Monday, 28 May 2012

Breaking radio silence

OK, so it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted. This can be attributed to a number of things, but the main two have been health issues at home, and the arrival of a long-anticipated computer game, Diablo 3. I am not one of those who was avidly reading every hint of news on the internet and drooling over each sneak preview, but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been looking forward to playing it for years. As such, it managed to absorb most of my free time for about a week after it arrived on the shelves.
Diablo will undoubtedly continue to consume some of my spare time, however I haven't touched it in a week or so now (since I finished the game on Normal difficulty and have seen the whole story). This means I've actually had some time for hobby-related activities. Part of the time has been spent on the Wolfygryphs (some progress pictures are further down in the post), but I've been doing a number of things at the same time.

First up, I have been rearranging my workspace. I wanted to buy another half a dozen shelves to completely cover the wall and give me plenty of room to stash all of my paints, but IKEA let me down by no longer stocking the cheap and cheerful spice racks I used last time. This was very disheartening and somewhat unexpected, but I guess it's what you get for putting things off for close to a year. In the end I went for a completely different solution and bought some plastic drawers from Bunnings.
My modelling workspace, halfway through its re-arrangement
Those who are familiar with the usual state of my painting table may realise that the table itself is far less cluttered than normal in this photo (yes, it really is much worse than this normally). You can actually see the wood in places in the centre of the table! This is due to a concerted effort by me to go through sorting my various bits and pieces. The drawers will serve to hold all the various hobby tools that normally clutter the table, as well as all the model bits that I generally have lying about in ziplock bags (or rolling about loose, adding to the general clutter). It will mean I have everything on hand without making it impossible to find a clear surface to work on.

Another thing I did recently was make a lightbox. It's something I have avoided doing in the past, mostly due to laziness. I decided it was time to do something about it, and there happened to be a suitable box on hand. I just used regular printer paper, which is undoubtedly not the right way to do things, but the thing seems sufficiently solid. The question now is whether my lamps are strong enough to make the thing work properly.
My lightbox on a budget. Cardboard and paper.
Below are a couple of shots of a Warrior Priest that I painted recently, but didn't bother to post about. He's basically identical to my other Warrior Priest on foot - very, very similar despite my not having the other model on hand when I was doing the painting. I was actually unsure which was the new one until I remembered using a resin base. Anyway, here he is in the new lightbox.
My Warrior Priest in the lightbox. The image seems very sharp, but the lighting is not.
The same guy from behind
I've also fallen back into my old habit of prowling EBay and WargamerAU for bargain models. Apart from buying a few newer shiny things (like components to work on my War Altar and silly wizard chariots), I've been accumulating a good collection of Empire character models from what I think of as "my era" - 4th edition models from when I really started to get into Warhammer. These are the models I still picture when I think of the Empire army, despite their age and the fact that many of them have been superceded. Happily I think I have pretty much all of the models I wanted now, so maybe I can break my bargain hunting habit and go back to being a thrifty hobbyist for a while.

A symptom of buying very old models is that they tend to be painted, often rather thickly. It's been a long time since I stripped models, but I decided it was time to get back in the habit. I've heard many good things about the magical powers of Simple Green, but I didn't have any on hand, and I had heard that Dettol could do a similar job. So I gave a small group of models a good bath (they were trapped in there for a week), and then a scrub with a toothbrush. I have to say, I was impressed with the results. Dettol definitely does the trick.
A few classic battle wizards, post-Dettol
And finally we have an update on the Wolfygryphs. Progress on them has been slow. I haven't planned them out in careful detail, and I want each model to be different. As such there has been a fair bit of dry-fitting of components, and a lot of chopping and changing. Some of them are more wire than plastic now, with all the drilling and pinning they have been subjected to. And most of them will require work with greenstuffing, even without considering the fact that I'm planning to give them all thick furry cloaks. Anyway, here are a few works in progress, to show how I'm going.
The standard bearer is carrying a copy of a Teutogen Guard banner - the original metal one would have been too heavy.
Obviously this guy needs another arm, but at least he has his axe.
I know what I was trying for here, but I'm still not sure I've gotten it right. I may have to greenstuff it all together before I know for sure whether it works.


  1. Those guys look great! Is it hard to convert the riders to being non-Space Wolf? And the warrior priest looks great, I love the purple robes.

    1. Thanks Kuffeh.

      The riders are not the original Space Wolves at all. They're Pistolier legs and Knight torsos. On some of the wolves I have used the saddles that came with them (after cutting off some telltale 40K-ness), and on the others I've just made a green stuff saddle (I didn't have enough saddles for all of them). The Pistolier legs fit fine over the saddles, so it's really not a hard process at all...