Painted Goblins

It has been a long time since I painted any miniatures. Over five years to tell the truth. In that time I’ve moved several times, including living abroad and teaching English again. Now I’ve finally passed all three CFA® exams and am living in Calgary again…

It has been a long time since I painted any miniatures. Over five years to tell the truth. In that time I’ve moved several times, including living abroad and teaching English again. Now I’ve finally passed all three CFA® exams and am living in Calgary again.

My paints and models have been in storage even longer than five years. Many of my paints have dried out but some I bought back in the 90s still work and I painted some vintage plastic goblins from the Warhammer 4th Edition boxset to prove I still can.

No they are not my best work. Yes I spent too much time on them for rank and file spearmen for an army I don’t even have the current rules for. No I don’t have any plans to play Warhammer. Yes I have 59 more identically posed models that need at least some touch ups. No I didn’t do the bases. Yes I plan to base them to match the archers. No I don’t have all my basing and terrain making materials in Calgary. Yes they’ll get shields eventually.Almost Finished Goblin Spearman

The next thing I’ll probably paint is more of these exact same goblins, not because I’m under any delusions I’ll have the unit of 66 done anytime soon, but because they are already primed and base coated badly. I also want to get a bit more efficient. One of my all-time favourite green pots, Bilious Green has died. This will affect all my green Diseased Sons. It will also affect my green skin painting technique but I apparently already bought a replacement from another range. My Citadel browns fared even worse, the twist off bolter shell pots are the worst GW ever made. I still have more paint than I need to paint average rank and file models, most people probably would have been happy with the speed paint job, but I want at least the first couple ranks to be highlighted.

After more goblins I’ll probably get to painting other models that were put away partly painted all those years ago. My “ta-do” list includes a number of models that were converted and primed years ago. I’m not even sure all of them are still armed legally. Flamers and Heavy Flamers seem to no longer be in the Nurgle I mean Deathguard Codex.

Yes I have the latest book. I bought it Shanghai. I’ve also bought Kill Team and Warcry because I think skirmish games are more realistic from a painting and apartment dweller point of view. I haven’t played 40K in years. I have put a lot of work into my army and my decision years ago to paint my models various colours has made it even more work to update the army. At the least I may update the green squads without Bilious Green kneepads. I also may do a purple Plaguemarine squad but I’m not sure I need the brown or grey squads any time soon. I think doing a new squad from scratch may be less work.My miniatures in an Ikea display case

My envisioned army will have Nurglings both because the rules may have gotten better and because it was an old idea I never finished. I also think Nurglings are the perfect models to re-learn to paint on. I like the fact Nurgle got unique Fast Attack so some of those models will be bought and painted. After that my next priority will be the new HQ and Elite models. Terminators may not be the greatest but I have a lot of them already painted and they are at least hard to kill, so a squad or two maybe even my Landraider will feature in my army list if I ever play again.

My undivided and other Chaos Space Marines may get some love. I plan to focus on Nurgle but my army may not always be Battle Forged as I want Nurglings. I also may even paint yet more Plaguebearers but I’m less enthused about them in 40K as I think guns are good. I think I need to paint one more Khorne Bezerker but may paint a couple so I have some options for that squad. Some Khorne Terminators could be bought and converted as the one I have is also lonely. I will also paint some vehicles, a dreadnought neigh Hellbrute for sure and probably yet another Forgeworld model I acquired years ago.

If I get through all that maybe I’ll work on 40K Orks or even my WWI dream army or any number of other models I’ve acquired over the years. I may even sell or trade away a bunch of models as the likelihood of me painting say 40-50 more space marines, even Chaos Space Marines is low. I can see me doing my Necromunda gang finally maybe even some other Necro figs as I have plenty. I will use some as Chaos cultists but painting hordes is not that appealing except of Nurglings. Ultimately I’d like to paint a centrepiece model if not a Titan then at least a Superheavy tank or a flyer.

