A picture

Here, belatedly, is a photo of the Space Marines I painted for my nephews.

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It was a lot of fun to have something non-Orky to paint at the same time as concentrating on my Orks, so I’m continuing in that vein by painting the Island of Blood Mage while continuing with the Orks.

I based the marines with the new Stirland Mud – I will be using texture paints for all my bases now and leaving sand behind me. So much easier.

A note of thanks

For one reason or another most of the past month has been a wash-out, in model painting terms. However, before painting the walls (and ceiling and skirting board) of the spare room, I did manage to finish the two space marines I was painting for my nephews.

Unfortunately, computer issues delay the posting of the all-important pictures, but I did receive this email about the welcome the marines had:

The painting was much admired and James and Bobby were thrilled to see their names written on the bottom.  Their fridge has a cupboard door over it but the little warriors clung effectively to the microwave and the toaster.  They have now joined an elite band of Playmobile and Lego men called the Assassins.

I later heard that the Crimson Fist marine was so inseparable from his new owner that he was taken to bed, where he was temporarily lost, causing much disappointment.

If I haven’t recruited Games Workshop at least one more customer within a couple of years then I’m not sure how else I could manage to do so.

The bag in the box

February has been and gone. I had some fun painting my Gretchin and nephew Space Marines, but they’re not done yet.

Partly this is because I am slow and partly because of all the travelling. A large reason is all the crazy tidying that is finally happening in the house. A lot of my Ex’s stuff is still here, more than five years after she left, so that is being boxed up. I’m a bit of a hoarder, so there’s a lot to do.

One thing was to bring the box with the bag in down from the loft. About six or so years ago, following some dreadful argument about something or other, my now Ex took all my hobby stuff that was on a shelf upstairs, put it in a big bin bag and dropped it into the bin outside.

Obviously I retrieved the bin bag at the time, and so it went into the loft, where it would be safer. It has been well past time that I took it down, emptied it out, and sorted out the damage, if any.

Here are all of its contents on the kitchen table:
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There’s a lot there! It was a lot like Christmas as I pulled model after model from the depths of the bag. This was particularly so because there were a few models I had forgotten that I had bought!

Overall there are models from two different forces in all of 40k, Fantasy, Lord of the Rings and Epic Armageddon.

In this picture you can see the Tau crisis suit with two gun drones that is painted to a basic level. There’s no highlighting or shading, but I think it looks a lot better than unpainted, and I’d be happy to have an army painted that well. I can work on fancy techniques later!

You should also be able to make out the parts for a rider of Rohan, and some assembled Kroot.
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Then we have my Epic Eldar. I love the detail and style of the Epic Falcons and Vipers. As you can see I was heading for an Iyanden army.

In the foreground are some Epic Orks, based on 40mm round bases, where I’ve used polyfilla and stones to make the bases more interesting.

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There follows Eowyn and some more Epic Orks. Eowyn and Faramir were my Ex’s two favourite characters from the Lord of the Rings, and I was secretly painting Eowyn as a present for her at the time this all ended up in the bin. Which is a bit unfortunate. I don’t think I ever told her that, but I guess I’ll keep Eowyn to lead my Riders of Rohan now.
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The next photo shows an Imperial Pegasus, Space Marine Dreadnought and parts for an Averland Mordheim warband.

The assembled dreadnought, with assault cannon and close combat weapon, was one of the surprises in the bag. I know I have a Bjorn the Fell-handed somewhere and a Furioso dread, but I had forgotten about this one.

Other surprise models included a Beastman beastlord with great weapon, a pair of Empire wizards and Balthasar Gelt!

The Imperial Pegasus is now oop, I think. Mine came with a hole in the wing, through which I tried to put an arrow – but this has now broken.

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The handgunner parts I found are one of the really old sets that came with metal arms and handguns to convert the 16 plastic state troops – shown in this photo – is that a standard as part of a command group? I also had some crossbowmen in this style, but I’m pretty sure they were actually assembled and spray-painted white.

I have so many plastic handgunners from the 6th edition starter set, and perhaps also some all-metal ones, that I think I might end up making these into swordsmen or halberdiers and not use the metal bits.

