Thursday, 28 August 2014

To Do List 2014/15

How have we done this last year? Well a damn sight better than any other year. If I haven't done everything on my list, and I haven't, it's not for want of doing nothing at all. But I'm getting ahead of myself, lets just get on with what I did from the list:

A Dark Angels tactical squad!!! Actual Dark Angels that were on my To Do List actually got painted! Forget the rest of the achievements, lets not actually there's loads of them, but this is monumental. Brother Cask, my Dreadnought also joined the fight after three years in the fabricatorium and I also got my Dark Vengeance Librarian completed too. So I have a HQ, two troops [if I combat squad the Tacticals] and two Elites in my Dark Angel force [including the already complete AoBR Deathwing squad].

I even managed to get Avro Vulcan to publish the plans to the Vent Tower and finished painting it.

I prepared an extra set of Tyranid defence walls but never got round to learning how to make a mould and cast some spares :(

I also got the Capillary Towers completed and that obviously led onto bigger and better things.

And stop press! - Dark Angels Devastator Squad!

More importantly what of the things not on that list:
  • Project Y - The Skyshield Landing Pad
  • A whole slew of extra Termagants [and some Spore Mines too!]
  • A Tervigon! Something I said I would never paint again and enjoyed doing it too
  • The four Horsemen of the Ferron Apocalypse:
    • A Lictor
    • A Zoanthrope
    • A Venomthrope
    • A Carnifex, with enough magnetized bits to run it as a Dakkafex, or use those bits on the Great Maw as a Tyrannofex and run the Carnifex as Old One Eye - so many options it was worth the effort.
  • 11 Genestealers too!
  • A 'not a Pyrovore', where the hell did that come from?
  • An Epic Reaver Titan
  • 10 Dark Vengeance Chaos Cultists
  • All my Print & Play terrain, which I think more than makes up for the lack of progress on the Inqusitorial Vault
  • I also finished off the metal Hive Tyrant's spare weapons and wings [a hangover from 2012/13 but still a tick]
  • A lickle baby Watcher in the Dark!
  • And many, many other bits and pieces that were started this year:
    • 10 Dark Vengeance Chaos Cultists converted to Genestealer Cultists
    • Dark Angel Aegis Defence Line
    • Battle for Macragge crashed Aquila Lander
    • Two new Ferron Fire Fir trees
Not too shabby, I think I can live with that kind of trade off against planned targets not met. I also won my local Armies on Parade [just missing last years To Do List deadline] and best painted army at the Scythe and Teacup Tournament, Blog Wars 6 and Throne of Skulls [did I mention that], so going 'off piste' wasn't exactly without reward, of which some was actually cold, hard cash!

I also managed to overcome a lack of hobby mojo and develop strategies to motivate myself. In particular my Hobby Matrix post task. It may not have set the 40k blogosphere alight but it was a concept I had to get out of my head and down on the blog. It's not a cure-all and there have still been moments of lacklustre motivation in the hobby over the year, but it has helped. Not to mention the many comments left by those faithful followers of the blog, your support has been a massive motivation to keep going and has contributed directly to my most sustained period of hobby activity. Even in those periods where I wasn't feeling productive I was building a model here, magnetizing a model there. It all adds to the end result.
So, where do I go now? I'll be still trying to tackle some of my hangovers but I will be mothballing some, putting them away as right now they are not a priority at all
  1. Bloodbowl Elves [I only have a little to finish off so they stay, but I need to do a tree man too]
  2. Dark Angel - Drop Pod
  3. Dark Angel - Land Speeder Typhoons
  4. Dark Angel - Dark Vengeance Tactical Squad
  5. Dark Angel - Dark Vengeance Deathwing
  6. Dark Angel - Chaplain
  7. Dark Angel - Azrael
  8. Dark Angel - Ravenwing bike squad
  9. 60mm Dreadnought crater
But with these new ones added/expanded:
  1. Project Z?! Another mystery project ;)
  2. Try to get a fully functioning Dark Angel force [1500pts]
  3. Battle for Macragge crashed Aquila Lander [finish off]
  4. Tyranid Bastion Crater
  5. Genestealer Cultists.
  6. Armies on Parade board - Project X?
  7. Project Ω??!! And yet another mystery project ;)
  1. Complete pot pourri vegetation [and blog posts for that matter!]
  2. STC Inquisitorial Vault
  3. STC Athena plateau
So a much reduced list, originally when I first started compiling this post there were only six new items but I've since made inroads on both new and old lists so it was only right I think bigger. There are some quick wins alongside some very broad targets and big projects, not to mention the - 'what the flip'? mystery projects Z and Ω [to be revealed after AoP]. No doubt there'll also be many ad-hoc projects added that aren't on the list, as I've done so this year.

Of course my new number 6 is a massive undertaking, one I've been reluctant to get going but clearly something popular amongst those who read the blog. However, as I recently pointed out with our loft conversion going ahead sooner than we thought it means I'll really struggle to fit in doing this, with the garage where I hoped to work being used for storage and access. We'll see how things go, there's a lot involved, it will pay so many dividends, thanks to the modular nature, but still a lot of unfamiliar ground to tread which is always slow going. Fingers crossed I get to do it but it's very much in the balance and home life obviously has to take priority for the immediate future.

Hopefully some of you will join me today at the start of the new 2014/15 hobby season with your own To Do List. Good luck with it, remember it's a guide, not a directive. It gives you something to aspire to and aim for, a simple measure to see if you've succeeded in doing something. When the hobby funk settles in it can help shine light on your malaise. When you're in the zone and painting something 'off-list' who cares, it's something hobby related. Good luck.

