Posts Tagged ‘Painting’

Sorting Things Out

10/13/2014 3 comments

Wow, two posts in one day!

Anyway, without wanting to create a negative atmosphere I haven’t painted since Dad died last month.  While it’s my intention/hope to pick up a brush by the end of the week right now I’ve been easing myself back into the hobby swing by first getting the blog back up and staggering and secondly by gritting my teeth and finally sorting out my paints.

As with all hobbyists, I have amassed quite a collection of paints in the past twenty three years, and I’ve never bothered to properly go through them.  Until no.

First of all, I decided to limit my ‘active’ paints to those bought since I returned to the hobby in 2009.  This meant that paints like these have been relegated to the bottom drawer.

Memories, memories :-)

Memories, memories 🙂

I’ve toyed with the idea of breaking out these old paints and attempting to replicate older styles of miniature painting on appropriately venerable models.  Not now though, far too many half-finished and planned projects, one day though.

Right, back to the cataloging.  After a happy hour or so, I’d arranged my paints by rough type and alphabetically therein.  I ended up with this.


There is a significant amount of organisation at play here, really!

Finally I came to the part I was really looking forward to, building my database!  I love spreadsheets, I work with them all day and genuinely enjoy applying what I do for a living to my hobbies where possible.  Therefore, it did not take me long at all to knock this up.

Paint Database

As you can see, I’ve not only listed the paints I have but I’ve also made a start at recording which colours are used for which army.  I didn’t have time to get this part fully logged but give me time.

And the numbers, you ask?  After everything was logged I was able to ascertain that I have 93 different colours (including technical paints) and of these 93, I have 32 duplicates of which most of those are a result of stocking up on Devlan Mud and Catachan Green before they were discontinued.

Miniature painting and spreadsheets, what’s not to love? 🙂


The Fury of Menasa

12/12/2011 4 comments

After almost four months of building and painting I present to you the pride of the 57th Menasan Armoured Infantry, the Mars-Pattern Baneblade Fury of Menasa.

Happy Accidents

12/06/2011 Leave a comment

One of the things I really love about the hobby is the occasional random discovery one makes completely by accident. A good example is my ever growing collection of models I’ve used to test colour schemes, generally I’m happy with most of the results produced but sometimes such results get used in some very unexpected ways.

A couple of years ago I bought a Valkyrie for my Imperial Guard, while I painted this in the colour scheme of the 57th Menasans I decided to be true to the fluff and paint the four crew in different colours to represent the fact they belonged to a branch of the Imperial Navy. At this point however painter’s block hit, while I knew I wanted to keep the two tone aesthetic of the Menasans I had to make them distinct.

Cue a quick trip to my local hobby store and the purchase of a set of five basic plastic Cadians. I knew I wanted either a grey or a blue tone for my crew so I very roughly painted these.

(L-R) Mordian Blue & Smurf Blue with Badab Black wash. MB & SB with Devlan Mud wash. Fortress Grey and Codex Grey with BB wash. FG and CG with Devlan Mud wash.

In the end I went with the blue and Badab Black wash but you really can’t tell the difference between that and the one washed with Devlan Mud, something to remember for the future.

This left me with one remaining model, since I’d recently bought a box of foundation paints I decided to pick two colours I thought would go well together and see what happened and this was the result.

"I'm a Lonely Soldier!"

After this model was completed I put it on a shelf and forgot all about it. That is until I started my Dark Eldar army six months later.

At the time the new codex was still just a rumour of a rumour, indeed it would be a further eleven months until its release. As such there was little in the way of cheap models with which to test my ideas for Warrior and Wych colour schemes. In the end I decided to use the cheap set of four Craftworld Eldar Guardians and produced the following four options.

While the one on the far left ended up being the basis for my Kabalite Warriors I wasn’t completely sold on any of the others for use by my Wyches. After a few days of unproductive cerebral meandering I happened to glance at the random red and purple guardsman I’d painted on a whim and realised that its scheme was perfect! As you can see below, the scheme survived the transition almost without change.

