I am back again! I know I said last time that you should expect more posts from me and that didn’t happen, but I’m back now and the hobby mojo is strong with me. What’s more, it has taken me back to the Underhive and so I’ve been working on some new Dramatis Personae for Necromunda, including this special lady…
First off, I have to thank GW for sending Lady Haera in my direction. I had loads of fun getting grimy and gribbly with this miniature, and it inspired me to start creating a few more things for the Underhive too. I kept her very dark and wanted to push the decaying Imperium theme with her look. The weathered bronze armour, oil washes all over the place, the rusty floor and minimal lighting… it was loads of fun.
And it’s a really nice kit to put together too – mostly very easy and almost no mould lines that I had to worry about. Well done to those at Forge World working in the resin mines for getting this one so spot on.
But as I said, she also inspired me to work on a few other creations too. Let me introduce you to my Beastmaster…
I am a firm believer that every miniature is a Necromunda miniature and I’ve had this idea since the Cursed City box arrived with me (it’s just taken me this long to do anything about it). Give him a gun and a cattle-prod and those beasties around hime become potential companions for Hive Scum and Nobles alike. What’s more, he has some retro Milliasaurs to keep him company (thanks to @VioletSun on Instagram for those).
And then there’s this sorry so-and-so – a basic Hive Scum/lasp-pistol-for-hire who’s just kickin’ around in his rusty breaches. This guy helped to remind me about how fun it is to just cobble some bits together to make a basic dude, and that really is a joy when it comes to Necromunda. But from little joys, we must now turn our attention to giant horrors. It came from the Sump…
I really like the idea of the Sump. This underground sea, its shores lapping in the perpetual darkness, is home to all sorts of mutated horrors and I think this may be one of the biggest beasts down there (or is he…?). This was so much fun to put together, and I now have a plan for a mad doctor who helps to create these brutes, forging them from the mutants that he can snare in the shallows.
It’s mainly the Vargskyr from that same Cursed City box, but between some ork, dark eldar and AT titan kits (as well as plenty of unknown bits from the bits box) I’ve created a monster who snares his prey with his harpoon gun, and then carves them up with his circular saw. How’s that for grizzly? 🙂
And so I am firmly back in the Underhive and looking forward to creating some more horrors from the depths of the Underhive in the near future. Onwards!
Well, it has been a while, hasn’t it? I actually finished painting something for the first time in absolutely ages, and it’s the Underworlds warband, the Gorechosen of Dromm. I’m happy with them, and after I talk you through the painting of this threesome (saucy), I will give you some insight as to why I’ve been a little slow with the brushes of late. Now, how ‘bout dat Blood God…
I wanted to paint this warband for a number of reasons. First off, I wanted an Underworlds warband because I haven’t had a viable one in ages, and I’d quite like to play a few games of it. I’m not really playing many games right now, so having a good excuse to roll some dice is something I’ve been hankering for. I picked Dromm and his pals because when I first saw Drom himself, I was instantly reminded of the art of Frank Frazetta and I wanted to use a palette very much inspired by this artist of legend as I set about this project. Dromm just looks like a Conan villain to me, so lots of warm browns and subtler shades of oranges and reds were a starting point, though I did turn up the Warhammer-ish-ness a bit too.
I started painting them ages ago, but as I’ve just not had too much time to paint of late, they’ve taken me a lot longer than I would have liked to finish. Thankfully, with the England cricket team in Pakistan at the moment, and Test matches kicking off at 5am or thereabouts UK time, I’ve had an excuse to be up early, and sit quietly with my paints.
The whole gang is a tribute to Khorne with a nod to Frazetta, and I’ve been continuing to experiment with NMM and playing around with the effects I can achieve based around this technique – I don’t use it much so I’m still getting to a place I like with it and as I’m painting these for me, and not a competition, I just played around with stuff. The big dude looked like he needed a lot of fresh blood on his hands, so I went over the top there. Dromm should have glowing eyes and the shiniest of brass, while the little dude has daemonically red skin. I had loads of fun just playing around with these, and I haven’t really painted for fun in ages, this was incredibly cathartic. Are contrast paints good for creating lighting effects? Let’s find out! Painting horns/bone is boring, so can I just do it simply and quickly? I sure can! This was an exercise in fun, and I loved it.
As many will know, I spent a lot of time preparing for Golden Demon at the start of the year, and while I had a fun, but ultimately disappointing time at that event, due once again to my own over-inflated understanding of my abilities, coming back with another pin was a little, well, disappointing. Now, the standard this year was insane, and everyone I spoke to, from first time entrants to seasoned veterans said the same thing, and my one thing that earned a pin, maybe in years past, it could have snuck a bronze, but there was no chance of that and while others have pushed their standards to new heights, I still feel like I’m playing catch up. What’s more, I was going to do a special podcast about Golden Demon but everything i recorded of myself came off as sanctimonious crap, so I shelved that after working hard on it too. I was a little low, but painting these guys has helped lift me up a bit.
What’s more, I won’t be able to attend 2023’s Golden Demon event due to prior commitments, so I don’t have to worry about pushing myself like that for at least another year, so I need my hobby to give me a fun kind of fizz in the meantime, and this was perfect for that.
And it has got me enthused to do more, which is great. There are some oldhammer pieces I want to get to, a Kill Team project for more small games, and plenty more Necromunda goodness that i need to get from my mind onto my desk. So I’m sorry I’ve been a bit quiet with painting of late, but I will be doing more from now on – I promise. Time to have fun with paints again.
Anyway, that’s my ramble on painting done, and I hope you like the Gorechosen. As soon as I have some games with them, I’ll try and post some stuff to my instagram (@my_life_in_miniatures) and I’m also now on Mastodon (because fuck Elon) as @HeresyHeroes@warhammer.social – come find me and say hi!
Anyway, I hope you’re looking forward to a fun festive period, and I hope all of your Christmas wishes come true if Christmas is your sort of thing. Until next time, onwards!
Hobbits? What do I know about hobbits? I’m a Warhammer nerd. Well, it’s time for all of that to change, because Games Workshop were good enough to send me the new Battle of Osgiliath box, and so I reckoned that it’s time I start getting into the Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game. So, what do I know about hobbits?
