Saturday 31 August 2013

Dear Fan Boys, Please Stop Breaking The GW Website!

For goodness sake, has the world gone utterly mad? I'm just a casual observer wanting to take a glance at some new toys. From what I can just about see, what's on offer is an almost-exactly-the-same tactical squad, a couple of ok-ish characters, and the weirdest bloody fat Space Marines I've ever seen. Seriously? You want to break the GW site in a stampede for these?!

Friday 30 August 2013

Oldhammerers, I Wish You Well - Have A Great Weekend

I wish I could join you for what I'm certain will be a great weekend. Looking forward to all the photos and reports. Until next year....

Wednesday 28 August 2013

The Army That Won't Parade - Re-Capturing The Slow Hobby Spirit

Sadly, Armies On Parade isn't going to happen for me this year. I found myself over the last week or so getting really anxious about having things at a certain stage and the amount of painting time I had left. 

I also realised that I was starting to paint in ways that I simply didn't want to: ultimately, I was losing my 'slow hobby' spirit and turning leisure into slog. Not a recipe for happiness.

So I returned all my Nurgle folks to their shelf and turned again to picking them off one or two at a time and experimenting away contently, while imagining that I'm a real artist. 

At least the tidying away led to more effectively presented shelves, so, dear reader, please take this humble photograph as a small prelude to my annual 'climbing sprue mountain' posts...

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Inside Guillermo del Toro's Sketchbook

I have to share this art work with you because it's so very, very cool. It's from Guillermo del Toro's notebooks and I found it over at Geek Tyrant. I've always admired del Toro's work though I never realised he was such a talented artist - the rather vintage style of these sketches is simply terrific. I hope you enjoy them as much as I am. I'm really inspired to keep a sketchbook too.

Sunday 18 August 2013

The Disappearing Pleasures Of GW Metal Miniatures, Or, Am I A Leadhead After All?

How many more times will I start a hobby session with one of these blister packs?

Here we have Morghur, Master of Skulls. Still available direct from GW in a soulless white box. I got mine from eBay of course.

Looking at this pack I realised that this is a disappearing pleasure - certainly where GW is concerned, and considering the way things are going across the market, one that will become scarce with all manufacturers sooner or later.

I decided to share the pleasure as best I could with my kids. My daughter was allowed to open the pack and 'check over' the components. On close inspection she seemed happy enough with them ;-)

Then I asked my son to mix together his first ever batch of greenstuff, which he did with gusto. In the meantime I primed up the super glue (by taking the lid off), and we then sat together and 'super-green-stuffed' the little blighter together. Excess greenstuff came in handy for creating additional tentacles of mutation around the base (Morghur is a powerful and twisted shaman).

And there you have it. Primed in white and with a light coating of a sepia ink wash, ready to be worked on during the coming cold winter nights. A really great and characterful model and an utter - yet unexpected - pleasure to work with white metal. Perhaps I'm more of a leadhead than I realised!

Saturday 17 August 2013

Champions Of Slaanesh Progress Report - Realm Of Chaos Warbands

Some general progress has been achieved on my Slaanesh champions. I'm still experimenting a little with these colours, mostly through the retinue troops, and once I've figured out how to mix a few lighter blends I'll finish these perverted leaders. I'm really pleased with the colour scheme, which includes Citadel (Slaanesh Grey, Emperor's Children, Ice Blue, various washes), P3 (Murderous Magenta, Carnal Pink), Daler Rowney (Process Cyan), Model Color (Hull Red) and Army Painter (Dark Tone) paints.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Storing Paints In A KR MultiCase: The Ideal Solution For A Nomadic Splatterer

It seems that I've found an ideal solution for my nomadic painting lifestyle and I didn't have to look too far away - in fact, only as far as my excellent local games store, Firestorm Games. Yesterday I picked up a basic KR MultiCase and my paints have a new home that can easily travel around with me: around the house, to the in-laws, and to my new digs in Oxford (I'll be living there during the week from early October).

Here's how they fit:

Only a little modification required in order to fit the larger bottles - for these I simply slit down the dividers, taking care not to dislodge them completely, thereby creating larger sections. Simple stuff and really effective. Now I just need to demonstrate self control and not buy more paints...!

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Paints: The 'Hidden' Hobby Expense

News of newly purchased miniatures elicits a distinct type of displeasure from my wife. New paints on the other hand, are generally fine. This is odd though as paints are bloody expensive. I've not worked out how much this lot must've cost me, although it's easily over £150 - more, due to the price of the Daler Rowney inks:

It doesn't even look like a large collection to me (which is worrying...). How many paints do you have?

The simple truth is that I don't need to add to this money pit! I have a great selection of all the main colours I like to work with and what I really need is to be able to see them all when I'm painting to I can make the best selections.

I got them all out like this to sort through everything I had and to think of a better way of storing them - at the moment they sit in a rather messy huddle in a toolbox. I have to store them this way because I'm a nomadic painter without a permanent place to paint at home. A consequence of this is that I'm never entirely sure of what I've got. This is probably why I have 17 shades of green...

