference, so the lights ended up a bit lighter. I think they look good though, I might even prefer these ones as the OSL is more subtle.

“Go forth my minions and do my evil bidding!”

In the interest of claiming every hobby bingo square I can, I’ll use the Plasmancer for “completely paint a unit before using it on a battlefield”. Feels a bit like cheating with only one small model, but it does count as a unit!

WIP: Space Wolf

A quick post today to show you a model I started working on – a Space Wolf Grey Hunter.

Now, I’m not going to start an army of Space Wolves, this will most likely be a one-off. But this one’s a bit special for me, as it will be in honor of our firstborn, due in around two months! My wife actually gave me the idea, as she asked if (or what) I’d paint baby blue for our baby boy. A great idea, I thought, and after giving it quite a bit of thought (I thought a blue-skinned cherub would’ve been too macabre and a grot might’ve sent the wrong message..) I realized that this would be the perfect opportunity to paint a second edition-inspired Space Wolf!

I spent quite a lot of time planning and building the model, but I’m happy how it turned out. Most of the build time went into “refurbishing” and attaching the second edition bolter on to his arms. I still have a couple of these bolters from one of my first kits that I bought, and I thought one of them would complement the second edition paint scheme really well. To be honest, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t ever use them on anything, as they’re showing their age a bit, but after seeing OSJC using one for his Space Sharks I knew I had to borrow the idea! Obviously, the scale is better for primaris marines, but it’s not bad for mini-marines. The conversion is pretty simple, if a bit time-consuming: the main body from a second edition bolter, the hand, magazine well and the nub over the barrel from a mk7 bolter and the magazine from a mk3 one. As the body of the gun is quite a bit thicker than the modern ones, I had to do some cutting with the hand. The anatomy is not the greatest, but will do.. As for the rest of the model, it’s pretty much a standard mk7 tactical marine. I don’t have many Space Wolf bits, but found an appropriate head for him at least (is that Paul Sr. from American Chopper?), and to top the model off I gave him a mk3 chainsword. Kinda looks like a furry tail! ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ll use this model for the “conversion” square in the hobby bingo. Since the last post I’ve also crossed off another square by making a few storage boxes with steel bottoms in anticipation of the upcoming move.

Silverlions Prosecutors

So far in 2021 I’ve only been working on the 40k side of the hobby, so it’s high time that I got some AoS in the mix. I have a few half-done/started models in my to-do pile and thought that I’d try to finish some of them during the summer. Amongst them were the three Stormcast Prosecutors from the AoS starter box who are now done!

These guys took surprisingly long to finish. The largest part, the armor, was of course quick and easy, but the wings, gold and the “magical toilet paper” took hours to do.. That’s probably down to inefficient workflow, but it’s the way I’ve painted this army and I’ll stick to it. I think the reason these were not too enjoyable to paint for me was that this was a “paint by numbers” affair, there’s no freehand designs, battle damage, bare faces or any other more freeform stuff, just neat painting. I tried to speed up the process by not going back to fix mistakes, instead using the next paint to cover any slips. There’s still some around, but I tried to remind myself about “tabletop standard”. The good things are that the end-result is still pretty nice and I’ve only got the Lord-Celestant to do and then this army is probably finished!

So yeah, I’m happy that they’re done and I’m just one model shy of completing this army. For the hobby bingo I’ll use the Prosecutors to claim the “to-do-pile”-square. They’ve been built and primed since 2018 and I started painting them more than half a year ago, so I think they’re well qualified. I think I have a small chance of scoring one complete bingo this year, so I try to set myself up for success. For the monster, I have two candidates: Ghazghkull Thraka and the Lord-Celestant. Hmm.. If I really get a move on I might be able to finish at least one of them before the end of the year.

WIP: Astra Rodentia Reinforcements; Imperial Pilot

After finishing the Necron Warrior squad, I switched to build mode. Other than some basing work, I hadn’t built anything after the New Year’s, so it was about time! Not that I had painted a huge lot, either, but that’s neither here nor there… Anyways, I’ve now got three more rats queued for painting and joining my Astra Rodentia force. Also, I built a disembarked Imperial Guard (Sentinel/tank) pilot.

