Hobby

The state of my hobby

As we start with a new year, it’s time to tack stock about the state of my hobby. Last year I resumed painting models, and in March I proclaimed Summer of hobbying 2019. My primary objective was to have more painted models. All that grey plastic is no fun to look at, and it even substracts a little from the playing-experience. My army with the most painted models are my Dwarfs, and even if the paintjob is not very good, I always enjoy playing them a little more than the unpainted armies. That had to change.

I decided to paint my Night Goblins first, as they had the lowest model count and a fairly easy paint scheme. I knew right away that painting the whole army was still a very ambitious goal and not likely to be achieved, but it was important to get the engine running. Later that year Games Workshop released their new line of Gloomspite Gitz with some gorgeous new models, and since they are basically all backwards compatible to Warhammer Fantasy, naturally I ended up with new models for my Night Goblins, setting me back even further. Still, even if I am not much closer to my goal model-wise, I did get some work done and put some paints on some models.

I started with my Night Goblin archers. I had a particular color scheme in mind and wanted to try it out on the models I deemed most expendable. I settled for classic black hoods, as is tradition, the obvious green skin color and a nice turquoise-blue as a highlight color. A simple scheme with a limited color palette. It turned out pretty well and I am very satisfied with the way those archers turned out.

I also magnetized them with those adhesive magnetic bases, which is what I almost like best, since it is a huge advantage for playing. For all future models I will shift to neodym magnets though, as they are far superior. I might even replace them on the shootaz. So these 40 shootaz were a great start into this army project, but it took longer than it should have. Increasing my paint speed is going to be one very important aspect of my hobby in 2020.

From my shootaz I went on to the infamous Night Goblin fanatics. The main reason was that I had these models already basecoated and their small model count meant that I would be able to have another painted unit in relatively short time. I continued on with the established paint scheme, with the addition of more mushrooms.

Next up was my unit of Night Goblin stabbaz, the big kahuna, a full horde of 100 models. It took me a while to figure out how to base them, since I had exactly 100 models, but wanted to both deviate from the strict rank and file of organized troops to a more ramshackle mob, as well as be able to build two command groups out of the models. I am very happy with what I came up with, but the unit is not ready, so this ingenious method will have to stay hidden for now. I started again with some test models and used this to have a step-by-step-tutorial which I also posted to paintpad.

So, in the end I painted about 60 Night Goblins out of around 175 (counting only the ones on foot). It’s not bad and I like the result. I hope that I can now increase the pace, at least until I arrive at the characters, which will require more work. After I have painted all the actual Night Goblins, I will move on to the Squigs, which at this point also amount to about 50. Last will be the trolls and anything else which is neither Goblin nor Squig.

Last year did not only see me pick up a brush again, I also finally in earnest discovered what the internet could mean for my hobby. I started following hobby blogs and youtube channels (favorites: Goobertown Hobbies, Age of Squidmar, eBay Miniature Rescue), I was inspired to improve my hobby in a broader sense then just how to apply paint to a model. I learned how to take better pictures of my models, how to build my own hobby supplies for easier and faster painting and I was inspired by Dana Howl to try out a new painting technique on my Squigs. Eventually.

So, the summer of hobbing 2019, and later the fall of hobby and winter of hobby, was it good? Yes, definitely. For a time I had a pretty decent streak going, but eventually it got disrupted again. I guess that happens easily, I have to be more focussed there. To help me in 2020 I will join Painthammer2020, a social-media-project to track the hobby progress. My goal for 2020 is similar to 2019, finish the Night Goblins. I already split the army in three phases, – goblins, squigs, trolls. I don’t know whether I will get everything done this year, especially since I will have to learn a new technique for the squigs, but it remains the goal. For sure I have to (and will!) finish phase one, let’s see when that is.

