Space Hulk Vol. II: First Contact

Also on my Space Hulk plate for the month of January were two of the twenty Genestealers (plus Broodlord) included in the box – I’m splitting these as evenly as possible, with the Broodlord at the end as a reward. I elected to tackle two identical sculpts at a time, which paints up easier.

It’s my very first time painting anything Tyranid ever, and new models are always a fun challenge! I chose to replicate the official colour scheme of purple and turquoise, mainly because I almost never paint purple. For these parts I started from a basecoat of Phoenician purple which I overbrushed with xereus purple and washed with druchii violet. I then highlighted with xereus purple and dechala lilac. I’ve had the latter colour since it came out eight years ago in the ‘Eavy Metal Edge Paint Set I got from my then-girlfriend-now-wife Eva, and I reckon it’s only the second time I’ve opened that paint. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Halfway through all the purple, I looked at the official colour scheme and realised that there was a lot more turquoise than I’d originally thought – I’m definitely doing the colours the other way round for the next batch! The turquoise parts were basecoated sotek green, washed with drakenhof nightshade and then black, then highlighted back up with sotek green, temple guard blue and baharroth blue. All that was left then were the claws and teeth, done with morghast bone washed with seraphim sepia, highlighted ushabti bone then wraithbone, and the eyes which were simply dotted in with wild rider red.

I have one more update for Space Hulk this month, but it will be much, much cuter. Stay tuned!

Space Hulk vol. I – The Librarian

As said at the end of my previous post, here’s a first update for one of my major projects of 2021: Space Hulk! I bought this box when it came out back in 2009, assembled the models, played some games with them, then it ended up in a box with all the other board games I never touch anymore. My interest in sci-fi games and models has waned considerably in recent years – the last time we tried a game of 40k was a dreadful exercise in bookkeeping – but is waxing once more due to the imment release of Stargrave this spring.

I have decided to split the contents of the Space Hulk set in twelve, and to tackle one batch each month. As there are twelve Space Marines in each box this means I can paint one of them at a time and devote my full attention to all the idiosyncratic details they bear – I always miss some of that stuff when batch painting, you see.

As I might want to use these models in Stargrave as well I mounted them on some nicely molded bases from GW. This was easier for the Librarian than for the other Space Marines or the Genestealers who are mounted on awkward bases, which is why this is the first model I painted.

I started off with a coat of kantor blue onto which I applied a black recess wash. After tidying some areas back up with the basecoat colour, I then edge highlighted the armour by adding baharroth blue, and a little white thrown in at the end for some final dotted highlights. Same process with the the red, which is mephiston red recess washed with druchii violet, and highlighted progressively with evil sunz scarlet, wild rider red and some very old bronzed flesh (from a hex pot!). I’m not 100% satisfied with the extremeness of that last highlight, so I might tone that down with the next Space Marines – which will, after all, be completely red.

Most areas were handled in similar fashion, with quite a few more highlight stages than I’d ordinarily do. I took most colours towards white with the object of making them look as crisp as possible, such as the crux terminatus. On the other hand, I treated the force axe rather simply with the usual incubi darkness – sotek green – temple guard green – baharroth blue progression, without trying to add any fancy effects to the blade. Perhaps it looks a bit too boring now?

All in all, despite my aversion to Space Marines – they really are the most boring part of the 41st millennium to me – I must confess I had a great time painting this model. It’s been a while since I started a small project like this where I can lavish each miniature with the full extent of my (completely average) skills. Whether I’ll feel the same way with the twelfth Space Marine in December, well…

Fuck Off 2020, Hello 2020!


That’s the number of models I painted up this year. Quite a significant amount extra as compared to previous years, which of course has to do with the lockdowns. Indeed, during the first lockdown from mid-March to mid-May, I managed to paint up 199 models alone.

