What could be more 2020 than finding Plague Marines of all things under the Christmas tree? When I started this batch I was going for an old Horus Heresy look but the longer I kept at it the more I felt like they were taking on a festive life of their own. I’m happy with how this batch turned out, though (in typical fashion) I tripped over the finish line and applied the varnish way too thick on the last couple steps and had to go back and fix a few resulting defects.
I wanted to post this to give a taste of what’s coming in 2021 for individual galleries – Death Guard, Death Guard, and lots of Death Guard, with battle reports and comparisons as well between what I’ve painted before and what I accomplished with this batch. All things considered I’m very happy with how they turned out and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how they do on the tabletop – and I’m very happy with my new Artel W proxy units, including a Sister Pestilencia model from kinpatsusamurai!
2020 has been…it’s been a year, alright. And while I think I weathered it okay, it leaves me in a pretty iffy space heading into the next year. My funding runs out at the end of this month, my Master’s is still incomplete, and I don’t have a stable job at the moment, but…all the same thankful for the friends, family, and all the other good things in my life. Here’s hoping that 2021 is a more gracious year than the one now past!
A long time ago I saw Spikey Bits’ LED-lit Eldar Fire Prism and decided I was going to do that someday. Now, with more or less my whole Eldar army assembled, I decided this was going to be the time, and that this was going to be the model with which I call my Eldar “done.” Feeling like this army is done is bittersweet, but also a thrill – and I’m looking forward tremendously to running this Fire Prism with the rest of my space elves on the tabletop.
Putting this together was definitely the trickiest build I’ve ever done. Having to drill holes into the frame of the model and run wires between the power supply in the base and to each of the model’s assemblies took planning, elbow grease, and a little luck, but when it came to rigging up the lights themselves Evan Designs and their LEDs were fantastic. Even without having worked with electronics at much length before I was able to figure it out, patch it together, and bring this boat to life.
The final tank ended up being built in a number of subassemblies, either pressure fit or magnetized together so that I can fix it later if any of the lights shut down. I used a take on the “sponge” method I’ve used to do grav tank hulls before and that I used prominently on my Death Guard (and Spekd has my eternal gratitude for introducing me to that.) The hull design is a cross between the “eye” motif Ulthwe uses generally, but is also a callback to the game Fire Emblem: Awakening. Because I’m hot trash.
In addition to the color-changing rainbow cannon and the flickering engine lights, the Fire Prism is also multipurpose – for a while now, my existing Falcon has been in Biel-Tan colors and since I’m going full-Ulthwe I wanted my Howling Banshees to have a party bus that would fit in with the rest of my army. As KinpatsuSamurai has pointed out, I have picked a lane, and I’m owning that!
As tricky as the build was, and as much as I might have been able to give it more love if I’d waited until after my Masters’ was done, I’m extremely happy with the results on this. This is the best model that I have ever built and painted, and the difference between this and my older work (before Twitchy Bristles) is night and day. I don’t think I could hope to end the construction and painting of my Eldar army on a better note.
This is a model I’ve poured a lot of effort into over the last month – originally I was going to build it after I finished writing my Masters’ research project as a reward, but then a local painting contest came up and I thought it would be a great chance to get some local exposure for my work. The contest is part of the Sci-Fi @ Home convention, based out of St. John’s. I’ll have a proper gallery done up soon, but in the meantime, here’s the video that I sent in as a demo of the lighting system!
Just a short, sweet update for today. I’m still hard at work on my thesis and won’t have the chance to do any major hobbying for a while. But I did have time to do this: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67FDkVV4CgY if you can’t access the embed)
The lights and the battery pack and other accessories were all bought via https://evandesigns.com/, and they were relatively easy to put together (even for someone with no real knowledge of electronics, wiring, circuits, etc.) The shipping was relatively quick and to be honest I might pick up more lighting sets from them in the future if I light other 40K vehicles.
