See me live!

Tonight I have a massive announcement to make:

I am now live on YouTube!

Thanks to the handy work of E (despite working with a dodgy audio setup), I’m now broadcasting my rants and ramblings for you all to enjoy.

Head over to my channel, Paintingchap, and subscribe to get the latest videos as they are published!

Here’s a nifty embedded version, too:

I’m excited, nervous and really proud to be able to put this content out there, so as always, stay tuned!


40k around the interwebs

I love spending time just looking around on the internet to see what is happening in the world of miniature war-gaming. There is so much out there on forums, Facebook groups and sites like YouTube displaying gamers love for the hobby, that it’s a hard task not to find some thing to draw inspiration from or see as a challenge to reproduce or improve on.

First off is this genius conversion using an Imperial knight kit. Jens Sentenceinger has taken an imperial knight kit and has used it to produced a Knight Warden variant.


Two things stand out with this for me. The first is that not only is it a near perfect interpretation of one of the warden variants from the old EPIC 40,000 game, but he has really gone to town on the paint job.

If you have a look at the shoulders of the Errant and Paladin Knights you can see some very interesting and detailed free hand work. I actually got in touch with Jens via Facebook after seeing these pics and I asked him some questions about his theme and detailing on the Knights. What I got back deserves more than a quick paragraph so I’m going to be doing a separate article on his work very soon – so stay tuned.

Next is a beautiful Adepta Sororitas army by Harley on the BoLS forum.

adeptus sor
The sisters of battle (Adepta Sororitas) have been out for over 10 years. They have some great original models and ideas but have only received the odd upgrade kit for standard gear and a new codex update once in the past decade, unlike most of the other armies who get updated with each new edition – shame on you GW!
Apart from the gorgeous paint job that they have been given, Harley has spent a lot of time tying in scenery and other pieces to match his army. The simple but very effective conversion work on the front of the Firestorm Redoubt is a stand out detail for me, as it takes a generic piece of Imperial terrain and really makes it part of the army in a unique and elegant way.

Finally is something that just blows my mind: The Lord Inquisitor Movie. I’ve been following this on and off for over a year now and I was so excited to see a new trailer being released.

Erasmus has gone through a lot to bring this to life. It is a 100% fan made production that he has done on his own time and through volunteer work – I think the results are stunning. Here is a link to his Youtube Channel Warpgazer, so go check it out and have a look at everything he has done.

What I love about all three of these endeavours is that they have come from the existing 40k world and GW products and simply been expanded on by imagination and passion.

Until next time


Game of tables part 7 – sealing and painting

A Game of Tables begins...

A Game of Tables begins…

I’m in the final stages now, construction is complete (phew) and now it’s time to add some colour and really bring the board to life.

The final texture added

The final texture added

The first thing that needs to happen before I get in to adding layers of paint is sealing the sand to board. I’ve glued the sand down with a fairly heavy layer of PVA but that won’t stop wear and tear from game play so an extra layer of PVA is needed to keep everything in place. After giving every board a brush down with a stiff hand brush to remove any loose sand the glue was applied. A quick tip here is to add some of the base colour of your paint scheme to the mix, it really helps with the consistency of the final colours and lets you see where you have already covered 🙂

I let this layer dry overnight to make sure that there were no issues with paints mixing when I applied the colour.

I’ve been building this board to a final theme of a ‘Red Planet’ which will become a big part of the developing story of my Space Marine Chapter so my colour palette had been chosen to reflect this.

My stages of painting went like this –

  1. Sealing coat used Vandyke Brown (dark brown)
  2. The base coat used a 1:1 of Vandyke Brown and Crimson Red (mixed as close to Mornfang Brown as possible)
  3. 1st Dry brush layer was Crimson Red
  4. 2nd Dry brush layer was Scarlet Red
  5. Final dry brush layer applied to the rocks and fissures was Scarlet Red and Yellow Ochre at a 3:1 ratio and applied to the highest edges.

Painting Stages Gallery

I just realised that I failed to take pictures of the dry brushing stages (Doh!) so lets zip along to the finished product.



To me this is a thing of beauty, a piece of art and a culmination of many years of wanting and longing, but it’s still not finished so…..

