Painting Day

Every now and again, I have a ‘painting day’ with a few friends.  We all pile down to the office and, well, paint stuff!  The idea is to provide motivation to actually get armies painted (not something I need myself, as all I need is a good film and a flat surface to get me painting over the weekend – but it is fun doing it with friends).

So, that is what we have been doing today. I was joined by Kat, pictured here;

Today, she worked steadily on an Exorcist tank for her Battle Sisters.  Just this and one more squad, and she should be ready for her first small-scale skirmish games of 40k!

Anyway, I was working on terrain today (had an idea I could also get some Tyranid Warriors and Ork Stormboyz done, but ’twas not to be).  Normally, I hate working on terrain, so the painting day seemed like a good time to tackle a few projects.  On the other hand, I love having decent terrain to play on, so it is kind of a Catch 22 for me normally.  However, needs must, and I have grown tired of fighting over the same field in Kent for the past couple of decades. . .

I have been steadily plugging away at a ruined 40k city for some time now, and managed to blag their Cities of Death box set a while ago.  That, added with the limited run of the cityfight battlemat they did made for a good starting point.  Today, I finished off the new Shrine of Aquila.

A big model but simple to do – undercoat black, drybrush Codex Grey.  The golden aquila was started in the current Shining Gold, but I changed it to two coats of the original Shining Gold, which was a much softer metallic colour. A quick glooping of the magic Ronseal mix, and the ruined shrine was done!  This is how it looks on the cityfight table at the moment.

If  I say so myself, this table is getting quite funky.  The smaller, lighter grey ruins, by the way, were given to me by a German manufacturer whose name escapes me at the moment. However, they come all ‘pre-painted’, ready to just drop on the table.

There are enough ruined buildings to run a cityfight battle, according to GW’s rules – but that frankly is not good enough for me!  I want a real Stalingrad type feel to this table, so more buildings, and more of the tall ones are in order!  This table is already good to fight over (had some wicked games of AvP on it already), so it is now a ‘non-urgent’ project.  I’ll add buildings as and when I come across them.

The next project was the Dark Angels Fortress of Redemption.  A great model this, a real centrepiece for a Planetstrike table.  I wasn’t actually going to do a Planetstrike table, but this fortress changed my mind.  Still not likely to play many Planetstrike games but it is there if I need it, and the local games club might give it some use too.

My photographic skills (or lack of them) are quite apparent here – the flash has washed out the wings of the dark angel – I’ll try to get a better picture at a later date.  Anyway, a nice, impressive model and, given the final size of the piece, actually quite good value at £60.

The fortress done, I figured ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ and grabbed the GW Moonscape craters that have been sitting in the office for the better part of a year, I think.  These really were a 15 minute job (my favourite kind, when it comes to terrain).  Undercoat black, and then progressively softer drybrushes of Scorched Brown, Bestial brown and Bubonic Brown.

So far, this is how the hastily conceived Planetstrike table is looking.

The GW battlemat is very good (no creases in either of the ones I have yet, and apparently machine-washable), but is clearly not right for this table.  I’ll have to get round to giving Total System Scenic a call sometime soon, and get some boards that are more appropriate.  A nasty, muddy brown would work best, I think.

Your eyes might have been drawn to the fortress in the background of that picture. Here is a better look.

This is a seriously cool piece of terrain that someone (whose name I have forgotten – sorry!) did for me in excahnge for just one hundred of our English Pounds. As well as the obvious bunkers and gun emplacements, the chap threaded the entire model with fibre optics, running off a normal PP3 battery.  When switched on, this thing lights up nicely, with targeting sensors in the guns, panels in the command centre, and it even has contacts between the three seperate floors of the main structure to carry current to more fibre optics on the upper levels.

Unfortunately, the PP3 was dead when I pulled this thing out of storage today.  When I get hold of a new one, I’ll get some more photos of this fortress, and give you a proper guided tour.  Not my own work, naturally, but very inspiring stuff!

My next terrain project is to completely cover a table with alien/exotic jungle, complete with ancient ruins.  Suitable for Warhammer fantasy, 40k or, well, any science-fiction game, really.  I already have all the components needed, and just need a weekend or two to put them together.  Stay tuned for that one – it will be a good ‘un.

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