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Raiding the Dusty Wastes

Raiding the Dusty Wastes

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Project Blog by horati0nosebl0wer Cult of Games Member

Recommendations: 1060

About the Project

A build of a display piece that was started about summer 2019. Now a year later it might be ready to paint as I get other projects done. This was fun for the idea of a desert dungeon crawl. Looks like things have changed as its now a SAGA Age of Magic project

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Death rides the wind on pale wings

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 5
1 Comment

The color palette we normally associate with eagles is pretty bog standard. I think that working with something to break out of the big brown bird mold is the way to go. As there’s nothing else to go on I looked at other raptors to get an idea of what was possible and grabbed these.

A tower worthy of a king

Tutoring 4
Skill 5
Idea 5
1 Comment
A thematic dice tower designA thematic dice tower design

Thanks to the crew’s banter over the work being done by Sarissa I found myself wandering on Ye Olde Internets for buildings that might be useful for my themed army. No, I was not disappointed in my search. Over on Turbosquid I came across a building that would work as a shell for a dice tower to get 3D printed.

It was on another site that I found some other buildings but it looks like they’d be more work to make viable

I dug into some designs for windows in order to open up the windows for some visual interest. Of course the middle would be open as other towers are and the face opposite the one featured would be where the dice came out. Some Arabesque flourishes and it would look awesome. I’m too creative for my own damn good sometimes.

Thunderchicken on a stick

Tutoring 5
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Such thighgap, much wowSuch thighgap, much wow

The original placement of the model was on a pair of stones that held up the bird but that doesn’t suit my sense of mini making. I’ve filled in the key on the leg which is the largest amount of greenstuff I’ve used on a single point of a model thus far but I’m not one for too much building these days.

In doing the base for this I’m using a 90x120mm oval MDF base and the green foam used for fake flower arrangements.

This crap breaks down into minute granules and gets everywhere as dust. I knew this going in and covered it with watered down PVA afterwards. It appears to be a closed cell foam so it doesn’t absorb into the material. This is not fun but the material is manageable after the glue dries and stabilized the surface to a degree. I’m irritated that the rocky texture wasn’t achieved after using a layer of plaster gauze as model train builders use for mountains. I will, however, use a thick coat of gesso over some texturing I plan to do with an air dry clay like Das. This will act as a secondary means of shoring up the shell on the foam. This is is a good way to keep the majority of the weight in the bird. I have a few ideas on additions to make before finally priming it beyond the tree I got from Epic Basing.

This portion of the project seems like a halfway point to terrain building and I really admonish myself as I fall futher afield into the arena of a Terry Gilliam production (I can do more shit!!).

Free and a bird (not if she can help it)

Tutoring 4
Skill 5
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1 Comment
I think I'll name him DwayneI think I'll name him Dwayne

I now reveal my next monster…. A roc! This model is Grimtalon from Reaper (SKU 77946). I’m too creative for my own good as I wanted to build a second head and sculpt it to the body as a second homage to Harryhausen

Alas I am well overbooked for time, effort and short of cash to try and get some more 3D sculpt work done despite inspirational imagery that would allow for the creation of such a thing. Ugh, so much going on in the head that could be built and not enough (or any) minions/funds to have work done for me. I really need to get into the villain business.

A hobby holiday of sorts

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I’ve come back to the project well after some downtime as I’ve been given the opportunity. This is where the large pieces come in for my monsters. Love for the big pieces once more (I’ll probably break this up for my own sanity instead of all at the same time one after the next).

The djinn is in need of love and I will be finishing his basing soon enough with the small details. I’ve been debating on whether or not to further detail the skin with sigils and seals according to various treatises of Arabic magic. Diving into that was a curious foray into the premise that all Muslim magic is done according to the faith of the practitioner. The relative success or failure of the work is dependent on piety and devotion according to scripture and the whim of the deity. As far as finding information on djinn the location of the basing matches accounts one of their residence primarily being in remote places.

I’ve already highlighted the Harryhausen cyclops previously and have done little to change it. I’ll be adding the gravel texture and a few small flavor bits. Its pretty much a go for the model otherwise.

