Sunday, 31 January 2016

How to eat an elephant... bite at a time as the saying goes...

That's how this clean up of half started projects feels at the moment. I've been chipping away at a few things but it's starting to feel like the more work I do the more work I am creating for myself. I'll show you what I mean.

I had purchased the GW White Dwarf Vampire Slayer model over a year ago on an impulse (sounds familiar). If you don't know which model I mean it's this one:

I pulled him out of the half started pile the other day wondering what on earth I would use him for. After a time I came up with a solution; I could use him as a Dwarf Slayer for my Mordheim Witch Hunter warband. I thought this was a genius idea until I began painting him and realised that, not only could I not remember what colours I had painted my Witch Hunters, but also that they were painted with discontinued GW paints.

After three attempts this is as close as I got with the brown:

Now some people, most people probably, wouldn't care in the slightest. But I'm not most people and it's really gnawing the hell out of my OCD. In the end I've decided that for better or worse I'm going to repaint the whole warband and hence I have now replaced the work of painting one model with that of painting 15 models.


That being said there is a silver lining to this frustrating outcome; a lot of the metal models in the warband were becoming quite chipped from so much use, so to re-touch them without any memory of the process or paints that I used was going to make it a next to impossible task. So the silver lining is that with the re-paint I will now have a well painted Mordheim warband with a record of the colours used for any future touch-ups. And seeing as I painted these models over 10 years ago I should do a much better job of them. Surely my skills have improved over the last 10 years right?

Ok that's enough ranting for the week, it's time I took the next bite out of the elephant. I'll post up pictures of their progress as I go but as of next week the focus goes back on the Dystopian ships for Natcon 2016 so it might be a few weeks before you see these guys again. As I sign off I'll leave you with a photo of the warband as it used to be just for nostalgia's sake...

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Natcon 2016 - No turning back now

Flights are booked! Accommodation is...not yet organised, but that's ok! The point is that I am now on my way down to Dunedin this Easter no matter what. I've got a few more models left to paint but I'm pretty close to finished. I am in the midst of prepping 6 Kitsune Escorts for the February painting session. I took a photo of them but the light washed out all the detail of the bare white resin so instead of taking more photos I simply stole a photo from the interwebs.
After these I only have one more model to paint and the army will be finished. Finished at least until I buy some more models, which will probably happen in Dunedin.

Dystopian Wars aside I have been picking through my pile of half-started projects with the little amount of spare time I've had in the last week. I did originally want to get started on a 40k army for the New Year but in the end I looked at my pile of unfinished models and decided I need to finish what I have started rather than start something new.

So here's the pile of projects that I will be chipping away at with whatever spare time I have.

So that's my weekly update on toy soldiers. Things are still plodding along despite the reality of the 9 to 5 doing it's best to stall my progress. I'm confident I'll still get them all done in time and once they are the tournament beers will taste so much better. In the meantime my commitment is to put at least 30 minutes of painting per day into the half started projects for the remainder of the month. If you're curious on the progress check back after the weekend and I'll have another update posted.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Book Review in 300 Words or Less - Angron's Monolith

A week ago I finished what I was previously reading and had a hunt around the bookshelf to find something new. That was when I came across this wee novella. I used to have a Relictors 40k army a long time ago which I really enjoyed building and painting, so out of nostalgia I had bought this book on an impulse. Now I've finally gotten around to reading it so I thought I would post up a quick review.

Angron's Monolith by Steve Lyons

The book is set during the Third War for Armageddon where the Relictors have deployed themselves in the equatorial jungle under the guise of cleansing the denizen Feral Orks who have taken up residence there. In reality they are pursuing their own secret mission to recover Angron's Monolith. If you don't know much about the Relictors and their super-secret pastime, then it's probably best to get some background on them first.

The book starts with the marines sweeping the jungle killing off groups of Orks as they find them. This is how we are introduced to the two main characters of the book; Tarryn and Baeloch. As the story develops these two marines become caught up in progressively more bizarre events as the secrets of their Space Marine Chapter are unintentionally revealed to them. Eventually we reach a point (not surprisingly about the time they find the Monolith) where they must choose to remain loyal to their Chapter and embrace it's less than wholesome secrets, or turn their back on their brothers and remain loyal to the leader of humanity; the Emperor of mankind.

I found the story interesting in that it helped bring some more colour and detail to a commonly known piece of Relictors history that has not really been explored. However, I was saddened by some of the narrative towards the end of the book as it seemed all a bit too cliché. There was an opportunity to grow and embellish the interesting history of this space marine legion and I believe it was squandered.

All in all, this novella would be interesting to those of us who have a love for this particular Space Marine Legion, but those who don't wouldn't miss much by not reading it.

That's my post for this week. I had hoped to have an update about painting stuff but I didn't get any photos taken this week. I'll snap some pics of what I'm up to tomorrow and get them posted mid week. Until then thanks for reading and remember...

If the grass is greener on the other side, you can bet the water bill is higher...

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The road to Natcon 2016 - I finished another thing...

I'm a couple of days late to get these posted as time just seems to fly by now that I'm back at work but I did manage to get them finished by the weekend. I haven't progressed to anything else yet as I'm needing a bit of time to keep everything at work in check but we'll get stuck into something new by the start of February if not sooner. Anyway here are the finished Onryo Gyros:



They were relatively easy and peaceful models to paint as there are only really three colours on them and no decking, which I'm finding to be the most time consuming part of these models. I'm happy with how they are looking and I'm really enjoying how the army is coming together.

