Mechanismo May ’19: Community Painting Challenge

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that I haven’t posted anything for awhile, and the Community Round-Up from March still isn’t up. Well, the best I can offer is that normal service will resume when it resumes, and the monthly round-ups WILL still be done – as will my own backlog. I just don’t have the time nor inclination right now for blogging, nor for diarising the shitshow that is my life at present..

Regardless of that, the world marches on, so without any further ado, I present you with May’s Community Challenge: Mechanismo May. (Named for a book in inherited from my brother, years ago – not the Dredd story).

What is Mechanismo May for? Well, simply put: anything mechanical – vehicles, power armour, droids, bots, walkers, mechanical scenery.

Does this mean that there’s a lot of cross-over with the “Armoured April” challenge? Well, sure. Tanks and Power armour and the like obviously fit into both. On the other hand, this month isn’t for Chaos Warriors with a 2-handed maul, but it is for a Trebuchet, or a cannon, or an artillery piece – or for a… well, you get the idea.

Is the model (or a significant part of the model) mechanical? Is it more than a modern dude who happens to be holding a firearm? Then there’s your answer!

(Yes, it’s time to get that Magos and/or the Crashed Aquila done!)

As always, the biggest distinction between this painting challenge and many others out there are that I only care about you completing these models. It’s not a “start-to-finish” challenge set during a single month, so regardless of whether you just missed out on finishing that knight or tank this month, last month, or six months ago – or you’ve got stuff that you’ve been chipping away at for six months – or, indeed – if you’ve got models that have been shelved for months or even years, feel free to dig them out and join in. Similarly, if you want to go start-to-finish, then feel free to go right ahead. It’s entirely about completing cool things.

Reaper Bones 77007: Ghost (Gender-Ambiguous March ’19)

Reaper Bones 77007: Ghost

After seeing Maenoferren22 over on Bogenwald post up his Reaper Bones Ghost the other day as part of the Gender-Ambiguous challenge, I realised that I had a pair of them myself sitting around on the painting desk, which I’d used as test models for the new(ish) “ghost” paints by GW, Hexwraith Flame and Nighthaunt Gloom – which both turned out to be a bit of a disaster.

Reaper Bones 77007: Ghost

So, the logical thing was to try and smash them both out quickly for the challenge (again, on the 30th of March). This was achieved by going onto YouTube and seeing what Warhammer TV said about painting Nighthaunt models. So I simply followed the simple instructions on the video, and in the process got both of these painted to a passable tabletop level and also learned a bit more about using these paints. Especially Nighthaunt Gloom. Basing was done in the same style as the rest of my Undead Models with gravestones on their bases, alongside the other Reaper Miniature, the Dragon Plant – also featuring a whole lot of flowers…

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin (Squad: March! ’19, Gender-Ambiguous Model Painting Challenge ’19)

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin

More Shadows of Brimstone models this time. In fact, this set of models that helped to inspire the Gender-Ambiguous Challenge for March, so they’re a nice little set that covers both the Squad Challenge from March as well as the Gender Challenge.

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin

These Brimstone models also suffered from the “shitty HIPS model” syndrome that I’ve complained about a few times. The main culprit with these being that they came in only two poses, with no body interchangability between them. Yes folks, despite being made of three parts (hips, torso, head) the torsos only fit their own specific set of legs. Because I wanted slightly fewer clones, I took a hobby knife to the plastic, along with the minimum amount of putty repair that I could manage to swap a few of them around. Rookie mistake! Let’s be perfectly honest, though – the only reason that these sprues got removed from the box was because I saw them as “easy wins” – models that could be painted up relatively quickly and easily. Because they’re just fur, basically!

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin

At one point in the month, if I were posting more frequently, these would have been posted as two separate units of three, as the Brown Trio and then the Grey/Black Trio, especially as both subsets were completed nearly a week apart. No matter now, though.

The main reasons I painted them in these two (well, three) overall schemes was to provide differentiation if it was needed. As I (still) haven’t gotten around to playing SoB yet, I’m not sure if it used the “elites” concept for larger numbers of mobs in the same way that, say, Descent or Imperial Assault do. It also lets me do the same if it ever becomes needed in any other game, with an Alpha, two Betas or lieutenants, and then the brown trio being the more general pack (were)wolves.

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin

These models were also the first ones that I tried a new can of Spray Varnish from AK Interactive. I don’t have any nice things to say about that experience, but I’ll have a review of the AK cans up hopefully sooner than later, sometime this month when I have a spare post slot. The one spoiler I’ll give is that I had to respray these after trying the AK…

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin

That’s basically it for today’s post – another six Brimstone models done and done. That might be it for my March models. I’ll have to check.

