Blood Warriors

Whoops! February went by without a single post. I haven’t been completely idle on the hobby front however, as I’ve managed to finish a project that’s sat on the to-do pile for years. Here are my Khorne Blood Warriors from the AoS starter set!

These guys have been built since 2018, and I laid down some basecoats in 2020, but only now mustered up the courage to properly start and finish painting them. That Chaos trim is notorious for discouraging painters and not without reason! I wouldn’t say it was difficult to paint, just very time-consuming. All together, these five models took around 20 hours of painting time.

The Warriors continue my Khorne army project which started out as a “speedpainting” exercise, though I don’t know if that was ever the right word. “Not-to-the-best-of-my-ability” would probably be more apt. Basically I painted the Reavers to GW’s “battle-ready” standard and the rest of the models more or less “parade-ready”. Heh, I don’t even know if it would be possible to speedpaint the Warriors with all that trim!

So yeah, painting these guys was a bit of a slog. I’m happy enough with the end result, but getting there was a paint-by-numbers affair which got a bit dull at times. Painting the red was probably the most fun, as I tried some very simple volumetric highlighting and subtle gradients. The models would really benefit from from one final highlight on the red (and on black, too), and it wouldn’t have taken much time either. I think I’ll try that with the Lord of Khorne model first and, who knows, maybe I’ll update these models and the rest of the army too.

Speaking of the Lord, it’s the last model from the starter army, which means my Khornates are in the same state as my Stormcasts – only missing the Big Boss. Maybe by the time AoS 4.0 rolls out I’ll be done with the first starter set 😀

My AoS starter set so far

Even More Necron Warriors

In what feels like a record time for me these days, I’ve finished the five remaining Necron Warriors and hence completed the squad. Here’s the lot with the accompanying Scarab Swarms:

The painting went pretty much as with the last batch. The OSL ended up a bit different from the previous ones (again), but I think it’s the best one yet. This time I tried to be a bit more accurate, especially with the eyes, rather than flooding everything with the fluorescent paint. I think I’m slowly but surely getting a hang of how the paint behaves and when to thin it, when not to. I’m still not satisfied with the actual glow on the gun barrels. It’s patchy and rough, which I believe comes from thinning the fluo paint (too much). I might have to try using regular acrylics, as they’re more predictable and easier to glaze with.

While painting these models, I tried something new. Not with the actual painting but I tried out an app called Brushrage. It’s designed to keep track of your painting projects, where you’re going with each and how much time you’ve spent on them. It’s got a bunch of other functions as well, but they’re not currently of interest to me. Now, my reason for taking up the app wasn’t to clock how much time it takes me to finish a certain mini, but to see how much painting time I actually manage these days. Quite a bit, as it turns out. I painted on nine days out of the last ten, around 30mins to an hour per day. Hopefully I can keep this up at least semi-consistently! And of course it was nice to see how long it took me to paint the Warriors too. I hadn’t yet taken up the app when I started these guys, but clocked in just over seven hours on them. I’d estimate that ten hours should be enough for the whole project (after priming, at least), which means around two hours a model. Pretty much what I was expecting, and not bad at all!

I’ll be taking a small break from Necrons now, as I’ve painted all the models that I built back at the start of 2021. I’ll get on building the rest of the Indomitus force before too long, but again, as it’s winter I’m not sure if I’ll get to prime them for a few months.

Finally, as I said in my previous warrior post, now that the whole unit is finished I’m claiming a bingo square with it. “Paint a unit before using it on the battlefield” on this one.

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.

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 😀

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.

From the Archives: Uruk-hai Warrior

Last Orktober was an unusually productive month for me: I completed three (3!) projects! To be fair, in addition to finishing Ironskull’s Boyz, the two other projects were very small single figures.. Nonetheless, the first of them was an an ancient Uruk-hai Warrior.

The model is from the Two Towers Uruk-hai paint set, so from around Christmas 2002. The box came with 10 Uruk-hai, half armed with swords and the other with spears, and some sample paint pots. I originally painted three of the sword guys (see the end of the post), and then lost interest. The spear guys, and apparently one sword fighter were tossed in some move, but this one guy had sat unpainted in my collection for 15+ years.

As he was a type of an ork, and seemed like a quick win, I decided to get him painted up. Indeed, he took just two nights of painting, even with my slow pace. Being a single mini that I don’t have any intention of expanding into a bigger collection made it perfect for trying out new things. I wanted to achieve a dark metal armor, like in the movies, and Leadbelcher just wasn’t going to cut it. I mixed some black into it, and applied a black wash on top for good measure. Then it was just a matter of some quick highlights and I was done with the armor. The result was a dark, dull metal with worn edges, and the recipe would come in handy with an Ork Dreadnought later on.

I’m not as happy with the rest of the colors, but I guess they’re good enough. The skin could’ve been smoother and the cloth, straps and hair have more detail or contrast. But I noticed that as the LOTR/ME minis are smaller in scale, and true-scale to boot, there’s much less area to work on, and everything has to be really tiny! I do like the handprint though, it’s my favorite part of the model. The freehand was thankfully pretty easy to do as it was supposed to be rough, and I think I even got the scaling about right.

My original Uruks, for comparison.

This post was supposed to go up quite a bit earlier, but it turned out I was busier than expected during the weekend: my mates threw me a bachelor party! So rather than doing any hobby related stuff, I got to solve puzzles in an escape room, try to set highscores in old arcade cabinets, eat good food, drink a lot, sit in a sauna, play dice games, and best of all, catch up with my closest friends! And to my surprise, virtually no hangover on Sunday. What a brilliant weekend!