Completed Spider Rider #1

He took me a long time to paint, but I love him! Just four more of these guys to paint...



Starting the Spider Riders

*** Warning, this blog contains Spider Images! ***

So, I haven’t done much new on my Orcs and Goblins, however I do have my Spider Riders ready to get some colour on them. When you first get your models, they are in a box and each model is on a sprue, whether they are plastic or metal. The first job is to remove the pieces you would like from these sprues, tidy them up and put them together. This requires a pair of clippers and a craft knife. Both of which I forgot to put into my original costs, but they will last you for a long time so it’s not too much of a sacrifice.

Once everything is tidied and glued together (I often use the Army Book or box pictures to work out where everything goes) you can undercoat them with your spray paint. I’ve been told that black is better, especially if you think about the Night Goblins, who are mainly covered in a black cloak!

I have decided to try to mimic the colours of a what I believe is a real species of spider (due to my keen interest in animals, I thought it would be better to have it based on a real spider). This could have, of course, clashed with my idea to paint them a bright colour.... preferably blue. However, I have looked around Google’s image search and found this little guy;

And so it appears that I can have my blue spiders, which has made me very happy. I have also chosen to keep my spiders separate from my goblins for the moment, as I don’t feel confident painting such a fiddly model on top of the spiders. This is entirely optional depending on how confident you feel. I guess I had better get a move on, then, or I won’t have anything to post next week!


Give Them Your Money

So, I now know which models I will need to create my Army List. My next task is looking up how much this will cost. The easy way to calculate the cost, if you have the internet, is to just add everything you would like to a shopping cart on Games Workshop’s website.

It is a very good idea to pay attention to how many you get in a box while doing this. This is written in the product information underneath the pictures on the website. This will be useful because the numbers in your list might mean that you need to buy more than one box, or you might realise that you won't use everything you pay for. Feel free to edit your list or prepare to just not use some models or even use the spare ones as practice or to amuse yourself (I have been considering painting some pink for several months now...)

Using this method, I have calculated that buying all of my models would set me back £221... which I would be buying one bit at a time. I suggest buying them in sets such as one box of Core units and then a Lord or at least something more interesting to ease the monotony of the smaller, more repetitive units a little bit.

Then finally you will want to make these models into something worth being seen with. For this you will need; glue (£8.00 each), spray paints for undercoating (£8.00 each), some coloured paints and brushes which are available in a starter pack (£18.00) or individually.

The paints themselves are very good and coat the models extremely well. Another suggestion is investing in a dark coloured ‘wash’, which takes a lot of the agony out of trying to shade all of your units. This leaves you to put all your effort into highlighting, meaning you have one less thing to struggle with. The final addition to your decorating arsenal is the material for your bases, coming in several varieties (scroll down to see the tubs) which you can mix and match as you see fit.

Fortunately for me I have my in-house Warhammer geek who has a huge collection of paints and seems to have acquired an abnormal amount of goblins, all of which he’s willing to let me use, for the sake of me getting my army done sooner rather than later.


One of my hobbies

Today I had a very strange phone call. It was a mobile number that I didn't have stored on my phone, but I answered it anyway. For once, I actually recognised the voice answering, but needed clarification that it was Leo, a guy I know from dancing, because the chances of him actually calling me randomly in the middle of the week were rather slim. However, it was him and he was asking me to demo for him at his dance classes because his girlfriend, who normally demos for him, had to deal with some horse stuff. I jumped at the chance, saying that I will check I'm not forgetting something but would LOVE to! I was so excited!

It was a really amazing feeling. I like being around Leo, there's just something about him that's relaxing. Not calming as such, but I feel like I've known him for a long time and it's ok to talk about things with him… almost like talking girl-to-girl. On top of this, it was really nice to be recognised as a good dancer and watch and help other people learning to do something that I seem to have picked up so quickly…

The feeling when I dance with him makes me remember why I started. There's something about the completeness I feel when we dance. Not in a romantic or lustful way like a lot of people seem to associate with these styles of dancing. It's just the way it all flows because we can both do it. Granted, I apparently look like a rabbit in headlights a lot of the time because I'm never sure what he's going to do next… but that's part of the fun! I can understand how so many 'relationships'* can start from dancing. There's a closeness that I can't imagine being found any other way. A closeness in knowing something together and being able to show it off. A closeness in knowing that if it goes wrong you're both blaming yourself and not getting upset. A closeness in being able to then go your own separate ways with a smile on your face and just be happy it happened and will probably happen again.

