Whetting my beak…

Hail, and well met.

I’m going to open with a confession. I nearly threw my Knight Venatrix out the window this week. I went back and forth trying to achieve a smooth blend on the wings, which I could envisage with ease, but just kept ‘overworking’. I often experience this in a miniature paint job – halfway through I’ll find myself loathing it, but then push through and come to be content with it.

With this mini it was the opposite. For every 2 steps forward I took a giant leap back. But I endured and she’s finally (mostly) finished.

Finished ish!

I made some rookie mistakes, the biggest of which was tackling a complex character conversion after months without putting brush to mini. What I should have done was whet my beak on some rank and file troops before going off on some idealistic notion of a narrative character.

I’m chuffed to have it pretty much over the finish line, though I keep reminding myself of the mantra ‘finished, not perfect’ to allay all the niggling frustration at the imperfections I can’t help noticing. That said, she will suffice, and after finishing her base and scrollwork, it’ll be time to move to the next unit!


Next up will be one of the following beak-bearers…some Palladors, a pack of Gryph-Hounds or some converted Demigryph Knights.

…annnnd it’s the Gryphcharger by a length!

From a painting perspective I’m leaning towards the Palladors as they’ll provide continuity in painting the Stormcast armour and so forth, but after nearly two weeks staring at the Venatrix, I might pair them up with some gryph-hounds to broaden my palette. That said, I really fancy getting some of my ‘freeguild’ force ready, so I might indulge myself. To make matters worse, Ross’s recent posts have filled me with a desire to visit the 40k setting, and given a bunch of eye-candy blogs to lure me…Hobby indecisiveness – activate!


Though this guy DOES make a compelling argument for demigryphs next…

As I mentioned in previous posts, my main Achilles’ heel in hobbying is that I lack focus, often times going off on a tangent to some new (or previously frustrated) project. I’m always fascinated by how others overcome this, and the blog posts by my fellow Aaronoriumites have been inspirational, but I also encountered this little gem while surfing hobby-themed Facebook groups and blogs…

One down, a mere Twenty Four to go…

I stumbled across this awesome ‘Hobby Bingo’ card (credit to Robhawkinshobby for the original) at the start of the year. I’ve a copy up on my wall, and this little project has scored my first box (top left!). I’m hoping to fill the card before my final post of 2018, but that might just be me, once again , biting off more than I can chew…if anyone else has any useful tips or tricks on how to maintain hobby momentum please feel free to comment below – every source of inspiration helps.

For now, I’m simply going to step back and enjoy the calm little moment before the next hobby project claims me, and revel in the fact that I, the most procrastinating of hobbyists, have actually managed to get my Skirmish warband ready for the table!


The other Aaronoriumites are about to get badly flocked up…

Until next time, Hobby well!



19 thoughts on “Whetting my beak…

  1. I think you’ve done a fantastic job on the Venatrix: I was always bothered by the clunky look of the male winged models, and your take is such a wonderful fix to that problem! The blending looks excellent as well, so don’t worry. If I may make one small suggestion, I think she might look even better with the kneepads (especially the stylised lion’s head) picked out in gold — when compared to the rest of the model, the shin armour looks a tad unfinished as is.

    In any case, keep up the excellent work! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, KS! I’d actually gone back and forth on the idea of adding more gold to the lower half of the model. On the one hand I wanted to keep more of the sombre blue that the Knights of Azyr seem to have to avoid the risk of falling into the usual ‘bling’ associated with the Stormcast – as Aaron and the others have mentioned, our setting in Ghur is aiming to be a more ‘down and dirty’ fantasy look. On the other hand, Stormcast are supposed to be lightning powered, semi mystical warriors, and on looking at the pic she does seem unbalanced. Reflecting on it, I think you’re right, and plan to add a bit of gold to the legs to balance her out – cheers for the insight!


