2017: A review

2017 is coming to a close. It started poorly, ended poorly, but you know…

It might have had some good things too.

The Bad

Let’s rip that band-aid right off and start with the stuff that sucked.

  • Started the year doing EMDR therapy, which frankly, was a really rough experience. It helped a lot, but it required the re-visitation of a lot of memories that I had repressed for decades. But, it made things better.
  • Found a mass on my left kidney. Still waiting on more tests (an MRI, to be specific) to determine if the surgeon is going to remove it or not, but, it’s not exactly the news you’d like to receive. Especially when I received it.
  • My daughter, Nora, was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in November. The same cancer I had when I was a child. I’m going to make the assumption that the EMDR therapy at the beginning of the year prevented me from spiraling out of control.
  • Panic attack – I had my first for sure panic attack this year. I’m gonna go ahead and not recommend that to anyone.
  • Leaving the Warmachine/Hordes community – some events took place that lead me to no longer feel welcome/safe in the community based on my personal needs and frankly, basic human decency. It still hurts that I no longer have that outlet and I haven’t sufficiently replaced it, but I don’t feel like I made the wrong choice for leaving.

I had plans of writing some ‘mediocre’ things but you know what? You don’t give a shit and I can’t think of any that are actually interesting/important, so on to the juicy good stuff.

The Good

  • I ran a Spartan Sprint with my best friend, Britt. We didn’t die. We want to do it again.
  • I ran a Half Marathon on my own in 2 hours 20 minutes. I trained for it in 6 weeks (not recommended). I mean, Zita was supposed to join me, but I think she was just trying to trick me into doing it with out her anyway.
  • I ran multiple sub 30 minute 5ks.
  • I started commission painting. (Dead Planet Creations)
  • I read 29 books this year (goal was 30, but one was Lord of the Rings and I only counted it as one book, plus I didn’t count any of the comics I read) plus, I could theoretically finish the last book tonight, but looks unlikely based on what I want to do (I want to do accounting tonight, yikes, I’m super exciting).
  • Enjoyed several PWA events with Brandon and took in a WWE show with Brandon and Danielle.
  • Several adventures with Emily.
  • Went to therapy at least once a month.
  • Did more volunteer work.

2018 is going to create some challenges for my family, but we’re ready. Maybe the goals I had thought for the year won’t be achievable, but, I’ll find something new.

Painting Vayl, Disciple of Everblight – Part 2

This is a continuation from Part 1 of this series, which may or may not end up being a regular thing, I don’t know. It might be though, given that I have a bit of a theme for some painting that I think is fun. We shall see.

Last time, we left off with Vayl looking like this.


Still has work to be done, but she’s looking pretty good.

The next step is to apply a wash to the cloak. I used Druchii Violet for this stage.


Next up was to begin painting the plates Bronze. I used Dwarf Bronze for this task, and carefully began painting the details.


I wasn’t sure how high I wanted the bronze to go, so I stopped at the waist and just let the thoughts bubble around in my head.

Next, I wanted to highlight the high points of the trim of the cloak. For this, I took Genestealer Purple and using a drybrush technique, I went over the high points lightly.


You can see how the technique is a simple, yet effective way to make some of those details pop out. I decided that I did want the bronze to go all the way up the dress, so I finished off those details. I also wanted the bronze on the shoulder pads, so I did that as well.

On the lower part of the dress, I wanted to apply a wash to help define some of the highs and lows better. I don’t have a photo of it exactly, but I applied a wash of Argax Earthshade, then a wash of Nihilakh Oxide.


After doing a few touchups of various things, it was time to do her Oraculus. I chose P3 Sanguine Highlight for this.


I applied a highlight of Wild Rider Red to the edges of the Oraculus.

And with that…I’m happy to call Vayl complete (after looking at these photos there’s a couple touch ups I want to do, but it’s minor work).
IMG_20160331_222526 IMG_20160331_222535 IMG_20160331_222540 IMG_20160331_222550

Now for the ‘surprise’. Here’s the reference image I was using to help guide me on my way to painting…


By no means is my color matching perfect…but, my daughter looked at the paint job and asked if it was Elsa, so good enough for me!

Painting Vayl, Disciple of Everblight – Part 1

Not sure how regular this sort of post might be, but I thought it might be cool to document my step-by-step on how progress was made on a particular model, or just to give some of my readers who aren’t in this particular hobby an opportunity to see how things go from start to finish.

From a time standpoint, total elapsed for what I’m showing on this post is about 4 hours.

The model I’m going to be working through is Vayl, Disciple of Everblight. After the accident, I decided to strip the paint from this model and start again, since I had a new idea for how I wanted to paint her up. Once she was cleaned off, I applied a coat of Vallejo Grey Primer. The primer makes sure the rest of the paint has a good surface to bind to and is a very important step in miniature painting. So, I’m starting with the miniature like this.


The next step, I prepared some P3 Beaten Purple to paint the cloak. This is kind of backwards from most ‘best practices’ for painting, which usually recommends painting from the inside out. I’m not so good at following those rules. You’ll note that it looks thin in some areas and there’s some missed spots here and there. Typically you’ll have to put a few coats down to get things even and the like, which you’ll see later on.

Next, I prepared Citadel Hawk Turquoise to apply to the lower half of the dress. The color covered a little better than the purple, as you can see, but that’s mostly because I didn’t quite thin it enough, I think. Or it just covers better. Either way, I applied this to the model.