Remove the rod; keep the fist

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
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I have been holding onto the metal spears that I picked up from Warlord for about a month now and I have quite a bit of time that has opened up for me to occupy my mind and hands with. After snipping thr plastic spears from the models I’m replacing them with some sturdier ones.

Translation has begun again in small part as I want to do some lance pennants for the camlery (maybe the cavalry too). I am tempted to add the same sort of additional details to the standard troops as well with simple single color devices but I haven’t decided that. I might get more detailed as I keep looking at banners. Ugh, I need to print some custom flags to kick things off before I go that route yet.

Details details… we’re well beyond 1001 nights.

Amass the masses

Tutoring 4
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Upgrade to my army tray completed with metal corners caps and hard rubber feet that have been epoxied into place. I’ve also looked over the long overdue progress of the army. I feel bad about not getting things done but I have Giftmas to complete (and ship out), my occasional commission work and the sporadic quick victories I want to kick out so I can feel like I’m getting things done. I guess I should switch the quick victories out as I should be getting th army done. “How do you ear an elephant? One bite at a time”. My dad is right and I should get back to it. I can still fulfill my quota of one mini painted to completion in a week with that. Beyond all that I’m happy to see my work collected so far.

Magnets are in progress at the moment and I’m thinking the archers need more power to the pull. I’ve gone back and forth on the matter but dropping them a few times in moving them from shelves and off tabletop and seeing them scatter has made this decision for me. My cavalry isn’t too bad off as they are plastic and will sit more firmly in their trays once I get them down like my dromedary (I think I’ll use this until I acquire bactrians). My plan is to show off my entire force upside down. This will be amazing as I have bigger pieces on shelf and awaiting love.

The cavalry will get magnets as well like my dromedary (I’ll use this term for my camel corps until I get bactrians… eh.. on second thought I’ll skip on Mongols). Upgrading fast attack also has shown me that setting heavy camels on their spears while epoxy dries will lead to breakage. It was foreseen and I already have my metal spear replacements from Warlord on hand. It still sucks to see work get broken even when I planned on snipping the spears. Looking at the new metal spears there is a difference in thickness (plastics being thicker). Before setting them in their final positions happens I’ll treat the new spears with an etching product from Tamiya. I assume its a mild acid that will assist by pitting otherwise smooth metal surfaces.  I’ll test it on some figures I won’t miss first.

With that I am going to give the otherwise less visually stunning weaponry some oomph with creating lance pennants which is another layer of pain I’ll endure to make my army kick ass. Damn my hobby masochism.

Scorpions! Yes, more of the little buggers

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
1 Comment
All with their little pokey bitsAll with their little pokey bits

So I got off my butt and finished the twelve scorpions for my special option Swarm of levy for the Lords of the Wild. Yes, the desert is full of wildlife. The forest is damn well overrated and I think that stretching ones brain in order to utilize a minis agnostic system as well as game in some gaps is well worth the effort.

These are the vermin scorpions from Reaper minis (SKU:77125) in their Bones line. I thought that for the cost the metal was just too pricey and considered the fact that these were gaming pieces as reason enough to go with the plastic. There are two different versions of the same SKU for ayone looking for the figures. Reaper had, what I assume was, a white nylon that held detail poorly. Recently they’ve changed materials that has held much better and might be what they produce their CAV line with.

I covered the base with the same material I’ve used for the rest of the force and painted/tufted to match as best I can recall without going back through my paint log. The scorpions were painted in simple fashion with regard to their scale and the fact I wanted them to be drab as opposed to the rest of the army.

  • base of AP Hardened Carapace (an odd green/brown),
  • edge highlight RMS Oiled Leather,
  • highlight RMS Stained Ivory

Looking at it again I think these are just ambush pattern arachnids. Overall they are quite nice to me and I’m glad to get these done before the intense packing that will occur before the end of next month.

