Sunday, 25 August 2019

Malifaux - Domadores de Cadaveres

When these miniatures were released I just thought they looked so cool I had to have them, that they fit with my Lady Justice crew was an added bonus! However, with the announcement of Third Edition these Spanish necromancers got shelved as I waited to see what the new version of the rules would be. Now that Third Edition is out and it looks good, I've been motivated to finish painting my Domadores de Cadaveres as a final addition to my Lady Justice crew.

As a bonus, I've managed to get one of my housemates into the idea of Malifaux so hopefully I'll get some games in of that later this year. Should that happen I think I'll pick myself up another crew to play around with and right now I'm considering Lucius as I'd like to play something that is very different to the combat-oriented Lady Justice. We shall see...

Sunday, 18 August 2019

More Primaris Conversions

Due to moving house and not having any internet I was forced to take a bit of a break from blogging for a few months but now I'm back, and not with any of the stuff I was actually meant to be painting...
Earlier this year I ended up with another set of easy-build Intercessors, initially  I was planning on converting into something a bit retro but this unfortunately fell through. Left with three space marines to do something with I decided to convert up some characters for my Primaris Kill Team, after all what is a Primaris collection without a Lieutenant or two?

I converted two of the marines into Lieutenants and the third into an Ancient, basing their appearance off of the ones in the Dark Imperium starter box but with some minor conversions which was just me playing around with the sculpt. I found it really easy to turn the lower leg armour into a single plate like some of the more traditional power armour has by covering the knee pad with green stuff, but found any actual repositioning of the leg itself to be much more hassle than it is worth. I also tried taking away the gorget which I think was actually a mistake but there we go.

I also took the opportunity to improve my captain miniature who I felt was lacking a little. I added some more bits too him like a cloak from the Custodes kit and a classic helmet, as well as swapping his sword for a power fist and plasma pistol (I wanted power sword and plasma pistol but apparently you cant have this combination).

So thus far I've only spent £14 on this force and I'm rather pleased with what I have by being a bit creative with re-posing and raiding my bits box. Part of me is very tempted to see what other Primaris marines I can get cheaply and see about building a little 1000 army for less than £50 as a nice little side-project. That probably won't happen as I'm still finishing off my Custodes and am about to start a big AoS project as well as possibly getting some Sisters of Battle when they arrive so I'm not exactly starved for projects right now, but who knows what the new year will bring. 

As a bonus, in between writing this blog post and taking pictures for it, I managed to convert a handful of Tempestus Scions into some Scouts to go alongside my marines as a different option for my Kill Team, and paint them as well. In fact I managed to get the put together and painted over the course of a weekend!

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Inq28 Navigators Finished

After a few weeks of hobby inactivity, I've finally had the chance to sit down and finish off my Navigator war band. Though I haven't had the opportunity to use them in any games of Inquisimunda, this was mostly just a chance to try and experiment with a different style, which I've enjoyed doing very much.

House Invespucci of the Navis Nobilite

As I've had a lot of fun with my Navigators I decided to make a dedicated, boutique box for them to be carried around in. I've never done something like this before, but I've seen others do it for their Blanche-esque adventures and thought I'd give it a shot. I didn't really have a plan for what I was going to do with this box and I ended up trying out a few different things before eventually ending up with this tortured face rendered roughly in acrylics. Its kinda weird and disturbing, thus fitting in nicely with the war band itself.

Novator Ludovico 'il Magnifico' Invespucci, and the mutant Pigafetta
As I final addition to my Navigators, I have my Novator. Should I actually play some Inq28 I'll not field him until the final few battles and agree some suitably powerful psychic abilities for him with the GM. In a moment of madness I just had the idea of mounting someone on top of my mutant to make an incredibly bizarre duo, and the precocity of it all really lends itself to the style of some of John Blanche's 40k pieces of towering masses of bio-mechanical insanity.

The contrast of the heavy armour and relatively static pose of the Novator, and the fleshy whirling motion of the Mutant go really well together, setting the Novator apart as a serene master of the battlefield.

