Spiteclaw’s Swarm (Commission)

I’m decided that I’m going all-in with Shadespire. However, despite the relatively low model count, I don’t have the time or motivation to paint all of the warbands for this game, so I recently reached out to another Shadespire player and asked him to paint Spiteclaw’s Swarm for me in exchange for a set of terrain. I recently received the finished models and I’m thrilled with the job that he did. They’re better than anything I could do myself in the mere two hours that he said it took him, and just flat out amazing for a speedpaint! Besides the overall great quality, I really like the way the green turned out on these models — a deviation from the standard studio colors for Spiteclaw’s Swarm and a great color choice in its own right.



Screamers of Tzeentch

Finished up a group of Screamers of Tzeentch recently. I remember feeling weirded out the first time I came across them in a Hobbytown USA back around 2004. It took a while, but these guys grew on me by the time I got my Start Collecting box last May. To me, they strike a good balance of managing to be creepy without being too over the top nightmarish or gross.

A couple of takeaways:

1. Army Painter washes are awesome! I’ve used their Strong Tone a fair amount in the past and I’ve been experimenting a little bit with the other colors more recently, but I haven’t used them this extensively or effectively before.

2. I had a lot of fun painting these guys! There’s a fair amount of detail present, but not an overwhelming amount, and nothing that was frustrating to paint. Combined with the cool blending effects I got with the washes, I don’t remember the last time I had this much fun painting a miniature.


Painting Guide

1. Prime white.
2. Base coat Reaper Master Series HD Blue Flame.
3. Apply liberal amount of thinned Army Painter Blue Tone.
4. Apply thinned Army Painter Purple Tone.
5. Re-apply small amounts of thinned AP Blue Tone to create more distinction between purple and blue areas.
6. Drybrush RMS HD Blue Flame to bring up highlights.

1. Basecoat RMS Linen White.
2. Apply light amount of thinned AP Soft Tone.
3. Drybrush RMS Linen White.

1. Basecoat RMS Marigold Yellow
2. Highlight RMS Clear Yellow

Got a couple of new rulebooks recently

With a new edition of 40k nearly upon us, not to mention a bunch of other boardgames and RPG and miniature game rulebooks that I already own that I have yet to try, the only logical thing to do would be to get even more books for more new games, right?



In fairness, Open Combat doesn’t exactly count as a new acquisition in the normal sense since it’s a Kickstarter reward from a little over two years ago. Between hiccups in fulfillment on Second Thunder’s end and my experiencing several significant life events since the Kickstarter ended, this one kind of got lost in the shuffle until recently when I got an e-mail reminder to claim my reward. It’s a great looking, high-quality book, and I want to play Open Combat, but truthfully, it may be a long time before I do so.

Two years ago when I backed the Kickstarter, I had pretty much written off anything to do with Games Workshop. I said goodbye to 40k, as I felt the rules were beginning to become too bloated and cumbersome and required too much work for me to find enjoyable (I did elect to keep the vast majority of my minis though). I figured that maybe I’d pick up the occasional miniature now and then if they released something that I thought was really cool, but I certainly wasn’t going to continue collecting entire armies for a game I wasn’t going to play anymore. My, how times do change.

With the renaissance that Games Workshop is in the midst of and with all of the awesome things they’ve been doing and coming out with, I’m dangerously close to going full-on fanboy. Age of Sigmar got off to a rocky start, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the General’s Handbook and how it brought some much-needed clarity and organization to what I understand is a very open-ended game. I never would have predicted when I started this blog that it wouldn’t be too long before I’d be eagerly anticipating and buying new rulebooks from Games Workshop, singing their praises, and quite simply, feeling connected with them as a customer and a fan.

And who knows, maybe I’ll try to get in a game of Open Combat sometime this week just to spite myself and make me seem like a liar.

Adventures in Airbrushing – Part 3

I don’t think I’m ever going back to regular brushes or spray cans for priming again.


Oh, the Horrors! Pink ones, Blue ones, and Brimstone ones — they’re all here!


