And some more painting (I wish)

Well, I got something done over the past few days, if not as much as I’d hoped. I got nothing done yesterday but on Friday I managed to finish the Pack and Great Company markings and started adding details to faces. I think I’ll be working on Chainswords and bolt pistols next, starting with the non-metal bits, before using Bolt-Gun metal on the shinier parts. I’ve decided to avoid dry-brushing bolt pistols as they are just too fiddly. I’ll then do a bit of work on the piping and a few details before FINALLY painting the gold and tidying up… Then it’s on to washes and highlights. Here’s a quick progress picture. I’m afraid it all looks a bit of a mess at present, it always does at this point! One guy’s even missing a pauldron because it fell off and I felt that it’d be easier to leave it off until I tidy up the difficult to reach bits!

I’m not doing much today hobby wise, as I’ve had my parents round all day and I’m now under the influence of a couple of glasses of wine.

I’m trying to figure out how much I can get done before next Friday, and, having got it ready, what’s the point cost. At present I’m still a bit below 1k, with a mammoth effort I may just scrape the 1000 point mark by next weekend. The trouble is that I just don’t paint fast. I tell myself that I’m going to paint x, y and z today, then I get distracted by y or w, or even zzz and I only realise several hours later that I’m now Behind.

I have managed to finish Firedrake, but the book deserves its own post (it’s good). I’m now making headway through Fulgrim. I’m having the same trouble re-reading this as I did with False Gods, in that I know what’s going to happen and I don’t want it to!

I picked up a couple of the new paints yesterday but I haven’t used them yet. I think the Imperial Primer will get an airing soon though as the metal meltagun for one of my Blood Claws hasn’t undercoated particularly well.

My Mum brought me over a bunch of information on Sutton Hoo as my parents stopped there for a visit and I have Plans to use some of the patterns seen there on some of my models in future. First though I have eight Blood Claws to finish!


Painting… Just a quick update!

Well, I did what I said painting-wise, the hair is base coloured and the vents and nozzles are now bronze. I also painted the armour joints dark grey last night. Today I painted the last three sets of vents, painted the skulls with bleached bone and made a start on the pack markings, but I’m wobbling, which is not good when you’re painting circles, so I’m going to curl up with Firedrake for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow is a day off so I am going to fix the pack markings and, as I also need to clean my flat before my parents turn up, try and get it to the point where I can wash them and leave them to dry while I clean! This means painting the gold on the armour, the weapons and some of the accessories… Thinking about it, I might end up washing them on Saturday. There must be five minutes that I can snatch from entertaining my folks!

Painting time!

Sorry, I didn’t managed to post yesterday, I was all blogged out to the extent that I even tried to link to a previous chapter in the document I was writing at work. Posting should be back to normal tomorrow.

I’m going to go to the UK soon and I want to take my army with me. Unfortunately most of it is in various states of unreadiness, from partly painted (Blood Claws) to splashed with an undercoat (Blood Claws and wolves) to basecoated, to unpainted, to still on the sprue. So, I’m setting myself a challenge. By the time I leave for London my Blood Claws will all be painted. This means a drastic change in painting habits. Rather than dithering over one guy I am going to start by painting the main blocks of colour on the rest of the pack. The blue is all done, as is the skin and the yellow for the shoulder pads, so tonight I’m going to do hair and pelts and maybe make a start on the bronze on the backpack nozzles and vents. I did two lots of hair last night in the course of about 15 minutes, so I should be able to deal with the three other bareheaded guys quite quickly.

The main distractions that I need to overcome are the internet, the copy of Firedrake that arrived today, and deciding that I can just paint the details on this little bit here…

I’ll update tomorrow with how I’m getting on- maybe even with pictures, if I’m not too embarrassed!


One down…

I’m afraid that I’m a day late with this post but I was busy painting (sorry). I made an effort last night and this evening and got the first Blood Claw from Pack Nóh almost finished. He isn’t based (or named) but I’ve got him painted, washed and highlighted. I enjoy painting, although I’m quite slow (at this rate it’ll take me another nine weeks to finish the pack), but I tend to speed up towards the end when I know what I’m doing and have the end in sight.

