Sunday, 24 April 2016

On the workbench: Tyranids, Tau and something darker...

They say that a today desk is a tidy mind. Well, if they ever said the opposite about painting workbenches, I wouldn't disagree.

Not very many updates recently, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been painting. I just haven't found the time to photograph things. Last week was Salute, and I had genuine intentions of posting an after-show report, but things just got in the way - instead, you can check out my (extremely truncated) summary below. Mainly, here's an update on my workbench...

First, a good client of mine for whom I've painted several Tyranid models over the last few years requested a flying hive tyrant a few weeks back. This model has been on the bench for some weeks, and he's now almost finished.

I previously did another version of this guy, which you can see below:

My client has updated his 'Nids a couple of times since I finished the project back in 2013 (has it really been that long!?!), but asked me to paint this model to make his list more competitive. I know this kit pretty well now, having also painted one for my own Hivefleet Behemoth army:

But back to the present model: he's almost finished, with some minor highlights and touching-up to be done. I added lots of speckling to the wings and skin, to differentiate this model from the last version I painted for the same army.

Meanwhile, I've been gradually working through the drones required for my Mont'ka Farsight Detachment. This has been hard work, mainly because I don't really like the drone models very much and painting so many of the same model becomes wearing... So I split the task up over several weeks, and I've varied the individual models by adding the antenna to some and painting different panels to grey etc. I've now painted 11 of them, so 5 more to go!

As for Salute, this kind of happened...

Expensive? Unnecessary? Likely to be hard work? Yes to all three, but also very, very awesome. I've had my eye on a Batmobile model for a while. Having considered the Eagle Moss and Hotwheels Elite versions, I decided on the Knight Models 30mm kit. It's a lot of resin, but just assembling the Batmobile got me in the mood. It's going to be great fun to paint up this model.

I won't do a big run-down of Salute, as many other websites have already done a better job of that. It was a pretty good show all-round, with lots to buy and see. I've attended the show several times, and this year the atmosphere and turn-out felt the best in several years. A couple of years ago, it felt as though the number of attendees really dropped off. This year, attendance was good and the number of stalls etc was good too. There were large areas for participation games but it didn't feel as though the show struggled to fill the hall (rightly or wrongly, it has felt that way in previous years).

Starship games seemed to be the order for the day this year: there were many on sale, and many games to play...

This Firestorm Armada game looked a lot of fun. There were loads of tables like this; I didn't play any games, but I marvelled at how good they looked. Yes, I was "that guy".

And Halo was also well-represented. Loads of stalls selling this, and a lot of hype for the ground assault version of the game. Good stuff!

And then there was this awesome model.

Better yet, these guys were on display. They looked even more impressive up-close - the paint-job was truly incredible.

I finally got to pick up my Kickstarter pledge of Aliens v Predator! I queued for ages at the Prodos stand, and there were many angry customers there. When I finally got to being served, they were out of stock of the Kickstarter exclusive boxed game... But the guys came good by adding an Alien Queen to my order. I have a nice stack of booster sets to get through as well, and I'm already marvelling at the level of detail on these models.

So that's it for this week! I hope to finish the Tyrant in the next few days, to varnish those drones, and then to get started on the next bug project: an Eldar army! Very excited about this one; I've already undercoated a squad of Wraithguard, and looking forward to properly strong the project...

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Girls of the Galaxy, Tau and TMNT: Ebay auctions!

Not much of an update this week: I'm finishing off some Farsight broadsides, and gearing up for another couple of commissions. But I've been trawling my miniatures collection, and decided that some of it absolutely, must go...

So I've listed several Ebay auctions. This is a great chance to acquire something you might've seen my painting on the blog, and perhaps thought would be cool to own!

First up, I have several Girls of the Galaxy from Raging Heroes. I'm basically never going to get around to painting all of these up, and I got a pretty big haul from the Kickstarter, so I've listed (all mint in packaging):

Nertha, of the Iron Empire (would make an awesome Imperial Guard psyker!)

Cyber-zombie Bodyguard (servitor!)

Set of three mascots (objectives?)

Butterfly, of the Lulus (Ratling sniper!)

As you've probably seen from my blog, I'm concentrating on a Farsight army right now. At one time, this was going to be an urban camo Tau army. I even went as far as to paint up a Devilish APC and some Fire Warriors, which are now also listed on Ebay:

Devilfish APC in urban camo

Fire Warriors in urban camo

Do you remember a while back GW was giving away Adeptus Mechanicus car stickers? Well, I acquired a set that I'm never going to use. Pick up a rare item now!

Adeptus Mechancius car stickers

Lastly, I've decided to part with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sets. These were originally scale miniature toys, and I detailed on my blog how I'd stripped and painted them. They were great fun to paint, but they have sat in the storage box for too long and would be great to see them go to a good home if someone has a use for them...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Shredder, Splinter & April

Foot Clan Ninjas & Krang

And of course, you can search the blog if you want to find more pictures of any of the painted models. Keep checking back, as I'm probably going to be auctioning off even more finished projects very soon - including my Flesh Tearers and Ravening armies (be very sad to see those go...!).

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Farsight Enclaves: Coldstar Commander

As promised, this week yields a Coldstar Commander!

I already have one of the "leaning" Finecast commanders, and so decided to make this one in a flying pose. It fits the armaments if nothing else!

