Thursday, 3 May 2012

My gradual progress

Well my updates have definitely been less frequent lately. Things have been busy, and the blog tends to take a back seat. This doesn't mean I have stopped painting, although I haven't had that much to report. My efforts recently have been spread rather than focused, which means I don't have as much to show for my time as I would have liked. Nevertheless, here is what I've been up to...

I recently posted pictures of all the knights I plan to paint to match my older regiment based on Voland's Venators. As always seems to be the case with my projects recently, there were a lot of them to do - 27 to be precise. Well, the majority of my effort has gone into them. In fact, some of them are done.
4 completed converted "Venators"
I actually did 5 in my first wave, however I forgot to take any photos at the time, and now that they've been done for a week or more, 1 of them vanished into the muddle that is my Empire models and I couldn't be bothered hunting him down. 5 is a smaller batch than I would normally do (especially when there are so many waiting), but I figured I'd give it a try to see if my progress was more satisfying. Ultimately I don't think it makes much difference, although if I was a diligent blogger it might be a better method to ensure there is a more steady stream of completed models to show off. Not that it would be very exciting to bombard you with post after post of what looks like the same 5 guys being painted over and over...

Since completing the first wave of 5, I thought I had completed another group of 5. Then I realised I had forgotten their saddles, reins etc - because I am a dope. I have not yet gone back and fixed this, so the completed tally still sits at 5 instead of 10. Rather than focus on completing those almost-done guys, I soldiered on and started on the rest. Thanks to a combination of needing to wait for Badab Black to dry and my recent scatter gun approach (ie complete failure to focus), I have started all of the remaining knights. Below you can see where they're up to.
Various stages: The guy on the left is almost complete - just missing his saddle and static grass. I have 5 guys at this stage. The middle guy has his purple done, but still needs skin, white, and the horseflesh finished (as well as everything the first guy needs). I have 5 at this stage. The guy on the right has a long way to go - his base and armour are painted and the lance cleaned up, but that's about it. I have 12 models at this stage...
As you can probably tell, there is a lot of work still to be done on this unit. But they're definitely getting there.

As I have been saying though, my focus has not been completely on the Venators. A couple of weeks ago I decided it would be a good idea to do another battle report. The night before the game, I had a sudden bout of inspiration - if I painted a unit of Halfling Huntsmen, my victory would be assured. Unfortunately at this point the Halflings were not based, nor were they undercoated. So ultimately it was a stupid idea. Nevertheless I set about trying to get them ready in record time - sand (using superglue for fast drying) and undercoat before dinner, followed by a mad effort to get them painted. 

I admitted defeat at about 1am - they were nearly done, but I had realised halfway through the evening that my efforts were in vain anyway. I had elected to just paint half of my 16 Halflings (I would do the other half in a later batch when I was in less of a hurry). However nowadays the minimum unit size for Huntsmen is 10! So my 8 Halflings were not going to be able to take the field as anything other than a detachment of regular Archers. This killed my reckless enthusiasm, and despite persevering in the hope of getting the 8 guys finished, I fell short (and as a result they didn't make it into the final list). They have since been completed, but too late (and too few) to help me salvage the battle report (which would surely have gone better had they been there. Surely...)
8 Halfling Huntsmen - too few and too late to save the day
I have been fiddling with a whole array of things, including the new magic cart kit (making a Celestial Hurricanum or Luminark), various plans for a war altar, undercoating more models (including the rest of the Halflings and another warrior priest on foot), and the start of my Demigryph unit. Half of the internet loves the new Demigryph models. The rest seem to be planning to use Thunderwolves to make their own. I fall into the latter category, and am slightly depressed to realise how many others had the same idea. But it fits my white wolf theme, and I will be persisting with it. And having assembled my first 3 wolves, I can happily say that the models are dead sexy. No wonder everyone wants to find an excuse to use them...

A problem that hadn't really occurred to me during my planning was that I have no Demigryph bases. They're a stupid size (50x75mm), shared only by the plastic giant kit at the moment. The Thunderwolves come with silly round 40K bases, so are no use here. The internet is not much better - nobody sells these bases in reasonable numbers because nothing uses them. And no resin manufacturers yet stock them. As a result, I have been reduced to trying to make my own. 

I used some 3mm perspex I had sitting around from making movement trays many moons ago, and after much heartache I have managed to trim down 2 bases to match my giant. I plan to try copying the bases using Instant Mold and Magic Sculp, because there is no way I am going through the effort to carve up the nearly invincible perspex to make a lot more of these things. I figure I will include rock details to make them more interesting. Fingers crossed that the Magic Sculp will be durable enough for the job. Below is one of my prototypes:
A 50x75mm perspex base with blue foam rocks. Soon to become several bases, made from Magic Sculp.

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