Thanksgiving 2019

Those of you that are regular readers of my blog will know that every Thanksgiving, I put out a post to remind myself of the things I have to be thankful for in the year that has passed. Although an Englishman, I have really developed a love of setting aside time to do this to reflect and reason on these things in my life. (I also realize that this is not necessarily how the holiday tends to be celebrated in the main, as a secular expression of gratitude to the Universe at large for what I have... it is also independent of The Mayflower, Plymouth and the varying atrocities that have been and continue to be visited on various indigenous peoples around the world).

This year has, in many ways, been exceptionally good. Her Majesty's Government finally deigned to allow my wife into the country after a year and a half, and we are now gearing up to a move back to the US where it would seem we are both more welcome. For all that there has been discomfort in this country, I am glad that m…

Blackstone Fortress: Time for Plan B

Well it's said that no plan survives first contact with the enemy and I think that is most definitely the case here. A perfect storm of an unexpected work contract and unbearably hot weather have resulted in my totally stalling in progress with these models. In addition to that - I picked up the new Traitor Command set on release adding two more models to the backlog!

I updated my plan about a week ago with the current progress and little has been made since. The current situation is:

Ur Ghuls (25mm)
Spindle Drones (25mm)
Bore Wyrms (25mm)
Ambull (50mm)
Traitor Guard (25mm)
Chaos Beastmen (32mm)
Chaos Ogryn (40mm)

Still to be done: (original dates) Pious, Taddeus, Janus (32mm): July 12th-14th
Rogue Psykers (32mm): July 15th
Rein and Raus (25mm): July 16th
Negavolt Cultists (32mm): July 17th
Obsidius Mallex (40mm): July 18th
Chaos Space Marines (32mm): July 19th
UR-025 (32mm): July 20th
Dahyak (32mm): July 21st
Amallyn (32mm): July 23rd
Esperon (32mm): July 24th Traitor…

Blackstone Fortress: Vehicle? - Chaos Ogryn

This whole project has been mapped based on the idea of painting an army. The Chaos Ogryn (along with the Ambull) are much more Monster/Vehicle than anything else in the kit... the more observant of you will notice that Chaos Ogryn is also not on the initial roster of models. Traitor Command came out part way through and I'd jumped on it, cracked it and assembled before I even knew what was happening. Suddenly I had two new models - one the perfect size to do some great skintone work - or at least that was the intent. I started working on it in a hurry and somewhere along the lines it went a little sideways:

The initial airbrushing was a lot of fun, introducing a lot different hues into the skin tone, the unhealthiness an implications of the taint of chaos. As with the other Chaos denizens of the Fortress I wanted to link them together and this chap is an Ogryn - the Astra Militarum have Ogryns - boom he's clearly a buddy of the Guardsmen. By the time I'd started texturin…

Blackstone Fortress: Unit - Traitor Guard & Beastmen

Annnd this is where the train jumps the tracks. The plan was all well and good and then it was hit by my own desire to paint... but kind of in a good way. One thing that I've found really accelerates my painting is when my head clicks on how I intend to paint something. In this case is was the fatigues and the armour on the traitor guard... of course I had these guys a lot later in the sequence but once I knew how I wanted to do them - they got done.

Dark Angels Green for the armour, Aggaros Dunes for the Fatigues, Gore-Brown Fur for the furs, Flesh Tearer Red for the cloth bandannas. From here - I bring up the highlights using texturing techniques.

Initially I had figured that Beastmen would be done separately as their skin, fur and horns are so different from the rest of the chaos models but as I looked at the models in more detail - they still have a lot of armour etc and what's more - it looks (broadly) the same as the Traitor Guard. The more I thought about it, I started …

Blackstone Fortress: Unit - Spindle Drones, Ambull & Borewyrms

It had been such a strong start - getting the Ur Ghul's painted and a solid start on the Spindle Drones. I quickly followed up by finishing the Spindle drones:

The spindle drones were much more of a challenge than the Ur Ghuls in a strange way. As with the Ur Ghuls I had decided to follow the Warhammer TV method however I quickly realized that they really weren't well adapted to the Zenithal method leaving me to repaint fairly large sections of the model to adjust the base layer to something closer to what Ducan was using. The result is a much 'bluer' Spindle Drone but I think it still works - especially given the time investment. I was a little heavy handed with some of the drybrushing in places... something I've been getting better with but still slip occasionally.

Given there's not much to say about these chaps - I figured I'd throw in the next two things I painted up - Ambull and Borewyrms. These models were held up as I wanted to try colour shift paint…

Godsworn Hunt

I started with my now standard approach to preparing for using Contrast paints. I primed the models black (Stynylrez Black Primer) and then used the GW rattle cans to lay down a zenithal of the state approved primer for Contrast Paints (Wraithbone in this case for a warmer tone).

I have really had no interest in painting the Godsworn Hunt and of the 5 warbands I had left to paint at the time - they were the least appealing however the new line of contrast paints gave me an idea of something to explore - Flesh tones.
At the time Contrast paints launched, I was excited by the range of flesh tones that were on offer - 3 out of 34 paints is a pretty decent haul... I was really super disappointed to discover that all 3 were basically caucasian. Darkoath being fairly pallid, Guilliman as your 'standard' offering and Fireslayer as the tanned, sunbeaten skin tone. Having said that, the line also comes with a good array of brown tones from the very mild Skeleton Horde through to the s…

Blackstone Fortress: Unit - Ur Ghuls

Working on these Ur Ghul was an interesting experience for me. I don't have a particularly large array of GW paints (Contrast excepted). And as such, although I regularly watch Duncan and Peachy's painting tutorials - I seldom follow them particularly closely. While watching the Spindle Drones video they put out - I realized I really liked the finish and was impressed with the speed. I then checked out the Ur Ghul video and was similarly impressed.

Inspired as I was, I decided to try following the tutorial as closely as possible* and the result? Well... I kicked it off with a zenithal...

So having already departed from the video I decided to try and bring it a little back on point...

Drakenhoff nightshade, thinned with Lahmia medium - simple... except I don't have any Lahmia medium (coulda sworn I did!) so proxied with Contrast medium. It worked pretty well nonetheless:

A quick second coat:

And then a drybrush with Ulthuan Grey... which, again, I don't have soo anothe…