Stay tuned for the final part of the series, Finishing touches as well as a showcase of the board itself

Until next time


Game of Tables part 6 – adding textures or to trash it all?

A Game of Tables begins...

A Game of Tables begins…

Mistakes come back to haunt you and at this point in the build my not so expert wood working really showed up. I had laid out my boards at each stage and they had fitted fine, a bit here or there that needed tidying but nothing major. After applying and then sanding the plaster down some of the edges where off, but when I moved the boards around the became way off. In one place it was almost a centimeter out 😦

Completely out of alignment

Completely out of alignment

I spent two nights trying to sand down and realign the edges with little success, so half way through I almost rage quit and binned the whole project due to frustration


However, with some encouragement and perseverance from my fiancé E I got a lot of the edges closer and just resigned myself to taking dangerous terrain tests on certain joins 😉

Done with sanding

Done with sanding

It was now time to add on the surface texture with sand. I had no plans for any type of flock so that was one headache avoided, and I was happy with the plaster textures on the flat levels of the hills so that was another part already done 🙂
I started on the top of the hills using a PVA glue on a fairly generous covering up the to the front edge and down the ramp ways. I applied my sand (‘acquired’ from a local source) buy using a sand pit sieve I borrowed from my daughter which allowed for a good level of control for application and gave a consistency to the grade of sand coming out.

I let the sand build up on the top surface and then raised the board up after a couple of seconds, allowing the sand to role down the ramp ways. Next was the simple task of covering the slopes and low ground in glue and sanding them as well. All in all the texturing took a little over 45 minutes to complete which is longer than I thought but I had ‘help’ when doing this.

My daughter is a BIG fan of Mister Maker on The Cebeebies channel and when she saw that I was using gloopy glue (PVA) she had to get in on the action. Not to be out done, her brother had decided to strength test my work by going for a walk on the hill structure……I am seriously thinking about making a Titan costume for him to save me some money 😉

With the board textured it was time to move on to the final stage – painting.

Stay tuned for part 7 in the Game of Tables series – sealing and painting.

Until next time


Game of Tables – Part 5 – Smoothing out the bumps

A Game of Tables begins...

A Game of Tables begins…

I have to say that dinner was a success and as mentioned in my last post, we began work again starting with adding details to the plain boards using cork. I wanted to add in something different to the lava pits from the original blog post, so I’ve gone with broken ground look that will be detailed to have some extra little features that will tie in nicely with the overall theme I have in my head for the project.

Now that the final parts of construction where complete it was time to put my kids to bed before we could move on.

There are stages through out any project where the build just comes together and reaffirms your faith in the work you have done and where you are going and some that make you wish you’d never started. This was the one I had been looking forward to the most and without realizing it, would be the one that would cause me the most problems as well.

A fairly generous layer of plaster was added to each of the hill corners and then worked down over the rock faces, into the details, finally drawing it along the slope and joining the slope and flat surfaces together out to the edges. I wasn’t to fussed about smoothing the surfaces out too much as I was intent on sanding down the worst bits when things had dried and the rest is really just texture.

Men at work

Men at work

The surface fissures took a little extra work as the plaster was quite malleable. I ended up building layers up to the back edge and slightly over the cork board, leaving some natural low points to give a visual depth and as natural a look as I could.

This actually turned into a family affair as my fiancé E got involved in on the plastering fun as well, working in the details as I went over the main areas. This team effort actually made the work fly by and by the end of the day we had fully rendered the gaming surface from start to finish.


Applying the plaster to the boards was where this build really came together for me, as it turned the foam and wood from materials into a real ‘live’ gaming surface. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have something like this come together, knowing that your going to be able to play games on it, in your own home, near a fridge, with friends and family. Truly awesome!

That’s part 5 wrapped up in a blogging bow. Part 6 will move into adding the aesthetic details as well as talking about my biggest blunder and how the whole project almost ended up in the bin…..dun dun dun! So stay tuned..

Until next time


Game of Tables – Part 4 – Shaping and detailing

A Game of Tables begins...