Ok, so with this box, Middle Earth’s famous halflings don’t actually feature, so I have that on my side, but the other reason I wanted to review this box is because the MESBG crowd always seemed like the most pleasant tabletop enthusiasts to interact with, and because it never hurts to have another string to one’s dice-rolling bow. Whenever I’ve been at Warhammer World and there’s been a Middle Earth event on, I’ve always been struck with how nice everyone seems to be, and how much fun they’re all having – I want to go to there. I also wanted to offer you, my dear readers, a review from someone who hasn’t ever played this game before. Because if you’ve always looked at this game and thought it seemed confusing and strange in comparison to Warhammer, I’m like you, and hopefully my review can make a difference to you. So this is one for the potential newbs out there – is this a good box to buy?
Straight off the bat, as you open the box, you see that lovely plastic, and these sprues, for the most part gave me a real sense of nostalgia. The scale is smaller, the models not quite as detailed as those found in most Warhams-flavoured boxes that comes out these days, and there’s just a sort of pleasantness about them. They’re not intimidating, and building and painting looks friendlier than 40k or AoS models. I appreciate that, and after looking into that new Horus Heresy box and feeling a bit sick with the thought of how many bits of plastic I’d have to glue together, this is a refreshing change of pace. The troll has a few more bits to it, but most of the men and orcs look like a gentle ride. I can get on board with that. After all, there’s no sense in wasting too much effort on the nameless grunts, is there?
Then there are the new characters which buck that trend. The heroes are full of detail and show their newness, so you still get some high end, top-level detail minis in this box, but a nice small amount – five to spend some time on, while the rest of the box can be knocked out quickly and easily. And the scenery is a nice touch too – that as well can be dry-brushed easily enough, or you can spend some time on it depending on your preferences. But it’s great to get a battlefield in a box like this.
In fact, it’s great to get this spread of miniature types for the game itself all in one box. A monster, a mounted champion, foot champions, archers and close combat troops. From what I understand, that covers nearly all of the unit types in the game, and that’s fantastic for helping new players like me to learn. And speaking of learning, let’s take a look at the literature…
You get two things to flick through and peruse here, starting with the brief and light scenarios and profiles guide. If you’re an experienced player, and you just want to get going, this is the book for you. There are four scenarios set in Osgiliath for you to play through, and all the rules profiles for the minis in the box. Once I get to grips with the wider ruleset, this will be a lovely little treat to breeze through and relive those moments from the films. So far, so good.
Then there’s the big book. It’s a monster and contains everything you need to play this game, though if you want to get into matched play, you’ll need some other books, like The Armies Of… tomes to get points values and special army rules (again, I’m a newb, so I think it’s those books you need). But this book will help you understand the phases of the game, the weird characteristics each unit has (when you’ve been used to the classic 40k characteristics, the MESBG ones look as peculiar as a slender hobbit or a sharply dressed goblin), and all of the universal special rules. This book really does have some heft to it, and this set of rules, along with those sprues, really make this box worth the price tag. Two armies, and everything you need to get into this branch of the hobby, and start playing some games. It certainly seems like a great deal.
So how am I, the novice, feeling about this box now that I’ve had a chance to go through it? Erm… good. Ish. While those plastic warriors and the troll are a bit old-fashioned, which speaks to a hobbyist like me with plenty of years under my belt, I can see some people being a little disappointed with them. The new characters are gorgeous, but those older minis, now in plastic, are just a bit… uninspiring. Yes, they’ll be easy enough to paint, but think about what you get in a new 40k or AoS box, and even the basic troop units are new, and beautifully sculpted with the latest technology and techniques. These orcs and men look fine, but is fine good enough for a big box like this? Maybe it is, but you should be aware of this before buying. Honestly, I’m still torn – I really like the simplicity of them, and the idea of quickly batch-painting them all without much effort, but at the same time, maybe some new, multipose (which isn’t really a thing in Middle Earth from what I can tell) minis would have been nicer, though that could just be the Warhammerist in me talking. Can you see the quandary I’m in?
And while the big book is backed full with everything you will need to play this game (bar the points costs), it would be nice to have a quick start guide too. Maybe another 10-12 page book to help you get a game going straight away, that maybe references parts of that big book for those wanting to get more into the minutiae is what’s missing here. I can see players getting to their first game, and struggling to get that flow going that makes these games really wonderful. Yes, you will get that over time, but a short guide to help new players get going would go a long way, I think, to getting the curious purchasers to turn into undaunted advocates in no time at all. Lots of board games now are getting great at starting people off, and, through quick start guides, moving through the rules with a logic that helps to get that flow… er… flowing. I hope GW will think about this for the next Middle Earth box.
That being said, I am still excited to get going with this. I love how this is set during a key moment in the films, because that really helps the player to care and worry (in a good way) about the outcome of their battles. It actually makes me want Warhammer games to lean back into this sometimes as, while 40k and AoS seem determined to advance their storylines, boxes centred around big battles that we’re familiar with would be really cool. This is one of the best things about these Middle Earth boxes, and as a 40k enthusiast, I’m a little jealous of this.
What’s more, the overall production of this box is exceptional – well done to everyone involved. Everything about it looks great, and while we expect this now from every big box that GW produces, it’s nice to see Middle Earth keep up like this. So, yes, if you have the cash, and you’d like to get into the MESBG, you should pick up this box. It’s not perfect, but it is good, and that’s not bad at all.
I’m going to try and knock out some orcs soon, and start rolling dice as quickly as I’m able. Thankfully I know a few people who love this game, so hopefully their knowledge will get me going in no time. A couple of minor gripes aside, I’d have no problem recommending this box if you’re looking to get into hobbits and the other denizens of Tolkien’s universe. Onwards.
If you’re a fan of Warhammer, the chances are that you’d like to one day make a pilgrimage to Warhammer World in Nottingham. Or, perhaps you’re a frequent visitor to the home of these particular toy soldiers, but even those people familiar with WHW, who feel like regulars when they stroll into Bugmans, may not know too much about the city to which you’re heading. That brings us to the theme of this article – a guide to Nottingham from someone who lives here – for those of you just visiting. Some handy advice, top tips, things to do and see, and more.
Oh, and I’m pretty sure that other people who live here will find something to disagree with me about, and if that’s you, meet me by the Left Lion at 5pm and tell me all about how I’m wrong (actually don’t because I won’t be there).