Nine and a bit weeks to go till Natcon...I suppose I should get around to booking my flights...

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Egmont St Eatery burgers are back!

A few weeks ago Sam and I heard that Egmont St Eatery had put burgers back on their menu. After enjoying their entry for Burger Wellington so much we were hugely excited about this so we paid them another visit to put this new burger to the test.

There were actually two burgers on the menu when we got there; one a pork and fennel breakfast burger and the other an aged angus beef burger with jack cheese and pickles which is the one we got.

Unfortunately it didn't measure up to their Burger Wellington entry but it was still pretty good. The sauce, beef and pickles were the awesome part about the burger. The bun was not as good as their original but still ok.

I think the worst part was that their original burger set such a high standard it was always going to be difficult to measure up to. That being said it was still an outstanding burger and worth giving it a go. Next on the list is the pork and fennel breakfast burger!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

The dusty, deserted road to Natcon 2016

Dusty and deserted because the models seem to be few and far between, but progress is progress. We are about 11ish weeks out from Natcon and things are on target to be completed. I'm not 100% sure what that target is as I haven't made an army list yet, but if I have my remaining unpainted Empire of the Blazing Sun models finished before Natcon that should mean I'm able to cobble together something.

Here's the Gyros with the brass and the red completed and the metal begun. I'm about halfway there and hoping to have them complete by next weekend.



I need to finish the metal and the windows and then go back and do all the touch ups. Not long now and there will be some air support for the Flying Carpet!

No progress on the Orks yet as I have been doing a bit of declutter round the house. Just to share some childish excitement this is what I have been working on:

This is the Black Seas Barracuda; Lego set 6285, released in 1989. When I was 8 years old this was all I ever wanted in life. I would have given my right arm for this Lego set (metaphorically of course) but alas it was not within my financial constraints at the time so I resigned myself to never building this most awesome of models. However a couple of years ago my girlfriend's brother paid a visit from the States and knowing my love for Lego he searched out all his old blocks including this set. He built it and then left it with me to take care of when he returned to the States. So after it's been sitting in a cupboard for so long I finally got around to dismantling, cleaning and rebuilding it. It's a great feeling to tick something off your bucket list after over 25 years.

Ah well another week and another update. At 11:30pm it's probably time I go to bed and prepare for going back to work tomorrow after my three week break *sigh*. I've got some non-wargame related photos I keep meaning to put up in small updates so I'll get onto that this week. Check back mid week for something which has nothing to do with Man Barbies.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Is it 2016 yet?

Wow it's the 4th of January already and I'm only just now updating my blog. I had a quick look through my blogger news feed and not surprisingly there is a ream of '2016 in review' posts. I was thinking of running through something similar but given you've likely read a dozen of these style of blog posts already I'll sidestep that and just give a quick update on projects at the moment.

The Flying Carpet is complete and and I am preparing for the next models to be painted. Here's the snapshots of the finished product:



I'm very happy with how it looks though frustrated that all the interesting detail is on the underside where it will never really be seen. Inspiration didn't strike for runway markings which I was keen to add, but in saying that I am much happier with how the runway looks now it has some more colour on it with the red fighter planes.

No rest for the wicked though as I must move upward and onward with the project. The next models to be pulled from the dusty draw of mystery models were two Onryo Class Support Gyros.

They've been cleaned and undercoated and are currently ready for their first base colours. I've still got some time off from work until the end of the week so I should be able to get all of the brass and the red completed in that time.

That's it for my Natcon update. In other news I've got a little too excited about GWs new 'Start Collecting!' boxed sets, specifically the Skitarii boxed set which I have foolishly purchased despite not really having the time to paint the models.

They're all models I ultimately will buy so I figured it would be best to buy them now at the more reasonable price of $145 through Mightyape rather than buy them all separately for somewhere closer to $250. I am admittedly becoming one of those people who is more and more disillusioned with the GW 'the sky is the limit!' pricing policy so this whole sales scheme came as a happy surprise to me. Lets hope it's a sign of things to come.

That being said I do like the 'New year, new army' slogan GW have come up with and I would love to give that a go. I was thinking that if I'm going to do this it's really going to have to be a quick and dirty, tabletop quality paint scheme as I don't have time for much else. I'd rather put some more more love and attention into the Skitarii so it won't be them but after a rummage around in the dusty draw of mystery models I found these guys:

The colour scheme for these Grots came out brighter than I was expecting; I was wanting a grittier brown-yellow rather than the bold yellow they are painted in. As such I got frustrated with them and they ended up at the bottom of a drawer and haven't seen the light of day since. I still have about 1000 points of Orks sitting there waiting for a coat of paint so I was thinking I might try some new quick and dirty painting techniques to see if I can slap together a 40k army fast.

For now though we'll just wait and see. Life is still pretty busy and the Dystopian Wars models for Natcon have to hold priority at this stage. If some spare time comes up though I'll make a start on the Orks and see where it leads.

That's all for another post. I hope you all had a really enjoyable Christmas and New Year and that any New Year's resolutions have at least lasted the first 4 days. I'll leave you with a final photo that will hopefully provide a little amusement. My obsessive Star Wars doll collecting that started with an errant Boxing Day purchase has continued and I have now progressed from 10 dolls to 19!

I'll admit it's a bit of a worry but as far as vices go it could be far worse :)