It’s been a while since I’ve put together a good old fashioned name generator for Necromunda (over three years to be precise) but as it’s the festive period, and because we’ve recently had the release of the Underhive Outcasts Gang and the associated rules for them, I thought I’d roll up my sleeves and have a go again. In fact, I had always meant to do this back then but I never got around to it, but now that you can take Outcast gangs, and Venator gangs for that matter, I think it’s about time I righted this wrong. So further below, using the same old system, we have a way for you to come up with a name for your new gang if you need a little help or inspiration.
Speaking of that, I had thought about using mother’s maiden names, the name of the street you live on, or some other method, but thought it would just look like a phishing scheme so I stuck to the tried and true first initial of your first name, first initial of your last name method. It’s worked well for us until now and if it ain’t broke…
What was really fun about this for me was thinking back to the above expansion that appeared in my youth, and also the Kal Jericho novels that I still recommend to people all the time – wonderful enjoyable reads (especially if you imagine Kal has the voice of Archer, Scabbs is Cyril, Yolanda is Lana… essentially it’s Archer does Necromunda and it’s one of my favourite things to do). You might see some nods to these products in the chart below…
Anyway, that’s all a lot of ado, so without further ado (given we’ve had so much ado already) here’s the name generator for you:
So given that my initials are “JA”, I could name my gang the “Junkyard Assassins”, but if, for some reason, that didn’t quite sit right, I could switch it round and go for “Ash Waste Jackals”. Both not only give me names to work with, but they also provide a little flavour I could tie-in to the makeup of my gang, how I paint them and how I base them.
Now, if you’re still looking for a name for your gang that is one of the more traditional Necromunda Houses, you can find some more name generators on this site:
Well, I guess that means that’s all. Huh. I could have sworn I’d written more of these… maybe I did and I never got a chance to post them up. I shall do some digging and see what I can put together!
If you do use this name generator or any of the others linked here, or any of the others that are found on this site, I’d love to hear about the results you got and any thoughts you had on them, so do stick a comment down below. And if I don’t post here again until after Xmas, have a happy, healthy, safe and fun winter break. Onwards!
Well, it has certainly been a year. While one of Nurgle’s more annoying and virulent blessings continues to frustrate the planet, it’s been another interesting 365 in the hobby, and a very interesting year for me personally. I recall that in the olden days, I would often do a year in review post for my hobby here and thought I’d bring the tradition back, as well as look forward to what my hobby plans are for 2022 – I’m quite excited about those! But before dreaming into the days to come, I need to think back over what I accomplished this year. Cue the screen going all wavy, and the twinkly music of remembering…
*at this point I spent ages looking for a good gif of time going backwards and they all suck so have this unnecessary line of explanatory text instead*
Let me take you back to January, 2021. We had just come out of a global pandemic a- no, wait, we were still right in the middle of the damn thing. The pubs were all shut, the bars were all shut, but thankfully the off-licenses (that’s a liquor store for my readers across the pond) were still open. I was enjoying my first winter in my new flat, and I was a Games Workshop employee too. Things were fine, though this blog still slumbered, and that was starting to irk me a little bit. I was painting some things I was really proud of and I wanted to post them on here, and that’s when I decided that I was going to leave GW, and get back to having my hobby be my hobby, and get the blog up and running again.
The first thing to get finished in January was my Lord of Plagues, a mini that had been part of my yearly totally random hobby project (I’ve got another one coming very soon!) and I was pretty pleased with what I’d accomplished with my limited palette. I was satisfied with all of my painting at that point to be fair, and I was regularly contributing to painting challenges at work, and things were going well with my brushes in general. And by the end of January, I had painted my Grot Tank – a model that I loved with a paintjob I was really proud of.
Though of course I was still struggling with my camera – some things never change. This was now really starting to fuel my desire to enter Golden Demon again and really push to get me a statue. On a lucky day, if a few very talented people didn’t show up, I thought I could squeak a bronze. Maybe. But I couldn’t enter the categories I wanted to enter while working for GW, so this further egged me on to find a new job.
