Thursday, 24 December 2015

As the year draws to an end. . .

My best wishes to all my followers whatever holiday you celebrate.

See you when the year turns.

Take care.


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Solitaire... The Path of Damnation.

(This is a post that has been sat in limbo for a couple of months)

A little while ago I took part in a challenge on Facebook. The challenge was to take the Mordheim special character Aenur, The Sword of Twilight (which many people had knocking around due to him being a freebie on a white dwarf cover) and just get creative with the base miniature.

For my conversion I decided to make an Eldar Harlequin Solitaire. I love the tragic destiny of the Solitaire, their curse for playing the role of the Chaos God Slaanesh, that their own soul is forfeit to that same god upon their death unless The Laughing God can trick them out of that prize. A lonely wandering figure ostracized from their own people due to the path they tread.

I did have a bit of a problem after agreeing to take part in the challenge, during the course of the time I was supposed to work on the figure Nurgle blessed my household. We had a major head-cold circulate several times around the family and I ended up in a zombie like state unable to focus on anything for longer than a few minutes at a time. I ended up doing the conversion and sculpting in the week leading up to the deadline and through sheer force of will painted the miniature that very evening (actually I was 10 mins late for the deadline due to having to take pictures, but I was let off).

My main inspiration for the conversion was this piece of John Blanche artwork:

I wanted to stay away from the oft used purples and pinks that usually signify Slaanesh, but I still wanted something that looked opulent. So I thought referring back to the main inspiration of Blanche's art would be best and go for the tried and true red, black, white with some gold detailing that much of his work uses.

With that in mind I looked for a bit more inspiration and found this Jokers Card to my liking:

So, with some inspirational images, a general idea of what I wanted to makea a dip into my bitsbox and the Asslessbits box (guess the bits JB) and my limited mental faculties at the time here is what I was able to come up with:

The Harlequin's Kiss was from my bitsbox (actually a badly damaged classic solitaire), I carved away the original right arm and hair and sculpted the hood and some shoulder pads from greenstuff

I textured the inside of the cloak with liquid greenstuff to look something like velvet (great for texture on models, naff at gap filling), I sculpted a smock over the elven clothing retaining the original belt, the studs on the thigh boot were carefully placed little beads from a water filter; and you can make out the bangle I fit around the left ankle which was the finding from some fine chain.

The Eldar-like backpack was sculpted and built from bits. I really enjoyed building up this detailed base, cork tile, baking soda and a small amount of sand to build up the earthen parts, then clump foliage for the mossy areas I used some dried roots here and there for scrubby plants with a couple of leaves to finish off. 

The painting turned out better than I thought it would at the time. I tried to keep the colours clean and rich as befits the Eldar. I'm not completely happy with the gold flame pattern, that's something I could really improve on in future.
The diamonds... What can I say... Major pain in the backside... I find patterns difficult at the best of times, never mind when I can barely see straight. I would like to practice more with patterns though, they look really nice once done.
The photographs don't really show it but I gloss varnished all the bone/white armour parts, the mask and the Kiss to give them an organic/warithbone look.

Overall I'm happy with the finished model. Not 100%.. But happy under the circumstances it was made and painted.

Let me know what you think, I may go back to it and clean it up a little more at a later date.

Take care.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Organising my mountain of metal and plastic

Hey guys and gals, hope you're all doing well.

I'm having a bit of a late spring clean of my hobby area and supplies. I've lacked focus when it comes to my hobby output recently and I want to get it under control again. I'm packing up a lot of my miniatures and parts, I'm flitting between projects and ideas far too much, the fallout of which being nothing is actually getting finished.

So I'm trying to be strict on myself, I'm allowing myself a single shelf of current projects. Which I can replenish when I've cleared space upon it. (It's not likely to work, I know me, but I might be better at it than I have been recently). The second empty shelf in the pic below is for my other-halfs projects she's starting on.

