Category Archives: Painting



Thunderchild of forgeworld Ryza.

In my post the other day, I forgot to share this fine fellow. That’s poor quality blogging right there, since he’s the centrepiece of my force. So behold!

Or uh, re-behold. He’s above the text I guess, so by the time you read this you shall have already beheld.

Anyway this is Thunderchild, my Thanatar siege automata. Was an absolute pain in the arse to build, and I swear I’ll never build another one. Fun to paint though.

I’ll run him as a Paragon of Metal. In case you’re not familiar with the Heresy rules, this is an upgrade that one robo in your army can have. It means his programming is so sublime that he is effectively a true AI not an AI, haha, as that would be heretekal. He can operate independently though, without needing a controller nearby, and is extra tough. I gave him that particular name because it’s the Horus Heresy – it all hearkens back to classic science fiction, and you don’t get much more classic than H.G. Wells.


Ave Omnissiah



Lachrymalus Magos Prime Sohai

I’ve been working like a maniac on my Heresy-era Ryza Mechanicum Taghmata (I really should abbreviate that. H.R.M.T?)

We just had a long weekend and I was really run down. My day job’s been mental, I’ve got two paid art commissions at the moment, and I’ve been taking medication for a duodenal ulcer, which has been hurting like mad for about six months. It’s finally getting better. Things are looking up. I pretty much just painted models in the living room all three days of the weekend while the family watched movies, taking breaks to play sword fights with my son and going out to pick up food. It was very relaxing.

And I got it all done! Well, all the niggly little half-finished units anyway. You can see them all at the Warp Signal instie account (link here), but above is my first magos prime, and below are my combat engineers, who I particularly like. Probably because they’re grey.


I hope I can keep up this momentum. To make 1000 points I need to build ten chainsaw wielding tech-thralls, six scyllax guardian automata (not looking forward to these little bastards), two more magi prime, and two more sentinels. Heresy is intense. I suppose I don’t really need the magi prime, but now I’m firmly lodged in the Heresy era, mechanicum are my natural element. They’re like the 40k Inquisition in terms of modelling opportunities – so many options, and pretty much free reign to model bizarre Blanchian monsters. I only need two magi but I have three planned, each one a unique cyborg.

Oh yeah, the sentinels. These are skitarii scout mecha, counting as Imperialis Militia sentinels. I make them out of kastelan robots and various other bits:


This one has a heavy flamer and a combat blade. There’s a bit of an internet parable to go with these guys. When I first had the idea, it was really hard to work out if a kastelan and a sentinel were of comparable size. I found measurements, and it seemed like a crouching sentinel was shorter than a kastelan, and a standing one was slightly taller. Out of habit, I went to a venerable 40k forum (one of the big old ones, I won’t mention the name because they’re going to come off a little… negatively in this story). I asked the people what they thought, did they reckon I could get away with it reasonably, etc.

I got six or so responses, all telling me not to do it. Not one person said “hey that sounds like a cool idea, you should do it.” Most of them voiced some variant of “oh no no no, they’re not exactly the same size and shape, you’ll be cheating, etc.” Several ignored that I wanted to make mecha, and told me to use 40k ironstriders. If I wanted a two-legged avian walker guess what, I’d use a bloody sentinel! Not wanting to settle for the frankly conservative answers I was getting, I went to my local Heresy era facebook group. Since they’re the only people I’ll ever actually play against, I asked them. Surprise surprise, got an overwhelmingly positive response. People were all like “sick dude, rule of cool, etc.”

The moral of this parable as I see it is that forums are of questionable use these days. Unless you don’t have a local community at all, and everything you’re doing is hypothetical (I’m sure we’ve all been there at one time or another), I can’t think of anything a forum is good for that isn’t done better by a local social media group or chat. Plus, having people I don’t know tell me what to do like they know what’s best for me? It seemed weird, even though I did ask. So there it is. I’ve been involved with forums to do with the hobby, with various levels of intensity, for over a decade now. But I’m pretty sure from now on I’m done with them, except to lurk and steal ideas find inspiration.

Does anyone out there still find hobby forums useful? Just wondering.

Anyway, got to go. Till next time.

Two Painters

One of Ben's "Helm" paintings.

One of Ben’s “Helm” paintings.

Hey everyone, hope you had a fine festive season etc.

I just thought I’d show you all a blog that belongs to a good friend of mine.  He lives in Melbourne now, which is an eight hour train ride from my place, but he visited me for a couple of beers recently and we talked about miniature painting and books and stuff.