I pushed myself harder in February and it would also be in this month that I secured a new job at a huge company, with a nice pay rise and my notice would be handed in. It was really sad leaving, and in March I would say goodbye to a lot of wonderful people that I had worked with for the last few years at a company that I still love. I would get as good a sendoff as one could hope for in those strange times when we were all stuck working from home, and between all of that, I got the above Slaughter Priest finished too. But before I left, I’d finish up working on my first ever Salamander:
I was so proud of this one. It’s by no means perfect, but I thought I was hitting my marks with contrast, freehand, my metallics, blending… I was pretty damn happy to be honest. And then, riding a wave of confidence I decided to torture myself by dipping into the longest running project ever, my Warhound Titan…
That head took me a 3-day weekend of dawn-to-dusk painting and it damn near broke me, again. Guess I’ll soon have to figure out which panel gets some attention in 2022! By this stage, I had left Games Workshop and had started at the new place and I hated it. It started off ok, but the culture was all wrong, and it just felt soulless and weird. In April, I kept telling myself to just stick with it, and that it would get better, and that I only needed to do a year there for my CV and then I could move on…
I lasted 6 weeks before I handed in my notice and by May, when we could sit outside pubs again and enjoy life a little more as the virus seemed to be slowing down thanks to our vaccine appointments, I was, for the first time in my adult life, unemployed. And that, I loved. What’s more, in May, I painted the best thing I ever painted:
And, with everything I was going through, painting this mini broke me a bit. I don’t really think it was this mini, I just think it was a culmination of a year and a half of pandemic, changing jobs, various other things going on, but I quit the hobby and at one point I was genuinely thinking about selling all my minis and painting stuff. I’m not going to go through all of my mad thinking again, but if you want to read more about it, you can go through it all here. So because of all that, this place was a bit quiet for a big chunk of the summer…
I wandered in the hobby-less wilderness for a while there, but it wouldn’t be long beforeI would return, and when I came back, I would be coming back with some of the most popular posts of the year – the very first of the Lazy Painter’s Army List posts. I love creating these and they really helped get me back into the hobby, and finding my love for it again.
The other thing that really got me back into the hobby was gaming. I finished an army this year – my Necrons – and I’ve had a huge amount of fun with them in the second half of 2021. This may not be the most optimal list, but it’s been great getting back to the tabletop, and I’ve got a real urge to play against friends most of the time. I also joined an awesome Crusade group with a bunch of friends and it has been a source of enormous enjoyment all year round.
Painting this army to a nice tabletop standard also rekindled my enjoyment of painting in general and it wouldn’t be too long before I’d be picking up my brushes again. September was a particularly productive month, with me first satisfying my near-permanent itch to do some fun freehand with my Saint Katherine…
…before then working on one of my favourite projects of the year – my Blight-Hauler…
…so despite my desire to throw it all away, I was back with a vengeance and loving the hobby again. I guess it goes to show that we all have highs and lows, and in times of global plagues, isolation and upheaval, it’s easy to ride the lows a little too hard. Therefore, you need to remember that there’ll be highs again soon. Just worth keeping that in mind.
October was a little quieter, but I did get to paint the devil you see above and his heavy metal-inspired shield there, and this might have been the most amount of fun I had with freehand all year. Thank you for everyone on twitter who voted for me to use a Heavy Metal album cover for the shield – I hope you’re happy with my choice of Slayer’s Season’s in the Abyss as the source material. I also started my new job around this time and I’m happy to report that I’m still loving my new gig. Long may that continue.
I also got to complete a project that had been living in my head for years and years, by converting and painting the Stalking Scorpion – track down the full article on this blog for all the details, but it made me very happy.
The big star of November was almost certainly High Marshal Helbrecht which featured a bit more freehand, and while I had to rush it out at the end, I’d rather have had another week to work on it. But I had so much to do and I got to post it on the same day that I attended Salute so it was lovely to see all of the positive feedback come in on a tiring, long day.
While there are a lot of floors in the above miniature in terms of how I painted it, there’s nothing that I can’t fix, and I really like how brave I was with some of the choices. I’ve never done OSL that strong, or attempted a banner quite like that. That’s something I want to take into next year – be braver, and take some more chances. A little less time in my comfort zone would do me good, right?
And here we are in December! It’s cold and wet, there’s a new variant of Corona doing the rounds, World War 3 might kick off any moment and here I am still painting! These dragons got done and a handy tutorial to accompany them came out on the blog just a little while ago. Those are likely to be the last things to get finished this side of Christmas given everything that’s going on (as ever, it’s a busy time of year) but I’ll still be painting through to new year, so expect to see more from me before 2022 goes live. As ever, you’ll hear about it here first. I’m hoping I get some time to finish off this guy…
Who Games Workshop were kind enough to send out to me, and I think he’s such a cool mini that I want to do him justice and paint him in a fancier style. That’ll take me some time, and I just want to say if you’re an aspiring painter, the Shadow Throne box offers you a great selection of amazing units and characters to test out schemes and styles on with a lot of variety on offer. But I digress, because I’m also happy to have these guys to work on too:
And while these Vindictors won’t be as fancy as the Custodes chap above, they are the penultimate piece of my Stormcast jigsaw puzzle, and by the new year, I’m hoping to be able to field my Ashen Stars as a 2k point army and get back into AoS (it’s been some years). And speaking of plans for next year…
Heresy & Heroes in 2022
It’s about time for me to be thinking about my hobby plans for next year. As ever, with any plans I make, some of these are bound not to happen or go wrong, and I’ll probably quit the hobby and come back later or something like that. But these are my good intentions that the roads to hell are bound to be pathed with come this time next year. To start with, I want more armies…
First up (and thanks again to twitter for helping me decide the order of this), I am going to embark on a Maggotkin of Nurgle army. I love painting gross and gribbly things, and the new book is the perfect chance for me to dive into this army. I’ve worked out my list and will be sticking to that.