Pigafetta, once Antonio the Illuminated
Ramusio Acosta, and Countess Katerina Invespucci with her familiar
Galvano 'The Drake', and Sir Hakluyt
I've really enjoyed attempting to emulate (and developing my own version of) John Blanche's distinct style through both conversion-work and paint scheme, and though it didn't end up quite how I imagined it would I am very happy with the results. I don't know when I'll next have the chance to do any of this kind of work again as I've lots of other projects to be working on, but it would be nice trying to do another little grim dark war band some point in the future.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Custodes WIP (Apr 2019) - The push to 2000 points

This year I've managed to get some wargaming in nearly every week, and when those games have been 40k I've really enjoyed playing with my Custodes. While relatively simple to play, I've found them very rewarding and have wanted to get into playing some bigger games with them. The release of the Venatari tipped my hand and I've now started pushing towards a 2000 point army of pure Custodes.

Looking at my existing collection, I only really needed to add three more units of three guys to get there. So what I've decided to do is get a unit of Venetari, and a box of five regular Custodian Guard. This box of five has been split into two squads: a squad of three who I've converted into Wardens, and a squad of two basic Custodians (I'm downgrading one of my shield-captains to round this out to a unit of three).

The flight stands are awful, I elected to put mine on rocks
The Venetari are lovely miniatures and as soon as I saw them I knew I'd have to get a set. I do have a soft spot for units with wings and I loved the look of the eagle jet-packs that bore these Custodes aloft. The gun and buckler combination is also something a little different from the rest of the army and that bit of variety is quite nice. I'm quite looking forward to trying them out on the tabletop as well as my current force could do with some more fast-moving units and I don't want to just spam jetbikes.

Adding one more squad of basic Custodian guard to my army will let me field a battalion detachment and get a few more precious CP. I decided to downgrade the Shield-Captain I had designed with more stripped back armour and make some more Custodians look like him. I just need to colour-match the two new members of the squad (I need to make their gold a bit whiter) and hopefully they'll look as if they were planned to go together from the beginning.

I know Wardens are a way of taking more axes in a Custodes army, but I had these really lovely Guardian Spears left over from the Venetari which I thought would be a waste to squander and thought would make good spears for some Wardens. In order to make them stand out further I added some extras to their armour like a metal skirt over one leg to mimic the robes of the standard Warden miniatures, a lion head on one shoulder, and open-faced helmets which I thought would look suitably unique.

Additionally I'm adding a Custodes-themed Inquisitor and an Imperial Assassin to my Talons of the Emperor force as I had them laying around and thought they might be fun to use in the occasional game. The Assassin in particular I'm excited to try something different with his basing, for while most of my army is ankle-deep in water, I'd like to have him stood on the surface of it to give a subtle ninja-like impression.

I've been working for the past month and a bit on these guys, and hopefully I'll have them finished by the end of May as there's mostly just tidying up to do on them now before basing. After they are done I'm planning on making a return to the Age of Sigmar with a project I'm really excited about and have been planning for nearly a year.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Dark Spirits of Middle-Earth

While not an army unto itself, I had these misc. evil miniatures laying around and thought I'd give them a fresh lick of paint. These were quite quick and simple to paint up as they are mostly just dark robes and dingy armour, though I think they convey the mood of these characters quite well.

The Necromancer and the Castellans of Dol Guldur are some of my favourite miniatures from the LOTR range due to the incredible detailing on their flowing robes and the cruel menace of their armour. Though I think they are now in the Armies of the Hobbit book, which I don't have so I won't be battling with them, I am very happy to have them in my collection.

In lore, the Witch-King did not have a fell beast during his rule of Angmar, so I've converted a version of this character on horseback to represent him during that period. I took inspiration from the 'headless horseman' appearance he has in the books, as well as the Ranking/Bass film adaptation of Return of the King.

Finally we have some Barrow-Wights whose robes and armour I painted the same as my Nazgul and other evil spirits, and whose skin I painted as if it were mummified flesh. Alongside them I have the four hobbits prepared for sacrifice which I plan on using as objective markers. I really love the Barrow-Wight miniatures and should I ever field an army of Angmar they will be my go-to heroes to lead my hordes of orcs.

Just to finish off this quick post, here is a collection of my miniatures that would form an ad-hoc Angmar army should I choose to field my Mordor stuff differently. I've no idea if my miniatures will see battle in this manner but it's nice to have the option.

This was just a short and sweet little project I did to keep up the Middle-Earth momentum this year after finishing my Mordor army. Hopefully I'll manage to get around to my next big LOTR project soon, which will be returning to my army of Isengard.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Army Showcase: Mordor

The board is set. The pieces are moving...