Because of all the shit that’s gone down IRL recently, I’ll figure out if I have any more not-yet-posted March models, then I’ll do my round-up, and then I’ll start putting together the Community Round-up that will be done when it’s done. I’ve (hopefully) got to pick Dad up from Hospital on Monday, but before (and after) that, I still need to visit him daily for awhile, and of course there’s other family bullshit that’s just appeared. Then on the distract myself with entertainment so I don’t throw a chair through a fucking window side, there’s NXT Takeover that I need to catch up on, the NJPW/RoH show Sunday morning, and something like 8-10 hours of Wrestlemania on Monday that will probably take 2-3 days to watch because fuck that’s a lot of wrestling in a short amount of time. All of these things will delay the Community Round-Up.

C’est la vie.

#Monster March 3 – 2019 Personal Round-Up

I usually don’t do these dedicated round-ups when I participate in other people’s monthly painting challenges as I usually only finish a single model, or a couple of models, but this year’s Monster March has been a little different. While my initial plans involved completing four models – a giant, a bone giant, a giant worm and a dracoloche only ended with me completing the last model from that list (with several additional unnamed models considered as mental “stretch goals”, the fact was that my father’s health issues put paid to my early month’s painting work on that angle – in fact he’s been in for over a week now with serious heart issues, and we’ve had a rollercoaster of different medical opinions that have included a multiple bypass open-heart surgery to the off-pump version of the same, to a stent possibly being possible after all, to the stent having too great a risk of exsanguination (it’s a real word, Blood Angels fans!)

So the last over-a-week has been one of the most fucked-up ones in my life. Cue slightly more aggro, more swearing in general and more specific use of the word “cunt” in this blog than usual. In any event, following a week of “surgery tomorrow” that hasn’t happened and “angiogram and stent tomorrow”, which also hasn’t happened – after a meeting this afternoon with a doctor who turned out to be one of Melbourne’s top cardiologists (I googled her name afterwards), the final verdict, in her words, is “do no harm”, so rather than fucking with pointy and sharp things, there’s a slight adjustment to medication and some observation, and we take him home (finally) in a few days so he can return to his garden and real food. (I’ll get some photos up at some stage for TUG – at least one person will appreciate it!)

That’s all well and good, Azazel. But what does that have to do with the important business of Toy Soldiers? I’m glad you asked. It’s because I’m exactly like a self-absorbed 16 year old girl with her diary. It’s also because the last week (off work, because obviously – and yes, they’ve been very supportive, though no-one from there follows this blog) has necessitated me diving heavily into distraction, occupying my mind as much as possible and trying to avoid additional stress. In this case, that’s been attempted largely by painting monster models like a motherfucker and playing The Division 2. I got one model done, then another, then another …and just kept going (until they leaked into April!)

It’s also the reason that I’m (once again) way behind in reading and commenting on other people’s blogs and haven’t even started on the Round-Ups for the dual-mode March Challenges. I’ll get to them of course, but I’m not going to go nuts rushing.

So to finish up, I’d like to thank Swordmaster for running the challenge again this year, as it’s given me something external and productive to distract myself and focus on over the last couple of weeks while things have been so …fucked up.

Here’s the models!

Shadows of Brimstone Dark Stone Hydra

Conan Kickstarter Dragon

The Others: 7 Sins – Avatar of Gluttony

Scotia Grendel Dungeon Crawler (Giant Centipede)

Reaper Bones Dragon Plant

Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche

The Others: 7 Sins – Avatar of Wrath

Ice Elementals – Mantic Games

The next couple of posts will be my final models for my own March Challenges that haven’t gotten posted as I focused on getting the MM stuff up ASAP and as I completed them. After that, round-ups and April models.

Ice Elemental (Limited Edition Kickstarter Clear Resin Variant – Mantic Games) (#Monstermarch3 ’19)

Mantic Games Ice Elemental

So here we are – my final set of submissions for Monster March ’19. Sure, technically, I didn’t finish adding snow flock to them to my satisfaction until a couple of days ago, slightly into April, but them’s the breaks. It certainly was the above challenge that got them out of their zip-lock baggies and into the form you see above and below, even if it went over by a couple of days.

Mantic Games Ice Elemental

The model itself is the Kickstarter-exclusive variant of the model, in clear blue resin. I’m not sure why Mantic doesn’t do them like this as standard, since it’s certainly a lovely looking model in this form (though their studio-painted model looks pretty amazing in its own right!) Paint-wise, I did very little. A careful edge-drybrush on the upper edges of Vallejo Ice Blue, followed by White. In the “eye”, I painted the Blue GW gemstone paint, with a touch of Army Painter Blue wash mixed carefully in, as well as a careful angle for the drying.

