Having a clear out

This hobby goes hand in glove with hoarding, you can’t help it it just sneaks up on you. New models, new box sets and new paints either mean you’re left with a hoard of painted plastic or a pile of plastic still boxed on the spruce, what you get is dependant on your painting speed to purchase ratio – for me it’s plastic on the spruce.

The other week I took a look at my pile of shame and realised that I had a huge collection of Lord of the Rings miniatures from when I had my first hobby stint 16 years ago. They had to go, realistically, I was never going to paint them and they where just taking up room.

Next on the pile was the gene stealer models from the Space Hulk box that I’d acquired on my journeys, again they had to go, along with a Freebooter’s Fate jester, a random box of Empire Knights, some Heroquest models and a Games Day Chaos Warrior.

Recently, I’d been given two Dark Imperium sets and a First Strike box set. Now I love these sets but there’s only so many times I can paint the same model in the same pose so I cast a copy of Dark Imperium onto the warp that is eBay.

I then started to look at some of the painted models I’ve got sitting around. Now I’ve never attempted to sell any models I’ve painted before, in the main due to self doubt and having no idea of what to charge. Any way I thought I’d stick on a few models I’d bought simply to paint – Kaptin Badrukk and Grukk Face Rippa. I also had the intention, a few years ago, to start a Tomb Kings army. I’d purchased and painted up a Tomb Guard and Warsphinx and then the Tomb Kings got officially put to rest by GW. The TK I have have been sitting around for a while so they’ve also received the eBay treatment.

If I’m honest I’ve found having this clear out therapeutic as it’s allowed me to focus on the minis I currently want to paint instead of having a pile of models that are just sitting around taking up room and collecting more dust than my father in laws wallet. So if you’re in a hobby lull then I really recommend clearing out the model pile of shame so that you can focus on the models you really want to paint.

The clear out has reduced my 2018 painting is to the following:

– Death Guard Plague Marines (10)

– Poxwalker (28)

– Lord of Contagion (2)

– Tallman

– Drones (2)

– Standard Bearer

– Plaguecaster

– Morty

– Primaris Captain (2)

– Intercessors (10)

– Inceptors (6)

– Hellblasters (5)

– Ancient

I suspect this will now be an achievable painting goal for 2018 and if it isn’t there’s always eBay!

Nurgle’s Rot

I’m a bit of a sucker for picking up a random paint pot when I enter a GW store, on most occasions I don’t even need that particular paint but I’ve found buying my paints this way reduces the financial pain when I get a new model as I’ll have most of the colours I need.

I picked up a Nurgle’s Rot technical paint using the method above and left it sitting with my other paints, unopened and unloved, until recently that is. As I’ve now started painting up my Death Guard – who are big fans of Nurgle – I’ve found that I’ve been using Nurgles Rot on every model as it adds a nice slimey, puss filled look to all the boils and open wounds the model may have and if you’re favoured by Nurgle that’s a lot of boils.

For my Death Guard models I’ve been using Nurgle’s Rot sparingly as I wanted it look like the layer area between the marine and his armour is full of rot and puss with this being seen as it seeps from the holes in the armour. I wanted this to look subtle and not detract from the rest of the work I’d put into the model.

I used Nurgle’s Rot again on my pox-walker to add a little gooey, wet look to boils and sores on the body. Again I only added a little to the model.

All in all I’ve found Nurgle’s Rot to be a great technical paint for adding a diseased look to your model. I suspect that it’s best to use this in moderation otherwise the model may end up looking like a wet mess!

Painting my Horn

For those people who follow me on Twitter or Instagram – which should be all of you as I’m the bees knees! – you’ll have noticed that I’ve been painting a Forgeworld Carmine Dragon for a few months now. Progress, admittedly has been slow as I’ve been taking my time in the hope of doing the model justice and I’ve also been doing a little more gaming and archery lately as well.

I’m now at the point on model where I’m starting on the details so I thought I’d do a little blog update on how I’m painting the horn and bone sections. I wanted my dragon to look old, he’s been around and I wanted that reflected in the bones and horns. I looked at pictures of lots of different types of bones and horns – not of the penis variety – for some inspiration and decided that the look of buffalo horn was what I wanted to replicate.

