Tuesday, 22 February 2011

General Catch Up: 2011 So Far

Ah, dear reader, how I've missed you!

It' been a lazy two months (!) since my last post, meaning I've missed my target of a minimum of a post per fortnight by more than a little bit! Please accept my most humble apologies and read on to start a recap of what's gone on in the Grotto since December.

This blog, being the only one I know of to take place in a Grotto, means I have the unique problem of sharing my space over the festive period. Just after my last post in December , this happened:

He's sat right on my painting table!

This left little Grotto room to be rebellious, never mind paint and glue and all that jazz! Sucks to be me huh?

Anyway, because of the Invasion of the Killer Red Satin Pyjamas from Mars my girlfriend and I moved house mid December - here started the delay. Now, I have to admit here, I imagine most girlfriend's opinion of all things model/40K to be less than interested. I, fortunately, am blessed with a very encouraging lady (though I've still not managed to make her play Space Hulk) who actually wanted me to have my model table in the sitting room. The sitting room. Not a spare bedroom. Not a garage or shed. Slap bang in the middle of the main room! Lucky me huh? Here's the new set up:

More clutter, less Santa
I'm pretty lucky having a permanent set up, plus the storage for all tools, bits and bobs. The red drawers just visible hold various sprues. spray primers, old Blood Angels, trays of paint...the list goes on. The shelves are an old C.D rack which now store my codexes, rules, dice, pens, brushes...you get the idea. We had a bit of a wait to get the internet connected and spent 3 weeks sleeping on a sofa when our new bed got snowed in halfway across the country.

I'll stop making excuses and resume some sort of normal service now. I'll start off here with a bunch of the new toys, books and tools I've picked up since Chistmas. Then over this next week I'll post another four or five short items with what's been going on in the new Grotto. Ranging from some actual played games, a (very small) Dark Eldar invasion, some Dreadnought action and a few other little bits from the last two-and-a-bit months. Welcome back then one and all!

Shopping and the Christmas Loot!

I asked for a whole bunch of good stuff for Christmas, not (purely) out of greed but more so that there'd be an element of surprise still rather than knowing exactly which three models I'd receive. It went pretty darn well if I'm honest and I actually ended up with much more than I'd expected! Here's a run down of the Xmas haul:

Khorne Chaos Lord on Juggernaut. Possibly my al time favourite Warhammer Fantasy model. So cool I'm  little scared to paint it at the minute! Could this be the beginnings of the slippery slope into playing WFB?

Forgeworld Mark III Iron Armour. No idea at all where this will be used (apart from one pack and helmet) but it' soooo cool. Was a toss up between this and the Mark IV for which I preferred.

Possibly the most boring picture you'll ever see on this blog. Very useful though. Soft Flake Snow and Water Effects from Woodland Scenics for making snow/slush/ice/water bases. To see the versatility check out this link to Mister Justin's tutorial of 8 different snow effects.

If you've ever read any advice on decals and their application then you'll have heard of this stuff. Micro Sol and Set decal solution help to dissolve the decal slightly, making it more likely to adhere to the shape of it's new home surface. I'm yet to try it out as I've not ordered my decals yet but I'm hoping it will be a big help!

That was the highlights from the Christmas stocking last year. I was pretty happy with it all and I'll share any learning information in the future on here. To wrap up this post there's a couple of new purchases I thought I'd add on as you'll be seeing more of them over the coming weeks:

Codex: Dark Eldar wasn't something I could resist after those awesome new models came out late last year. I got a £20 gift voucher too and that went on some Warriors and Wychs. Modelling Masterclass I've kept 'almost' buying. Finally pulled myself together and got it - it's a great book I'll be using here, there and everywhere!

Magnets! Something I've never taken very seriously really - if I want  sergeant with all the wargear options what a good excuse to make a lot of cool conversions! I needed a solution to making my Stromraven transportable though and these were the answer. Two sizes with a melta gun for scale.

Skulls! The core of every Grim Dark scene! These are resin and were MEGA cheap on eBay. Like 99p a bag for 50. I got 5 bags and now have 250 resin skulls! Don't think I'll run out too soon!

Lastly these bits. The Tamiya paint is clear red - a translucent colour I bought to mix with a little black or brown and some of the pictured Uhu glue to make strings of spilt 'blood' This'll be mainly on more diplay type models and it won't transport too well. The Humbrol filler has been a blessing - an recommendation from the Modelling Masterclass book it's sandable once dry and has filled in some good gaps on the Stormraven.

I think that'll do as a good all round catch up with out going into specifics. I'll do another update from tomorrow showing some of the modelling progress that's been going on.

Until then dear reader!

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