Sunday 31 December 2017

2017 end of year post

It's that time of year again...


So, for the second time ever, thanks to my own continued dedication to reducing the Lead Mountain and my iron willpower I was able to end the year with the Tally in the positive hahaha not really I just bought Necromunda which sinks me back into the negative:

(daughter's plastic dinosaur making an appearance thanks to my wife)

Eh, my Mother-in-Law got me a GW voucher that covered most of it, knowing that I was hankering after it. I was tempted to hold out until the Tally resets with the New Year, but doing that would have set the 2018 Tally straight into the negative and also I wouldn't have it right now to look at. And smell.

47 vs 61 = -14

2017: -14 (47 painted)
2016: -287 (56 painted)
2015: -96 (59 painted)
2014: 0 (80 painted)
2013: -416 (25 painted)
2012: -103 (68 painted)
2011: -173 (122 painted)

Not the worst year - if not for Necromunda, it would have been the first year of actually ending up in the positive rather than just scraping to break even like 2014! Second worst for number of figures completed though, but considering I had an incident with a cleaver that left me unable to paint for a while I don't think that is too bad! Still nowhere near the levels of 2011 though - mid-20's me obviously had a lot more free time!


This is the 300th post on the blog, excitingly!

Total: 40, including this one. The exact same number as 2016, oddly. More than I thought it was, until I looked it up too!

Nothing in August or September. Probably something to do with an accident involving a meat cleaver. And The Witcher 3.

Throwing myself into getting my Spyrers ready in the last month or so produced a decent number of posts - I think for the first time in ages, there was actually content every other day for a week and a half, so hopefully I popped up in everyone's blogrolls!


2017 Challenges:

  • Finish 5 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (5/5)
  • Finish 10 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (10/10)
  • Finish 15 miniatures from my WIP drawer before starting anything new (16/15)
  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something SUPER old (as in, pre-blog old) x2
  • Finish a piece of terrain x3 
  • Empty out my stripping pot
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)

One that I crossed off now as I didn't twig at the time was the 'complete skirmish force' - my Spyrers are a legal, playable Necromunda gang! Well, under the original rules. Still counts.

Other than that... a mixed bag. As I'd imagined. Rather than aiming to cross everything off by the end of the year (although if I had I'd have been exceptionally smug), I used it more as a series of optional hoops to try and channel my attention through. Building a wargames board is still something I'd like to do, but not the sort of thing I could just make a start on as the whim took me; I managed to clear a number of miniatures from the queue that would otherwise still be languishing there; and the monkey box, oh the monkey box. I've tried, I promise you, but I think the thing I like least in our hobby might have to be whacking great integral bases. I've taken them out, spent some time filing and dremeling away excess material, not had fun, and put them back to come back to later. Eventually I'll have finished removing all of the integral bases and can paint me some monkeys. I'd hoped that it would be this year. It was not.

Projects (according to last year's end of year post)

Star Wars - 

I painted 4-Lom and Zuckuss! Maybe next year I should paint my Knight Models Boba Fett to complete the set of Bounty Hunters... 
Mostly inspired by Imperial Assault, I actually finished more miniatures for the Star Wars project than I'd normally expect (including painting a Rey for May the Fourth), but still no Rebel Troopers. I started pulling together the bits for my planned Death Trooper conversions (mentioned in last year's end of year post) but lacking accessory pieces that look right (as the pieces I'd originally considered using looked much to large when I started mocking up the conversions), they're still sat on my desk awaiting inspiration to strike...


4 Lannister crossbowmen and an undead reindeer. I actually built and converted a ton of wildlings while the most recent series was on, but as my stash of 25mm round bases has run dry, momentum stalled somewhat. When I do get round to ordering some more, who knows if I'll be drawn to do them, as there's a daunting amount of bare plastic now staring at me from my desk...

Zombies - 

As seems to be the case in recent years, zombies get painted during Zomtober and rarely ever else. I'm fine with that. I have many, many zombies, so any more that I paint are really just for my own amusement rather than trying to get enough to be able to play a game...

On the back burner:

Batman - Just the one, Two-Face. I need to go back to reading old Batman comics (or maybe free up some time to watch some of the animated movies) to get my hunger for Batman back up to get momentum on building some of the Batman miniatures in my Lead Mountain.
Fallout - The Fallout project saw a few miniatures and a couple of pieces of scenery finished in the early part of the year, then my interest wandered. And then I finished Fallout 4, so who knows when that interest will fall here again...
The Last of Us - I don't think this counts as a project any more, given how long I've been saying I'm going to build something and then failed to actually finish anything...
Path to Glory -
ROTPOTA -  I've spoken of the monkey box earlier. I did finish a very handsome gorilla though, so we're still on track for finishing this project in the year 2093...

Things that weren't in the plan, but got painted anyway because the plan is best described as a loose guideline:

Conan - no one says no to Conan.
Generic Fantasy - I'm always going to paint some random fantasy here and there. 
Necromunda - rather than rush out and buy the rerelease, I showed remarkable restraint and instead painted some bits that had been sat undercoated for years. That statement was true when I was working on the draft of this post. You now know that it is no longer the case. I showed some restraint. Less than I could have.
Inquisimunda - is cool. I'm not going to make this a main project, as I like being able to add bits here and there as I fancy rather than feeling like I need to complete a quota...
Brunel - it took this long for the first VSF project miniature to get painted and featured on the blog. Don't hold your breath for the next (although that's probably tempting fate, I'll be unavoidably drawn to reread the Doctor Grordbort graphic novels and then find myself converting some more martians...)
Rincewind - just because.
Monica - we're averaging about one member of the Nextwave squad a year, at this point. I should probably add this to the Challenge...

Projects for 2018:

Star Wars

I still love Star Wars. I still have many, many Star Wars miniatures to be getting on with painting. When this post goes live, I (barring unforseen mishaps) should have seen The Last Jedi the previous day. We'll see.


As mentioned, I've plenty of Wildlings to paint! Plus, I always enjoy kitbashing miniatures for this project. I think maybe I need to clear all of the paints off of my desk and set up a space to tinker with building some miniatures, and see what comes out of that.


I'll do Zomtober again this year. Crooked Dice have recently previewed some rather lovely looking modern survivors, which may end up coming home with me from Salute...


I'd like to say that I'm pledging to finish enough gangs to play, but we both know that there's no point me making any guarantees like that... As I cracked and picked up the new boxed game though, I've got at least two gangs to be getting on with, plus the urge to convert some hired guns from the old ruleset...

Back Burner
Batman - as mentioned earlier, I'll aim to get something added to this project over the next year...
Fallout - not dead, merely sleeping.
ROTPOTA - maybe next year is the year I finally finish prepping the apes. 
Conan - there are a couple more accomplices in the painting queue that would make a small warband for Song of Blades and Heroes based hack and slash action...

Who knows what else will end up getting done though - I'm currently considering going back and starting to watch Doctor Who again (as we previously gave up after a couple of episodes of Capaldi) to catch up in order to watch the new series, and if that happens I'll probably end up finishing the War Doctor that's been sat undercoated in the queue for a while now...

Next year's challenge:

  • Finish something years old
  • Finish something pre-blog old
  • Finish a piece of terrain
  • Paint something from the stripping pot
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Open Star Wars Imperial Assault and paint all the miniatures from it
  • Paint all the miniatures needed to replace the tokens in the Imperial Assault Core Game
  •  Paint a complete box of miniatures (either a full regiment or starter)
  •  Finish a complete skirmish force for a project (at least 16 miniatures, unless it's for a much smaller scale game like Batman)
  • Repaint something (either a miniature that I have previously painted, or one that was received painted)
  • Convert a miniature and show WIP pics
  • Finish a member of the Nextwave team
  • Average at least a miniature a week by the end of the year (so, paint 52 miniatures)
  • End the year with the Tally in the positive!

Monday 18 December 2017

Secret Santa brings Nurgle's gifts...

It was the work Christmas meal last night, which as well as free food included a secret Santa element, which furnished me with this:

Genuinely, one of the nicest sculpts that GW have produced in the last decade. Just look at this:

Mmm, that's some nice engineering.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with him yet - do I build him as designed/intended, which may even spur me to paint my Nurgle Path To Glory warband that has been hanging in limbo for who knows how long, or do I convert him into an Inquisitorial Henchman for Inquisimunda, ripping off the ideas of taking inspiration from so many of my betters that I've seen posted online?

As for the identity of my 'secret' Santa, I have my suspicions. I mean, I know it's someone that follows the blog, as the label on the present had an updated Tally total:

47 vs 41 = +6

Monday 11 December 2017

This post probably won't blow you away...

To accompany the previous post's rock themed monster, we have an air elemental:

He's from the same Mage Knight set, and was a fairly speedy but pleasing paintjob. Not speedy in actual time (as it was something like six or seven months between basing and finishing), but once I actually got down to brass tacks, layering up splashes of highlight a little more white at a time was a delight that just flowed rapidly.

Sloppy application of highlights is my favourite way to do it. There are more higher than lower on the model, to make it look like he's coalescing and spinning faster as he forms. I was a little concerned about choosing to paint him blue, thinking he might look more like water than air. The original model's colour scheme was grey, which I figured would look a little blah on a grey base, and too similar to the rock golem previously posted.