Before I do all that I had to get everything out of storage, glue a lot of models back together and I upgraded my Ikea display case. After that I ordered a painting tray as my current apartment although not small does not have a dedicated painting desk or table. I don’t even have a kitchen table I can commandeer. What I do have is an old Ikea desk which I am using for my laptop and then I put that away and get out my Miniature Scenery painting station.Miniature Scenery Painting Workstation
Bill already said I should have recorded a video of building it. I also built a third one of their shelves which I’d bought years ago. I think I have even more of their stuff and you can get some of it from another website and not have to pay shipping from Australia. I bought most of it through Darren’s store if my memory serves correct. I asked Sentry Box if they had any painting stations and they did not nor did they seem to want to help me order one in so I bought it online.

The other store I have bought at least one model at because it was their anniversary is the GW in Chinook Centre. I’ve liked both on Facebook. I will probably share this post on Facebook and I already put an image of a goblin on Instagram. I still prefer Flickr and Twitter but I’ll be selective about tweeting hobby stuff but all my finished models will be photographed with my “bigger” camera and uploaded to this album.

I am not crazy over the latest version of WordPress. I had to change the theme of this blog to support the latest internet standards and I have switched to a fatter image header. This blog does not do well in search engines and never has. Many people have given up on blogging, they vlog or podcast or just share their work in private Facebook groups or on Instagram where you need to paste a paragraph of hashtags after every post.

View this post on Instagram

Well it is not my best work #warmongers but these are the first four #miniatures I’ve painted in years. They are vintage #Warhammer Old World #Goblins straight from the very first #GW big box game, well after Battlemaster and I guess Bloodbowl. Anyway I have almost sixty of these #minis sitting badly basecoated for years. I’ll get around to the base if I ever finish the whole unit. They’ll likely get shields eventually as I don’t think they can’t have them anymore. The #skintone is all #OOP greens and washes and inks. I had to finally chuck my Bilious Green pot so there is some #Reaper #Foundry and #Vallejo even some #P3 paints in their. The purples and greys are a dogs breakfast of colors. The metallics are old too, some of the paints are older than this #model I’ll update my blog some day, and I plan to make more goblins then some #Nurglings and other #Nurgle models before finally painting some #CSM this is my first mini on #Instagram but it might not be my last. I know how to use #hashtags but I think I need a stronger lamp.

A post shared by Andrew McKay (@muskiemckay) on

My plan is to actually go through every post on this blog just like I did on my main blog. I plan to reduce the number of categories as experts say each post should be in a single category and that you should have 5-8 categories in total. You can of course also use tags but those too need to be optimized for search engines and 3 per post is considered plenty. So I will try to follow this expert advice not because I want to be popular but because I think Quality is important. I also may edit out any posts that are too personal. I actually updated all the hand-coded HTML that makes up the website for my Nurgle army, but I haven’t edited and optimized every webpage I own yet so this one is next.

Maybe no one will notice but if I use enough hashtags and share it on social media I’m sure someone will read all the way to the bottom and leave a comment.

Not Dead, Not Back Either

I’m still living in China, but I did buy the new Nurgle err Deathguard Codex, I have not bought the new 40k rules and all my miniatures and paints are rotting in storage back in Canada…

I’m still living in China, but I did buy the new Nurgle err Deathguard Codex, I have not bought the new 40k rules and all my miniatures and paints are rotting in storage back in Canada. I’ll be back in Canada soon but my career does not go well, that is kinda why I’m updating this blog. Many websites are blocked in China including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest. This blog had gotten old and out of date, so while updating the code behind my homepage I had to change the theme on this blog to one with proper featured image support.

The documentation recommends 1200 pixels, but I was using 236 pixels to match Pinterest on my main website. I think sticking with 236 pixels across both sites will be best the plan, but I may experiment so if there are several test posts, it is so I can test the theme and RSS feed.

redesignFTW

I’ve been brushing up on my IT skills as I need a job as despite passing the Level 3 CFA exams I could not get a new job, not in China, not in Hong Kong, not in Singapore nowhere. I appear to be too old like my army and my blog, so I will keep looking, if you have any leads please let me know. Also if you have any suggestions for a WordPress theme let me know, but for now it will be this one, as this blog is not a priority, but getting my homepage to load quicker inside China became a priority today.

It should go without saying that if you’ve read this far you should view my resume or at least leave a comment below.

Played Some 40K

After over three years away from the gaming table, I’ve now played 5 games of 7th edition Warhammer 40,000, including one large in-store Apocalypse game. There is no way I’m writing turn by turn battle reports, I just don’t have the time, instead I will focus on high level observations from a longtime 40K player.

