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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Salute 2018 is this Saturday!

It's that time of the year once again!

What time is it?
That's right! On Saturday 14th April London's Excel will be hosting Salute 2018. The 'largest wargames expo in Europe' is back and bound to be filled with bargains aplenty. Last year I bought my own bodyweight in mdf terrain and I'll be back on Saturday to see what other delights I can get my grubby little hands on.

I will also be taking part in the speed painting competition run by 'Eavier Metal. 25 minutes to paint an ugly model with colours that refuse to dry - what's not to love!

Give me a shout if you're coming down, it would be nice to meet up with some of the people from these here internets.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Complete

Just in the nick of time! I'm pleased to announce that the Cerastus Knight Castigator is finished! (pause for rapturous applause, accept bouquet of flowers etc.)

Check out those decals!
This thing has definitely been a labour of love. There were times this month when I honestly didn't know if I would make the deadline and it even caused me a few sleepless nights! I'm really happy with the final result though and thrilled to be able to add such a spectacular centerpiece to my Adeptus Mechanicus forces.

Pretty happy with the head.
Half way through the challenge, I decided I would enter this in a local painting competition, which really forced me to up my game and try some new techniques. The blending on the sword blade (seen here) was particularly time consuming and pushed my painting skills to the max. I wasn't very happy with it at the time, but seeing it in the context of the finished model makes me feel much better.

The sword in question.
Transfers are fairly new territory for me as well and caused a few moments of doubt. I tried to plan them out carefully rather than just slapping them on haphazardly and I think the final result is ok. I used a mix of transfers from the Skitarii box and the new Knight Armiger kit. I have to say that Micro Sol and Micro Set were a godsend here, and I would recommend them to anybody looking to work with transfers.

Standing guard over a Mechanicus facility.
The banner proved tricky as well. Lining up the transfers was hard and the connection points were so fine that I had to reinforce them with green stuff; it's still not the best connection in the world, so I will be very wary when handling it.

The banner in question.
I'm pretty happy with the way the colour scheme scaled up to a larger model. Getting the beige right was a bit of a headache in the early stages but a bit of advice from Blazmo at Tabletop Apocalypse soon put me on the right path. The brass and green colours I was already fairly confident with because I had previously completed an Onager Dunecrawler in the same scheme.

An unusual angle.
I want to give huge thanks to Swordmaster at Path of an Outcast for running Monster March again this year. Without the motivation of Monster March, it's likely that I would have faltered somewhere along the way and this gigantic model would never have made it to completion. I also want to say thanks to my brother, Blazmo, at Tabletop Apocalypse. A well timed painting day and a heap of useful advice really turned this project around for me; without him, the Cerastus could well be languishing in the pile of shame.

The sword of the Imperium is ever vigilant.
Finally, I want to say thanks to all of those who took part in Monster March this year. Seeing your progress towards your ambitious projects really gave me a push to keep going to the finish line.

As always, you can check out the rest of my Monster March journey here, here, here and here. Phew! I think I need a lie down!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Part 4

Welcome to part four of my Monster March pledge his year. I must say, trying to paint a super heavy in a month is starting to take its toll. Still, progress has been good and I was brave enough to tackle the Tempest Warblade over the weekend.

I went for a purple/pink fade roughly following a tutorial from a copy of White Dwarf from 2017. I'm fairly happy with how it came out but I also feel like I could have done better. There comes a point however where you just have to call something done and move on to the next phase. Speaking of which.

The current state of the model
In the photo above you can see that I've managed to finish up the left leg and that I got all giddy and glued on a bunch of armour panels that probably would have been best left until later. The top carapace armour isn't finished yet, nor is it glued in place but I was just posing for the camera.

Because shoulders need guarding too.
I also glued on the right shoulder guards which was really enjoyable and added a lot to the miniature. So, what do I have left to do? Well, my Excel spreadsheet tells me (because I am a sad bastard) that I have to finish painting the Bolt Cannon; highlight the head and the carapace armour; highlight the back of the torso; glue the remaining armour in place and sort out some transfers and the banner which hangs between its legs. There's still plenty to do but I'm pleased with my progress so far. Hopefully I can keep ploughing on and get this thing finished in the next ten days.

As always, a huge thanks to Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast for running the event. If you want to see my journey so far, you can check it out here, here and here.

Tune in next time for the final installment of Monster March. Will I succeed in my Knightly quest or will my dream fall in tatters. Only time, and this blog, will tell.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Part 3

So we're almost half way through March and, theoretically, I'm about half way through my Monster March pledge. For those that don't know, Monster March is a painting challenge run by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast. The basic gist is to paint something large and monstrous in the month of March. I have chosen my Cerastus Knight Castigator which has been hanging about for a few months.

So, what's the current state of play? Well, I think that's best described as, work in progress.

Definitely in progress.
As you can see from the above, I've finished a lot of the colour blocking and applied some basic washes. I often find that it's best to finish a portion of a large model before moving on to the next part. In this case, I've divided the Castiagtor up into six parts (both legs, both arms, torso and head) and I intend to finish them out one at a time working roughly from the ground up. So far I've completed the right leg and glued the armoured greave in place (and boy did that feel good!)

The completed leg!
The next job is to complete the left leg and then the entire lower half of the model will be finished (except for the base.......and the transfers....oh dear) Hopefully you can see that the left leg is progressing reasonably well too and should be finished before too long.

Sort of getting there.
I was fortunate enough to have a bit of a painting day with Blazmo over at Tabletop Apocalypse last weekend which really gave me a boost on the progress front. Conversely, I have been a bit under the weather and have a busy week of gaming this week so my daily progress has been slow. Still, my Excel spreadsheet (because I am just that sad) tells me I'm about 50% through painting this beast, so I'm still on track for the end of the month. Here's hoping that next weekend brings another good shot of painting power.