Progressive planning prevents piss poor painting

Tutoring 6
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  • Levy archers
  • Special levy unit – to be revealed
  • Djinn
  • Mage
  • Special lieutenant on carpet
  • Cyclops
  • War machine -to be revealed
  • Leader on giant scorpion
  • Another monster – on standby (for most of this year now and still in box)
  • Gigantic scorpion (if I can reasonably save enough money to get 3D sculpting performed again)

 

Looking at my upcoming move early next year I think preplanning for the event with my projects is best. I will schedule the progress of what I expect to complete until then. I doubt I will get to the mage as I think about how much effort I’ve given to detail and the time I have available.

As you can see there have been additions and the good thing about this list is the way its just progressive growth and not “I must paint this RIGHT MEOW!” Llawnor has been a great inspiration for that but I think that the spreadsheet might be a bit much to go back to. It really was a groaner to see what I had on it for the XLBS and not updated or worked on. I also must say.. John, there’s a reason Black Templars are easy. Jump on the Eldar bandwagon with Ben but spice it up with Harlequins. Pbbbbbt!

He Sees You When You're Sleeping and Knows When You're Awake....

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
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1 Comment

A great addition to my army is my cyclops. I just got done with the cork/greenstuff basing with resin columns placed for future reference. The money I’ve spent makes me very happy now that I have the model cleared of supports and started for the build portion. I’m not done with my djinn and will continue to hammer on that with paint. Having these two pieces really is what I imagined when I came across the Age of Magic rules. I will be pleased to put out posts on the sorcerer and other upcoming additions I do have on hand to build/paint.

 

Edit: For the benefit of Some Dude On You Tube **cough** sundancer **cough** and anybody else who wanted to search for the model, this was the custom 3D model I comissioned for. The final print stands at 135mm high and will be featured against minis in future when I’ve properly slapped it with paint.

March of the Monsters Continues

Tutoring 5
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Harryhausen would be proudHarryhausen would be proud

Just a quick update as the cyclops was printed; I also found a sorcerer and a carpet to add to my forces. Johnny Carson seems to have inspired the figure and the rug really ties the room together (the Dude abides).

Fashionably Late

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
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A short hiatus from painting my regular stuff here as I’ve been getting this year’s Giftmas packages ready and have been finishing a figure for Pundancer. The djinn was more than slightly irritating as I sat and pondered, more than I probably should have, what kind of fabric design it was going to get. Well, it came down to an Asian cloud motif and I set about to it. I regretted my decision at one point and moved past it. So far there the fabric is done, the  Lloyd shot when done will be awesome, and I’m on to the NMM of the belt/bracers/earrings/septum ring (the smallest of details that I’ll hit later). The skintone was actually inspired by the Grey Hulk from the early run of the comics. Most everyone assumes that Hulk is green and has always been so but he was originally wasn’t. There was also a point he was red but I think it was a short lived story arc. That aside I moved to more madness as the spears and shield were a late thought since the base looked a little naked aside from the ruins. I’ll add grass tufts to it like my other units in the end.

I have bowed to the pressure of needing magnets for my camelry and stopped by my FLGS after work this week. It has turned out to be fortuitous because I managed to snag a couple of large figure boxes from Chessex that they had ordered by mistake giving them a sale and making sure my fancy shmancy project pieces have adequate protection in my upcoming move.

As far as the magnets I’ll recommend trying to get them from places like JK Magnetics as Primal Horizon is very well overpriced and I can get so much more for the same price. I do love the shop but I need to be more frugal with my spending. This is a problem as I’ve snapped one of my camel rider’s spears again. I foresee more of the same and have looked into metal ones to avoid having to try and repair plastic. The pitfalls of the hobby.

On a separate note, the figures I believed were lost have been found. I only threw away the box. “Safe” might need to be reconsidered if I ever want to see my figures ever again.

I almost have a handle on this thing (or two)

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
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1 Comment
Almost finishedAlmost finished

I picked up handle hardware today and have yet to install it. I measured and made sure of the placement where I will affix them. The next step after this is the rubber feet for the bottoms and I’ll be ready to set magnetized figures on the trays

And Now for Something Completely Different

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
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There are perks to working in a sheet metal shop; notably, there is no cost for scrap materials I can claim as my own that the shop is going to throw out or there is negligible cost for due to sheer amount of inventory.