With 'Gondor at War' coming out, for my first Middle-Earth project of the year I decided to shift focus from my Isengard army to my Mordor one. Before I even got painting there was been quite a bit of stuff to fix and convert first which took a significant amount of time. When I first got into miniatures it was through LOTR, and I bought all kinds of random stuff which ended up being horribly converted, mangled, or lost in my formative hobby years. So as I get back into Middle-Earth I am faced with a very mixed collection of miniatures, many of which need reassembling or parts substituting to bring back them back to usable on the tabletop.

After many hours of work, more green stuff than planned, and some creative solutions to problems, I managed to cobble together an army of Mordor I am quite proud of which will be my go-to force for battles in the next few months while I have a local opponent. Its not the most technically amazing paint scheme, but its one I feel is faithful to the dark and dingy hordes of Mordor.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Project Orc - Part 2

"...the time of the Orc has come!"

Project Orc is now completed! I now have 20 generic orc warriors painted up to use in either  Mordor/Barad-Dur, Angmar, or Isengard army, with a generic captain and three banner-bearers for those forces. This was a fun little start to my 2019 plans for my LOTR forces and hopefully soon my completed Mordor army shall be appearing on the blog.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Inq28 WIP - Navigators II

After some more rooting around in my bits boxes and quite a lot of green-stuffing, I have put together my next three Navigators to finish off my war band and I've even started to get some paint on them. I've no idea if they'll ever see use on a tabletop but its proving to be an enjoyable little side project as something very different to my LOTR forces. Hopefully in the coming weeks I'll start getting them finished so check back soon to see the end results.

First up we have the leader of this war band whom I'm calling 'The Banker' for now, alongside her familiar. I really wanted to capture the essence of John Blanche in this piece, so theres plenty of weirdness all over. Though probably a negative for gameplay purposes, I wanted this miniature to have great height so envisioned this character striding across the back of some poor slave. I imagine she does not deign to walk the surface of any planet herself so has a small retinue of slaves that she walks upon the backs of whenever she descends from space.

The Banker holds a handful of keys in one hand and I thought it would be cool to convert up some kind of chest-based familiar to carry around some campaign funds in. This went through a lot of different iterations, but eventually I managed to cobble together this cyber-cherub with a bird's skull for a head which I thought was delightfully creepy and tied into the crow/raven motif I'm using in this war band.

Next we have this chap who I'm thinking of calling 'The Herald' for now who I'm envisioning as a non-combat specialist of some kind. He's based off the old Death Jester miniature with a host of other pieces and a lot of green-stuff on top. I'm looking forward to doing something fun with his banner, though I'm yet to decide if ill go with some freehand work or if I'll make a custom transfer of some kind.

Finally we have the towering mutant Navigator who I imagine is a failed challenger to the rule of the Novator, and as a consequence has been reduced to a walking guinea pig for the house Gene-wrights to experiment upon. Upon his back I've placed a sinister-looking machine which injects him with all manner of mysterious substances and records his battle performance for his brethren to review. I really wanted to make a big, hulking mutant for this force and thought it would be fun to create a miniature with a lot of movement. St. Celestine's long purity seals and the flowing hair from Fulgrim's head really help add some extra dynamism to the already leaping Crypt Horror body which I think looks really good.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Talons of the Emperor Army Showcase II - Adeptus Astra Telepathica

In the second part of my Talons of the Emperor Army Showcase, I will be looking at the non-Custodes elements which help to bring variety to my army as well as being fun little projects each in their own right. While they aren't really field-able as a coherent force themselves, they are meant to serve as allies I can take alongside my Custodes as and when I need certain kinds of support.

Sanviento Dio, the Arch-Mourner

Sanviento Dio was there when the Emperor fell, and was one of the Custodians who stood vigil as he was interred upon the Golden Throne. Since that day he painted his armour black in sign of mourning  and in fact discarded much of it as penance. While the Custodes are not religious, they do revere the spiritual nature in which Sanviento honours the fallen Master of Mankind, and he is legend amongst those who remember a time before their confinement to the Imperial Palace. As Arch-Mourner he occupies a special place in the Mourner Host as figurehead of the sorrow they bear at the loss of the Emperor's dream for humanity.

