Okay well actually three – the first being that they are still alive. Having had a chat with the team at Spectre, last year was just a whole host of misfortunes added together into a perfect storm. I’ll leave it to them to say however much they wish to but after talking to them, many of the issues in the last year (issues with models requiring more clean up than usual, a lack of stock on the site) should mostly be in the past… hopefully.
However, lets focus on the actual news. Fitting for me seeing as I’m writing a post on it, Spectre have entered the 3d printing game. Last week they put up a pile of STL files for sale on their website for personal use. Priced pretty reasonably, these cover a wide selection of pieces from weapons to put in your HMV to scenery items and stowage. I know this is something a lot of people have asked about and it’s great to see them release them. I’m also intrigued to see what will come next – maybe the HMV turrets would be a useful addition.
It’s important to note that they are not planning to release their vehicles through this system which… is fair. There is a lot of work and design details in their 3d modelling and STLs are an inheritably open system – selling models this way would be asking for piracy and unlicensed selling. I would like them to be sold as STLs (you can never have enough humvees) but I think the maths to make it worth doing would probably make them incredibly expensive.
I had a little play with the files I picked up. They are nice STLs but arrive unsupported, so some work may be needed. As you can see above with the hescos, the ones bought from Spectre are going to have much more detail than the one printed by an entry-level 3D printer. That said, I was impressed that the 3d printed model actually maintained some of the texture detail, such as the netting on the corners of it. If you’re willing to accept these differences, and of course have the printer to make them, then you’ll be able to crank out hesco outposts at a fraction of the cost.
Next piece of news – Looks like we have a release incoming. Spectre put up this on their Instagram earlier today showing off some new figures. These are the brand new Deltas that Spectre had announced were on their way.
Interesting to note that this is a pack of 6 figures all armed with assault rifles (SIG MCXs based on the previews. They also look like an updated version of the Task Force Operators (as you might expect) – new gear, new guns.
You may recall that last year we saw the previews of them in 3D sculpt form. Only one of these figures are in the preview image, while the pistol wielding operator and drone controller are missing. The ChargeBlog Reasearch Group did throw around the idea that we might see the riflemen released as a squad pack, while the specialists are added later in smaller blisters. Or these might have just been the figures that were ready for previewing. Either way, I’m excited to see how these releases will go.
First figures of 2021 painted, finished just after midnight on the 1st of January (“start as you mean to go on” they say). Four more Enforcers done – after having worked out the scheme with the last two models, it quickly escalates up to batch painting. I’m really happy with how these figures have turned out, both with the extra conversion pieces and the paint scheme. I think out of this group, my favourite has to be the white-masked trooper with the bolter – I had worried about his pose looking awkward but I got to have a little fun giving him a decorated face mask and the old-style bolter. I’ll get some more detailed shots once all the models are painted up.
This week, I’m onto the final set of normal Enforcers to paint. Well I say normal – the presence of the sniper and gunslinger mean I get to work on some extra cool bits. After these guys, I then have the Subjactors to do, before finishing off with my special character and her doggo. And THEN I get to start work on the WW2 project.
Well that was a year. I’m sure 2020 wasn’t quite what people had planned going into it but hopefully it worked out okay. Looking back at where I was last year, I’m definitely in a different place but still got a fair few things to work on. This time last year I was starting to try and get a proper rhythm of painting before moving location… and then the everyday of the world sort of fell apart. I have definitely taken a long time
As a tradition, the end of the year means it’s time for the dreaded count of how much I got painted this year and my total (worked out from going back and checking the blog) was….
You may insert whatever jokes/memes you’d like to here.
Maybe not as much as I would have liked but still nice. I’m yet to actually double-check how many I purchased but I already know I bought more than that. One goal for next year I think will be trying to make sure the buy to painted ratio is at least 1:1, if not tilted more in favour of the painting side. This is especially important once Project 3D Printing is up and running.