My plan is to use the blue lights for the engines, the four white lights for the two cockpits, and the color-changing LED to give my Fire Prism a bright, shiny rainbow cannon. There’s a local convention doing a miniature painting contest this month, so if I can work a little more efficiently on my thesis and free up some spare time this might be the right time to bring this to life.
This one is a kitbash that came to me as soon as I started working on my first few Death Guard. I built my Eldar army to be very refined, serious, lore-heavy, and my best-foot-forward into the hobby, but with Death Guard I wanted to be able to give myself a little more wiggle room and have a little more fun. The result was this crime against nature. And I think this is some of the most fun with miniatures I’ve ever had.
Thomas is equipped with a Combi-Plasma and Combi-Bolter, and usually also equipped with a “Strolling Through Ultramar”-style saxophone marine for good measure. The weathered, grimy and textured-looking paint scheme was heavily inspired by Spekd at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLsaW52-xDnFL2WsLhe0bmQ, who I can’t recommend highly enough. He does awesome tutorials, reviews, and has built a great community.
When I started getting back into 40k and painting I thought I was gonna go all in on an Eldar army and not really work on much else – but a local friend I play with had other ideas, and gifted me some Chaos Space Marine bits to play with. I was immediately hooked. The bits I was gifted turned into my first step into a tremendously fun, almost year-long painting project.
A lot of the painting was done with sponge work – which was a new tool for me but I learned a lot by doing it, and ended up with some really interesting results. Drew a lot of painting inspiration from Spekd on Youtube (who is awesome, by the way – you can check out his community, reviews, and painting tutorials at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLsaW52-xDnFL2WsLhe0bmQ)!
A Spiritseer as a Warlord? Heresy! In all seriousness, I didn’t want to make Eldrad Ulthran my Warlord because he can’t take relics or other nifty warlord abilities in 8th, so I decided that I was going to give the job to a Spiritseer! Caen’thala is the new 8th Edition sculpt kitbashed together with some Age of Sigmar bits to give her a little more character and personality.
Caen’thala is equipped with Kurnous’ Bow instead of a Shuriken pistol, and also has the Seer of the Shifting Vector ability to make her a little more Perils-proof. Her preferred psychic powers are Protect/Jinx or Enhance/Drain, and to paraphrase/quote The Emperor TTS series, she longs for genestealer ass.
Since Howling Banshees were a big chunk of my Eldar work over the last while, I decided I wanted to have some nifty new objective markers done up for them – and this also gave me something to do with some old, 1-2 ed. Banshees that I wasn’t sure I’d ever get around to!
I also used a miniature I got free a while back because they looked ancient and elven and fit the rest of the aesthetic here enough – and because thematically it fits with my army, since my Spiritseer wields Kurnous’ Bow instead of a regular shuriken pistol. These were super easy and quick to do, because Nihilakh Oxide is magical stuff.
Dire Avengers were a change of pace for me! Up to this point my only Troops units for Eldar have been Guardians or Rangers, but when a friend gifted me a box of them last year I was thrilled to be able to work on them, and to add them to my regular Eldar lists.
Most of these were just done straight from the box but I did a little kitbashing with a couple of them to make homages to Fire Emblem characters, since the friend who got me to the box is a huge Fire Emblem fan. I’m very happy in the end with how they turned out, kitbashes and all, and I’m excited to see how they do on the tabletop.
A couple Christmases ago, a local friend I play 40k with gave me a few old metal models to rescue/repair, and I couldn’t have been happier to take this on. This model is probably held together with more green stuff, putty, and glue than actual metal, but she’s all done and magnetized and ready for the tabletop. Had the chance to go back recently and give her a couple touch-ups before picture day, too.
Towering over her former squadmates and equipped with a pair of Shuriken Cannons, a Shuriken Catapult, and a Flamer, I imagine Big Sister having been a Howling Banshee in life who’s been called back by the Infinity Circuit to stand with her sisters even in death.
I know it’s objectively goofier than the sleek new 4th ed. one, but I love the design of the old wraithlords and I’m really happy with how she turned out – especially with the addition of a few Craftworlds and Age of Sigmar bits for flavor.