I really wanted to pay homage to some of the old artwork of shirtless Custodes who still wear black in mourning of the Emperor, and one night while trying to fall asleep I remembered the Nightbringer body I had laying around which I soon put to use in making a black-armoured living-saint proxy for my army. I managed to create this miniature from a bunch of spare Custodes parts, some wings from a Stormcast, and the body of the Nightbringer. I managed to get a spare set of Saint Celestine's Geminae and added some spare Sisters of Silence parts to make him some suitable bodyguards as well, completing the unit.

Black Sentinels and an Arch-Gaoler

Following the Edict of Nikea, the order of Black Sentinels was formed as guards, gaolers, and executioners guarding the City of Sight and installations of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica in the Sol System. I discovered the existence of this organisation from looking through Lexicanum, and while I've found descriptions of them on other websites, it is the Lexicanum entry I have taken my inspiration from. While I have elected to armour them in gold, and I have armed them with a range of weapons not just lasguns, I have given them black robes and helms incorporating snarling beast's faces. These were a lot of fun to convert and between the colours, the plumes, and the furs; they fit right in with my Sisters of Silence and Custodes. Rules-wise I plan on fielding them as Inquisitorial henchmen, with the terminator-armoured 'Arch-Gaoler' being an Inquisitor.

Astropath, Bound Psyker, and Servo-Skull

I can't possibly have the guards of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica without including an actual Astropath. The miniature I bought was in finecast and the staff was slightly mangled so I cut it off and replaced it with a psychic looking skull. He's also joined by a bound-psyker and a servo skull which I painted in the same colours as the rest of the army and can serve as objectives when I need them.

Sisters of Silence and Null-Maiden Grav-Rhino

I have been a real big fan of the Sisters of Silence miniatures since their release and would love to get more in future. In fact these were the first miniatures I bought for this project; initially intending to use them as an anti-psyker detachment for my Witch Hunters. They are borne into battle by a Grav-Rhino, probably the most troublesome of all the conversions for this force. I had an old, partially broken Rhino laying around that required an awful lot of care and conversion to make a suitable transport for my Silent Sisterhood. Though I'm not generally a big fan of vehicles, I thought it would make a fun addition to the force as well as provide me with a little conversion challenge.

Dread-Sister Eudocia

Before the most recent Chapter approved, in order to round out my 1000 point Custodes list I decided to include an assassin and after rummaging through my bits boxes I managed to create this Sisters of Silence-themed Callidus Assassin. A Culexus Assassin would probably be more fluff-appropriate, but with the bits I had available I was able to better emulate the pose of the stock Callidus assassin. I forgot to take a proper picture of her, but you can see her on the right in the pictures above.

Eisenhorn and Cherubael

I was unsure as to which army my Eisenhorn miniature and converted Cherubael should belong to, but ultimately thought he would be a lovely addition to this force as an enigmatic, uncertain ally. I had an awful lot of fun converting a daemonhost and both miniatures were an absolute joy to paint. To anyone who enjoyed the Eisenhorn books and loves painting, I'd really really recommend getting his miniature!

Finishing off this two-part showcase of my Talons of the Emperor I'd like to just quickly get down some thoughts on what, if anything, I'd like to do with this army in future. I originally envisioned this as an approximately 1500 point force of Custodes and Sisters of Silence that I would finish within a year and use only for battling, however I've had an incredible amount of fun converting this army and adding characterful units like the Black Sentinels and the Arch-Mourner, and part of me would quite like to keep adding bits to it. As my army isn't exactly optimal on the tabletop, I'm considering adding some units to what is already essentially a soup army but converting them to fit the theme. In particular I'm thinking of refraining from selling all of my guardsmen and converting some of them into a Terran-born Guard regiment so I can have a 'loyal 32' CP battery.

Now that Forge World have released beta rules for using their Custodes units in 40k I quite like the idea of adding some units from the Horus Heresy like the Aquilon Terminators and the new Venatari which are absolutely gorgeous miniatures. I can't really afford it right now but those would be some fun additions to bring to the tabletop. Additionally, from a purely painting perspective, I'd quite like to get Constantin Valdor as a technical showcase of my skills at this point in my hobby-life, and also because I have grown to really like the miniature despite initially disliking it. Though I think my time and funds this year will largely be spent on other projects, my Talons of the Emperor are a force I am really proud of and would certainly like to return to in future.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Talons of the Emperor Army Showcase I - Adeptus Custodes