The base colour of my Carmine Dragon is purple and green so I wanted a little lighter colour on the model. In order to add a little contrast I reveresed the natural horn colouring, so instead of having the dark colouring at the end of the horn – as you can see above – I placed it at the base. Other than that one change I wanted to replicate this bone look as closely as my skill would allow.

 *as an aside, to avoid confusion I’m referring to horns as the pointy bits that look like horns and I’m using the term bones to refer to the more angular edges that protrude from the flesh on the model. It’s probably not the correct termonology but it will do!

I’m fairly happy with the look and by reversing the tips the model is lightened so the darker colours don’t look so oppressive. To achieve the look I firstly base coated the horn and bone areas with a dark brown after that I painted the area closest to the base of the horn in black. From then I blended progressively lighter shades of brown from the end of the bone / horn gradually getting fainter into the base. This meant that the base – the bit closest to the model – stayed dark whilst the the tip was light. Once I was happy with the browns I picked out the tips and any edges with white.

I then changed things slightly depending on if I was painting horn or bone. I’ve noticed that the buffalo horn had a really subtle gloss texture to it whilst the bone looks mat. To replicate this on the dragon I added a coat of ‘ardcoat over all the horn area but not to the bone areas. After the ‘ardcoat was dry I applied a light dry brush of tyrant skull to break the ‘ardstuff gloss up and I also applied the tyrant skull to the bone areas.

I’m fairly happy with the result. To me it looks like really old bone and horn which is what I wanted. What do you guys think any tips or suggestions?

Citadel Project Box

Hobby space has always been an issue for me, mainly because I don’t have anywhere that I can permanently set up as a modelling area, this means I have boxes of paint and other bits in tubs and boxes secreted in random areas around the house. When it comes to painting I have to make do with a wooden board placed across my knee and a light at the side of me, it’s not ideal but it’s the best I can do. As space is an issue I’m always on the lookout for space saving hobby products so I’ve had my eye on the Citadel Project Box for while and last week, as part of my birthday haul, I received my very own Project Box.

I know the Project Box has been out for a while now but I thought that I’d write down my thoughts.

The Positives 

The Project Box looks great, the lid is embezzled with the Citadel demon head motif and the whole thing is well presented. When you open the box there’s plenty of storage for paint, tools and brushes but I’ll get onto that in a second. The Project Box has room to hold 49 Citadel paint pots in a tray. For a new hobbyist you’ll probably be able to fit all your paints into the box but for the more established painters this box will not store everything you have. Surprisingly, I’m happy with the paint storage space, it is a ‘project box’ and I can’t imagine needing more than 49 citadel paints for a project. That being said I do have more Citadel Paints and a number of other manufactures paints – Vallejo and Scale 75 – my Scale 75 are all stored in the aluminium tray but the Citadel and Vallejo are currently stored in a shoebox so I wanted to be able to store the shoe box paints in the Project Box. By using the areas designed for the mug and some of the other sections I managed to create enough room to store an additional 37 Citadel paints and 20 Vallejo paints.

The Project Box also had specific areas to store paintbrushes and other modelling tools, so far I’ve comfortably fitted eight brushes, six green stuff modelling brushes, a texture tool, four files, clippers, a mold line remover, a thumb drill, a craft knife and glue into these areas.

The Negatives

Overall, this feels like a quality product but the lid that doubles as your work area feels a little too thin. I wouldn’t want to put too much pressure on the lid which may be problematic if you’re using your craft knife. The other factor, at least for me, is that I wanted to use this on my lap, which you can do but it is a little uncomfortable. The plastic on the bottom of the box is thick with a number of right angles that start to dig into your thighs after a while. This can easily be solved with a thin cushion but it would have been better if GW had addressed this issue in the design.

The price is also a negative at £42 direct from GW or around £35 from an independent supplier it’s not a cheap piece of kit, especially, if you’re happy to have your gear in a few shoe boxes. 