Cut to spec with industrial shearsCut to spec with industrial shears

I had gotten the rough estimate of what size I wanted my tray to fit inside the plastic bin and then did a quick measure when I was at work. I gave a little space near the sides as I’d need some room for my hands to grab handles I’d later attach as well as the fact that the corners are rounded inside. The 24 gauge sheet steel was small enough to handle without needing huge sheets. This image comes after the initial cut that separated it from the 29″x60″ sheet and the following shear of the 29″x15″ to the final 24″x15″. I didn’t give it the extra 1/4″ that I had measured as I figured there should be some tolerance to the plan. Having worked with a friend who produced parts for ICBMs (yes, real nukes) I know there’s a hell of a lot less at stake here as well as no need for a micrometer (despite the thought it might be cool to have).

Hooray for having a table saw in the shopHooray for having a table saw in the shop

With a bit of plywood lying around from assembly and the sheeting that comes with material it seemed perfect as I was allowed free rein to what would otherwise become scrap and trashed. I picked out the 1/2″ thick material and cut it to size.

A match well madeA match well made
Surely securedSurely secured

I fixed the steel sheet to the plywood with 1/4″ stainless steel self tapping screws that are used regularly for work in roughly a manner that would be even and not allow the sheet to pull up from the wood. The sides were left open as the handles would secure those areas.

I LOVE MAKING SPARKS FLY!!!!I LOVE MAKING SPARKS FLY!!!!

I was irritated by how the taps for the screws passed through the boards entirely and how thy would end up scratching whatever surface they would sit on so I decided on going to the welding area and pulling a rotary tool with cutting wheel. It was so fulfilling to let loose and have sparks fly around as I destroyed the ends of the screws to make them flush with the bottom of the plywood.

Since its boobie appreciation month work has had us dress up in pink shirts for Fridays. Really, do we need a month to say we like boobs? I think there are other areas of interest that should be given attention but I don’t believe that neither HR nor society at large would be so keen on hearing out my thoughts.

What else is your shower good for?What else is your shower good for?

I was none too thrilled about the fact that the rough edges and bottoms of the boards were raw. I thought that there should be some more work put into the products I would be using. I was going to be proud of what I made and the little effort of sealing the wood with polyurethane varnish was just the thing. A little paper that would otherwise be used for interior job sites went down to protect the shower. The wood, having spent many months in a storage trailer, sucked up the sealant readily for the one coat and made my life easy to avoid much cleanup.

BIG plans!

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So I’ve had a bit more of time to think about Hasn and his scorpions after reading the Saga tome for Age of Magic. I spent the money and rented the 2010 Clash of the Titans online and it gave me the chance to screencap all the great moments that the arachnid glory hit the screen. There will be a lot more fun to be had with monsters. I just need to bother a 3D sculptor about the matter of doing a custom piece. Ugh…. I am a monetary masochist. I really should start taking donations just for the insanity I go through in order to make projects like this. For now I’ll leave the images I snagged most interesting/relevant to my percolating thoughts.

 

Anywho, in other news, I’ll be buying more magnets as well for my forces thus far to put onto a large magnetic tray (inpsired by this Vince Venturella video). The transportation of my forces in future, and moving in general, will be that much easier.

I think that the magnets will also be quite helpful in keeping my figures from falling over in the movement trays. The camels are especially easy to topple when they’re loose with most of the weight up high. Everything else should be pretty secure.

Choice expletives!!!

Tutoring 8
Skill 8
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When the device of rotation and oscillation for heat mitigation gets struck by effluent excrement

I got way too damn into my cleaning of my living space as I try and get the Giftmas presents wrapped and packed. In that, I mean that I inadvertently threw away my sprues for the Arab light cavalry and Anglo-Saxon infantry that I had lying around where I thought “they’ll be safe here”. That turned into losing the leader figure I was going to pull for the giant scorpion I have standing by for me to work on. I have since ordered a new single sprue that I will work from when it gets delivered. Onward and upward from this mishap!

