Monday 30 September 2019

Do you hear... sniffing?

So I've actually managed to finish painting multiple miniatures, in a shocking twist of events!

I quite like these Ur-ghul miniatures, even though the poses are a little chorus line-esque.

They were painted using a mix of the GW and Midwinter minis youtube tutorials, and have come up looking rather good, especially when you consider that the majority of the paintjob is repeated drybrushes! I think these might also be the first miniatures that I've painted from a grey undercoat rather than my usual black. I'm glad that I took the time to go and outline some of the muscles, a step that I was originally going to skip, as it really makes them look a lot better - plus the liver spots are a nice little touch!

Completing these brings the Tally to:

6 vs 27 = -21

Hopefully I can press on and complete some more of the BSF miniatures to cross off that section of this year's Challenge - if inspiration wanes, I've got the tie-in novel ready to shepherd my attention span back this way!

Blackstone Fortress completion stats:

Explorers: 0/9
Enemies: 4/35

Saturday 28 September 2019

So yeah, when I said I'd returned...

...that might have been a little premature.

Son came, and all productivity went out of the window.

(this is the day he was born, he's bigger now)

One of his middle names is Cassian (at my wife's suggestion, to my surprise), so we have an action figure ready for when he's older:

As alluded to in my previous post, I'd been trying to convert some additional Traitor Guard to make the squads in Blackstone Fortress up to ten man units, but after some fun kitbashing I just couldn't seem to get the heads to a point I was happy with them...

I struggled to find any donor heads that I liked, so tried to cast some, but results were... mixed. I think maybe since I had already built the miniatures it was a little tricky to make an easily useable mould...

Enthusiasm faltered somewhat after this. If anyone has any ideas for suitable heads (or spare heads from the BSF traitor guard left over from a conversion) let me know so I can rescue this project from limbo...

After this, I had a hankering for some 40k (a friend of mine had recently rekindled his own enthusiasm for 40k, and I'm easily swept along by enthusiasm), and dug out my abandoned paused Chaos Space Marine project. I mulled over what to do with them, and had a weird epiphany where suddenly the Black Legion made sense to me. Previously, they'd seemed like the Chaotic Ultramarines, the vanilla option, but as I was sifting through my bits box thinking what colour scheme would work for an army with Noise Marines, Plague Marines and some weird Dark Mechanicus stuff, something clicked in my head and I realized that the Black Legion are the best of all worlds - slap a snazzy black and gold paint job on any chaos mini and you've got a great looking veteran of the Long War ready to roll poorly shooting at less pointy Space Marines.

I built and undercoated a small force, but apparently I only managed to take a single picture of a chap that I converted to be wielding a melta gun before my attention wandered again:

(I also added a couple of bits to the Tally buying some Plague Marines, mostly because it was one of these minis that I saw a very nice Black Legion paintjob on that started the ball rolling in my mind...)

Taking a break from miniatures (because why focus on one hobby when you can spread yourself over three or four - see also videogames, binge-watching Parks and Rec with my wife as she's on Maternity Leave) I built some Gunpla:

Build Burning Gundam, beautiful and delightfully poseable, and also a valuable learning experience - don't use Tamiya panel liner accent colour like it's an ink wash, as it will eat through plastic:

(they were fixed with judicious application of glue, then sanding it back down and painting them to look like they had never been carelessly ruined).

Also - Wing Gundam Fenice, which is built, but still needs going back over to fix any seam lines, then painting and posing:

It's been a couple of months since reaching this point though...

Then, inspiration struck for a long back-burnered project:

Had a hankering to re-watch the film while my wife was out at a hen do, and set to digging out a selection of gribbly bits (and then watching the 2011 prequel, which honestly I enjoyed)

Ah, horrific aberrations in miniature form presented without comment. Inspiration burned fiercely and I finished building half a dozen or so miniatures, but ground to a halt somewhat when I couldn't find a suitably sized dog head that I liked. To see someone that actually finished their Thing project (and also that is good), click here for inspiration. If I make one more man-sized Thing, two more Spawn sized Things, and one boss sized Thing that should be enough to knock up some rules...

Then, running into a friend of mine, the conversation ran over a selection of RPG topics, touching on the Iron Kingdoms RPG, and I was reminded of how good the fluff is for Warmachine, with a complex, mulit-layered plot that actually advances. I had every MK1 book, and decided to go back and get caught up with everything I'd missed in the last decade (seriously, if you've never read any Warmachine lore, give it a go - I think they set up a company to generate steampunk war fiction and the wargame was just a happy accident that spun out of it). As these things tend to, this gave me a hankering to paint some miniatures. Handily, I already had a selection of miniatures in the Lead Mountain, and thus was able to dig out some bits and bobs without spending any money.

Well, that was the plan anyway.

What can I say, I was minding my own business trawling eBay and I'm a sucker for a bargain. Also for classic sculpts like this Haley. 
Side note: reading old issues of No Quarter, Kev White sculpted way more Warmachine and Hordes miniatures than I had previously realised. 
So yeah, Haley (because I love her in the lore. Not because she's an epic time controlling protagonist, but because she spends an amount of time going 'oh bugger it' which amuses me) and some Stormsmiths, because I like their triangulate ability, it appeals to the maths side of me.

Also, since I got Haley, I got her character Jack Thorn too so she'd have a friend. And a Squire, because I've wanted a little robot battery for a while.

So into the stripping pot they go:

(with a few chums)

Not everything I wanted to strip would fit in the pot though... There's a lunchbox full of leftovers I've got my eye on though as soon as I can slip it past my wife...

While we're on the subject of hits to the Tally, I found myself with an hour to kill between visits at work (darn trains) so nipped into a games shop that I'd never been into, and as you should always support local businesses that you enjoy or else they will disappear treated myself to some Thri-Keen from the Nolzur's miniatures line:

Probably not something I'd ever use, but I've got a soft spot for those wacky bug men. Anyway, there were no beholders.

So, four months of purchases brings the Tally to:

2 vs 27 = -25

Honestly, could have been way worse. 
I looked over the 2019 Challenge just in case I'd accidentally knocked something off, but no such luck. If I finish a miniature every other day until the end of the year, I should be able to cross off at least one thing...

While it may seem that I've mostly been building and accruing miniatures, some painting has occurred, it's just that I've generally got someone with me:

So, expect to see some finished miniatures in the near future...

(check out those liver spots - thanks to the Midwinter Minis painting videos for inspiring that)