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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.

Sunday 9 August 2015

The Challenge

LoF's 30th birthday is coming up in a couple of months and we've decided to take a trip up to Warhammer World to celebrate. The plan is that we will each take a 1000 point army and play a game or two on the tables there. We're both using this as a way to push ourselves to get models finished, she's working on her Exodites and I'm (of course) doing my Orks. This means I've got a serious amount of work to do, especially as it has taken me a year to get 400 points worth painted so far.

I've planned out a 1000 point list so that I know how much I've got to get done. On top of what I've already got done, I need to paint:

  • The third Boyz squad, including Nob and Trukk
  • A 5 model Nobz squad, with Trukk
  • 3 Warbikers
  • 5 Lootas

Fortunately, I already own all the models for this list, except for the Trukk for the Nobz squad. Getting all of these painted in the next two months will be a major increase in my previous rate of painting, I'm trying for this goal as a bit of a sink or swim approach. I've been barely getting any painting done for months, and I've previously found that having a game to aim for has been a good way of making sure I get models painted. The problem with using games as hard deadlines, and the reason I've avoided it so far with my Orks, is that I tend to end up compromising on the quality of the painting in order to get everything done to a bare minimum standard. Given that a major part of working on my Orks is trying to improve my painting, I don't want to end up just throwing paint at models just so I've got something to put on the table.

I'm trying to make sure that I get everything I want painted in time and to a decent standard. I've been working on the third Boyz squad over the last couple of days, and I've been making good progress. I've taken a leaf out of a friend's book and booked the next week off work, and I plan to spend a good amount of it hobbying. I'm also going to try to get some more blog posts up, you may have noticed I've been working on that recently too.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Year (and a bit) in review

The first anniversary of this blog slipped by without any sort of recognition. Once again, I'd completely fallen out of the habit of regular painting, to the extent that I didn't do any at all for well over two months. I'm trying to get back into it now, and I thought I'd look back over my progress since I started posting here.

In my last post, I showed a group picture of everything that I've managed to get painted since I started (plus one model that was already done beforehand). It isn't a particularly large number of models, but it is significant progress compared to how the army had come on before I started blogging. I think I managed one model in the space of about two years, so I was working from quite a low baseline.

In one of the early posts, I wrote about two separate ways in which I'm not good at painting: applying paint to the models; and applying myself to painting. In the last year and a bit, I have been genuinely pleased at the progress in my painting (the applying paint bit that is). There's a clear difference between the quality of the first and second squads of boyz, and the Warboss definitely shows how I've improved. I remain bad at applying myself to getting painting done however, I fear improving that skill will be more difficult than learning how to paint better.

Writing this blog has definitely helped me to paint more, there is a sense of achievement when I finish a model or squad and post about it, and a corresponding sense of failure when I don't manage either of those things. For the next year, I'm aiming to do more. More improvement in my painting and more painted models. I do have a slightly more detailed plan than that, at least for the next few months, but I'm saving that for tomorrow's post :)

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