Getting To Warhammer World
Let’s get the basics out of the way. Warhammer World is based in a part of Nottingham called Lenton, which used to be famous for guns – it’s one of the areas (though not the most prodigious one) that helped earn the town the unflattering nickname of “Shottingham” back in the 90s, and Heckler & Koch have a factory there. Some people still think Nottingham is the gun crime capital of the UK and that’s simply not true – it’s a friendly, beautiful city with a lot going on (that being said, there are still some areas to avoid but Lenton really isn’t one of them – just stay out of St Ann’s and you’ll be fine).
Yes, you can simply put the address in your GPS and drive there, but you have other options too. If you’re staying in town, or arriving via the train station, you can take advantage of Nottingham’s legendary public transport by jumping on a tram, or you can get the bus. The Skylink bus that heads to East Midlands Airport (the closest airport to Nottingham) stops near Lenton Abbey (at Gregory Street) which is 5 minutes from Warhammer World, and departs from Friar Lane (not too far from the town’s other Warhammer store – yes, we have two). And jump on any Tram heading to Toton Lane from town, and you can jump off at the Gregory Street tram stop – you’ll go past WHW on the way and again, it’s about a five minute walk (slightly less).
If it’s a nice day, why not stroll along the canal instead? It’s actually quite pretty down there, and if you’re planning a day in the gaming hall, the fresh air here will help you get through the day. So you don’t have to drive at all! The buses are touch on/touch off, and you can get tickets for the tram at any stop, or by downloading the NetGo app.
What Else Is There In Lenton?
…not much. Lenton Abbey has some old ruins, and if you want a nearby pub, The Boat and the Johnson Arms (not named after Jervis Johnson) are your best bets. But Lenton doesn’t have much else to entertain you, so when you’re tired of Bugmans and the Gaming Hall, head back into town.
What To Eat
Nottingham has a wealth of food options so whatever you’ve got a craving for, you’ll be able to find something to sate you. After all, a man cannot live off Bugmans burgers alone (I know, I tried). You’ll find lots of the usuals that you get anywhere else, but here are a few places well worth your time:
Bunk – there are at least three Bunk restaurants in Nottingham (I’ve heard rumours of a 4th) and they all do excellent chicken wings, nuggets, hot dogs, and fancy cocktails. The dips for the wings are great, and the sides will have you bursting at the seams. They tend to be underground, so you can pretend it’s a Dwarf or Skaven wing joint if you prefer.
Oscar & Rosies – The best pizza in Nottingham can be found in the Lace Market (just over the road from one of the Bunks actually). Unique flavours in a unique setting – you’ll not want to eat pizza anywhere else again. Oh, and if you’re really hungry, the mac n cheese is excellent too.
Memsaab – Want a really posh curry? This will cost you a little more, but the food, service and setting at Memsaab are legendary, and it’s very popular with the locals too. Near the top of Maid Marian Way, it’s handy for anyone staying in town.
Annie’s Burger Shack – Whether you want a slap up US-style breakfast, or a bountiful burger in the evening, Annie’s is a Nottingham institution of which we’re all very fond. The wait for food can be long if it’s busy, but in my experience, it has always been worth it.
Fothergills – in the shadow of Nottingham’s “Castle”, this is particularly flavoursome pub grub, and they do nice beers too. It’s a pleasant setting, and for more regular pub grub, there are of course, more regular pubs aplenty.
Speaking of pubs, we do beer and drinking properly up here, so here are my Top 5 in Nottingham (not including Bugmans):
Jam Cafe – European style beer drinking and trendy kids boogying establishment with good tunes, and you can order in from the excellent Chinese over the street if you’re feeling peckish. Great beer selection too.
The Salutation / Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem / The Bell – Each one of these claims to be the oldest pub in England and each have their merit. The Sal is a haven for Metalheads and Alternative Music fans, The Trip has caves, swords and a haunted galleon, and the Bell is kind of a traditional boozer done nicely.
Junkyard/Herbert Kilpin – Hidden away from the hustle and bustle, these two places are actually sort of the same place – they even share front and rear gardens. Junkyard sells beers in 2/3rds of a pint, and will have 20 for you to sample, where as the Kilpin is more of a sports bar in pub-form but nicer.
The King Billy – Out of the way, but this is a lovely local with a hidden roof terrace, a pool table, and a secret pizza chef on the weekend, making it a thoroughly unique place. Classic ales, a slice of Nottingham life and plenty of comfy seats in a uniquely decorated setting.
Brewdog Nottingham – ok, so everywhere has a Brewdog now days, but I really like this one. It’s smaller than most, the team who run it are delightful, it’s in the heart of Hockley (Nottingham’s trendy bit) and they even do regular board games, blood bowl and DnD nights.
Also lovely to visit: The Canalhouse, The Navigation Inn, The Dragon, The Cock & Hoop, The Sir John Borlase Warren, and Tap House Notts.
And if you want to sample some of the local beers, Nottingham has some excellent breweries, big and small. Castle Rock (the big one) is by the station and has its own pub on the site of the actual brewery, and the smaller breweries like Liquid Light, Neon Raptor (one for you Seraphon fans), and Black Iris all have tap rooms worth a visit, with Liquid Light being particularly hospitable to smaller tabletop and board games .
Things To See
If the Exhibition hall at WHW isn’t enough entertainment for your brain, Nottingham has some excellent things to see and do too. The City of Caves takes you into Nottingham’s sprawling subterranean lair – the city is literally built on caves (which makes us all a bit nervous when we walk around). The “Castle” (which is really just a big house built on the site of the ancient castle – the folks round here like to burn it down every few hundred years) is full of history, lots of art, and some amazing views of the city – you can even see Warhammer World if you squint.
It can be worth checking out the Contemporary art gallery as they often have fun, albeit small exhibitions on throughout the year. You can take a trip out to Wollaton and see Wollaton Hall, most famous recently as Wayne Manor in Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, which has lots to do, see and enjoy. And if shopping is your thing, the aforementioned Hockley, and Sneinton Market are full of independent shops and unique places to splurge.
If you want some more games to play, we have both Ludorati and The Dice Cup – both are excellent board game cafes with big libraries, good food, and nice people. Also, for more hobby goodness, Element Games have a store in the city centre too.
