Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Tyranids: Ripper Swarms, Spores and more

Finally managed to finish this Tyranid project!

It's taken a while longer than I usually take to do a commission, simply because all manner of real work has gotten in the way. I'm grateful for my client for being so understanding!

I showcased some ripper swarm bases a few weeks back, and I've now painted nine of them. They were hard work! So much detail, in a some space, but also very characterful pieces. 

The carapaces were all painted in the same style as the larger Tyranids, which tied everything together nicely.

Because there are only two variations on the basic model, I added speckling to the tail areas on some bases for some variety.

And here's the whole commission altogether, ready to be shipped to the client...

So what's next? I'm just taken on a small commission for another client, involving several Anvil Industry models. These are really nice figures, and I'm pleased to be working on them.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Batman Miniatures Game: The Huntress

Last Batman model for a few weeks today...

The Huntress is another heroine I wasn't too familiar with, but having seen the release really wanted to try painting up. Have to say, this is probably one of my favourite Knight Models figures!

As ever, the detail is superb and the cape sculpting is really nice. There's also lots of detail on the boots and gauntlets.

The addition of the brickwork on the base is a nice touch. I hear that Knight Models figures now come with resin sculpted bases as well, so that's another reason to buy into the range.

I have two unpainted Batman models staring at me from my painting desk: Alfred (who came with the Batman rulebook) and the Swamp Thing. I'm going to park Alfred for a while (sorry, fella, just not feeling the urge to paint you!) and try something new on Swamp Thing. He is a huge piece of metal, and I'm going to really emphasise his swampy nature...

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Batman Miniatures Game: Black Canary

Another Batman model today. I wasn't familiar with the Black Canary in comic book form, but the figure is nice and her stats in-game are good too. 

Canary is a bit smaller than some of the Batman miniatures. Her detail is also a little shallow in places (such as the suit on the legs). A very fine brush to required to pick out the detail work but it's worth it.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Iron Hands: Ironclad Dreadnought

Well, it's been almost a week since Codex: Space Marines hit, and I've had some time to digest the contents. Looks like the Demi-Glaive detachment is a must-have for Marine players - what with those free transports, and I might adapt my list to that but we'll see. I can't quite stomach making all those tactical squads... The news that Clan Raukaan remains official was good, although of course some elements are now out of date (such as the Master of the Forge). 

The loss of the MotF was interesting, but his stats have been rolled into the standard Techmarine. This is a bit of a boon for the Thunderfire Cannon, which remains the same price as in the last codex. Not a huge gain but never than nothing. The Chapter Tactics, as I predicted, have stayed pretty much the same. 

Anyway, on to painting. I recently finished the solo Dreadnought in my list. He's of the Ironclad variety...

A fairly simple paint job on this model, but lots of scratching and weathering.

The model is an odd one. It feels very "CAD" to me; I like it, but it feels a bit sterile. I don't know why I feel that way, because the standard Dreadnought doesn't evince the same response from me!

A few more shots of the Dreadnought...

I went with assault launchers on the because this guy will probably get charged sooner rather than later.

Iron Hands list is now almost finished!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Batman Miniatures Game: Batgirl

Some bugs in the system today folks! Seems this post went up without text... Second try!

Anyone who regularly visits my blog will know that I'm a big fan of Knight Miniatures Batman figures, and when they released the Batgirl last year I picked her up right away. 

The dynamic pose of this figure is just great. Some Knight Models have quite static, brooding poses. This is absolutely fine, and generally fits the characters the models depict. However, the posing of this figure is just incredible: showing Batgirl mid-run, her cape flowing behind her. I've said before, Knight Miniatures really knows how to sculpt capes.

The pose does make assembly a bit fiddly, with a single leg attached to the base. It comes in several pieces, and the cape is solid metal, so I'd recommend taking your time with gluing and posing the bits. I used a small amount of greenstuff to cover a couple of joins: this is particularly tricky, given the tiny surface details.

This view shows the cape flowing behind. The hair is also nicely sculpted.

Another view demonstrating the pose.

And now three of Gotham Sirens together. You'll note that the Batgirl figure is a bit larger than the others, but given that she's taller that's perhaps understandable.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Iron Hands: Tactical Marines - and a general codex rant...

Looks like I will just a bout finish this army as GW is wrapping up the current codex and bringing out the next one... The endless cycle of codex releases continues. Whilst, years back, GW used to release so few books in a year it was ridiculous, we're now going to the opposite extreme. Codex: Space Marines is a perfectly decent book; it really doesn't need updating. The new releases look nice, but they are hardly necessary.

The downside for those who have "bought in" to the sub-codex approach - perhaps sinking £50-60 into hardback books to support fringe armies - is that they lose out almost completely. As much as Iron Hands fans disliked the Claun Raukaan supplement, it really isn't fair on fans to encourage them to support such a niche release only to remove it without explanation a couple of years later...

I recall that GW did a similar thing with the old Lost & Damned supplement (you remember it, right? The army list with the crazy mutants and renegades that could be used to represent almost any 40k army...). Their response was that players can't expect niche armies to be indefinitely supported. I completely agree with that, but it's a question of balance. A £60 buy-in to run an Iron Hands list (albeit a specialised one) deserves a longer shelf-life than 18 months...

It's not even as though the new Marine Codex, from what I've seen, has anything for Iron Hands. The new upgrade sprue being pushed by GW cover chapters that have already been spoiled with their own plastic kits. Surely an Iron Hands sprue would've been an easy sale? 

Now that I've got that out of my system, on to some actual models. This list (which might be subject to revision under the new codex...) featured four small squads, all mounted in Razorbacks. 

Unusually for me, I went with combi-weapons. I've found these to be okay in the game, but not very dependable.

These units can act as objective holders in a pinch, but aren't very durable due to their limited numbers. They make up for that with mobility. The Razorbacks also provide decent fire support.

I mixed various upgrade bits from the GW resin kit, as well as parts from Kromlech. The various bits scale nicely together and fit seamlessly into the overall unit.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Double Tyranid update: Mieotic Spores and Ripper Swarms

Time for a (very rare) double update today. I managed to finish some more of a Tyranid commission I'm currently working on, and also get them photographed. 

Here is a unit (brood?) of three Mieotic Spores. These are Forgeworld models, and they are really nicely detailed. They have obvious references to the rest of the Nid range, but are quite unique as well. This does mean that there was no room for patterning due to the limited carapace surfaces, but the models have still come out nicely and tie in well with the rest of the army.

The undercarriage areas of the spores were painted in fleshy tones, then treated with a layer of gloss. I imagine them dripping slime as they propel across the battlefield...

Here's a close-up on the flesh areas:

And another, showing the pulsing veins on the spore sacs:

Those models done, I've also been working a lot on the Ripper Swarms. I talked before about how these are so detailed, and despite their diminutive size the fact that they are a lot of work to get painted. However, the results were worth it: I think these will look great on the tabletop!

I painted every carapace with the feathering method used on the bigger Nids. Eyes, claws and teeth were all picked out. I then added Rhino Hide speckling to the bodies.

Another close up: these critters are literally tearing each other apart to reach the enemy...

Another six bases of these to go: I'm going to intersperse this with a few Iron Hands models, so that I don't get burnt out.