The three rats that I built were some more specialists: a shotgunner, a plasma gunner and a medic (inspired by Pomander Cask’s medic model). The ‘gunners got different body armors, to reinforce the idea of a ragtag group also in modeling in addition to painting. Of course, rules-wise the plasma rat could be used as a Scion. I’m pretty happy with each of them, though there are a few nitpicks. The biggest of these is the weapon sling on the medic. I practiced greenstuff sculpting but this wasn’t one of my better attempts. Still, it’ll probably stay like that and in any case it’ll hardly even be visible in photos ๐Ÿ˜€

From the rear you can see some of the equipment I once again stuffed on their belts and backs. I think it adds a lot of character to the models and also helps to blend the body and the legs together (though there’s not much to hide – the join is really clean). One bit I’ll note is the backpack on the plasma gunner. The Scion bodies have big square slots in their backs, and my original plan was to fill it with putty. Of course I forgot to do it when filling the other gaps, so I thought I’d hide the slot with equipment instead. As the original Scion backpacks were used for my Space Marine Scouts, I grabbed a resin one from Kromlech. I got two of these as a freebie a long time ago (the other’s on the Astra Rodentia sharpshooter), and they fit really well. They even have camo cloaks strapped on like the Scion packs! Still, I made a slight modification: the original had a couple of grenades and a canteen hanging of the backpack – I cut these off and changed them to GW bits. It’s not a big change (the GW parts are just slightly larger), but I think it keeps the aesthetic closer to a GW model this way.

Then on to the Imperial Guard pilot. As I have quite a lot of IG leftover parts from making the Rodentia, I thought I’d use some of them for a one-off “marker” model, kind of like Lieutenant Varras. I imagine his ride got destroyed or disabled and he was injured in the process. After bandaging his arm and fashioning a sling he’s looking for a way back to a friendly outpost. The bits are mostly from the Cadian Command Squad. The head and the holster are from a Chimera, I think. I thought of a neat trick with the holster: after removing the pistol handle I carefully cut under the holster flap to make it curl a bit, like it was open. I’m sure I wasn’t the first to come up with this, but I think it’s pretty cool! The model still needs basing, probably similar to the ones on my Necrons. The paint scheme will most likely be Steel Legion inspired.

I’m claiming another square on the hobby bingo with the medic model. It’s the “sculpt something on a model (other than gap filling)”, and while the weapon sling is so shoddy I feel a bit guilty about this, I have to score squares where I can! Might have considerably less time for it soon!

Finally, I’ve made some hobby acquisitions. Yesterday I received a package from Japan, containing a Tamiya pin vise and a side cutter. I’m yet to give them any real action, but I tried them on a piece of sprue and they’re definitely an upgrade over the Army Painter pin vice and Citadel cutter that I’d been using before. I’ve also bought a pair of X-acto-type knives with #11 blades to see if I like them better than retractable Stanley-knives. And finally, for my birthday my wonderful wife surprised me with “something small”, which turned out to be the new Ghazghkull Thraka model! That thing’s huge, I tell you!

Necron Warriors; RL Developments

I’ve finally managed to complete some new models! I haven’t painted a complete squad in ages, but here goes, the first 10 Necron Warriors and their Scarab Swarms from the Indomitus boxed set.

These guys were an attempt at a good-looking speed paint and I think the project was a success. While it took me close to two months to finish these (ouch), I only managed to paint on weekends, and not even all of them. In total I probably spent 2-3 hours on each of them, but the process felt pretty quick. I noticed a couple of places where I might be able to streamline it a bit for the next batch of models, too.

I’m not going to go in-depth on how these guys were painted, as I already talked about it in my previous post. Of course, all credit for the scheme goes to Trovarion and his tutorial!

Compared to the two original test models, I think I managed to get pretty similar results with the eight following models. The one thing I have to pay attention to with future models is that I overshaded the sides of the heads a bit with the “production” models, the test models look better. Not a big problem, and I’m not going back to fix it, but I’ll try to do better with the next ones. There’ll be plenty!

I got to cross off another square from this year’s bingo card: paint a model from a faction I didn’t already have painted models for. Oh boy, the year is half-way through and I’ve just got two squares! Not only that, the total number of finished models for the year is 15! 2021 hasn’t been too productive for me…

…and it probably won’t get much better any time soon. But I’ve got reasons! I got a new job starting in August as a teacher. And not a substitute either, this is a permanent(-ish) job. I’ve got a week left at my current gig before the summer holiday, which is exciting! I’ll probably be able to do some hobbying during the two months off, but of course there’s plenty of spending time with the missus, our families and friends. Also, we’ll have to move, once again, during the summer.