  2. This is really great work! Completely empathise with everything you’ve said – from the frustrations through the painting process through to losing focus and starting new armies. For some reason I’ve always found new models irresistible especially when I’m about 70% through a model I’m currently painting. Something that’s really helped is a new year’s resolution – to paint a model every single month. I’ve even set myself a second restriction (sorely tested with the release of the Daughters of Khaine) that I’m not allowed to buy a new model / kit until I finish two kits I already own. Meaning if I want to go off on a tangent and start painting Wanderers I’ve got to first finish painting these two Plagueclaws..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh.. and if I could offer a humble suggestion – a drybrush on your bases, and a bit of static grass or tufts would completely elevate your models. Sometimes, even mixing terrain paints (Stirland Mud first, then Agrellan Earth) adds some much-needed texture and contrast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A fine technique; the notion of not buying more until two already owned are painted is a great idea, and one you should consider stolen! As for the base, the bases and scrolls are the only bits left to finish (well, along with the slight additional gold as per Krautscientist’s recommendations!). I totally agree that the base frames the miniature, and usually I’m only ‘happy’* with one of my minis when the base if finally done and edged…

      * (not utterly self-critical)


    1. That’s awesome to hear! I’m often influenced into a new project by the blogs or WIP pics on facebook of other folks – it’s a little weird being on the other side! I’ll endeavour to keep the conversions coming, as kitbashing and converting something unique is one of my favourite parts of the hobby, and AoS feels like a bit of a blank canvas for that…


  4. Woah, doc. What a great finish! I love where she ended up. Since Krautscientist has already mentioned that some extra trims might be a good idea, I can only say that she looks very splendid indeed.

    I’ll steal that bingo chart, too. It looks like a good way to satisfy my own gadflying tendencies, without getting too carried away.

    As for me, I’ve bound myself in the awkward situation that my first unit of Barak-Mhornar Arkanauts is just about finished, sans bases, some highlights on the details and a few fixes for some clumsy brush strokes – but now I’ve started painting my Admiral in the custom scheme I was cooking up, and I like it much, much better…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers, Sindre! Definitely going to implement the additional leg-bling to balance her out. The wargame bingo definitely works as more than a bit of a joke – it’s inspiring me to stay on target as they seem like managable tasks, and give me an end point.

      And as for the Arkanauts – surely the Admiral would warrant his own pageantry – let the crew get by in their practical everyday-wear while he struts in his finery… *grin*

      It is a curse when you paint something, and then after the fact realise you’d prefer to do it differently…perhaps add elements of the Admiral’s scheme in the details of the Arkanauts?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, the bingo is just wonderful. I’ll have to secure a printout of that, stat.

    I was planning to do almost exactly what you’re suggesting. I’d keep red, bone, gunmetal and brown as colours that would feature on every model, to varying degrees. Then, I’d have a variety of different schemes for the different guilds – black & bling for the admiral, skywardens and grundstok units, more gunmetal for endrineers and more esoteric colours for the other characters, with the arkanauts and transport vessels keeping the original colours of the sky-port.

    But then, the Admiral looks far more glorious than I expected him to, all decked out in gold and black. He’s not even halfway done yet, and I still think he looks better!

    I think I may just do what you suggest and keep everything else the same, but replace the greenish blue Mhornar plate with black. That still leaves the Arkanauts mostly bronze, bone and brown, with some black, in contrast to the black & gold of the more elite units.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s on the to-do list for the weekend (as is making the Admiral look a bit less, uh, basic). Will send you a link when it’s done.

        (Assuming, of course, the wife and kid don’t come down with Nurgle’s Hacking Cough & General Grumpiness for the third time this year.)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I got you some (admittedly horrid) photos, doc. I probably need to invest in a lightbox, but no time for that just yet, so it is what it is.



    Obviously, neither unit is finished, though the Arkanauts are not far off – I just happen to paint that badly, at least for now. I feel like the Admiral is already going a bit better. But, considering he only has a few half-finished basecoats and some shaded metal to go on, that isn’t saying much just yet.

    I was planning to do a longer blog post over the weekend, but things didn’t work out that way. When neither the daughter nor the wife got sick at the start of the weekend, I knew it was too good to be true. Which is to say, I ended up sick in bed from Friday until this evening. Yay!

    Resultantly, the blog post has been put on hold for another few days. Hopefully I’ll find the time to set up a proper lightbox as well, when I do get around to it.

    I’m quite convinced that the black and gold works much better than the blue and bronze, but I’m thinking the blue to black should be a straight port. If I can get my painting act together, I plan to add some bone/skull white as well. My sky-dorfs are going to be a morbid, creepy lot. I’m thinking a Shyish theme would be just about right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks ace, Sindre. The ‘nauts are good, but the admiral is really striking…but then, that seems only right and proper! I agree, though, that darkening the unit may be the way to go – it’s funny how a project sometimes takes you in strange directions, and this one definitely seems to have found its bearings!


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