You’ve also got Rock City for gigs, The Playhouse and The Theatre Royal for plays, the Victoria Centre for shopping, and there are some good walking tours of the city available too – be warned though, Nottingham is a town built on hills so expect some steep climbs.
If you’re looking for outdoor activities, heading over to University Park provides lots of grounds to enjoy, as well as a boating lake, crazy golf, and even croquet.
Where To Stay
This is a request common with the folks on Twitter, and while I’m not the best person to talk about where to stay in Nottingham as I live here (and no, you can’t stay with me), I shall give it a crack based on what I’ve heard from others who have visited.
The Premier Inn – relatively cheap, basic breakfast, basic rooms, and very close to Warhammer World, this is a favourite among the frequent visitors I know. Its proximity to Warhammer World (an easy walk to wake you up in the morning) makes it very popular though it is a little bit soulless.
The Ibis – Right in the heart of the city, this is a great location, and the tram stop outside will get you to Warhammer World in minutes, it’s not too dear either (sometimes). But if you’re staying over the weekend, be warned that it can be a little loud – very popular with Stags and Hens.
Roomzzz – Kind of like a mini apartment, this is a good option if you’re staying a couple of nights or more. Close to Rock City too, if you fancy an evening of Grunge and Metal. Can be reasonable, but not always.
The Jubilee Hotel – Again, out of town, but very pleasant and maybe a 15 minute walk from WHW. It’s part of a conference centre, and on the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus, so there’s not much to do in the immediate vicinity, but certainly a very nice place to stay.
That’s all I got folks – if you know a better place to stay, stick something in the comments.
Nottingham-isms – The Local Lingo
Here are a few things you might hear in Nottingham that you might not hear anywhere else…
“Ay up, Miduck” – this isn’t as common as you’d think, but you do hear it occasionally. It’s nothing to do with waterfowl – this is just a traditional greeting up here. It’s like “what’s up, my duke?” and the “duke” part is meant as an affectionate compliment.
“Cob” – What you may call a bread roll, a bap, a barm cake, or a bun, people in Nottingham call a “cob”. So you might have a bacon cob for breakfast, for example.
“Tarrah then” – this means “Goodbye” here. Relatively common.
“Derby Road” – which is an actual road, not too far from WHW. But during the colder months, this is just rhyming slang for “it’s cold”. I’ve only heard it once, but I’m told it’s more common than that.
There’s loads more of course, but these are the common ones you’ll possibly run into on your visit.
Here are a few things that are worth knowing about that are quite singular or important to Nottingham culture. They might not come up on your trip, but if they do, at least you’ll know.
The Left Lion – As briefly mentioned above, the Left Lion is a statue outside the big council building (that locals call “The Council House”) that sits in the city centre. If you’re talking to a Nottingham person and arranging to meet later on, there is a good chance they’ll say “Meet you at the Left Lion”. It’s a tradition. Also, this is the name of Nottingham’s free cultural magazine which is really useful for finding what’s on.
“Cock on a Stick” and Mushy Peas – There’s a big fair, called “Goose Fair” in Nottingham every year, and the city’s two favourite foods are “Cock on a Stick” (no, it doesn’t involve a sausage) which is actually a candy cockerel on a stick, sold at said fair. The other “delicacy” popular here is a pot of mushy peas with mint sauce. They love both passionately up here.
It’s not “The North” – If you want to get on the good side of the locals, don’t refer to Nottingham as “The North”. As a Londoner, I hold that anything above Watford could be considered “The North”, but Nottingham is very much “The East Midlands”.
Now you know – I hope it helps.
Five Fun Facts about Nottingham
Just a bit of trivia for you to impress your fellow visitors with:
Nottingham’s original name was “Snottingham” which meant “The Home of Snot’s People” in old Viking – I wonder why they changed it…
Wollaton Hall isn’t Nottingham’s only connection to Batman – the nearby village of Gotham (pronounced “Goat-am”) is indeed the inspiration for Bruce Wayne’s hometown’s name (and some of the crazy characters found within).
Nottingham is famous for its lace production, and when business owners started replacing people with machines hundreds of years ago, a man named Ned Ludd and his followers started smashing those machines to get people their jobs back – that’s where we get the term “Luddite” from.
Boots, the chemist, began its history in Nottingham with a single shop started by John Boot in 1849. The company is still based here.
We still have a Sheriff of Nottingham – she’s not nearly as bad as the one in the stories.
And There You Go!
I hope that will help to make Nottingham feel like a little more than just Warhammer World when you visit. It’s a great little city with plenty to enjoy, and if you need a break from dice rolling and miniatures, I hope you’ve found some things to do here. And notice how I got through the whole article without mentioning the name “Robin Hood”? …bollocks. So close. Anyway, until next time, onwards!
I painted a Squat! I’ve never done that before. Firstly I’d like to thank G-Dubs for sending this my way with plenty of time to get at least one mini actually painted, and while I would like to have done more, I did have that fun Goliath Mauler to do as well (make sure you check out that post) and a lot of Golden Demon prep is happening right now too. But I had so much fun working on this chap, I can assure you that more will follow eventually.
Now, I could have gone with one of the colour schemes in the book for my Einhyr Champion, but I decided, as we’ve not seen a Squat (or Leagues of Votann member as they are these days) in 40k for a while (not counting all the ones that have popped up in Necromunda), I went full late 80s/early 90s. I channelled not only some old Squat artwork from the days of Epic, but also, apparently, the Manta Force toys I had when I was a young’un (look ’em up if you want to see some sweet space ships). And the League symbol looks unerringly like the old Fila logo, which was not intended, but that too is very much of this era.
The model itself is a lot of fun to put together with minimal fuss. You get some options to play around with, and the base certainly lends this stocky sod a bit more height, so all is well there. I went with the axe because I had this idea to do a white-marble-looking axe blade, and while it’s not my best marble work, I’m happy enough with how it came out.
I would say, if you like putting together Space Marines, you’ll likely have a lot of fun with the Leagues of Votann stuff. While a different aesthetic, that heavy armour with lots of plates and overlapping pieces definitely give off an armoured super-soldier kind of vibe. Not to mention all of the bolters too of course.
I actually like the colour scheme I’ve come up with here and should I do an army of these fellas, I’d likely stick to this. The bright primary colours can definitely help them to stand out, and that nod to the Squats of old also helps to embed them in the setting for me.