Despite the lid that feels a little too thin, the sore thighs and the price, I actually really like the ‘Project Box’ as it’s currently storing a lot of my gear. It’s probably because I’m storing so much paint in the box that it’s digging into my thighs. If I’m honest I’ll probably end up picking up a second box to use as a Project Box that just contains the things I need for a particular project I’m working on and not just a storage solution.

If you’re in a similar position to me and your hobby space is at minimum then I’d really recommend picking up a Project Box as I can’t think of a similar product on the market that is compact, looks cool and keeps all your bits togeather.

Painting Sigmar’s Mail

When I started my Stormcast Eternals I wanted them in armour that looked as realistic to plate mail armour my painting ability would allow me to achieve. I like my miniatures to look like they are wearing armour that would be functional in an actual battle; which I admit does seem a little strange when you consider that they are a fantasy army so in theory they could wear any armour they wanted, even armour made of gold.

After looking at a lot of suits of armour, on a recent visit to Leeds Royal Armouries, I noticed that the plate mail varied dramatically in steel shades between the raised and recessed areas as the picture below highlights.


The raised areas tended to be highly polished but the further into the recesses you looked the darker and duller the metal got. I wanted to duplicate this look on my miniatures.

To try and replicate this authentic plate mail look I firstly primed my models in white, as I knew I’d be dulling down the colour later so didn’t want my base layer too dark.

I then painted the armour areas with a player of Vallejo Game Air Chain Mail.

After this I made a 50/50 mix of burnt umber oil paint and black oil paint. I then coated all the metallic areas with the oil paint, left it for around five minutes and then wiped the paint off with a clean cloth. This left the recesses darker and the raised areas lighter as it was easier to remove the oil paint off the raised areas. Once I’d removed all the excess oil paint I left the model to dry.

DSC_0290 [1178263]

Once the oil paint had dried I began adding a highlight of Vallejo Game Air Silver to all the raised areas. I made sure that I had minimal paint on the brush so that I could easily blend the highlighted areas into the dark areas. I kept adding highlights to the raised areas until I was happy with the look.

DSC_0204 [1166302]

And that was that. I’m happy with the result, to me it looks authentic enough and in my eyes makes the Stormcast Eternals look a little more menacing than when they are painted in the official gold color scheme.

Genesis of a Painting Daemon

Bilbo just knocked his last  bottle of Devlan Mud over

Bilbo just knocked his last bottle of Devlan Mud over

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, painting miniatures. You buy one model, and if you don’t keep your wallet closed, there’s no knowing what you might paint.”

Bilbo’s hobby advice.

I’ve exchanged tweets with a few of my twitter followers about the pictures of my miniatures which I post under the #warmongers, #MiniatureMonday and #WIPWednesday hashtags. Most of the people I’ve spoken too are involved with the hobby but some are people who follow me on twitter for different reasons (my charm, razor sharp wit, dashing good looks, magnetic personality, beer nonsense and general moaning to name but a few). I’ve noticed over the past few months that several of my non-hobby followers have spoken to me about my miniatures and have said that they’d thought about getting some models in the past but have never taken that next step.

I enjoy painting models, it helps me unwind and relax and it seems a shame that some people think “I wouldn’t mind to trying that” but then never get any further. I believe part of the issue is that there’s a hell of lot of things to get from a specialised shop. If you’re totally new to the hobby to it all it can be very daunting.

The aim of this blog, therefore, is to provide a starting place for people who are interested in painting miniatures but have no idea where to start. I’ll cover what basic things you need to get and hopefully the cheapest way to get your hands on the godies. I’ve been painting miniatures now for just over a year so hopefully all my initial problems will be fresh in my mind.


The first stop…

The first step with painting miniatures is also the hardest and it involves going to a hobby shop. For most people this will be a Games Workshop store as they are in most major town centers. You can get almost everything here that you will need to start the hobby, models, paints brushes, tools and primer. It sounds like the most ideal place to start but it’s not the place I get the bulk of my supplies from. To get all the basics you require you to start painting you will need to invest a little cash and buying direct for Games Workshop is notoriously expensive. If you buy your equipment from an independent model shop you will be will save around 15-25% off Games Workshop price as well as having access to other manufactures models and paints.

