Sunday, 26 February 2017

Hobby Goal 2017 #9: Social Gaming

I want to get back into social gaming. At the moment I have a small circle of friends I play Fantasy against and I love them but we don't have a chance to play as often as I'd like. Plus, going to a gaming club will be good for the whole meeting new people thing.

So, my goal for the week is to examine my options, not just in terms of where to game (local GW or local club?) but what game to break myself in with.

Fantasy is my favourite game and absolutely the one I'm most confident playing but who knows how receptive any club will be to playing an “OldHammer” edition?

Then there's 40k, which frankly terrifies me. In spite of years and years of everyone telling me its the easier system to learn I just can't wrap my head around the pages and pages of special rules and exceptions and fifty seven varieties of power weapon... too much damn rules flicking. Plus, I don't really have a functional army though it wouldn't take me long to get something up and running in the Flesh Tearers line. Still, the complexity of the ruleset (I really, really do find Fantasy easier, I'm not kidding) puts me off using it get back into social gaming.

Third option, of course, is to bootstrap one of my existing Fantasy armies into an Age of Sigmar-compatible state. One of the big selling points people keep pitching to me is the simplicity of the ruleset which might be a good thing considering I'm doing this mainly to meet people. If I go that route my only real thought is that I'd much prefer to play one of the factions with a Battletome as I don't want to stumble into one of those horribly embarrassing rules the “get you by” battle scrolls tended towards like comparing moustaches, pretending to converse with your models, miming riding a horse and so on.

Yeah, of the many ways in which that wasn't one of Games Workshop's finest hours that was... one of them.

That proviso doesn't limit too much as I could probably kludge together something useable for Clan Pestilens, Flesh-Eater Courts, Bonesplitterz or Sylvaneth with the minimum of fuss or additional outlay in models if I go that route.

On a more practical note for the coming week, I have to admit that even after declaring February “Dwarf Month” I haven't made overmuch progress on that front. Still, I've nearly got the Rangers done and I have my small horde of Ironbreakers and Irondrakes sat to one side of my table waiting to go through the mass production process (and, in the case of the Irondrakes, a rather nice bronze method a friend showed me). So whatever progress I can make on that front is welcome until I find a new theme for March on Wednesday. 

Saturday, 25 February 2017

The To Do List

Well, here it is, and for the first time I'm not completing one of these Hobby Goals on Saturday night so the pictures benefit from something resembling natural light. This isn't exactly for immediate attention, the painting station is still rather crowded, but it'll give me something to dip into when I want to get something done on the side. This is by no means every half-painted miniature in my collection, just the ones that are something close to complete and that I actually feel some urge to finish:

Knights Errant Cavalier
Ser Daniel of the Young Companions”
To do: A few little jobs to do here. First, I need to freehand some basic heraldry onto his shield and barding. Nothing too extravagant, he's only a Knight Errant, just a basic field shape and maybe a small device. After that I just have to highlight the leathers and horse brasses and he's ready for basing.

The Tower Watch of Karond Kar”
To do: Main job is to commit some of the dreaded freehand on that banner. Aside from that there's a little highlighting to do on the armour and I find myself really wanting to redo that leather in something darker like Rhinox Hide or Dryad Bark, its far too light.

Terminator Lord
Siegemaster Scofulas Bezoar”
To do: Main job here is to do all that fiddly banding on the armour plus various other mettalics like the claws and those lengths of garden railing he's wearing on his head for some reason. Also, this is a model that's been sitting to one side for quite a while so first job is to, well... dust him, in all honesty.

Orvyn Godricson”
To do: Since this little fellow shuffled off the painting table I've completely changed how I do Dwarf armour so those silvers will need completely redoing before I even think about drybrushing that beard or filling in the bronze details or painting that book.

The Carroburg Greatswords”
(Oh, I know everyone does the Carroburgs but its a good design.)

To do: Well, the red cloth needs highlighting, all the metal detail on their armour (which will mainly be black lacquered and is, therefore, done) needs doing and I really need to freehand something onto their banner. Their beards need inking and subtly drybrushing, too.

