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Sunday 13 September 2015

Nobz Squad

 After two weeks of heavy painting, I've finished the squad of Nobz. Once again I got over-enthusiastic and I've spent the last week telling myself they'll be done in the next couple of days. I would like to say that I'm really pleased with how they came out, but I ended up having a bit of an issue in the final stages that took the shine off them for me.

When I was assembling the squad for undercoating, I stuck the arms and weapon on to one of the models. Once I'd done that, I looked at it and realised it was going to make it very difficult to paint the part of the torso behind the weapon. All the Nobz I've painted up to this point have had a power klaw and a slugga so they haven't had this problem, but this squad is armed with big choppas and kombi-skorchas, which are wielded two-handed. I left the arms off the other four models, so that I could paint their torsos properly. I did all the painting, carefully keeping the various arms with the appropriate models, and I was really pleased with how they had come out. Once I'd finished I went to glue the arms to the models. I could only get the arms to fit properly on one of the four models, and in the process I managed to spread glue around the join (and in one case across the figure's shoulders), ruining the paint job in the process. After all the hard work I'd put in, I was quite upset at this point. In the end I had to fit the arms on as best I could, which for one of them meant prising the model's head off. After that I filled the various gaps with greenstuff and did some quick repair work on the paint. The overall look of the squad is quite good, but there are some nasty flaws if you know where to look (which of course I do so that's all I can see).

I tried a couple of new methods with the painting on these models. I added a green glaze to the skin once all the highlighting was done, and I like the effect it has given me. The skin is just slightly darker than it was, and the highlights are not quite as harsh. The material wrapped around the weapon hafts has been painted yellow, where previously I would have used brown. As I was working on the squad I realised I didn't have much yellow on them, so I decided to put some on the weapons. I wanted it to look dirtier than the yellow I usually use, to show that the weapon hafts are regularly handled and not regularly cleaned. I gave them one base coat of Averland Sunset, where I usually use two, and then a wash with Agrax Earthshade and highlight with Yriel Yellow. I like how it has worked, it's very much what I was aiming for.

Next I'm going to do the Trukk for this squad. I was considering putting it off after doing the last one, but now I think I'd rather have the squad and transport complete before I move on to the next unit.

Sunday 30 August 2015

Third Trukk

 I finished the Trukk for the third squad last night. As I predicted, there was no way I was going to get the whole thing done last weekend. I was fighting for motivation to get through this model, it became something of a slog. I did manage to keep going though, and it has come up well in the end. Now that the third squad has their transport, I can field a rather small but fully mounted Ork Horde detachment.

It took over a week to get the whole model done, which was longer than I wanted and means I need to get a move on with the rest of the painting. Next on the list is a squad of five Nobz. Hopefully batch painting will mean that I can get them done rather faster than the one week per model rate I managed when painting the Nob for Squad Three. After the Nobz, I had intended to paint another Trukk so they'd have a transport as well. Given how much of a fight the one I've just finished (especially for only 30 points worth of model), I'm seriously considering putting it off until I've done some other models first. I'll see how I feel once the Nobz are finished.

Friday 21 August 2015

Nob for Squad Three

 After several days of good hobby progress, I've finished the Nob for the third squad of Boyz. He's come up well, and I was pleased that I didn't slack off or lose momentum. I did however pay something of a price for all this painting, by the time I finished the model last night one of the muscles in my back was killing me. I think I've been hunching forward as I work on the model and because I was sat in the same position for a long time and several days in a row something was bound to complain eventually. I'm going to have to work on my posture while I paint, as I can't really afford to slack off the pace to get everything painted in time for October.

Next up is the Trukk for the third Boyz squad. I'm hoping to make a lot of progress over the weekend, provided I don't cripple myself in the process. I'd like to say I'll get the whole thing done, but I think that may be a bit overly optimistic.