So with the basics out of the way, lets talk projects
Project Enforcers is my current focus. So far, I have 6 of the 18 models painted – I would have been faster but Christmas took its toll (mostly through playing other games, trying to relax and then massively oversleeping) and so I didn’t get it finished this month. That said, I’m really happy with the colour scheme I’ve settled on – the little cosmetic tweaks I made to the enforcer models being brought out with the Anvil Industry parts.
This is my number 1 project right now – I really want to get it all wrapped up before I move onto anything else.
Project WW2 has been sat waiting for far too long and is the next focused push in the stack. It’s one of those projects I’m so ready to do – I have the basic paintjob planned out, ideas for the story of the figures I’m painting, and a group of opponents to go up against (once we can meet up). The aim now is just the final push of beginning and sitting down with paint brush in hand.
Of course, I should also add that my Brits have been expanded with the addition of enough Churchill tanks to assemble a full platoon of gun tanks, an AVRE for building destruction and a Christmas/Birthday present from the Dastardly Opponent in the form of a Churchill Croc to burn it’s way through the opposition.
Of course, the other reason why I need to get on with my WW2 project is this wonderful gift that my Creative Opponent gave me for Christmas (a socially distanced deployment as he drove back home with a car full of IKEA). This wonderful box, inscribed with a fictional regiment that he created for me based on some rough ideas I had, is full of tokens for Chain of Command complete with wording and details of the regimental logo. You can tell he has a laser cutter can’t you? I’ll honestly admit, opening it up definitely made me physically pause with my mouth open as it was such an unexpected gift.
Warcry Catacombs has arrived. I have pulled the rules out and taken a read, and I’m very excited for them. However, I’m going to save assembling it until I have finished the Necromunda guys at least.
There is also the matter of a few additions to my collection that Warcry has prompted. With the two scenery packs on hand to add some battlefield difference, I also picked up a few Witch Elves to back up the Khanite Shadowstalkers including some special models which I’m very intimidated about trying to paint. More details once they arrive (and I stop freaking out about the concept of subassemblies).
Project 3D Printing
Oh boy okay. I should currently be showing off my 3D printer and some of the stuff I have managed to make during my time off.
You may notice I am not doing that. The reason for this is due to the fact that my 3D printer (an Elegoo Mars Pro) started off with a fault (the UV lamp that causes the resin to set seemed to be misfiring) and then got worse when I attempted to fix it. By the time I’d finished digging around the front panel connection had been broken off, leading to me being unable to control the device to even test for the original flaw. The reason for this? Well, its what comes when you attempt to rush a repair job to play with a new present and an unfamiliarity with the exact mechanics of 3d printing. At the first issue, I should have boxed it up and sent it back to Amazon.
Instead, I am now waiting for parts to arrive from China to let me turn it on before we can then attempt to get the original fault checked (which may require more parts). On the one hand, the device shouldn’t have failed, on the other hand, I screwed up and am now paying the price. However looking on the positive side, I now understand a lot more about what’s going on inside the metal box which will be handy for any future issues. There is a lot of learning to do outside of the printing (such as preparing supports and handling the resin) so as disappointing as this delay is, I’m fine with it – it will be what it will be.
This is a new project technically, but I have been considering this concept for the last couple of years. To keep track of my painting, I mostly have been a Google Sheet and… well it feels a bit lacking. It’s only really good for basic tracking – anything greater such as specific queries or keeping an eye on purchases/completion requires a lot of extra work. So for a long time, I had been eyeing up the idea of making a database for it, delving into some of the web design work I had done at university to give me a lot more control over it (and let me run stupid queries like “whats the oldest model I haven’t painted yet”). This is also an excuse to get a bit more use out of my web hosting which I love heaving but offt I am paying a chunk for it.
So far, I’ve already done the hard part – deciding which columns will be in the table. The next stage is converting my Google Sheet document into a format I can add it to the database. This is made harder by the fact my current document is focused on a type with a number in it as opposed to rows for each figure. This is going to require some work but once it is done I can then start adding the fun bit such as taking pictures of each model, checking what’s in my collection matches whats in the database and then setting up the blog to have more details on it all.