The Bogenhafen Longshots”
To do: A few simple bits of tidying up on the dividing line between the pink and bone sides of the uniform and just a touch of highlighting on the handguns' wooden stocks before I can finish off the basing. Plus, there are a few areas of the chests behind the arms that need some paint applying to them, white being an unforgiving basecoat.

Light of the Old Ones”
To do: Lots and lots to do here but it will be so worth it. Had art block for a while on this little chap but now I think a grey carapace would suit the green I've used for the scales. Aside from that, the Skinks and Ark are simple jobs that I can paint using methods used elsewhere in the army. Though, I admit, the Skinks will take a while over a black undercoat.

The Spears of Heaven”
To do: Probably the most extensive job on this list. The skin is finished but not much else: I need to fill in the shields, the spear hafts and pick out all their teeth, claws and spines. Also, I really need to fix the sand on those bases where its flaked off.

Skink Priest
Kuchiki, Raptor-Priest of Tlaxtlan”
To do: More of the evil and unforgiving white undercoat: I need to choose a colour for that last line of feathers and tidy up the others, plus do the golds on jewellery and staff. Also, like the Saurus the sanding needs redoing because, apparently, Corax White doesn't keep the sand in place as well as Chaos Black.

Ogre Bulls
The Gut Punchers”
To do: Big simple models, big simple jobs. I need to fill in the boots and belts with a different brown than the trousers; drybrush trousers and bone bits; ink the metal; and, add some bronze or brass for contrast on the gutplates. Hair could do with an Eshin Grey drybrush for definition, too.

Gnarly Squigs
Da Chompas”
To do: Just a little highlighting on the flesh, mainly tidying up where the ink layer came out a little too thick, before I can finish up on the bases.

Amon Crookback”
To do: Literally just his basing, quick drybrush and paint the rim in Steel Legion Drab.

Glade Guard
The Blood of Anmyr”
To do: These I abandoned when some fine detail work proved too difficult. There are some very, very fine bits of binding on the models' arms and legs that I just kept missing with my brush point, smearing Steel Legion Drab over their skin. Now I have my Insane Detail Brush, hopefully the task will no longer be beyond me.

The Unquiet Souls”
To do: An easy one to end with. Most of the hard work on these is done, I just have to finish layering the flesh on the spites, drybrush the skulls and then pick out minor details like the vines and fungi. Probably just a single sitting's work. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Lure of the Familiar (and Easy To Paint)

I'm enjoying painting my Kairic Acolytes and I look forward to diving into the Lord Of Change but I do feel the need for something more familiar. New models have a lot to recommend them: they're novel and interesting by default, its enormous fun to experiment with colour schemes and techniques, and there's the promise at the end of it of adding a new dynamic to your army.

Problem is that all that discovery and experimentation is a bit time-consuming. You're constantly finding little details you didn't notice before and sometimes the colour scheme doesn't work out and you have to go back to the drawing board. Fun, definitely, but after a while I know I get an urge to paint something simpler and more familiar.
Hence, me picking up some Chaos Warriors. Not only are they among my favourite kits of all time they're also very user-friendly in terms of painting. Plus, I definitely want at least one unit of them in the Tzeentch army so its also a functional purchase. I'll be building them basically straight out of the box aside from slapping a resin Tzeentchian banner on the standard bearer and, if I can find it, a head from the Chaos Marine upgrade sprue on the champion for extra flavour.

Beyond that the initial plan is to give them Thousand Sons Blue armour and Screamer Pink cloaks with pretty standard colours elsewhere. Quick and simple, I get to finish a key unit for the army whilst I chip away at the Acolytes and test out a few more techniques army-unifying before I head onto the daunting task of the Lord Of Change.

Simple plan, doomed to failure. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Hobby Goals 2017 #8

Hobby Goal #7
Basecoat some Dwarfs

Okay, they may still be the grey horde but they're a different sort of grey. There are couple of other colours I want to add as a group before I start working on them rank by rank but I did what I set out to do: get a start on the remainder of my gromril armoured troops.

I'll be continuing to work on them this week but they're not going to be my Hobby Goal for the week.

Hobby Goal #8
Make a list

I am terrible for leaving models half done. Usually its a simple problem of taking models off the table to use in a game and never putting them back where they came from or just suffering art block and moving on to something else. Regardless of why, it means I have a bunch of models and units I could probably finish in an afternoon each if I put my mind to it.