A Game of Tables begins…

The first part of the day had been a relative success, with everything cu, glued and generally ready to go on to the more focused (and messy) job of shaping and detailing the landscape.

The first thing I wanted to do was get the general shape of each layer worked out and then to begin cutting away at the excess foam to start forming the hill sides.

Right off, this is where I now wish I had not bought the wrong foam. Getting an even height between the layers has been tough and honestly not something I have succeed at so it’s been a tough lesson to learn, but I won’t make it again on the next board 😉

The best tool for doing any shaping work has to be a bread knife. The one I own has a slightly more pronounced serrated edge than some but it worked its way though the foam easily and made this go quicker than I expected. Working with Vlad, we managed to get the initial shaping completed with me using a flat blade to draw at the foam and take away most of the excess and then for him to follow in with the bread knife to work the final shape. **Warning – Doing this with white foam will create a devastating amount of foam snow which will eventually have to be cleaned up…by someone (me).**

One thing I must add in. After competing the general shaping, I looked at the height of everything against the scale of a Space Marine, and decided to add on a further 25 mm of foam on the tops of the hills. This gave it the right height to be a challenge and to match scale in my head, whilst not ruining the board or making it unplayable. So with that done and the shape worked out we went at the surface with some sand paper to smooth things out as much as possible and make ready for adding on the texture surface later on.

Once the sanding was finished Vlad started on the main detailing on the hill tops. I had put in my design that I wanted a slope/runway up to the top of each section to allow vehicles to be driven up, models to move up etc etc. When we looked at the actual board in front of us though, it was clear that it wasn’t really going to work out that way so in the end I went with two of the four planned ramps as a compromise.

Vlad then set about sculpting the ramps and the stone rock face with a craft knife, a steak knife and some sand paper.

At this point Vlad was pretty much working on his own as my family was back from their day out and I was making dinner but he worked through and joined us when I put out the meal. The pictures don’t do his work justice and I hope it will show up a lot more once final paint is applied.

After dinner the final details where added to the two plain boards that had yet to be worked on. The original post that I was following  created lava pools using thick card and I like the work but I wanted something different. I decided to use up so cork board I had laying around and create some surface cracks/fishers to show off a disturbance under the ground as something different to the lava pools. I hope to paint them up to show a depth to the cracks as well as adding in some extra little details along the way.

Thats it for part 4, so stay tuned as I continue in my next post in the construction phase, smoothing out the surface with the continued help of my friend Vlad the Creator

Catch up from the beginning with the IntroductionPart 1Part 2 and Part 3

Until next time


Game of Tables – Part 3 Construction begins

A Game of Tables begins...

A Game of Tables begins…


So with everything shopped for and designs out of the way I finally began construction on my table.

**I am not a carpenter and this has come back to haunt me half way through the project-more on that later**

My plan was simple

  • Get a day to myself, no kids at home so no interruptions – CHECK
  • Get all parts required for building table together in one room – CHECK
  • Find inspirational music and play in background – CHECK (dawn of war and space marine game sound tracks)
  • Begin construction and get as far as possible in one day – CHECK – Let’s do this thing!

So first off I got everything together



I’ll do a full list of materials at the end of the construction phase but right now I was interested in the base boards, the foam and fitting all of that together.

Step one was cutting the boards. Now this was always going to be a testing part of the build. I had to hand cut the boards down to transport them home and even though I had left enough excess on each piece I still had to cut them down to the right size. Now “Measure twice, Cut once” is the rule to go by. I measured a number of times and only cut once but still managed to balls things up.

My major issue was the fact I was cutting by hand, with not a table saw in sight. I did see if the builders merchant offered the service but nothing doing so I gave it my best shot. I was advised to use a craft blade to score the line that I wanted to cut to help reduce splintering and to help with keeping things straight. Most edges where okay, but a couple would really come back to bite me later on.

With the 6 boards cut I then laid them out on the surface and prepared to move on to stage 2. I mentioned that I had made a mistake when shopping as I bought 50 mm deep foam instead of 25 mm, no big fuss i thought, I’ll cut it down and use it like two sheets, brilliant idea.

Well that failed even before it started. I decided that to be safer and not loose any foam attempting this I would go with the single piece of 50mm foam and then shape it down from there.

