Thursday, 4 August 2011

A look over the years

I thought that seeing as my Birthday is just a week away (no-one told me!) I would take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the models I have built and painted over the last six years.

My first army that I bought, built AND painted was my Eldar, before that was my Daemonhunters (but Suicide Badger painted them). With my Eldar I had an Idea for a Khainite (Khornate) Exodite army that had scavenged weapons and armour from battlefields. My list was weak as I didn't understand about having a mission for each unit properly, and having units which could fill multiple roles. Although I had a list which consisted of

The Avatar
12 Storm Guardians
12 Guardians
10 Pathfinders
6 Fire Dragons
10 Banshees
and a Fire Prism

with various other bits added on, I think I did well and tried to use ideas I had read and heard to adapt, but the problem was these ideas didn't fit my playstyle which I began to figure out as I got bored with my Eldar. Below is one of my "Conversion" attempts and one of the first models I painted, which was a Tau Devilfish turned Wave Serpent.

As you can see, it was just hacked at with a knife then painted black and red with a roughly painted Khorne symbol, not my best painting skills, but was a start.

I fumbled around with a couple of armies after 1-2 years of Eldar and decided I enjoyed Chaos, as the suited my playstyle of throw some men at the enemy and see what sticks. The problem was I had big ideas for my Chaos and I am still working on making them into a World Eater and Night Lord coalition with the beginnings on mutation showing on some models.

I finally decided to do a Raven Guard army as I loved the idea in the 4th Edition Space Marine Codex, the problem being they had a new book, but I thought I would give it a try anyway. My biggest conversion was this Land Speeder Storm (about a month before they announced the official model)

There was very little special about it, I kept the conversions simple, swapping the Marine bodies for Scouts and adding some antennae along with a cluster of Guard grenade launchers for the Cerebus launcher. This was also my first use of 'Ard coat and the Decals, I would have painted the better but I only spent two weeks on them so the white didn't work properly (a lesson for when I started basing my World Eaters, and painting my brighter Space Wolves and Grey Knights)

Next I turned to Space Wolves which I had put off when I heard about the new Codex, I gave it a quick read through and spotting they kept the Scouts outflanking behind the enemy and Long Fangs splitting their shots I lept onto buying 1500pts for a tournament which was a month away. I opted for a Logan terminator army with fire support from one unit of Long Fangs with Grey Hunters in Rhinos to rush for objectives or hang back.

This was my attempt at making Logan Grimnar as I HATE the metal model, I did some mild conversions to make his Axe look like it could be used as a Hammer, and giving him a "wrist" mounted stormbolter, which was just put on the back of a power fist. This was my first attempt at Fur, and was very pleased my Idea worked of using bestial brown with my newfound love of Washes. I also managed to paint him bright colours without them looking spodgy and washed out. I have now adapted my list to use less terminators and more men on foot led my Ragnar (which I also converted)

My biggest conversion was my attempt at a Tyrannofex, I used a Carnifex and ALOT of greenstuff. It is probably one of my best conversions to date and when painted will hopefully look like it is supposed to belong in a Tyranid army.

Keeping with the Tyranids I think one of my best painted conversions/dioramas is my Parasite of Mortex clawing the face off a Salamander (to encourage Angryman to get painting his Salamanders). My Tyranids were painted to look rotten and sickly seeing as I loved the Venomthrope model and rules along with them being started just after my stag do when I felt very very ill. I used brown and green washes which made the models stand out and gave them some definition where my painting skills couldn't. The Salamander was also fun for me to paint, especially the power axe which I spent two hours on to get the red looking like it was rippling lava.

My most recent painting was my six man Deathwatch Kill Team. These guys represent the pinnacle of my painting abilities to date and if you compare them (and the Tyranid) with my Eldar you can see that in six years I have improved if not largely. I managed to layer the whites/parchment to give it a bright colour rather that a spodgey greyish black. I also used a similar method on the Lightning Claws as with the Salamanders Axe giving it a flahsing effect.

So, The point of this post (other than to make myself feel better that I have improved) was to say how we have all changed and advanced in certain areas. I no longer JUST take what models I think look cool, though that does play a big part. I have figured out how I enjoy playing and what my basic tactics usually are. I enjoy hitting the opponent hard and fast using short range firepower to assist my combat troops, while keeping a few heavy weapons at the back to keep my flanks safe, I also try to take at least one unit that can deep strike or outflank.

I now know with conversions sometimes the subtlest changes are the best, a weapon or head swap and repositioning of a model can make it a thousand times better than chopping and changing every last drop.

I have also learnt alot about painting, layering is important, building up the colours helps to get the shade you want. Most importantly, washes make a half decent paint job ten times better.

So, how far have you all come in the time you have been in this hobby, my six years have seen alot of money spent, but some good friends earned and tips and pointers learnt.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, the painting has definitely gotten better over the years. I can still remember some of the very early stuff.

    On the other hand, I think my painting techniques have gotten worse - although I feel my results are better. It's down to the fact I'd rather get an army fully painted and be of tabletop quality, in a month say, rather than spend a month per unit and hours on each piece.

    As for conversions, they're the things that appeal to me most about the hobby. I like building and making the models more than painting (and probably more than actually gaming). I always aim to include converted units or characters in my armies.