But, I’ve got even bigger news than the new job! Or, smaller, depending on your point of view… Me and my wife are having a baby boy! We’re about half-way through with the pregnancy, his estimated time of arrival is in mid-September. So, quite a bit (/everything) is going to change in a couple month’s time, but it’s something that I’m very much looking forward to. Here’s hoping that I get myself a tiny painting buddy in a few years ๐Ÿ˜€

Miniature of a Different Kind

One of the reasons I’ve been a bit less active with the Warhammer hobby this year is that I’ve been preoccupied with another hobby of mine – computers and gaming. I’ve been building a new computer for myself, and after quite a long while of buying parts and assembling and tweaking, I’ve finally finished the build for the time being. And just to make sure it’s appropriate(ish) for the blog, it’s a small form-factor PC which makes it quite a bit tinier than the average mid-tower ๐Ÿ˜€

Due to the current situation in the world, the PC part market has been in a sorry state for quite a while now, especially with processors and graphics cards. Because of this, it took me around three months to get my system up and running. I started buying parts on Black Friday last November, and got the final bits ordered (the GPU and some other stuff) at the end of February. Not an eternity in the grand scheme of things, but certainly a far cry from just going to a webstore and ordering all the parts when you feel like it.

Assembly was rather simple for the most part, but I did have to do some rotary tool alterations to one piece. Ended up working just fine! I might try to further clean up the interior at some point, but it’s not hugely important right now. I got the system running pretty much inaudibly under light loads, and even under demanding workloads it’s tolerable. It does run pretty warm though, but that’s to be expected with such a small case.

I’m also really enjoying all the wireless peripherals I’ve acquired for this setup. My headset, mouse, keyboard and the Xbox controller are all wireless which helps cleaning up the desk and allows mobility. I have to plug them in for charging every week or two depending on the use, but it’s not so bad.

Games are running great for the most part (1500+ fps in Doom! :D) and to be frank they have been drawing me in lately more than painting. While you don’t get the same tangible results from gaming as you do from painting up a model, some instant gratification is fun every now and then! But yeah, as I said in my last posts, I’m slowly getting back to painting as well. I’m making progress with the rest of my first Necron squad, as you might’ve spied from the first photo in this post.

WIP: Necron Test Models

I’ve been trying to get my hobby mojo back and during the last week and a bit I think I’ve got it! I’ve had a lot of fun painting the first couple of models from the Indomitus box: two Necron warriors and two scarab swarms.

Now, I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not the most imaginative of artists, and the paint scheme on these guys is no exception. I was pretty close to going with the default Necron speed-technique of wash/drybrush/done, but when I saw Trovarion’s tutorial on “easy 9th edition Necrons” I knew I had to try them out! Trovarion’s own take on the scheme was right up my alley – mostly neutral colors (steel, brown, cream) with one bright and bold accent color (orange). I wonder what the dynasty’s called… Trovakh?

Necron painting tutorial by Trovarion Miniatures

I actually started the models by painting up the bases. The bases I made for the Necrons are once again wasteland-style, but I wasn’t sure on the color. I tried a reddish brown and my usual bone-recipe, and while both of them work (and are surprisingly close to the Necron’s paint scheme), I’ll go with the reddish ones. At some point I might experiment with some orange washes or pigments to make the bases more vibrant, but I think this is my starting point!

A note on making the bases: the idea was first to just do my default “sand and stones/skulls”-type of wasteland bases, but as I had more time during my winter break I thought I’d add “just a couple” of details to suggest a battlefield surrounding. In addition to rocks and skulls I put on various pipes, steel beams and barbed wire. I also had the idea to put on some left-over Necron arms and Space Marine helmets, but forgot about them.. I’ll do those with the bigger character models! But all in all, I’m very pleased with the bases. I think I got a good mix of different textures and details (maybe a few too many pipes if you think about it…) and they didn’t take all that long to make.

Painting the actual models was pretty relaxing, and for the most part didn’t require much accuracy. Two basecolors (steel, cream), some dark brown chipping applied with a sponge, and then a lot of selective washes. After those a few quick highlights and painting the glow-y bits white (a mix of ink and paint makes quick and smooth work of this). Finally quite a lot of layers of orange fluorescent paint and a tiny bit of red (the normal kind) to finish the model off.

I’m mostly very satisfied with the result. More importantly, I enjoyed the painting process, which is great as I now have quite many Necrons to paint. The OSL effects are not quite there yet (which is fine, it was my first try), but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it after a couple dozen models… Now I’ll repaint/finish the bases on these models and perhaps finish a couple more before taking some showcase photos for you guys.