So, by the end of the week I will have gone through my army cases and boxes and made myself a list.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Hobby Goals 2017 #7

Hobby Goal #5
Build my Lord of Change

Pretty birdie built. Painting him will have to wait a while as I'm waiting to see how someone else's turns out. He has an interesting blue and yellow colour scheme going on for the feathers that I want to try my hand at if the finished product is as good as I think it will be. Besides, the Acolytes still need finishing up. And speaking of finishing...

Hobby Goal #6
Finish a bunch of basing


Horrible habit of mine, finishing models and not getting around to the basing. I mean, the interesting bit is done and paint takes so bloody long to dry on the sand. Anyway, the practical upshot is that I get the pleasing feeling of finishing a whole lot of stuff at once, such as...

five Ironbreakers, five Genestealer Metamorphs, five Renegades, a Flesh Tearers Librarian and five Tactical Marines. Twenty-one models. Bit of a crap batting average for a month and a half but its something.

Anyway, next up on the docket...

Hobby Goal #7
Basecoat some Dwarfs

This idea of batch painting base layers and filling in the details a rank at a time is something I really should experiment with. So this week I will be basecoating as many Dwarfs as I can, starting with the “gromril” armoured units: the remaining Iron breakers and my Irondrakes.

Nothing too strenuous, just get the base silver done and maybe the blue ink. Anything else I get done on them or on the rest of the army is a bonus. 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Hobby Goals 2017 #5 and #6

Hobby Goal #4
Paint the Kairic Acolytes


The Kairic Acolytes turned out to be more work than I anticipated. They looked so simple and then I got to the gold. All the bloody gold: the edging on the shields, the edging on the armour plates, the belt buckles, the hilts of the swords, the masks. There's just so much fine detail they're too damn hard to batch paint beyond the basic block colouring. So, right now, three quarters of the unit look like this...
with another rank just starting to get all their gold edging halfway to done. Didn't help that I ended up wasting my first couple of painting sessions on a colour scheme that didn't work and had to start from scratch but I have learnt a valuable lesson:
Clearly I need a change in philosophy here.

The days when I had the time to finish a unit in a week, let alone a unit I've never painted before, are done so from now on there'll be no more “finish a unit” goals. I'll start this week with a simple, immediate goal and work my way up, see how far I can reasonably take this instead of making myself grumpy because I just don't have enough time.

Also, I like the method that's arisen here through practicality. I decided I'd go mad trying to do the gold edging as a twenty model block so I'm doing it a rank at a time. I might try this out with another unit: base coats as a block then do the detail work rank by rank. If it works I get to have that high of “I finished something” sooner and more frequently.

We'll see.

Hobby Goal #5
Build my Lord of Change

Well, it arrived in the pre-orders yesterday and I want to get some momentum behind this project. With any luck I can plug away at the Acolytes for the rest of the week and have them done by the time I've finished building the Greater Daemon. I also want to write some background for the army, work out who they are and what they're doing.

But also...

Hobby Goal #6
Finish a bunch of basing

I said this month would be about Dwarfs and a Lord Of Change is not a Dwarf. Where there are some Dwarfs is on the basing shelf. There's also a lot of other models dating back to just before Christmas who need their bases finishing. The shelf currently contains five Ironbreakers, five Flesh Tearers Tactical Marines and a Librarian, five Traitor Guardsmen and five Genestealer Metamorphs.

If I get these done I can put twenty-one models in the finished column. 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

February is Dwarf Month

Themed month of hobby, why not? And since I'm starting this on the shortest month I might as well start with my shortest army: the Dwarfs of Karak Ziflin!

They're an army I've really enjoyed using the last couple of months and, as ever, my desire to build has outpaced my desire to paint. Funny thing to say, I know, but I find the act of putting models together very therapeutic. As such there's quite a few of these little fellows waiting to have some paint slapped on them.

Not only that, but a while back I bought some of the Avatars Of War Dwarf Berzerkers (aka Not Slayer Honest Guv) and I'm keen to get them built and painted.

They'll not be the only thing I'll be working on this month but I'm determined to make real headway on the project oiver the next four weeks.