Here’s the run-down of the stuff I have going:

  • The Punic Wars: I painted a block of Carthaginian levies on holiday in Malta. Other than that, nothing was undertaken. Sad!
    Next year I’d like to make some more time for my Carthaginians and allies. I just acquired some Spaniards from Victrix, I still have some Gauls and Libyans around, as well as some Roman deserters. Out of all of these I’d like to make several Saga warbands for Age of Hannibal as well. One of these units or warbands will be lucky enough to be taken to my next summer destination!
  • Dark Ages Irish: Early during the first lockdown I painted up all the Footsore Irish for this project, as well as the Perry Irish for the Wars of the Roses which are an addendum. I now have more than enough for a Saga warband or for slightly larger rulesets.
    In early 2021 I am looking to bulk out the force for use in WAB with two boxes of Wargames Atlantic Irish. I also have a lovely mounted warlord from Footsore to lead the force.
  • Vikings: I sold off my first Saga warband some years back, but kept some of the other Vikings in a box. Then, earlier this year I, managed to acquire some of the newer Victrix Vikings on the cheap. I have this year painted up around half of one set, and improved upon my older paintjobs of the existing models.
    Next year I want to continue adding to the force, with some more Footsore character models. I have plenty of Victrix Saxons as well, and the idea is to make a composite Anglo-Danish force that can be split into two opposing forces for smaller games. I’m probably not going to be able to finish all of these by the end of 2021, but there is always the next…
  • Medieval Russians: I painted up the general and a small unit of city state troopers during lockdown.
    Next year, who knows with this project. I have two boxes of armoured infantry, from which to make dismounted druzhina with great weapons or spears, but the rest of the army is still absent. Probably at least until 2022.
  • Pike&Shotte Dutchmen: A small unit of six shotte was painted, and that’s it.
    Next year I want to add to this army a little. I’ve already begun gluing some more infantry together, and there’s a commander model waiting in the wings.
  • Napoleonics: Nothing this year!
    In 2021 I’d like to refurbish this army a bit, get all of it up to the same painting standards, perhaps look at rebasing some of them. There still is some unpainted cavalry which I’d like to handle as well, but we’ll see.
  • Union: This turned out to be one of my main projects this year, which would likely not have happened without the lockdown! The force as it stands is quite playable, but lacking in some troop choices.
    In 2021 I’d like to finish this army, but there’s still a lot left to do – about a hundred men, actually! Once these are squared away I will likely call the project done, perhaps with the exception of some more cavalry.
  • World War Two: Just the Frenchmen this year, but they were a lot of fun. Nothing playable so far.
    There aren’t that many models I’d like to paint in 2021 that I actually don’t own yet, but this is an exception; I’d like to expand the force with more French, Belgians, BEF… But not immediately. In other WW2 news, I still have some Brits for Burma from Warlord Games lying about, and these might get a lick of paint instead.
  • Warhammer: 2020 was hugely beneficial to my many Warhammer projects. I managed to all but finish my Vampire Counts, all but finish my Beastmen, and all but finish my Lizardmen.
    “All but” being the operative word, I am looking to finish these projects next year. There’s just a small unit of Centigors left, a block of Grave Guard, and the Lizardmen have some Skinks and Terradons left untouched. Easy!
  • Warhammer 40k: Nothing!
    This will be my very first project for 2021, in the form of the contents of the Space Hulk box from 2009. I’ll have had this set in my possession for the better part of twelve years, so it’s high time the models inside get a lick of paint! I hereby pledge as well to have all of its painted contents feature on my blog, so there will finally be some more content.

Perhaps the thing I’ve missed most is those regular conversations about the hobby. I have the advantage of being acquainted with some of the true nobility of the hobby – they’re all barons, you see – and it’s sad to have to go without our weekly gatherings. I fear things in that regard will never get back to normal. But on the upside, if it does, I’ll have lots more painted models to push around!

But enough about me. How about you? Unless you are a health worker or in law enforcement or or in the food industry or were otherwise chugging on – in which case, thank you for your service – What did you fill your oodles of solitary spare time with? Did you paint more or less than other years? Did you change anything in your painting habits or techniques? Did you start many new projects or did you try to take on your lead mountain? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Have a spectacularly safe new year!

Carthaginian Citizen Levy

A quick update to get the blog through the summer. I just got back from Malta, where I painted this unit in the shade by the swimming pool. Good times were had.


These last holidays I’ve had have always been to Mediterranean countries, so I’ve made a point of taking along models that are ‘on theme’. Did you know that the etymology of Malta is ‘Maleth’, which is Phoenician for ‘safe haven’? Well, now you do.


I bought a unit of these models second-hand a year or two ago, and they’re the usual good stuff you can expect from Victrix. I did convert some of them to be holding their spears upright, to have a back rank that has more of an ‘at the ready’-look. I wish Victrix would refrain from applying their super dynamic model poses to warriors that were literally meant as a roadblock, as was the case for these poor citizens!


