Monday, November 1, 2021

Dreadtober 2021 - Alaitoc Eldar Wraithlord Finished

Well this is exciting, as it is very rare that I actually finish anything, particularly if it is for myself! 

So you will forgive the self indulgent photographs that follow.

Basic shot, similar to all the others, so that you can compare.  Note here that I sealed it with matte spray, and then went back and gloss highlighted all the gems.  I also added a bit too much weathering powder, scraped from pastel chalk, then fixed a bit with 70% alcohol.  If you look closely, you can see that the alcohol interacted with the left foot a bit.

Sword shot! Bone and polished bone for the sharpened blade edge. 

The back side.
A side shot to give you an impression of the whole thing.

Closeup of the base work. I took the suppled 60mm Eldar base, and removed the broken bit of Eldar scenery from the middle (now where the grass tuft is).  I covered over the Eldar ground work with some plastic card to make the pavement.  Then I did about three times as much work as I needed to by trying to do too much and then ruining what I had and then trying something new.  I think it came out ok in the end. 

Final photo, scale shot to let you see how big this fellow is! 

Thanks for following along with me as I painted this guy.  I learned a few things about painting, for example that a zenithal highlight and "two thin coats" really can do a lot of work for you, and "add a bunch of water" does not make a paint turn into a glaze. 

Next I should really finish up my in-progress Eldar before stating something new...

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Dreadtober 2021 - Alaitoc Eldar Wraithlord part 4

 Nearing the end, where I either futz around with details endlessly instead of moving on to a new project, or finally get it done! 

I finished the gems, added some "writing" to the stole, and worked on decals.  The decals were an exercise in frustration, as two tore, and one did not fit where I wanted it to go. Still need to glue the torso and the legs together, and coat with a sealer (look at the shine on that dome!). 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Dreadtober 2021 - Alaitoc Eldar Wraithlord part 3

Just a small update today on the Eldar Wraithlord project.  Most spare time this weekend was spent shoveling mulch, so not very much time to paint. 

Most of the work was done on the sword, which I helpfully excluded from the photograph... oops. I did start in on the gems, and did a few touch ups and highlights here and there. 

I need to get this done before the end of the month for "Dreadtober" but also because I have other things I want to get painted! 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Dreadtober 2021 - Alaitoc Eldar Wraithlord part 2

 As mentioned last time, I am working on a Wraithlord (an Eldar Dreadnaught) as a way to expand my Alaitoc army, and also conveniently to get some hobby energy by building something during a time when others are working on similar projects. 

Here is the current status:

Still to come, work on the sword, metal highlighting, decals, gems, and final assembly. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Dreadtober 2021 - Alaitoc Eldar Wraithlord part 1

Sometimes there is a hobby challenge or group effort that just seems to line up nicely with what you might already be planning on doing.  One of these regular events is "Dreadtober" where hobby-ists build and paint a dreadnaught or equivalent unit.  It also happens that I am working on my Eldar army, and have a Wraithlord new in box.

As it happened I had Indigenous Persons Day* off for the first time in 30-35 years, so I was able to put in some time painting on Monday.  Knowing that I might have time, I built and primed the Eldar Wraithlord in advance so I would have something new and exciting to work on (remember, new projects are always better than finishing projects... for certain values of "better")
*formerly known as Columbus Day

Wraithlord built, warpvanes kept separate

Building this kit was pretty amazing, as it has a wealth of options for hands/feet/arms/decoration, choice of several different gun combinations, and the shoulders, hips, and waist are all ball joints, which allows nearly too much possibility.  I decided to go with a pose that suggested that the wraithlord had swung around to fry someone with the left hand flamer, and then a swept back sword arm. I magnetized the heavy gun (here a scatter laser) so that I could switch it out if needed, and also to protect it from damage.   I enjoyed building it so much that I was soon on ebay looking at how much another one costs... fortunately did not pull the trigger yet. 

I primed the figure on Sunday, which was fortuitous as it was both warm, and relatively low wind.  Had I waited another day it would not have worked out at all, as the temperature dropped and the wind came up.  I went with an over all black primer with a zenithal cream spray to help pick out details, as well as hopefully to help with highlighting.  After I sprayed the figure but before the paint had dried the torso fell over, which accounts for the black splotch on the center of the head. 

