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Deathskulls Orks Finished miniatures Kill Team Miniature painting Miniatures Tyranids Warhammer 40k

My 2021 and 2022 in miniature painting

In early 2021, I did a year-end retrospective photo for 2020 — the year I got back into miniature painting. I painted 97 miniatures that year, and I had a blast; returning to an old hobby I’d never quite clicked with (it’s complicated) was a perfect lockdown activity.

By contrast, 2021 saw my enthusiasm flagging. I started the year strong, but finished just keeping my hobby streak alive. I didn’t do a year-end photo.

2022 was about the same as 2022. I wasn’t planning to do a photo for last year, either, for pretty much the same reason: I figured it’d be disheartening.

But in December I got back into BattleTech, and also saw how close I was to finishing some killer 40k terrain pieces, and got excited to crank some stuff out. So I finished the year stronger than expected, and that led me to get off my butt and take retrospective photos for 2021 and 2022.

Everything I painted in 2021

In 2021, I painted Deathskulls Orks for my Waaagh!, Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas

I painted 15 models in 2021: two Killa Kans, Skraggit (left) and Stikkit (right); a Deff Dread, Facepeela; my Taurox Trukk conversion, Da Fancy Wun; and a squad of Boyz, Thragg’s Deff Ladz.

2021 was my first time trying an ambitious conversion, mashing together a Taurox with an Ork Trukk; I documented the whole process in a five-post series. (Here’s part one.) 2021 also marked the first time I used green stuff as well as the first time I magnetized any models. (Facepeela’s lower arms are magnetized.)

As I got these minis off the shelf for their photo, it was like seeing old friends. I’m not an amazing painter, but every mini I finished in 2021 brought me joy — and they still do. Skraggit and Da Fancy Wun are two of my favorite models I’ve ever painted.

Everything I painted in 2022

I set out to finish a Kill Team board’s worth of terrain in 2022, and while I didn’t quite get there I came pretty close.

All of the 40k terrain I painted in 2022, plus five Genestealers and a mantis

In 2022 I painted 25 models: 18 pieces of 40k Kill Team terrain, 6 Genestealers (for Kill Team), and a giant mantis as a Christmas gift for Lark.

Terrain feels all fast and exciting at first, with a big ol’ sprayed-on primer and base coat in one, and a big ol’ wash. And then the details start to add up, and add up, and it’s not a breezy summer morning anymore. But it’s still fun!

I enjoy painting terrain. It’s a great palate cleanser, with big brushes and bold sections and — with the vibe I’m going for — plenty of excused to weather with gusto.

It was also fun combining two 40k terrain lines, Manufactorum and Mechanicus, into what I think is a cohesive dystopian manufacturing facility. Both incorporate tea/bone and dark red, and I’ve built all my stuff to be durable, interoperable, and still offer a decent amount of customization for layouts and variations.

Here’s a top-down shot showing one possible layout.

Most of my finished 40k terrain

All of the walls/railings on the gantries are placed so that pieces can still connect in a couple places. Ladders are placed and oriented with the same goal in mind. And all the ground-level pipe connection points are tea/bone, so (hopefully) the two terrain sets blend into one another.

I guess technically I’m combining the Munitorum line as well, but those containers, crates, and barrels are so plug-and-play it hardly counts. I do them in colors not present in the other stuff, so they’ll stand out.

I’m glad I got all this stuff out an photographed it. 2021 and 2022 combined didn’t match my output in 2020, but I painted some stuff I’m proud of — and hopefully I’ll get to use it eventually.

And I got a surprise in January: Lark expressed an interest in playing 40k and Kill Team. I’m pretty sure I can cobble together two Kill Teams or two 500-point armies, so if I finish my last few pieces of terrain — a huge gantry/tank combo, another ruined building, a sacred radiator, and some scatter terrain — the two of us could get some games in this year. That would be awesome!

Out now: The Unlucky Isles

The Unlucky Isles [affiliate link], the first system-neutral guidebook for my Godsbarrow fantasy campaign setting, is now on DriveThruRPG.
Categories
Deathskulls Orks Finished miniatures Lightbox photos Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k

At long last, Thragg’s Deff Ladz! Plus six variations on Ork skin

I built the first of Thragg’s Deff Ladz (my second mob of Boyz for my Deathskulls Ork army, Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas) on January 17th, and have chipped away at them slowly but surely for the past two months. Since I’ve mostly painted rank-and-file Orks so far, this 98-point unit brings me up to 356/2,000 points and 34 finished models.

Back in February, after I abandoned the notion that I was going to paint these lads in two batches; painting 11 minis at once kind of bogs me down, but I can’t argue with the logic of it

I’m not painting at the same pace in 2021 that I did in 2020. And that’s okay! Even if I only do 5-10 minutes in a given day, my hobby streak remains unbroken (today is day 387) and those few minutes are still more than the zero minutes I was putting in for many, many years.