The second big thing for 2020 will be a complete overhaul of my other existing armies. There are still some models unassembled, that has to change. For some other models, notably the High Elves, I apparently did not use enough glue, or the right glue, in any case they are falling apart. And I have to magnetize them, again especially the nimble High Elves, sturdy Dwarfs are a lot better in that regard. Any regard, as the beardy part of me will always insist on. So, every Night Goblin, Dwarf and High Elf needs to be assembled and have a magnetized base, that is the other big thing for next year. And then, as a bonus level, I do have another whole 2.5 unassembled armies in boxes, maybe I can do something about them…

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Hobby Improvement, Waaagh! Rudnik

In 28 easy steps to a painted Night Goblin

We all need good recipes for paint schemes, either you want to paint your models in the way someone else has, or you at laest want to preserve your own recipe for future use! I regularly look in my small notebook, it’s completely necessary. Because of that, the internet is full of recipes, either written down on blogs, or within a youtube video or somewhere else. And one day Andy Pearson decided that this had to change and created Paintpad.app. It is a really nifty tool, everyone can upload their paint recipes and mark which colors are used (all major brands are already in there), you can select which paints you own so you’ll immediately see which ones you need to get to recreate a certain recipe.

I anyway wanted to make a step-by-step guide for my Night Goblin paint scheme (I am vain like that), so using Paintpad was a natural fit. So either head over to Paintpad for the fully pictured step-by-step tutorial for Rudnik’z Boyz or follow the instructions right here. I still use lots of old Citadel colors, but I have matched them to their current line according to the official Citadel Conversion Chart. At the end you’ll find a table with all the steps and both the color I actually used as well as the respective equivalents in the current Citadel paint range.

Priming & Basecoat

I’ll start with a nice, black primer straight from the spray can. Simple as that.

Next up are the base colors. This is a rather fast step, where you cover all areas of the model in a dark tone of the color you eventually want to have. You don’t need to be too careful at this point, as later stages will more or less automatically fix mistakes you have made. Therefore I’ll pick a rather large brush and paint away. Citadel Base colors are usually a little thicker and contain a little more pigmet, so they cover black quite well.

First step is a drybrush with Boltgun Metal on all the metallics, i.e. the spear blade and the shield rim. I like to get this out of the way fast, as drybrushing tends to be more on the messy side of things. Next up is basecoating the flesh with Dark Angels Green. It’s a nice and dark color and a great basecolor for greenskins. You don’t need to leave black in the recesses, just a tiny bit at the boundry. The haft of the spear, the string around the blade, the rope around the waist and the teeth are basecoated in Scorched Brown. Not all of these areas will end up with the same color, but a dark brown is a versatile basecoat for all kinds of final colors. The base itself gets an undercoat of Graveyard Earth. This will not be covering the black well, but that is not important now as it only serves as an undercoat for the texture paint to be used later. The moon on the shield now gets a basecoat of Stegadon Scale Green and the base gets a thick coat of Agrellan Earth. Once this is dried, I come back with Chaos Black to fix any mistakes but also to quickly paint the robe black, even though it is already black from the priming. Spraypainted color has a different look and feel to it from painted colors, so especially for large pieces of cloth you should go over the spraypaint with regular layer paint. The string on the spear, the rope and the teeth get a layer with Dhaneb Stone. Finally, the flesh gets a layered coat of Snot Green (full disclosure, this is a later step in the paintpad tutorial but logically should be here, because it is before the wash. It has not been applied in the picture below). At this point, all the basecolors are in, and in case of an emergency, this model would be acceptable on the tabletop.

Shading

Now we come to shading, a very important step which instantly gives a great result. I still use a rather large brush for this. First up is the base and the shaft of the spear, washed with Agrax Earthshade. All those Dhaneb Stone areas get a wash with Gryphonne Sepia. I like this subtle hue of red/orange in the sepia wash, but these could probably also be washed with Agrax Earthshade to save some time. Metal bits get a nice coat of Badab Black and the bad moon gets a wash with Coelia Greenshade and the flesh gets a wash with Thraka Green. Moon and Flesh could also probably be washed with the same ink to save time. We have now arrived at the stage which is now referred to as “battle ready” by Games Workshop, meaning a basecoat and a wash on every surface. Games Workshop has now introduced their Contrast range of paints, supposedly giving you this result with a single coat of paint over a primer. I haven’t used them yet (and won’t change my recipe for Night Goblins now), but I will probably give it a go in the future. As you can see, this is definitely ready to play some games with. Boy, what I would give if all my models would be at this stage!