I had originally bought some ceiling foam adhesive to bond the foam and wood together but I had popped out for snacks (a must for any build) before starting and found a sale on no more nails, close to 50% it’s rrp so I had that right away and it is the business for this. It took a little longer to fully set that guided but 15 minutes is nothing really and the bond was extremely solid.

Stay tuned as I continue in my next post with construction, moving on to shaping and detailing with the help of my friend Vlad the Creator

Catch up from the beginning with the Introduction, Part 1 and Part 2

Until next time


Game of Tables part 2 – Drawing inspiration

A Game of Tables begins...

A Game of Tables begins…

Welcome to part two of my Game of Tables series, drawing inspiration.

So after my successful shopping trip I sat down to design my table. In all honesty it was a rather quick process as I’m following a very simple and well laid out plan already, but I still want to add on my own touches here and there. Now I bought enough base materials to make an 8’x4′ board in one go but I’ve decided to create two projects.

The gaming table

The first is sticking to the original plan and going with a 6’x4′ board which will be big enough to play games on with the armies I have and straight forward to expand upon in the future.

Here’s my sketch of the over head view

Terrain key:
1 – 3 = Stress cracks in the surface
4 – 5 = Naturally worn gullies on the slope surface
6 – 9 = Ramp ways up to the top level

I love the simplicity of this board design as it will give me the flexibility to shape the surface as I want to make each game feel more unique. Being able to have a hill to storm or finding your army fighting along a gully only adds to the cinematic qualities of a good game. All in all it should be pretty straight forward and I can’t wait to get started on it and record my progress.

Themed board

The second project is to keep a piece of base wood at 2’x4′ and build a specific piece on it that can be part of a story or to simply add flavor to a game. Now in my head I’m thinking of either an open topped ‘rock fort’ or an enclosed cavern a la Dune but both will take a little more work than the main board build, so I’m going to have a tinker with my ideas before committing to construction.

Stay tuned for part 3

Catch up on the Introduction and Part 1

Until next time


Teaching an old dog new tricks

*Disclaimer- This is NOT a direct moan about GW’s prices but more something on my approach to collecting an army when buy it new is not the most viable option.

When I started collecting and gaming ‘back in the day’, one of the biggest buzzes I got came after handing over my money and being able to open up a brand new box of models and knowing it was all mine, something new and shiny that I could put together and plan to paint. It was kind of like breathing in the ‘new car smell’ and planning your first road trip, I still get that feeling today.


Side note – Friends are the best thing in the world next to family. Friends who share similar interests are great but friends who are into the same hobby as you are priceless, especially if they have spare and are willing to trade

Now I always promised myself that all my armies would be brand new and bought from GW…….but now that’s not realistic.
I’ve mentioned previously that I’m working on a budget so the biggest evolution for me has been to go pre-owned, which has led to a moment of revelation (but more on that later). eBay was an obvious choice for a starting point but I’ve really utilized Facebook groups that exist to buy, sell or trade models and have also been able to buy through friends who have had stuff I’ve wanted.

My first bundle was:
– the marines from the dark vengeance boxed set
– a second tactical squad
– a very sweet limited edition games day space marine captain.

The second bundle was:
– an attack bike
– 5 beautiful metal Sternguard models
– an awesome 5 man scout team
– a rhino.

These 2 bundles cost me about the same as the main starter set by GW but I feel I came out on top with more models for my outlay and luckily a model that isn’t available to buy brand new, so all in all a win for me.
Now here is where I had my revelation. By collecting my army with pre-owned models I will not only save money (yay!) but I will be able to pick and chose the models I want for my army, giving me a huge amount of freedom and design choice.
Sure there is some extra work with pre-owned models, especially if they are already painted or need some TLC to bring them back to life. For what I’m saving that’s not a major issue for me and in fact it gives me more time at my painting table playing with models

Trading my own unwanted models has been a major bonus as well, particularly when my friends have such well kept and well stocked bitz boxes. More on this in a later article.

I’ve since added more squads as well as a dreadnought to my collection all through friends as well as gaming groups and I am happily building the army I have in my head to take on to the field of battle.

Until next time…