What do I think of the rest of the army? I really like the update to the trikes – those hover bikes are very cool, and their vehicles have quite a unique look too. The basic dudes and other squads are great, though I’d like to see some more characters and some more interesting HQ choices – something that GW will no doubt bring us in the future. But yep, as additions to Warhammer 40,000 go, these are a fine one, and I look forward to seeing the variety they bring to the game in the coming months.
And that’s all from me. I need to get back to the Golden Demon prep – not long to go now. But this Champion certainly helped to distract me from that fiddly work, so he gets a thumbs up from me. Onwards!
Get them engines revvin’ folks! G-Dubs were good enough to send me the brand new Goliath Mauler kit, and I’ve been having a lot of fun getting my Necromunda groove on over the last few weeks. So buckle up, as I show off my brand new wheelz!
First off, I just want to say that this is the coolest looking “bike” GW have ever brought out. It has that predatory look, an industrial heaviness about it, and it brings a new meaning to the term “Chopper” (or should that be “Crusher”?). It’s a laid back Harley-style killing machine, with a brutal beefcake astride it and I was very excited to get this put together and painted. I should say, the box comes with two, but I’m saving the other in case I want to do something fancy with it one day – I have plans…
I’m sure we’re going to see Ork warbosses and Khornate champions riding these machines in the coming weeks, and I for one am looking forward to seeing those conversions, but in the meantime, I’ll talk to you about building it and painting it.
It’s a dream to put together, with very little faff and some well hidden mould-lines too. If you want my advice though, keep the driver and handle-bars separate when painting and affix together when both components are completed. I didn’t do this and made my life a little more difficult than it needed to be.
I started off with the main chassis first employing a modified version of a favourite rust technique best demonstrated by Pete The Wargamer. Along with the steps he demonstrates in the video, I added some oil washing and some other steps, but it produces a great result when you want something to look rusty and old.
If I was doing this for a compeition, I’d want that engine block to be Chrome, but I’ve never tried that and this is more for my own enjoyment than anyone else’s. I was quite happy that I painted in the speedo and fuel-guage – and of course he’s going hell for leather.
The ash wastes themselves were painted first (after I made some grooves to illustrate where the tracks and chompy-wheel had bitten into the surface) and then I hit them with some weathering powder. Well, actually I hit most of it with some weathering powder, to illustrate the dustiness of the wastes. That was a lot of fun.
And that’s more or less all the fun stuff covered. This was a lot of fun, I love the model, and will definitely going back to my 2nd Mauler when I have the time. Onwards!
Hello hobby friends! It’s been a little while since I did a top 10 list here on Heresy & Heroes and so it’s about time I put one together for you, and in this post, I’m going to talk about things that were never designed with the hobby in mind, but can make your hobbying a lot easier. We’re an industrious lot, we painters of toy soldiers, and with each example here, I’m speaking from experience because all of these things can be found in my own setup, so I know of what I speak. Now, I’m not going to include any actual paints, brushes or materials that can be used in the painting of miniatures, this is more about more peripheral things. The odds and ends that can make your hobby easier. Let’s get started…
When I moved house, I bought a knife holder for my kitchen. You know the ones. You see cool-looking chefs fling sharp knives at them in the movies (if you watch cooking-centric movies – I don’t know what you’re into). Then when I actually moved in, I found there was one already in place in my new kitchen. So I had a spare, and me being me, I used some two-part-epoxy to affix it to my hobbby desk. It now holds sculpting tools, scrapers, pins, and anything else metal that used to be strewn about my workspace. It has helped me keep the desk tidier, and I now know where all of these metal tools are. Those magnets are strong too so even heavier things like clippers live there quite happilly.
2. Makeup Brush Holder
And speaking of making things tidier, I divide my paint brushes into two categories – Quality, and Utility. That’s my way of saying good brushes, and trash brushes, and I have a lot of trash brushes, many of which used to be good brushes (accidents happen). Now the good brushes get their own special place to live, but the trash brushes don’t need such care. They live in this rather nifty holder which was very cheap, and you’ll find these at many professional make-up stations (I don’t know the correct terminology for make-up-related things, but that sounds right to me). Anyway, when the Quality brushes are put back in their feather beds at the end of a project, the Utility brushes are chucked into the makeup brush holder, and the whole place is a lot tidier
3. Ferrero Roche Tray
I won’t spend too much time waffling on about this one as I’ve written a whole article on turning a Ferrero Roche tray into a wet palette, but it’s worth reiterating in this list. If you want a wet palette, and you don’t fancy splashing out, you can make your own for very little cost, and with this method, you get free chocolates too!
The humble paperclip has all manner of uses in all manner of fields, but in the hobby, it’s perfect as a cheap source of appropiately-sized wire. And wire that you can clip with you hobby clippers too! You can of course use this for pinning heavy pieces of resin or plastic to each other with just a bit of superglue and a pin-vice needed to achieve this, or, you can combine them with our next item to make a very useful tool indeed…
5. Champagne Corks
Now, I suppose you could use any cork really, but a) why have flat wine when you can have the sparkling stuff? and b) due to their shape, champagne corks (or some fancy beer corks) have a little more stability. And what do we use them for? Miniature holders. Hobby veterans will find this very old-hat, but for you newbies out there, before everyone started making mini holders for painting, you’d drill a small hole in the underside of a mini (typically, the sole of the foot or the nether regions), put in a bit of that paperclip wire with some superglue, and then push the other end of the wire into a cork. Now you have a mini holder! What’s more, you have a bottle of bubbly to help you celebrate this accomplishment! Or, if you’re more of a beer drinker like me, and you’re willing to embrace the hobby-magpie in you, you can just swipe them off other people’s tables at the pub.
6. Plastic Bottle Tops
And staying with things that keep fizzy drinks from going flat, the next time you pick up a bottle of Sprite or Irn Bru (or whatever your soda of choice may be), before you throw away the lid, consider adding it to your hobby collection. These act like tiny dishes when turned upside down, and given that we work with tiny things, that can be pretty handy. I’ve used them to make oil washes in, store little balls of greenstuff (which is what I do when I use too much green stuff – they’re handy for bubbles, boils, glowing orbs, etc), spread sand on a base… all sorts!