Anyway, his name is Ben Guy and he’s a painter.  Not a miniature painter (or indeed, a house or sign painter) but a picture painter.  Specifically, he does a lot of comics, fantasy and sci-fi based art as well as landscapes.  I happen to think he’s really good, and I’m not the only one – he was recently showcased in a French book about Geek Art.  If you’re in the market for some original art then you could do a lot worse.  Just contact him via the blog I presume.

Also, for those of you who haven’t heard, Larry Elmore’s Kickstarter ended as the second highest funded Kickstarter ever in the publishing category.  This makes me really happy, as Elmore was always my favourite D&D artist as a kid.  I’m friends with him on facebook and it’s really warmed my heart to see the total gratitude and shock he’s expressed.

It just goes to show that if you just keep on doing what you do, you’ll most likely get there in the end.  Not that Elmore hadn’t made it already.  But now, as he says, he has money to fall back on when work is slow and it’s all because of the ordinary people who love his work.

I always wanted an Elmore original but I doubt I’ll be able to afford one after this!  Well done Larry.

And even though I couldn’t afford to contribute to the Kickstarter (the postage was huge outside the US), my brother Chris (also an artist, strangely enough, and with quite a funny blog about D&D) gave me this for Christmas:

Larry Elmore's iconic "Red Box" in T-shirt form!

Larry Elmore’s iconic “Red Box” in T-shirt form!


Painted Gui Jia and Japanese soldiers

Click on any of the images to enlarge

Well, as promised, here is my gui jia T.A.G. and some Japanese support troops.  This is a usable Infinity army, but I need a few more models to get to 250 points, which is the Australian standard game size.  I gave a lot of consideration to how I would paint my Infinity models before I started.  I knew I wanted to go for a cleaner style than my Blanchian Battle Sisters and ancient looking, washed-out Eldar.  Infinity is anime-inspired after all.

The four gui jia regiments are named after animals. Mine is from the Tortoise regiment

But I just couldn’t bring myself to go all-out anime style, with . . . interesting colours.  Corvus Belli’s studio models are fantastically painted, and look like they stepped out of an episode of Neon Genesis or a Mass Effect game, but I just can’t take a military vehicle painted bright orange seriously.  I’m sorry.

So I went for naturalistic colours.  I pretty much can’t help using naturalistic colours.  It’s a bit of a failing actually, as people who just give my models a cursory glance often fail to notice the hidden depth I try to get into the paint-job.  Which means it’s essentially wasted effort.  I can see their brains going “oh, soldiers in dark realistic colours, cool I – WOW LOOK OVER THERE AT THOSE BRIGHT YELLOW ELDAR TANKS!”

The characters say “tortoise.” That year of studying Mandarin finally pays off!

Ah well, I paint them in the end to look good to me, and I’m happy with them.  So I can’t complain.  But it would be nice for us naturalistic painters to get a bit of love sometimes.

You can really see the weathering powders on the feet in this shot.

I used military modelling weathering techniques for the first time on the gui jia, as opposed to simply painting mud and paint chips on like I did with my 40k tanks.  I used oil paints, weathering powders, the whole deal.  It was actually really tricky not to overdo it, but I’m very happy with how she turned out (my gui jia pilot is a girl I imagine, since she has a totally cute tortoise painted on her leg armour).

Left to right: keisotsu and kempei, ninja with sniper rifle, gui jia and domaru. I just need a couple more models to make up a 250 point force.

Comments and questions welcome as always…

Hey, I’ve actually been painting

There are totally going to be titans in our Apocalypse game it will be awesome. Can’t wait to take some photos. Er… and play the game.

I haven’t been my usual blogging self lately. No opinionated blow-hardiness(?) around here – I’ve actually been doing proper painting. Astonishing, I know.

I’ve been preparing for our up-coming apocalypse game, and I have to say, painting GW-sized units of infantry is wearing pretty thin. I’m starting to think after all these years that hey, maybe I have enough Imperial Guardsmen and Battle Sisters for my purposes. I mean I have more than enough for even the largest casual games, and the variety available to me pretty much covers all the units I actually find interesting. With my time and money being drastically restricted now by an extra family member, a reduced income, and an increasingly demanding workload, I think it’s time to put the brakes on and stop actively collecting. I might pick up the odd vehicle, but to be honest I only want another hell-hound, maybe another russ variant.