Then, I’m going to paint my first Primaris Blood Angels. Long time readers will know that I love this army, and I now have all the pieces I need to put together a 50 power level list. Well, I actually have plenty more and could probably put together 100 power, but 50 power is a good place to start I think. Now, the crazy part of this plan is that I want to have both of these projects completed in 26 weeks. By the end of June, I should have both to play with if I stick to the complicated spreadsheet that I’ve been working on. Will all of that actually happen and be on time? Who knows!
My quest to do better than a finalist pin at Golden Demon will hopefully continue. It’s great to hear that there’s a US version happening at Adepticon, but I’ll be waiting for a UK one to crop up again and hopefully it won’t be too long before we get word of this. Will it be in May as per? We’ll have to wait and see, I guess. And once those armies above are done, I intend to get to work on my 2023 entries. After speeding through two armies, it will be great to spend months on a single mini again!
I’m almost a bit nervous about putting this one out there, but why not I guess – but just know that I’ve been playing with this idea for a year now and still haven’t done anything with it, so all bets are off. I may *MAY* start a podcast. We shall see. No promises but if I can get my head around it all, and get everything I need together to make it happen, you’ll hear about it here first. If I do do it though, this could be a lot of fun!
And of course, you can expect plenty more of the usual throughout 2022. There will be reviews, analysis, lists, painted minis, reports from events and everything else you have come to expect from this strange little blog of mine. I hope you’ll tune in and enjoy it all, and as ever, I look forward to getting the content out to you. Onwards (to the new year)!
Christmas is approaching (already?!) and I will be once again be embarking on my totally random six paint mini painting challenge. This is the 3rd year I’ve done it so it really feels like a tradition now. In this blog post, I’ll explain the challenge, why I’ve made this a yearly tradition and give you the lowdown on the rules if you want to take part yourself.
It all started when I saw what Sam Lenz had done with Katakros – a mini that featured on the Warhammer Community website – I’ve linked to the article there. Not only did he do an incredible job, but he only used six colours to paint it. That really rang my hobby challenge bell, and so I decided to give it a go over the Christmas break a couple of years ago though I gave myself six colours plus black and white just to make this a little less torturous. This is what I came up with:
Why this mini? Why these colours? Well, that all came down to the rules I created for the challenge, prompted by my own indecisiveness. See, when it came to picking a mini, I just couldn’t do it. I had reservations, apprehensions or pre-existing plans with every mini. So as I stood in the Warhammer World store one lunch time, I asked two friends to give me a number between 1 and 100 (or so – it was a while back). I don’t recall what it was, but I walked around the store, counting off clamshells until I arrived at the number the said and that made me pick the Succubus. Then an idea came over me – make everything random.
There’s an incredible freedom afforded to you when you make every aspect of choice about a mini random. You’re cut free from your safety nets. You can’t rely on the same techniques you’ve leaned on all year (or for years) and the expectation from yourself is minimal. And an character that doesn’t fit into an army or project you’re working on, a one off piece, pushes you to try new things. I still have no interest in ever painting a Drukhari army, but that Succubus was a lot of fun. Maybe I’ll draw an Archon one year – i’d be happy with that. But, I digress.
So I had a random mini, and then I got some friends to give me random numbers and I counted through the Citadel paints until I had my 6 random paints. Six paints by the way that would never have been my chosen paints for this particular job or miniature, but that’s the point of this – it’s a refresher, a palette cleanser.
The next year, I took it a bit further. I got a friend to randomly pick a number and counted through the web store until I landed on the Lord of Plagues. I then turned to Twitter who gave me my random numbers for the paints, and by the end of the Christmas break, this was the result:
I’d have never picked those colours, or tried to do all NMM on a mini like this before. But I didn’t have any metallics this year so what could I do but try? It turned out to be a lot of fun, and I learned a lot from the experience. Is it the perfect mini? Hell no, but it kept me learning new things and it pushed my brush skill and imagination.
So in preparation for this year, I rolled a die and got the 40k range, before using a random number generator to land on the Adepta Sororitas Imagifier in the characters list on the web store. I then turned to my Crusade campaign buddies (because the dice said they’d be the honoured ones this year) and got them to pick some random numbers and I used these to select 5 paints from my collection, while a few dice rolls got me my 6th. This is what I’ll be working with:
An interesting selection for sure, and while I can see bits of it in my mind already, there’s still a lot for me to work out with the brush in my hand in a few weeks when I get cracking with this.
Now, it may be that you (yes, you… that’s right; you… yes, you!) might be interested in doing something similar. It’s a great way to give yourself a break from your current projects, learn something new, and work on something you would never usually think of trying. So for the first time, I’ve formalised the rules for this so you can use them if you want to give it a go. Here they are:
The 6 Colours Random Mini Hobby Challenge Rules:
Select the mini at random. Use whatever method you wish to make the choice random and not yours or anyone else’s.
