Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015; A year in review

It's been a good year some big ups and downs, both at and away from the painting table. But this is an Oldhammer blog so let's get to it! 
The biggest achievement was the completion of my Skaven army (so far), it comes in at a maximum build size of just over 4K in points and I stopped counting at 250 figures. 
It's all for the sake of completion; having options is the spice of life and I can now place every unit available in the armies book with 14 characters in total to choose from with every weapon option available at least twice. Which brings us to;
2015 Painting
8 clan rats OG plastic 
19 giant rats
20 black skaven
2 halberd hero 
20 Stormvermin 
10 gutter runners 
1 spear hero 
Throt the unclean 
Beastmaster hero 
4 warp fire crew
4 jezzailachis crew 
1 wizards 
3 poison wind globadiers (Gnawdooms)
5 chaos hounds 
99 figures painted & based, over 50 painted shields (mostly converted) and 4 hand painted standards. 
It's a step down from 2014: 121 figures but still better than 2013's measly 61. 
I also got to meet Sully who runs oldenhammerintoronto which is a great blog. He's fun to run against, drinks beer and has some great terrain, the man can paint too;
Here's a shot from my latest head kicking, doesn't sully's table look great? 
Damned Orc enginuity go back to squatting in a ditch stick berries up your noses.
My Void Dragons have have been slow going; they are the first army where my initial colour choices changed. In the past I've never done a test model. 
I just put a lot of thought into the paint scheme and do a lot of testing on palette but these Eldar are a pain. Could've had my painted figures over 100! 
Some boring details below;
My long and overthought paint scheme really took a lot of joy out of my brush time. I went from Tamiya XF-74 olive drab then hit it with army painter dark wash and then laid the basecoat again in two light coats.
In future I will use Secret Weapon black wash, it's just as pigmented but has a better flow additive leaving less behind on armour plating. It also comes out of a bottle so no future floor polish mixes or any other inconsistent nonsense. 
I then highlighted with XF-13 JA Green which turned out to be a terrible idea as you can see above. It really darkened the figure and it wasn't enough of a colour difference to justify the time. I'm trying to keep coats thin and even to reflect the smooth armour plating; no blotches or paint chunks.

My second attempt
I then tried Tamiya XF 58 Olive Green which turned out looking ok, it's the same as the basecoat just without the drab part. I read a very good article of olive drab paint in the US military especially their armoured core.
Apparently it was nearly impossible for mechanics to replicate the original paint jobs resulting in some very questionable definitions of olive drab, and some very upset Majors. 
It added a bit of brightness but nothing overpowering. Remember the original was to do a 3 stage highlight but time is not on my side.
There's a little_24 on the way and I want as many armies finished as possible before he arrives.

My third and favourite choice though would prove to be Vallejo game colour 70.924: Russian Uniform WW1
I think the "fine lining" highlight is the most effective, my future line work will be made much more precise; the work on the feet is outright sloppy. In my own defence though I did paint the entire figure with a No.2 brush, in future I'll take something half the size and do some edging whenever possible.
Anyway this is the look I've chosen, the helmets are going to be the real star of the figure. 
Ideally The armour should've been highlighted in XF58 and then a fine line on the edges but time is not on my side.
I haven't decided to go extremely bright or to go for a creamy yellow on the helmets Feel free to comment I'm up for debate. 
Either way they will be getting some striping; hey what can I say I'm a sucker for the book of the Astronamican. 
I was originally going to base them in a Mars theme but red/orange with green armour; I'd be called the Christmas space elves forever.
I'm going to go with a beige/white stone for the bases; hopefully it will make the greens really pop and make the eye lenses stand out. 
In theory and the Vallejo black grey guns should stay nice and neutral.
The goal is for it to look like a darker salt flat (does that make sense) but with rocky outcroppings and a minimal amount of dead tufts. I prefer to lavish my bases but I put a lot of work into the "hard" elements to offset the lack of vegetation. Hopefully I can pull it off. 
I'd like to put some Saim Hann transfers on just to show some allegiance to their maiden craftworld. But like I said; 
I've got a game in mind for a RT three way between a genestealer invasion force, Eldar pirates and chaos terminators, with secret objectives (thanks for the idea from your 2nd ed battle reports legio custodes)
Oh and did I mention it will all be played on a custom space Hulk board? Lots to do but it will all be worth it in the end. 
All the best to my readers in the new year, thank you all for your ongoing support, you have no idea what it means to have people following my projects albeit at my snail's pace. I hope to have a game with you all someday! 
Please everyone mind your P&Q tonight and don't drink and drive.  