Painting wise I started off from four different undercoats – AP skeleton bone, GW corax white, wraithbone and zandri dust – washed with sepia and then layered back up with the appropriate colours. This was to get a few different tones on their tunics. The rest of the areas were painted as usual. A rather basic paintjob, considerably enlivened by the use of LBMS transfers.

That’s about it for this update. More Carthaginians are on the way soonish, but first I have a Lannister commission to grind through. And then some…

Beastman Champion

Just a quick update today, with a single model as its focus. I finally found back the Beastman army I stashed rather a little too effectively at my parents’ house before I moved out, and I decided I’d paint up a model for that force.

This old boy is a 5th edition model from the end of the nineties which I bought second-hand some time ago. I can’t remember if it came with the back banner or not, but as I dislike back banners I didn’t mind not having it on – so I glued a spare Gor shield to his back to hide the gap.


This guy was painted with a mix of the old and the new GW paints – for the most part, this posed no problems whatsoever when compared to my older paintjobs. With the lockdown I had to dig out some older paints once in a while because the newer ones had run out (or rather dried out), and the older pots, some having been untouched for about eight years, are still completely fine. That goes to show…

Once the lockdown is over and our local club opens up again, I’ll be sure to dig out my old Beastmen again and field them. The thing is, I only used them during 8th edition, and we’re more accustomed to 6th edition at the club. I’ll have a bit of armylist tinkering to do, it seems!

The Union Army Thus Far

With the Great Lockdown in effect I spent the first few weeks painting up more irregular looking models, but then craved for something with uniforms. So I unearthed my boxes of ACW which had remained untouched through two changes of address, and what do you know? I fell in love. Recently I already showed off two infantry regiments, but now it’s time to take a look at the rest of the force as it currently stands.


The thing about these old Perry plastics is that, because it was their first set of plastics, it was also their simplest in terms of options. That’s great! Most of the models in the set require just their headgear to be glued on, and as assembly is often unexpectedly time consuming, this leaves more time for painting. The downside is that, as the command options are on the same sprue, you end up with too many greatcoated models, and both the standard bearers and musicians have to be built from the same body which makes for some rather weird command stands. I circumvented this issue by outfitting some of the other models with leftover left arms from the plastic artillery set, or just clipping off a right arm.


Speaking of converting models: as I had 20 superfluous painted Zouaves from the 5th New York regiment I painted ages ago, I decided to partially repaint these as the 140th regiment. Just the pants and the cords on their fezzes needed my attention, but also a new command stand for which I tore off the right arms of some unlucky Zouaves, added spare ones with banner poles, and built and painted a new officer and musician – the former from the regular set, the latter from a spare Zouave body with parts also from the regular set. Easy!


The artillery was built from a box of the Perry plastics – lovely models, these. One simply can’t resist the urge to turn these into three little dioramas showing the various stages of artillery operation. The addition of the caissons is a nice touch and not even useful merely as decoration – for instance, in the Rebels and Patriots ruleset by Osprey Games, they can be an unobtrusive way of marking a gun that has the limber option,


I had previously painted up eight Union Cavalry, so I painted up the other twelve I had lying around including command options, upgraded the older paintjobs a bit, and turned these into two 10-strong units. I will probably get some more down the line, in order to be able to field a full cavalry brigade, but that’s very low on the list of things to get for this army.


Painting wise, I started off with the same techniques, but decided to apply some more highlights to the faces, hands and weapons – always the focal point of model soldiers! The other areas were left fairly basic, but as I didn’t varnish too thickly I can always go back in with some more highlights (Probably never going to happen, though – what’s done is done).


The count currently stands at 6 infantry regiments, of which two are Zouaves, two cavalry regiments, two 12-pdr Napoleons and a 12-pdr howitzer. I also painted up the sniper one gets for free with the Glory, Hallelujah! sourcebook from Warlord. This brings the number of painted models in this army up to a goodly 159, and enough for two full brigades.

But wait, there’s more! I have ordered some more boxes of infantry (the newer Union boxes, as they come with skirmishing poses), as well as some essential commanders, dismounted cavalrymen and casualty figures. With these I’ll certainly have enough for another full brigade, amounting to a complete division. Looks like I have my work cut out for me…

P.S. Mainly due to how quick these painted up, my painted model count since the lockdown started is at 321. Try and beat that! 🙂

More Union Infantry

Only after an hiatus of five-and-a-half years do I present you with more ACW paintjobs!