I’m going to plug Elemental Games here, cheap, massive stock range, a quick and reliable service and you earn store credit with each purchase. They have a shop and an amazing website too. If you do buy from Elemental Games then use promo code STE978 on the payment screen and you’ll receive double store credit points and I’ll receive some too! Everyone’s a winner baby!

Also remember to read as many blogs and watch as many videos as you can on painting – not rude videos as you’ll go blind. The information in blogs and videos is free, you’ll pick up so many new techniques by just reading and watching this stuff, so make sure you do it.

I’ll list the Games Workshop price (GW) and the Elemental Games prices (EG) below.

The first step…

So you’ve now decided where you’re going to buy your gear from, the next step is which models are you going to buy. I paint Blood Angel and Orks, both from the Warhammer 40k range, but if you want to go either into fantasy or sci-fi have a look at the whole model range as one model may look fab whilst the rest are mediocre. Google the fluff and get a feeling for the whole army. Once you’ve decided what army you want to paint (and even play) then I’d recommend that you get some general infantry units as your first models. If you buy infantry units you’ll get a lot more models for your money meaning you’ll have more to practice on as you start to learn the basic painting techniques.

Space Marine Assault Squad – GW £20.50 / EG £17.42

If you have a little more money to invest, and you like the armies, then you can get one of the box sets for either the Warhammer Fantasy Island of Blood featuring High Elves and Skaven or the Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance box featuring Chaos Space Marines and loyalist Dark Angels Space Marines. You get a hell of a lot of models in each box and a self-contained game which you can use to bully your friends into getting into the hobby with. They do provide good value for money. If you’re only interested in one of the armies then you can put the others on eBay.

Island of Blood – GW £61.50 / EG £52.28

Dark Vengeance – GW £65 / EG £55.25

Step two…

Tools! There are lots of different tools for all manner of different purposes but you can actually get away with only needing a few to start with. At this point I would highly recommend that you do not buy any of the Games Workshop tools as they are really expensive. The build quality and finish are great but this is an area you can save on.

The first essential tool you will need are clippers to remove the model from the plastic spruce.

Clippers – GW£18 / EG £6.79

Next you’ll need a semi-circle file. One side is a semi-circle the other is flat. You’ll need a small plastic file to tidy your model by removing the mould line and smoothing over the areas where the model was attached to the spruce. Sadly, you can’t seem to buy individual files as they come in sets, you could, I suppose, use the spare files as bum scratchers.

Files – GW £12 / EG £4.49

Step 3…

Next you’ll want to glue your models together. Get them striking an epic pose and then use strong plastic glue.

Glue – GW £4.10 / EG £3.48

Step 4…

You’ll also need some primer. Once you’ve built your model you’ll want to prime it. If your model is going to be painted a dark colour scheme or mainly metallic then use a black primer. If your model is going to be of an overall lighter colour scheme, mainly flesh or light coloured robes then I’d use a white or grey primer. Primer allows the paint to stick and hold to the model. Bear in mind that you will only need a light coating over your model.

Primer – GW £9.80 / EG £8.33

Step 5…

You’ll need paints and there are lots to choose from. Paints are probably one of the cheapest things to buy but they can start getting expensive when you buy lots at once. I’d recommend searching the net for painting guides for the models you have chosen. Once you’ve read / watched a few you can buy the colours used to achieve the look you want.

Washes will soon become your best friend, they won’t let you down and they’re always there to make you look better than you actually are (which to be fair is better than what a real best friend does). Washes are a very easy way of adding shading to a model. They only contain a little pigment which allows you to see the painted area underneath but make the recesses of the model more shaded. The two washes I’d buy are Nulin Oil – a black wash that work great on metallic colours and Agrax Earthshade – a light brown shade that works well over fabrics.