  • Randomness is back in a big way. You play a random mission, which has random tactical objectives, random game length, charge lengths are random, the psychic phase is back and it is random.
  • Allies and unbound armies make the game even more random and non-canonical.
  • There is a major arms escalation, the old days of the bolter and the chainsword being enough to kill most foes is gone. Players do not have to follow the force org chart so those of us who continue to play with no special characters, no allies, and follow the force org chart are at a big disadvantage. Basically our troops win ties when competing for tactical objectives, but the average troop is rarely seen on the battlefield and generally has a short lifespan.
  • What is in is big models with ever fancier guns that completely retcon decades of fluff. No longer are terminators the best, centurions seem to be better. Dreads have been supplanted long ago by better dreads and Forgeworld dreads.
  • Forgeworld is almost necessary, some folks make their army from four or more books, cherry picking the best units from all. Folks who have stayed loyal to one army for as long as me basically don’t exist.
  • The days of small infantry tactics, target prioritization, focussing on mission objectives seems to be gone. The winning tactic seems to be biggest baddest special character (model) running up the field relying on cover and lucky charge distance roll. The counter for this being either not advancing at all thus forfeiting most tactical objective or trying to build a model/unit that can kill your opponents special character and wonder unit once they inevitably get into H2H.
  • The books needed for my army now weigh more than my army, especially when you count in cards, tokens, dice, templates etc. Without a car an army isn’t really portable.
  • Unpainted models are allowed in official GW store events, I definitely have spent more time painting my army than anyone I’m likely to play and their handling of my models often leaves something to be desired. I doubt I’ll be lending models to random people again any time soon. I prefer 1500 point games to massive chaotic affairs where the only tactic is running forward and dying.

So since I have very little time to play and don’t really enjoy lugging even one case of models all the way to Burnaby I need to get a better job and a better apartment to host. I don’t even mind mostly painting. I’m surprised tabletop games have lasted this long, video games are cheaper, require less space, and you can randomly find an opponent online easily if you play the popular games. The advantage the tabletop games have is customization. I can play my army. I can also play my friends, assuming you still have friends who play Warhammer 40,000. There are too many rules in 40K for a beer and pretzels game, the models are also expensive and with the emphasis on bigger and bigger armies and models, GW is giving up on recruiting new players and focussing on selling more stuff to existing fans. The stores still serve as defacto daycares for young boys. I seem to have gained one or two disciples because I actually took the time to play, talk with, and remember the names of these youngsters.

I have made yet another 1500 point army list with a minimum of troops and the biggest and hopefully most dangerous models in my collection. But long term my army needs overhauling again. I need to paint some old models for fun, but I also need a new general, a new Chosen squad, a new large model probably a Soulgrinder, and actual Fast Attack so Raptors and Bikes. Maneuverability is more and more important, being only able to move 6 inches a turn is a disadvantage. I’m not a fan of Deep Striking so raptors or more likely bikes will get painted up finally, besides Toughness 6 bikers has to be good right?

Here are some pictures of my army in action against loyalist and chaos marines, those seem to be the most popular armies, though Guard and Eldar have some fans, saw little Tau or Tyranids.

18 Foot long Apocalypse table

Boris now has 4 Hull Points

Landraiders also have 4 Hull Points

Lefty volunteers to defend the portal

Drop Pod assaults are still common

Hand to Hand combat under the bridge

Chaos Champions are special

My Lord needs a better retinue

Terminators are back in my army listKhorne is no longer popular

Typhus is very popular

Chaos Cultist #2

Once again after my job interview I headed down to GW Highgate to amuse the staff…

Once again after my job interview I headed down to GW Highgate to amuse the staff. This time I had a slightly better plan and bought the box of 5 Chaos Cultists for I think $12.50 a veritable bargain in GW land and once again took one model pretty much from start to finish in a single sitting. This time it actually took less time because the cultist was only in two pieces and I used less paints.

I did buy my own brush and still couldn’t do really fine detail work and I didn’t do my best on the greys or the skin tone or the metallics or the blacks but I did some useful browns and tans and a passable purple. I also pulled off some strange hair colour again using some mystery colour which I blended with some other colours.