The major pain at the moment is trawling through all the bits boxes and tubs that are scattered all over the hobby room, the picture below is literally the tiniest tip of the gargantuan iceberg. There was an incident involving all the model parts a while back, my kids knocked over a huge stack of boxes and tons of parts from lots of different ranges were spilled all over the grey carpet. I've only just worked up the nerve to go through all the parts and sort them out.

I've made some headway in the organising and I took on board the advice I asked for on the blog a while back. Storing parts in clearly labeled boxes etc.

I've got stacks of sandwhich boxes, take away tubs and sectioned boxes waiting to be filled. It's taking an age, but it should make things an awful lot easier in the long run.

It may be quiet for a little bit around the blog while I try and slog through this extremely dull job. But I shall return as soon as able and hopefully you'll begin to see all the little projects I've started and left to linger in hobby butterfly limbo.

*sigh* back to it, if I want to scale plastic/lead mountain I have to prepare for the journey first.

Take care everybody, I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Terrain: Shipping Containers part - 02

Hi everybody, this is just a quick update. I managed to knock out another two containers today between other things I had going on so I'm up to six now. I also found something in my bitz-box to use as handles on the "doors", I think they were from the old Rhino kit but I'm not 100% sure.

I'm not going to mess about making hinges and things, I'd like to imagine that they have internal hinges or something along those lines. Plus I'm being a bit lazy and I'm trying to keep them robust enough for constant handling on the tabletop.

I should be painting these up within the next couple of days. I'm thinking about trying out salt weathering on them, it's something I've wanted to have a go at for a while and these large flat(ish) surfaces should be good to practice on.

I'll be back as soon as I make some headway.

Take care.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Terrain: Shipping Containers part - 01

Hi everybody, I know, I know... I've been a bit lax with hobby updates recently , but random life events and injuries got in the way of some quality hobby time.

The Deadzone Plague miniatures I mentioned a couple of posts back are still in progress. I've just been finding it hard to motivate myself to actually sit and get on with any painting.

I decided to get on with something quick and easy to break me out of my hobby-block. And I've been needing to get on with some terrain for my collection anyway... So, two birds, one stone and all that.

I went to a local model railway store and picked up some supplies and this is what I've been up to today:

I've been wanting to make some shipping containers for quite some time, so I got some supplies together and made a start on them. I wanted them to still fit in with other 40k terrain I'll be making and the Necromunda bulkheads seemed just the thing to keep them in theme.

I'm pretty happy with how they've turned out so far. I like the scale and they are quite durable, being constructed entirely in plastic and fixed together with poly-cement. They'll be able to be played over easily and block lines of sight effectively. Really looking forward to getting them done and onto the table.

I just need to add some minor details like hinges and door handles and then I can get them painted up.
For anybody interested in how they were constructed, it was not terribly complicated and a very quick and simple rundown follows hence forth.

My Supplies:

A few packs of textured styrene.

Several "L" shaped styrene rods.

And a dip into my stash of Necromunda bulkheads.

Along with a cutting mat, steel ruler, scalpel, clippers, some poly-cement and some plain styrene sheet (not pictured).


The first step was to measure and cut the textured styrene to fit the edges of the bulkheads. I left them the original length they came in the pack and just cut the width down.

The top 70mm wide, 2 sides at 67mm wide and I cut a plain piece of styrene sheet (which I forgot to take a picture of) for the bottom that measured 130mm long and 70mm wide. I also cut the "L" rod into 124mm lengths (4 per container)

The Necromunda bulkheads have little bumps/pins inside the slots, which were used for keeping the original cardstock in place securely.

A few slices with the scalpel and they were removed to allow more space for the styrene sheets.

Everything went together very easily and securely and I just wrapped them in a couple of rubber bands to hold things in place while the poly cement set.

As an after-thought I decided to remove the forks from the bottom that normally hold the bulkheads together.

And on these ones too (It would have been easier before construction, but I didn't think about that at the time)

With the forks removed the containers stack neatly on top of each other.

That's pretty much it. I'm taking another stroll down to the model railway shop in the next few days, one more pack of the textured sheet and the leftover ones I have will net me two more containers.

Anyhoo, I'm done babbling now. Hope everybody out there has been doing well and I'll get back to you all when I've done a little more work on these pieces of terrain.