Whilst moving boxes from room to room in these times of quarantine, I happened upon several pristine boxes of Perry ACW models. Having painted irregularly outfitted models for the past weeks, I decided I was in for some uniformed stuff, and so I set to work on adding to my long-neglected Union army.


These are built from the old plastic ACW infantry by Perry – I don’t have the newer models (yet), but I reckon the newer ones are more time consuming to build and paint. Most of these are monopose and rather twodimensional, which I actually prefer for regimented models!



Both battalions were painted over the course of the last week, with roughly two days of painting and half a day for basing each. That’s good progress for me.


Both units were built right out of their boxes, which does account for a lack in variety in command models. The flags were also taken from the sheet included in the boxes.


I have taken the decision to collect 20-strong infantry units instead of the 40-strong ones I envisaged before – much less work for me and much less bulky on the tabletop! That does mean I have half a unit of New York Zouaves that I won’t be needing anymore. I am currently debating whether to try to sell them, or to try and remove these models from their bases and repaint them as another regiment.

More ACW to come soon, so check back soonish!

Alexander Nevsky

It’s been a fair while since I spent this much time on a single model, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking:







Excellent model by Fireforge Games, although I noticed some roughness on the top half of the sword – which I hid with some blood effects by GW.  I also wasn’t too enamoured by the moulded base consisting of a roughly rectangular rock, so I used some putty to work the rock into the base a bit more.

Apart from that, it was just painted as usual. I’m quite proud of the paintjob although the much-enlarged pictures on the blog bring every mistake and inaccuracy of the brush to the fore.

That’s all I have to say! Stay tuned as more Landsknecht/Empire are on the way.

From Russia With Love

Here we go with another small project: medieval Russians.

The reasons for collecting the army are manifold – I”ve never collected an Eastern Medieval army, my friend Flor has a large Teutonic Order to field against them, and my other wargaming compatriot Pascal just happened to offload two boxes of Fireforge plastic Russian infantry last year!

After many swervings through different historical rulesets I think I’ve settled on WAB as my go-to framework for composing armies. In this case I’ve chosen to build up this project as a Western Russian army from WAB: Age of Chivalry, mostly because it was the Western Russian states that came into contact with the Teutonic Order and because it has a lighter emphasis on the cavalry arm.

One issue with the plastic Russian infantry from Fireforge with regards to my own project, though, is that they are rather too well-armoured and well-equipped to make for convincing city guards – the bulk of the Russian army. Fireforge do sell bow- and spear-armed city guards, but these are single-pose resins which can look a bit samey in a big regiment, not to mention the cost when compared to plastics. All of which means I have had to be slightly more creative with assembling these models – let’s take a look.


This smallish 12-strong unit is all I have right now – I’m an inveterate batch painter so even my test models come in batches!


In WAB: Age of Chivalry, many units can have a mix of archers and melee troops, with the former usually standing at the back. With some well-timed reforming when enemies approach, this means you have a unit that can do a bit of both.


Experienced Dark Age hobbyists will undoubtedly spot the Gripping Beast plastics I used. For these archers I used the two bodies on those frames that don’t have their left arm in front of their stomachs, and clipped off the left hands to replace them with the bow hands from the Fireforge Russian plastics. I also added the quivers from that set. Lastly, for the right arms, I mostly used a few different arms from a stray Wargames Factory Bondi set, which allowed me to create a few poses where the archers are grabbing an arrow from the quiver, and one who actually does have an arrow in his hand – sourced from a GW Skeleton set. Bitz boxes galore!


For the unit leader and bannerman, I did use the Fireforge Russians in their entirety – although I used a slightly longer banner pole taken from their Templar Knights set as it’s slightly longer than the supplied spears, and a resin banner from their Russian command set.


For the rest of the infantry, the other three Gripping Beast body types were used, with a mix of the Gripping Beast handweapons and some taken from the Fireforge set as you can see on this warrior on the left, and the GB musician’s horn also came in handy as the Fireforge set doesn’t have a musician option – an unfortunate omission for WAB players! The shields and heads on these warriors were also taken from the Fireforge set, and these two parts were really critical for the Russian city guard theme to come together!


Putting those Russian armoured heads on plain dark age warriors meant I had to take out the modelling putty, and as it has been ages, the result is far from perfect. I had to make do with 15-year-old Milliput – not even the fine version! – to add some mail coifs to these models.

