Saturday, 8 October 2016

August & September 2016

It feels like I'm almost entering the last stretch with the Dragon Princes.

Barring a symbol or something to be painted on the two banners and assembling all the individually painted parts, I think I'm done with the torsos. That means I'm now onto the horses. I've already got about 10 or so whose flesh is painted to an acceptable standard, leaving 20 more to do the flesh on, followed by the armour and cloth.  I'm going to need to take a closer look at the horses I've already done the flesh on as although I know I've basecoated them I'm not sure how many have had the wash and highlight treatment.

From my progress this week and last I'm starting to think I could really do with a much wider brush for getting my basecoats on (especially as I'm still not sure about forking out for an airbrush without having any idea how much use I'd actually get out of it).  The main brush I'm using at the moment is a 4, or at least far as I can tell from what markings on the handle haven't rubbed off. Given how many large areas there are to apply paint to, I'm sure I'd be able to drastically reduce the amount of time needed to apply a base layer with a wider brush, even if I was going have to go back into some crevices with the 4 to make sure everything is covered.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out what painting I can do at home that will help reduce the amount that needs doing at work.  Currently it's looking like  about the only thing I can do that won't lead to needing to be too careful is painting the base layer of horse armour and the rider's legs. As I managed to find a rare few minutes to do some painting at home this weekend I touched up the base coat of Ironbreaker on some of the horses that are in the queue for flesh painting and also started work on painting my Repeater Bolt Throwers, since as they're assembled they should be reasonably quick to paint. I say "reasonably quick" as I'd just glued them together without considering how I was going to be painting the bolts, which look like they're potentially going to be a pain on the two that have the six-bolt configuration.

So that I can cross the bolt throwers off my list of units that need to be built and finished I need to get on with building the crews.  As I'm kit bashing them one of the first priorities is making sure I've got the parts I need as I've a suspicion that I needed an extra arm or two but can't recall for definite.

When the bolt throwers are done I then need to find time when I'm at home to work on getting some of my other models built.  I should probably look at sorting out some of my monster and chariot kits first before shifting on to my units of White Lions that I'm currently using three of my cardboard storage boxes to house models in various state of clean up and construction, although my absolute priority should probably be converting up/kit bashing some command models for my archers and spearmen so I can start thinking about finally selling off my metal models, which I've been loathe to do until I've got plastic equivalents of everything I'm currently using (which is one of the reasons why I've been trying to sort the Dragon Princes out as they've been used quite often in any games I've had of over 2000 points)

Thursday, 4 August 2016

July 2016

As with the past few updates, what hobby I'm managing to get done has been continuing work on my Dragon Princes, specifically the shields. Having completed the first base coats around the time of my last update, I've since touched up where needed and applied washes.  I'm now painting the backs of the shields and lance shafts with my preferred colour for light wood for my High Elves.

Shield progress sample

Banner progress example
I also took a few minutes a couple of weeks ago to dig out the bulk of the unassembled and unpainted models I have to figure out just how many I've got before I can start looking at selling off anything.  As I'd got the paste table set up in the shed I spread the models out on there to photograph, which meant I could leave the acutal counting until later. 

Thursday, 30 June 2016

June 2016

As I mentioned last time out, due to the arrival of daughter number two I hadn't managed to get any hobby done in May. I've been able to rectify that this month and carry on working on my Dragon Princes. I've done just about as much as I think I can now on the heads and torsos, barring a final highlight on the faces once I find the paint I normally use for that.

This week I've been working on the shields. I'd been unsure about how I was going to paint them but in the end decided to stick to using the blues I use for the army with silver and gold for the decoration. The photo below is of a selection of those that are work in progress. (Apologies for the slightly out of focus shot but I was in a hurry to tidy up)

Work in progress on the shields
I'm hoping to find time to do an inventory of the models I've got unbuilt at some point over the summer so I can try and figure out if I want to get rid of anything from my plastics to go along with the metals I plan to offload.  While last year I was harbouring plans of sorting out a second army, at the moment I'm not so sure I can drum up the enthusiasm to clean up,build and paint another army, especially considering how little gaming I've got done over the past year.  It might have to be a case of wait and see, although depending on how much I can get for the models I end up selling I might end up putting that money aside for more photography gear as I appear to have been bitten by the photography bug again.  (Yes, that's right, at a time when I've got even less money to spare than I had before, I've regained enthusiasm for my most expensive hobby)

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

May 2016

Sorry for the delay in updating the blog but I've been a bit busy with the arrival of daughter number two.

With taking paternity leave I didn't get an awful lot of painting done in May.  Well, model painting at least. I spent the best part of two weeks painting what was the spare room, as the missus offered daughter number one the choice of staying in her current room or moving into the "spare" room. Needless to say, she decided to move and so the room had to be emptied out and then decorated.

To that end I've taken this:

Emptied it out to this:

And then painted it up like this:

(Apologies for the distortions in these images but i took them using the photosphere feature on my phone which doesn't cope so well when parts of the image are at close range)

After this last picture was taken I also installed a fold-up desk near the bed and brought in an Ikea bookcase for the wall where the clock is.