Until then, take care :)

Saturday, 7 March 2015

I found some angry short dudes!

Hey folks, hope you're all well.

I've been a bit too busy running errands and sorting the house out to sit and crack on with my current projects this week...


But there was a little bit of a silver lining. While cleaning the house from top to bottom I discovered a handful of tubs/jars with stripping miniatures inside that I had completely forgotten about. Since I had a few minutes to myself this morning I decided to open one up and get them scrubbed:

A bunch of Dwarf Slayers, a mix of old and new. I'd been picking up small lots here and there over the last couple of years, with an eye toward a Karak Kadrin (Slayer Keep) Project. But that is going to be some way off yet. These little guys will just have to take a load off with the rest of their Slayer buddies:

I've got everything I need, I'm just waiting for a time to put other projects aside and get to work on them.
It's going to be quite an intimidating horde of angry short guys when it does get done :) 

Well, better get back to the cleaning, my hobby desk was sacrificed to the storage gods while I was working around the house. I'd better get it cleaned if I do want a chance in Hell of getting back to my projects.

Until next time, take care.

Friday, 20 February 2015

It's 2015... And I'm back... Finally!

Hello everybody, long time no see.

This is actually the second attempt at my first post of 2015. The first just got too depressing to read and I've decided to bin it.

To paraphrase that abortive post: "From the end of September 2014 and up until a couple of weeks ago, lots of crap for my family and I to endure (trouble, sickness, threat of homlessness), massive hobby slump, bleurgh..."  

Trust me, that was better than the awful depressing drudge I was going to inflict on you all... Better to flush it and concentrate on good things.

I'd pretty much packed up all my minature hobby gear and materials because I just didn't have the drive to get on with any of the projects I still had on the go at the end of September. I've mainly just been keeping up with roleplay in my gaming group as my sole form of fun and escape.

But over the last few weeks I've been catching up on blogs on my feed (many of which are you, my followers) I've mainly been reading and rushing on to read more from others without stopping to comment (sorry about that) and there have been an awful lot of exciting projects on the go.

I'm starting to feel that little spark of inspiration starting to rekindle. So I owe you all a great big thank you for being such an imaginative and creative bunch of people.

So... Baby steps... I'm wanting to get back into the hobby groove so I'm working on a couple of little projects to warm up:

A little while back over on the Oldhammer forum a thread was started entitled Oldhammer Salvation Army, where members could post up miniature conversions that were forgotten and/or in need of some love.

I adopted this little fellow:
As you can see he didn't survive the trials of Royal Mail intact...

A conversion made by Whiskey Priest which he dubbed "some kind of admech sound specialist". But the moment I saw him I knew what I wanted to use him for:

After repairs and a little conversion work he is going to be used to represent an Imperial Astropath.
I imagine the staff to be an ancient piece of dark-age tech that basically amounts to an astropathic amplifier.
Here he is with his inquisitorial agent buddies Freeman and the Priest, two of my own forgotten/unloved conversions now given purpose.

I'm going to do some more detail work across the three of them and get them painted as a little project together. I was thinking of adding an Eldar member to the group and I also need to make an inquisitor to lead them.

My friend has been really championing Mantics Deadzone and wanting to get members of our group to play it. I've had a couple of games and I like how it plays.

The same friend backed the Kickstarter and got multiples of the faction starters which he gave as gifts to many of us.

I was given the Plague faction and have started to work on them:

I didn't like the integral bases on the Mantic figures and so I've removed them so I can make some more personally pleasing bases.

You may have noticed the new look of my blog, I started to change the look and layout back in September. I'm not completely happy with it and it may change a bit until I find what I'm after.

I've got a few more little bits and bobs that I want to work on, but I'm just going to try to ease myself back into hobbying slowly.

I'm also considering posting about my roleplay interests too, but I'm not too sure at the moment... I'll ponder upon it.

So... Sorry I was gone for so long... I'll hopefully be back a lot sooner this time... Asa always comments/critiques much appreciated.

Take care.