Look! See, it ties into the project background imagery!Look! See, it ties into the project background imagery!

I had an order of 3D printed columns arrive. It was a small shipment and I’m thankful that the pieces were hollow as it allowed cutting through and refilling with Apoxie Sculpt easy. I threw that on top of the base I’d been working on and threw on a little more filler turf. I’m quite happy with the results and will be even more so when done. The colors will be easy and so forgiving as compared to the rest of the model.

Presently, on the djinn, I decided to try and look at the musculature which will be a little tricky. With it being such a big piece that will catch quite a bit of eye I thought taking the extra care in trying to start good blends now was optimal. A basecoat of Vallejo black primer and then one of Proacryl’s Dark grey primer to build volume before sketching with a much lighter grey from Vallejo think that there is the start for step one before trying to push up to a higher contrast. Looking over more bodybuilding images than I care to admit to in order to figure out what the highest contrast might be I’m confident that next step will be pretty easy in the blending process. All the work is going into the undercoating as I don’t want to play with trying to blend colors and layers later and end up screwing the pooch. I’ll go back over it in the end with more zenithal highlighting before I work over the fleshtones which will knock down any great contrasts that just don’t work. The rest of the model seems like it’ll be a piece of cake by comparison from there.

Pardon me, do you have a flag?Pardon me, do you have a flag?

I finished building the second unit of levy archers as outlined thus far. I considered the idea that Gerry had floated early on to play with different colored turbans but I believe the blue ones are the focal point of it all. Honestly, with so many people commenting that they really have their eyes drawn to that feature I’m not going to change it. I decided to have some in-unit bannermen. I think that there will be greater visual interest from the feature and allow me to demarcate units in a manner that wouldn’t break from the overall motif. I’ll just trade out one model from my first unit to allow for the flag bearer and pop him into the second. Having these models means that I need to sit on Photopea more and design for some time. Making decisions on colors and patterns after getting the Arabic script written as I want will not be easy. I remember where I keep my ibuprofen and hope I won’t need too much. So far the only part that caused a little consternation was modifying the levy figures in order to accommodate the wire for the eventual banners.

Gripping Beast’s sprues for the Arab Archers and Spearmen box generally just have one arm (only one lacks both) and makes for easy modification. Cutting joints with my jeweler’s saw, from when all models were made of metal, and then pinning the right position has been pretty easy given how often I’ve done it in the past. I managed only to screw up one fist that wasn’t thick enough for the drill bit to pass through without breaking the surface. It’ll be fine as I’ve covered it with a layer of glue that will hide the mistake under the paint. All other details can be worked on and put to right so casual scrutiny won’t reveal the modification.

From here I’ll just put a hold on the beast mounted leader and keep up the behind the scenes progress for other units. The downside of these updates is that I’ve come to dig deeper into the Age of Magic book and I’ve gotten the brilliant idea of what I want to do for Legendary units. I think I might need to limit my battleboards for what minis I bring to the table. A minis agnostic system is turning out to be a little dangerous to my wallet. Each step I take from here will be calculated as to how I can afford the creation process. Hiring the sculptor for the cyclops was rough enough with minimal reference material to get the model. If I really want the big bad bruisers for the table done my way I’ll need to jump onto researching images well before hiring a concept artist, a sculptor and then a printer. Should I start a GoFundMe solely for the purpose of self indulgence in this hobby?

The camels of quarantine Pt. II

Tutoring 6
Skill 8
Idea 6
1 Comment
Finally doneFinally done

It took a little longer than anticipated but the camels are finished. The truth of why horses hate camels has been established… clothes horses hate being outdone with fancy camel blankets.

All the freehand has been a pain but worth the final results. Now, onto the shelf these go until I finish my other units. It might just be a little bit until my next game… really my first ever of Saga… but the hobby makes me excited to think of ny first impression on my opponent. In the background I’m also doing the paint and packing of Giftmas cannon fodder so I’ll be glad to break into my second levy for less headache for details. I might’ve found an appropriate sorcerer to get printed and maybe some creatures that will round out options for multiple army lists. I’m just wondering about how The Otherworld could be made. I’ll think on it.