There's still some work I need to do later in the year - I want to completely strip and repaint the doors and the white wooded bit in the bottom left of the pictures (which is over the stairs) and some work still needs doing in the built in cupboard.

Hopefully sometime in June I can get back to painting miniatures

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

March/April 2016

This post is an amendment and continuation of the post I had planned to make in March - and then forgot to set live, so apologies if you were eagerly awaiting that update.

After a false start (ie. forgetting to take the parts to work with me that I was wanting to paint) I finally got back into lunchtime painting at work in March. Of course, it couldn't be completely simple. I realised as soon as I started painting the Dragon Prince heads that, for ease of handling, it would have made sense to have stuck them to the torsos first. I'd deliberately not stuck them on so that I'd have a smidgen more brush room when painting the faces but it's now looking like whatever time I would have saved will be lost through needing to paint both sides of the head separately, not to mention having to clean rather more paint off my fingers compared to normal.

Some of my work in progress
I also made a bit of a booboo by not doing the gold trim before applying Badab Black wash, which means I'm probably going to have to go over parts of the models with both Ironbreaker and more wash once I've got the gold layer on, adding more time to the process. (And I'll definitely have to go over one torso piece I managed to drop into the compartment of my pallet that had the paint in I was using at that time...) It didn't help that I didn't have the right gold paint, Retributor Armour, at work to start doing it so I went straight on to washes after finishing the Ironbreaker layer without thinking.  And this week, when I did finally get round to digging out my pot of Retributor Armour, I couldn't find my pot of Liberator Gold that I was sure I had and was using as the first highlight on the gold layer. At the time of writing I still haven't found this and I'm starting to wonder if I'd been using one of my older GW gold paints for the highlight or not. (Edit:- Have since found it.  I'd been looking for a pot with a clear top, since that's what all my other GW metal paints are in, whereas Liberator Gold is in a white top bottle)

Champion head work in progress
I've finally gotten round to looking at all my White Lions with a view to getting them cleaned up and undercoated.  As I'd bought around 20-30 off ebay there's more clean up work required than I would have liked as there's a fair few obvious mould lines that need sorting, plus the joins on the right shoulder pads are going to need work to remove the quite obvious gap (or at least eliminate the gaps enough that it's not going to bother me). Unfortunately, a number of the ones I'd bought had already been undercoated or part-undercoated.  On examination now it looks like some may have been an end of the can job given the comparative uneven-ness of the undercoat.  I had planned simply to strip the models using Simple Green as normal but while this worked on a handful of models,  those I'd got that were undercoated in white don't appear to have been affected by the Simple Green.  I've found this on a few models I tried to strip that I'd undercoated in Army Painter white spray primer and I'm wondering if there's something in the Army Painter sprays that Simple Green can't get through.  This means I'm going to have to be extra careful not to overdo the undercoat once I've got the models cleaned up and filled to a satisfactory level.

Torso work in progress
I've still not gotten round to properly assessing if I can use Dark Rider cloaks as a substitute for the Sisters of Avelorn/Shadow Warriors cloaks which I really must get around to doing, if only so I can get on with selling off the parts I don't need from the Dark Riders/Doomfire Warlocks kit I bought.  I've been on another minor spending spree, buying a load of Shadow Warrior legs, some cloaks and one more Dragon Prince shield that I need for that unit.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

February 2016

My, my, how time flies. It only feels like five minutes ago that I sat down to write the January blog post.

It's a good job I don't go in for New Year's resolutions as February would have seen me break mine.  As mentioned in the January blog, I'm trying to have a real crackdown on spending at the moment.  Unfortunately, that went right out the window when one of the bits sites I use got some new stock in of bits I need for completing my Dragon Princes and some bits I can use for my Shadow Warriors. That probably wouldn't have been too hard on the wallet but then I had the thought that with GW repackaging more and more of their kits, anything I buy new will be on round rather than square bases, and so I ended up ordering a tonne of cavalry and 20mm infantry bases as well, which ratcheted up the final total quite a bit.

My second resolution, if I had made one, would probably have been to do more hobby.  Alas, February seems on course to be another comparatively quiet month as all I've achieved is clean up and assembly of bits (including those I've bought this month) for my Dragon Princes.  Hopefully what little I have done should at least be progress of sorts as I believe I've now cleaned up all the bits I have for the DPs at the moment and I'm hoping to get some time to undercoat them all this weeked. If I can do that then I should be able to get back to doing some painting in my lunchbreak at work in a week or two.

The main thing that's stopping me getting any painting done in my lunchbreak at the moment is that I'm currently trying to set up a revised homepage for the events website.  I've had a few nagging emails from Google about how I should do x, y and z to make things better for different devices and as there's the vague threat in there that your site's search ranking may be affected I've decided to get on and finish off a changed design I started working on a while ago.  Unfortunately, as is often the way with the website, I've found a few things that really need changing on the backend to make it easier and/or more flexible to produce the required information, and before you know it what should have been a reasonably straightforward upgrade of the homepage has spiralled into something bigger. Of course, it hasn't helped that as I've looked into making the layout of the homepage more responsive to screen size, I ended up banging my head up against the proverbial brick wall trying to find a suitable technique that will make it scale up and down as required.  And that's even before I try and do any slightly extensive cross-browser testing of it...