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Not surprisingly, having all this stuff dumped in the bin put a stop toy hobby activity for a while. It was the release of the current Ork codex that tempted me back in, but that of course involved starting yet another new project, before any of the previous ones were finished.

I feel so lucky now to have a girlfriend who encourages me to spend time painting models. I don’t have to worry that she will throw it all out.

Any progress is better than none

I am slow. Sorry. However, the skin on all of my Grot herd is now Catachan Green, the Crimson Fist marine is recognisably of that chapter, and there are other colours on some of the clothing of the Grots!

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You might be able to see that one shoulder pad of the other marine is now brown. I am attempting to build up to yellow from a black undercoat, via brown. Eavy Metal did this once for Louen Louencoeur.

January: A microcosm of my life

January is over. My hobby progress was to magnetise the bases of most of my 500pt Ork force and those other few models I’m working on, and to undercoat the Gretchin and step-nephew Space Marines. I’m a hive of activity me.

Why so little done?

I have a busy life, with a ten year old daughter, whose mother lives at the other end of the country. Roughly one weekend in three is spent travelling to Edinburgh and back, which means the rest of my life is squeezed into a smaller space.

There are also lots of other things I like doing: knitting, reading, playing games with my girlfriend (such as Carcassonne and Bananagrams), baking and playing music.

Also, when I do hobby stuff I’m tortuously slow.

This is some parts of the explanation as to why I’ve not finished painting an army – in nearly twenty years of hobbying! The other factor is that I have been unable to stick to one project.

In the last few years I have switched between the following projects:
Blood Angels
Epic Armageddon Orks
Mordor Orcs
Beasts of Chaos
Orks
All of these projects have lasted a long time, some progress has been made, but I’ve move on before they were finished.

There have also been a few side projects, that were not quite fully-fledged army projects. This includes:
A non-Blood Angels land speeder
Tau crisis suit
Eowyn
Space Hulk
Dreadfleet
Epic Eldar
Felix
A Giant
Imperial Guard
And probably some others!

So, one of the things I am hoping this blog will achieve is to help me stick to one project long enough to finish, or at least so that I return to the Orks after the side project has finished.

As it is, the temptations are strong to start another army. Dark Eldar are cool, and I really like the new Necron annihilation barge. I’ve also developed a sudden hankering for Marauder Horsemen, Howling Banshees and Eternal Guard. Oh, yes, an army of Caledor, of course.

I am a hopeless case, perhaps, but if anything can save me it is a desire to play some more games and a determination to do so with a painted army. I’ve been that guy whose heavy bolters fall off because blu-tac just isn’t good enough. It’s time to make up for that.

Space Marines for the nephews

Both of these Assault on Black Reach tactical marines are now assembled.

I bought AoBR for the rules and the Orks, but I’m really impressed with the quality of the space marines that are also included. It makes it tempting to buy another box before the next edition, but… well I’ll come to my vow for 2012 another time.

I’m going to paint these marines as presents for my step-nephews Bobby and James. They’re aged about 6 and 8, and they’ve been playing with the GW models my brother left at our Dad’s house. So I thought they might like some of their own.

Bobby’s favourite colour is black, but the obvious choice of Black Templars doesn’t appeal to me. So I’ve decided to go with something close to a Deathwatch scheme, which will allow me to use Imperial Fist style shoulder pads, with otherwise black armour.

James lacks a strong colour preference, so I’m free to have a try at a Crimson’s Fist marine – a chapter that has a strong appeal to me.

More news about this in January…

Surprises can be informative

This Christmas, for the first time in many years, I received a gift of Games Workshop miniatures.

My dearest girlfriend has long known of my hobby, but I’ve always resisted giving hints to her about models that I would like. I’ve been more interested to find out which she would choose for me.

This year she braved the local GW and picked out a box of Ork Gretchin. She said that these were the models she saw that had the most character – in particular having facial expressions that varied from the standard grimace.

To say that I am overjoyed is no exaggeration. So far six of the delightful blighters are assembled along with their runtherd.

While on my Christmas holidays I am also working on the High Elf Mage from the Island of Blood set, and a pair of Assault on Black Reach tactical marines that I am painting for my step-nephews.