Painting-wise I’ll be brief – I used three different reds plus a few other colours, with the red being a focal colour for this regiment. I’ll probably do a second city guard unit with a different scheme to get the point across that they’re from another city, and I’d also like to do more heraldic types of tunics with split or quartered schemes. The reason I didn’t do it on these models is that I made the mistake of undercoating them black which meant I didn’t want to go in with fifty coats of white for that kind of scheme. Lessons learned! I did add some different kinds of patterning to many of the models, which took me right back to Viking times!

Lastly, I really like how the bases came out – it’s sand painted dark brown, drybrushed white, with some arid-looking static grass and snow effects from Vallejo. It fits the bill for Lake Peipus and surrounds!

What’s next for this army? Well, I have all these Russian plastics, so I’ll probably be making a largish unit of dismounted Druzhina from them. The excellent Alexander Nevsky model from Fireforge is also on the painting desk. Sadly, the rest of the unit will have to wait until later this year, as I am out of Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors to complete this unit.

I hope you liked reading this article as much as I liked writing it. See you next time, tovarich!




Everything Vampire Counts In Large Amounts

It’s a beautiful Spring day, so what better way to celebrate it than to show off the massed ranks of my Vampire Count army eh?

As usual, this army kind of snowballed from a few select models for Frostgrave, like the Tomb Banshee and the Spirit Hosts, via a short Shadespire detour with the Sepulchral Guard, to where we are now – at a rather big army. It all happened so suddenly… Actually, most of the models were purchased second-hand for the insanely low price of 50 euro for 40 skeletons, 10 Black Knights, Vlad and Konrad Von Carstein, 20 Zombies, 10 Grave Guard and a Corpse Cart!

Veteran readers of the blog might also remember the Undead Great Cannon I displayed many moons ago. In essence, this is the second VC army I have painted up in my career as a hobbyist, although this one is much lighter on the conversions, with a much larger emphasis on the colour scheme.

Let’s take a look at some of the units, one by one. Disclaimer: the pictures are far from ideal as I currently don’t have a setup for photographing large units let alone entire armies. I’ll make sure to photograph my character models in the lightbox soon!


There it is in all its glory! Infantry to the front, special stuff to the rear.


One of two 30-strong units of Skeleton Warriors, these are armed with hand weapons, the other with spears. I painted these up identically to the Sepulchral Guard.


A nice big block of 40 Zombies. As you can see these were repurposed from my previous VC army, as these models have been kitbashed extensively with Empire Free Company parts. I actually repurposed them by dumping coelia greenshade, the driving force of the eerie colour scheme I have going, over the old paintjob and then highlighting the colours back up.


A unit of 10 Direwolves, which will probably be split into two units of 5 in-game. These were my least favourite models to assemble and paint, and I was happy to finish them off. Never again!


A big 10-strong unit of Black Knights, which took me quite a long while to finish. Lots of intricate detail like the vines.


One character to show here, though, as I’m not sure it’ll fit into my light box! I found this Zacharias the Everliving on the shelves of my local game store as a leftover from a round of Made To Order and could’t say no. Perhaps I wish I had… The model was a pain to assemble, as parts somehow didn’t take my superglue very well. Just before shooting these photographs I actually had to glue Zacharias’ right hand on again as it had somehow fallen off whilst sitting on a shelf. To make matters worse, I managed to drop the model during basing… Lessons learned.


An unconverted Corpse Cart this time. The model had been completely assembled by the previous owner which made some aspects of painting it a veritable challenge, but it worked out alright. For this one I used a barbarian flesh undercoat from The Army Painter rather than skeleton bone, as much of the model is defined by fleshtones. A couple of the army’s spot colours tie it in nicely.


Finally, some Ghouls. I ended up buying the Ghoul warband from Warhammer Underworlds, which comes with a Bat Swarm as well. If I can get my hands on an old Bat Swarm or two that would be nice! The reason I went with this set is that I’ll mostly be playing this army under 6th edition, in which Ghouls are small skirmish units rather than the main battleline blocks of later editions.

What’s next for this army? I still have a 20-strong unit of Grave Guard to tackle, another 6-strong unit of Ghouls (the 6th edition metals), and around 20 more Zombies which are in absolutely dire shape. I’ll try and keep you updated on their progress.

That’s all for today. I hope you’re staying safe and getting lots of painting time in – since the quarantine began some three weeks ago I’ve managed 159 models!