WIP Chaos Cultist

This model is good enough. I’m one of the only people in the world who wants to paint less well. There are things I’d like to fix on this model, it also needs basing. I made some fundamentally poor decisions in the name of experimentation and efficiency. I should have base coated black or at least grey. I should have probably done only one brown or if two browns then done less work on them. I should have done a darker grey. I should have not kept trying to use GW’s blue shade. I think their blue glaze may be more to my liking. Some parts of it are purple that shouldn’t be, some parts are brown that probably should be purple etc. etc.

I also think I’m a “Layer” man. The thicker high pigment paint is fine for most but even more efficient me likes the smoother applying paint of the Layer range. I’m not in such a hurry that I can’t do two whole coats of paint. A base coat whether with a “Base” or a “Layer” then a wash then a highlight looks good. You can even use your base coat as your highlight colour or your base coat mixed with a little white, grey, or even one of GW’s flesh tones.

Mostly finished Chaos Cultist

I even helped some kid base coat his Tau. He didn’t seem too concerned with quality control. I want to paint more efficiently if I can get by with two colours and a wash, great! But I still want to clean my model carefully. I want to apply my colours evenly and cleanly. I want to take 5 or 15 minutes to let the washes dry. I want to use more than one brush so I can paint some finer highlights. But first I need to get a new job and a new slightly larger place, one with room for a dedicated paint station. Also the CFA will rear it’s head again soon so 40K season for me is only a couple months long.

I really don’t know how to play Warhammer 40,000 anymore. I will learn the rules again. I own plenty of models. I can play the game, but I don’t really care to play the metagame as some have termed it. I also think given my limited time and the fact that getting a model done in four hours is “quickly” for me. I need to choose an army and models that have high points values and are quick to paint. Alas I have plenty of painted models, what I want is generally new tactical options and to paint the fancier models, painting Chaos Cultists is not that efficient in an hour per point way of thinking or more correctly 1.25 points per hour. Also the game has moved to a more over the top playing style where people are deliberately fielding unbalanced armies and GW will happily sell them more models to do so.

My reliance and loyalty to Nurgle doesn’t really cut it in a world with special characters that are released in a limited edition and models that are 888 points each in game. There is definitely an arms escalation in Warhammer 40,000 from a simple squad game with say twenty men and squad level commander to armies that are anything but troops.

I tried to make this cultist at least similar to my test model, but with completely different paints and not having the original test model to compare with, it isn’t perfect, but since when did Chaos Cultists all dress the same. Thor apparently painted 105 Chaos Cultists in a batch in approximately 2 weeks, I’ve now painted 2. If I can get 30 done I’d be happy, I want them all to have auto pistols except the champ and three flamer dudes.

Servant of Decay test figure

Painted a Model

After an over three year break, I finally paint another 28mm model.

So I went to see some old friends who just happen to run a gaming store. So while we were talking they said, why don’t you buy a model and paint something, so it became something of a challenge. The models I bought were the new (to me) Nurglings and I used the store paints and even more challenging the store brushes to paint one stand. Nurgling stand in three pieces

I never timed it, I wasn’t in a big rush, I picked Nurglings because I like to paint them and they are good to experiment with, they also can’t look wrong. I used five different colours to basecoat with, one grey, one purple, one green, one blue, and one brown. I never wrote the paint names down, I can’t even pronounce GW’s current paint names. But a clever person could figure out what I used.

I painted the model in three pieces until I got to the highlight stage. I used just one very well-used starter brush which made doing good eyes and teeth almost impossible. I had to repaint a lot of lips and noses. In the end I just had to say good enough because the store had to close.

I used every wash err “Shade” but the red one because it had ran out. I used purple and blue to shade my red. I also used the red glaze some. I tried one of the dry paints, it isn’t for me, but I can see how it would help painting an army of skeletons for instance. Finally after I used many many washes and I used the flat of the brush to do my highlights such as they are, I tried the texture paint to do the base. It never dried in time to highlight, I even used some special tool to apply it.

