They’re So Awesome I (Almost) Peed My Pants!

Over the past few weeks, I have been in a painting frenzy )for me) and have completed lots of World Eaters Chaos Space Marines along with some other Chaotic Badness that will just make everything just that little bit more Evil (Eeeeviller, dare I say).  Now it has to be understood that I paint an army at about the same pace that Michaelangelo did chapels (perhaps he was a union man).  My World Eaters are a labour of love.

But my future son-in-law loves to wargame and he is busy churning out Necrons left, right and center.  My oldest daughter is trying to keep pace and is painting everything in sight Dark Angels green to get ready for a campaign this winter.  Therefore it is imperative that the Eye of Terror open up and  spew forth as only it can .

Then on Friday everything changed for my daughter and I as Dark Vengeance, the new 6th Edition boxed set was unveiled.  And I am not kidding that I nearly peed my pants.  Just look at the Helbrute – what a stud (an evil, pain wracked for all of eternity stud, but a stud none the less).  And his new lord and master is pretty bitchin’ too.

And then there are some Chosen to serve as wingmen for the Chaos Lord as well as lots of squishy Chaos Cultists to use as cannon fodder and to draw enemy fire so on my end it will be a happy day next Saturday when I hand over my $107.00 and race home to open and touch and fondle and maybe even masturbate once or twice while staring at the pretty pictures and fun lovin’ evil bastards that I get to put together and paint.

Oh, and there are also lots of super-squishy Dark Angels figures for my daughter to paint and for me to destroy as the whims and caprices of Khorne come upon me.  Throw in a copy of the new rule set (that I hadn’t purchased yet as I was waiting to see what the new boxed set was going to deliver) and the blast markers, dice, etc. and I am going to be a happy guy next weekend.

So while the unit in the game is the Crimson Slaughter, they can soon be converted over to becoming World Eaters!  Then I can set them loose upon the galaxy and let it burn, baby, burn.  The set that was converted into Alpha Legion warriors for White Dwarf was inspiring.  It will be the best Labour Day ever!

Not Been Hammerin’ The Warhammer

Oh would that I could enlighten, entertain and amaze with almost a year’s worth of fantastically painted miniatures and models.  But I can’t.  So that is the end of the Warhammer update post.  By the way, I love the work of John Blanche (above).

I am just kidding.

Well, I am sort of just kidding.

Allow me to give an example.  A short while ago I decided to take back my dining room table (which is where I do my best work) from my seventeen year old daughter who kept using it to “study”.  Having viewed her grades, I can attest to the fact that very little studying actually occurred (either that or she hides her stupidity well).

Numerous shuttle runs were made to my bedroom (the closest thing to exercise that I have achieved in a while) in order to ferry copious amounts of paint and modeling equipment and figures to the table.  My special painting light was set up and cleaned so that I can produce high quality work.

And everything has just sat there since.

Now I suppose that I could just flip open that tome of tomes The Big Book Of Excuses in order to create some seemingly plausible reasons for ignoring my hobby.  I could gloss over and adapt the old chestnuts; the dog ate my Dark Eldar (plausible if I had a dog); there is a world wide shortage of red and gold paint so that I cannot work on Khorne figures (again this in not beyond the realm of possibility as China strives to corner the global market on pretty much everything); those damn fish are just too demanding (they are very high maintenance – and then again so is a seventeen year old girl), etc. etc.  (And with that being said I scooch the Big Book of Excuses back under the sofa where I keep it hidden from my daughter.)

But the sad truth is that the muse is just not upon me.  Once a month I go to visit my main man and pick up the new copy of White Dwarf and look at the pretty pictures and try to get inspired:  but “no”.  Perhaps there is a little blue pill I can get from the doctor when I cannot get a hobby hard-on.

And it’s not like there is not a copious amount of “masturbatory material” out there to inspire me.  I love the new Dark Eldar figures and I have purchased the Mandrakes and the Archon figure.  The new Finecast Wracks and the Haemonculus figure have been ordered for me (mainly because I want to see how the Finecast stuff stacks up).  But my Archon figure has been based and primed and then it has sat since the early spring while I wait for my muse to descend and kick me in the arse.

