Monday 30 December 2019

Nobody, nobody trusts anybody now, and we’re all very tired...


Wondering whether I could finish anything off before the year ended that might make a dent in the Challenge / Tally numbers, my eyes alighted on a group of unpainted miniatures that have been sat on the mantelpiece in my dining room for a couple of months now awaiting for inspiration/ motivation to strike again for me to convert some more of them, and thought I’d take the plunge and get them painted!

While long term I want to add some more to the group (including a large ‘boss’ sized Spawn akin to the Blair monster) for now we have:

One ‘medium’ spawn - in the future I’d like to make two more, one inspired by the dog creature and one by the split face Thing that they initially bring back to the base.

Much fun was had splattering Blood for the Blood God and Gloss Varnish over these miniatures to give them the gribbly effect that you see on screen!

A couple of Thing facsimiles, converted from Sedition Wars miniatures with mechanical parts generally scraped or melted off and liquid green stuff used to hide it, as well as parts from the Wood Elf Dryad kit from the depths of my bits box! Their trousers were painted like bloody long johns, because as we know “I think it rips through your clothes when it takes you over. Windows found some shredded and bloody long-johns in the trash but the name tag was missing. They could be anybody's.”

Then comes the first of the ‘partial’ Things - I envision a rule whereby if you take out a larger Thing, there’s a chance that part of it manages to escape and potentially still infect your survivors. These first two were heads from the remnants of a Wargames Factory zombie sprue (keep everything, even if it’s awful - the soft detail on these made them ideal for half transformed parts!) and a milliput mound of tendrils.

The next couple are Warhammer zombie bits with some additions - I especially loved the idea of a leg spawning great long Thing insectoid legs and scuttling after you with a weird loping, hopping gait!

Last but not least, we have a partial inspired by one of the most iconic scenes in the movie, the bit where Norris’ head decides to get out of dodge and runs off on its own on spidery legs. Incredibly fiddly to build (and a nightmare to photograph!), even though the eyes have come out looking a little more cartoony than I’d envisioned I’m still pretty happy with the result!

Painting these (over the course of a couple of evenings this week while we frantically work our way through a Star Wars movies rewatch before we go and see the new one) brings the Tally to:

46 vs 43 = +3

Right, nobody gift me any miniatures tomorrow!

All I need now is to paint up a Macready and convert some more Things...

Saturday 28 December 2019

Tabby! gonna steal all your stuff... (Click here for the theme tune)

I love Nextwave, so to the casual observer it might be strange that I’ve taken so long to work my way through painting miniatures of them (8 years and counting currently). I’m getting there, slowly but surely!

There are a couple of variations in how her costume appeared, but I used this image for reference whilst painting (although I used the more metallic design from other pieces of art for her flight belt).

I painted the back of the miniature too, as is the convention. Not my finest work, but looks good at tabletop height!

Which brings me to another point: I used my new Foldio photo booth that I got for Christmas, which comes with pros and cons - 

Pros: better pictures, so you can see a truer representation of the colours (although I’m still not quite there yet with my miniature photography - according to the literature that came with the photo booth, there’s a Foldio photo editing app available that I might download and try)

Cons better pictures, so you can see every little flaw or mistake - she looks fine at arms length, but blown up and lit like this I start to notice things like the patchy bit on her skirt, or the sloppy painting on her coat. Eh, I’m paining these for fun rather than profit, and I can live with that!

Finishing her means I get to cross another item off of the 2019 Challenge list, which is something that’s happened very infrequently this year!

  • Finish something  old
  • Finish a piece of terrain
  • Prep all of the monkeys in the monkey box
  • Build a wargames board
  • Paint all of the miniatures in a boxed game
  • Play a game of Blackstone Fortress with fully painted miniatures
  • 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 pic
  • 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!

I also picked up the limited edition Grombrindal miniature this week:

Because as well as it being a cool miniature, I thought a Squat Tech-Priest would sit nicely in a radical Ordo Xenos warband alongside a Howling Banshee. That does mean that there’s no movement on getting the Tally into the positive before the end of the year:

38 vs 43 = -5

I also took the opportunity to try out my new Citadel Paint Stick, and undercounted some miniatures. Fun fact - it’s very difficult to attach miniatures on non-GW bases to it, as they have a shallower slope and the elastic bands tend to slip off of them - coincidence of planned, I’ll let you decide...

Thursday 26 December 2019

Hobby Christmas Loot

Christmas brought Hobby treats this year:

A set of Cultists of the Abyss from my children (my wife was less than impressed at my suggestion that I’d exchange them for Escalation in order to have the same models but also have the rules to use them - at the same time, I still haven’t finished painting the main game that I got last Christmas, so adding an expansion into the queue probably isn’t the wisest move, so I’ll probably paint this set, and when I get round to picking up Escalation I can cannibalise the cultists that come with it for conversions); a miniature version of my wife’s pop up photo booth (presumably so that now I won’t ask her to get her large one out every time I need to take a picture of a single 28mm miniature); and a Citadel paint stick, as we were amused by it last time we were in GW picking up the latest White Dwarf (I’m surprised that I didn’t get a red paint handle too, although that might be as my wife’s eyes glazed over slightly as I and a Gw staffer tried to explain our joke about things getting painted faster on a red handle...)