I'm determined to increase my productivity and quality of my painting so I'm on the look out for a neat solution... One that prevents me from adding to the 10 browns I already have...

How do you store and use your paints?

Monday 12 August 2013

Dusk Green Trolls And The Snowbound Undead

Comic artist Mark Lone produces some great fantasy prints. Even though they're more 'cartoony' than other art work that I'm studying for inspiration, there is plenty to draw on here. Take the following for example. The balance between the greens and the black in the first piece; the black, green and fire in the second; the frozen blues and greens in the third. All very useful for seeing how great impact can come from a limited palette.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Blue Dragons and Purple Vampires

I've been delving into Deviant Art again and this time I've been looking at works by AlexBoca. From this impressive collection I've focused on certain pictures as studies in blues and purples to help me develop my work across my Slaanesh miniatures. These are really helpful in letting me explore the paints that I have, the combinations I can employ, and the ways that I can develop my brush strokes - I want to further evolve my loose blending and layering in ways similar to the colours on the thigh of the dragon in the first picture. 

As always, enjoy!

Saturday 10 August 2013

GW Makes The Satirical News: Looters Return Stuff To Games Workshop

The following article is from the British satirical news site The Daily Mash. It's not hilarious and it's oddly about 27 years off what GW produce today, but it does pick up on something I'm always told by family members or friends when trying to entice them with a casual game: "there are so many rules!" If you're British you'll also appreciate the sideswipe at faux-historical shop Past Times. (By the way, I dream of GW introducing D20s into their current games ;-)

Looters Return Stuff To Games Workshop

SCORES of disappointed rioters queued up this morning to return goods they had mistakenly looted from Games Workshop.

The crestfallen thieves had raided the store hoping for a PS3 or Nintendo bounty but arrived home to find they had stolen a box containing 300 unpainted Orcs and a board game called Beyond the Ultraforest of Kwang.

Martin Bishop, 19, said: “I am returning The Runering of Fangor.

“It includes two dice, each with about 40 sides and instructions on how to gain the trust of a ‘cloud wizard’.

“And yet somehow I’m the fucking bad guy.”

He added: “Nevertheless I am now immune to Dwarven magic, so it hasn’t been a complete waste of time.”

Meanwhile, historical kitsch outlet Past Times reported the return of a pair or resin bookends in the shape of the Egyptian cat-god Sekhmet and 254 teak statues of a fat, reclining Buddha.

And in Manchester, people who stole copies of Limitless starring Bradley Cooper have been setting fire to them and throwing them back through the window of HMV.

Roy Hobbs, manager of Games Workshop in Birmingham, said: “Welcome home my children. Let me bathe you in the healing milk of Fagnarbarak.

“I knew we would meet again.”

Friday 9 August 2013

Artistic Inspiration From Deviant Art: Slaanesh, Nurgle, and Just Plain Crazy

Deviant Art is fantastic inspiration for painting miniatures. It's full to the brim of work by indie artists in a range of mediums doing some cracking work in all the fantasy and science fiction genres. It's been a while since I've posted anything that I've been looking at, so here for your viewing pleasure is a small selection of work by the Russian artist PabelBilly. There's Slaanesh and Nurgle inspired and just plain crazy! Lovely stuff from a very talented chap.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

The Coming Of The Night Trolls

Everyone knows I have a weakness for monsters of pretty much every kind - trolls in particular - so my monster radar when off the chart when I saw this Night Troll that's on the way from Privateer Press. Even more than before I'm dreaming of a troll army for WFB. If these are the new resin/plastic material and can therefore be posed, I might be tempted to make a unit of these gnarly critters to kick off my very own trollmageddon!  

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Slaanesh Chaos Goblins - Realm Of Chaos Warband Retinue

These Night Goblins will be in the retinue of one of the Champions of Slaanesh. They illustrate quite simply the three basic colours that I'm using right across my Slaanesh army. The good thing about working with these colours is that they can easily be blended and over-layered with the use of different glazes. Obviously I won't spend too much time on these guys as they truly are minions - on the tabletop I imagine one of the champions will join this unit and they will throw themselves in front of the enemy to protect him/her.

Monday 5 August 2013

A Century Of Little Wars: HG Wells Celebrated By BBC News

Most of us might not fire match sticks at our friends' armies these days, but this rather charming piece on the BBC website looks at the origins and continuing devotion to HG Wells' Little Wars. It's good to see war gaming getting a fair-to-positive representation in the mainstream news. I particularly love the photos of games spread across garden lawns and in the shadows of castles - 6' by 4' look piddly in comparison!

Saturday 3 August 2013

Champions Of Slaanesh Take A Vacation

Painting on holiday at the in-laws is a rather hit-and-miss affair. I'm working up the Chaos Champions for my Slaanesh warbands that will travel with me to the Oldhammer event. In the following weeks I'll do their retinues, which I'm simply going to pick for variety and interest as opposed to rolling them up. That way I can work on figures that will slot into the units of my larger Realm of Chaos Slaanesh army.  I'll wait until the end of the week for an up-date, by which time I hope to have written up something for each of their backgrounds.

Decor supplied by 'the folks'
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