Wednesday, 2 January 2019

A New Year, a New Direction

Hi All,
so, that was 2018 was it? Wow that went quick!

As ever at this time of year, I tend to look at my life (both real life and hobby life) and re-evaluate things, trying to figure out where I want to be at the end of the year, what I want to have changed and done differently, and what I want to improve upon.

2018 was a year of huge change for me, moving to a new job after 16 years at my old place threw a lot of things up in the air and changed a lot of other things about my life, not least of which the 2 hours travelling a day I now do instead of about 10 minutes I did before.

But enough about the real life stuff, this blog is about my hobby and I've neglected it over the last 11 months, something I very much wish I hadn't felt I needed to do. So whilst this post isn't about making 'resolutions' as such for my hobby life, it very much is about trying to reconnect with things I love about the hobby, and blogging is certainly one of those things.

One thing I have most definitely discovered about myself during the last year however is that I think I was starting to stagnate as a painter. Painting is a huge part of the hobby for me, probably the most important part and having dedicated myself to the dusk knights for so long and having their scheme nailed down long ago I was kind of going through the motions I think. That's something I'm determined to put right this year, and at the end of last year I took the decision to sell a large part of the Dusk Knights collection to fund other projects at the start of this year.

One of the other things I discovered was also that whilst I consider myself a good painter, my schemes were, for want of a better word, a little immature. I've never been one to be able to paint a really good 'grubby' army with dark tones and subtle variations, but when working on my Hive Fleet Echidna Swarmlord I discovered that I could produce a more 'grown up' scheme, even if it were based around bold colours.

So on to huge decision number 2. The Swords of Dawn are to be re-painted. I know, I've not even completely finished the stuff that came with Dark Imperium but I figure it's better to re-paint now than once the whole army is finished.

Whilst flicking through the Vigilus campaign book over Christmas, I saw a scheme I really liked the look of and decided to base the new Swords of Dawn on a similar concept, so I spent an evening putting down colours on a test model, which I'm now really happy with.

There were a few things that were key parts of the scheme here.
1. I wanted the main colours to be muted, not bright. The blue is Thunderhawk Blue (which I may still darken a little with a thinned Drakenhof Nightshade wash - this is a test model after all).
2. I wanted to take out any gaudy blingy metallics, so metals are limited to silver, the bolt rifle magazine and muzzle, belt buckle, armoured ribbing between plates etc.
3. Whilst I wanted a bold spot colour, it again should be muted. I've used the contrast between blues and oranges to make the chest eagle and shoulder trim stand out, but the colours themselves are still not the bright oranges of the range.
4. Weathering. I've not got there yet, but I've got my hands on some forgeworld weathering powders that I'll be using with these, and I'll be adding some small amounts of battle damage weathering to the armour plates here and there. I want to keep it light though, nothing too battered, just used.
5. Squad markings. These will get added in time, but the army isn't going to be built around my previous ideas of using tactical marines to fill out devastator squads etc. It's less viable with primaris models anyway, but each squad finished will be numbered and marked up and kept together, and each model will be named too (under the base, I'm not painting it on the rim again).
6. Method. I've already added some small amounts of osl to the above model, but importantly I intend to paint each model to a finish before moving on to the next. Batch painting works most definitely, but I think I will finish each model to a higher standard if I concentrate solely on that one figure until it's finished.

So, that's probably enough for a first post of the year. Look out for more regular posting in 2019 than was the case in 2018, I'm also hoping to get the blog tidied up a lot with easier to find links to various things such as army pages, finished gallery pages etc.

Next up will be a quick look at the direction for Hive Fleet Echidna, Craftworld Mael Dannan plus a few intruders in the form of some heretics, some egg-chasers and possibly even a mascot.

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