figures · miniatures.

2019 – A Year in Review

A lot has changed for me over the last year and I wanted to have a look back at some of the things I have achieved over it. Last year, I was teaching full time at a primary school. I had a lovely class of children and great colleagues too. Unfortunately, being a teacher means that you have no real time to do anything else. Weekends are spent working and worrying and trying to get ahead of the demands placed on you. Hobby-wise, not a great deal happened in the first part of the year, however I do have a few pictures I can share in regards to what I did:

Night Lords, Ahriman, Tzeench demons and Reaver Titans galore!

The first part of the year saw me trying some new techniques, experimenting with freehand a bit more and working on skills I already had. I left my job as a teacher in May due to mental health and decided to become a miniature painter instead. It is not easy, but I have never been healthier. I went on a painting course and gained insight, and validation, into what I have been doing.

Here are some of my favourites from the previous six months:

June and July saw me working on miniatures for Everchosen, in which I came Third in the Open and Second in the Everchosen category – by one point! I also painted Mephiston for a good friend. I love working on dioramas and want to do more of them in the coming year.

In August I went on a painting course and learned how to use an airbrush – another skill I want to work on in the new year. I also began working on a large commission of D&D scenary miniatures for the local games store, which took most of October to complete.

In November, I painted a lot of Space Marines. Mainly Iron Hands. I also learned how to lighten pictures and so managed to begin taking better ones. I also finished Shalaxi, who is one of the best painted miniatures I have ever done.

December was a quiet month mainly due to illness and travelling and winter craziness, however I did paint the Sisters of Battle boxed set, which was fun.

Going forward, I have a few things I want to work on in the coming year:

  • Non Metallic Metals
  • Airbrush techniques
  • Creating dioramas
  • Conversions
  • Painting a whole army!

I have a lot to work on in January and some good ideas to work on too. I am looking forward to it!

miniatures.

Iron Hands – A Small Force

I am very proud of my Iron Hands. I painted them relatively quickly, but that isn’t the only reason I am pleased with them. It is the largest force I have painted and finished. It might not be the largest ever, but for me it felt like an achievement. When I put them all together and took pictures, I thought they looked really cool. Here are some shots of them individually, and together as well:

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The pictures of them together are not the best, as I do not have a black insert for the big light box, but I hope you get the idea.
I am proud of this small force, and I hope that wherever they end up, they do well!

40K · miniatures.

Iron Hands: Squad One

I finished squad one of the Iron Hands today, and I enjoyed every minute I spent on them too. I love painting Space Marines, so that helps, but the black turned out really well. I love how the bits of flesh turned out and they all look cool when they are stood together as well. Here are some pictures:IMG_2999IMG_3001IMG_3002IMG_3004

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This one is particularly shooty!

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This guy is in charge of the missiles.

I think the grey guns stand out well against the black armour – can’t have Space Marines trying to blend in now can we!

Next, I shall work on Squad Two, then decals and then I will sell them! They can go and be loyal in a house that will appreciate it!

miniatures.

Batch Painting: Iron Hands.

Batch painting is something I have done before. I think those of us who paint units have all done this to one extent or another. I picked up some tips on doing this while on the Siege Studios course and I have put them to good use today. I have 20 Primaris Space Marines to paint as Iron Hands and thought I would do them all at once in a batch.

I put them in a line, realised there were too many and so put them in two lines instead, 10 in each. I then proceeded to do all the black, then all the white, then all the silver, and so on. I won’t lie, it is a bit of a slog, but it is getting them done and in a logical way that keeps me focused.

Primaris Conga Line?

When one is done, I turn him to face the other way so I know where I am in the line. I do take breaks and if I take one part way through, I know where to go back to when I return. Here they are in all their WIP glory!

One thing I do know is this – tomorrow is going to be an edge highlight festival…

miniatures.

D&D minis – Finished

I finished the large D&D miniatures today and dropped them off at the store. It was quite the project, and it took a good while to complete, but here it all is.

It wouldn’t all fit in one shot so I had to take a couple. This doesn’t show the small bits either, like coin pouches or levers. It was fun to work on, but I will admit that I am glad to see the back of it now, and to have the space back in the hobby room as well.

40K · Age of Sigmar · miniatures.

Shalaxi Helbane – Finished!

