sunnuntai 11. syyskuuta 2016

Return to 40k

It's been pretty quiet for the last few months miniatures wise for me, but I finally got around to finishing up a bunch of minis that had been lying around on the desk in a half-finished state for ages.

I used to play a lot of 40k in the early 00's during 4th edition, but my interest died down in my late teens alongside other hobby interests as well. I still played a lot of the 40k video games and loved reading the novels from Black Library, so it probably isn't that surprising that I'd eventually be drawn back in. Unfortunately in my silly youth I went and sold my Imperial Guard and Death Guard armies so getting back into playing has really required me to build an army from scratch again. I actually started with Tau a few years back, but after a few units I realized that they are not for me and dropped that. Fast forward some more years and on a random whim I ended up walking away from my local store with a Dark Vengeance box in my back. Being a fairly devout follower of Chaos it seems that I just couldn't resist the lure of the dark gods any longer.

I've actually been pretty lazy in painting these as my relapse into 40k has been more of a modelling hobby until now as I've just been randomly kitbashing miniatures from various different Space Marine and Chaos Space Marine kits, but never really putting any paint on them. But with a club 40k campaign starting this summer I figured I'd finally get to painting them as well. To start of easily I picked the Cultists as my first unit before venturing into Chaos Space Marines themselves.

I set myself a target that every single model should have at least something converted to set them apart, with parts taken from multiple kits being the minimum requirement. However with these guys I kind of cheated as many of the sculpts are a bit more difficult to convert as they are snap fit models. So only a few simple weapon and head swaps on them, and otherwise they are mostly just straight out of the box.

These were actually painted all the way back in May for most parts with only the bases and weapons being unpainted. With my slump in hobby motivation they were pushed into the back of the painting desk and left gathering dust until I finally pulled myself together this week to finish them up. I wanted to keep the paint job fairly simple and tried using mainly edge highlights to bring out detail. I still need quite a bit of practice with that as some colour choices were probably a bit too stark and my brush work wasn't always tidy enough. Still from a normal gaming distance they look quite nice.

I wanted my force to have a rubble basing theme so I filled the bases with cork pieces, kickplate shaped plasticard and some different plastic profiles to represent fallen debris etc. After a basic drybrushed paintjob I went over them with different pigments to vary the shades and especially to simulate heavy rusting on the metal areas. Turned out quite nicely at first, but when it came time to varnish the minis a lot of the pigments sort of blended into the miniatures. I had used pigment fixer on them beforehand, but apparently not enough as the varnish diluted them again. As with the edge highlights I really need some more practice with pigments as well. But at least they seem pretty promising for tasks like this.

With these done I finally have a much emptier painting desk. I've had so many things in a WIP state on the table that it's actually sapped a lot of my painting motivation away. I've packed most away from sight and hopefully just having a few things on the table won't seem so overwhelming all the time.

Hobby progress will continue to be quite slow throughout the coming months as hunting season started again in the beginning of August and I'm in the woods for most of the weekends until December. It's also my dogs first proper hunting season as he's starting to be old enough to take with me on trips. With a bit under two years of age he is still quite overeager at times, but hopefully more practice and age will help.

maanantai 22. elokuuta 2016

Ropecon 2016

I've been a bit slow going through pictures from my camera, but I guess it's better late than never!

Finland's largest gaming event, Ropecon, was held again this year on the last weekend of July. A new venue, as the normal one is under renovation, was much more spacious as it was a convention hall, but unfortunately different things were very spaced out in different areas. Previously roleplayers, card players, miniature games and all the others were quite mixed up, but now all groups had more or less their own areas and not much intermingling seemed to be happening.

One of the highlights for me was a lecture by Finland's gift to wargaming, Tuomas Pirinen of former GW fame, about the process behind the creation of the Warhammer Chaos books that he authored in the 90s. Great stuff with some very nice background info on why certain gods have been developed the way they were and about different characters that he created for the universe. Having always been a follower of the Chaos Gods and of Nurgle especially it really gave some great insight into the faction. Also some John Blanche artwork was on show with original prints of images used in books and even some unreleased ones as well. Great lecture, too bad that he didn't have more time. And bonus points for dressing in character as he was in suitably chaotic cosplay garb at the convention.

As usual our club was very active with multiple demonstration games in different systems. I ran Bolt Action again with a very Commando themed scenario, in addition to that there was another Bolt Action game for Africa around 1942, American War of Indepence with Black Powder rules, Dark Ages and Medieval with both Saga and Lion Rampant, Dropzone Commander and Infinity. So we had a pretty good selection showing different gaming systems in addition to the ones that had tournaments running (40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Age of Sigmar, Warmachine etc.) Unfortunately I forgot to take too many pictures of our tables so a couple of snaps of my own game will have to suffice.