GW – £2.40 a pot / EG – £1.99 a pot

Step 6…

Acrylic thinner, you need this, please purchase this. If you paint straight from the pot then your paint will be too thick and your model will look like it is melting. Paint that is too thick will destroy all the detail on the model and it’s probably the biggest pitfall for new painters. The acrylic thinner will thin your paint allowing for a thinner but smoother application of paint. It might take a little longer and a few coats to paint an area but the end results will be worth it. For each blob of paint on your pallet you’ll only need a small amount on thinner. You’ll want the paint to be the consistency of milk. The Emperor Demands thinned paint.

Paint for the Paint God!

Too Much Paint for the Paint God!

Acrylic thinner – GW Lahmian Medium £2.40 / EG £7.19

Step 7…

If you bought a paint set which included brushes then you’re set. If you didn’t then you’ll need a fine detail brush and a standard brush. To be honest you’d probably get away with just a fine detail brush (it’s the one I use 95% of the time).

Detail Brush – GW £3.75 / EG £2.98

Step 8…

All these things are free or you’ll have them in the house anyway, yippee!

  • An old mug to wash your brush in.
  • An old take-away tub lid to act as your palette.
  • Old newspaper to cover up the area where you’re painting. You will spill a paint pot and if you don’t have anything down to protect the table or carpet your significant other may hurt you as punishment and The Emperor won’t protect you.
  • Kitchen roll to dry your brush and remove excess paint.
  • Light for your painting area.
    • If you’re painting during the day then paint in front of a window. The natural light will help you see all the areas and stop you straining your eyes.
    • Painting in the evening (welcome to my world). Energy saving light bulbs are crap for painting under. Try and paint in the best lit room. You will also need to use a desk lamp to illuminate your work. If you take to the hobby then you need to invest in either daylight bulbs or a daylight lamp. It’s the kind that seamstresses use.

Things not to buy…

  • The White Dwarf monthly magazine. It’s expensive with no written content just nice pictures. Save the money and look for inspiring pictures on the internet.
  • Painting guides. Honestly, at a beginner level don’t bother. All the basic techniques and videos can be found on the net for free. There are some good guides I have bought but they have covered advanced techniques (airbrushing etc).
  • Too many models. If it’s not a limited edition then leave it in the shop. There’s nothing more disheartening than having a pile of models awaiting your attention as it puts pressure on you and then you’ll start to rush. If there’s only a limited run of the model then by all means get it and save it for the next project.

To get all the basics along with 10 tubs of paint  and a basic infantry model set you’re looking at splashing out £94.54 from Games Workshop and £70.50 from Elemental Games, a saving of £24.04.

The final and the most important thing you need for miniature painting is patience. Don’t rush the painting, take your time and enjoy the time you’re spending painting your model, you’re not thinking about work or life just the model. See your painting time as time to relax, have a beer or a glass of wine and listen to some music. It’s time wasted but in a constructive way.

If you do have a go at the hobby or you just want to ask a question then please add a comment.

Grukk Face-Rippa


I recently picked up the Sanctus Reach: Stormclaw box set as it contained some really cool models that will take my an age to paint. I have to admit I mainly picked the box set up for the orks as they’re a little quirky and crazy. With this in mind the first model I decided to paint was the Warboss Grukk Face-Rippa. Grukk would hold a number of firsts for me – the first 40k model I’d paint, the first ork I’d paint, the first time I’d use a yellow blending technique and the first time I’d use stone, sand and pigment to create the base – because of all these firsts I took even more time over this model than I normally would.

Constructing Grukk was a simple process. I drilled out his shoota and the air vents on his power claw before construction began proper as I believe this looks better. I then assembled the core of his body before priming but didn’t attach his face, warboss pole and shoulder guards. The squib was also assembled separately and I didn’t attach its face either. The models were primed using Army Painters black primer – it was the first time I’d used this primer but it went on really smooth.


After priming I painted Grukk’s tongue and inner mouth with Khrone red, I then mixed in a little Ceramite White for the highlights, once the paint had dried I applied a wash of Nulin Oil. After that I attached Grukk’s face and filled in any joint gaps with liquid green stuff.

