Days turn into week. Weeks into months. Time passes and I write nothing on this blog, does that mean I am not a blogger?
Like most people, I’ve been busy. It wasn’t until I was a at Historicon 2021 and a fellow blogger I met for the first time in Real LifeTM and he said “You haven’t blogged in FOREVER” that it hit me. It has been forever. I stand in awe of the people who can write week after week all year long. Even if it is just hobby progress (which I don’t have much to report) they still create regular posts to awe, inspire, shame and report.
I’ll admit, at times I get a little discouraged. Some people read 1,000 pages a week. Or paint two dozen models a week. Or pump out a whole table’s worth of terrain a month. I go weeks without painting anything. I haven’t read a book in three or four weeks. I haven’t even 3D printed anything. Though both printers were down for repairs I was dreading to attempt. I’m 50% of the way through that. The resin printer is back running, busily churning out 1/300 coastal patrol craft since we returned from Historicon 2021. The filament printer is down still, awaiting a part to fix the hot end after I had… An incident. Thermal runaway is real, my friends. You have been warned.
All is not lost, though. I did a few things for my hobbies since I last wrote. In the four and a half months since I wrote about Sallah, I managed to finish 30 Dark Angels shoulder pads (fiddly little bastards to paint separately…), the Chapter Banner bearer, one of those creepy Watchers in the Dark, three Rhinos, a Razorback, the anti-aircraft Hunter/Stalker (curiously GW made this kit easily swappable between variants, so it can have either armament), a Dread Wing dreadnaught, three Land Speeders and a Land Speeder Vengeance for my son’s Dark Angels. And finally put basing materials on all 70+ models with a base. For my own collections, I finished (finally) my YT-1300 scratch build for X-Wing, and painted it. The skull I showed a while back is done, as well, as a new dice bowl for DnD games. I managed to build and prime 69 models before my July deployment. Those followed me to Texas and all got painted while I was there. These were all Empire models, a mix of GW plastics, Foundry metals, and 3D printed resin models. In this picture, it looks like 7 separate units. In reality its three complete units, the last models of three others, and the start of one more unit. Seems like I only paint consistently while I am gone!
If you made it this far, here are some details.
For the past three or four years I have been painting a Dark Angels army (Warhammer 40K) for my son. Even though I had a pair of fully painted 40K armies, and I invited him to use them with his friends*, he waited until his senior year to play. And he wanted his own army. So, of course I bought him one and painted it at his request. And kept expanding it…
When I was in college and actively playing 40K I wanted a fully mechanized Space Marine army. How cool would it be for a column of armored vehicles to all roll onto the table and disgorge the Emperor’s Finest? Finances at the time did not allow me to realize that dream. Then I stopped playing 40K, so I never did. Finances have changed, and this time around it was gonna be all armor, all the time. I need to write up a post about the whole army, and take some army pics now that nearly everything is done.
These vehicles make up some of the last I
needed built for the army. Three Rhino Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), a Razorback (think U.S. Bradley or British Warrior troop carriers), a mobile anti-aircraft gun system (with two variant weapons systems), a Dreadnaught (big robot thing with guns) and a quartet of Land Speeder flyers. Even though all these models are for one army, you might wonder why they are painted in three different paint schemes. The Dark Angles have a pair of companies that are unique in deployment and equipment. The standard Dark Angels wear a dark green armor. The First Company, or Death Wing, is an honor guard/veterans’ company and is a bleached bone color. The reasons depend on which book or codex you read, but it is intended as an honor marking. The Second Company, or Raven Wing, is midnight black and are a fast attack force mounted on bikes and flyers.
Well, I couldn’t just build and paint a small force for him. No. He needed a really big army. Something to instill fear in other players. And enough models to show up as any one of three army variants. What can I say? I spoil him. I’ll post more in another article, but for now know there are models from all parts of the Dark Angels.
The basing was done with a red sand and rock mix from Geek Gaming (formerly Luke’s APS). If you haven’t tried their basing mixes, you should. Fantastic stuff. If you are in England buy direct, in the US from GeekgamingUSA (through Footsore). The dye in it is strong enough that I used soft brush in the mix to weather the tracks and armor plates on the DA vehicles.
My Empire army for Warhammer Fantasy Battles (WFB) is slowly growing. It’s part of a much larger, very long-term project for WFB. Unfortunately, my favorite models for the Empire are now longer in production. I spend a bit of time cruising evil bay and other secondary sales sites hunting for more at a price I feel is reasonable.**
3D printing will/has changed that for me though. I have files that will let me print models that are very reasonable stand ins for the GW models I love. All for pennies a model. In fact, some of these freshly painted modes are 3D printed. And only a hardcore GW fan could recognize them.