In other news I put down some cash for spare airbrush parts and quite happy to do so. The upcoming monsters will doubtlessly require me to break that tool out for quite a bit of coverage.

Begin the March of Monsters!

Tutoring 7
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I survived! I’ve had to sideline the camels for a little bit only because I was not in the best place with difficulty breathing last week. I’m back at work and making up for lost wages. In that aim I am almost done with my commission work and will be getting cash in hand.

As I lack anything new and exciting to reveal for camels I give you this…

My secret project that was so fun to developMy secret project that was so fun to develop

As promised I was working with a 3D sculptor and got the cyclops created for my developing Saga Age of Magic, the Arabian Knights. The Ray Harryhausen work was taken and played with slightly but I think it came out well. My own modelling skills to get the upper torso posed better was well worth it. I can say that Fiverr is not limited to $5. This was well north of that and I still need to get it printed. I’m glad that I saved the person I worked with last as it should run me a paltry sum, by comparison, to have the resin created.

So yes, there is a running list of things to paint:

  • Four camels
  • A unit of levy archers
  • Leader on giant scorpion (beast)
  • Djinn on flying base
  • A warmachine of some sort
  • A huge yet to be revealed monster
  • Some sort of mage that I have yet to find and purchase for painting

What can I say? I like my monstrous options. Beyond that I think that the number of warriors I have can be halved for squads of Hearthguard so no need to buy anything more in that regard. I’m thinking of maybe a couple of creatures as far as options but this really boils down to what lists I want to play. The thing about Saga is that it is mini agnostic and you can play whatever list you build for. I think that I could shuffle my minis between Great Kingdoms, Masters of the Wild (why limit the wilds to the woods?) or perhaps go to The Horde. I’ve debated on The Otherworld (a mad Arab with some Cthulhu minions as well could work) but its still in the planning if I really would want to.

Anywhat, that’s the new stuff to be printed and then I will whittle away the project until I start up on Amazons (a whole other insane project when compared to single figures).

COVID-19, Camels and Christmas

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 7
2 Comments

What have I learned this week? COVID-19 sucks, to put it mildly, I was more ambitious than I knew. Breathing was more important than painting despite my desire to get work done. My diaphragm is stonger than I knew it has been for some time and I am almost clear to go back to work. Its been an up and down disease that I’m glad to be getting over.

My camels are almost done despite having to restart the blanket for one after an unfortunate incident of a coughing fit. The riders still need work as well but its all about trying to make things look fancier than they are. I’m about done with my motivation for the moment as I’d just like to be “productive” again. Earning cash would also help as my paycheck took the expected hit. I’ll be glad to get my commission work to my client so as to offset some of the pain.

Related to this year’s planned festivities, don’t worry anyone, The Noseblower will be shipping Giftmas as promised. By the time boxes go out in late Oct/early Nov this will be well behind us all. Don’t worry about quarantining deliveries as this amount of lead time for things I’ve yet to seal will ensure nothing is traveling internationally. Most things are already boxed up as is with only a few stragglers left to bundle.

The camels of quarantine Pt. I

Tutoring 7
Skill 9
Idea 7
2 Comments
Not half bad with dry coughsNot half bad with dry coughs

So I’ve been put under The Rona Lockdown as of Saturday. What does one do when they suddenly have a week of laying around and languishing with chills, bodyaches, congestion and doing as much sleeping as inhumanely possible? Get the lead out and do something that actually doesn’t suck.

Here’s the first half of my camel corps that I’ve been way too busy to paint until now. I can say that my hands aren’t quite as steady as they normally are but I’ll damn well finish these figures before I get cleared to start work again. I still have a second unit of archer levy to pain but they’re nowhere near as difficult. I also have quite a few monsters to go after this so the project has some development life to go with.

Push through the suck and make as much hobby headway is the only way of coping with this.

 

P.S. I’ll also hit up the metallics after the second half. Right now I don’t quite trust myself yet to get around to it eventhough I wrote on the shields. I can only do so much as an above average kind of nerd.

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