7. Crocodile Clips
You may have noticed these on the Knife Magnet from earlier, but they’re incredibly useful tools to have on standby. If I’m weathering with a sponge, I will often ball up the spung and place it in the jaws of these clips before using it – it saves my fat fingers from getting in the way while also letting me hit more hard to reach parts, and it keeps me from getting even more paint on my fingers. What’s more, combine it with a bit of clean sponge (to soften the bite), and you can use these to hold small parts of your project and again, not get your fingers in the way. The fact that their resting position is closed is very helpful as this can help to relax your hand which you can’t do if you’re using tweezers.
8. Tool-bit Storage Trays
I’ve been using these for years and boy do they save space and time. If you work with tools, you don’t want to spend hours looking for particular washers, screws, or other small bits and pieces, and the same can be said of hobbyists who are in the middle of a kit bash. A place for everything, and everything in its place, right? Well these are ideal as they’re pretty cheap, and they’re just the perfect size. You can get rid of loads of sprues, label up the sections, and make your life a lot easier.
9. Magnifying Glasses
I’ve tried using old school magnifying glasses, and desk mounted magnifying glasses and sheets before and I never got on with them – they always got in the way. Then I picked up some magnifying glasses that you wear like spectacles and, wow, does it make life easier. They’ve got 1.6 magnification, and while they make me feel a bit queesy whenever I look up, as long as I’m focussed on the mini, these are a lifesaver for painting eyes, tiny-highlights, and for getting your brush into hard to reach places without painting everything around said space. Also, I think I look quite fetching in these.
10. Smart phone
Ok, it sounds obvious, and while the smart phone has changed all of our lives in many ways, let’s not overlook what it can do for us hobbyists too. It’s a quick and easy way of finding reference materials, or watching tutorials when there’s not space on the desk for a big laptop. What’s more, it can help keep us entertained, perhaps by a podcast, maybe made by me? My Life In Miniatures is in its 2nd season now and you can listen to me chat with loads of great hobbyists as you work on your hobby things yourself.
And there you have it! I hope I’ve been able to give you some ideas to help make your hobbying a little easier. If you have any other tips like these, whack them in the comments below. Until next time, Onwards!
I finished a model! It’s a rare thing these days so it warrants the exclamation point. Though in fairness, I may go back and make some further tweaks, but for the purposes of this blogpost, we can call it done. Well, 95…ish percent done. Anyway, here’s my brand new Cerastus Knight Lancer for Adeptus Titanicus. He’s called Praetorii Custos and I’m quietly happy with him.
He’s called Praetorii Custos because that means “Praetorian Guardian” and I gave hime that titl edue to the gold and purple look that I’ve gone for – something Rome’s Praetorian Guard sported when on official duty. It also helped inspire the “P” on the tilting shield, which was very handy as it stopped me trying to paint a skull in that tiny space. Thankfully, I found a larger place to paint a skull.
I’ve never been much of a fan of the Knight Lancer’s frame-shield, but it’s amazing what you can do with a little bit of plasticard and some careful trimming with a craft knife. Ok, so a skull is a little bit of a lazy option for me, but I tried to go with a bit more detail on this one and I think it paid off quite nicely.
My favourite details, are the “P” on the tilting shield, and the softly glowing red eyes – both made me pretty happy with this one.
Working on something this scale was a great exercise in concentration and restraint. It also gave me an excuse to buy some magnifying glasses and they were a great help (though they did make me feel a bit queasy). They gave me a confidence that I needed to try working on tiny rivets, and an oil wash or two helped in lots of places too – it really hits the lowlights adding definition, and makes everything grimy too.
The purples are Xereus Purple fading up to Genestealer Purple with some of the new Druchii Violet helping with the shadows. All metallics were painted using silvers, and then stained with Contrast paints.
And there you have it really. I’m just chuffed that I managed to finish something really. I might add a bit more dirt and grime here and there, but there won’t be too much extra going on. Well, there are a couple of metal patches I could do with tidying up. But I’m still calling it all done for the purposes of this blog post. I really enjoyed the Adeptus Titanicus scale and I really do want to do more so I may well dive into that, but I’ve got so many options at the moment, we’ll see.
Oh, and in news not related to the above miniature, I managed to get a ticket to Golden Demon. If you see me there, do say hello. I’ll be the hairy one in the check shirt… that might not narrow it down enough but I will be there somewhere. The tiny knight might be there too. 😉
On to the next project. I have no idea what that project might be, but on we go to it. Until then, Onwards!
I, like any other hobby butterfly, have started thousands of projects, but how many have I reached the end of? Well, not as many as I’d have liked. In an effort to inspire me, I thought it would be interesting to run through my top 10 unfinished projects that have a Warhammer-flavour to them (because there are plenty of other, non-GW things half finished and that’s a whole other level of pain), and see if something would give me that spark. Instead, it’s all made me feel a little rotten. So much not yet done, that I started doing! Curse you, hobby butterfly! Curse you!
So, let’s look through some of my shameful false-starts, shall we? Will I ever complete any of these? Who knows. Maybe. Maybe not. Their fate is not yet written, which I suppose, is why I’m writing about them here. In no particular order…
P.S. Yes, I do usually start painting minis from the feet up – it feels like you have time to get your eye in on the shins and get good for when you start working on the upper bits that people will actually look at 🙂
1- The Noise Marine
I love Noise Marines, and especially Noise Marines with Guitars – I paid over the odds on Ebay for the original and had lots of fun painting that up, and I was thrilled when the new version was released but I… just couldn’t get on with it. I still think it’s super cool, but it just doesn’t grab me in the same way as the old one did. I know I sound like one of those old fogeys who thinks the days of Lead minis were better (and I do not think that – modern minis are very much preferred here), but that one was always a favourite that the new one had little chance of living up to.
If I were going to revive this project, I’d undercoat it black (rather than grey) and go completely bonkers on every panel. I’d make it a model of challenges that would result in an eye-bleeding cacophone of colours and patterns. But that takes a lot of time and effort, so we’ll see if i ever get back into that mood.
2- Sister Amalia
I’m a big fans of the resculpted and reimagined Sisters of Battle and I picked up this mini because it does harken back to that classic piece of Karl Kopinski artwork that made the Adepta Sororitas so cool in the first place. But then I made things tricky for myself. I wanted to do an almost metallic dark green for her armour, and give her a pale complexion with red hair because, well, I hadn’t seen that done. Then something else must have dragged my attention away from her, and it was another challenge to myself that I am still yet to complete.