My Talons of the Emperor army that I painted last year has been one of my favourite miniatures projects I've ever embarked upon. It has been loads of fun and exceptionally rewarding in a way I doubt my next few projects will be. Painting-wise; red, gold, and black are my favourite colours and this might be best army I've ever painted, having tried a lot of different techniques including glazes, custom transfers, and blending. Conversion-wise this army was lots of fun and nearly every miniature is converted in some way. Some are quite subtle like adjusting Eisenhorn's foot to make him more upright, though many like my Custodians and my Tempestus Scions are much more involved. In fact I think the only miniatures that haven't been modified in some way are my Silent Sisters and Trajann Valoris. Basing was also an adventure as I really wanted to do something different to the relatively boring bases I usually do. I ended up going for some clear, cold water that my army is striding through which contrasts wonderfully with the warmth of the palette used on the actual miniatures. It's been a great journey and I'm thrilled to finally have the finished project on the blog. This is a long post (the first of two) with plenty of fluff and a little rambling but I hope you enjoy seeing the efforts of my labours this last year!

The Mourner Host

Made up of various sub-sects of the Adeptus Custodes who usually do not leave the palace, but for reasons of academic interest, fate, or atonement have come forth to follow the Lord-Historian on his grand tour around the Imperium at the beginning of the 42nd Millennium. The Mourner Host attracts all manner of the Emperor's most devout servants from Terra; including Sisters of Silence, Acolytes of the City of Sight, and the agents of the Inquisition. This is the first of two articles exploring the Mourner Host, this one showing the members of the Adeptus Custodes under the command of the Lord-Historian and the second will show those other Imperial Agents who answer his call to war.

More after the jump:

Sunday, 3 February 2019

How to: Basing Middle-Earth

The finished bases
I'm trying to put more painting and modelling guides onto the blog so I thought I'd start a year likely to be filled with Middle-Earth miniatures with a guide to how I do them, alongside a few thoughts I have at the end on variations. For reference, I have largely followed GW's grassy plains tutorial for my Middle-Earth miniatures but with some minor difference.

I wanted a consistent basing scheme for all of my Lord of the Rings and Hobbit stuff, rather than a different one themed to each force. This is so that should I choose to ally forces I will still have a fairly unified looking army, and it will make using miniatures in different armies (for example, my orc warriors will turn up in the Angmar, Mordor, Barad-Dur, and Isengard forces I field) much easier from a visual point of view.

Sand --> Mournfang Brown
First up is applying the sand. The way I did this was to water down some pva glue (just a little bit), apply it all over the base, and then dunk the base into a tub filled with sand. I made sure to keep dunking the miniature until no more sand would adhere to the base, then I waited to let it dry.

Once the pva had all dried (I like to leave it overnight), I then covered the top of the base and the rim with watered-down Mournfang Brown. I'll come back and tidy the rim up to a firmer colour later.

Agrax Earthshade --> Mournfang Brown

I then deviated from the GW method linked above by washing the top of the base with Agrax Earthshade, before dry brushing with Mourning Brown. This is just to make sure any sand I may have missed with the first layer is at least stained brown, and also makes the recesses just that bit darker which is just personal preference.

Zamesi Desert --> Ushabti Bone
This is then followed by a dry brush of Zamesi Desert, followed by a dry brush of Ushabti Bone.

Mournfang Brown on rims and blood tidied around hooves
Once the dry brushing is complete the rim of the base can have Mournfang Brown reapplied to make the colour solid, and if there are any effect around the miniature's feet (like I have done with blood around the hooves of the Mouth of Sauron's horse) this can then be applied to the base around it.

Grass and any finishing touches
Following this add a bit of grass to finish off the generic 'plains' look. My plan is to use only dead grass (my favourite Mordheim Turf is great for this) on my evil armies, and living grass (I'll probably use the somewhat muted Scorched Grass) for my good armies. This will mean that allied forces will maintain a level of cohesion, while at the same time there is a subtle differentiation between good and evil. The only exception I might make is the Dead of Dunharrow, where I'd be tempted to use a mix of living and dead grass for thematic reasons.

Then you can add on whatever subtle touches you fancy like tree-roots or rocks. I plan on putting a skull or two on the bases of my Angmar heroes, and a few bits of ruins on my Moria bases, but otherwise I'll continue to follow the scheme laid down here. A bit of blood (if not already applied) may also be welcome if thematically appropriate, but I think I'd be tempted to keep gore to a minimum on Middle-Earth miniatures, don't know why I just would. Whatever you add, neutral and dark-to-mid toned colours are going to be the ideal.