Ensure it is a single mini. If your chosen method produces a result that is too expensive, something you have painted before, or you really hate the mini, you can use a single mulligan to change to a different randomly selected mini.
Use any method to randomly select 6 paints. Exclude technical and contrast paints from the challenge, and there is a hard limit of one metallic paint and/or one shade/wash paint.
You are allowed to take a black and a white paint, but you may not use these on their own or unmixed on the mini – they must always be combined with at least one other colour.
You can mix your paints however you like with each other and/or with black and white.
You may pre-base your mini, but you can only use your six random paints and black and white paints to paint the base.
There’s no official time limit, but try to complete your mini within 2 weeks (just so you never forget which paints you used!)
And that’s it! When you’re done (if you choose to give it a go) please let me know – I’d love to see your results. And just because I do this over the Christmas break, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it in August or May or whenever. Have fun with it!
So when you see me post up a randomly coloured Imagifier after Christmas, you’ll know why I did it and the thinking (or randomness) behind it. I hope you have tonnes of fun with the challenge, and until next time, onwards!
Hello readers. I’ve had a bit of a bee in my bonnet of late that buzzes around the honeyed idea of building my own world for Warhammer 40,000 (and to torture the metaphor even more, it’s probably a “hive” world). And this got me wondering about, well, where to start. How do you create your own fantasy world? I kind of want to make this a bit of a community project if anyone’s up for contributing (you know where the comments section is), but the bones of the world will have to come from me. And so this is the first in a series of articles about creating an actual world for the Warhammer 40,000 universe. And where better to start than with a good map?
I learned this technique for D&D a long time back, but I’ve extended it and developed it to help me build a planet in a way that works for me. I started with a piece of graph paper and my bits tub (which is different to my bits box(es) and bits trunk… I may have a problem). I took a few bits and scattered them across the paper thusly:
I tried to keep it random, but sensible too. A couple of big central piles and some scattered bits and bobs here and there. Next, I took a marker pen and roughly traced around the pieces here (no need to worry about being too neat – it’s almost impossible not to nudge the odd piece here and there). Here’s what I ended up with:
Not bad, right? In the past, I’ve employed dry pasta and pebbles to help me do this but I think the bits tub gave me a better variety of shapes and we’ve got a passable map with some big continents and some larger islands. Now, you’ve got one last job for that marker pen of yours…
…and that’s adding some reference numbers to the graph paper – more will be explained about these very shortly. I also added a few random small islands here and there. These are more the size of Sicily, Taiwan, Jamaica and the like on a map of our own world. Next up, we’re turning to everyone’s favourite thing – dice!
But we’ll need more than our faithful D6 for this. I turned to my slightly fancy DnD dice set as D4s, D10s, D20s and the like will be far more helpful to us here. While we have our continents and islands, I want to give our map here a little more detail. That’s going to start with major cities (perhaps Hives) and major rivers (think Amazon and Nile rather than Thames and Trent), and the dice will help me determine where these are, and in the case of rivers, how long they extend for, so let’s see what the Dice Gods contributed here:
Turns out, the dice gods were pretty kind to me (for a change). Using a D10 and a D20, we determined which squares the rivers would start in, and then, using a D4, we determined how many large squares they should go across. A bit of random squiggling with the pen and we get our 7 major rivers. I thought about adding lakes too, but decided against it as I thought it would be a notable characteristic not to have any significant inland seas or super-lakes. Then the D10 and D20 (obviously ignoring results 15-20) helped me place the cities. I kept these quite coastal (given that this is the trend across our own world) with only one exception on the main continent, but I kept this close to a river that was luckily flowing near by. Oh, and as we had 10 major population centres, and because this is 40k map, I wanted a planetary capital. A roll of 8, and working down and across, I could assign this roll to the city to the south of the main continent. Next up, I think we need some mountain chains…
And what better to use for mountain chains than an actual chain? This is my chain of pinning material (some casuals refer to them as ‘paperclips’, I believe) but you can use any chain or even a piece of string. Again, this is just a guide so let’s see what it guided me to create on the map:
And with a couple of extra smaller ranges dotted around at random, we have our mountain chains. You’ll see I’ve also added a couple of dashed “tropics” lines. That’s because we’re now going to assign primary terrain types to the rest of the map and the rough rule is no deserts in the polar regions, no tundra in the central region. A bit of help from the dice and here’s what we have:
And so now we have a map! Arid deserts, deep, dark forests, snowy tundras and expansive savannahs cover the world that I’ve just created. I guess this is what it feels like to be God, or at least Slartibartfast. I’m quite happy with the results really. It’s amazing what some dice, a few bits and some stationery can produce.