Mostly. I need to just touch up the base and tidy up the rim. The miniature is finished however and here he/she is! I am so very, very pleased with how this turned out:

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I am so pleased with the blue skin and how the layers came together. The purple cloth looks alright as well, though I think the fabric layers could vary in colour a bit more.

The gold non-metallic metal has a slightly warmer tone to it than I have done before and that is something I want to build on further in my next attempt at something like this. The silver could use more work I think but regardless of this, I am pleased!

40K · book review · miniatures.

Talon of Horus – An Audio Book.

I will freely admit that in the past I have denounced the fact audio books exist and that I have no love for them. I always thought that it detracts something from reading, the characters have their own voice and hearing them in your head is a large part of the enjoyment of reading – for me at least. I always felt that in order to get close to the characters, you need to read them for yourself.

That said, I have started to listen to some while I am painting, as I got fed up of the radio and found watching Youtube too distratcing. When I saw Talon of Horus for the princy price of £2.99, I thought I had nothign to lose.

It was a most enjoyable experience. I really like the story anyway and have read it a few times since my first review some years ago when the blog started out. I felt Jonathan Keeble did a good job of giving the character’s voices and none of htem were far wrong from what I imagine them to be. Abaddon’s voice was gravelly, the World Eaters had mild cockney accents which worked really well in my mind, and Khayon came across was affably evil as well. He is still whiny, he still likes to lecture but it’s the Khayon we all know and love from before.

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Champion of Lectures: Khayon the Black

I think it helps that I already love The Black Legion, if I didn’t I’d not have a long running comic based on it’s Warmaster, but I did enjoy listening to the story and I am veyr glad they got the voices right – this is always my concern when listening to audio books.

Have a picture of Abaddon because I feel this needs to be in this post!

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This is his happy face…
miniatures.

D&D Scenary

I have spent the majority of the past two days painting bits of the large D&D scenary commission for Stronghold Games. Mostly what I have done is wooden items – barrels, beds, chairs, tables and that sort of thing. While it is not the most interesting thing I have ever had to paint (that’s Ahriman and the Ahrimen if you want to know), it has been fun. Most of the bits don’t take that long to paint, so it’s a ‘quick’ win in that regard and I like the idea of people using the bits to create scenes for their games. It will add a big visual element to playing and I know that is a good thing as I have done so myself.

I created a small scene in the light box using some of the bits I have painted today and one of the Mighty Nein who is awaiting basing!

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I really like the plush looking chair, though I am not sure how comfortable that bed would be!

miniatures.

Critical Role: Vox Machina Miniatures

I won’t lie, I bought this miniatures with the intention of painting them and selling them on. I am not a fan of the show particularly, though the bits I have heard were amusing. I must say I prefer playing table top than listening to others do so. That said, I thought the miniatures would be different to paint and a break from what I usually do.

They were a break. I was not all that impressed with the quality of them however. The quality left a bit to be desired in my eyes. Most of them needed heating and bending back into shape and the mould lines on some of them were particularly bad. If I had backed this on the original kick-starter, I would have been disappointed with the result. I even found air bubbles on one of the miniatures, which is never a good thing! At least it was a relatively small one and didn’t affect the overall look of the miniature.

I did my best with the painting on them. Some of the details were so shallow in the design that they are absent from the finished product. I know Grog is meant to have tattoos on his head, but they just don’t show up. Scanlan’s facial expression is also a little amusing if you look at it closely. One side seems to be smiling, the other seems to be fixed in an evil grin! Anyway, here they are all finished:

I know the show is popular so it is a real shame that the quality in these miniatures is lacking, especially with the high standards that are around from other companies.

Age of Sigmar · miniatures. · warhammer

Cypher Lords and a Webstore?

I have just finished painted the Cypher Lords for Warcry, and I must say they are amazing miniatures to work on. They are detailed, interesting and not too fiddly to stick together either. Easier than the Corvus Cabal for definite. I stuck to the colour scheme on the box as I have painted these with the idea of selling them in mind and wanted to stick to what I know is popular. Here they are:

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I am also going to add a page on this website with miniatures I have painted that are for sale. They will have a price next to them and people will be able to contact me if they are interested. This blog gets a fair bit of traffic now, when I post things and it might be another channel for me to sell bits and bobs – has to be worth a try!

blackhandmarines.com/store/