Primary color, main layer

Now it is time to switch to a slightly smaller brush, as we are going to apply the primary colors / first highlights to all areas (again, the flesh is slightly off since Snot Green basically already is the primary color). First up, the haft of the spear gets some highlights with Scorched Brown. The Agrax Earthshade wash was applied generously and has sufficiently darkened the wood, now we have to bring it back. The sepia washed parts get a layered highlight with Bleached Bone and the bad moon on the shield gets a layer of Sotek Green. The base gets drybrushed with Graveyard Earth for some highlights on the textured parts. With Adeptus Battlegrey, carefully give the robe an edge highlight, while the metal party get a light drybrush with Chainmail. This is not already looking pretty decent, it’s a perfectly acceptable tabletop standard.

Highlights

To make the models really pop, we need a final step of highlighting the most important colors. On this model, these are the robe, the flesh and the blue highlight color, as well as the brown wood. Let’s start here, carefully apply edge highlighting on the wood with Snakebite Leather. I’m not nearly skilled enough to freehand wood grain, but on these models the wood is actually texturized, so I’m just picking that up with a light brown. The base gets a final drybrush with Dhaneb Stone to get it out of the way. Now for the fun part, the flesh gets a layered highlight with Goblin Green. I’m always amazed by the effect of this step, as I already like the darker flesh color before, but this Goblin Green really sells it in my opinion. Same goes for the bad moon, this gets highlighted with Ice Blue. On larger pieces I have tried some kind of gradient from the turqoise primary color, and I will certainly go all in on that with the Squigs, but these smaller details just get a coat of Ice Blue. The highest points on the robe get a final edge highlight with Codex Grey and the eyes get painted with a small dot of Blood Red. I don’t bother with painting the pupil on Night Goblins, I like their large, red eyes. The last step is to fix mistakes on the robe with Chaos Black and paint the rim black.

And here we are, one of Rudnik’z Boyz ready for a little Waaagh! Now I just have to repeat that 97 times.


Step-by-Step

StepColor usedCurrent Citadel paint range
1Chaos Black Spray
2Boltgun MetalLeadbelcher
3Dark Angels Green Caliban Green
4Scorched BrownRhinox Hide
5Graveyard EarthSteel Legion Drab
6Stegadon Scale Green
7Agrellan Earth
8Chaos BlackAbaddon Black
9Dhaneb StoneRakarth Flesh
10 Snot Green Warpstone Glow
11Agrax Earthshade
12Gryphonne SepiaSeraphim Sepia
13Badab BlackNuln Oil
14Coelia Greenshade
15Thraka GreenBiel-Tan Green
16Scorched BrownRhinox Hide
17Bleached BoneUshabti Bone
18Sotek Green
19Graveyard EarthSteel Legion Drab
20Adeptus BattlegreyMechanicus Standard Grey
21ChainmailIronbreaker
22Snakebite LeatherBalor Brown
23Dhaneb StoneRakarth Flesh
24Goblin GreenWarboss Green
25Ice BlueLothern Blue
26Codex GreyDawnstone
27Blood RedEvil Sunz Scarlet
28Chaos BlackAbaddon Black
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Waaagh! Rudnik

Sisyphus is painting an army

The plan was fairly simple: My Night Goblins were the army with the lowest model count, so I would get in there, paint them all and have a painted army by the end of summer. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Since deciding on that plan, I already bought another 40 Stabbaz, three River Trolls (fielding only three trolls? What was I thinking!) and a Snotling Pump Wagon, so yeah, I was basically back to square one. And then of course Games Workshop in their infinite wisdom came barging in all cocky with those fancy new Gloomspite Gitz. The models are nice, really nice, basically irresistable. And they are more or less completely backwards compatible with good old Warhammer Fantasy! What really killed me though was the release of Looncurse, and my gaming buddy plays Wood Elves, guess what happened next. God damnit, will this army ever be finished?