Part of it is that after a year in isolation, the prospect of actually playing 40k still seems like it’s probably 8-12 months away. I’m still enjoying miniature painting as a hobby, but now I have one finished 2,000-point army — the goal of finishing a second feels less urgent. So I’m taking it easy, not gunning the engine and risking burnout.

Along the way, I also picked up a second paint rack. My whole paint library is now accessible, with room to spare. I’m an organized person, by and large, and this appeals to me greatly!

Man, I picked a weird-ass angle for this shot

Anyhoo, time for some Boyz! Let’s fire up the ol’ lightbox.

Get stuck in, you gits!

Thragg is in the center; my favorite in the mob is on the far right, biting that Space Marine dagger blade-in because Orks are not so bright
Rear view of the first five
The second batch; I also like the rightmost mini a lot
Rear view of the back six

And as always, a casual shot (a mix of natural and artificial light):

All 11 of Thragg’s Deff Ladz

Ork skin tones

With Thragg’s Deff Ladz complete, I’ve now used all six skin tone recipes that are currently in my main Ork color guide (plus 3/5 of the recipes I use for Deathskulls blue, and both of my teeth/nails options). The Ladz are a mix of two quite different schemes, one based on Castellan Green and the other on Caliban Green. I love the Caliban version; they start out super-dark green (with a black wash) and highlight up to a very cartoony look.

Now that I’ve tried them all, I took four photos showing each of the six colors, all in the same order (which is the order in which they currently appear in my color guide). So in terms of base paint > shade paint, that’s:

  1. Waaagh! Flesh > Biel-Tan Green
  2. Waaagh! Flesh > Athonian Camoshade
  3. Deathworld Forest > Athonian Camoshade
  4. Deathworld Forest > Biel-Tan Green
  5. Castellan Green > Athonian Camoshade
  6. Caliban Green > Nuln Oil
It took some doing to find one of each with no war paint on their left arms!
Same models, but in a full-body view
And again, but this time in a casual shot with different lighting
Same lighting, full-body view

Recipes 1 and 2 are almost identical to one another; ditto with 3 and 4; really, I have four major recipes with two variations. The variations only differ in which shade paint is used, and unless they’re side by side and you know to look for it that difference is hard to spot. But I like variety in my motley crew, and even just counting the four “main” recipes I’ve got quite a bit of it in my army (all tied together, I hope, by their shared palette of secondary colors and especially by their war paint).

Similarly, my blue recipe built on Kantor Blue is quite similar to the default Macragge Blue version (at least the way I wash and highlight them). But Thousand Suns Blue makes for a vibrant and quite distinctive finished product; I really like that one.

Next up is Da Fancy Wun, my Taurox/Trukk conversion, which is currently primed, partially painted, and waiting for the sealant on the bottom-most wheel spikes to cure.

Out now: The Unlucky Isles

The Unlucky Isles [affiliate link], the first system-neutral guidebook for my Godsbarrow fantasy campaign setting, is now on DriveThruRPG.
Categories
Deathskulls Orks Finished miniatures Lightbox photos Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k

My first full Ork unit finished: Skrudd’s Krumpas

Having made the questionable choice to work on the “back five” of Skrudd’s Krumpas at the same time as an entire unit of Gretchin, 12/27 was a record day for me. (The Grots have their own post, just to keep things organized.)

15 at once is probably too many for me, but kind of fun at the same time

Wot’s dat funny light?

First, the new five on their own:

Five more of Skrudd’s Krumpas
Rear view

And then the whole mob, including Skrudd and the five I painted up earlier this month.

Skrudd and 10 (possibly all?) of his Krumpas, my first Ork Boyz

There are three skin recipes in this mix (1, 2, and 3 on my current list of Ork recipes. My hope is that sticking to a single recipe for war paint, which every model in Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas wears, will unify the larger army.

It’s hard to get 11 minis in frame, apparently

I overcooked the weathering on a few bits on these guys, notably the checked shoulder pads. I wound up repainting those, which is never my first choice, but it was worth it. I’m pretty happy with them overall — I just need to remember to go easy on the grit and grime!

Orks are as fun to paint as I’d hoped. I enjoy having multiple recipes for their skin, Deathskulls blue, etc. — and the mix of skin tones works as well in practice as it did in my head. I’m not sure my attempts to punch these five up (more checks, more blue and white, more lighter-colored boots for contrast with the terrain, etc.) were as successful as I’d hoped, but it feels like I’m moving in the right direction.

Out now: The Unlucky Isles

The Unlucky Isles [affiliate link], the first system-neutral guidebook for my Godsbarrow fantasy campaign setting, is now on DriveThruRPG.