  1. I hugely impressive skaven army there Mr 24! It has shades of the classic Andy Chambers army of yesteryear. I was also quite intrigued with you thoroughness. I mean, every entry in WA and examples of all the different combinations of weapons etc! What a fantastic idea and something that scatty painters like myself ( who cannot stick to a theme for more than a single model) could never hope to achieve! Well done!

    1. Thank you Orlygg,
      Having my army compared to Andy Chambers is a big deal for me, I absolutely love the look of his army and I tried to adhere to certain standards; all eyes painted, every coin bag, every bone necklace, all the details painted no matter how small.
      i used some time saving options such as the army painter 2 in 1 primer/painter and I used their wash coats (not the dip) as strong tone is the closest thing to Devlan mud you can get now, their dark tone is damn close to Badab Black.
      What pulled the army together for me was the basing, mr blue in vt was kind enough to share his method and it works great across the board. It looks really great to have 250+ Figs all virtually based identically; it even helped tie in the Stormvermin and black Skaven which had an alternative paint scheme.
      Thank you again for the high praise, it means so I have to me.

  2. Really great output this year, as much as I like your skaven, those eldar are gold !
    Best wishes for the new year !

    1. Thanks Asslessman
      Yes I really think the fine line highlight is the way to go, it won't overpower the amount of work in the helmet but it will look quite good. After shattering my knuckles in my right hand it has become a lot harder to fine line but I am up for the challenge!
      I'm interested to hear what you think of the salt slat idea.
      All the best in 2016!

  3. Happy New Year!

    To all the readers out there - you should see 24's Skaven up close. They are beautiful -- in the dirty, ratty, chaos-infested meaning of the word "beautiful". His artistry and attention to detail are evident in every figure, and also in the way the units come together as a whole. This gives the entire force a sense of story that is the true mark of an Oldhammer army.

    And 24 -- congrats again on the little Skaven (or Eldar?). I suspect that you are going to get a lot less sleep in 2016 than you did in 2015. But I can't wait for future games -- and to see how your new force shapes up. I'm glad that you're going to be doing some Tiger Stripes (but man they are a pain in the ass to execute. Best of luck). For me, I'm most excited to see how the Dreadnoughts come together.

    1. Thanks Sully you're a real mensch,
      You're too kind in critiquing my painting, but I really appreciate it, it means a lot from someone whom's work far outstrips my own, although a lot of people are saying they like my painting style so maybe I've actually figures out what I'm doing? It only took 20 years off and on.
      I must admit these Eldar are much more labour intensive however; I'm only painting 35 infantry so this is a nice chunk finished soon.
      Once I have my hand picked 17 figures painted I'm going to move onto the next so that I can get my space hulk game up and running and you and I can play some RT together. I'm off for a week starting Monday so let me know which days work for you if love to get a fantasy battles game in.
      All the best for you and AM in 2016

  4. Lovely overview, mate. Best wishes for 2016, all the best! :)

    1. Thanks Suber,
      The end was kind of the post was a tad (very) boring and technical, but I like to get the word out on product which I have used just little bits here and there for those readers paying attention.
      It's all working towards the day when I can sit down to assemble, paint and base around 100 troops in 72 hours to a decent (better than average) paintjobf. So every little bit of skill that I can teach myself is another step closer to that goal.
      Best of luck in the new year, and good luck with your epic Eldar, they look damn fine. Saim Hann is my favourite craftworld in the meta game and on the battlefield. To me they epitomize Eldar warfare; strike from a distance, close at breakneck speeds, engage & disappear. Fight where you want and on your terms.

  5. Great work on the skaven.
    As to the Eldar - I think your final choice was worth the effort getting there - it looks great.
    Salt flat idea makes perfect sense.
    And, I think bright yellow would be excellent - my own RT paint style for my orks is military drab with features in stupidly bright colours. I think it works.
    And, I am really looking forward to that RT/40K game coming together :)
    Good luck with little-24 too ;) great news.

  6. Thanks C40k, the Skaven were getting a bit tedious I think that's why I changed up the colour schemes on my elite units.
    I'm glad you agree with the final Eldar colour choice and basing style, that gives me a boost of confidence!
    I'm going to try the bright helmets mainly for the contrast with the black striping.
    Getting the RT game going keeps me up at night. No really.

  7. Gotta say I don't envy you painting those Eldar! Brilliant work on them though, and a very impressive horde of skaven there too!

    1. Hey thanks Ross,
      I must say I really enjoy your daemon blog especially you heretical/radical inquisitor and his entourage. The figures must've cost a mint but your painting is what I'm most envious of. I hope someday to paint my own inquisitorial warband but that is a long list of projects down the line.
      I really hope to see you run them in a game; it would be interesting to see the elite inquisitor and his warband investigating a barren world in search of a lost chaos shrine only to be set upon by inquisitorial storm troopers or better yet a rival goodly Inquisitor! That would be a blast to read up on.