These treats bring the Tally to:

37 vs 42 = -5

Back into the negative we go with only a few days left of the year! I’m not mad about it though, my family chose some miniatures that they knew I’d like, which is more important than an arbitrary self-set target any day of the week...

(Although the temptation to try and smash out a couple of miniatures quickly is very real, only tempered by the fact that the entrance to the basement where all my painting gear and miniatures are is currently barricaded behind a pile of stuff that we had to move to make space for Christmas Dinner yesterday... also, the fact that I’m probably going to buy the retail exclusive Grombrindal as tech priest miniature tomorrow...)

Thursday 19 December 2019

Regdar, punching bag extraordinaire...

So, Christmas looms ever larger, and life has been getting in the way of my attempts to finish 52 miniatures this year - at this point, we’ve gone from me needing to complete a miniature every other day to hit that target to needing to finish three every other day...

Regardless of whether I hit that target or not, here’s another finished miniature:

(still getting to grips with using my wife’s photo booth, but I think this is better than the usual late night miniature photography!)

A miniature of Regdar from an old D&D board game - if you’re not familiar with Regdar (although you’ve probably seen him getting murdered numerous times in various pieces of art) I’d recommend giving this a read: The Many Deaths of Regdar

I like that he’s actually equipped with a bundle of stuff, he looks like he’s prepared to go delving! Less fun was the weird blending of some details from the casting process - his helmet stretched across to meet his sword, which I carefully cut away but might have taken a smidge too much material...

Finishing him brings the Tally to:

37 vs 27 =

Wait, the postman has been...

Northstar’s Black Friday sale brought 6 miniatures, and eBay brought a classic Harlequin Solitaire (as I’d been enjoying painting the Howling Banshee in my previous post and thought that all else failing I could use it for Blackstone Fortress after rules were published in White Dwarf)

Which actually brings the Tally to:

37 vs 34 = +3

Painting Regdar reminded me of an old plan (in the 4e days) to paint a miniature for every Dungeons and Dragons character class, and I thought I’d look back and see whether I could do the same for 5e, and was pleasantly surprised at how far done I was:

Classes (as of 5e Player’s Handbook):

I think I’ll add adding to this list to next year’s Challenge, and also may well add races to the mix... which also gives me another idea for an addition to the Challenge... 

Sunday 8 December 2019

Wailing Death...

Another miniature finished in the race to the end of the year!

A Howling Banshee, the first Eldar model I have ever painted. A couple of years back, I started musing over building an Ordo Xenos warband for Inq28, as it wasn’t something I’d ever really thought about before (all my previous plans having involved those mainstays in the Ordos Hereticus and occasionally Malleus), and started imagining a group with a Kroot tracker, an Eldar Ranger, maybe even a Rogue Trader as I’d never thought about converting one of those... then Blackstone Fortress came out, which had basically everything I’d been thinking of. Not to be dissuaded though, I mulled on it some more, and decided I fancied painting a Howling Banshee...

This was over a year ago now that she dropped through my letterbox, according to my Timehop app last week, but now I’ve finished her! I’d originally planned on going with the traditional bone coloured armour scheme, but whilst procrastinating experimenting with techniques I went over the grey under coated miniature with Tamiya Accent Colour Panel Liner (as you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram), and was so struck by the effect that I decided to go with a grey scheme instead!

She even got a tiny freehand (well, freehand Micron pen) version of the Howling Banshees rune on her forehead. Ooh, these pictures are the first on the blog using my wife’s new photo booth, and looked amazing when I was taking them, but not looking so hot on my iPad as I write this post...

As opposed to this shot, taken at the same time with the same settings, which looks a lot more vibrant and closer to the actual miniature. Eh, there’s still things for me to learn I guess!

In the latter stages of the paint job, I began to wonder whether she’d really be an appropriate crew member for an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, being that she is basically the enemy from their point of view, and wondered if she might be more suitable in the employ of an Ordo Malleus type, maybe having been sent by a Craftworld to act as a bodyguard for an Inquisitor that the seers have predicted will foil some machination of Slaanesh... Wherever she ends up going, I like the image of this totally alien... well, alien, standing silently, unmoving behind the Inquisitor during more diplomatic encounters, but being unleashed as a shock weapon during combat and absolutely terrifying enemies with her acrobatics and combat prowess...

Finishing her brings the Tally to:

36 vs 27 = +9

So, if I can finish and post 16 miniatures in the next 23 days, I hit my one a week challenge target. Don’t hold your breath, but stranger things have happened..

Wednesday 4 December 2019

Swamp Thing’s hillbilly cousins...

Here’s that promised post of miniatures finished over a week ago now:

Some Shambling Mounds, from the same D&D board game as the hogs in my previous post.

These were pulled out as I’ve been scribbling down some ideas for a potential campaign, and one idea involves an elvish incursion overlaying part of the Faewild onto the material plane, and I thought plants coming to life and trying to digest the adventurers would be an encounter you could do some fun things with. Lots of drybrushing, spot washes and little touch ups here and there to try and make the two identical models look slightly varied and we’re done, bringing to Tally to:

35 vs 27 = +8