I’d start again from scratch if I went back to this. The model is too damn cool to not do really, and I’d really like to do her justice. And I think I could nail that green armour now, so maybe this goes a little bit further up the queue. Maybe.
3- The Vostroyan
It has been an age since I worked on a Necromunda Bounty Hunter, and this light conversion (if you can even call it that!) from the Cursed City box was a joy to work on and I was being fancy but then, of all colours to stimy me, it was the red of his coat. I like painting red, and I’d even say I was quite cood at it, but I want to get it right and that just felt like too big an ask here. The idea is that this chap is a Vostroyan who now earns his crust (or crusted corpse starch) in the Underhive and that’s too cool to give up on too!
He’s already high on the list, but I just need to stick my courage to the screwing place (something like that) and get on with him. There’s too much lore in my head that I need this mini to help me express!
4- The Imagifier
Another Sister. This was started as part of my yearly “6 paints” challenges and I never got her finished which is a great shame. Between new projects coming along, and the fact that I was going to be stuck tryingto paint her gun bright blue, I just lost interest.
If I slackened my rules on the colours a little, I think i could have fun with this one. I think the sister above takes precedence though.
5- Word Bearers Contemptor Dreadnought
Talk about overreaching! I was going to, many moons ago, try to paint every single one of the Legion-specific Contemptors and I made a good start with the Iron Warriors and World Eaters dreads getting done in good time. Then I went for the Word Bearers and boy did my enthusiasm fall off a cliff. It’s a lovely model, but, meh, I just don’t like the Word Bearers. That, and it was an expensive project that I’m no longer that interested in completing.
If the bug to paint nothing but Contemptors returns, I will for sure get back to this big guy, but right now… I got nothing. Also, as far as pricey projects go…
6- Epic 40k Revival
Ages ago, I found all of my old Epic stuff from when I was a kid, and I decided to try and revive some of it. And I did! Turns out Contrast Paints made it a rather easy job to do actually. But after getting a few little bits done, I just ended up thinking “What’s the point?”. I always wanted a fun Epic scale army, and they were looking good, but it’s not like I’m going to get a game in any time soon. It’s a right weird little project to be honest, and as fun as it could be, it just didn’t excite me.
For Epic to come back? Or for some friends to get mad into old Epic and ask me to join in a campaign? Anything short of that, and I think these gus will be hanging around unloved for some time to come…
7- Kaptin Badrukk
Oh, Kaptin, my Kaptin! This was going to be a Golden Demon entry a long time ago, but I may have decided to steer clear of the Single 40k Mini category because it’s one of the most fiercely contested. That’s not to say I don’t want to give it a shot, and I may still (albeit with another mini), but despite making a promising start with the greatest Ork pirate ever, I ran into some issues. There is just so much detail on that mini, and it all got a bit overwhelming. I still reckon I can make him look good, but the effort and confidence it would take to do the job I want to do, is monumental. One day…
In order to get me back on this project, I will have to feel in top form with the brush, and I still need to formulate a plan for some of the finer details. This one is definitely a case of “when” and not “if”, but the aforementioned “when” could still be some way off.
8- Chibi Space Marine
I picked up a few of the 40k Chibis when they came out. I had an urge to give this unique kind of model a go in terms of painting, and I even made a start on trying to turn him into a Blood Angel, but other projects (I’ve said that a few times already, I feel) made me put him to one side. As he’s not part of a game, and more of a painting exercise, it’s hard to throw my passion behind it, but I would still like to give Chibi painting a proper go one day.
I dunno. Maybe this will never happen, or maybe, if there’s a Chibi painting competition somewhere one day, I’ll make an effort, but it just feels like there’s no real end goal with this one. An experiement – let’s see if it ever reaches a conclusion.
9- Custodes Character
No, I don’t remember the exact name of this guy. He’s a “Blade-something” right? Maybe? The thing is, if I wanted 1000 points of Custodes, I already have that, but painting this guy came at a time i was trying to make every mini look absolutely perfect and it was this chap that made me realise that that attitude was burning me out. I’d forgotten how to paint for fun, and I was just trying to break myself on every project, and if I’m being honest, it’s still hard not to go down that route. So I guess I already have some mixed feelings about this mini.
If however I get into a 40k gaming mood some time soon, I may well want some Golden Boys on my side, and this would be a fine way to kick off that project. Who knows though. We’ll see.
10- Marshcrawler Sloggoth
When the Kruleboyz were released, I fell in love with this mini. He’s so ugly! Utterly hideous and his lot in life is arduous and ghastly, and yet, I see only a fantastic kit full of flavour and fun. I wanted to paint it up for Demon, but after the first step – the skin, I realised I’d made some mistakes and it didn’t look good and, well, there that dream died. I don’t know how to fix the skin without starting over, but maybe that’s what I’ll have to do to get this going again. It was quite heartbreaking really, when I realised I’d got this all wrong.
For next Demon? Maybe? The one after the upcoming one? It sure would be nice to get this fella all sorted and righted, but I need to up my resurrection game to get him back on track.
Bonus- The Titan
I am getting sick of seeing these pictures of the only armour panels I’ve worked on. It’s embarrassing at this stage really. I always joked that it would be done by 2024 but I may need to revise that at this stage. It’s just so time consuming, and despite how happy I am with the results of what I’ve worked on already, the actual painting intensity makes me a right grumpy git and I don’t like being that person. But I will get it done one day. Just to prove I can.
And there you have them – 11 in total of my unfinished projects, why they remain incomplete, and what it would take for me to get onto going them again. The muse isn’t really with me right now, but I am working on some projects when I get a moment. Fun things, that I need to stick with for the time being until the funk is lifted. In the meantime, I hope you’re having every success with your own projects, and that you are getting lots of lovely toy soldiers done and finished. Onwards!