Stop collecting 40k that is. I’m thoroughly enjoying painting my half-a-dozen Yu Jung soldiers for Infinity. It’s a real struggle to force myself to paint twelve nearly identical battle sisters to match my other nearly identical battle sisters when in front of me are sitting a ninja with a sniper rifle and four soldiers who, while admittedly all in the same uniform, vary hugely in pose, face, hairstyle and even gender.

Once they’re done and added to my domaru and keisotsu I’ll have a legal 150 point army, which is enough for small games. Contrast that with the twelve battle sisters I have to paint to get oh, about a quarter of the points value of the smallest 40k game anyone would ever agree to play, and you can see why I’m kind of over it.

Don’t get me wrong, 40k is a fun game, I’ve always said so, and it’s not like I’m getting rid of my armies or anything foolish like that. I just think enough is enough, at least in terms of infantry squads.  Multitudinous, mind-numbing infantry squads.

Stay tuned, and I’ll put up pics of my finished Sisters and Yu Jing soon.

Stupid Graffiti Paint

. . . it shot out really fast and was super thick, so now my goblins that I spent weeks slowly cleaning and basing in spare moments look like a three-year old dipped them in blue sludge.  Oh and I got it all over the cement on my new courtyard and all over the keys on my laptop.

I’m pretty annoyed, I planned this really carefully and it was supposed to be a triumphant display of ingenuity and new materials.  Oh well, back to the drawing board I suppose. The thing about deviating from the way things are normally done and taking risks is that sometimes you crash and burn.

Looking forward to the tournament on Sunday though.  We’ve managed to play a few practice games and it’s got me excited for 40k.  I’ll report back how it went in the next post.

Two Hobby Victories and a Thought

So the last month or so of my life has been a total blur.  As well as baby-wrangling I’ve been battling against house-unpacking and marking people’s assignments (which takes WAY longer than I anticipated) to try to get just a little bit of game stuff done.  Now the house is pretty much habitable and I’ve managed to steal some tiny hobby victories:

Victory One: My regular opponent Cap’n Stoogey and I are going in a 1200 point doubles 40k tourney in a couple of weeks, 600 points each.  For the first time his Ultramarines and my Guard will be fighting side by side.  600 points is not much and we aren’t aiming for the top tables so we just decided to choose a few must-have units that we really wanted to field.  I’ve mustered a rag-tag band of misfits – two squads of penal legionnaires, my ogryns, and my demolisher Anathema led by a Primaris Psyker.  In fact this little army has really captured my imagination, and got me thinking about a full-sized force of penals, abhumans and psykers, supported by assault battle tanks.  I think an army like that would be fun to play and really capture the weird undertone of the Imperial Guard fluff that lurks underneath the “normal army dudes” surface.

Victory Two: After unsuccessfully scouring every art, hardware and car store in town (and the internet) for matt finish spray paint for my Night Goblins I noticed a street art and graffiti shop hiding up some pokey little stairs in the city centre.  They had 200 colours imported from Germany for ten bucks each, and the guy even threw in a smaller nozzle for free for detail work.  It was just an amazing lucky break.  Anyone who’s been to Canberra knows that shops like that don’t exactly grow on trees here so I hope they stay open.  The owners were super-cool and there was all this loud hip-hop and mad pieces on the walls yo, and I felt like a total dork buying graffiti paint for my Night Goblins.  I just kind of pretended I was an aerosol artist (despite having no real idea how an aerosol artist looks or acts).  It was awesome.

Oh yeah, I was listening to the D6 Generation’s 100th episode the other day and all three of the hosts (who are crazy hard-core gamers compared with me) were saying that they were past the point where they could ever see themselves buying an army for an army scale miniatures system ever again.  Not just GW, but any army sized system (I think they specifically mentioned PP, Battlefront and something else as well as GW).

I know how they feel (uh… despite what I just wrote above!)  It made me think about this post where I suggested that all these miniature games companies have really jumped the shark if you’re an adult gamer with grown-up responsibilities.  And by responsibilities I’m not just talking kids either, I’m talking real jobs and other games to play.  All of these things make the demands of games like 40k and HoMachine seem ri-godamn-diculous.

I’m genuinely curious about how the demographic will change in the future.  Are we stepping boldly into a world where Little Lord Fauntleroys with weatlhy absent parents play vast games of Warhammer against each other, while the rest of us whip out our phones or throw down a quick skirmish game?  Who knows?

Till next time.  Hopefully I’ll have pictures from the tournament 😀

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