So that’s my update. My aim for the future is to keep going and slowly improve. I’m not giving it a hard number but I just want to keep rolling, keep positing, keep painting and collecting. And One day maybe we’ll
Another week, another enforcer done in the new pattern. And stupidly I managed to pick a figure in exactly the same pose, just with a different weapon/head. This time I picked up one of the shotgun figures, one modelled after some of my airsoft kit (complete with helmet and chest-mounted pistol). I had a lot of fun painting this guy up – the scheme I’ve come up with works rather well.
The only thing I think I messed up was doing the flesh slit around the eyes. I seem to have covered up all the details on my first pass, and then after scrapping some of the paint off, it hasn’t really gone back together well. This is still something I need to work on, but luckily this model just has a very small gap of flesh.
As for further comments on painting, I’m really enjoying using the black contrast over lead belcher for a lot of things. The helmet was done this way, not even needing a dry brush. I’m not sure I’ll move over to contrast for everything but I’m really happy with it.
I also had fun adding the final touches for my helmet – the white writing on the back of it. I didn’t really do it 100% accurately but it evokes it enough. That flash of colour to draw your eyes.
Last week’s paint session was me finally getting some paint on the first of my Enforcers. It’s taken me a while to work out which scheme I actually wanted to do, but I finally came up with one that I think is suitable for a group of Space Faring Mercs in the 41st Millenium. Dark green armour and tan clothing evokes the traditional Cadian 8th colour scheme from the Imperial Guard (or Astra Militarum if you want to be on brand), something that a successful group may want to emulate – it looks good to the client if your group turns up looking like the bees knees. The other colour reference with this combination of colours (especially with leather boots) is it definitely evokes the American airborne of WW2 which I admit I quite like.
The colour list for this scheme so far is
Russian Uniform – Armour
Iraqi Sand – Cloth
Mahogany Brown – pouches + boots
Leadbelcher – metal
Black Templar Contrast – pistol grips + optics casing
Sand Yellow – colour stripes
Khorne Red – antenta optics
In terms of techniques, I tried out a few specific things:
Rather than only a single wash, I decided to double wash just to double down on the effects (making the dips darker)
After the wash, I went back to the armour and highlighted the raised portions with the base colour, just to make it stand out a little more from the washed areas. this can be seen especially on the shoulder pads
Using contrast paint over metallic leads to a really nice lacquered effect, making it look like plastic compared to the bulk of the metal
The base was done the same as my Eldar bounty hunter’s except I repainted the edds
Next week (or today when this goes up), I’m going to get to work on my next enforcer. Seeing as I only have a small number, I’m only going to paint them in very small batches – I don’t need to rush this, and I want them to look as good as I can make them. I also haven’t varnished this guy yet, purely so once I’m done, I can go back and do any touchups that might be required (such as neatening up the shoulder elements).
New month, time for a little update. Seeing as last month was really the intro to all the projects on my plate, this month is a bit more of a check in.
Monday evening painting sessions are going ahead, and forming a nice bit of routine in my week (even if I’m struggling to maintain it the rest of the time). It’s also been nice as a hangout/chat-the-shit time, especially important as I live by myself. It’s very easy to start disappearing into the box.
So November plan was to get the Enforcers assembled which is done! They are also undercoated and ready to start painting… which is where I hit the problem. I’m still not 100% on the scheme, and not quite ready to put paint to plastic. Perhaps this will be what I end up painting over Christmas. But all the models are ready to go, sitting in my “to-do pile”.
Fantasy ended up being the thing I spent most of my time this month. Mostly this was due to finishing off assembly on several kits (Godsworn Hunt to back up my Warqueen, the Tree Revanaents and my Dark Elf Corsairs) but there was also some rebasing work (as you can see above) and even painting the new figures. They are always a nice change from other projects.
With this month being deal month, I was really excited to see these two boxes on eBay at a heavy discount. If you remove the outright Age of Sigmar elements, then there are plenty of pieces to use for generic fantasy gaming. It also includes a baseboard in each box, ideal for setting up a quick game. I’m saving the full game for Christmas but this is a nice start. However, it’s reminding me I definitely need to get a spray booth set up for the airbrush.
So speaking of “deal month”, there as an accident at Warlord Games during their Tanksgiving promotion. My love of Churchills is well known, so the concept of having a full platoon of them (as well as an additional one to set up as an AVRE) is something I’m very excited for. One of the things I was looking forward to by being in Yorkshire was getting a chance to play more Big Chain of Command games – Having a tank AND infantry platoon for this is a good step. Also a trio of Churchills is a pretty horrifying proposition to see rolling across the board if you’re a German player in 1945.
I’ve also started doing another piece of the work on the platoon – setting up the details of the various officers and NCOs that are in my forces. I’m leaning towards realistically fictional, so I can do all the details for each character (as well as setting up excuses for them to be in a whole host of engagements from Normandy to Hamburg). After reading several WW2 accounts and rewatches of Band of Brothers and The Pacific, as well as looking at the excellent and characterful figures from Paul Hicks, I’m already having the fun of setting up the personalities.
There is also another project, coming later this month, that I’m looking forward to. It’s going to require a lot of experimenting and tinkering (as well as lots of new skills and tools to learn) but the sheer possibilities from it are very exciting. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make something good using it!
Cultists of all kinds are a common foe in the various nations of the Midgardian Empire. Although no match for the regular forces, they can provide troublesome to scattered adventurers or remote pre-industrial villages.
Three more of Northstar’s impressive figures from the Rangers of the Shadow Deep range. I really like their design, with the face masks, robes and bare feet to give them an unusual edge. The champion and archers are a neat addition to the existing pair, perfect for turning the pair into more of a force.
The paint scheme is also simplistic – black robes with gold masks. I decided to go for more gold on the Champion, showing off his importance, while the archers got dark wood bows with bone pieces embedded in them. and leather quivers. Flesh wise, I continued to use my new technique, combining medium fleshtone with contrast and then a drybrush over the top.
The other element to my Monday night hobby session was getting my fantasy figures onto their new basing material. I’ve used flock and sand in the past, so the experience wasn’t brand new. What was interesting was the way these scenic bags combine flock, gravel, sand, small stones and bits of green shrubbery. I’m still not 100% on it (the shrubbery seems to clump together mostly) but I’m slowly working at it. However, it’s amazing what a covered base can do for the model.
I also took this opportunity to get these models touched up and varnished. Safe to say, they are now in a “finished” state (or as much as they possibly can be). The only thing I might tweak is the face on my purple-dressed wizard – it’s a little less detailed than I’d like so I need to go back and do the detailing using paint as opposed my usual method of relying on the sculpt. Time to learn the highlighting methods!
One thing I noticed while doing these models is that I really need to up my bases game. The mud look is… not great. It does the job but it’s missing all sense of greenery. So after talking with my wargaming group about their recommendations, I’ve ended up grabbing these base ready bags from Geek Gaming Scenics. The unmarked one (scrublands) will be mixed with the mud layer for my fantasy guys. Arid Grasslands is going on my Moderns while the ground cover will be mixed with the mud for my WW2, ideal for going through the Reichswald. Expect some more details when I get to playing around with them!
The rest of my hobby sessions this week have been finishing off my Dark Elf Corsairs and getting them built (as part of my aim to clean out the unassembled models sitting in boxes on my shelves). They are definitely late-era Warhammer models (designed to rank up and so similar in posing) but they do have plenty of interesting elements that are fun to build. Combined with the Fleetmaster figure, they should be a fun project to paint and a good set of rivals to fight.
And then there is also…
Some trees – I’ll write more on these when I work out how on Earth I’m going to paint them.