Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A few Ebay auctions...

I've decided to list a few items on Ebay this week - reducing my collection of started-but-never-finished projects...

Firstly, a squad of female Cadian Imperial Guard (or, if you prefer, Astra Militarum)...

Next, a Cadian heavy weapons squad with auto cannons...

Another heavy weapons squad with auto cannons...

Chimera with a Forgeworld autocannon turret, painted in an urban style ...

Another tank - this time a Leman Russ Executioner with plasma sponsons, again Cadian pattern...

Then some Hasslefree miniatures - Shaun...


And finally Ash...

Low starting prices, and I always combine shipping if you buy multiple lots!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Tyranid Exocrine

Finally managed to photograph the latest model from an ongoing commission I'm painting. This Exocrine is part of several miniatures I'm doing to add to a large army I painted last year.

Lots of photos for this one...

The main skin tone is from Army Painter Desert Yellow, which is a nice, high-pigment paint available in a spray can. I used several washes, some wet brushing and some old fashioned highlights to get the skin and carapace just right.

All of the larger beasts in this army have exotic carapace patterning; I had really wanted to do some "stripes" (inspired by "Spike" from Gremlins 2) and this model gave me a good chance to go with that.

This photo shows the carapace well...

This beast is based on a Secret Weapon "hive" base - it has excellent detail and really fun to paint. The Exocrine needs a flat surface for all four feet, so I built up one side of the base with greenstuff. This was surprisingly easy to do, and the model therefore sits nicely. I pinned the feet and arms into the base, so hopefully he'll be nice and stable for gaming.

On the plasma cannon, I used a turquoise wash and then coated the tip of the gun with Vallejo water effects. This is a nice finish, I think, because it remarks the cannon as being something a bit special. It's important not to overdo this though, as water effects are easier to apply in successive thin coats than a single "gloopy" coat.

Lots more to do on the Tyranids - hoping to get underway on a Hive Crone next week, plus some of my own miniatures for my Savlar Chem Dog army, and maybe a (late) review of the Astra Militarum codex...

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Judge Dredd: East Meg Judges - Sentenoid

I managed to finish the Sentenoid from my East Meg judges today. This model is very retro, very early 1990s - it's a big beast, composed entirely of metal components. When I first saw it in the box, I was a little daunted: I still have nightmares about the old GW Furioso dreadnought, and trying to keep that in one piece when I was still a child....

My fears were unfounded: I simply pinned the arms and legs in place, and the model has stayed together throughout the painting process.

Here's a detail shot of the guns and sensors on the main body - I added a little weathering powder to the guns, to represent firing burn.

This shot shows the back of the model, detailed similarly to the front.

Here's a picture of the whole gang together - the colour scheme carries over well throughout the group.

A word on value for this set: it costs £30, which is actually very good value (even for the Judge Dredd game). These figures are around £5 each, which means the Sentenoid and Satelat are basically free.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Judge Dredd: East Meg Judges

Well,  between work, going to Salute, and finishing an Imperial Knight, I've basically suffered painting burn out! This has been a quite few weeks so far as real painting progress has gone, but luckily I've found a few hours today to finish a project.

As regular readers of my blog will know, I've a big fan of the Mongoose Judge Dredd Miniatures Game. I reviewed the rule book earlier this year, and I have a small but growing collection of models. I recently picked up a very reasonably priced East Meg One boxed set. These are Soviet judges for the game, forming their own gang. Although I haven't played the game yet, this looks to be an interesting gang to play - they are quite elite, but less scrupulous than Mega City judges (no need to make arrest rolls etc). However, in trade they are also known as "illegals" - meaning that Mega City judges aren't obliged to arrest them before they shoot!

The set comes in a suitably comic-book-looking box...

... and includes 6 infantry models, a satelat (a drone-like bodyguard robot) and a large sentenoid. 

I painted up the infantry first, and they were excellent fun! 

The set comes with an East Meg officer...

... as well as a models with pistols and carbines...

My favourite is the Senior East Meg judge: he has a nicely-sculpted cloak and is ordering infantry around or some such.

Also included is a flamer model; probably not required for a starter gang, but the set has enough models to support expansion past a few games.

All in all, this is a really nice set. I will be painting up the Sentenoid later this week (work permitting!), which was an interesting project (it's a sole lot of metal). The sculpting on these figures is so nicely retro - they have good detail, which is at the same time not too "over the top". Many miniatures manufacturers seem to cram their figures with detail these days - not because it makes the figures nicer to paint or own, but simply because they can. This can be a mistake in my view. Sure, these figures can be criticised as being a bit throwback - but they really suit the Dredd universe in my view.

Anyway, hope that you enjoy and I will update later this week with both the Sentenoid and my most recent commission - a Tyranid Exocrine...

Monday, 14 April 2014

Work in progress: Tyranid Exocrine

I've recently been commissioned to paint some more Tyranids, in the same scheme as the larger force I painted last year. This second commission will include an Exocrine, a Crone, Zoanthropes, a Venomthrope, Genestealers, a Broodlord and some scenery pieces. 

I enjoyed doing the scheme last year, so this is a welcome opportunity to return to it!

I managed to make some progress on the Exocrine this weekend, and here he is...

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Salute 2014

So, yesterday was the annual war-games show at Excel, London - Salute 2014.

