I didn’t have as much hobby time this week as I usually do, so while I was hoping to get my Kurnoth Hunters polished off, I’ll have to settle for 80% done. That last 20% is all the detail work though, so it’s still a good few hours work. I’ll hopefully get them finished over the weekend, and get on to completing those 40k civilians next week. Deadline’s approaching!
I’m slowly finding my hobby centre while painting these Sylvaneth. Half of me wants to do all these meticulous conversions and weird creations, and the other half just wants to bang out a (well-painted) army as fast as possible, two goals which are for me at least entirely incompatible.
On the first point, I recently joined the AoS28 Facebook group which includes a lot of incredibly inspiring and imaginative work by some very talented men and women, and it fires up all sorts of ideas I want to try out all across the spectrum of AoS. Maybe I’ll talk about it in detail in a future post. I’d love to do some proper AoS narrative stuff, like we see with Inq28. I’m hoping that our Skirmish thing turns into something along those lines, but I’m always having new ideas about settings and stories and factions. I think I’m just going to save the more adventurous conversions for one-off pieces or side projects. And if I’m honest, I can’t really think of anything original to do conversion-wise with the Sylvaneth at the moment. There’s the animal skull thing, like the Leshen from the Witcher 3, but there are a few people out there that have done that – and have done it very well, I might add – so I don’t think I’d be doing anything interesting by retreading that ground.
On the fast painting front, I’m getting more and more comfortable with my speed painting. I’ve never been able to do it in the past, and I’ve always thought it looks ass. Maybe part of it was trying to do it on Space Marines, who benefit so much from nice clean lines and hard edges. These Sylvaneth are very much organic shapes and textures, so it’s a lot easier to go nuts with the texture paints and washes and get a bit more experimental and for them to still look good at the end of it. The photography helps a lot as well. I’m quite sure that if I photographed these Sylvaneth in flat light you’d recoil in horror. There are plenty of glaze coffee stains, and thick, wonky line highlights and all sorts of “mistakes”, but a bit of dramatic lightning does wonders to hide the imperfections and at the same time create mood and atmosphere. When this bunch is on the table they’ll look grand from three feet away, and you rarely look at them up close once they’re photographed and in the cabinet, so I’m very happy with how they’re turning out.
For these Kurnoth, it’s been interesting painting bigger models as the details are more obvious at arm’s length. As I’ll be moving onto the Treelord next in this project, I’m paying attention to what works and what doesn’t as the minis scale up. I need to be more careful about the glazes pooling, but the larger surface area gives me more room to apply textures and extra 3D-detail. My basing techniques are gradually evolving as I go as well. I really liked how the base turned out on the Branchwych, but I couldn’t have every model in the army standing on a rock. Rocks are for heroes, and when everyone’s a hero, no one is. I’ve always been a bog standard sand-and-static-grass guy, so with the Sylvaneth I’ve been trying out using Milliput, Polyfilla, soil, leaves and other bits and pieces to makes something, if not more realistic, then at least more visually diverse. One thing that really helps with this is watching a lot of videos from model railway guys, who really are the kings of the hobby when it comes to scenics. Off the back of those I’m much more enthusiastic about tackling some scenery projects as well, so I might give some of that stuff a go before I attack Durthu.
In other news, the new T’au codex will be out shortly as well so I want to get some more stuff painted up for them. I’ve got about 1000 points built in the cabinet and this is a good opportunity to throw some paint at them. It’ll be interesting to see if I can harness what I’ve learned from the Sylvaneth to the benefit of the Greater Good. I want to get my Fire Warrior squads up to 10 men (or 2 5’s) each, and do another Devilfish to start with, and I remember that took me forever for the last one I did, so we’ll see how that goes. Despite (slowly) collecting T’au for years now, I’ve only played a couple of games of 7th-ed Kill Team with them, so I’d like to actually play some full-sized 40k for the first time in a decade.
As standard, I’ve a million different things I want to work on in the coming week, but first up is finishing these Kurnoth. We’ll see what happens after that!