Primed Wraithlord

Here is how it stood at about noon yesterday.  I kept the figure separate at the waist, which allowed me to get under the torso.  This being a newer Eldar figure, it has a ton of gems and such all over its body, so being able to maneuver the brush around is helpful.  I have completed all the first coats of all the colors, including the four different "yellow" shades.  If you look at the legs, or the left forearm, you can see some of the lighter bit from the zenithal highlight actually worked out for once?  Maybe there is something to painting two thin coats...

More to come, as I got a couple more hours of painting in yesterday, but did not take any pictures yet. 

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Eldar construction

 I won a couple of auctions on Ebay recently, and was able to supplement my Eldar with some additions.  The figures went for pretty cheaply because they were incomplete, but I thought I could correct the deficiencies with my bitz box and sculpting "skills". 

I have a box of metal Howling Banshees which I got from my sister as a gift long ago, and wanted to update to a full 10 figure squad, so this auction lot of four incomplete bodies was perfect. Since the metal box came with six swords, and a pair of mirror swords, I had to find new arms for only one of the regular bodies, and then figure out how to finish off the two exarch bodies. 

Here are the completed bodies, which left to right used the right hand metal mirror sword, a harlequin sword arm and sculpting (and also a bit of putty to correct the miscast end of the pistol), the exarch with a converted Dire Avenger arm and a dire avenger pistol arm, and then the final figure with a dire avenger arm and the left of the mirror swords. (and cut down and re-sculpted forehead) 

I also got a metal Autarch body, which I have been chasing on Ebay for years. This one was also incomplete, but on the plus side it was the limited edition version from the starter box. 
I finished this figure off with a fusion gun arm that I had bought for this purpose long ago, a dire avenger banner, and (not shown) a warp vane and some putty to make a backpack.  Since the current model of the Autarch has about 1/10th the weapon options of the old metal ones, I magnetized the arm socket, and gave him a fusion pistol option as well (the current option has the fusion pistol, power sword, and swooping hawk wings)

These have all already been primed, so rather than complete another project, it looks like I am sticking with Eldar for a while longer...

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Alaitoc Eldar Progress

 I have been painting a bit lately, mostly on weekend afternoons when the chores are done, the children are occupied with screens, and the light is good.

Here is where I am currently:

In this picture (aside from the mess) we have an eldar guardian squad, swooping hawks, and wraithguard that are nearly finished.  Also in progress are the rangers, warlock, fire dragons, and dire avengers. 

All of the bases will be done at once later, but I should probably get going on that soon too. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

I certainly do not need a new project...


This weekend we celebrated the birthday of a friend and his son, who happens to be really into tanks lately.  Casting about for a present, I thought about the 3d printer sitting in the garage, and printed out a M1A1 and T-72BM. These had a bit of clean up and sanding before I primed them. 

The duelists

What the newly printed T-72BM looked like

As the title indicated, I certainly do not need a new project, but at least the terrain for 15mm Normandy would be useful for 15mm WWIII... However as these prints took roughly 15 hours each, it might make sense to just buy some of the lovely Battlefront kits instead. (and the Team Yankee starter comes with a bunch of tanks). 

Friday, August 27, 2021

Falcon II

I have been very busy in the past couple months with a variety of projects, few of them hobby related. (or even leisure related at all)

I am inching that Eldar falcon closer to finished though. 

I know that in this picture it looks like it is pretty  much at the same stage as previously, but in actuality all the major painting is done, and it is ready for decals and final assembly.  After all this I still really enjoy this kit, although not enough to build another one right now (which would not make sense list wise anyway).  I am sure that GW will release a new version of this tank "soon", since this is from 1996, but soon for Craftworld Eldar is probably middle of 2022 at least. 

This also shows the only free space on my painting desk, which is a problem in itself. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Weekend Paint Work

 On Sunday the wife and kids went with my mother-in-law to Yosemite for the night, leaving me with the dog (and chores).