So OK, we got ourselves a copy of Looncurse. That would mean another 10 Squig Hoppers, they are always welcome. Also I would get this uber-gorgeous new Boss on Giant Cave Squig to lead them, that is just ace. I would also get another 10 Squigs and two herders which, although more than welcome, would pose a problem army list wise for WHFB: I need one herder for every three Squigs and I want to max out those Squigs, so I need them in multiples of three. While pondering how to solve this conundrum, I stumbled across Zarbags Gitz from Warhammer Underworlds. This little warband has equally gorgeous models at a very reasonable price. And it contains two Squigs, which means I would end up with 12, great! There would also be a netter, which obviously makes for a good herder model. Then there are three Shootaz in the box, and although they don’t really fit the old 5th edition models aesthetically, they are just the right amount of models to replace one command unit and merge my 2×20 Shootaz to one big 40 model unit. That is just great! What else is part of Zarbags Gitz, well there is a beautiful Fanatic, so now I have 10 of those. Ideally are also multiples of three here, but should I ever decide on getting a box of the new ones, conveniently containing five models, I’d end up with 15 (Incidentally for Age of Sigmar, should I ever decide to play that, you need multiples of five, so 15 is just the perfect number for all game systems). Lastly there is a Boss in (relatively) heavy armour, something I was completely missing so far, and Zarbag himself, and you can never have enough shaman models. So what can I say: Zarbags Gitz were filling holes in my model range as if GW specifically designed them for me! Needless to say I got a box. And two boxes of the Rockgut Troggoths. And a Loonboss. And a Loonshrine. Sisyphus let the boulder roll down the mountain again.

In light of my previously conceived plans I decided to paint the Shootaz and the Fanatic up first, since they would complement my already painted units, while the Squigs and characters would have to wait until their respective categories were up to paint. Generally I followed the same recipe as before, but had to adjust it for the gnarled wood of the bows. The bows of the older miniatures were not detailed, whereas the new models have real texture on them. Also I was usind an old and pretty dried up batch of Devlan Mud to darken the brown undercoat, but this has now completely dried so I had to switch to fresh Agrax Earthshade. I’m pretty psyched with how it turned out though. I’m also quite happy with the Fanatic’s flask, I think the illusion is passable. I always struggle with simulating light reflections on emeralds/glass, but this time it more or less worked. Maybe I’ll still go over that in the future again, we’ll see.

So, that’s part 1 of Zarbags Gitz for you. The models are incredible and I’m really looking forward to the other new models now, I think I will have a blast with them. Now comes a great challenge though, as I have to tackle my Stabbaz horde. With the current pace I should have them finished around christmas. And I can already feel that boulder slipping in my fingers again.

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Hobby Improvement

Hobby Improvement

Back in the days of my first hobby incarnation, I was still a teenager living at my parents’ place. I would be talking about the hobby with my pals at school, we’d meet up for games (playing on the floor, obviously) and go to the local Games Workshop to shop and/or just hang out (being kids with a very expensive hobby, it was mostly hanging out…). This, together with a mandatory White Dwarf subscription, were the only sources for new hobby content. The internet was still in its infancies, youtube or instagram didn’t exist. Nobody had a blog and there were no pictures of painted models outside printed magazines. There were no cellphones, you could play hopscotch on the streets and, in summer, an ice-cream truck would stroll down suburbian streets, luring in the neighborhood with that ring-ding-a-ding-ding.