47 vs 40 = +7

That's probably it this side of Christmas though, unless someone has a Sanity Claws miniature that they want to send me so that I can paint and post something festive...

Saturday 9 December 2017

Rock Lobster (has been the draft title for so long I guess it gets to stay)

Wow, the date on the draft of this post is exactly 6 months before when I started writing it...

In an unusual continued burst of productivity, I've finished a very, very grey beastie:

Everyone loves a rock golem, right (imagine the B52s song 'Rock Lobster', but with the word lobster replaced with the word monster, that's what is playing in my head right now), and he can run double duty for Dungeons and Dragons as well as menacing Conan in that project if need be.

My main concern was making sure that the grey of his body was differentiated from the grey of the ground, so I worked up from a brown basecoat rather than the black of the ground. Careful edging gave way to drybrushing as the sharp detail of the larger rock pieces gave way to the softer detail of the other lumpy... bits. Ah, Mage Knight sculpts, thou art so varied in quality. On the same model, sometimes.

The base was built up to look like the golem is either bursting out of the ground, or having just smashed down with such force that the rock around him is rippling with the impact. I'd originally based him on a smaller base than the one I ended up going with, so glued that straight to the top of the larger base to give some additional height:

Torn up cork sheet was then glued around the edge before being blended in with plaster, and then basing was finished in my usual fashion:

Here he is with Conan for scale - I think without the additional size given by the extra base size he would have struggled to really threaten anyone, especially given his hunched pose (I think he would have ended up looking menacingly at a lot of opponent's navels):

Finishing this nice Mid-Boss to speedbump heroes of all denominations brings the Tally to:

46 vs 40 = +6

Thursday 7 December 2017

Yeld - yellow gold?

And lo, comes the final member of my Spyrer team, the bewinged Yeld:

Dark bodysuit, as befits a model that has the ability to camouflage himself in the darkness of the underhive, contrasted with gleaming gold and silver pinions, because hey we're the rich kids on safari, so we're going to flash the cash.

I imagine that the wings feature some sort of holo projector across the surface, which would blur the edges and make the individual's silhouette harder to make out. Well, that's how I justify to myself painting them as such bright metal! (rule of cool wins again).

Midway through painting, I was googling to look at other people's painted Yeld looking for colour inspiration for his weaponry, when I realised that what I had painted as his bald head and a very prominent brow should perhaps have been a metal skullcap:

I quite liked it though, and decided to leave it as is (picturing him as the slightly older, sees himself as wiser self-appointed leader of the group), but when painting the lenses on his cybernetic eye I coincidentally painted them red and green, inspiration struck and I knew that I had to give him a wobbly freehand spider tattoo on his head:

Spider Jerusalem, in case you aren't familiar with the source of inspiration, explaining democracy:

Finishing him brings the Tally to:

45 vs 40 = +5

and actually completes a playable force for a game system, in a shocking and out of character turn of events:

(I really need to stick a weight under each of their bases to make them a little more stable...)

Can I use this momentous milestone to justify ordering myself the new Necromunda? Probably not, this close to Christmas, I should probably wait and see what Santa brings to avoid raising the ire of the wife...

Given that Games Workshop seem to be planning to update all of the existing main gangs, as well as adding some new ones, I'm intrigued to see what a redesign of the Spyrers with 20 additional years of technology and experience would look like...

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Malcado, Malcadon't, it's all the same to me...

Thirdly comes my favourite of the Spyrer Hunting Rigs, the Malcadon. Because if you're a scion of the noble houses killing for thrills in the Underhive, you're obviously going to choose the suit which is a cross between Spider-Man and the Predator. The other types can seem a little silly when looked at with real world sensibilities ('I'm agile and hope you shoot me with energy weapons!' 'I'm punchy!' 'I'm kinda a birdman'), whereas the Malcadon is genuinely threatening and unnerving - you could imagine him stalking his prey through the decrepit gantries and vents, unseen until the very last moment when he drops onto his prey, seen only for an instant before there is the flash of steel (and I seem to recall there being a short story in Inferno magazine back in the day that went pretty much like this).

Unlike the other Spyrers, who got a dazzling selection of brightly coloured suits and greeblies (as they're basically marching into the Underhive with loudspeakers blaring 'we're here to murder you in these high tech killsuits'), the Malcadon got a much more muted selection - reddish purple bodysuit (as I thought 'what colour best describes murder'), and the pipes and tubes of his web spinners and helmet were painted in muted greys and blues, which makes it look almost carapace-like (as I imagine that having a chap that looks very much like some sort of technologically advanced murder beetle drop on you from above would be even more terrifying to the average Necromundan resident)

The only 'bright' points on the model are the pistons on his legs and his claws (which are still a much darker metal than his companions) and the three red dot lights around his eye...

