You're not painter without a brush, you ain't pirates without a ship!

Month 2 is upon us and I have a confession to make - I started this month's project early. Cheating I know but as you will see - there was a lot of work involved and at the start of the project I only had a hazy idea of what I was looking to achieve. I like the idea of sky ships and I understand the in-universe reasoning for giant metal balloons to make it float... but I never really dug the aesthetic of them. My original plan had been to sand the balloons down and do some crazy awesome freehand all over them... there were a couple of problems with this plan. I still didn't feel it was particularly in line with pirates and of course the bigger problem - I am far from capable of sane awesome freehand let alone crazy... Taking a closer look at the sculpts I also realized that simply sanding down was unlikely to be effective as the detailing on the surface is extensive so a smooth spherical finish would be challenging. It was thoughts of Skies of Arcadia that brought me my so

It's a Pirate Dwarf for me

And so I truly begins! February 2021 - Month 1 of A Tale of Five Painters is upon us! Each month, we painters have a target to build up and paint. You can find details of our first month's objectives here: Essentially we are looking to get a unit and a hero (non-general) fully painted this month... can do! The first thing was to get the models. Out here in California we've been having some trouble getting some models as GW wrestles with Britain's desperate attempt to economically shoot itself in the face... so I did the only reasonable thing and panic bought everything! This is in fact more than I intended to paint up for the challenge directly but is certainly a solid starting point. As always a huge shout out to  who were able to get me everything I needed in time to participate in the challenge. My original roster ran with an Aetheric Navigator, however I had an Aether Khemist ready to go sooo this chappie

The Privateers of Barak Baratar

Barak Baratar in the Realm of Ghur was one of the first ports to be established outside of Chamon, formed by fragmentists and radicals looking to break away from those that wished the code to be too tightly enforced, they embraced the nature of the realm with a wilder way of being. They have long held close trading links to Barak Mhornar to offload their 'acquired' goods as a place they found a warmer welcome than most other Sky Ports. Since Garaktormun (the Necroquake), Baratar's leadership has shifted the focus of the clan. They were badly hit, loosing fully half their fleet and severely damaging almost all the rest. Clan leaders met to discuss this calamity. After many days of debate, argument and a couple of incidents of outright fisticuffs - a new course was set. It was clear that Garaktormun was a sign that Barak Baratar (and by implication, if not outright declaration, the other Sky Ports) had become decadent, complacent with their riches... it was time for the Khar

A Tale of 5 Painters

For those that don't already know. A lot of my hobby updates and even tutorials have moved to Instagram over the last few years for the simplicity, immediacy and wonderful community that exists there. (You can find me at ). At the tail end of last year Ben aka @playtime_paints suggested doing a replica of 'Tale of 4 Warlords' with a bunch of buddies on IG. Well I was in!!! To this day, Tale of 4 Warlords is the single biggest reason I read White Dwarf and I'd long dreamt of participating myself. As many of you will have seen from my army painting speed and style - I've been heavily influenced by the concept of painting things up regularly, driven by hard deadlines - something I first really got from Tale of 4 Warlords (and later by the wonderful Armies, Legions, and Hordes by my friend Dave Taylor  - go buy this book, it will really help you get your models painted faster). Tale of 5 Painters aka #to5p was born. Sooo what I am go

2020 year in review

Well it's been quite the year for all of us. For myself we've been trying to get ourselves set up in our future home, trying to get a job and trying to stay healthy. But through all that, I have painted more minis than ever before, even painting up some other models for Charity and Friends. Going into the year I knew there would be a lot of change, variables and uncertainty having just moved to a new country and still having a lot of things to do before settling into our home. I had vaguely hoped to continue my recent tradition of painting at least 365 models/year with the stretch goal of 500/year. I blew all those targets out of the water as I took on some commissions and had no regular job to distract me.  Of course that's somewhat offset by the massive number of minis that I purchased! The result is that I haven't really made much headway in my backlog. The Necromunda boxed sets were a particularly big acquisition but mean I now have a good lot of terrain for playi

Thanksgiving 2020

This big ball of dirt has rocketed around the fire orb once more and it's time for another Thanksgiving post.  For those of you that are new to my blog, this is something I do every year and have done since I first moved to America. For those of you that aren't - skip this paragraph - you will have read the gist of it before. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and one I only really discovered on coming to America. There is all the extravagance, the awful, awful history and fights with family but the thing that I really love is the sentiment that the name inspires. A day to give thanks. I am a natural pessimist, I tend to focus too much on the negatives and the problems. This day forces me into a habit of putting light on the good. Every year I try to improve on this, reduce the qualifiers in my thanks even further and take some time to reflect on all the good that has happened in the last year. This time last year, my wife and I were psyching ourselves up for a gra

Painting in a desaturated style

Regular followers will know that I am generally focused on cranking out models fast to a high tabletop quality. I embrace shortcuts like metallic sharpies, airbrushing, drybrushing and of course Contrast paints. These methods have given me a certain style that is somewhat identifiable and has become habitual enough that attempting other styles can be a challenge. A buddy on instagram @hobbygoblinjoe recently sent a request out for a method of painting desaturated looking miniatures and I thought - my time has come!!! What is Desaturated? Before we dive into the weeds, let's bore you with a bit of art theory. I am not gonna go crazy here but just summarize so we are hopefully on the same page as we work through this. Colours have 3 basic elements that artists tend to talk about to describe what they see. First we have hue - this is 'red' 'yellow' 'blue' but also 'bluey-brown' etc. Second there is Light (or value) - a measure of how white or black th