Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hobby Update April 2017

The last few weeks have really been busy in terms of the hobby for me. In order to fund for the new Forge World releases, I have been buying the new stuff and selling them painted. In two months time I've managed to paint 4 warbands (48) of Iron Hills Dwarves, along with some Gundabad Berserkers and Ogres for evil side as well. Surprisingly, even after going through just about 50 of them, painting these dwarves have still been fun for me. Their level of detail is just incredible, down to the braids in the beards and the buckles on their boots. 
In terms of gaming I've been shaping up for all the exciting events coming up this year. We have two local events in the next couple months, our annual Wet Coast GT, and then later in August flying to Washington DC with a few guys to attend North America's largest SBG event, NOVA! In preparation for all these events, I've been testing various lists on almost a weekly basis.    The past weekend, I walked into Games Workshop seeing the staff building a Laketown board! It's always exciting to see the local store still supporting the hobby.
  I was there to test out an Iron Hills force that I had just finished...
  Outside the world of Middle-earth, have also started a range! A friend of mine who was at Adepticon this year recommended it to me. It's Arena Rex (by Red Republic Games), a gladiator-style combat game with various heroes and mythical creatures. The game looks like a lot of fun to play; each player picks a faction, with a wide range of characters to choose from. But what drew my attention more than the game was the miniatures themselves. They are stunning! Here is Hroka and Caho-Ta, a hero based on what seems to me like a Comanche warrior. The details on the model are unbelievable, from the battle scars on the horse to the plumes on Hroka's headdress.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Paint-a-Palooza XIII

The last few weeks I have been busy painting up a Dragon Ogre Shaggoth for Warhammer Fantasy/Age of Sigmar, and building a diorama for the Lord of the Rings category. Fortunately, I've been able to get in more hobby time recently. Hopefully this means less last-minute scrabbling the night before the deadline this time. 


For the Dragon Ogre, I wanted to deviate from GW's green scheme and go for a more reddish, Chaos-themed look. This model, as well as my LotR entry, were great opportunities to experiment using the airbrush I picked up last Christmas. 

 Before I got around to building a proper booth, I tackled teaching myself how to use an airbrush (with the help of YouTube videos) in a simple cardboard box. After a week or so of trial-and-error, I managed to get a basic understanding of priming and layering models with the airbrush. Overall airbrushing is quite fun, and the countless effects you can create with it will undoubtedly make it an invaluable tool in my hobby arsenal in the years to come. 



Airbrushing is a completely different method of painting that will take time to master.


As for the Lord of the Rings entry, my tradition has always been to enter a diorama. Middle-earth is where the majority of my inspirations for this hobby come from, so naturally I will put the most effort into this range. I decided on a diorama with monsters, as I wanted to practice airbrushing, and still lacked confidence with attempting to paint smaller models. What kind of diorama could I create of two monsters? I went with an eagle vs. a fellbeast, one of my personal favourite duels between good and evil in the whole trilogy. The base for was the most challenging to design; I wanted something that would make the creatures look like they are high in the air, while having a wide enough foundation to support two large miniatures. I made the compromise of deviating a bit from the movies and making the setting of this battle in Caradhras Pass.

Not much conversion work was put into the eagle other than sculpting feathers on the underbelly to fill the gap that comes on every model; the fellbeast was the tough part. The wings were heated and bent to pose it in a falling pose. The rider's hood was repositioned to look up at his assailant. With a week left to work on the details, I should be able to complete both entries on time.


Aside from Paint-a-Palooza, I have also been painting Dain Ironfoot and Iron Hills Dwarves. In a few weeks, I'll be busy building new armies for this year's tournaments! It's only a few months into the 2017, and these projects are already keeping me busy. The year is looking good so far for this hobby!