Mantic Games Ice Elemental

The rest of it was simply done with Woodland Scenics Snow Effects flock. White base, one layer of Snow Effects mixed in with PVA. The assembled model was then gel superglued down, and after drying, another, more generous layer of PVA/Snow Effects to sink the heavy feet in, along with a couple of footprints behind them both that you obviously can’t see in these photos of white-on-white-on-a-dark-background. Finally, I added some sprinkles of Snow Effects from above in a couple of layers, as my trial of doing so looked better than leaving them “clean”.

That’s (almost) it for Monster March ’19. I’ll have a compilation shot for this challenge tomorrow, with some other thoughts, but these are the final models for that challenge.

The Others: 7 Sins – Avatar of Wrath (#Monstermarch3 ’19)

The Others: 7 Sins - Avatar of Wrath

Here’s the penultimate post for Monster March ’19 from me. While I didn’t manage to get any of the super-large beasts I’d hoped to done, it at least worked to help me get a couple of “stuck” models like the Dracoliche, the Crawler, the Dragon Plant, the Darkstone Hydra, the Conan Dragon… yeah not too bad in terms of both numbers or motivation for getting those Neglected Monsters done.

Today then, we have another of the models from The Others: 7 Sins Kickstarter expansion packs. This time, the Avatar of Wrath. Look at that box art above! Do you think they could have made it a little more busy?

The Others: 7 Sins - Avatar of Wrath

This one was done with layer upon layer of red over a black base, then highlighted through several reds into the edge of orangey-reds and reddish-oranges. I didn’;t want to overdo it, nor did I want to veer into pink, so it may not show extreme edge highlighting – especially in these photos, that bring everything a little closer than they are in-hand, bit it works well enough. The muscle-sinew-whatever on the rend along his spine was re-darkened, and then hit with a coat of Blood For The Blood God, to give it that spiffy exposed-muscle look favoured by such luminaries as Robbie Williams.

The Others: 7 Sins - Avatar of Wrath

I also made the decision to have the lower legs of this chap in a much darker red, to give a little more tonal variation to him – despite most everything being reds. You can almost see the dodgy neck join where the Chinese factory workers assembled the head a little “off”. This photo also gives us a nice little illustration of some of the extra detail present in this model along the leg and forearms. I do have to say that CMON did a pretty good job with the models on this boardgame, even if the game is forgettable. I bought it for the models rather than the game in this case, so I’m still good with it all. This guy for example, will see the most use as a Daemon Prince or Herald of Khorne. I mean, to quote Archer – “Why would you not?

The Others: 7 Sins - Avatar of Wrath

Adrian Smith really seems to have a Vagina Dentata fixation – at least in the designs of so many of the monsters in this particular game. This model has one, but is far from the most egregious, and it’s the most enduring leitmotif throughout the models in this range, as you can see from checking out more of them online, or as you’ll see as I paint up more of them over time.

The Others: 7 Sins - Avatar of Wrath, Avatar of Gluttony

Finally, a sizing shot that shows the comparative sizes of both of the Avatars that I’ve painted up in the last week. Soon I should have their underlings done.

Tomorrow I’ll have my final Monster March post up. Just waiting for the final bit of snow to dry!

D&D Monster Manual 14: Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche (#Monstermarch3 ’19, Gender-Ambiguous March ’19)

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche

A bit of a personal triumph(?) of sorts with this post – I’ve finally completed the Dracoliche model from the D&D Castle Ravenloft boardgame, which I purchased in the middle of 2012 and we finished playing in 2013 or perhaps early 2014.

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche

I think this may actually be the last of the monster models from that game, as I know I completely ignored the player character models in favour of already-painted better models by GW, Reaper, etc.. It certainly took me long enough to force myself to finish this one. I think the major mental blockage on this one was due to the soft-ish PVC details and the rather plain “all-bone” look.

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche

The model is actually pretty decent for a boardgame model, especially one from the early 2010’s, though obviously it doesn’t stand up too well to many HIPS plastics and whatnot. Being mostly bone, it should have been a complete doddle for me to paint, but instead, it’s been a model that’s taken me quite a few years to complete. It took Monster March (yes, again) to get this model finally done now, even though I didn’t manage to complete it last year or the year before…

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche

I also built up a gaming base for it, specifically for Kings of War, so I can have it on the round base for various boardgames, or Pathfinder, or AoS, or whatever – or then blu-tac it onto the “army” base for Kings of War. I think I need to add a tuft or some flowers or two to that base, though. The trick was to try and have the simply sculpted flagstones for the Ravenloft boardgame and to fit in with those models, while also giving a nice “tabletop friendly” effect, such as I did on the Ravenloft Golem that I completed relatively recently.

D&D Dungeons and Dragons Castle Ravenloft Dracoliche, Conan Dragon

Something that does amuse me in a rather wry way is how well this undead lizard, released in 2010 scrubs up compared to the Conan “dragon” from 2016 (remember, I had to add the Conan dragon’s base myself!)

Two More Monster March Model Posts to come!