My basically finished stand of Nurglings

People badmouth GW but they make nice models, expensive, but I spent about six hours painting this one stand of Nurglings. I’m old, my back seriously had ceased up by the time it came to highlighting. I could have done better with some better brushes, even using a smaller brush to do highlights and the faces would have helped, but I stubbornly stuck to the one brush even after it became less and less pointy. As Owen noted this was the first model I had ever painted in a store. Usually I go home paint with my paints, with my brushes, which I keep very good care of and sort my colours specifically from lightest to darkest. This model was very much ‘winged’.

If I can get a new job and a new place to live, I’ll put together a painting desk. I’m one of the few people in the world who wants to paint worse. I spent maybe six hours on this Nurgling from opening the package to taking the last photo, Owen looked it up, it was a 15 point model in an army I don’t want to use needing a book I don’t own. So since 1500 points is the standard Warhammer 40,000 game size where I come from, I only need to paint 99 more Nurglings to have an army. If I want to get an army painted I gotta choose models that are easy to paint and high points value, which is why I never start a new army err faction as GW terms them now.

Of course I already have painted almost a dozen Nurgling stands and plenty of other Nurgle demons, more than enough for a 1500 point army, they just wouldn’t be much of a force seeing as how I don’t even know the rules, let alone built an effective army. Unlike everyone else I’m not big on summoning or deep striking, I’m more into just painting stuff that looks cool.

I actually think I did a better job on the backs of the Nurglings, but I never took a photo of the backs, when the model is finally officially done, based and sealed I’ll take another photo. The tips of the horns kept rubbing off, it’ll be tough to match the paint perfectly, someday I’ll paint again, it was July 18th 2011 when I last finished a model. My back is so shot. Six hour painting days or other long, long days in front of a computer is hard on the back, so what do I do when I get home? Update this blog and pour myself a whisky.

Textured Paint Applied to the Base

The New Chaos Codex is on the Internet

The Chaos Codex is in the wilds of the Internet, so people are starting to learn the nitty and gritty. I’ll probably still just run Plaguemarines until I have the time and energy to paint new toys.

I learned this from the Bolter and Chainsword if you actually want to try and steal the intellectual property of Games Workshop instead of waiting a few more days for your physical copy to arrive, I suggest you search the Internet using Topsy not Google.  It’s also Debate Night in America so the Twitterverse and Blogosphere are extra busy tonight…

I haven’t played 40K in years it seems. My life is on hold. I got sucked into following the rumors and some overly opinionated B&C posters seem to have caused various threads to get shut down if not getting themselves banned. I’ve never been banned from any online forums, but I have become disgusted and left some. Sadly given all the other alternatives, the B&C is probably still the best 40K forum as far as I’m concerned.

In the past few weeks I’ve come up with two army lists. One is sort of a wish list based on rumors I read online. The second one is a throwback list back to the end of 2nd Edition and the dawn of 3rd. Basically it is all Plaguemarines in small 5 man squads to maximize champions and special weapons. My general will be a Nurgle Lord on a bike, giving him toughness 6 and making Plaguemarines Troops. I also want to try out my Defiler.

Plaguemarines seems to be a bit cheaper, they are 120 points for five and a champ. Just about every squad in the new codex comes with a champion, which combined with the must challenge and boons of chaos rules, will lead to people painting spare Spawn and Demon Princes in addition to more aspiring champions. I have several painted Beasts of Nurgle but I could use a new Demon Prince perhaps. I thought all my Plaguemarine squads had a champion model, but every squad doesn’t have a champion with a powerfist. I probably will run some cheap champs with just melta bombs, that is what I did in the past.

All the Nurgle Terminators I rebased

The other big debate I’ve seen in the blogosphere lately is whether Rhinos are worth it. I plan on using some eventually, especially Rhinos with Havoc missile launchers, but I’ve run foot slogger lists before… I need to do a lot of painting eventually, but my first proposed army list is entirely painted and should come to about 1500 points. I need to get my army out of storage and shoot more pictures of it to put on Flickr… I plan to use some Nurgle Terminators too, though ultimately I’d like some Khorne Terminators with the Forgeworld bits to go with the one I already painted. I plan to do some Nurgle Raptors, but I think Khorne or Slaneesh Raptors maybe better, I’ve been collecting bits for that but now I’ll have to get the new Raptor kit too, maybe some of the many 3rd party bits too.