Thursday, 28 January 2016

January 2016

Hi folks,

So, this is the first blog of 2016.  I hope you're all well-rested and recovered after the festivities and that Santa/your significant other brought you all the hobby bits you asked for.

This year my hobby haul as a bit light, consisting only of one box of the High Elf Mage/Archmage kit.  In fact, I wouldn't have got that except that my five year old daughter told my wife that she wanted to get me some models and that was the cheapest kit on my Christmas list.  The missus was a bit annoyed as that kit was over the £10 budget we'd set for presents to us from our daughter, although she didn't do herself any favours by ordering it from GW's website when she couldn't find it in the local independent store, rather than asking me to suggest alternative places to buy stuff from.

At least I actually got stuff I asked for this year and it was the right stuff.  Last year was a bit of a farce when the missus managed to order the Italian version of a Blu-ray I wanted.  There was I, trying to be helpful by sending her a link to a list I'd set up Google Sheets that listed what I was after, as well as putting a link to the product page on the appropriate website, and she just read what the item was in the first column, typed a search into Amazon and ended up picking the wrong thing.  Thankfully this year I was spared the chore of having to arrange replacement items as she took my advice to use the links I'd provided in the list document. In case you're wondering, my other Christmas goodies this year were the 5th volume of the Walking Dead hardback collections, the complete series of Psychoville on Blu-ray, a tub of Masters Old Brush Soap (which I can't buy locally now as far as I'm aware since the big toys and craft store in town closed down a few years ago) and a 10 stop neutral density filter for my camera (which I'm unlikely to get to use until our holiday in July).

I've managed to get a little bit of hobby done since the last blog.  I managed to do the Dragon Prince horses in Dheneb Stone that I'd planned to, as well as doing some cleaning up of some more Dragon Prince models I've bought. I've decided now to aim for 30 in my collection - originally I was only going to do 24 but then decided to round it up to 30 and so I bought a box from the local store when I was down for club night (as subs are £2 or a item purchase of £2.50 or more I justified the purchase on the grounds that it was an extra £2 saving on something I was planning to buy anyway) as well as buying some bits from a bits site sale.  Worryingly, last night when I was trying to sort out some models to take to work for lunchtime painting, I found a load more Dragon Prince bits in the box I'd put my assmebled Shadow Warriors and Sisters of Avelorn in, so now I think I may have too many bits. (Looking at the bright side, that might mean bits spare for conversions/kit bashes.)

As I'm still aiming to try and have a bit of every unit that was in the 8th edition army book, I've finally come to a decision as to what I want to do about Silver Helms.  I'm planning to heavily kit-bash them using the horses from the Dark Riders/Doomfire Warlocks kit and then whatever other bits of bodies, lances etc that I can find that will work.  To that effect I've so far bought five horses from a bits site and a new box of Warlocks from someone selling one off cheap online to give me 10 horses so far.  Not sure how many I want overall, I'll possibly end up going to 30 as with the Drgaon Princes depending on how easily I can come by the Dark Rider horses.  I'd hoped the capes from the Dark Riders could be easily adapted to the spare Shadow Warrior bodies I've got left over from making my Sisters of Avelorn but on examining the kit I see that the cape actually comes with part of a torso.  It might be possible to use them still, I'm just not sure if it might be a bit too much work considering the amount of stuff I've got to build.

All that said, at the moment I'm trying to have a real crack down on my spending as I had to buy a new TV just before Christmas and in general I'm fed up of being a bit skint (although that's mainly thanks to having to pay out for things for the house).  I really do need to get round to selling off my High Elf metal models to free up cash for paying for any bits I need but I've got to sort out some replacement standard bearers for my Core infantry before I can really consider doing that.  This is something that's sort of been on the back burner for a couple of years that I should probably try and sort out this year, assuming I can find the time.

I also need to try and have another sort through the house to try and get all my Warhammer stuff into as few places as possible.  I do actually have the storage boxes I need to house my army but at the moment one of them has most of my metal models in, another has a load of family photo albums in that I'm trying to get scanned in (one of my other projects I don't have enough time for), one has the plastic models of my army that I'm not currently using, and the fourth is... somewhere.  As well as that, I should probably also have a long think about what other bits of the wife's Dark Elves that are left that I'll ever make use of and sell off what I'm not going to use.  When I started thinking about selling off her metal stuff for her, the Khaine End Times book was either out or enough was known about the rules that I was intending to hold on to the Dark Elf plastics to use as allies to my High Elves in a Host of the Aestyrion/Phoenix King/Eternity King list.  Now, I'm not sure I'm really likely to ever use  a lot of what she's got.  

Anyway, that's all for now folks.