Anyway, here he is. Unfortunately (my camera was flashing “low battery” and I’ve run out) I didn’t get a picture of his pack markings, which I’m rather pleased with as it came out as I’d envisioned it.

Last night I realised that the first guy in this pack is similar in design to the first guy in my Grey Hunter pack, which was the first model that I painted, so for a bit of a comparison I’ve also taken a photo of them both together. I hope that my painting has improved a bit. I’m proud of my first model but I can definitely see where he needs work.

Now I’m going to sit back and relax (and eat) before I start the next model. I tend to get a bit focused when I paint and so it’s only now that I’m realising that my back actually quite hurts! I’m re-reading Horus Rising at the moment as I’m struggling with re-reading Legends of the Space Marines and now that I know some of the background the beginning a) makes more sense and b) is absolutely awesome, so I should curl up later and read a bit more.

Right, time to crash!


“And they were all yellow…ish too”

So, Pack Nóh is all blue and I’m onto the shoulder pads. Now this is where things get tricky. I started out my models using the Games Workshop painting guide, so my Great Company markings are yellow and black, while Blood Claw pack markings are traditionally yellow and red. With most of the Citadel paints, even Skull White and Bleached Bone, I find that I can get almost uniform coverage after only two or three coats, however yellows (and reds to a lesser extent) require multiple layers of paint when painted directly on the undercoat. For my first pack of Grey Hunters I hadn’t really heard about foundation paints, so I lined my models up and painted a layer of yellow on the shoulder pads, then went round again and again in a sort of Space Wolves conga, as soon as I’d painted the yellow on the last guy, the first was ready for the next coat etc., etc….

Fortunately I soon bought a tub of Iyanden Darksun. It’s still not perfect as I have to use two coats of it to get a good even coating, but it dramatically reduces the time (and layers of Golden Yellow) required to get a niceish looking shoulder pad.

As a bit of an experiment I’ve sprayed a bit of sprue black and tried different base coats to see what gives the best yellow colour (in my opinion at least). You can see this in the picture below, which I’ve labelled (sorry, it’s the influence of work) as follows:

A: grey, B: control, C: white, D: Foundation yellow

A: base coat of two layers of 2:1 Space Wolves Grey to Shadow Grey

B: control

C: base coat of two layers of skull white

D: base coat of two layers of Iyanden Darksun

Each sample has increasing quantities (1, 2 or 3 layers) of Golden Yellow as you move from left to right.

As you can see, the control gives pretty poor coverage, the next worse is the yellow on blue sample, which is still quite poor. Using either Skull White of Iyanden Darksun appears to be the way to go. Skull White gives quite a bright yellow, while using Iyanden Darksun leads to a more natural tone.

I’ve ended up using Iyanden Darksun on my guys as I think the Skull White makes the yellow look a little too bright for my purposes. I did try mixing the two yellows together, but that doesn’t really work at all. The next job is to apply the Golden Yellow, but that might have to wait until the weekend. I’m writing this on the train as I’ve been working away today and it’s a three hour round trip, so I tend not to be that willing/able to spend an hour painting when I get home.

I’m itching to try out the design that I have planned for the pack markings at the moment, but I know that it’s not worth rushing, particularly as this is possibly the most complicated piece of freehand that I have done to date. It’s not the most complex design in the world, but it involves painting circles which I tend find to be a bit of a challenge when drawn freehand, as you have to get the speed just right, so that the circle is circular but not wobbly. Still, tomorrow’s Beer- sorry, Friday and then I have two days in which to paint. Perhaps I will get these guys painted a bit faster than my first Grey Hunter pack, which took several months to paint. I really hope so, I’ve been looking at those guys recently and I think that they’d look a lot better with a bit of highlighting and dry-brushing. I’ve got a whole list of things to build and paint before I should go back to them, but if I have a spare moment or two, perhaps I should un-box them and get the Space Wolves Grey out.

Talking about painting, I’ve been looking at the March issue of White Dwarf and the new Space Wolf and Tyranid models. I’m not particularly in to Thunderwolf Cavalry, I think they sound a bit silly, but I’m not going to explain exactly why here, as that will take a blog post of it’s own (or at least a big chunk of one), but the new models do look nice, and the Wolf Lord is quite cute in a broken-nosed sort of way. I will buy Fenrisian Wolves though as they’ve come out at exactly the right time for me, as I have an Idea, which they’ll be perfect for.