Servant of Decay test figure

I haven’t gotten to play sixth edition so I’m unsure how much anti-air I need. I was originally thinking Dragon thing, but I’m now thinking I might just add some more models to my Forgeworld wishlist… Cultists are something I’ve been going to do for a long time. I think a squad with a Dark Apostle sitting behind the Aegis Defense wall would be a good home objective sitting squad. It will take me a while to paint them, I think I’ll first concentrate on painting more vehicles that I already own plus maybe a Forgefiend, 8 shots at strength 8 seems like it could be fun, though most people seem to like the other builds…  I always take the path last traveled.

I’m still anti-special character. Chaos seems to have a lot of special characters, I think Ahriman may be the best as I like the Warlord trait he gets. I think knowing what your warlord trait is in advance is a huge advantage and infiltrating three units seems awesome. I also like Fabius Bile as he has Strength 5, a special needle gun, and plus makes one unit better. You could totally make a super scoring troop choice with Fabius and other upgrades. Everyone is talking about Abaddon Deathstar Leroy Jenkins builds or Typhus horde J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs builds.  I’m a slow painter so a horde of cultists will take me months to paint, but I have plenty of power armored CSMs already painted. I need to get some games of 6th Edition but mainly I need a job.

I plan to convert a new Chaos Lord of Nurgle on Bike model plus some mates for him to ride with. I have the bits but in the mean time I will just use a model I converted during 2nd Edition.

The Finest Miniature Painting News

The miniature painting news aggregator I created is running pretty well, hopefully others find it useful and that it runs with few issues for many, many, years. I’m waiting for one key software fix and will keep looking for more high quality feeds.

I’ve spent yet more time fine tuning my miniature painting news aggregator. Time I probably could have used more productively. I tend to put a lot of time and effort into ‘side projects’. Side projects that don’t earn income or help solve any of my problems.

The first week or so was spent wrestling with PHP, particularly with SimplePie and other related code. I still have an outstanding issue with that codebase that no one seems to want to acknowledge or suggest any solution. I definitely did not want to become an expert in PHP, RSS, and Atom feeds.

I also spent way too much time gathering more RSS and Atom feeds. I originally just used the blogs I subscribed to, but FtW Ron had visions of 100s if not a thousand blog feeds being aggregated and merged together. It was while building that, that I discovered the issue with merging multiple blogspot feeds. I don’t know why people particularly in the miniature painting hobby have stuck with blogspot and continue to create more Blogger blogs when so many other free options exist.

The hobby is much more commercial than it was 15 years ago, back then everyone was a hobbyist except a few people who worked for one of a few miniature companies. Now there are many, many mini manufactures, many online stores, professional miniature painters, professional miniature sculptures, and numerous semi-pro hobbyists who supplement their income through their website and the hobby. I’ve always avoided going down that route, but I don’t really feel qualified to give career advice, given the mess I’ve made of mine. I’ve tried to keep the miniature painting news aggregator non-commercial, but maybe I’ll finally breakdown and put an ad on one of my ‘side projects’. I’ve also chosen to focus on miniature painting rather than a specific manufacture or game system, just like I tried to do with this blog. Focus can be difficult to maintain.

The miniature painting news aggregator looks and operates a lot like AllTop. That isn’t a coincidence. AllTop is one of the more successful news aggregation sites. My aggregator is much more specialized, even personalized. It is random, deterministic, algorithmic, chronological, and social. It sources information from Internet darlings like Twitter and Pinterest. You can pin, tweet, or like the featured story/photo. Information is pulled from major hobby sites like Tabletop Gaming News, Beasts of War, and Cool Mini Or Not. News is also pulled from an eclectic collection of smaller hobby blogs and websites. Information is also found by search agents, such as the YouTube painting tutorials, but other less mainstream search engines are used like Topsy. I even added Reddit’s miniature painting section.

I’ll try to continue to ensure it runs OK, I don’t think it’ll ever be fast unless I reduce the amount of content or do something else drastic. I’ll try out new feeds and I hope sites like Chest of Colors fixes one of their feeds, but mainly it should just be there for bored hobbyists who want to see cool stuff. Checking more than hourly will be futile, but hopefully it can become a useful tool for finding cool miniature painting news online.