Corvus Cabal Shadow Piercer

After finishing the last five Necrons, I still had a couple of free days before work started. I wanted to work on something that I could most likely get done quickly, and picked up the Shadow Piercer. She took me about a week longer to paint than I’d have hoped, but she’s finished now.

Painting the figure was pretty fun, and largely similar affair to the last two Cabal models. In some ways I still think that the first Cabalist I painted is still the best one, probably due to overall contrast, but I tried to push it here with the clothes and think that the result is pretty good. I’ve improved in painting skin, ironically by reducing contrast there! I even added some light blue to the eye lids and lower parts of the severed head, which I think was successful. Some pink tones could work well to make the (Cabalist’s) skin more interesting, but I have wanted to paint this warband mainly in cold tones. Who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind in the future and come back to experiment with these models…

Speaking of keeping the color palette in the blues and blacks, I made a little concession with the Blood for the Blood God. I pretty much had to add it to the trophy head and its sculpted blood drips. I debated on whether to add it to the sword as well, but it seemed appropriate in the end. The additional spot color also works to differentiate the Shadow Piercer as the leader of the Cabal.

In addition to the blood, the other new feature on this model compared to the two previous ones is her armor. This presented me with another dilemma – in the studio version gold is used to separate elements. I was very close to caving in and painting the armor trims and the beak gold, but I think I got just enough contrast in there to make the model not look boring.

For a minute I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to claim any bingo squares with this model. And then I realized that yes, this model too has been in my to-do pile, and even started for more than a year. That’s my hobby bingo card started for the year 2022!

More Necron Warriors

I had some time to paint during the holidays, and managed to finish five more Necrons. These guys narrowly missed the New Year’s Eve deadline to be counted for last year’s minis, but now they provided a great start for my hobby year 2022!

Not much to say about the painting that I haven’t said in the previous Necron posts. The painting felt quicker than with the last squad, which of course was welcome. When I compared these new ones to the previous squad, the paintjobs are pretty much indistinguishable from each other, apart from the OSL effects. On this new batch the light is brighter, less saturated. I think I had a better idea about what to do now than before, and went a little easier with adding red. I still have ways to go with OSL, but I think I’m going in the right direction.

Hopefully I’ll make short work of the remaining five warriors too, though I’m taking a quick(-ish) detour to work on something else before returning to the robot skellingtons.

Sadly no bingo square with this lot – yet. I’ll claim one when I finish the other half of the squad.

Wrapping Up 2021

That’s another year done and dusted. This one felt like it whizzed by very quickly, a lot happened but unfortunately not many minis got finished… Still, some progress was definitely made on the painting front: here’s my 2021 output.

Seems like I was pretty firmly in the 40k side of the hobby… That’s 25 models for the year, and while that’s not a lot by most standards, I’m once again super happy with how they came out. Well, the Prosecutors are a bit “meh”, but they’re done! I painted my best model so far (Ghazghkull), started yet another collection and practiced new things like OSL and power weapons.

Looking back at the previous wrap-up post, it seems I achieved what I set out to do, that is finishing some Astra Rodentia and working on the Indomitus box. Of course, that was pretty much it. Whereas in 2020 I added something to pretty much all of my collections, now only my Orks, Stormcasts and space rats got new models, in addition to the new collection of Necrons.

This was also the year that I scored a bingo on the hobby bingo card! Kind of ironic as the model count was lower than ever, but I guess it shows that I focused a bit more. I’ll continue playing the hobby bingo with a fresh card in 2022 and trying my best to score another five across.

I’m not going to set any hobby resolutions for 2022, as I know myself and my painting speed. Not to mention minimattila’s around now (26th mini of the year?), so trying to maintain any sort of painting discipline is pretty much off the table ๐Ÿ˜€ Right now I feel like I’d like to paint more greenskins and finally start that Black Templar collection. Going back to the Imperial Cult would be nice as well and maybe painting another Underworlds warband for a change… Oh my, there are still so many cool projects to choose from!

Well, better get on with it then! Have a great 2022, hobby- and otherwise, and a big thank you to everyone who takes a look at this blog every now and then!

WIP: Ruins; Bingo!

Merry Christmas everyone! Today I’ve got something a little different to show you. It’s not a finished model, that’s for sure, but a piece of terrain! It’s basically my first try at scratch built scenery, and I went with the most classic of subjects – a corner piece of a ruined building.