I love the feel of the music. The way that I can parade myself or be shown off at certain points. The way that when I get stopped in certain ways it sort of 'jars' my hips and they sway. The way I can place my hands and feel elegant like those people on TV. The way that my skirt swishes around me, even though I don't really get to see it. The way it feels when I place my feet down in heels as I move around. The backwards-forwards action of the salsa moves.

I just wish that I could afford or justify taking time to learn how to make it better, because this would boost my confidence a lot when it comes to things like tonight. Granted I was able to do it because I knew that Leo's leading would mean that I could do the moves… and that that session wasn't too serious. I worry about how and where I put my feet. It works fine in a Freestyle when you're having fun, but when you're teaching? Not so much!

I just felt like I had to let these feelings out a bit. I want to do more! Jump around and dance and do anything creative at all! But instead I must go to bed. I was hoping my boyfriend would still be awake and I'd probably be just talking to him… ah well!

Good night x

* When I say 'relationships' in this context, I say it with a certain cynicism after seeing how these things can turn out…

Ps - If you're now interested in taking up modern jive, there are several groups who teach it; Ceroc is one of the main ones and I believe they have lots of events going on that you can find on their website. I also learned at Jivefusion, which is based in Lincoln


Starting your own Army

It has now been over a year since I was properly introduced to the Warhammer world. I have looked through books, visited my boyfriend and his friends at tournaments and looked at/heard about endless army lists, all while trying to resist falling into the trap that would inevitably drag me into his life of obsessive purchasing and painting of toy soldiers. However, there is only so long you can just watch and last week I got bored and took a closer look at the “Orc and Goblin” army.

I’ve been told that this set of characters is quite well known to be a starter set because it’s colourful and a little bit silly. So I decided to settle down and see if I could write my own Army list (which basically meant writing down the models I really wanted to paint and how they’d fit together in an actual army) and show it to my boyfriend... who promptly grabbed a fresh piece of paper and helped me do it properly!

The actual idea is simple. You have a book (that puts you back about £15) which has a very well written and illustrated backstory for each army. This describes the main characters, the sort of ‘behaviour’ to expect from them and the main points in history. The language in the Orcs and Goblins book was a highlight of my reading, with items having aptly colloquial names such as the “Amulet of Protectyness” and the name of the main leadership power being the mighty “WAAAGH!”. Brilliance, in my humble opinion! It then goes into a list of the beasties you can use in your particular army, which again is quite detailed with a table of their general statistics for comparison. This is then followed by the numbery bit that you use to make up your army list.

Each unit uses a set amount of points depending on their usefulness, power etc. with “Heroes” and “Lords” being the highest and “Core” being the lowest. These points tend to add up to a seemingly small amount of points, I found. Since I know the hassle it takes to paint the damned things I didn’t really WANT lots of little Night Goblins sitting around making a nuisance of themselves which was a ‘mistake’ duly reconciled by my ‘redrafted’ list... sadly. However, it was necessary so that I had a fully functioning 2,000 point army, which is the size that I normal see being played with (I have since been reassured that I could cut it down to 1,000 if I get fed up with it).

Now once you have a suitable number of units you have the (highly recommended) option of added extras such as the previously mentioned “Amulet of Protectyness” or even just adding equipment such as extra weapons to Core units. The points cost and benefits of each item are listed in the same section.

With some units this part will involve referring to the Rule Book, a separate and rather pricey volume (the latest is coming out soon and will cost £50, hardback... which of course my boyfriend NEEDS or he couldn’t possibly play!) which, among other things, tells you how many points of which type of magic or item each kind of unit can carry or use. The easier option, of course, is to refer to your in-house Warhammer geek, who can guide you to the spells or items that would best suit each unit and let you decide which one you prefer the sound of. I found this much more preferable, despite the constant threat of internal sighing or groaning at my decision.

Once you’re happy, add up your points. When they come to a total WAY above your target (eg. 2,000) you will need to remove and update your list, an art-form in itself which my boyfriend has successfully mastered... aided by the fact that I’m pretty sure that he would actually give Carol Vorderman a run for her money when it comes to having a calculator for a brain.

At the end of this, you are then left with your final Army List, ready to be purchased. The next dangerous step in creating a Warhammer army of your very own.