But this is just the start. I don’t want this to be a world confined to a bit of graph paper. We need to turn this planet into a living, breathing part of the galaxy. We need names, histories, mythologies, horticulture, bestiaries… Though that will all have to wait for the further editions of this series. Until then, i hope this has helped to get your creative juices flowing, and if you have any ideas for this world, let me know! Onwards!
There are many wonderful things to enjoy in the Warhammer hobby. Thanks to the different settings, the vastly different factions and armies, and the different characters, there really does seem to be something for everyone. What’s more, if you’re like me, and you like to sample a little bit from each area of the hobby (just call me Mr Magpie), there is so much there to thrill, excite, enjoy and it can be a whirlwind of different ways to play, different ways to paint and so much more. But as with too much of any good thing, eventually, the broad horizons can often mean that there’s too much of a trudge between points. Miniatures that once looked as if they were cast in glittering gold can fade into fiddly, frustrating finecast and laborious lead. You can be overwhelmed by obligation, and crushed by the pressure of the grey tide. It can all get too much, but I’ve found the magic colour – green.
Whether you call them Orcs, Orks or Orruks, I just wanted to write a post about why I love greenskins and everything that they have brought to the game and the painting desk. They are, to me at least, an oasis of perpetual enjoyment when I am lost in the desert of pressure, fatigue and overburden. They are honestly one of my favourite things about the hobby, and I’ve never even painted an army of them. Heck, I’ve only ever painted a small handful and they still find their way to my list of the best Warhammer things ever. And while they may have come from a different fantasy setting, over the years, within Warhammer, they have become something wonderfully unique.
I’ve got a few projects on the go at the moment, and for at least a couple of them, I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself. I want things to be perfect in my eyes and that can lead to a lot of time when I should be painting, spent instead worrying and debating with myself – almost a painter’s paralysis. One particularly tough project had me fretting, changing things, thinking I’d found solutions and then finding they caused more problems… it was daunting. So what did I do? I decided to paint something green and now my hobby block has gone and I’m constantly raring to go when I get the time to put paint to toy soldier.
But why do greenskins work like this for me? It’s a question I’ve pondered over several decaf black coffees today and I think it’s a combination of things that I will now elaborate on. I think the first point to make is that all greenskins from Snotling Blood Bowl teams to Ironjawz, from Grots to Mega Nobz, have an inherant sense of humour to them, both in terms of the models and the lore. Oh sure, there are some fierce Orruks and Orks, but even in those we can find humour. Gordrakk may look fearsome on his Mawkrusha, but just try and get the image of that fat dragon trying to actually fly out of your head and I’m sure you’ll at least smirk before it’s gone. They have a unit actually named “Nobz” for Mork’s (and Gork’s) sake!
More over, the humour is usually far more overt. From the gretchin being sucked into the Shokk Attack Gun, to the very idea of a Megatrakk Scrapjet, and to the entire cast of the Gobbapalooza. Tankbustas strapping missiles to sticks and using them as hammers, the gloriously gobsmacking guns of Flashgitz, that rumour that big Ghaz’ name is somehow a riff on Margaret Thatcher’s name… this list goes on. And I like that. I need that. The grimdark can get all too grim and far too dark sometimes and it’s just layer after layer of agenda and one-upping and that gets so dull so fast… and then there are the greenskins. They like fightin’. That’s it. So as well as being funny, they are also not too serious. Sounds like the same point, but I’d argue it was two.
From a converters perspective, they are a gift. Want to turn a Necron Monolith into a buggy? Do it. Want to turn that Dunecrawler into a helicopter? Have at it. Want to turn Nagash into some sort of Squig? …well, I mean if you can do that, I really want to see it! Some might argue that this is converting on “easy mode” but so what? It’s fun! And honestly, when you try and convert with anything else, it’s like you’re looking to create character, but with Or(ru)ks, the character is intrinsic. You’re simply bringing out what is already there rather than trying to implant something artificial. You are only limited by your own lunacy and I love that. Be mad, be free.
The lore is full of gems too, and I shall merely scratch the surface over this paragraph. From Gloomspite Gitz constantly tripping balls as they gobble up mushrooms, to the fact that Ork guns work because they put a bullet in a box with a tube on the end and they believe that’s what a gun is so of course it has to work. I adore the idea that Orks are keeping the Emperor of mankind alive because they believe him to be the biggest baddest boss in the galaxy and so he has to stay around – and their collective will is keeping his withered old heart beating. Humour, often so missing from modern Warhammer, has been allowed to grow and develop in the greenery.
And I will say this too – the game. Like I said, I don’t have an Ork army (which may be another reason why I love them – familiarity breeds contempt after all), but if i did, it would be a hundred Boyz and a load of big stompy shooty things, and I’d get to roll a billion dice and be fine with most of them missing. I’ve never come across an ork player who wasn’t fun to play against. Anyone who could literally use a shovel to pick up their dice for one round of shooting and expect to hit maybe 5 times, and does it with a smile on their face is aces in my book. Ork people are the best people.