Making progress on my Tzeentch army. The airbrush is just as fast as a spray can (that is, practically instantaneous),  but I feel like I get better control than with a spray can in terms of being able to manipulate the airbrush to reach all of the strange angles that you need to get when priming.

I went heavy with the primer on these guys because I’m planning on using washes directly on the primer instead of a basecoat, so I need them to start out a pretty solid white.

I face a difficult decision today

Spent a few hours the last couple of evenings prepping my spiffy new Tzeentch minis for Warhammer Age of Sigmar/40K. Since the dozen or so readers of this blog represent a good cross-section of the gaming spectrum, a little background: One of the units in this army, the Pink Horrors, splits into two smaller units, Blue Horrors, when slain. I had mistakenly thought that they turned into a single Blue Horror and currently own a total of 10 of each. The crucial decision that now lies before me:

Image may contain: meme and text

If you’re a miniature gamer, or at least have a friend who is, you already know the answer to the question and that it wasn’t actually a difficult decision at all. 😛

Who are you, and what have you done with Games Workshop?

A new edition of Warhammer 40K is coming next month. I never thought I’d see the day when I was truly excited about Games Workshop again. I love their minis, and I enjoy the simultaneously over-the-top and grimdark nature of the 40K universe. But I’ve always found the rules to be byzantine and clunky. And in terms of acting like a company that values its customers and fans by respecting and engaging with them, I’ve always found Games Workshop to be… lacking.

For the last several years, I’ve enjoyed their products almost exclusively as a collector, not actually playing any of their games. A few months ago I started gearing up to play again. While I did add quite a few new minis to my ork and ‘nid armies and even acquired some Blood Angels, I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t made the move from collecting to playing.

There are a few factors contributing to this, but the biggest obstacle to me actually playing 40K is the rules. I’m no slouch when it comes to learning games, even complicated ones. Between boardgames, RPGs, and various other miniatures games, I have quite a bit of experience with learning all types of different games. I even did play 40K at one point several years ago. But despite my interest and desire to throw down with my 40K armies, the hurdle of trying to get back into it was something I haven’t been able to overcome. I simply didn’t feel like investing the time required to re-learn the rules to this game when there are so many better ones out there.

But I think this may change with the new edition, for several reasons. Contrary to what was a reasonable assumption, Games Workshop is not going the Age of Sigmar route, blowing up the 40K universe and starting over; but the storyline is advancing in significant ways. More importantly, the various previews of the upcoming rules indicate that some of the more egregious gameplay problems seen in recent editions are being fixed. On top of that, it seems that many of the mechanics are being streamlined and modernized. Finally, everything I’ve read about 8th edition has made me optimistic about the barrier to entry being lowered by simplifying (but not dumbing-down) the rules.

There have been many signs of positive changes with Games Workshop itself as well for the past several months to a year. The fact that there is even a buildup to the release of 8th edition is remarkable. They’re still being coy about the exact release date, but the fact that they announced it ahead of time rather than just having it show up the day of release after months of rumors and speculation represents a major change in how they operate. Games Workshop has also finally entered into the modern age, becoming more transparent and actively engaging with fans using social media. Everything they’re doing now would have been inconceivable two years ago.

The modernization of the 40K game mechanics and Games Workshop as a company is truly a momentous event for miniature gaming. The undeserved loyalty of longsuffering fans is being rewarded. The miniatures are still awesome and expensive, and the new game will have its flaws, but I’m excited and hopeful about what the future will bring — next month for 40K, and then beyond, not just for Games Workshop, but for the larger miniature and tabletop gaming community.

Oh, and I’m also feeling the desire to check out Age of Sigmar now as well.

…and another one today

From the U.S. this time, though. Although the box arrived in similar condition as the last one.



These guys look like my kind of low-level soldier minis: fun sculpts that are relatively simple to paint, so it shouldn’t take too long to get them onto the table. Plus their description on the back of the box as “malicious progeny” struck me as being really funny for some reason.