I've run a fairly similar scenario before as well with British Airborne making a dawn assault from all sides on a German HQ building. This time simplified it a bit with the Brits just having to capture a trio of German characters and escape with them while reinforcements from a nearby German garrison would try to stop them. Games ended up being evenly won by both sides so I guess fairly balanced. Plenty of movement required by both sides so everyone got to be quite active and with a Commando themed game action was plentiful!

As always there was also a painting competition with some pretty impressive entries. Our club had a clean sweep of the competition with all prices except one being shared by two of our members. I snapped some pictures of my favorite entries from the competition. Funnily enough not too many shots of any of the winning entries except for the Warhound which wasn't by any of our clubmembers and which took the open category if I recall correctly.

And finally pics of an amazing Mordheim table. A campaign was played through the three day event with couple of players vying for control of the fabled city of Mordheim. A nice choice as well as Tuomas Pirinen, who gave a lecture on Chaos in Warhammer, originally created Mordheim as a setting and the rules as well and was apparently very taken by the fact that it's still played and quite popular.

torstai 11. elokuuta 2016

Reaper monsters

A couple of quick paintjobs to get back in the groove. These are both from the Reaper Bones range of cheap plastic minis. Overall quite nice and characterful sculpts with good detail. I especially like the face sculpted on the Ogres club, small details like this really bring the models to life. Still there are limitations and the production method was showing with some areas having detail that was obscured, like the legs of both minis) and there were a lot of mould lines to clean, but still for a few euros per model these are still a bargain.

I wanted to keep them nice and fast to paint and with large skin areas that was quite easily achieved. A couple of highlight layers on the skin areas and everything else was just finished with a base colour, a wash and another layer of the base colour again.

As I said in the last post I haven't really felt like painting for a long time for some reason. I guess it's partly to do with the fact that I tend to paint larger units at a time so it really starts to feel like a chore soon. Painting these two fellows only really took me a few hours and was a really nice change to my routine. And it was actually fun to paint again! I guess I should probably do this more often to keep my motivation up. Painting up large units at a time has it's virtues with projects advancing faster, but especially after last spring it somehow really wore me down.

keskiviikko 3. elokuuta 2016

Getting back in the groove

My holiday is finally over and after a few days at work I've been getting back into the everyday rhythm. The five weeks went through like a breeze with a trip to France, some weddings and other occasions filling the calendar. And what free time there was was spent outside of home at our summer cottage. No real progress on the hobby front to report as I haven't really picked up the brushes since late June and only got in one game during the whole holiday period. I've been lagging behind following blogs as well, as my only internet access has usually just been my mobile phone. It's hard to realize how much cool stuff is published until you try to check everything once every two weeks and notice you have hundreds of posts to check out!

Our trip to France was fairly productive with one memory card full of photos from Hotel des Invalides, which really proved to be an excellent place to visit. Nearly one whole day was spent looking at everything on show and with Bastille day being only a few days later we happened to be there during an awards ceremony where some higher officers were given medals for their service. It was nice watching the parade and hearing some military music played by the band. After this post I'm starting to go through all the pics and editing suitable ones for the blog. Hopefully the break between posts won't be as long as the last one.

I've had somewhat of a painting block for quite a while now after the Painting Challenge finished. I powered through the Frostgrave stuff, but other than that I honestly haven't really felt like painting anything. I think part of it comes from trying to paint too large batches at once, and partly from not really having any project that currently really inspires me. Gargant mob went on a backburner until I can think of some good colour schemes for them.

To get something done I tried my hand on painting up some Panzer IV's that I'd bought second hand online with just a basecoat applied. The colour modulation went on great, but my green camouflage ended up turning out quite horribly as I just couldn't get the paint to flow out nicely and not drying up on the nozzle every 5 seconds. To add insult to injury I realized what had seemed wrong  about them the whole time as most hatches were painting in the wrong directions and some parts weren't where they were supposed to be... No wonder they were so darn cheap. Now they are on hold as well until I figure if I want to strip them of paint and do another camouflage job or just go on and quickly finish them and  buy some better models later on to replace them.

With them pushed to the back as well I picked a few prepped Reaper monsters as something quick to get me going again. Not much progress yet, but at least painting on the first skin layers on the ogre and golem didn't feel like a chore. Slow start, but it hopefully it will see me back in the groove and enjoying painting again!