There is also a mostly painted Chaos Daemon Prince who looks rather resplendent in his gold and white gold paint scheme – but that urge to finish him and pair him up with his own controlling Chaos Sorcerer as well as those pesky Bloodletter minions that I have for him has so far eluded me.  

And that is even with a lot of feedback from my associates down at the store who a grooving on the colour scheme. The gold and white gold look is a far cry from the red based schemes usually viewed.  I have also seen some amazing black based schemes for the Bloodletters as well as some of the John Blanche painted figures that are, quite simply, some of the most stunning figures ever seen.  But until now, I have not seen any gold based figures.  To me, gold is the colour of corruption.

What else is out there that I have to work on?  Well let us make a quick list:

1)      The aforementioned World Eaters Chaos Space Marine Army for 40K 

2)      My Warhammer Chaos Warrior army that has a Nurgle feel to it with lots of rust and pestilential overtones.

3)      There is my personal Space Marine regiment; the Knights of Soloman that uses a lot of the Black Templar figures and is made to look like the Knights Templar of the Middle Ages with lots of silver power armour resplendent with red crosses.

4)      There are still some Tyranid figures that I want to complete even though my life plans have changed from when these were started.  I rather like the figures and the paint scheme as does my younger daughter so she may well inherit them.  This was an example of something that looked so simple but it turned out to be really complex to make them look so simple.  Did you get all of that?

5)      My daughter also has some Ork figures that she wants me to finish for her.  These are mostly the elites and HQ figures so I need to get on the stick with those.  She also wants her vehicles built and she is one of those individuals who you cannot turn your back on when there is superglue around or you will find her stuck to the ceiling. 

Seemingly the way to go is to select several small projects and look to get them completed right away:  the so-called “low hanging fruit” that those that “tell people what to do for a living in clichés” always go on about, ad nauseum.  And since several of these items are really close to completion, then maybe this is some fruit that I can pick (as long as it does not turn out to be an apple from the tree of knowledge – but since there is no Eve here now to tempt me, I think I am safe (just like Adam thought too, I bet)).

So, here is the plan for now:

1)      Complete the Chaos Daemon Prince.  Mainly this evil little stud muffin needs his gold trim trimmed. 

2)      Add the last little bits of detail to the Warhammer Chaos Lord (and his faithful daemon steed, Dobbin).

3)      Finish the most excellent Ork Big Mek with Shokk Attack Gun.  This is the figure furthest from completion at this time and the one that has the most detail on it.  It may also be my favourite figure that has been created for the 40K product line.  An added bonus would also be completing Gazkhull Thraka to lead her army into battle.  And yes she is a big enough geek to scream “Waaaaaagh” and lead her Orks into battle down at the hobby shop. 

4)      Paint the Tyranid Hive Guard that is still sitting on the shelf in pieces but closer to completion than one would think.  Again, this is one of my favourite figures.

5)      Design a paint scheme for my Dark Eldar.  This may be deferred to my daughter who loves the design element of the new figures.  We have settled on the unit being named the Cabal of Purity Corrupted.  Naming the unit is easy; now comes the hard bit.

Speaking fairly, if I was to devote myself to doing some of this every day, it would take less than two weeks.  But as the Chinese proverb goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  So I should just step over to the table and take a seat.

It’s 3pm Somewhere, So It Must Be Painting Time

Strangely enough, the main intention of this particular blog was to be an outlet for my Warhammer and Warhammer 40k wanderings and ponderings.  And with as much time on my hands as I have right now, the brushes have been fairly worn down to the tang.  Not surprisingly, I am feeling that my technique has greatly improved with all of the practice that I have been getting.  And, fortunately, I am not likely to run out of projects any time soon.But, I have been trying to keep focused on what I really need to be focusing on:  looking for a job that pays me enough to live in the style to which I am accustomed.  In other words, pretty much anything that pays me to do mathematics will do …  So I am disciplined in my approach and schedule my day out (not a hard thing to do since I am a production planner and master scheduler).  I wake up at 6am and after a cup of tea and some toast or oatmeal, I am working on the job hunting front by 7am.