Hello friends! Well, this has been quite a journey and in a relatively different sort of article, I have been chronicling my painting of Khorne’s hugest and newest servant through photo AND video, as I’ve been spending a long time now painting one of the biggest models I’ve ever worked on – the brand new Ka’bandha from Forge World. Games Workshop were good enough to send me this heckin’ chonkin’ kit, and I’ve been beavering away on it for weeks now. Whenever I had any time, I got my brushes out and recorded my progress, so let’s go back in time to when this all began…
In the beginning…
When G-Dubs contacted me to let me know that they were sending this incredible brute my way, I was very excited. I thought about how all of the Heresy releases coming soon would be in plastic and how much fun I would have. Then it arrived and when I saw the shape and felt the heft of the box, I realised what I was in for. Resin. Now I have no problem with working with resin, but I had rather been looking forward to working on a plastic mini (lol, “mini”) and this of course meant a lot more prep work. Rather than shaving down mould lines, I’d be hacking off big hunks of flash and scrubbing release agent from its surfaces. Here’s the fist of my video diaries…
The wings were a bit of a nightmare. Each wing comes in two parts and these needed a fair amount of gap filling as the two halves of each wing only fit together in a looser sense of the word. Valejo Plastic Putty was a life saver here though, so it took a while, but it was relatively painless. I also pinned the wings in place. In fact, there’s a fair bit of pinning involved with this mini, so be prepared to get the old pin vice to hand for this beast.
The whip was also a bit of a pain, and in all honesty, it would remain a pain all the way through the process of bringing this model to life. There’s plenty more on that, but when you’re building it, for the love of Khorne himself, pin, and get your angles right – I didn’t and so I will forever have one strand of the whip dragging and chipping on tabletops – my bad.
There was a can of Chaos Black, and a can of Mephiston Red and they gave me my starting point when it came to painting – here’s the big fella still drying after he got a coating. Black all over, red just from the top down – that’ll help me with the shadows on his skin at least!
A Wing And A Flayer
So, as mentioned in the first video, I started out with the wings, and boy did they take some doing. Here’s the next video, but you’ll note (as I did) that it almost looks like I’ve done nothing. Thankfully by the time he’s done, they look a bit more complete, but I was happy to get this massive job done early doors. Now, unfortunately, because WordPress have a rubbish video player as default and I can’t be bothered to upload to Youtube and faff around with embedding, my second video entry about the wings won’t display here. But you’ll see them in all the other vids (presuming they work) so not much to cry about there. There was a lot of glazing, some swearing, and I sponged on some fire damage. Oh, and I painted the talons black and then coated them in Ardcoat instead of trying to paint the light effects on – let’s let the actual light do some heavy lifting where we can. When all of that was done, this is what my hand looked like:
With those done. I turned my attention to the axe as it seemed like a fun place to start on the armour and metals. Let’s see if this video works…
So the axe is sorted out! I got that lovely brass colour by working up from a Leadbelcher base, up into Iron Warriors, then a blend of Iron Warriors and Abaddon Black, and then a highlight of Ironbreaker. This is then coated with a thinned down Nazdreg Yellow and there you have it – brass. And with that axe done, I had to then use pretty much the same technique on all of the rest of the armour. This was going to be a slog, but it wasn’t super tough to do. Indeed, by this stage I had the idea of trying to keep this simple so that even people like me who are not fans of painting massive kits, can get some enjoyment out of the whole thing.
Armour, Armour And More Armour
This is something worth bearing in mind if you’re not familiar with working on massive kits like this; they induce fatigue and throughout the project, you will fall out of love with it. Don’t worry, you get the love back at the end, and it’s definitely worth putting the effort in and keeping going, but boy can it be a slog getting to those happy shores.
In another video that failed to upload, I was so tired of painting the armour (and at this stage I had completed one arm and one leg) that I filmed vertically. There are few greater sins in smartphone videography, and I’m actually glad the upload failed (thanks, WordPress) but I’m also happy because I sounded so down on it. I was super exhausted and desperate to work on something different but I was also determined to get this out the door and carry on.
So this was the next video (above) and as fatigued as I sound here, that’s nothing to how I sounded in the video that wouldn’t upload. At least now I was able to laugh about things. Even though I was painting it all in techniques i was familiar with, and that were not too hard, it was really starting to get to me and at this stage, I really only had a week left. It was time to enter…
Happilly, after the above video, when I did get time to work on it, I was working on it like a machine, and that’s what you need for a big hobby product (sorry, calling it a “miniature” just seems silly given its size). I was going at it with the end in sight and then I realised that I needed to have it done by, well, today! The day this post comes out! Here’s where I was just a few hours ago!
So it was time to get cracking! There really wasn’t too much to do, but with only a lunch hour left to get it finished, would I get it done in time? Would I be able to paint something worthy of the Blood God’s praise? Would I get a chance to sneak in a bag of crisps and a piece of toast before I had to get back to my day job?! Let’s find out:
Well, given the photo at the top of this post, that probably wasn’t the reveal I was thinking it would be, but still, you can hear my most recent elation in my voice. And since then, I’ve found a tiny bit of time to upload that last video and write these words. What a journey! Happy that I don’t have to work on him any further, but a little sad to not have the stress and pressure of this project still hanging over me – it really does make you feel alive! Also, you’ll have to forgive any spelling errors in this post. I have had literally two minutes to proof read all of it. 😉
If I had to pick out some highlights, it would be the face and the axe. Both are amazing and for very different reasons. The face is emotive, full of character and it really is the best Khornite set of features I have ever seen. Great work by the sculptors there. And the axe I love because it’s enormous and brutal like you wouldn’t believe. It’s crying out for Blood For The Blood God to be dashed all over it and I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to have fun there.
Lowlights? Well, it’s a big heavy kit that’s got a fiddly whip, but that’s a combination of things I’m not a fan of that others are, and me screwing up the build. I can’t blame either of those things on Forge World, and while this sort of massive miniature is not my cup of tea, some people live for them. If you enjoy it, have at it. If not, you’ve been warned. And I do wish it was plastic, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of resin from time to time.
I’m now off to go and paint something really small. A Hobbit or a Snotling or something. Something that doesn’t hurt my wrist when I go to pick it up. That’s what I’m dreaming of. Onwards!
P.S. You may notice, those sleuths amongst you, that some of my timing is a bit off. That’s on me – I got the dates wrong in terms of when I was supposed to have this ready by. By about a month. It’s not my fault “June” and “July” look similar. So yes, this has been waiting to go live for some time now, but I quite enjoyed the videos and didn’t want to discard them, and it just shows how quickly you can paint him if you need to, and still make him look passable.