Well, those days are long gone now, and I’d say it’s largely for the better. Especially when it comes to the hobby! There is just so much content out in the interwebs these days, put out both officially by GW and others, but also directly by hobbyists, ranging the whole spectrum from n00bs (is this still a word?) and regulars up to those incredibly talented pro-painters. If you set up your twitters and instagrams correctly, you’ll get a daily dose of fantastic inspiration. And I thoroughly enjoy every last bit of it, especially when people explain how and why they’re doing what they’re doing. I love watching somebody paint up a model as much as the next guy, but I also very much like to get inspiration on how to improve my overall approach to the hobby. In this series of articles (well, at least I hope they eventually turn into a series of posts!) I will describe how I’ve generally improved my hobby work, most likely inspired by all those other wonderful online hobby blogs/channels.

One of those blogs I came across are the Tales from the Aaronorium. It’s four guys around acclaimed author Aaron Dembski-Bowden, whose involvement attracted me there like a moth to the flame. While all four are great hobbyists, one of them – Ross – always had particularly nice pictures of his models. And to my special delight, one time he actually made a blogpost about photographing miniatures! Apparently I was not the only one who liked them. I knew for a while that you should have a proper photobox, or at least a piece of carton with a bend, but I never came around to actually get one. And when I read that he uses the very same phone I also own and basically not much else, I decided it was finally time to invest in my hobbyspace.

So I used to just sit at the dining table with the regular dining table light on and painted and photographed away. And sure thing that kinda works, but I was always unsatisfied with the setup, especially the light, which is, and I don’t think I am spilling any secrets here, key to a good paintjob. Ross suggested pretty simple IKEA lamps with daylight bulbs, and that made immediate sense to me and I went ahead and got those for myself. And what an improvement they are! Just look at the evolution of the pictures of my Shootaz:

Ross doesn’t just have advice on what hardware to get, he also has some nifty tricks on how to make the most out of the pictures themselves. It’s really simple to get great results with that limited setup and it’s exactly the right amount for day-to-day hobby shots. I’m not going to repeat his post here, but if you’re interested in his methods, visit the blog and read up. They update quite often and have great content. A big thankyou to Ross for the tips, they significantly improved my hobby.

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Waaagh! Rudnik

*Splat!

The next item on my painting schedule was probably the most iconic Night Goblins unit of them all – the crazed Fanatics! Night Goblin armies are hugely rewarding: The hooded models look great, they can hit surprisingly hard and their haphazard nature make for a completely unpredictable playstyle. And no part of the army embodies that essential Night Gobliness more than those Grots high on Mad Cap Mushroom Brew, swirling around uncontrollably while holding on to a huge iron ball on a chain as tight as possible!

I had three old metal Fanatics from 5th edition and six plastic ones from 7th. Unlike their core troop counterpart these models fit together quite well though. But it doesn’t even matter since you anyway always just use three together. To emphasize the mushroom-theme of Fanatics, everyone got one kind on their base. I used a mix of mushrooms from my bitsbox, but most of them are from Kromlech. Kromlech has just recently released new bits which are more fitting to Night Goblins, so I picked some up to add to the older mushrooms I already had. And now they even released giant ones, which I will definitely be using for some future terrain!

I was quite pleased with how the paintscheme came out on my Shootaz, so I painted the Fanatics accordingly. I tried to do a little more work on the bases and painted all the mushrooms in the signature turquoise. I painted the tongues similarly turquoise, since I am sure the intoxicating broth made from the mushrooms will have quite a sting to it. The rest was pretty much straight forward, I painted the snails on the mushrooms green, because I did not want them to stand out too much, but I used a darker recipe than for the Grots to differentiate them. I think it worked quite well. Fanatics are great models with lots of character and I was eagerly awaiting to paint them.

Overall I’m very happy with the results! I really like how the green and turquoise turned out, they have a kind of pastel-like hue to it which I think looks great. At some point I will probably (well, who am I kidding, definitely) pick up a box of the new Loonsmasha Fanatics to add to my unit, the new models are just too good to pass on! Damn you GW, damn you to hell.

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