That’s all the reasons I have to love greenskins. I’m currently having such a blast working on one of the Gobbapalooza and it’s bringing me so much enjoyment after a week of hobby-struggle. It’s so relaxing and pleasant.What’s more, it makes me smile because it’s bonkers. A real treat, and I hope you’ve enjoyed me extolling the virtues of going green every once in a while. Honestly, if you ever feel stressed out painting, and you want to have fun, pick up an Orruk, or an Ork, or even an Orc and have fun with it. Leave that confusing and frustrating project you were working on to one side, and spend a couple of days just having fun and giggling about “Nobz” – I promise you it’s an excellent tonic. In a hobby that can take itself too seriously by default, the greenskins remind you that you’re meant to be having fun. And with that, this little love letter is done, and I’m going to get back to my brushes. Onwards!
So, it has come to this. Video. I recently spruced up my hobby room and I wanted to show it off a little bit because it’s looking hella dope (I don’t think anyone says that anymore, do they?), and you know how I am with photographs. Couldn’t tell my F-point from a hole in the ground, or an aperture from my elbow. So then I had a crazy notion; why not shoot a wobbly, single cut video using my phone and, it turned out quite nicely! And I ended up not showing off the room, but more my miniatures because they are looking, well, in focus!
I’m putting this video up for anyone who would like to see my collection. It’s like 10 minutes long so you certainly don’t have to watch all of it, and it turns out my voice can go a bit higher than I thought it could, but if you want to see all of my favourite minis from the last few years, you can see them all here. I’m also putting it up here because I want a record of it as it is now. Hopefully I’ll shoot another video in a few years and there’ll be more shelves and more minis I’m really proud of too.
Top 7 Observations when I watched this video back after uploading it:
“How and why is your voice going that high?!”
“You have way too many unfinished projects, dude”
“I wonder how much money I’ve spent on mi- lalalalalaicanthearyouiamnothtinkingaboutthatlalala…”
“How have you got a face for radio but a voice for mime artistry?”
“Like, way too many unfinished projects”
“You say ‘errrr’ way too much”
“Why is it flashing! What’s with the weird white flashes!?”
But there you have it! A 10 minute virtual tour of what I joking call the “Heresy & Heroes Studio” (if I can remember the damn name of my blog – good grief) and lots of fun minis to look at at. I even say “Onwards” at the end because that’s something I do.
Anyway, I’m off to go drink too much beer and enjoy my weekend – I hope you have similar or better plans too. Onwards (again)!
I’m guessing you’ve probably stumbled across several (if not hundreds) of lists of things that can help your miniature painting that involve paints, brushes and all the sensible things that are actually involved in miniature painting. They’re often very useful and informative, so there’s no real point in me doing another one of those lists here. But, what if I told you there were things that you can do to help improve your painting and enjoyment of painting that have nothing to do with brushes and paints? If you called me mad, you’d not the first one to do so, and though you may be right, I’d say you were wrong here. Here are my 5 tips that will help you to paint from beyond the hobby.
I am about as far from a gym bunny as you can get. More of a couch elephant, actually. But I do lift weights. Not big ones – but weights big enough for me to (and I immediately apologise for using this term) feel the burn. By doing this, it tightens up all the muscles in my arms, and makes them stronger which makes them steadier. After a little while doing this, you will feel things tighten up and as you paint, you’ll notice how much steadier you are with both your brush hand, and the hand you hold the mini with. Obviously don’t try and paint immediately after lifting weights as you’ll be wobbling all over the place like a jelly on trampoline that’s being bounced on by couch elephants, but if you give it a bit of time, you’ll eventually see the results.
Ditch the Caffeine
Speaking of wobbly hands, and without wanting to sound all preachy about it, but you should probably drop the caffeine. Again, this will remove a little tremor from your hand. A few years ago, I developed a somewhat dramatic intolerance to caffeine (panic attacks are a hoot) and so switched to decaf (still love me the taste of a black coffee). The main benefit to this is of course not feeling like I’m going to die all the time, but another benefit involves the steadiness of my hands, and also, my energy levels. While caffeine gives you an initial hit, it burns you out faster, so if you like painting long into the night, ditching it can help a lot. I do have the rare Irn Bru, but that’s part of my heritage so allow it.
Go To Art Galleries & Museums
This may seem very obvious to some, but it’s always worth reiterating. When they reopen after lockdown, go and check out every museum and art gallery you can. It doesn’t even matter what’s on really. Inspiration is everywhere and whether you’re looking at Raphael or Rembrandt, Blake or Banksy, you will gain so much from seeing how they applied their paint, how they framed their subjects, how they work with light… all incredibly useful. And in museums, you may find inspiration in weaponry and armour, but you might find a new way to paint wood while looking at a Chippendale (no, not those ones), or a new way to paint glass while admiring a Steuben. Again, Inspiration is everywhere.