I often wonder what other random afterthoughts of mine will one day turn into something productive. Can’t wait to find out!

Building the ruins of the future

12/02/2011 5 comments

When I first started gaming our terrain was made out of whatever we could find. Hedges were made out of pan scourers, bunkers were cola bottle ends and large buildings were usually converted shoeboxes. It was a more innocent time, a time when – if you wished – you could arm your Space Marines with bows and arrows and Zoats roamed freely across the plains.

I remember when the Necromunda boxed set heralded the arrival of the plastic bulkhead / card floor design which brought our games to quite literally higher levels. It was therefore quite a shock to the system when I returned to wargaming and found the wealth of new plastic kits available.

As I was rebuilding my Imperial Guard into a viable army I decided to invest in a few of GW’s 40K buildings. Since my modelling and painting abilities were still in the process of waking from their long slumber I elected to construct the buildings as shown on their boxes and paint them with a simple black undercoat and basic Boltgun Metal drybrush.

This approach served me well for a year or so but as time went on I grew somewhat dissatisfied and even a bit embarrassed at the rather rudimentary job I had done. With this in mind about a year ago I decided to give them a makeover. The buildings were glued to balsawood bases which I then detailed with sand, slate and various kit parts; I then set to work repainting them to a far better standard. Here are the results.

Basilica Administratum

This was the first one I completed; I kept the scheme fairly simple, a Boltgun Metal drybrush for the walls with Shining Gold painted onto the raised details. After it was finished I washed it in Gryphonne Sepia to give it a corroded look.

Sanctum Imperialis

I wanted to give this a very gold look so after drybrushing the walls in Boltgun metal and washing in Badab Black I applied some Chainmail to the statues before washing them in Asurmen Blue. The raised section of the base was made by building a hill out of modelling putty then pressing a floor piece into the top before it set.


This was the most complex conversion out of the three. I wanted to create an improvised strong point that had been hastily set up in the middle of a city war zone, something that’s ideal to represent the Command Centre Stratagem in Cities of Death.

I took spare Imperial Guard ‘Dozer Blades and other scrap metal looking parts and set to work making them look beaten and worn. If you look closely you’ll see that I’ve placed a Sentinel’s front armour plate over a large hole in one of the blades. The camo netting was made out of part of a laundry tablet sack then drybrushed with the same colours I used to paint the bases, Adeptus Battlegrey, Fortress Grey and Space Wolves Grey

The building itself was painted fairly simply using a Boltgun Metal drybrush and Dwarf Bronze for the Mechanicus Symbol before a liberal wash of Badab Black was applied to the walls.

The problem I am now faced with is that three ruins do not a city fight make so up till now I’ve been forced to also use my old Necromunda buildings if I want to create a dense urban war zone. With this in mind I recently purchased the Imperial Sector set which I intend to combine with the old Necro bulkheads and a few other bits and bobs to create what will hopefully be something special. I’ll keep you posted.

The Hobby and the Grownup Gamer

11/21/2011 1 comment

Despite my best efforts over the past thirteen or so years there’s no escaping the fact that I’m officially a grownup. I’m married to an intelligent, beautiful and very understanding lady; I have a decent job, a car and an ever-receding hairline. With all these things (well, except the hair) come responsibilities and obligations be they turning up for work on time, remembering to get the car serviced or massaging my beloved’s feet after a particularly stressful day. Now, the last time I checked there are still only twenty four hours in the day and all these duties mean that my hobby time is not what it once was.

The problem is that time management has never really been my forte and as a result my various projects have been falling behind. The Baneblade I bought in June was only assembled in August and it’s still not fully painted, my Chaos Dread conversion is still missing its funky new converted chain claw and the less said about my Dark Eldar the better!