Warhammer armies, as they are in most games, are built out of units of models. Anywhere from 1 to 100 individual models makes up a unit. Generally, the models are all painted in a uniform of some sort. From being nearly identical in clothing colors and items, to perhaps having a unifying-colored item like a feather or sash, large units can get tedious to paint. The same colors, in the same places, over and over and over. Even though I find a much different challenge in painting unique models (deciding what color for each item is HARD!), its more liberating in that I can put a color on my palette and decide on each model if or where it gets that particular color. Repeat until finished.
WFB units tend to be very similar models all wearing a uniform in uniform colors. It. Gets. Tedious. Even if the uniforms are halved or quartered like many renaissance uniforms were. The light blue and white models pictured are the last eight of a unit of 48 that has taken me about a year to paint. I painted the first 16 at once, and it nearly broke me mentally. Those Middenheimers are done. Finally. They are built from 6th edition Empire spearmen and will eventually have some shields from Fire Forge games with a wolf head emblem that I prefer to the lion emblem on the original shields.
I also painted these 6 models armed with missile weapons. They are the last models for a unit of militia. Yay! Another unit finished! The militia kit is one of my favorite kits GW ever produced. It was so useful and had so many possibilities for weapons. I think some of the kits from the Frostgrave line are the spiritual successor to that great kit. I need to pick up a box and see how they mesh with GW models.
These eight fellows are Foundry metals from their 16th Century Renaissance line. Specifically, the Armoured Landsknechts at the ready. While a bit thinner than GW models, I feel like they fit well. I painted mine as Tilean mercenary pike, a Dogs of War (DoW) unit from 5th edition. They could also be used as Talabecland state troops as the colors are similar. Pike are only available to DoW units, and I think pike are cool, so these eight models are the first of a unit of at least 24.
The next unit is a solid block of spearmen using the same base model used for the Middenheim spear block. These are representing Reikland. White is the official color for uniforms from Reikland, but I wanted a more worn, dirty look. Since these are primarily prime, shade, highlight (since the primer is the base color) I was able to paint the whole unit in one go. The banner bearer is still WIP on my painting desk, but the unit is primarily done.
These hand gunners are painted in Altdorf colors. The red and dark blue is a great look. If I painted another Empire army, it would probably be in this scheme. These models are more 6th edition models. When I can’t find these anymore, I will be very sad, since I haven’t found a model, I like to replace them.
This cannon will be crewed by some Nuln crew I painted earlier in the year. This makes great cannon number three, which it seems, is not sporting? I saw a couple random posts online and rules for a campaign that heavily penalized Empire players for taking more than one cannon. No worries, I don’t play other gamers with this army, so I can have my gun line without apparently inciting nerd rage. I also painted a metal GW master engineer model I snagged off the interwebs to support the cannons.
The last unit from that marathon painting month (for me) is a unit of hammer armed troops. While not a specific weapon allowed by WFB, MY army is from Middenland, the land of beards, manly men and hammers. I used a very old box of GW 5th Edition State Troops augmented by 3d printed models to build this unit of 15 “Hammers of Ulric” as a special unit. They need their shields attached, but at least these shields are actually painted.
I am by no means an accomplished painter. I do a base coat, highlight, shade wash, second highlight generally on all my models. Sometimes I add a couple more highlights, or use inks to wash/shade certain things. There are far better tutorials out there, but if any of you have specific questions on how I painted particular models, ask and I will let you know specifics. Nearly all colors are Vallejo. I use Army Painter primer sprays in Angel Green, Matt White or Skeleton Bone, or a Rustoleum 2x black or light grey as primers. I did use Citadel Talassar Blue Contrast paint on the Middenheim spearmen. Army Painter shade tones are my go-to shades, I use Soft Tone and Strong Tone on nearly every model I paint. On leather and wood, I will use Vallejo Sepia or Brown inks for shading, as the pigment load is very heavy and it works like a stain. I use watered down Sepia Ink for shading faces and hands.
As far as I can recall, the only other model I built was a scratch built Wild West building. Using milled basswood, basswood strip, balsa strip and heavy card I sat down one evening and started cutting. I showed a pic on a Face Book group for Wild West gaming and a tutorial was requested, so I need to work that up, take more pictures, and write another article. It’s a simple model, but I like it.
And this guy. Slowly coming together. A dice bowl for DnD. Take a dice from Mr. Skull… If you dare!
I guess that’s it. The tutorial or a report on Historicon 2021 will be up next. Since both are fresh in my head, there won’t be as along a wait between articles.
Happy creating and gaming!
*All my models are fair use for my kids. I can fix/repaint/repair/replace models. I only get my kids at home for 18 years.
**A topic for yet another post. I once felt anything over $1.50 was too much for a used model. I may have spent $55 for one 28mm mounted model recently…