I try to knock off for the day by 3pm and then, and only then, will I head over to the table and start painting:  or in the case of my Chaos Lord on Daemon Steed, stare impotently at the 90% finished model and hope that inspiration descends from the heavens and bites me in the arse.  You see, I am stuck on the lord’s cloak.  I just can’t picture in my mind quite what colour the cloak needs to be.  The lord’s armour (and the steed’s barding) is rusted and corroded since he is a disciple of Nurgle – the Lord of Pestilence and Decay.  So I want something that applies to the very limited pallet I am using. 

Knowing that inspiration will strike at any time, I have built and primed my Chaos Knights so that I can begin painting them.  Whereas the Daemon Steed has been given an undead Nurgle look, the Knights’ horses will be a chestnut brown color.  I am planning on giving them the same rusted and corroded look that their Lord has.  The lances are one of the things that I am really looking forward to painting.  I want a unified look for my Chaos Warriors army.  At some point, I will drag out my Hellcannon and get that completed as it is using the rusted look as well. Other projects, though, are also proceeding anon (that is olde fashioned talk for quickly) and results are starting to show as the personality of each piece appears as the paint goes down.  I am working hard on my World Eaters army that is my particular pride and joy.  During happier times (times when I was employed) I splashed out on some Forgeworld World Eaters Terminators to be the lynchpin of my army.  These are fantastic pieces, and with an accumulated cost close to $100 after the Forgeworld and GW pieces were purchased and combined, they needed to be.  The Forgeworld resin pieces are incredibly detailed – although getting them through the postal service from Nottingham to Oregon is a bit tense.  A couple of them looked like they came by pony express – and the horse rolled over them a couple of times.

But with green stuff, glue and the judicious application of care and time (and time is something that I have in abundance), all is well.  I really like to use a metallic gold / burnished gold / mithril silver combination on the highlighting.  And there are a lot of areas that need highlighting.  The biggest decision that I made was to think through the World Eaters shoulder pads and how they should look.  These are Chaos Space Marines and so it just didn’t seem overly chaotic for every figure to have an identical badge.  (Would that make it orderly Chaos?)   Each “world” on the terminator shoulder pad will be different and will represent a world that the terminator has had a hand in despoiling.  I will be doing the same thing with the regular World Eater space marines at a later date. Sometime, in the not too distant future, their lord and master, Lord Zhufor will be assembled and primed.  He will get the red power armour and gilt ornamentation look.  And once I am working again, there is a plan out there to get him a Land Raider and modify it just for him. 

Another piece that I am really chuffed about is my sorcerer.  I have gone with the metallic gold / burnished gold / mithril silver combination for his space marine armour.  His staff is going to have the Eye of Terror represented on it.  The summoned daemon standing next to him is one of my Bloodletters.  It has the gold /gold/ silver combo too, but there is also white used as a final highlight.  I love the white hot look it has and it stands out from the usual crowd of red Bloodletters that one sees.    My love bought me the incredible Daemon Prince figure from Forgeworld this past Christmas and that needs to be started soon.  I am planning on getting a little more work in on the smaller resin models before I make a go at this since there is a lot to be done.  The axe that the Daemon carries already has me thinking about what I can do to make it look daemonic and diabolical.

Finally, there is the army of my beloved:  she who laughed at me and was then distracted by the Siren’s call of the swarm and who is now the center of its synaptic universe.  Already there are completed Genestealers, and she is in possession of Gaunts and Termagaunts aplenty.  She has a Carnifex too that I believe she is thinking through what rather nasty appendages should be attached to it.  Currently, I am working on the Broodlord that I got for her last year.  It is just about completed now and just needs some final highlights and a good sealing coat to be the focal point of her Genestealer force.  Now that the Venomthrope is completed and based and sealed, it is time to begin the next phase of the hive expansion.  When she was here in February, I purchased one of the new Hive Guard figures and it is the next Tyranid figure to feel the love touch of my brushes.  I was bored last Sunday and seeming in need of inhaling some super glue fumes, so I assembled and then primed the Hive Guard.  To me, it looks like a parrot with ‘roid rage.  But she loves her Hive Guard and that is all that matters ….

So, What Is On My (Hive) Mind?