Go On Holiday
And leave the paints at home. While painting everyday is a great way to get good, everyone needs a break from time to time. Another one for when we come out of lockdown; go away. Doesn’t matter where. As with above, you will find new things that inspire you from different foods to foreign soil, from sandy beaches to streets you’ve yet to tread. Then, when you return in a week, you’ll be rested, full of ideas, and raring to get painting again with a head alive with new sights to interpret through the bristles of your brush. When it’s safe do so again, go see a bit more of the world.
Have Another Hobby
Warhammer can be a bit, how shall we say, “all consuming”? There are rabbit holes to get lost down, and then there are 40k rabbit holes, the depths of which are so low, even the Duardin couldn’t mine them. Have something else in your life to balance things. Read books, collect stamps, play football… just have something else because if you let yourself drift under those tides you will find yourself drowning beneath pressure, resentment, disassociation and a one-dimensional existence. I’ve been there, and the way to get out is to have something else you can turn to to help you deal with the times when the grimdark gets a bit too grim and dark. Take up knitting, pick up some watercolours, bake a cake… just have something else.
So those are my tips. I hope they are in some way useful, and I hope they lead to a more enjoyable hobby for you too. If you’ve got any other non-hobby hobby tips, let me know in the comments below. Until then, Onwards!
Heresy & Heroes has been a lot of fun to work on in 2017, and I want to have just as much fun with it in 2018. What’s more, you’ve all been reading, liking and enjoying the posts and pages here, and we definitely want that to continue, right? So, rather than review everything that’s happened in 2017, I’m looking ahead to the future (and because I barely remember half of it), and I wanted to give you lot a quick update on that. A preview, if you will.
What You Can Expect
In short, more of the same with a few sprinkles on top. 2017 started off with me heavily entrenched in my Blood Angels Legion project, and as 2018 is more than likely to bring us a Forge World book and miniatures introducing the Sons of Sanguinius to the table top, I’ll be onboard with that. As I’m going to a Horus Heresy (and Necromunda) weekender in February, I’m hoping that I see a bit more evidence of this in the flesh/resin. Imagine if they have Sanguinius on a little plinth in a cabinet there! I’ll be squealing like a stuck squig.
I’m still nuts for Necromunda too, and there’s plenty for me to do there. I have and Escher gang that I need to start on, and I’m hoping to bring you some game and campaign reports too – we’ll see about that. Bounty hunters, hive scum, NPCs and lots more will hopefully all pass across my table in the new year as well. I’ve got some very fun conversion ideas that I’ve already picked up a few bits for, so I’m really looking forward to working on those.
And there will be all the random characters, retro miniatures, wish lists, reviews and a few pop culture nods that you’d expect from this place. Retro miniatures is an area I want to focus on a bit more, as they’ve provided a lot of satisfaction over the last year. And the random ones of course; what will be 2018’s Pickle Rick?
I also want to try some new things here. Maybe it’s time we heard a few more voices on these pages, and that this blog had a couple more features too. We shall see, but this is also a good time for you to tell me what you want to see. Should I be doing more of something? Less of something? Do you have any ideas of something else you’d like to see me do? Do you fear change and cower in the corner at the slightest alteration of the norm? All suggestions will be considered, so shoot me your best ones in the comments section below.
And at some point, and I make no promises here, I may even try a few characters from armies I’ve never tried before. I may make some things specifically for Golden Demon competitions – we shall have to wait and see. I may even get back to my Warhou …never mind. The point is, there’ll be plenty of newness going on around here as well as all the things you enjoy about this blog.
A Message For 2018 – A Brief Bob Ross Moment
Approach your hobby time like a treat. Over this year, I think I’ve enjoyed painting more than during any other year, though I’m not sure why. Focussing on smaller projects that I really care about has probably helped, but no matter what I’ve been working on, I couldn’t count the amount of times that I’ve been near giddy with anticipation at work for getting home and hunkering down over my paints an brushes. And I want you to enjoy your painting like that too. 2017 has been a rough year for all of us (some more than others) and your painting and gaming time should offer you a bountiful oasis in a storm of bad news, real life and all the horrors that assail us throughout the days, weeks and months. Treat the time at your desk or table as a respite from all of this, and a chance to really enjoy yourself, better yourself, and feel innocent and rapturous pride in your work.
One of my resolutions for 2018 is to play more. I lost the bug for playing games probably back in 2016, but with both Blood Bowl and Necromunda now out, I’m going to use these as gateway games to help me really get back into the swing of it all, and with the Blood Angels getting their book at some point, I want to give Horus Heresy a real go too. And that’s one of the great things about this hobby. There are always areas to be revived or explored for the first time. I challenge you to find an area of this pursuit that you have not devoted much time to in 2017, and spend some time on it. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to continue to do it, but you might find something new to do that you love doing.
So trying something new, and enjoying ourselves – that sounds like the perfect way to sign off on 2017 don’t you think? May 2018 bring you all the joy you could wish for, both within and without the world of your toy soldiers. May you learn valuable lessons, make friendships that will last a lifetime, and find all of the things that can make you happy. Thank you so much for reading Heresy & Heroes, and may the Dice Gods be forever on your side.