These bases are ultimately designed to be fairly simple to do and also generally unobtrusive. While one would usually base dark miniatures on lighter bases and vice versa, this is more of a mid-tone so it can work fairly well with just about anything. The goal here is to allow the miniature to take centre-stage and not be overshadowed by a busy base.

I hope you've enjoyed this little how-to and best of luck with your own basing in Middle-Earth!

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Project Orc - Part 1

"The age of men is over..."

After flicking through the 'Armies of the Lord of the Rings' book in preparation for doing some new projects, I realised that by simply buying some Orc Warriors I'd be able to field several more armies than I currently can. Due to the somewhat random collection of miniatures I own, I worked out that if I had just one set of basic orcs I could not only bolster my Isengard and Mordor armies, but I could also actually field armies from Angmar and Barad-Dur as I owned relevant heroes but not any warriors.

So I've decided to get myself a bunch of orcs off of eBay, one of which I've converted into a Captain, and three of which I've converted into banner-bearers. Each banner-bearer will have a unique banner: a white hand for Isengard, a spooky-looking sigil for Angmar, and a crimson eye to use for Mordor* so I can switch which banner the squad has to represent which faction they are part of. The orcs themselves will be painted fairly drab and dark so as to fit in with any evil force I choose to use them with.

This little orc project to kick off my Middle-Earth adventures in 2019 will be a great boon to my Lord of the Rings projects and will dramatically increase my ability to get a range of games on the table. As the first supplement to the game coming out is 'Gondor at War', I think my WIP Isengard army is going to be pushed aside in favour of the forces of Mordor. I have just acquired Gothmog and begun rebuilding the Witch-King to lead this army, and I'm looking forward to painting up this rabble and bringing about the time of the orc!

*Tolkien mentions nothing of Sauron's heraldry in the second age (he seems to have adopted the red eye only after his expulsion from Dol Gulder), so I don't think I'll bother converting a banner for a Barad-Dur force. In the rare instance I'll play a game set during the War of the Last Alliance, I will either not field a banner or probably just use the Mordor one and ignore the anachronism.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Inq28 WIP - Navigators I

So I've finally started work on my little Inq28 war band of Navigators. Thus far its been a whole lot of fun bringing my ideas to life from the original concepts I started coming up with last year. I thought it might be fun at this stage in the project to compare my original concepts with the assembled miniatures and talk about how things developed adapting from page to model.

First up I have my Navigator 'Duelist' who defends the honour of his house. The basis of this miniature is the Navigator from Blackstone Fortress whose cane I have replaced with a fencing rapier. While I originally planned to have him at rest, the angles on the base miniature's arm led to me having the sword pointed up instead so he looks slightly more ready for battle. I also eventually opted for a helmeted head over an exposed mutant one, to try and reinforce his more martial role.

In the process of kit bashing something else I created this bird-cherub thing that now lives on his shoulder. I thought it was delightfully creepy and decided to use it on this miniature of the war band to help frame the sword when viewing the Navigator face-on, as well as evoking the idea of an aristocrat out with his hunting bird.

Next, we have my first big kit-bash based on Commissar Yarrik's body. I mostly stuck to my original plan, the only deviations being a pointing arm as I couldn't get hold of a sextant, scrolls as they fit better than a book, and I felt like adding a backpack which perhaps serves to help coordinate the mechanical birds. Birds have in fact started to become a recurring element in this war band as I have assembled them, and I think I will end up making a crow or raven their sigil when I come to add free-hand designs. I was a little wary of using the slightly large ghoul hand releasing the birds, but I think it helps add some more asymmetry to the miniature and alludes to the mutant nature of the Navigators.

I'm thoroughly enjoying this project and I've already got my other three Navigators in the pipe-line which should hopefully be appearing on the blog sometime soon, first though I have some Middle-Earth stuff to get working on as the armies of Mordor are slowly taking over my desk...