This dude is tons better than the Finecast version! Nice and detailed, he also has the capacity to be posed in lots of ways. I think, in hindsight, that I should've posed the forward toe a little more to the ground, but I'm still quite pleased with it.

I went with the standard Farsight scheme, in-keeping with the rest of my army. However, just because it looks awesome I added some "racing stripes" to the rear and side fins. I used Tamiya modelling tape to mask these out, and then added multiple layers of Ceramite White to achieve a nice clean finish.

Another view of the rear fins.

 And yet another view... Had enough yet?

The end of the Farsight project is in sight (get it?!?!). I now have a handful of drones and two Broadsides left to paint...

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Farsight Enclaves: Ghostkeel battlesuit

When the Ghostkeel was first released by Games Workshop, I knew that this was a model that I wanted to add to my collection. I had already been toying with the idea of including larger battlesuits in my Enclaves list, and the Ghostkeel gave me the perfect reason to get a nice new kit...

I know that I often say this of GW kits, but the Ghostkeel was a pleasure to build and paint. Nice, clean instructions, lots of poseability and several decent options.

I decided that I wanted to paint the piece like a big stealth suit and thus went with a more muted red than the usual Farsight scheme. This fits in really nicely with the two stealth suit teams that I've painted up.

I picked out a few armour plates in grey to tie the model in with the rest of the army.

Check out the detailing on the back of the mode: some really nice touches from the sculptors here.

I added some resin pieces from the old bits box to the base: just some parts from the now OOP GW stratagem set. I've never played Planetstrike or Cities of Death, but I've used plenty of these resin parts on various models! I think that the added colour breaks up the monotony of the red quite well.

What's next for the Farsight army? I'm going to try to finish up a Coldstar Commander...

Sunday, 14 February 2016

AvP miniatures game: Predalien

Very frustratingly, I'm still waiting for my AvP Kickstarter pledge from Prodos. Meanwhile, my local games store actually had the figures in stock... I couldn't resist buying a Predalien, and today I finished painting him up.

Not an easy model to photo (again!), the Predalien is a great model. The detail is awesome; suitable either for careful highlighting or dry brushing.

I went with a series of dry brushes, then used a satin varnish to seal the figure.

Some detail was picked out with greys and whites. This isn't really "film-accurate" but it works well to highlight key details like the claws, teeth, etc.

Next up: more Farsight, and this time of the flying variety...

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Batman Miniatures Game: Killer Frost

Here's a model that I actually painted up over the Christmas break, in an effort to set into season cheer.

As with most Batman models, Killer Frost was great fun to paint. Her detail is quite fine, as with many of the female miniatures, but with some motivation Frost is a good addition to your collection.

I found this model really tough to photograph, on account of her skin tones matching my background paper. I adjusted the various filters and settings in Photos, but this was the best I could get.

There's a lot of news concerning the BMG at the moment. I was disappointed to see the news that several BMG models have now gone "direct only" (with the suggestion that they will be discontinued when the current stock is sold out), but the newly-revealed Marvel Miniatures Game looks great.

I still have the limited edition Alfred model to paint at some stage, but haven't had the urge to break open the blister yet. I keep promising myself that I will actually play this game as well... One day!

Sunday, 31 January 2016

The return of Farsighted: Enclaves Riptide

Well, my New Year's resolution to keep this blog more up-to-date has almost immediately been broken! I wish that I had a better way of tacking pictures, because this is always the problem. There's little enough time to paint, but when I photo my miniatures I have to clear away the desk and set up the light booth... So whilst I've been busily (and happily) building and painting, I just haven't had the time to take any pictures.

Excuses out the way, here's what I've most recently finished: a Farsighted Enclaves Riptide...

The new Tau codex, and more specifically the Mont'ka supplement, has really piqued my interest in the Tau again. I already had a fledgling Farsighted army, which was bulked out with some fairly bad unit choices (Vespid: love the models, but in-game... Not so good). GW's new direction in formations and "block building" army lists is a nice revision of the force org structure, and here's where I'm aiming for my Farsight army:

Dawn Blade Contingent
Retaliation Cadre
Commander in Coldstar suit
3 battle suits with twin plasma rifles
3 battle suits with twin fusion blasters
3 battle suits with twin missile pods
2 broadsides with HYMPs and smart missiles (with 4 missile drones)

Drone network
4 marker drones
4 marker drones
4 marker drones
4 marker drones

Firebase Support Cadre
Broadside with railgun
Broadside with railgun

Optimised Stealth Cadre
3 stealth suits
3 stealth suits

All that comes in at about 2000 with upgrades and so on. It'll be broadly split into two parts - with the Retaliation Cadre dropping on turn two, and the rest holding the fort until arrival. The Stealth Cadre can hunker down and absorb a lot of firepower if necessary, and the marker drones can get into position to support the heavier suits.

I absolutely love the Khorne Red paint from GW. This is a nice, smooth red. A world away from the extremely thin reds that GW used to sell!

I made a slight mistake on the missile pods! As you might be able to see, I made one the wrong way round. Not a huge error, but annoying as I only realised what I'd done when I glued the pods on.

Last up is the shield. I had actually intended to put the shield on the right arm, but by then I'd already glued on the spines. No matter: this Riptide looks different enough to my last model that they're distinguishable.