Now any warboss worth his salt knows that you have to wear red trousers – it’s ork law – so Grukk had to have red trousers. Khrone Red was again used – mainly because it was already on my wet pallet – after the first coat was down I started to mix in a little Evil Suns Scarlet for the highlight. I didn’t go overboard with the highlighting on the trousers, I wanted just enough so that it looked realistic but not crisp. After the trousers had dried a Nulin Oil wash was applied.

Unsurprising Grukk’s base flesh tone was Waaagh Flesh as it provides a nice earthy green base. The first set of highlights picked out the major muscles and was a mix of Waaagh Flesh and Warboss Green. The second set of highlights picked out the extremities with Skarsnik Green added to the initial highlight mix. Once it had dried a wash of Bieltan Green was applied.

Bad Moons - The Yellow I didn't want

Bad Moons – The Yellow I didn’t want

I wanted Grukk to have Bad Moons yellow as part of his colour scheme but I also wanted some purple on him as well. All my models tend to have a little purple on them if I can fit it into the theme without ruining the scheme. For the purple on this model I decided to go for the left should guard and Grukk’s body armour. Both pieces of armour were painted with a base of Xereus Purple.  Once this had dried I mixed in a little Ceramite White into the mix and with a small brush I added dots and lines loosely across the raised parts and edges of the armour. This would, hopefully, give the impression of wear and tear on the armour. Once this had dried I used the same technique but this time with Leadbelcher to add areas where the paint had totally chipped away to show the metal base.

The Power-Claw, parts of the shoota and warboss pole came next. I wanted these areas to be yellow, Bad Moons yellow. From the start I knew I didn’t want to emulate the crisp Bad Moons yellow which you see in all the GamesWorkshop promotional pictures. I wanted my yellow to look more rugged and dirty. After searching the internet for a while I came across the video – below  – that achieved the look I wanted.

Any area I wanted to paint yellow I firstly undercoated with Mournfang Brown. After that I started to mix in a little Averland Sunset, then went over the areas which I wanted to be yellow – I kept the paint as watered down as possible – I then went back and added a little more Averland Sunset to mix. This took a while as I was blending from brown through to yellow. Once I had the Averland Sunset areas as yellow as possible I started adding in Yriel Yellow to the mix. Still keeping the paint as watered down as possible I was making the areas I painted  smaller with each coat. I then added some Flash Gitz Yellow to the mix and picked out the edges of the yellow areas. Once that was done I added a little Ceramite White to the mix and with a fine bush added some weathering around any edges and scratch lines across the surface of the yellow. Once this had dried I pulled all the yellow areas together with a glaze of Lamenters Yellow. I was really happy with the end result, it wasn’t perfect but as my blending techniques get better I’m sure it will look more effective.


The rest of Grukk was fairly straight forward, basecoat, highlight and weathering. Once the yellow areas were completed he came together really quickly. The next big challenge for me was basing Grukk. I wanted Grukk based on something that looked like a red, dusty Martian desert landscape. So the first thing I did was to super glue pieces of slate to the base so that it would have a little texture and character. Once the slate was set in place I coated the base in PVA glue and then covered it with Fine Basing Grit, once everything was dry I primed the base with matt black Army Painter primer. I then positioned Grukk and his squib on the base and stuck them down with a mixture of superglue and green stuff. Once that had set I started to add pigment to the base. I used Vallejo Pigments and started with a base layer of Natural Sienna. To apply the pigment to the base I added some to a palette, I then dipped an old brush in water and mixed the pigment into the water. I then applied the pigment to the base by dabbing it to the base. As the first layer was wet it looked like mud. Once it had had dried I added a layer or Burnt Sienna pigment. I added this to the base with a slightly damp brush which made the pigment look more like dry sand than mud. Once I was happy I sprayed the base and the model in Army Painters matte seal. As this was my first attempt at using pigment I’m fairly happy with the result, ideally I’d like the base to look more of an orange red colour but it hasn’t turned out too badly.


So there we have it, my Grukk Face-Rippa – I really enjoyed painting this model, it was a lot of fun and provided me with some knew challenges as well as some old ones! I’m not going to make a start on the Killa Kanz which will be the first full machine models I’ve painted. If you have any comments or want me to add more detail to any element then please comment and let me know.