As usual, you can check out my previous Monster March posts here and here. Good luck to all my fellow participants, your work is an inspiration as always!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Warhammer 40000 Forgebane - Pricing

Just a quick post today as I wanted to discuss the price point of the new Forgebane box set that will be released soon.

I'm drooling already.
I'm pretty excited for the new knights in this set but I already have plenty of Skitarii and I don't need another Tech-Priest. Similarly, I don't collect Necrons and I don't intend to start an army of them so, unless I can find a willing soul to split the box with, they will have to find new homes on Ebay.

Warhammer Community has stated that the box set will be cheaper than the combined cost of all the models minus the two knights and the Cryptek. That should already tell you this is a fantastic deal but where does that leave the approximate pricing of the box? Well, a little digging on the GW website reveals the following:

Tech-priest Dominus - £22
Skitarii Rangers        - £23.50
Necron Immortals     - £20.50
Necron Lychguard     - £20.50
Canoptek Wraiths     - £28.50
TOTAL                      - £115

Now, as Games Workshop are already giving us a hefty discount on this set, I would say that the retail price will be £110. I honestly can't see the set going for less than that because it includes two of the new Knight Armigers which will be incredibly sought after. Still, even if you managed to sell the rest of the set for half of the RRP, you would still be buying two Armigers for £55 which is bound to be far cheaper than they will cost when they are eventually released as a separate set.

Honestly, I'll probably end up buying Forgebane even though I don't need any more models to work on at present. Curse you addictive plastic soldiers!!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator - Part 2

Where did that week go? I can't believe we are one week into Monster March already. This Cerastus knight is looking like a steeper challenge by the day! Still, I have made some progress this week by painting the armour panels that cover the body of the Castigator.

For those that missed out, Monster March is a painting challenge run by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast. The basic gist is to paint a large monster, or other suitably large model within the month of March. I have chosen to pledge my Cerastus Knight Castigator; quite a challenge for my usual glacial painting pace. 

Hopefully some transfers will help them out a bit.
Annoyingly, while taking this photo, I noticed that the beige parts of the leg armour don't match one another. So I will have to go back in and balance the colours until they look right. This is one of the perils of working on a model in parts, you don't notice how heavily you've highlighted some bits until you get it all together.

Despite that minor setback, I'm pleased with the colour saturation on these panels. The brass and green colours have lent themselves well to this scale and I think they will be nicely off set by the beige once the model is complete.

I've also begun putting down some basecoats on the main body of the knight, but no pictures yet as it looks like a patchwork quilt!

Join me next time when hopefully I'll have a bit more progress to share. You can check out my previous post here.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Monster March - Cerastus Knight Castigator: Part 1

It's that time of year again! Time to dust off those old projects and bang out some painting challenges! This time it's Monster March run by Swordmaster over at Path of an Outcast. The challenge is to paint a monster, or other suitably large model, in March. I took part last year with a pair of Kastelan Robots for my Adeptus Mechanicus and this time I'm looking to up the ante by painting a Cerastus Knight Castigator that I bought some time ago because it was disgustingly cheap on Ebay. Here's the seller's photos from Ebay:

Part constructed, hmmmm...
Feet and legs.
So, what could I glean from these? Well, judging by the price and the fact that none of the components have gates attached it was possible that this would turn out to be a recast and not an original Forgeworld product. Upon inspection of the build instructions (sourced somewhere online) I could also tell that a couple of components were missing but I figured that I could replace them with some parts from my bits box. I could also tell that part of it had been assembled with questionable skill and that the remaining components looked to be in good shape. In the end, I resolved to bid on it but not to go too high. These things retail at £185 from Forgeworld so I would be looking for a substantial discount. In the end, I put in a maximum bid of £60 and was thrilled when the auction ended and I had won at a little over £50. Not bad at all!

When it turned up, I discovered that it is indeed, a recast (at least judging from my limited experience with such things) and that the neck joint was missing along with one of the exhausts. The main body had been fairly badly assembled using some sort of two part epoxy that was caked into the joints and had set rock hard. It seemed that I would have my work cut out for me, but it was far from unsalvageable.

As a brief aside, I am a bit of a fan of salvage projects when it comes to hobbying. I love restoring a miniature that has had a hard life and adding it to one of my armies. I wouldn't want to do it for every model, but once in a while it can be very rewarding.

Anyway, having laid out the components and inspected them I cracked on with the build. The legs were fairly straightforward, all the components were there and I was able to follow the Forgeworld instructions easily. Other than some minor greenstuff work to repair some casting flaws they came together easily. The main body had already been constructed and I couldn't find an easy way to disassemble it without damaging the components. I trimmed off the worst of the epoxy glue and repaired a few more casting flaws before gluing it to the legs.

Replacing the neck joint proved tricky, but I was able to make something out of a rhino cupola and the rear part of a searchlight along with a bit of a Deff dread. I also discovered that the kit had two left shoulder assemblies rather than one left and one right. This was a bit of a head-scratcher, but once I decided what to do, making the components work turned out to be relatively simple.

I pinned the right arm in place and attached the head to the torso assembly. I decided to leave all of the armour panels off to make painting easier. The photos below show the Castigator in its current state.

Looks kind of skeletal without the armour.
My reconstructed neck joint
That all brings us up to the state of play with the Castigator. It will certainly be a challenge for me to paint this thing in a month; it's by far the largest model I have ever attempted to paint to completion and it's a pretty detailed kit to boot. Here's hoping the motivation of Monster March will push me through.

Tune in next week to see how I'm getting along.