Saturday, 29 March 2014

The UltraMarch Project: More Progress With The Mucky Ultramarines

I'm getting increasingly experimental with these Ultramarines. In doing so I'm balancing the joy of free artistic creativity with overwhelming crippling self-doubt. That just about sums up my hobby to me. In the last week or so I've been all about shading, slapping on lashings of the Tamiya X Clear Orange. Perhaps it's the fumes but I seem to have gone completely crazy with this paint - it's beguiling me, drawing me in mesmerically to using more, more, more... At some point I'm going to have to get back to doing some highlights or even some regular colours.

Friday, 28 March 2014

The Far From Delicate Aroma Of Gaming

This has been doing the rounds on social media. I don't know who to credit for this, but let's just say that it's one for those well accustomed to the smell of vinegar and piss that wafts around all GW stores on a Saturday.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

The UltraMarch Project: Mucky Marines Take Shape

Here are a couple of my very mucky Ultramarines. I fear it's only going to get worse for them! As per usual I'm building up glazes and washes over a series of highlights (hence the white), however, this time I've decided to get all experimental with the Tamiya Color 'Clear X' range of paints. These are glossy, gloopy, transparent colours available in Blue, Red, Yellow, Green and Orange. 

I've mostly used the orange here, building up from a heavy covering over the basing cork and up the legs. Then, I added some into the deeper recesses on the models, which I overlaid with the clear blue Tamiya X and some purple wash. This combination is proving very good for open-ended process I favour. These Ultramarines will end up quite some way from the squeaky clean GW preferred look. To my mind, 40k should be covered in deep layers of filth - the Eldar perhaps being an exception. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Victoria Miniatures Arcadian Rifles Size Comparison

Posted just now on Facebook. Reposted here because I might buy some of these in the future and it's a handy reference/reminder!

Friday, 7 March 2014

The UltraMarch Project: Marneus Calgar And His Honour Guard Suffer The Indignity Of Finecast

There's not much that hasn't already been said about how rubbish Finecast can be. I've had mixed fortunes over the last couple of years and Calgar and his Honour Guard fit into the 'rather dodgy' category of Finecast fail with a few holes, badly formed parts and inexplicably melty bits. Oh well, at least GW are extremely good with their plastics now. So the brief news is simply that I got everyone based and glued together, with green stuff and superglue filling all (hopefully) the holes. Let's get some paint on these guys tomorrow and let the fun begin. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

The UltraMarch Project: Ultramarines Tactical Squad Manorian Takes Shape

Here is first update of my UltraMarch Ultramarines project. As you can see I've constructed and based Tactical Squad Manorian, coupling their bolt pistols with shields to style them in line with their less formal name as 'the Shield Bearers'. I like to imagine that they are mid-combat and mid-campagin - their bolt pistols are drawn as they plunge into combat, with small shields attached to designate their identities in the midst of a drawn-out campaign in hostile territory. 

The next steps will be to clean up the models and apply a white under coat followed by blue base coat - I've not chosen this yet as I've been away from my paints in Oxford, but at the moment I think I'll go for a lighter blue that can be shaded in interesting ways, with blues and greens and perhaps even some orange. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Wargaming Hobby Dictionary - A Gamers' Grimoire

I just came across a rather nice dictionary of wargaming hobby terms on the blog Wargaming Tradecraft - a gamers' grimoire if you will! It would be very useful for those new to the hobby and there's plenty there for the more experienced hobbyist to explore.

Here's the link: Wargaming Tradecraft: Wargaming Hobby Dictionary: Below is an alphabetical list of various terms you'll come across while hobbying, brief descriptions of them and links to articles ...

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Genestealer Cult Armoured Sentinel Squadron - Alternative Models From Dystopian Legions

I do like the standard Imperial Guard Sentinel models but I wanted to do something different for the Genestealer Cult: after all, we should always remember that the 40k universe is huge and composed of millions of planets and cultures - so why stick to a slim range of technologies? I also jumped at the chance to buy some more of the Dystopian Legions models, in this case a couple of the Basset Tankettes.

Here they are as WIPs. I've armed them with heavy flamers because I want them to play a flanking anti-infantry role and I reason that they won't take much fire in early phases due to their short range. These weapons also fitted the best and I think they look cool - as good a reason as any!

I think these models make good proxies because even though they obviously don't have the hight of the regular Sentinels they do have a reasonable bulk on the base. Also, I never play with anyone who would even remotely have a problem with using sensible proxies - gaming life is too short for that!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

The UltraMarch Project: A Month Of Ultramarines

Ok, I admit it. I've not painted a single Imperial Space Marine during the last 25 years. My last dalliance with these enhanced warriors was back in days of Rogue Trader, when I was but a boy and the fascist undertones of the Imperium of Man were sown more clearly through the satirical weave of the 40k universe. As a father with increasingly diminishing funds, these days I'm on the look for small, contained and satisfying projects to get my hobby fix*. And so UltraMarch was born.

I picked up Marneus Calgar and his Honour Guard on eBay about six months ago for the princely sum of £15 - yes, well under half-price. I think I reasoned with myself that I would convert them somehow, although that never happened and they sat quietly at the back of a draw until today (I did add an additional metal guard to them via a secondhand store).The Tactical Squad has been muddled together through spares and some basic marines I'd gained over the last year or so.

And now the plan: pretty basic really, I'm simply going to focus on the Ultramarines during March and try to get as far along as possible with the project as I can. Obviously Ultramarines are rather by-the-book - literally codex-as-written. This means very little latitude for conversions etc. However, looking through the fluff I found the details of Tactical Squad Manorian 'The Shield Bearers' in Second Company.

Building on this fluff I'm going to build my Tactical Squad with these colours and with their hands holding bolters and bolt pistols, as if they're just about to engage in close combat. I'm using their informal name to justify giving them small shields (pinched from the Empire Swordsmen) on their bolt pistol hands. It will all make sense once I put them together...

Anyway, this should be really enjoyable. I know plenty of people think Ultramarines are dull and - worse - they they have been fanboyed to death by Matt Ward. Others still call them Space Smurfs. None of this really needs to bother me, of course. I'm sure I can do something interesting with them, make them nice and dirty and arty. It will be fun finding out.

* I'm always really alarmed when I see blog posts or eBay sales that are framed with the whole "I'm a new dad and I have to get rid of my toys" business. Believe me when I say: I have two kids and the hobby fits perfectly into my life. It's the ideal 'me' time that everybody needs in their life when they have a family. I cannot dispense blanket advice for all hobbyists and gamers, but I do not think there is ever a reason when having a regular family to drop your hobby. And age should never be a factor either! 
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