Next, I took P3 Thamar Black and applied it to the top fifth or so of the dress and up the neck of the model. I’m not too concerned about getting the exact transition clean right now.IMG_20160325_213310

I thought about the desired look and decided the ‘armor’ plating should also be turquoise. I applied the color to the areas I hadn’t painted before.IMG_20160325_214846

From the desired look, I needed to do a cyan color on the hands, to simulate gloves. I didn’t have quite the color I wanted in my arsenal, so I mixed 50-50 Citadel Ultramarine Blue and Hawk Turquoise, then applied it to the hands. I also decided I wanted to put this color on the hanging cloth (that was previously purple).

After the cyan was dry, I wasn’t happy with the color. I took the pure Ultramarines Blue and applied a highlight on the edges to try and see if that would help make the color differentiate from the main body color. It wasn’t quite enough, so I took an even higher highlight with Ice Blue. Then I was starting to feel better about the result, so I left it.

Much like the plates on the inner part of the dress, I decided that the armor plates on the shoulders should be the same color as the cloak. I applied the Beaten Purple to these areas and did another coat on the rest of the cloak.. I then prepared Geanstealer Purple and applied that to the feathers on the edge and back of the dress.

I applied P3 Rhyn Flesh to her face. The top of her head, I applied Citadel Screaming Skull, to get a white-blonde color.

Next, I applied P3 Rucksack Tan to the crown where I wanted it to be gold, to build up a color slightly. I also applied the screaming skull inside the rear part of the crown, to make it look like a weird medieval hair net thing. I swear I saw that sort of thing somewhere before. IMG_20160325_223939

I applied P3 Solid Gold to the crown area. I then applied a Citadel Reiskland Fleshshade to the entire head.

I apply Citadel Skull White to the eyes. I paint over the most of the face again with the Ryn Flesh, leaving some areas of shadow formed by the wash. I apply P3 Murderous Magenta to the lips. I want to give the appearance of a lavender eyeshadow, so I apply a thin line of Citadel Slaanesh Grey.

I apply a wash of Asurman Blue to the lower dress.IMG_20160325_235431

I use my micron pen to dot pupils. I cheat.

I re-apply the Hawk Turquoise to the raised folds of the dress. I give a small highlight of Citadel Lothern Blue on highest edges.IMG_20160326_001156

And that is basically all there is to what I’ve done so far.

Here’s a photo of her in my lightbox.IMG_20160326_001803

I hope this was enlightening about the process I go through when painting a mini.

Look for part two once I finish up the model!!

Malifaux painting update

It’s been a little while since I’ve updated with photos of how my painting is going, so today, I update you!

Here’s a photo of a bunch of stuff in varying states of being painted.

This is a close up of one of my Gunsmiths.  I’m really happy with how the duster is looking on the back side.

And finally, here is one of my Union Miners.  I’m pretty happy with how he’s turning out – still have some work to do and some touch ups here and there, but he looks good on the table.

And on top of all that, I also picked up a Battlefoam Malifaux bag, which is FANTASTIC.  I really recommend them for anyone looking for a storage solution.


More painting…

So, I’ve been keeping up with my painting, trying different techniques and things here and there and just working on my skills.

First up, here’s a model after the application of the first layer color, which basically covers all stained areas from the wash.  Definitely looks a lot more like a Space Wolf suit of armor now.

Then I applied some highlights and gave the model some drybrushing.  It looks pretty decent.

Now, the backside of the model, again, it looks decent.  You’ll see on the right leg some area that was drybrushed – definitely not happy with that area of the model, BUT, it isn’t noticeable from a distance, so it’s ok.  And ultimately, this model is about me trying out different techniques.

So, with lessons learned from the model above, I just applied highlights to some key areas of the armor.  This model is looking pretty good, aside from sloppy work on the first layer.  Again, on the tabletop, it’s going to look pretty decent.

Overall, I need to work on my brush strokes.  I’ve often had too much paint on my brush, or overshot the area I’m trying to paint and I’ve covered area of wash that I shouldn’t have.

I have a smaller brush now and I need to work on just using the point to get the nice, tight lines.  I need to steady my hand a bit.

I also have a number of models that were washed poorly, so there isn’t the nice ‘pools’ of paint in the crevices, but rather just a big pile of ‘dark’ all over.  Definitely need to revisit those models and work on that.

It’s enjoyable to paint the models.  It’s a learning experience and I know I’m not perfect.  Overall, I like the look of what I’ve produced – and that’s the important thing.

If not writing…

So, I’ve not been a complete vegetable in the few weeks I took off from the blog.  In fact, I finished building all of my Space Wolf models.

On top of that, I picked up some paints to start down that path – and I’m really pleased with the results thus far.  Especially since this is my first foray into painting minis.

So, here comes the image heavy post of my army.

So, this is my complete army.  It’s a little more than 1000 points.  On the left, I have a Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf joined by two other Thunderwolf Calvary.  In the back is a drop pod with a squad of 10 Grey Hunters.  To the right is a squad of 5 Grey Hunters.  The right is 5 Wolf Scouts.  And the middle has 5 Wolf Guard, a Wolf Lord and Razorback.

A close-up of the marines.  See the difference between the plain (left), primed (right), and armor basecoated (middle).

And I bought some more paints and added basecoat colors to fur, weapons, faces and shoulder pads.  Everything is starting to look pretty darn good.

Here is a bit of a close-up of one of the models to show some detail.  Obviously, some touch ups are needed!

And finally, to test out the technique, I used a wash on this model to add definition to the small recesses of the model.  It looks really quite good in person.

I’m really excited to keep painting.  It’s enjoyable and things are really starting to come together nicely.  I was worried about this part of the hobby, especially given the small details of many of the models.

Yes, I absolutely have a lot of detail work to do, but as first group of models – I’m really happy with how things are looking.