Touch Wood

OK, this post will be a little rambling (but hopefully not too long) as I’ve a few things to chat about, so bear with me!


First off, this week’s hobby, because that’s why we’re all here, right? I spent this week building dryads. I was going to do the Tree Revenants but there’s still a bit of trial and error to do with the paint scheme so I figured I’d use the poor expendable dryads as the test subjects. Conversion wise, I wanted to make them look a bit wilder, a bit more savage, to better fit in with the untamed wilderness of Ghur. To that end I built them as instructed, then went back and clipped all the extra branches and bits off the sprues and gave them all some additional limbs and protuberances. The changes are subtle, but I think they do the trick. I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time on these conversions seeing as there are sixteen of them and I may well end up with more than that, but I did at least want them to have a silhouette that was more striking and ferocious than the default builds. I might add a bit more texture to them before I undercoat them, and they’ll be getting a helping of Agrellan Earth bark once they’re sprayed. Might blob some more stuff on the bases as well.

The second thing I wanted to chat about was the hobby/blogging community in general. Up until a couple of years ago I followed a good deal of the hobby blogs, but I was ashamedly very much a lurker. I consumed but I never contributed, and then I just kinda stopped following them altogether. So I committed to change that this week. I spent a good few hours tracking down and resubscribing to as many as I could find. Massive thanks must also go to Krautscientist and the Weir brothers for their ‘best of 2017’ lists, as there are a lot of new folks out there that I didn’t previously know who are doing some great stuff. Twitter and Instagram hobbying has become a thing since I last checked in with the wider community, so I’ve been avidly tracking down as much good content as I can using this blog’s account on those platforms. But following all these blogs and accounts is only half the fun. I’ve read a few blog posts from various hobbyists recently that are all saying roughly the same thing, which is that Twitter and Instagram may be a quick and easy way to share your hobby with a lot of people, but long-form blogging is still a cherished art. Now that I’m in the company of such venerable heroes, I feel like I need to make more of an effort to engage with and support my fellow hobbyists. To paraphrase a post or maybe comment I read this week (I can’t find the specific one, to my shame), “One blog comment is worth a hundred Instagram hearts.” So my late New Year’s resolution is to try to constructively comment on as many hobby blogs as I can, and do my little part to keep our community going.

And thirdly, what’s on my immediate hobby radar. It’s no secret that the majority of hobby blogs out there are predominantly 40k related, and as a result of my recent quest I’ve had a real hankering to do something 40k-ish. Now, I’m committed to the Age of Sigmar so there are no worries on that front, but I do have the urge to mash together some 40k-flavoured plastic and see what happens. One thing that really seems to have taken off in the past few years is collaborative projects, where a couple of blogs or hobbyists will gang up to put on some big, often narrative driven undertaking, inviting the rest of the community to contribute ideas, models, terrain, and all sorts of stuff. There have been Iron Sleet’s Pilgrym, Echoes of Imperium’s Tor Megiddo, Johnathan Hartman’s Lesotho 2-12, and many more besides (I hope I’ve attributed those to the right people). The scale and proliferation of these endeavours didn’t strike me until I started following all these blogs again, and as I was scrolling through past posts I’d be like, “wait, that’s the same model from that other blog…”, and “didn’t I just see that terrain on so-and-so’s site?” Anyway, the point that I’m languorously meandering towards is that I stumbled upon bigbossredskull’s Nestorian Infestation that he, Helge Wilhelm Dahl and Alexander Winberg are working on, and they’re currently opening it up to the community to provide some civilian NPCs for the setting. I think this might be just the thing to scratch my 40k itch without detracting too much time from the Sylvaneth, so I’m going to give it a go. I made some pocket money the other day, so I picked up a box of Genestealer Cultists, some Skitarii Rangers, and dug out my Empire Flagellants sprues, those cornerstones of the 40k converter’s bit’s box, and started scribbling down some ideas. So stay tuned for some bonus blog posts in the middle of the week when I work out what I’m doing!

Hmm, let’s see, what else was I going to talk about…? I’m playing The Witcher 3 at the moment. Late to the party, I know, but who needs Monster Hunter! There are a lot of cool monsters in The Witcher, and I kind of want to steal them all and make AoS versions of them, so you may see something like that down the pipe. Which reminds me, I gotta go find that ExProfundis AoS28 page on Facebook. I don’t really “do” Facebook, but I feel like I could be missing some good hobby.

Oh yeah, and can somebody explain the #Warmongers hashtag to me? I’ve seen it all over the place recently, but I’ve no idea what it means!


~ Ross ~

5 thoughts on “Touch Wood

  1. Great looking dryads – they’re very effective as dark scary shapes in the woods (which I’m sure is the point!)

    Thanks for the links to all those other amazing hobby blogs as well – I’d stumbled on Ex Profundis on my own, but your posts have been a complete hobby treasure trove of inspiration. It’s so hard to find great AOS blogs (and despite how good some 40k blogs are out there, one does get tired of truescale Space Marines and grimy inquisitors) that I hope you continue on with the AOS awesomeness.

    It’s a setting that doesn’t nearly get as much love as it deserves as a blank slate (and this from someone who grew up with Bretonnians fighting Lizardmen way back in I-don’t-know-what-edition).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, mate! Yes, dark scary shapes is exactly what I was going for. You do not want to be alone in these woods!

      You’re certainly right, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of AoS blogging out there, but I’m finding more every day. It’s getting a big push this year from GW with the Malign Portents stuff, so that’s definitely helping. And check out the AoS28 Facebook page if you haven’t already. I got onto it last night and there’s some amazing stuff on there.


  2. Cheers for the shout out, Ross! I couldn’t agree any more regarding the subject of Instagram: It feels like a quick and easy fix for getting to look at lots of shiny pictures, but it doesn’t really kick start any kind of real communication about hobby projects, does it? Also, I may be a bit weird like that, but I’d rather get no feedback whatsoever than receive hundreds of hearts/stars/Likes without a single comment — that’s somehow even more infuriating than being ignored altogether 😉

    When it comes to AoS blogging, I would also heartily recommend Le blog dé Kouzes (which has a 40k focus but also features some truly stunning AoS projects, plus some the best painting and conversion work around, bar none) and Ana Polanscak’s “Gardens of Hecate” blog, which only really uses WFB and AoS as a jumping off point for an original mythos — but it’s truly something else, and has to be seen to be believed!

    Love the extra branches on the dryads — they make them look even more spiky and creepy. I am currently experimenting with those branch-claws on some models of my own (Plaguebearers, actually), and they are great bits! What I really love is the silhouette/magic lantern look of your photos, though — like something out of a dark fairy tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome! Now don’t get me wrong about Instagram, it’s great having so much original content in one endless stream, but like you said, starting communication is so important for growing ideas and developing projects. The structure of a blog is much better at that than social media, in my opinion.

      Yes, I’m familiar with those two blogs. Both are excellent. It was fascinating to see the evolution of Les Kouzes custom Nurgle stuff like the Plague Centaurion into the official new Death Guard stuff when they came to work for the studio.

      Yeah I’m pleased with how the dryads turned out seeing as I wasn’t originally a fan of the models. Glad you like the silhouette shots – I was going for that sort of fairy tale quality to them. I want to inject a bit more grimdarkness into my AoS stuff, but I still need it to be practical and hardy enough to do a full army in a sensible amount of time, and I think this strikes a nice balance. Looking forward to seeing how your Plaguebearers turn out!


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