Like an idiot, I thought it would be a fun little project to build up and paint something new with the free time, rather than working on things I already had sitting around on my work table (and there are a LOT of things there lately).

In keeping with my Eldar project, I thought I would build a falcon, which I had new on sprue from an old Eldar battleforce box (where for $85 you got a fair amount of figures, at the time it was 12 guardians, 3 jet bikes, Viper, the falcon, and some of those jungle trees that GW threw into everything at the time.  I think I got it for $65, and now the falcon itself is $55)

To make the project faster, I thought I would try spraying the parts on sprue.  I used this spray in the winter when I was preparing the Eldar and marines that the kid and I have been working on, and it had a great color, but was hydrophobic, and all the figures had to be coated with gesso to use regular paint.  Figuring it was due to the temperature or humidity last time, I conducted a little test on an old sprue, and pleased with the results, sprayed all the sprues for the falcon.

Parts all sprayed and ready to go!

Naturally, the test spray worked, and the actual spray did not... however, I did not know that at first, and got to work building the kit.  This model first came out in 1997, so it is not the most technically advanced, but on the other hand that means that it is pretty easy to figure out how to assemble.  For a kit of that age, it is also interesting how interactive it is, with turning turrets, elevating guns, and opening rear door.  While this kit is well overdue for a refresh, it still comes together pretty nicely. 

Main inner body parts clamped and glued

When I got the tank completed in sub-components, I found out the awful truth about the paint.  Every brush stroke slid off, and thinning paints made it worse.  Fortunately, GW base paints do stick, so by painting everything in thick base paint, I was able to move on.  

Looking pretty good so far, but the frustration of painting each piece a couple of times with very thick paint sapped my will to continue, and I went to bed rather than finishing the paint job, and did not meet my goal of starting and finishing a project in one day. 

Still to come, washes, highlights and layering, and about 100 meters of edge highlights... 

Thursday, May 13, 2021


Sorry for the silence lately, I have been very busy with work in the past year, and in the last few months this has been compounded by the looming end of the contract under which we all work.  The contract has been picked up by another company, and many of us here are going there to keep doing the same jobs, but months of uncertainty and extra contract closeout work has been stressful, and not conducive to much hobby time. 

I have been painting Eldar though, and prodding the kid to paint, so a 9th edition 40k game is growing closer.  (although his codex Marines vs. my 8th edition index Eldar ought to be a bloodbath...)

I have also printed a few things on the 3d printer which I would like to show off sometime. 

Anyway, hope all of you are well, and that I have more time to hobby and blog about it soon. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

New year New project

This year, the project is Alaitoc Eldar, aka classic banana heads.

My kid is busy working away at the Vanguard Space Marines that Santa brought for Christmas, and given that we have the 8th edition Index set, and the 9th edition rules, games of 40k are in the offing!  I could finish up some Imperial Guard, or paint a bunch of Tau, or paint old Space Marines, but I thought it would be more fun for us to work on something new together (never mind that I have 1/10th of the free time).  So Eldar. 

I have been collecting these figures with the idea to making an Eldar force for... 15 years?  Probably more. A quick perusal of Index Xenos 1, and a small list is drawn up. 

Eldar starting, metal eldar, Alaitoc

Seen above we have a Dire Avengers squad (10 figures), five Fire Dragons (including an Exarch that I got "new" out of a blister just for this project), a Warlock for a command figure, Guardian heavy weapon (either star cannon or bright lance options), five swooping hawks, and then ten metal guardians to start things off on the right foot. Off camera are five rangers enjoying a bath in simple green, and five metal Wraith guard. 41 figures in all, which is about what I usually paint in a good year...  

metal eldar guardians

I uh... have a lot more.  A LOT more, but this seems like a good place to start, and it is roughly the number of power points that the kid has. 

More to come, as my wife was away for a day and I had time after the kids were abed to assemble the Guardians and the Dire Avengers! 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Ugh, Spam

I was going to have a more substantial post today, but dealing with a ton of new spam comments drained my blogging energy for now.