The thing I want to talk about though, is Tyranids. I love my Wolves and I have a nice sized army planned for them, but I have a couple of ideas bouncing round my head. One idea is crippled due to lack of any-way-suitable models that are not metal, elves or third-party-and-bodging, but the other thing that’s been stumbling around my brain is: “I should do a Xenos army, as that will be different to paint.” Tyranids fit my plan best and I already have an idea for a paint scheme, although I am most definitely not buying any for quite a while, as there is one enemy that can defeat Tyranids by its very presence and that is the Thesis. The thing is, I’ve been looking at all these gorgeous pictures except for the ones of the Tervigon, which I glance at briefly before shuddering and turning away. It’s all the flesh colour I think. Every picture in White Dwarf shows her/it with big pink fleshy booby-like egg sacs, that hang pendulously down. I can’t look at them without feeling vaguely nauseous. In some ways I guess that it shows that the painter has got it right, as the Tervigon is not meant to be nice, but I don’t know that I’d like to play with/against or paint it. It’s silly, I know.

Anyway, I’m less than two stations away from home, so I guess that I should wrap up this post!


Blood Claw pack Nóh

In my introductory post, I mentioned that I have a slight problem with painting troops. It’s the size of the unit I think: ten Blood Claws is a good few weeks solid painting and although some things are faster when I can do them in batches (mixing and splashing on the blue for the armour comes to mind), I am a little bit fussy and I want all of my guys to be painted to the best of my ability. However, I have just lost three 500 points games in a row and something that I realised (and that has been pointed out to me) was that my list contains two Independent Characters, an elite slot (either a Lone Wolf or Wolf Scouts) and only two packs of five Grey Hunters. I really need more troops!

So I have put the half-built Land Speeder to one side, and left the new box of Scouts on their sprues and am about to start on Blood Claw pack Nóh (Target).

Now, when I was starting my army I looked around and saw that people were saying that Blood Claws “suck”. However, I like the guys, they are young, rebellious, totally flipping crazy and, to be honest, I’m never going to be a tournament player, so I can make a fluffy list that feels like what I think Space Wolves should feel like. I’ve always had a vague interest (and admiration) for Vikings and, as mentioned in my introduction, Prospero Burns really inspired me to start this army, so I want to have a touch of the raider in my army, with lots of Fast Attack (but not Thunderwolf Cavalry, thank you very much). Blood Claws fit quite nicely into this theme and would make my army feel more complete. Besides, if they are totally awful all I have to do is paint over their shoulder pads and, voilà, instant promotion to Grey Hunter.

So I am about to start Pack Nóh, which, as far as I can tell, I’m not a speaker of any Nordic language, means “target”. There is a reason for this. My first game was a doubles game in my local Games Workshop store with a Space Marine player against Orks. As my guys were getting slaughtered I joked that I should paint a target on each of them and this blossomed into the idea of building a Blood Claw pack called well, Pack Target. A bit of quick research with Wiktionary and Google Translate gave me “Nóh” as the closest translation for target.

I always name my guys, so each Blood Claw will be named as I paint him, I won’t know until then what name is best, so at the moment they are just “guys”, or “models” or “*&^%ing bits of plastic” or even “little men” depending on just what mood I’m in, and what I’ve done wrong this time.

At the moment they’re glued together and (mostly) primered with Chaos Black. They’re just models from the Space Wolf box, although one now has a meltagun, a metal meltagun, that didn’t quite fit, or come compatible with the arms that I had available, and is apparently made of the only known substance to repel Citadel Primer. The next stage is to paint them all blue. I use a 2:1 Space Wolves Grey to Shadow Grey mix to paint them, I found the suggested mix (from the now vanished GW painting guide) of 1:1 too dark and blue, while Space Wolves Grey on it’s own is a little too bright and light. Once that is done, I’ll start base-colouring the shouder pads but I’ll talk about that later as I have had trouble with it in the past, so it deserves its own special post (and some extra preparatory work).