I’m a sucker for good DIY-scenery, but haven’t really tried doing it except for a couple of very humble attempts in my teens. Of course, me being primarily a painter, I don’t have much use for scenery, at least for gaming purposes. Display boards, dioramas/vignettes or photography backdrops would be really cool however, so I thought I’d see what scratch-building was like.

As you can see, I decided to start my terrain-making journey with a staple of scratch-builds, the ruined corner piece. I’m not super happy with the result, but that’s fine as first and foremost this was an opportunity to try out different materials and see what they’re like to work with. For the building I used XPVC sheets for the walls and the tiling, cork for the floor bases and some ABS pipes and paperclips for detailing. Greenstuffworld putty was used for some gap filling. The base was made out of foam board, some sort of wall filler and sand.

Trying out all the materials was an educating experience: if/when I make more buildings like this, I’ll probably use foam board for the building and XPVC for the base. XPVC doesn’t warp and it’s great for making bullet holes and such details, but it’s too hard to cut the main shapes. That being said, making tiles from it was great and I’ll be using it for basing in the future, instead of ABS plastic sheets!

I wasn’t too happy with the GSW putty, I felt it dried way too quickly. I don’t know if Tamiya or any of the other alternatives work any different, but I might try another one some day.  The wall filler I used to smooth the base on the other hand worked pretty well – it’s super light, didn’t shrink and dried quickly (but not too quickly). It was pretty expensive though, at least if I don’t end up using the rest of the jar…

So yeah, not a complete success, but I think I learned a lot. I also feel like the build is missing some crucial elements, mainly heaps of rubble and broken tiles around the base of the building, but it’s finished for now. I can always come back to it later, but if I’m being honest, I’m not sure if this model is ever getting painted..

But again, it’s all fine, since the second reason for building this piece was to score one more square on the hobby bingo (“scratch-build a piece of scenery”). Even if the build is not a triumph it counts, and the square doesn’t say anything about painting! With that, I’ve finally scored a bingo! ๐Ÿ˜€ This is the third year I’ve attempted it, so it took some time, but it’s done now. Let’s see if I can repeat the feat next year!

Makari

It has been a while! After Ghazghkull I had an urge to build something (more on that soon, I hope), but it also made me want to paint all kinds of models. Painting time being at a premium these days, I decided to work on something small so that I’d have a chance to finish before the holidays. It started to look like this would be a close one, but I got Makari finished!

I think I started working on him around a month ago, but only got to work on him during some weekends. Still, I’ve put at least five hours of work on him, which is probably more than a model of this size should take. I enjoyed every bit of the occasional hobby getaway, however, and am very happy with the end result!

As with Ghazghkull, I followed the studio scheme pretty closely, just replacing red with orange. The one notable omission are the white dags on the banner flaps. I left them out partly as it cut down the painting time (though not by much, I reckon), but mostly because I don’t like them that much. For pretty much the same reason I changed the yellow glyph a bit: I didn’t like the tiny black-and-white dags, so I used a “bad” glyph transfer instead. The rest of the glyphs are also transfers; I thought about freehanding them, but transfers were the faster option.

Makari with my old metal grot. The proportions of these guys have changed!

I used quite a bit of glazing on the model, much like with Ghaz. The big horns are based with silver and colored with Nazdreg Yellow and Guilliman Flesh. The white skull is glazed with Basilicanum Grey and the bone with Snakebite Leather. I even used some OOP Bloodletter for Makari’s nose!

I’m using Makari to claim a cheeky square on the bingo card: paint a unit with unique markings to be your general’s retinue. I suspect this isn’t quite what the original intention of the square was, but I’m saying it counts! I tried to mirror some of the color scheme elements on Ghaz to Makari, such as the orange to black gradient, orange teef and white skull, yellowish bone and the use of blue as a very tiny accent color. Of course, much of it is down to following the studio schemes, but when the end result works, it works! Honestly, painting Ghazghkull and Makari has been a superb exercise both for learning painting techniques and color composition.

I think this was good practice for the eventual Zarbag’s Gitz (or Rippa’s Snarlfangs), but as much as I’d like to start painting them they’re yet unprimed and I don’t know if I’ll be able to spray them before spring. Of course, it’s not like I’m running out of things to paint! I think I’ve got a couple dozen models in various stages of completion, so with the hobby time I manage these days, I’m probably set for next year as well ๐Ÿ˜€

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.