I, er my kid, did get a fun item in the mail yesterday:

That is the Warhammer 40k 9th edition rulebook from the Indomitus boxed set and the pamphlet of background/units from the box as well. With the second print round of the boxed set, eBay is flooded with these, which makes them actually affordable.  With the index books I got after Christmas, we should be good to go for quick 40k games.  More on that to come. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Warhammer 40,000: Indices

 My wife decided that we should buy ourselves something we wanted, but did not get for Christmas (I wonder what prompted that policy...).

I had been looking for the 8th Edition Index Xenos 1, with the idea that I could build up an Eldar army from the various collections of parts, old figures, and whatnot that I have stashed away, and then play games with my kid's Space Marines.  (he routinely now tells me how he is going to beat me using this unit or that unit, so it might be nice if I could actually win a few times too!)  

For those of you not up on 40k rules, when Games Workshop switched from 7th to 8th edition back in 2017, they reset all the codex army books, and released these index books to cover all possible units instead.  Each one covers several armies, and provides a datasheet for each unit/character etc. These were great, but poorly balanced (staff churned all of these out in a short timespan) and almost immediately obsoleted by releasing individual codex army books again... in 9th edition that cycle of codex creep continues.

I looked on ebay, and managed to locate someone selling ALL of the index books as a lot, and further the guy took my (very) low price offer and even better he was local and I did not have to pay shipping... pretty sweet deal, and worth a trip to a random starbucks to pick up. 

All five index books, and then he threw in the Chapter Approved 2019 as well

Quite the haul of obsolete gaming material, and the books are in good shape too.  Now we just need a rulebook newer than the 3rd edition one I got 20+ years ago now...

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave

 So my wonderful sister often buys hobby items for me for Christmas or my birthday, and I then usually gratefully put the desired item into a box and never get around to painting it.

This year however, my sister gave me something in concert with the kid, which is to say Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave (which in our house at least is pronounced "BEASTGRAVE!!!" in a gravely announcer voice).  For the uninitiated, Beastgrave is "season three" of Games Workshop's Warhammer Underworld game, where players build warbands and card decks, and then fight it out on a board for glory points.  6-8 Warbands are released every season, and older cards are eventually cycled out of "standard".  So far so standard.  

However, with Beastgrave being a GW game, it comes with some amazing pushfit miniatures, and shockingly they are not that expensive, with a whole warband and deck of cards coming in about the same as a single plastic character. 

Beastgrave, full of heavyweight cardstock

These are pushfit

Anyway, the kid convinced me that we needed to paint the figures and play a game before he went back to school, and we shockingly managed to make that happen, building, priming, and painting nine figures in less than 10 days! 

I was assigned the beast-men known as Gashrak's Ravangers
Gashrak's Ravangers
Gashrak's Ravangers painted by me (my photography was particularly poor)

Draknar the Gor

Murghoth Half-horn

Koresh "the sneak"

The kid painted the beast-elves. (Skaeth's Wild Hunt)
Skaeth's Wild Hunt (photography even worse, so attempted to correct a bit in Google)

Conveniently, we got the kid a set of Games Workshop paints for Christmas, which meant we had about 1/4 of the required paints to hand.  We cued up the painting videos from Games Workshop, and aside from having to mix 3/4 of the paints or use substitutes, it all went rather smoothly.  Painting following a guide was surprisingly enjoyable, and I have been eyeing a couple of the other warbands in consequence.  If the game is as fun as promised, more warbands may be making their way to our house soon. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Happy Christmas/New Year

So, you may have noticed that 2020 was a wee bit different than previous years, and I for one, am glad to see the back of it.

In any case, I hope you had an enjoyable Holiday season.  I was working for most of it, but I did get the specific holidays off, which this year at least added up to a couple of long weekends. 

I made out pretty well in terms of gifts this year too:

Not pictured are a few more Reaper figures (including the paint your own Krampus kit), and a couple of other things that will get their own posts later.

My oldest got a large box of Space Marines from Santa, so he was pretty excited about that, and got most of them assembled already. 

As for 2021, all signs look as if at least the first half of the year will be the same as 2020, which is to say, no face to face time, busy at work, and very little gaming.