Tuesday, 14 January 2020

2019 Hobby Review and 2020 Goals

Well I haven't been able to update the blog in a few months due to being very busy, but I have been getting plenty of hobbying done. That is not to say I've actually finished much, as I seem to accrue new side projects at an alarming rate, despite my resolution last year to not start any new projects I've done a rather poor job of that. This year however I am determined to have a year of getting things done, especially given the number of regular opponents I have currently.

One thing I don't usually talk about in my Hobby Review (or on this blog in general) is battling as I don't do that much of it. This year however I've managed to get some games in which I've really enjoyed (for both LOTR and 40k). I have instituted a policy of not battling with an army unless its fully painted and I've found that that has really helped with both painting productivity and also with getting games in as that has become the intended goal of getting stuff painted. Its also just such a great feeling to have a game with a fully-painted army on the board, and while my win/loss ratio isn't too great I've still enjoyed my games a lot!

In particular I've been involved in a 40k campaign with a space marine army that became spun off from the Kill Team I did the other year. While these games have highlighted quite a few of the problems I have with the current 40k meta, I have enjoyed the narrative aspect of it and I've felt really motivated to get an army painted due to there being points available for submitted a newly painted army each week.

In other news, I've also managed to indoctrinate one of my new housemates into the hobby via AoS, gotten one of my regular Warhammer opponents into Malifaux, and I even managed to get my girlfriend into painting Harry Potter miniatures with me!

Finished Projects

- LOTR Projects - With the revamping of the Middle-Earth Strategy Game I have decided to do a mass re-painting of my LOTR armies while adding one or two miniatures I've always wanted. My first project of the year to be completed was my Mordor army, shortly followed by my Dark Spirits of Middle Earth which allowed me to field my Mordor army as an Angmar one.

- Malifaux - To finish off my Lady Justice crew I painted up some Domodore dos Cadaveres. I absolutely love the miniatures and look forward to trying them out, as well as getting some games in this year, which I didn't quite manage last year.

Novator Ludovico Invespucci
riding the mutant navigator Pigafetta 
- Navigators - as a brief foray into the world of Inq28 and Blachitsu, I made this Navigator war band which I'm really happy with as an experiment into a way of modelling and painting I haven't really tried much before. I don't know when I'll next have the chance to do a Inq28 war band but its something I'd love to do again.

- Custodes Wave 2 - You know how I said last year that I wouldn't start any new projects? Well I did... With the release of the Vetenari, and the fact I've gotten into battling and have wanted to play larger games, I decided to add to my Adeptus Custodes to take it up to 2000 points of pure gold.

- Imperial Knight - An unexpected addition to my Talons of the Emperor, but when one of my friends was selling his Knight I felt I couldn't pass up the opportunity, and what better colour to paint it than gold? I'll be posting pictures of my knight and my expanded Custodes army on the blog as soon as I manage to upload all my pictures properly.

WIP Projects

- Daughters of Khaine - Near the start of the year I sold off my Flesh-Eater Courts due to a lack of interest in them, and began swapping over some of my old Witch Elves onto round bases. I did a little bit of painting and converting for a Daughters of Khaine army, but my summer was mostly dominated by more Custodes and by the time I had got the time to work on my Witches, a new army had come to AoS which grabbed me instantly...

- Ossiarch Bonereapers - When these guys were announced I simply had to get them. Nagash himself has been gathering dust on my shelf for years now and this army, full of constructs and tanky skeletons, gives me the perfect excuse to finally field him. I've put my Daughters of Khaine into storage, bought two Feast of Bones boxes (which I've sold the Ogor halves of), and gotten to work raising an army of Ossiarchs to conquer the mortal realms with.

- Iron Brutes Primaris marines - Since September I have been involved in a 40k campaign at my local club. When it came to choosing a faction I was a little at a loss as the campaign began before new Sisters of Battle were released and it started after I had finished painting all my Custodes (the scoring mechanism for the campaign rewarded painting new stuff each week). I decided that as Primaris marines were finally good, easy to paint, and cheap on eBay that I would expand the Kill Team I painted up last year into a full army. By only buying from eBay I've been able to assemble a 2000 point army for only around 100 quid, and I've now painted the majority of it. The campaign doesn't wrap up until February so I haven't painted everything yet, but this is a side project which will complete itself by then.

- Imperial Fists - I acquired a large number of old metal space marines earlier this year which I ultimately plan on turning into an old-school Imperial Fists army for display purposes. I started painting them up but after the new Contrast paints were announced I decided to put them on the back burner until I have the chance to get some yellow contrast paint to do them with as I'm currently unhappy with my own attempts at yellow.

No Progress

- Lost projects - This year I managed to sell off the last of my Imperial Guard and Dark Angels, as well as my Flesh-Eater Courts which I lost all enthusiasm for after looking at how many miniatures I needed to paint to field a decent list and feeling uninspired by their new Endless Spells. I've also sold off a bunch of misc. Imperial and Undead miniatures I no longer have a need for.

- Witch Hunters - With new Sisters of Battle coming out, I had to make the decision whether to simply add them to my old army or start them as a new project. After seeing the scale of the new plastics I decided on the latter, and resolved to shelve my old Witch Hunters for now. I'll get around to finishing repainting them at some point but we'll see.

Goals for 2020

- Finish my Space Marines army for the campaign - My first and most important goal is getting my unexpected space marine army finished. I have about half the miniatures finished, and of the half that is left they are half painted so I expect to be done with them in the first few months of the year. After which I can move on to more exciting 40k projects...

- Sisters of Battle - My main 40k project this year (and probably for the next few years) is going to be my Sisters of Battle. I managed to get the limited edition army box which I've supplemented with a converted priest, and the Celestine and Greyfax miniatures I already owned - and given that amount of stuff I think I'll be still painting them for much of the year.

- Ossiarch Bonereapers - My main AoS project which I expect to come to the fore once my space marines are done. I have around 1000 points of Ossiarchs, plus a few other bits and bobs which I was gifted for Christmas, and I hope to get these painted and some games in soon before buying anything else for the army.

- Lucius crew for Malifaux- In my continued Malifaux adventures I've finally decided to get myself a second crew. I went with Lucius as I wanted to stay within the Guild, but have a more interesting experience than the reasonably simple to play Lady Justice. I also just adore the amount of character packed into each and every sculpt in the core box, and I look forward to leading a war band of lawyers into battle.

- Underworlds - I acquired the Beastgrave core box this past year as well as one or two other war bands which I've had immense fun playing. However it seems about time for me to actually paint up some of the bands I've been playing with which include: Kurnothi, Beastmen, Kharadron, and Flesh-Eaters. One a month would be a nice goal (especially as I've banned myself from buying any more until I've painted some) but we shall see given everything else I'm working on.

- LOTR - I'm slowly working on revamping my LOTR collection since the relaunch of the game and I hope to continue assembling my forces into this new year. I had a lot of fun doing my Mordor stuff last year and hope to work on Isengard this year, with a particular focus on Dunland considering they got some new miniatures recently.

I go into this year with an awful lot of projects and things I want to work on. GW did a great job last year of releasing things I really, really wanted and I can only hope that they slow down this year. However I am optimistic that I can get plenty done. I'm doing pretty well with my work/life balance at the moment and have a fair amount of spare time to get painting and battling done in. I'm also going to try Instagram this year for posting WIP hobby projects. You can find me at @thecrimsonentityminiatures where I'll start posting soon. I've got a very busy year ahead of me this year so I don't know how my blogging will go, but I'm hoping that the greater immediacy of Instagram will help me get my miniatures out there.

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.

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