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 Year in Review

Since I first picked up The Two Towers boxed game fifteen years ago, 2016 was probably the year I was most involved in this wonderful hobby. Early in the year I entered a painting contest GW was hosting that had a LotR category. At the event, the staff introduced me to the local group, West Coast Hobbits. Since then, I have met dozens of new people and attended many SBG events. Before discovering the group, I had no idea there were others who still played this game; I stuck with playing casually at home with friends and painting. Joining West Coast Hobbits expanded the hobby significantly; it brought much new excitement in the form of tournaments, painting contests, and weekly drop-in games at GW. Below are some of the highlights of 2016:  
The entry that brought West Coast Hobbits under my radar.
Wet Coast 2016, fantastic event held at the Grand Villa.
Drop-in game against Ian's all-infantry Rohan. I used what I learned in this game to win the next tournament with my Wood Elves!
Fun day of Sieges and Chaos in Arda in November!
To end the year on an even higher note, There And Back Again was released!
Final project of 2016: snowed in on New Years Eve, so I painted up this guy.
    Looking forward to all the games, events, and new releases coming in 2017!!    

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy/Batman!

It's been awhile since the last post. With work, travelling and other events happening in the last few weeks, I wasn't able to get much hobbying done. When I had a few minutes to spare here and there, I managed to assemble and begin painting the Guardians of the Galaxy! I picked this set up, along with Batman (my first Marvel and DC miniatures) by Knight Models. The details on these miniatures are sharp and the poses are fantastic. While the flash and big gaps between pieces did require more work to assemble than I'm used to with Games Workshop metal minis, I would still recommend them to anyone who has been wanting to pick these up.  
Groot is unfortunately in a separate pack; I will have to pick him up to complete the squad! 😀

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Armies on Parade 2016

Last weekend Games Workshop hosted Armies on Parade, an event where hobbyists brought in an army to display for the afternoon. GW had three tables full of entries and a tournament going on, plus it was the store's 5th birthday, so there were lots of people there all day. It was very exciting to see all the fantastic painted armies and some creative display boards. See all the entries here.
I did not expect to place with a medal, let alone get gold! Winning at this year's event was the greatest encouragement to continuing to improve my skills in this hobby. It was also great to bring Middle-earth SBG to the attention of many people. There were no other LotR/Hobbit entries, and I was proud to represent this great game and miniatures range. Now, what can I do for next year's parade? Is it possible to top a dying Mumak?? Some close-ups I took at home, later that day:  
I also have Instagram for this blog now, please follow if you like what you see here!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Armies on Parade & Paint-a-Palooza Results

This year I will be entering GW's Armies on Parade. I'm planning on bringing my Rohan army with the Pelennor Fields display board that I brought to Wet Coast singles this summer. Not everything was finished in time for the tournament, so this project will be on a smaller scale, consisting of things like applying edge highlights, touch ups, and adding more casualties to the display board.  
About a week ago was GW's Paint-a-Palooza! Lots of amazing models this year. I managed to paint up a WHF Beastman Lord last minute, so I ended up entering in two categories. My Rivendell Knights managed to take first place in the LotR category. I left it at GW for a week to display before bringing it home. Photos of my entries by GW's Adam.
The table with all the entries. So much talent crammed on a 6" x 4"! 
The Lord of the Rings category.
 Rivendell Knights 
Beastman Lord
 For photos of each entry at this event, check out the album on Games Workshop Highgate's Facebook page!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Rivendell Knights - Update

 A quick update on the Rivendell Knights display.
For the horse shaped wave, I picked up some plastic toy horses for the foundation. I looked through a few stores before finding some that were the right size, had dynamic poses, and had a fair bit of details to paint over.
 The hind legs and tails were removed and they were posed on a block of wood.
The waves were then built around the horses using plaster. The waves were primed white when the rest of the display was primed black.
Comparison with a similar diorama I created ten or so years ago. 
The rocky outcrop was layered with various shades of grey, then washed with GW Serephim Sepia, finishing off with A drybrush of GW Longbeard Grey. For basing, I used a combination of flock, trees, and static grasses from Woodland Scenics, and woodland tufts from Army Painter. The goal was to build the scene around the wooded area near Rivendell, with Elrond leading his Knights in a charge to drive the forces of Evil out of his kingdom.
And the piece is nearly finished! Just waiting for the water effects to dry, and some painting touch ups on the Knights. This might be the first time painting for a competition where I'm not scrambling to get it done the night before! Completed photos coming in the next post.