Sunday, 6 January 2019

2018 Hobby Review and 2019 Goals

This seemed oddly relevant to these kinds of posts
Looking back at my hobby review of 2017 and goals for 2018, I think I haven't done too badly this past year! Though its true that I got side tracked and started/finished some projects I didn't mean to, I have gotten more painting done overall than I did in 2017 which I'm counting as a win. I've also posted more on the blog: 24 posts this past year as opposed to only 7 in 2017. In general, I've tried to rest and relax more this 2018, particularly as my health has been exceptionally poor. Painting and writing on this blog has proven to be a great source of relaxation and I hope that I can keep up a good pace of hobby and blogging this new year.

You may also notice that in the past I've posted my 'hobby review' in February as I routinely forget to do it in January, this year however I cheated and wrote this post as the year went along before editing it after Christmas. Coming back to this sporadically as the year went on helped to remind me what my goals were and what projects I was supposed to be working on, and I found it oddly motivating; resulting in me trying to get as many things done or worked on as possible. I can't say I've achieved everything I wanted to this past year, but I must say I'm happier with what I've done in the hobby more than in recent previous years.

Completed Projects

- The Guild's Judgement - My first project of the year to be completed was my first adventure into the world of Malifaux. I had such a blast painting Lady Justice and her crew, and I've enjoyed the games I've had using this system thus far. I hope that I can get some more crews together (I've certainly started making plans!) and games in future.

- Talons of the Emperor- So my plans for this year were kinda derailed a little by the new Custodes miniatures, and despite saying I'd only buy a box each time I finished another project I just went out and bought a load when I had the money. I can however say that this project won't be dragging on and, barring a few touches to bases I still keep considering, this project is done. It has been incredibly fun and very rewarding, and I think in future I would like to tend more towards smaller, more elite forces like this which can be finished relatively quickly and look really good. I do like the idea of continuing to add things to this force, but that may not happen for quite a while. I haven't had an opportunity to photograph them yet, but I'll be putting pictures on the blog at the next opportunity.

- Servath Reznik, Wrath of Ages - As I've decided to fully quit Warmachine (and focus on Malifaux as my non-GW game), I decided to pick up one or two Menoth miniatures I liked to finish off my collection. I've always been a fan of this version of Reznik; it forms a lovely centrepiece to my collection, and it was a nice break to paint teal and silver instead of red and gold!

The Iron-Mongers
- Primaris Kill Team - Not an intended project for this year, but the first issue of Warhammer Conquest was just insane value for money considering you got 3 paints and a brush for only two pounds. The Primaris marines which were in there as well were purely incidental really and seeing as  I had them, I thought I might as well make a little kill team out of them. This was a fun side-project and fortunately didn't take up too much time.

- Storage - One of my side-projects this year has been to create some more elegant storage solutions for my miniatures as they had started to take up quite a bit of room! I have invested in some proper carry cases for my Dark Elf, and Warriors of Chaos/Chaos Dwarf armies, and I've started considering how to store my Dark Eldar and End Times Elves. I'm rather happy that I've been able to store my miniatures in a more efficient manner, and I will no doubt continue to find ways to properly store my completed projects this new year as/when the need arises.


- Age of Sigmar - This past year, spurred on by Malign Portents and the release of Second Edition, I have started doing some stuff for Age of Sigmar which I've been adding to the blog in a narrative project called: 'At the Court of the Silver King'. This continues to be a WIP project but its certainly more progress than last year where I did virtually no AoS stuff at all! You can find all my ongoing Age of Sigmar stuff on the page of that name.

Lots of LOTR WIP...
- WIP Middle-Earth - Because I can't help but make more work for myself; I started doing some converting, painting, and general faffing about with my LOTR miniatures. Partially inspired by GW reinvigorating this part of the hobby with the 'Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game' rebranding, and partially by a bit of a renewal of Tolkien in my own life this past year as my girlfriend has gotten into his works. Unfortunately most of my Middle-Earth stuff remains very WIP and I have quite a few projects currently in the pipeline. The only thing I have really finished is my 1985 Mouth of Sauron, but I am currently close to completing my Isengard army.

- Witch Hunters - I did a little work on my Witch Hunters last year after starting to repaint them all in 2017. I plan on picking them back up again when the new plastic Battle Sisters are released hopefully later this year. I've certainly got a lot of ideas for what I want to do with them, including what I think should be a really interesting and unique basing scheme as I think I'll have to do a lot of re-basing to 32mm bases.