I always try to go along to the show, to check out items that I normally wouldn't pick up or be aware of. This year seemed to be really well attended, both with visitors and with sellers. There were lots of demonstration games going on, lots of really nicely painted miniatures and some good deals for buyers as well.

It's shows like this that often remind us there is more to the war-games hobby than just Games Workshop... I was surprised this year to find that GW chose not to attend the show at all, and even Forgeworld appeared to have a reduced presence (mainly selling T-shirts, mugs and posters with items available for order). However, there was a huge range of independent games being showcased, with developers like Mongoose Publishing and Mantic in attendance. I managed to pick up some more Batman models (lots of sellers for Knight Models, which was nice as I don't know anywhere local to me that sells them), some Judge Dredd figures and a couple of Blightwheel miniatures. I'm certainly looking forward to painting the latter: unclose, the detail is awesome: I particularly wanted a Squire model as an objective piece for my newly-finished Imperial Knight.

The stand-out stall for me, however, was Prodos Games - developers of the new Aliens vs Predator board game and war-game. I chatted with some of the team, and they were really open in terms of talking about the new game. There were several finished sculpts available for inspection.

I was really impressed by the Alien Crusher (from Colonial Marines) - it has a nice weight to it!

Sadly, the beautifully painted Predator shown to the left of the photo had been dropped by a visitor earlier in the day, and so the foot was broken!

Some personality figures can be seen to the right of the photo.

Further examples of Aliens and Predators... Note the awesome Queen in the background - I handled this sculpt, and was thoroughly impressed by the level of detail.

In the middle of this picture, you can see a Weyland-Yutani Commando.

Here is the Predator Berserker - Prodos showed me the model alongside one of the regular Predators, and the Berserker is suitably scaled to be even bigger than a regular warrior!

Prodos were also showcasing some updated token sets and the board tiles. They explained that these had been redone, as they were unhappy with the originals. The examples at the show were really amazing; very detailed, very colourful. It's great to see a company listening to customers, and acting on criticism or advice. Overall, I'm really looking forward to the release of this game and feel confident it is in safe hands!

After a long day of shopping at Salute, I managed to get a couple of games of 40k in. This is a rarity for me!

I played a 2000 Ravenwing list, combined with an allied Imperial Knight and a small Inquisitorial contingent.

Of two games I played against my regular opponent, I won one and lost one so not too shabby. If anyone has any tactical advice on how to play Ravenwing, and in particular on use of the Darkshroud, feel free to drop me a comment...

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Finished Imperial Knight: House Terryn

Hopefully the reason for my lack of updates in the last couple of weeks will now become clear...

I've been building and painting an Imperial Knight! This has been a whole heap of work...!

I decided to go with House Terryn - the most common GW scheme - because I haven't used the darker GW blues so far and liked the red and blue interplay. It was a choice between Terryn or a free blade in the end, but I couldn't stomach the additional cost for the transfer sheet!

I was initially going to use an airbrush on the metal skeleton and armour plates, but eventually went with standard brush work. The model is just about manageable with a brush, but keep your paints diluted and do multiple layers. I actually used Army Painter Platemail on the metallic parts, because it takes washes so nicely and highlights well with a dry brush of Necron Compound.

I added weathering all over the model. The gold was weathered with Runefang Steel, and all exposed areas were treated with MIG weathering compounds. I especially added pigment to the feet and the banner - this would be totally drenched in mud in reality...

The battle cannon was treated with black soot and other brown pigments, and has a kill-sign on the base of the barrel.

I used Tamiya masking tape to achieve the stripes of the shoulder - it was easy to do, and I added chipping with a sponge. Worked well!

Here's the upper carapace. I added lots of weathering here, but in a different style to the lower portion. Here, the paint is chipped and fluid has dripped from pipework. The ladder rungs are chipped and rusted in places.

The huge chain blade - note the weathered arm sections. I used the new Tyhus Corrosion in places - this is a nice semi-wash paint, which looks good against silvery metals.

The back of the model highlights the weathered metallics. Note the extra resin pieces of the base - taken from the old Planetfall resin objectives set.

A close-up of the legs - some metalwork was picked out with Runefang where it would naturally be exposed.

Another view of the battelcannon. The kit comes with a very nice A3 transfer set - these era high quality, easy to use and have lots of variety. The main Knight Houses are covered. I found it easy to apply even the larger decals on the legs and shoulder pads, then used Vallejo Decal Finish to seal them (a great product). Chipping was done with a sponge.

The metalwork of the battle cannon arm.

Another view of the banner, listing the Knight's many battle honours.

Another view of the head - the eyes are just visible under the mask.

The shoulders - note the very weathered striping and battered gold effect. I used Vallejo Liquid Gold (Old Gold) on all gold portions, but on very large areas it can look a little unnatural with just a wash, so I added silver chipping.

Finally, here's a view alongside the Riptide and Nemesis Dreadknight - highlighting the enormous bulk of the model. This kit was a lot of work, but I really enjoyed it. The process was a bit of an endurance test at times, but a logical work attitude yields good results.

Is it worth £85 from a GW retail store? Probably not. The Riptide is £45, and just check out the difference in size. I wouldn't pay retail for one, but there are plenty of online stores with deals on these models. Check out Darksphere for a decent price and reliable service.

What's next? I'm going to do a piece on my Imperial Guard, aka Astra Militarum, army soon. Looking forward to the new codex, even if it will have some changes. Also have a large Tyranid commission from a loyal client of mine - expect some posts on that very soon as well...