Side note - the Malcadon is the Spyrer that didn't come in the original large box of miniatures, and was donated by my buddy Jimchenko who remembered that he had a broken model when he found out about my acquisition of the other three. A quick repair to reattach an arm and six years later we have a painted miniature ;)

Other side note: I've been considering picking up another Malcadon, as in the Community Edition of the Necromunda rules Spyrer teams have to consist of 5 members, but I'm just not as much of a fan of the other Malcadon sculpt as I am of this one...


44 vs 40 = +4

Honestly, the main thing holding me back from ordering the new Necromunda at this point is that it would plummet the Tally back into the negative, and so close to the end of the year I'd be unlikely to get it back into the black... So for now I'm just stocking up on Pringles and bottlecaps and considering making some terrain...

Sunday 3 December 2017

Orrus you sure about that? Wow, I'm really losing my touch with these punny titles...

As hinted at in my last post, it's not just a single Spyrer I've been working on;

Next we have the bruiser of the group, the Orrus:

Honestly, I can't remember how I got to the decision to go whitegrey and green as a colourscheme. He looks a little like he wouldn't be out of place fighting mid-90's Spider-man.

Not a lot to say about him other than that, really (except can you see how I snuck Arcane Blue onto him?) - I was oddly unmotivated to paint this miniature, and he was sat with only his flesh painted whilst the other miniatures that I was working on simulataneously approached varying stages of completion, but once I threw myself into painting his armour I started to enjoy him some more! I went for a much cleaner style that my usual, which was very odd - almost like panel lining a model tank painting dark shade in between each armour panel and then sharpening the edges with the highlight colour, rather than my usual approach of slap it on and then scrub around some highlights in a slightly slapdash fashion!

I'm also not sure why I wasn't more inspired to paint him, as my most enduring mental image of the Orrus is from the Kal Jerico comic, where they look like an absolute badass:

I mean, until he gets taken out with a lascannon:

Although at the same time I guess that if it takes incredibly rare and expensive anti-tank weaponry to take you out, that's still fairly respectable...


43 vs 40 = +3

I'm starting to consider getting the new Necromunda, and thinking of it as buying a bunch of models that I can use with old Necromunda that also happens to come with a free Necromunda themed board game that I could also play if I wanted to... 

Friday 1 December 2017

I can't think of a pun that fits Jakara into it... Jakara be kidding me? No. Dammit.

So, as you probably can't help but have noticed if you have internet access, Games Workshop have recently re-released a version of the pinnacle of skirmish wargaming, Necromunda. It's probably not just nostalgia talking, it was genuinely the best thing ever.

Rather than rushing out and snapping up a copy of the new game that would most likely just end up atop the precariously stacked pile of games that I will one day get round to painting and playing (I'm looking at you copy of Officio Assassinorum Execution Force) I thought I'd dig through my pile of half-finished projects and finish something up from the last time I decided to journey to Necromunda.

Six years ago, I bought a box of secondhand miniatures on a well-known gaming forum, that I dutifully stripped and set about repainting. I was halfway through typing 'a selection of which you've seen posted', but a quick snoop through my posts reveals it looks like I've not actually finished a single one of the 95 miniatures that were in that box... 

One of the reasons that I bought the box were that I saw that it contained three different Necromunda Spyrers, a gang that I had always coveted as a youth, and one of which is the first to get finished and posted, the Jakara:

I was somewhat conflicted over whether to give her pink hair, as such punky affectations tend to be reserved for gangers, but 'rule of cool' won out in the end. The bone and blue colour scheme was chosen by me sitting down with a post-it note and scribbling out pairs of colours that I misremembered seeing the Studio models painted as in old issues of White Dwarf.

The mirror shield got painted as shiny and single toned, again due to my vague recollections - me remembering that it was called a 'mirror shield' and assuming that the surface was, well, a mirror, whereas actual descriptions of it have a number of different nodules that store energy rather than just reflecting it straight back...

I had a play with trying out a crackling energy / alien technology effect on the blade (having finally cracked open my pot of P3 Arcane Blue, which is such a lovely colour that you will be seeing it creep in somewhere on the next few posts), which looks a bit crap, admittedly, but I kind of like it anyway...

All of her tubes and equipment were painted as shiny as new, figuring that this is her on her first jaunt into the Underhive, and the little chambers on her backpack were again painted with Arcane Blue with white squiggles, to look like containment cells for captured energy waiting to be unleashed back against her foes!

Finishing her brings the Tally to:

42 vs 40 = +2

Death doesn't stalk the Underhive alone though...