I'll be utilising both Big Red Stamps, the 40k Addict one for the items on list and the generic for off list but feel free to use them and if you're taking part put a link in the comments section and I'll make a post up tomorrow with them all in so can see who's game :)

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The 2014/15 Hobby Season - MOAR Red Stamps of Approval

I always try to accommodate suggestions from those following the blog and Andrew Dart from asked for some Red Stamps of Approval that were for Major and Minor achievements. Personally I won't be entering into categorising my own hobby exploits as it's almost like undertaking a Painting Points System. However, by asking people for the hobby blogging community to join in and make their hobby season their own then if Andrew wants them, by the Omnissiah I'll help him measure his progress with them. 

So, I give you the very 'minor' amended 'Major' projects Red Stamp of Approval 

And the 'major' amended 'Minor' projects Red Stamp of Approval.

If you want to measure your success like Andrew then feel free to download and add them to your 'To Done' blogpsosts as and when they happen. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and seeing what 2014/15 Hobby Season To Do Lists turn up. If it does at least one thing for you it's saves you thinking of what to write in you blog post tomorrow.

Oh, and just in case you need them, here are the previous versions of the 2014/15 Hobby Season Red Stamps of Approval, both branded and unbranded

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Dark Angels - Devastator Squad - TO DONE!

Well that was a surprise, to finish these ahead of the new hobby season, still I won't look a gift horse in the mouth. Of course the reason this happened is because I can't really get on with anything else but it's a win nontheless.

Funnily enough I actually did all the green highlights on a per model basis. Although that means consistency is slightly compromised it doesn't mean I'm mixing loads of green which just dries out on the palette, I should probably look at a wet palette, it's not like they're difficult to make from what I've seen.

Anyway, the five man squad is done. I probably need a couple more marines to take wounds on but most of my lists can't fit them in so if they get some brothers it will be a long way down the line and will be made up from the remaining assorted old skool metal miniatures I have.

I still think the Missile Launchers are massive on the Rogue Trader era models but added to the slate bases they at least can stand tall[er] against the modern day 28mm plastic models.

Sadly they're not pointing their weapons up, which would at least justify they're anti-air capability but I didn't include the extra missile bits I ordered either so it doesn't matter really.

Such a nice little group, I look forward to fielding them although I dread how the paint job will cope with repeated game use. Thus far all my metal Tyranid models have been a complete pain, the Biovore, Zonathrope, Hive Tyrant and Brood Lords have all been prone to chipping.

 I'm hoping the old skool Lead [pb] will be slightly more forgiving than pewter but I tried to pick off a small spot of congealed paint on one shoulder pad and it stripped a pin head sized flake off with it, so I don't hold any hope out for them :(

All the targeting lenses and viewing screens were painted as per the the usual way your would do gems, gradient with a spot of light but I then add on a coating of Tamiya Clear Orange X-26 which gives it the glossy transparency. Then I add a further blob of  VerniDas gloss varnish which retains it's shape just a little more add adds a lense effect.

But they're an interim choice until I have a more varied force, and have come to terms with how I want to play Dark Angels so they may very well be retired before they get to 'game worn'.

If I'm honest i think this is my least favourite model out of the squad. It's really to do with his thighs, they're tiny and thin, not nearly enough to support his bulk and completely disproportionate to his shin guards. It also looks a little unbalanced, like he's about to fall backwards.

I really wanted to put the extra missiles I ordered on this guy to bulk out his weedy legs but the legs just weren't long enough to fit them on. I may look to get a loin cloth to cover up the huge gap but it may just look stupid.

The squad and company marking came out really well though so hopefully that can overshadow the poor model.

 This fella is a different beast altogether. I love his squat pose, and despite also having weedy thighs at least he looks braced to support the weight of his Missile Launcher.

He obviously won't be running with a Power Fist but it looks cool and it's not like I'm going to remove it. His shin markings worked out well but I'm starting to think it looks like these guys are very much supporters of legalising cannabis! Still, the Devastator badge symbol is actually really easy to do so I didn't even need to pencil in the badge beforehand by this stage.

I also like his oversized Dark Angel chapter badge. The wing sweep upwards a lot more than the symbol stipulates but I think it fits the shoulder pad better.

Obviously the freehand doesn't stand up to close scrutiny... do you see that! There on the left most stud on his power fist - CHIPPED! Already, I only knocked him over once!

The squad sacrifice with added Dark Angel upgrade bits.

He now has the Company number in his squad symbol and you can see how I tidied up the shading in the symbol.

That plastic honour badge is a pain. I super glued it, while painting the bronze bit split from its cyanoacrylate bond. I re-glued it and as I was painting it snapped again so I just did a big blob of PVA behind and now it feels solid [and slightly more tolerant of movement]. 

Some interesting extra freehand on this one on his shin.

Luckily there was just enough room for the squad marking on his shoulder pad.

Although he also has weedy legs again the slightly more braced pose means the model doesn't look quite as feeble.

Not to mention his Mk V beaky helmet looks awesome.

The last Launcher of the squad.

Which I went a little OTT on the litanies on his thighs. too much I think. makes it look like he's got lots of threads or bones, more like Legion of the Damned than Dark Angel!

Still the back isn't too bad.

You just have to ask is that L for the Lion, or Luther...?

And here's the squad with their tactical brethren. Add in my Deathwing and Brother Cask and it's my Dark Angels to date. I'll post some pics of them altogether at a later date.

So I was wrong and big blue tick for my Watcher in Dark was in fact the penultimate one of the season and this is my last. It also means I have to amend my 2014/15 To Do List yet again, luckily I never included the Land Speeder Typhoons in that list so they can take the now vacated spot of the Devs. Tune in on the 28th to see what I've got planned.

Once again, a reminder of how they used to look: