Ruined Watchtower: January Terrain 2019

Not a GW kit for a change, today’s terrain piece is a ruined watchtower. I can’t tell you who produced it, though – as I picked it up quite a few years ago now in a job lot with a whole lot of other bits and pieces.

Speaking of pieces, it was in several until I finally assembled the thing earlier this month, with this month’s challenge and the good spraying weather finally motivating me to finally get the thing done!

It went together simply, if not easily – with some drilling and clipping needed to get the pieces together. The different segments don’t fit together perfectly, but they’re close enough so that it can be difficult to notice.

Once again, the sheen from several layers of varnish combined with a lot of lights belies the more matte appearance that it has in person. It looks almost like flowing mud here! What can I say? My lighting options for larger pieces are pretty shithouse! It’s kinda hard to see, but I’ve attempted to have the orientation of the grass on the tufts “flow” with he contours of the model, as the whole thing has a pretty windswept look to it.

That big section where it looks like it’s fit together extraordinarily badly is part of the sculpt – it’s intentional – rather than being the result of my terrible modelling skills. I’ve mounted it on an inexpensive wooden teapot stand to give it a nice sturdy base, and rather than trying to bevel it to the ground or try to paint the edges in an awkward (to me) brown so it “fits in better” with my table surfaces, I just went full fuggit and gave it a similar black rim as I do with many of my bases. I did roughly sculpt some simple flagstones in the ground, giving the indication of a small path that may or may not continue on the battlefield surface.

The scale of this model seems a bit smaller than most “heroic” scale models. Here we have it with a few Heroes of Men from the LotR range, with their slightly smaller scale showing the sizing. True historical models would be a touch smaller yet, so would fit in even more nicely with the tower. I also thought our friend The Imperfect Modeller would appreciate how close this almost gets to a proper diorama! I’d just need an appropriate figure to put in Gandalf’s place there, and a pin to hold them there on!

FInally, as a point of contrast, I thought a couple of more modern-scale AoS Bloodbound figures (ok, one is at least 50% Shieldwolf) would be a nice counter to the above – as you can see, it’s still very much usable for Fantasy of pretty much any stripe. And the number of times that Space Marines have fought their foes over terrain that resembles Terra’s ancient medieval castles must be beyond count!

Breaking News: February’s Paint Challenge goes dual-mode. Terrain added to Neglected Models!

Well, here’s the news. I’ve had long service leave approved for February after the mess that that was the end of last year (not to mention the entire preceding year) so I’m taking the entire month off from work. To keep things moving along, I’m going to continue painting terrain pieces like a bastard, and so I’m adding it to the month’s challenge. As always, feel free to participate if it’s your thing, or completely ignore it if it’s not your thing. I’ll still do one round-up for both modes once the month is done, especially as (for me, at least) a lot of terrain qualifies as both terrain and Neglected Models.

Large pieces, huge pieces, game boards, tiles, scatter terrain. It’s all good.

Just be sure and link your completed pieces in the comments of this post or (preferably) the original February Challenge post so I can compile them.

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape (January Terrain 2019)

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

Today we have a terrain piece that I picked up back in 2014, though the piece dates back to (at least) 2009. My reasons for getting it were no doubt tied to the triad of having recently (at the time) purchased my own home, the price (a surprisingly cheap AU$30.75 from my local GW source) and the fact that it looked pretty simple, so it should be a doddle to paint up quickly, right?

I lost that skull & crossbones sign long ago!

Well, we all know how well that last point goes, all too often. So long story short, it’s been sitting a corner of the War Room for several years, trees assembled, side hatch glued on, both top hatched glued on and broken off due to flimsy design, and sprayed a lovely shade of gloss brown.

Sprue Shot taken from 2009 review on Johns Toy Soldiers Blog.

So getting this thing done, along with quite a few similar projects was part of the impetus of January being Terrain Month (I’ll probably repeat it next year as well – so bloody many terrain kits to assemble and paint!)

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

My personal brief, from way back in 2014, was to paint the kit in a generic enough way so that it could be used regardless of which forces were fighting over the tabletop. This immediately meant that the Rhino needed to be painted as a burnt-out husk, so as to avoid being in the livery of any particular force. The same applied to the bits of Space Marine scattered around the piece (a couple of helmets, a backpack, a bolter).

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

So I did what I do now – look up a ton of reference pictures. I wanted the trees to look like the husks that are left after a bushfire, so an ashy grey. That also meant that I needed to make the dirt on the ground look suitably ashen. One of my reference pictures showed an AFV that had been destroyed in Ukraine, and it was severely rusted out. I thought it looked pretty effective, so I now had a new direction for my Rhino husk. Burnt out, and then rusted over time.

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

Given that the Rhino now had been there for long enough to rust out, this meant that a decent amount of time had passed since whatever explosive/shelling incident had caused this terrain piece to become. So this meant the additional of a subtly small addition to the entire piece. Spots of new growth. Again, reference photos provided the inspiration.

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

Unfortunately, the matte varnish has left a bit of a sheen that comes up in photography – especially with the extra lights turned on the table. It’s not quite as bad in person. But before all of those finer details, the first thing I needed to do was to finally complete the build, by filling that gaping hole to the tabletop left inside the rhino, between the hatches.

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

I’d tossed up various ideas to fill it over the years, and my best option was to mount the whole piece onto an MDF placemat, though it wasn’t quite large enough to have the whole, oddly-shaped piece fit. There was still a bit of overhang. Luckily Krautscientist’s recent WIP post on the Crashed Aquila Lander and a deceptively simple solution to that piece’s gaping hole to the tabletop (apparently a common issue with their kits of that vintage) provided me with inspiration on doing the same to my own long-neglected one of the same kit. After doing that (hopefully to be painted soon!) I immediately decided to do the same, simple trick to this model using some textured “small tile” plasticard for visual interest.

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

It was a little trickier due to the lack of contact points underneath – there’s a lot of plastic cement, greenstuff and superglue underneath, and the floor isn’t parallel to the roof – but it works.

Warhammer 40,000 Battlescape

Now, finally the kit is complete. Now, could I have spruced the thing up by adding additional details and such? Of course! But since that’s always the case, these things become a bit of a triage situation, where you need to weigh up whether it’s worth the time to do so. And I’ve got SO many more terrain kits to take on that I’m happy to finally call this one done and dusted!

Speed Freeks Scrap Piles #3 (January Terrain 2019)

Speed Freeks Mekboy Workshop Scrap Debris Piles

Today I have the third and final set of four scrap piles from the Speed Freeks/Mek Workshop set. I’ve still got the walls (four sets of three) as well as the Mek Workshop itself to do, but the walls vary between sprayed metallic across to still needing to be cleaned up, and nobody ain’t got time for that shit right now. I’ll do it when I go back to work to make lunchtimes and meetings more bearable. Same deal with the Ryza Ruins which will soon be bolstered with that new Kill Team stuff.

Speed Freeks Mekboy Workshop Scrap Debris Piles

Speed Freeks Mekboy Workshop Scrap Debris Piles

The techniques are identical to the previous two sets, posted recently. I’d hoped to get these posted up yesterday, but by the time I got the table cleared of the class of 2018, it was 9pm, I hadn’t eaten a meal since breakfast, and I was generally not in the right mood to photograph, photo edit or write a post. So you get ’em today, instead!

Speed Freeks Mekboy Workshop Scrap Debris Piles

Speed Freeks Mekboy Workshop Scrap Debris Piles

Unlike the other two sizes of debris piles, these ones are too large to fit two of them into my light box – hence all of the single pics.

Speed Freeks Mekboy Workshop Scrap Debris Piles

Speed Freeks Mekboy Workshop Scrap Debris Piles

Those piles of tyres get a bit repetitive, don’t they? This shot is really a great example of the drawbacks of GW’s plastic moulding tech and the lack of undercuts. It also really illustrates how these pieces are designed to be viewed from above – that “looking down on the models” or “God’s-Eye” perspective that we have as players.

Speed Freeks Mekboy Workshop Scrap Debris Piles

Speed Freeks Mekboy Workshop Scrap Debris Piles

Here’s another chipped paint close-up to go with the header pic.

Speed Freeks Mekboy Workshop Scrap Debris Piles

It ain’t so pretty close up. Which I guess is kinda the point, so it’s all good.

Here they are all laid out on a section of a wargame table.I’m happy with how they look – not too repetitive at all, considering we have only three sculpts of debris there. The orientation and paint disguise the repetitiveness rather nicely, I think.

And with a simulated battle between two Kill-Teams, fighting over the important tech located amongst the scrapheaps. When combined with other terrain on a real table, I think this stuff will look pretty bloody good, if I don’t say so myself!

That’s it for now for these. I’ll get onto the walls and the actual Mek Workshop in a month or two. No time for cleaning the mould lines off that crap right now, and way too much still to do!

Azazel’s 2018 Hobby Reflection and goals for 2019 aka This is What 581 Models Look Like.

Well, 2018 was quite the year. As far as painting productivity goes, it was the best year I’ve ever had. As far as wargaming goes, it was decidedly mediocre – I think I managed to wargame about three times. Personally, the year was a fucking dumpster fire, starting with the immediate aftermath of my mum’s passing a week before Christmas, larger than usual work stresses, a knee injury that’s still an ongoing issue that affects my mobility (can’t run, can’t walk long distances without paying for it later) and workcover/admin issues taking six months to get me some treatment, and them my father having a stroke a few days after the anniversary of my mother’s passing. If you’re wondering how I paint so many models, I’m sure that keeping my mind occupied at every waking moment has a lot to do with it. – Stay Busy, Don’t Think.

I’m not going to dwell on all of that a whole lot more right now, though I’ll come back to the knee in a later post because it becomes relevant again. Probably in January’s round-up, since this thing is already excessively long!

Part I: 2018 all laid out together.

Somehow it looks a lot less than I’d imagined that 581 models would look. That scatter terrain – boxes and barrels and hedges take up a goodly chunk of that number, though – and the boxes all mesh together pretty tightly.

Part II: 12 Months – Condensed.

I am now going to run through my monthly round ups, because I think it’ll be nice – for me if no-one else – to see them all collected in one place. It’s my blog, I can be self-indulgent if I want to.

January 2018

February 2018

March 2018

April 2018

May 2018

June 2018

Also, June 2018

July 2018

August 2018

September 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

So not a bad outcome in the end. Sure, there’s a lot of scatter terrain in there, and no end of Neglected models that were already at some point in the paint process, but I’m pretty happy with it all. Now let’s see how it all stacks up compared to my stated goals for 2018 from last January:

Part III: 2018’s Goals – Successes or Failures?

(it’s a mix, because of course it bloody is!)

1. Paint and finish some 2+1 marine forces/bump up existing small groups to this as a minimum.

By this I mean small forces of Space Marines – 2 units of infantry, plus a leader and something cool, like a dreadnought, tank, flyer, etc. This at least makes them playable or easily allied to other armies. Right now, forces which I’ve shown that still need to be bumped up to this level are Black Templars, Celestial Lions, Fallen Angels and Deathwatch, though I have another one on the go right now, and plans (oh dear, the plans) for several more. I’d also count finishing my 2006 Ork force in there.

Well, this didn’t really happen. None of my many marine forces got turned into playable-sized forces, though a couple took some steps towards it. I did manage to complete the 2006 Ork force, though – so that’s a solid positive.

2. Reinforce the existing 40k armies.

Specifically, both Minotaurs and Iron Warriors need some proper reinforcements. Even more specifically, there are two vehicles for the IW that have been staring at me for years, as well as another squad that I prepared the figures for and another hero model. Then there’s that mass of Tactical Marines for the Dark Angels I’m working on.

Towards the end of the year I got a little more done for the Minotaurs and Iron Warriors, but overall, not nearly as much as I’d hoped for either. I didn’t touch that huge mass of Dark Angels in the end.

3. Sort out the stuff that’s painted but needs reorganisation to be playable in 8th edition. I’m very much thinking of my Imperial Guard here.

*cough* moving right along…

4. Finish more of the stuff I started but never finished.

I must say, I did pretty good here. I completed a lot of individual models and units that were started a long time ago and had sitting around. Unfortunately, I reckon if I did nothing but paint Neglected models, I could probably do nothing else for all of 2019. So I’ll do as many as I can once again, but it’ll probably take me a couple more years to get through them all. I can only imagine how it’d feel to have little to no half-painted models sitting around in containers and shelves!

5. Complete all of my metal Dwarf Slayer models.

Did I paint any Slayers in 2018? It seems not, with the closest thing being Queen Helga (also the only dwarf I painted in 2018!) – so total failsauce!

6. Complete all of my metal Viking models.

I finished a few more metal Vikings, but not all of them by a long shot.

7. Get a Nurgle Daemon army up and running.

You know, I think I managed to do this one. I’ve been a bit slack for half of the year though, so I should get back to this one sooner rather than later. I also need to take a couple of “army” shots really badly.

Mrowr! Leonard Strikes!

8. Get a Grey Knights army up and running.


Look upon this beautiful man and be distracted by my lack of progress on these painting goals.

9. Get a second Chaos Legion force up and running. Death Guard? Thousand Sons? Black Legion/Sons of Horus? Word Bearers? So many choices, so little time to paint!


10. Skirmish forces & small miniature boardgame models updated/ready to play. Necromunda, Shadespire, Blood Bowl, Gorechosen, SAGA (aside from Vikings)

Oh. I said *aside* from Vikings… No Necro or Blood Bowl or Shadespire teams/gangs/warbands completed, but I did get a fair few Shadows of Brimstone and Imperial Assault models done, though!

11. Two small opposed forces for Bolt Action.

We’re talking in the 2+1 kind of size here, but we’re getting to a lot of figures I’d like to paint at this point.

Yeah, no. I painted some tiny tanks, though!

12. Then there are unfinished terrain pieces, projects like the Graveyard and the Mighty Fortress, and scatter scenery, and…

Well, I did at least do pretty okay here in 2018…

Part IV: Looking Forward – 2019’s Goals.

Given that mix of success and failure, I should make some new goals for this coming year – let’s recycle the last set, but with some modifications. I’ll sprinkle photos from my 2018 collection in here to help you avoid falling asleep!

1. Paint and finish some 2+1 marine forces/bump up existing small groups to this as a minimum. By this I mean small forces of Space Marines – 2 units of infantry, plus a leader and something cool, like a dreadnought, tank, flyer, etc. 

I’d still like to do this. The most realistic contenders are much the same – Black Templars, Celestial Lions, Fallen Angels, Deathwatch – plus Flesh Tearers. It’s also very doable to at least get a couple done – if I’m able to focus on them.

2. Reinforce the existing 40k armies. Specifically: Minotaurs, Iron Warriors, Dark Angels, Nurgle Daemons and Orks.

Also very doable. I have a Squad of Minotaurs who I might manage to get done for next month’s Neglected theme. After that it gets a bit harder, as I’ll need to assemble any further Iron Warriors (even though I have the parts ready) – because I’m probably going to have a stronger focus on neglected models across the year over new assemblies. I’ve got a few more metal Daemons to finish before I allow myself onto the plastic (not counting the metal Nurglings), and I’ve got both plastic and old-school Rogue Trader Orks on the painting table.

3. Sort out the stuff that’s painted but needs reorganisation to be playable in 8th edition. I’m very much thinking of my Imperial Guard here.

Doable, but it needs 2 things: Time to do it and an impetus. Unless I get playing with some regularity, I’m probably not going to get around to doing this because my spare time is more limited than ever now.

4. Finish more of the stuff I started but never finished. 

That’s Neglected Models. It’ll be a running theme throughout 2019. Not an exclusive one, but I’ll do my best to keep it consistent and get as many of them done as I comfortably can.

5. Complete all of my metal Dwarf Slayer models. There’s a few that got started but have now been sitting on the desk for over a year.

There’s not all that many of them overall, but with each essentially being a character in terms of how I paint them (tattoos and such). Like most of this list, they’re doable, but there’s only so much time I’ll get to paint and finish models.

6. Complete all of my metal Viking models.

Exactly what I wrote about the Slayers applies again here, but with shield designs instead of tattoos. Hopefully I can keep plugging away at both.

7. Skirmish forces & small miniature boardgame models updated/ready to play. Necromunda, Shadespire, Blood Bowl, Gorechosen, SAGA, Kill-Team, Gaslands, TANKS!/What a Tanker!

I’ll also roll Kill-Teams, Gaslands, TANKS! and What a Tanker! into this category this year – so the “Second Chaos Legion” goal as well as the “Start Grey Knights” can fit in here. I’ll continue to sprinkle in boardgame models like Imperial Assault and Shadow of Brimstone. I’ve also been mulling over trying to do a Shadespire/Nightvault warband each month, but that might be too much, start-to-finish with also trying to hit monthly painting challenges and an overall monthly target….

8. Two small opposed forces for Bolt Action. We’re talking in the 2+1 kind of size here, but we’re getting to a lot of figures I’d like to paint at this point.

Probably unlikely to happen, but it would be nice to finish a few tanks for both Allies and Axis forces. Then in 2020 I can try to paint a couple of platoons of infantry!

9. Then there are unfinished terrain pieces, projects like the Graveyard and the Mighty Fortress, and scatter scenery, and…

Hopefully going to get onto one of those Fortresses this coming week. I plan to keep hammering away at large terrain over February as well, and then probably mostly scatter and smaller pieces until next summer. Wish me luck!

I know that these “New Year” posts traditionally get written and posted in the opening days of January, but I’m a rebel. A maverick who plays by his own rules! That, or it just took me ages to get around to laying all of the figures out on the table, and then time to write this text up. Eh!

Neglected Models February 2019: Community Painting Challenge

Here we are – a year on from when these Community Painting Challenges really kicked off – I thought the original reprise of Decembruary was going to be more of a one-off in terms of people being interested in participating. In light of that, I thought I’d actually recycle much of the round-up post from last February, so the many people who have joined over 2018 have another chance to check out these models. (don’t worry – I won’t do this every month! Probably.)

But what is a “Neglected Model Challenge“? Well, it’s as simple as it sounds – Simply complete a single model (or more if you want) that you started painting awhile ago, but still sits unfinished. I suggest 6+ months, but that depends on what your backlog is like.

So if you’re keen for it, no need to sign up. Just pick a model that’s been neglected and during the month of February, make it into a completed model. If you’d like to be included in the wrap-up at the end of the month, it’s super helpful if you post a link in the comments section of THIS post, so everything is in one place when I go to stitch it all together. Because someone’s work always gets missed, at least initially!

Krautscientist from Khorne’s Eternal Hunt completed his converted model of Interrogator Chastity of the Ordo Hereticus.

Alex from Leadbaloony finished this Necron-with-no-name, hiding out on the Imperial fringes.

Just Needs Varnish completed a trio of 20mm Japanese Type 89 Medium Tanks.

Mikeland82 from Starship Vorenus completed three sets of models this month – finishing a repaint of an old-school/oldhammer Emperor’s Hammer Space Marine Rhino APC that had been outstanding for some time.

Mikeland82 also completed this trio of Primaris Space Marine Reivers. (Space Marines can’t spell, apparently!)

Finally (firstly, actually) Mikeland82 completed this rather wonderful female Soviet Sniper, hitting both the Neglected model challenge as well as the Fembruary Challenge.

Wargamer Eric would be quick to tell us that “I AM THE LAW!” Or his figure would, at least, with a Dredd-inspired Forgeworld Imperial Enforcer.

Steinberg Shed Space finished a model that’s pretty familiar to me recently, the 2nd release of the Great Unclean One of Nurgle.

Argentbadger has painted Hannah, Chief Freikorps Archivist for Malifaux.

Ann from Ann’s Immaterium completed a Chaos Cultist that had been bugging her for some time.

Ann also painted up Sebelex: Devourer of the Dead who had been languishing for a year or more to join her Plaguebearers.

Backtothehammer completed a ton of Wood Elf Spearmen/Crimson Guard (shields coming soon!)

Reaper Bones 80035: Dumpster & 80034: Weapons Locker (Part 1) (January Terrain 2019)

Reaper Bones 80035: Dumpster & Reaper Bones 80034: Weapons Locker

More terrain today – though these have been on the go for months in a neglected sprayed-silver state. I could have finished these next month for the Neglected Models challenge, but I wanted to get them done this month for Terrain Month. We’ve got a pair of Reaper Bones models in a harder plastic – one Dumpster and also two Weapons Lockers.

I tried a different method for the chipped paint for these – I have (had, soon!) a little bottle of Vallejo Masking Fluid, so I added bits of that to the silver (after a gloss spray again) before going over it with the dappled greens and browns. Unfortunately, as I rubbed it off, it left a horrible sticky mess and was shitful to work with, so I’ll be disposing of this bottle. I might try it again with a freshly purchased on and see how it goes.

I’ve got another two “Weapons Lockers” and two more dumpsters, though I’ll be doing them in a couple of different colours, and they’re nowhere near finished yet – and as these ones are done, you can see them now!

For a bit of a laugh, the size comparison pic has some Dark Angels Marines posing while the whole lot is on a green background. Fairly nice bits of terrain, but that’s one fucking HUGE dumpster compared to every one I’ve seen in my own life…