So there is one itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny problem with being unemployed:  it is really, really dull and boring.  I know that things are supposed to be dull and boring if one is English (I have not mentioned it, but I am English) but not this dull and boring.  One sends out tons and tons of (and tons and tons more) applications and cover letters that go to all kinds of on-line sites and deposits vast sums of information and it all amounts to sweet fuck-all. 

Fortunately, I have my hobbies to fall back on.  (I believe it was none other that Al Capone (or Robert DeNiro playing said character) who said “a man’s gotta have enthusiasms”) And, perhaps even more fortunate, my main enthusiasm is not necessarily that expensive of a hobby.  I build model kits, paint miniature figures and collect Warhammer and Warhammer 40K figures.  I love the Games Workshop stuff – and the Forgeworld stuff is even more brilliant:  even if it is resin and requires an amazing amount of prep work.  If there is one thing that I have right now, it is time to do prep work. 

Originally, I collected 15mm and 1/72nd scale figures.  My uncle, who is not that much older than me, gave me some Airfix 8th Army figures and of course it was inconceivable that they have no-one to fight, so my mum took me off to Watford town center and I got a box of Afrika Korps figures to put together.  Then it was on to tanks and planes and more figures and battles fought by building catapults from rubber bands to “kill” figures.  Wargaming entered the picture. 

Simon, my best mate in comprehensive school, introduced me to Napoleonics. And no, this is not an obscure form of Pilates or colonics.   We were inspired by the movie Waterloo to switch to the Napoleonic wars and for the next fifteen years, I collected 15mm Napoleonic figures from Minifigs and Battle Honours and carefully researched them and painted them.  Simon is still incredibly active in the Napoleonic Wargaming world albeit with 25mm figures.  Unfortunately, marriage killed Napoleon in my life. 

Once my marriage disintegrated in 1997, there was a vast amount of time that I spent on my own even though I was working anywhere between sixty and eighty hours a week during that period.  My old collection of figures and books all “vanished” at this time.  Conservatively, I would estimate its 1997 value at about $30,000 as there was a library of approximately five hundred carefully collected books and at least seven thousand figures – many of them painted at a very high level.    The French portion of the collection was my baby – especially the Imperial Guard cavalry divisions. 

But they were gone and it was time to start again.  And now there were two daughters as well who desired to spend quality time with dad.  My introduction to the Warhammer figures was sort of accidental and really a shot in the dark.  I was looking for something fun and entertaining and creative to do with my daughters who were, at that time, seven and eleven years of age that would not involve watching television and would be something that was “just ours”.  

And today, it still is!  Even though my oldest daughter is now out on her own, whenever she comes over for a meal, she wants to see what I have been building and painting and offers suggestions for improvements and colour schemes.  The youngest daughter is over quite often and can often be found building the models for me:  especially her favourite army – The Orks.  And she always has ideas for customizing her Ork army.  We have a battlewagon project that is just in the process of kicking off for her Dymundd Doggz clan.

Of course, my lady love is also now a collector and, if I may say, somewhat of a connoisseur.  She went with me to the local store that supplies my Warhammer fix to somewhat humour me (I do believe that the phrase “boys and their toys” crossed her lips at one point) and then she saw the Warhammer 40K tyranids and went “ooooooh, bugs” and that was it.   And in case anyone should be wondering – she is the hive mind, the great synapse, the swarm mother. Recently, Games workshop released the new Tyranid codex and accompanying figures.  When I went down to hang out at my favourite shop – Rainy Day Games in Aloha – and see what they have, I ended up not only picking up the codex, but the super-cool Venomthrope figure and the incredible Trygon figure.  The swarm mother already had her gaunts and termagaunts and genestealers.  She also has a carnifex, some warriors and a broodlord to lead them.  And there will be a lot more figures added in the not too distant, I am sure.  Her tyranids are painted using a purple/pink/white colour scheme.

And while this colour scheme is very much in line with current codex colours, purple is also her favourite colour so it made sense to use lots of purple for her favourite wee beasties.  If something this simple can impart as much pleasure as it seems, then I am all for using purple, pink and white.  Best of all, it gives me a chance to work with white; which is not an easy color to paint. 

So now I will leave one all and head off to the table to work on some more of my various project pieces ….  one in particular is proving a little vexatious and I need to search for some inspiration to bring an idea to fruition.