Mollog’s Mob

Praise Gork (or maybe Mork?)! New finished models, at long last!

I painted Mollog quite a while back in June, but didn’t have time to paint his minions. They ended up sitting primed until October, when I decided that it was time for them to get painted. I guess Bat Squig counts as my Orktober project?

As with Mollog, I pretty much followed the studio scheme, just altering the colors to be less purple. Because each of the minions has a different color scheme I painted them individually to completion before moving onto the next. This was great fun, and I once again tried wetblending and other more “freeform” techniques. This group was also a great exercise in how to tie the different color schemes together: even with the box art as reference I had to really think about the color choices. I actually ended up repainting the white on Spiteshroom, as the first iteration was too white! In the end I think I managed a cohesive unit, so I’m very happy with the result.

One minor thing that I kind of messed up was the bases, which ended up a bit lighter compared to Mollog’s due to too aggressive drybrushing. And speaking of bases, my word all those mushrooms took a long time to paint!

Update, Still Here

It’s been close to two months since I last posted, and I thought I’d make a small post saying I’m still around.

Now, I’ve actually finished a couple of models since the last post: Mollog’s minions are finally done. I’ll be showing them off soon, but I decided that I’d write this update first. As you might have noticed, my painting / posting has slowed to a very slow crawl. The main reason is that work has been taking quite a lot of my time. Even in the evenings, if I’m not working, I’m so tired that watching Netflix or YouTube is what I end up doing. And so I’ve noticed that I’m only hobbying during the weekends nowadays, which obviously slows my progress.

Of course, I did have that week’s break, but as I travelled to the other side of the country again, I decided that I’d just build, prime and basecoat a few new/old models. Hopefully that translates to finishing some models quicker in the future! I also magnetized the bases of my Underworlds collection.

So what does a man do when he doesn’t have much time to paint anymore? Buys a mountain of new minis to add to the pile of possibility of course! With the impending brexit and whatever it comes with I’ve been stocking up on cheap (relatively speaking) plastic from the UK. If and when there’s additional taxes and more expensive shipping costs to Europe next year, I’m covered! No need to buy any more minis in years! Of course, that never stopped anyone… Nevertheless, the latest additions to the queue are as follows:

  • Primaris Intercessors
  • Battle Sisters
  • Skitarii Rangers / Vanguard
  • Ork Boyz
  • Poxwalkers (from Dark Imperium box)
  • Flagellants
  • Chainrasps
  • Glaivewraith Stalkers (from Soul Wars box)
  • 3 Nightvault warbands

And that made-to-order Indomitus box is being delivered as I write this. Not to mention the previous backlog… But in any case, you might see a pattern here. Aside from completing my Nightvault closet collection it’s just basic troop models from various 40k and AoS armies. I find that often these most lowly of game pieces are some of the best looking models from their respective armies. These were pretty much all bought as painting and modeling projects, they won’t be painted as complete (game-legal) squads. The Intercessors, Sisters and Flagellants for example will be used to expand my “Imperial Cult” collection.

All right, now to write that post about Mollog and his entourage, and get some actual content back to this blog…

WIP: Nu-Marines, More Cabalites; Magnetized Storage; Molds

I’ve been on build mode again, and let me just get on record and say: I’m as slow with my modeling as I am with painting! I had the whole weekend for hobbying, and managed to build a grand total of three and a half models, plus their bases.. I’ve also been working on a storage solution and some rudimentary mold making.

So first up, the new models! Well, new-ish. I bought the ETB Intercessors triple pack (now OOP, it seems) last spring during the lockdown period and even started working on one of the models (the guy on the left in the pic above). I’m not a huge fan of the bolt rifle design, much preferring the old bolters and pistols. Likewise, the mk7 helmets and backpacks look better than mkX to me. Thankfully they’re all more or less interchangeable with the Primaris kit! So yeah, the first guy got his bolter, a mk7 backpack and a custom mk7 helmet. It might not show well in the photo, but I’ve carved the helmet a bit to join the two eye lenses into a single visor. It’s actually a conversion I first created back in my teenage years, inspired by Doomguy (/Doom Slayer).

The second Intercessor also got some mk7 weapons, but a mk3 helmet and backpack. I don’t really care for those on mini-marines, so I’ve still got plenty of them left after building my Devastator squad. They look great on the Primaris bodies though, especially for the more knightly chapters. This one will be a Black Templar! One additional modification I did was shave his chest (:D) smooth for some extra freehand room. (Cawdor ganger for a size comparison.)

I also built two more Corvus Cabalists, this time the characters in the gang – the Shrike Talon and the Shadow Piercer. I think the Talon is one of the coolest models in the GW’s current lineup, and was built accord to instructions. The Piercer received a tiny conversion: I clipped off the tip of her sword to give it a bit cleaner lines. For both of their bases I added some plasticard tiles to hint at a ruined city. The Shrike Talon’s 40mm base maybe could’ve used some more decoration, but I didn’t want to give the model any more height (with cork board or such), as he already towers over his mates. Maybe I’ll add some discarded weapons or other bits before priming..

Then on to the magnets and storage! A couple of months back I decided that it was time to build a magnetized container to store/transport miniatures in. I bought a plastic tub and a big sheet of 0.7mm steel, which I cut into smaller ones at my workplace. I ended up with six 25x33cm sheets, so plenty for future boxes as well. A good thing, as I switched jobs and don’t have access to a proper quillotine anymore! I attached the steel sheets to the plastic tubs with nuts, bolts and some washers (see here for a closer look). There’s plenty of room for “regular” sized models (9-10cm), and taller boxes are available should I ever get myself an Imperial Knight! These boxes are stackable and the lid locks securely with kind of clips, which are easy to open.

I got a pack of 3x2mm magnets from GreenStuffWorld and attached them to models’ bases with Milliput. I’ve seen people do this with Greenstuff, but Milliput is cheaper and can be used as an adhesive itself. I was able to pry of a magnet attached with Milliput, but I’m hoping they won’t fall of with normal use. If they do, I’ll super glue them.

Of course, one always mixes up too much Milliput (/Greenstuff)! I used the extra to finally try out a Blue Stuff mold I made a couple months back. The molds are not perfect (one’s okay, the other pretty bad) and the casting added further imperfections, but I reckon they’ll be fine for some terrain! I think I’ll try to do the wheel mold(s) one more time, but then I really need to take the (plastic) wheel and get on building my final biker!

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!