- 40k warbands - At the end of 2017 I gathered together various spare miniatures I owned that weren't being used for anything and decided to paint them up as several small war bands to use in skirmish games set in 40k; whether that might be Kill Team, Shadow War: Armageddon, Inquisimunda, or whatever. Progress is slow and I'm increasingly considering selling some of them off.

Slowly getting my undead done!
- Lich Army - My experimental Lich army continues to provide me with weird and wonderful conversion/painting opportunities. Though not yet completed, I have enjoyed my work on this side-project immensely. I'm hoping to spend some time on this project over the summer and I'd like to get it done by the end of the year if I have the opportunity.

- Tomb Kings - I've had this army on the back burner for years, though I am slowly getting them done, ultimately for display purposes. I'm sure if I didn't keep finding other projects to do I would have finished repainting this stuff a long while ago.

- Navigators - Last up is a very small project I've just started, which I don't intend on taking up much time at all and should be the very first thing I finish this year. At my Uni's wargaming society there should hopefully be an Inq28 narrative campaign taking off soon, and I've decided to build a group of Navigators to take part. I don't plan on spending much money on getting this project together, and as it will only be about 5 miniatures it won't take long to get finished and on the tabletop.

No Progress (List of Shame)

Remarkably I've managed to get a little bit of everything existing worked upon this year, except for those projects which have disappeared indefinitely:

- Lost Projects - This year there have been some armies I have chosen to get rid of because I have no interest in adding to, playing with, or repainting. My Imperial Guard and my Dark Angels have either been sold or are in the process of being sold, with the intention that funds from them will be put towards pursuing new projects like the impending Sisters of Battle release.

Goals for 2019

- Sisters of Battle - GW have promised the long-awaited plastic Battle Sisters this year. I'd like to try and get as much WIP stuff finished as I possibly can by the time that they are released so that they can become my main and sole focus going into 2020. Of course this relies heavily on GW actually releasing them this year and I think that if they do it will be close to the end of the calendar year.

- Continue working on Age of Sigmar projects - Though I predicted last year that it would be the Daughters of Khaine who derailed my hobby plans,  I didn't actually end up buying any of the new miniatures; being distracted by the Adeptus Custodes instead. I did however set aside a few things when boxing up my Dark Elves which I plan to use as the beginnings of a Daughters of Khaine army. First however, I have the 'Court of the Silver King' project to finish which I am enjoying a lot even though progress is slow. The reveal of the Abhorrant Archregent also promises my FEC getting a bit of a boost this year which would be welcome.

- More Middle-Earth - I've really enjoyed getting back into the game this past year and I plan to continue painting and expanding my various Middle-Earth armies this year. I'm not setting myself a set schedule for what forces I'd like to get finished by the end of the year, but I'd like to make plenty of good progress and get a few games in where I can.

These miniatures just look so fun to paint!
- More Malifaux - With a new edition of the game launching and my interest in it continually growing, I intend on continuing to invest in new miniatures for Malifaux and to try getting some more games in with my brother.

- More games in general - I don't play as often as I'd like to, and last year circumstance stopped me from getting the games in I wanted. With the promise of a Inq28 campaign at my Uni's tabletop society, I may at least get some games in of that, but I'd also really like to take my Custodes out for a battle or two, and enjoy some Malifaux or Middle-Earth if I have the opportunity.

-Don't start new projects!!! - Last year I started a Talons of the Emperor army I didn't plan on doing, made a Primaris Kill Team, bought Reznik for Warmachine, promised to make a Navigator war band and decided to repaint all my LOTR stuff. My ultimate goal is to only have one hobby project on the go at a time (hahahahahahah....), so not starting new projects is going to be one of my main concerns in 2019 as I start clearing my backlog and continue to find more elegant storage solutions for the projects I have completed.

My first battle sister, hopefully the plastic sculpts will have improved as much as my painting has! 
I guess this year I will be returning to my hobby roots in many ways. My first foray into miniature wargaming was via Lord of the Rings which armies I am currently repainting, my first proper fantasy army was Dark Elves and this year I'd like to work on some Daughters of Khaine, and my first 40k army was Witch Hunters and I eagerly anticipate plastic Battle Sisters when they arrive. I do have other things to be working on, but these three projects in particular will be lovely little nostalgia trips.

We shall see how that all goes when I come to write the next one of these at the start of 2020, but overall I'd say I'm really happy with all the hobbying I did in 2018 and I'm quite optimistic for how much I'll get done this year!

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