Saturday 15 August 2015

Squad 3

 After a heavy week of painting (by my standards at least), I've finished the third squad of Boyz. It started well, I was making progress and feeling good about the whole thing. Then I started to get a bit carried away and thought to myself “If I just make a big push tomorrow I can have them finished”. I ended up telling myself that every day from Monday through until Thursday, and I finally got them completed on Friday.

The painting has come out well, they're an improvement over the second squad, although not as much of an improvement over them as they were over the first squad. I used a layer of Evil Sunz Scarlet on top of the Mephiston Red to give the brighter red colour. That added a fair bit of extra work to painting the whole squad. I also used more Underhive Ash than I have previously as a final highlight on the skin. The effect worked well, I'll continue to add that, although that will also mean more work to get models done. I really hope that somewhere along the line improving my painting includes reducing the amount of time each bit takes. I have a nasty feeling that is the kind of skill that only comes with lots of hard work and practice though.

Next up is a Nob to go with this squad. It's only one model, so I'm going to try to get it knocked out quite quickly. Looking back, it seems I can get them done without taking too long, provided I sit down and get on with it.

Monday 10 August 2015

Imperial Armour 8: Raid on Kastorel-Novem

Back around the beginning of the year, Forge World put up a notice that they were running low on copies of IA8. Given that it's the book with the Ork units in, I figured I would grab a copy before they all vanished. Tight-fisted as I am though, I thought I'd take a look elsewhere to see if I could pick it up cheaper than direct from Forge World. It didn't take too long to find a seller on Amazon with an “as new” copy that was only £27.50. Now that I finally get round to writing about the book, it's no longer available on the Forge World site, but can still be found on Amazon for £30. Given that many of the other Imperial Armour books have gone on to a second edition, I expect there will be a new version available from Forge World at some point, but I suspect that they may well be focussing on the Horus Heresy for the near future.

The book itself weighs in at 226 pages and comes with a double sided poster with a Mek Boss on one side and an assortment of Ork units on the other. Sadly the poster is too big to have found a home on any of my walls so far, but it's still a nice addition. The story of the book is a combined Raven Guard and Elysian Drop Troop attack on an Ork held planet, and it contains units for all 3 armies, and full army lists for the Elysians and Ork Dread Mobs. I enjoyed reading through the book, which gives a lot of detail on what could be considered a relatively minor action by the standards of battles in the 41st millennium. I have only read the book once though, I haven't been captured by the urge to pore over it relentlessly. I'm unlikely to get much use out of the missions given to play out the campaign, as I don't have access to Raven Guard or Elysian armies. I'm sure I could manage something if I were desperate to play them, but it's not really a high priority.

I was pleased with the selection of Ork units in the book. There are several vehicles I think could fit nicely into a Speed Freeks army, particularly as Zhadsnark Da Rippa lets you take Warbikers as Troops choices. I like the extra detail on various units, even if it does seem to contradict itself in places, and I really wish Forge World made the variant Warbuggies shown in the illustrations, as the existing model is looking very dated. There's a fair amount of material on Dreads and Kans, which is understandable given that the book is home to the Dread Mob list, but I doubt I'll get much use out of it myself.

One thing that occurred to me after reading IA8 was that it invites comparison with the Waaagh! Ghazghkull supplement. Weighing the two up against each other really shows Waaagh! Ghazghkull in a poor light. Both of them have background material and 8 missions, although IA8's missions are more tightly linked and include a few more innovative features than Waaagh! Ghazghkull. IA8 is nearly three times as long, contains new units for three different armies, and includes two whole army lists, where Waaagh! Ghazghkull has seven formations and one detachment, so no new units, just different ways to arrange the existing ones. Given that I bought the Ghazghkull book in hardback (£30), IA8 was cheaper too. Once I'd looked at it in those terms, I was significantly less pleased with the Ghazghkull supplement. Given the lack of supplements accompanying the more recent codex releases, I suspect I'm not the only one questioning the value of those books.

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