This all came to a head last week since I was unexpectedly invited to a 40K gaming weekend in Melrose this Saturday coming. I foolishly decided that I would take my newly built Leman Russ Exterminator since I’m a massive Autocannon whore and I really wanted to see how this baby works against a variety of opponents. My plan was to paint it over the weekend but after doing the recycling, cleaning the flat, doing the weekly shop, picking up my new contact lenses and a million other things I was only able to get the damn thing sprayed with a most basic of base coat.

Now I really hate playing with an unpainted or underpainted army so this tank has to be finished by Friday, needless to say I was worried that something (or ten) would get in the way. Then this morning in the shower I had a flash of inspiration! Before I trundled out the door of the flat I quickly threw into a carrier bag some enough stuff to enable me to paint some of the tank during my lunch break. So as 14:00 rolled around I repaired to my car and began work.

As you can see it’s not the most ideal painting station you’ll come across but it was certainly enough. I managed to get the tracks, engine covers, exhausts, weapon mounts and smoke launchers all painted black to enable drybrushing and I managed to detail the flying skull motif on the front of the hull. True, I could have got more done in the same time if the lighting had been better and had I not been sitting in the passenger seat of a six year old Mazda 2 but it’s still progress. The most remarkable side effect is that when I returned to the office I felt more energised and positive that I had felt in a long time at work so it’s helping my professional life as well.

In conclusion I think that this is the way forward for those gamers of a certain age who find it hard to fit their hobby around their increasingly busy lives. It’s certainly working for me. Also, if anyone has any other tips to help those in our situation please feel free to add your comments below, all help and insight is greatly appreciated.

When to leave things alone

11/02/2011 4 comments

My current army commander (left) and the original I painted in 1995 (right)

One of the things I love about the hobby is that with enough time and resources one can build up some spectacular armies. However unless you’re blessed with a hell of a lot of free time and a bottomless wallet such endeavours will take years and, lets be honest here, are never really finished.

When I resumed gaming in 2009 it took me a while to decide upon which 40K army to collect. Would I go for one of the races I was familiar with from the mid-nineties or would I be daring and try something new? In the end I elected to resume collecting Imperial Guard.

Back in 1995 I remember getting really excited about the 2nd ed’s Guard codex, I loved the re-imagined troops and of course, the tanks! Unfortunately my interest in the hobby was on the wane at that point so all I managed to collect was a Chimera, Leman Russ and enough Cadian Shock Troopers to make one and a half squads. Imagine my surprise then when I opened the 5th ed’s codex and saw that more or less the same tank models were still on release. This would I thought, be a breeze to resume.

My plan was to follow my original colour scheme as faithfully as possible. To this end I took my metal Cadian Lieutenant into GW Edinburgh where the lovely chap (who, come to think of it, actually resembled that model!) assured me that Knarloc Green for the tunics, and Catachan Green for the armour, all washed with Devlan Mud would be a perfect match. Obviously he wasn’t entirely correct but the new models turned out very well and I thought that on the battlefield the difference between these and the old minis wouldn’t be that obvious…

The pictures below show how wrong I was.

(L)The Russ on the left is my original from 1995, (R) one painted in 2010 shortly before the kit was superseded.

(L) My original Chimera from

(L) a current guardsman with plasma gun, (R) one of my originals.

I am in no way saying that I am embarrassed by the old paint jobs, as a fifteen year old I was very happy with them since it was the first time I had attempted to make ‘realistic’ colour schemes and to my eyes then they were masterpieces. My problem, if it is one, is that on the table they stand out for the wrong reasons.

Call me a bit obsessive but I like having a unified theme to my army, this is why all my Dark Eldar have the same multi-blue highlighted hair regardless of their unit type. These old tanks and troops just stand out too much and as such I seldom use them which deprives me of some valuable resources.

This brings me on to the question I want to ask, is it the done thing to correct one’s old choices? I would never dream of repainting my original Blood Angels since they were my first army have have long since been retired however I still play guard and I feel that I’m not doing these models justice leaving them in their current state. So, what do you think, am I over-thinking things or should I be more proud of the works from my past?