And One Last Thing…
Before I sign off, I can give you a quick clue as to what will be appearing on this blog soon. All I’ll say is this; It’s almost time to… KICK OUT THE JAMS!
Because you love them, because I have nothing better to do with my free time, and because we’re all just so darned excited for Necromunda: Underhive to be released in the very near future, I’ve put together a few name generators here for you to enjoy. The dingiest depths of the 41st Millennium are full of characters and personalities, and if you’re struggling to come up with appropriate names for yours, hopefully this post will be of some service to you.
First up, we have the Escher Gang Name Generator. I wanted the words here to evoke ideas around not only femininity, but also poisons and chemicals – the stock and trade of the Escher clan. As with many name generators on this blog that have come before it, you take the first letter of your first name, and the first letter of your surname, and this will give you a gang name for your band of femme fatales.
So, in this instance, as my initials are JA, I get The Jealous Aces, which ain’t half bad. If your initials are SD, you’d get The Stiletto Dames which I happen to think is a seriously cool name invoking an idea of Film Noir assassins played by the likes of Lauren Bacall or Katherine Hepburn. Nice. What did you get? Stick it in the comments below and let me know what you thought of it.
Next up, is the Goliath Gang Name Generator. I want this to bring to mind ideas of extreme masculinity, and also the forges and foundries where this bunch of meatheads hammer away. You get how to do this by now, so give this one a go:
In this instance, I get The Jagged Aggressors, but if your initials are HS, you’d get the Hotwire Skulls. Personally, I want someone with the initials UW to use this, because I miss tassels and face-paint. Also, it would kind of fit with the whole hulking(sic) steroid user thing. Moving on…
Now, that’s usually all that you get from me with these things, right? Well, this time, I decided to spend a lot of my free time (trying to save money and stay out of the pubs a bit with Christmas coming up) working on something a bit more in depth. As mentioned, this is a game full of characters and personalities, and having defined names to attach to every member of your gang makes it all the more personal. So, I’ve been a bit ambitious. I’ve created Gang Member Name Generators for both House Escher and House Goliath. Here you go…
There are no hard and fast rules as to how you use these. It’s done on a D66 basis, and you can use it as you see fit. I’ve kind of been using the following formula: Gangers get a name combo from the Name 1 columns, Champions get a ‘Name 1’ and a ‘Name 2’, and Champions get something from each of the 3 Names. When I rolled my D66 for the Goliath Gang, it meant I got the following:
Ganger 1: Slamgorn
Ganger 2: Joltnak
Ganger 3: Drillsnag
Ganger 4 : Skardrag
Ganger 5: Fragcred
Ganger 6: Harksmelt
Ganger 7: Skorcon
Champion 1: Lankstab Goreshrieker
Champion 2: Tragras Bloodchomper
Gang Leader: Drakloss “The Imperator” Toothcrusher
I’m interested to see how well this one works to be honest. I’ve never tried these sorts of name generators before, but like I said, you can use them how you want. Just have names made from column 1 and column 4, or just use the nicknames, or Name 2 and nicknames combined… it’s up to you and I hope you get a bit of fun out of it however you use it. Or just enjoy five minutes wasting time when you should be working.
Tell me what you think in the comments below. Get any good names? Get any bad ones? I should have something painted to show you soon too, so stay tuned for that. But with all of that done, I shall just wish you happy painting, and happy naming. Onwards!
I figured, as I’ve been banging on about the Desk Project that I’m doing at the moment rather a lot recently, I’d do something fun and silly for this Friday. So, to give you a couple of minutes of hopefully Orkish giggles at the end of a long week, I give you the Ork name generator. Now, long ago, I did the Ork clan name generator and it was a lot of fun. But I wanted to test myself (and particularly my Orkish vocabulary) by making a generator that can help you come up with the name of an Ork character, boss or boy. So here you go:
As you can probably tell, it works pretty simply. Your first initial and second initial make up your Ork’s forename, and the first letter of your street name and mother’s maiden name will give you the Ork’s surname. Well, I don’t think it’s really a surname – more of an dis-honorific. A nickname… whatever it is, this is how it works. So my name would be Jabarm Squigtroopa. If your name was Rob Stevens and you lived on Jones St, and your mother’s maiden name was Howard, your Ork name would be Redshag Jawhacka. Get it?
Well, you know the drill. Have a go, leave a comment below and tell me what you think of it. Did you like what you got, can you think of improvements, or do you now wish you were called something else? Either way, I hope it gives you a brief moment of Orky goodness after a hard week – you’ve earned your teef, and a good weekend to be sure.
And one final word about the desks project; I’ve started to build the page! It’s coming along great and we’ve had more submissions than I was expecting. Provided I can get everything organised by next week, it should be going up then, so keep an eye on the blog for that update. Onwards!