I’ve just used my first can of Army Painter spray primer since they relaunched them last year, and it was so much of an improvement over my previous experiences with the brand that I might actually start buying them again! For years, AP primers have been my primer of absolute last resort – my experiences hadn’t been good at all – from cans clogging completely just a few minutes into their first priming session, to bad finishes, to the absolutely awful sickly-sweet stink that seemed to linger for days.

But I needed a can of Wolf Grey, to follow along with a Sonic Sledgehammer tutorial, so I ordered it and braced for the worst. (I also ordered a Colour Forge Wolfkin Grey as a backup, even though I believe that one is a step darker)

The experience couldn’t have been more different to before – everything was primed smoothly, with no clogging of the can or miniature detail, and – maybe best of all – little to no odour! I wouldn’t say the spraying conditions were the best, either, so the good outcome despite that is another tick in the win column. So good job, AP! I think Colour Forge will stay as my “go-to”, as it’s slightly cheaper and you get more per can, but now I wont be so reluctant to consider an AP primer… especially for some of the more unusual primer colours they have in the range.

A line chart showing my miniature painting output in 2022. The Y-axis is model count per month, and the X-axis is month of the year. The values are:
Jan	68
Feb	5
Mar	0
Apr	9
May	0
Jun	0
Jul	0
Aug	0
Sep	0
Oct	0
Nov	0
Dec	20
See if you can spot the months when I was busy/sick

So, 2022. All-in-all, it was a pretty dire year for me. It started well, with lots of promise and plans. Then I got sick, got better, got busy, then got sick again. I’m not 100% clear right now, and it will be an ongoing issue, but at least I can hold a brush for the moment.

January started with lots of odds-and-sods getting cleared out of the backlog. Little pieces that had been an idea once but were now just getting in the way. Ogres, terrain, and lots and lots of Skeletons!

February was Custodes, including a conversion I’m still quite proud of.

April was my attempt to get my Stormcast Eternals off the ground, finally, though I didn’t get very far.

Finally, in an attempt to break the 100 miniature mark, on December 31st I speed-painted 20 Dark Eldar Warriors I had bought at the start of the year, when GW re-released the miniatures from the 40K 3rd Edition boxset. Not my finest paintjob, but for ~5 hours work on 20 miniatures, they’re not bad at all. I don’t have a separate post about these, so the photos are below:

I went for a distinctly retro feel for these, but it’s 90% Contrast paints and drybrushing. I nearly went for classic green-rimmed bases, but couldn’t quite bring myself to do it: so black it was.

So what’s coming in 2023? Well, I want to try and get back into regular painting – as much as my health will let me – so I have a few projects “in flight” at the moment: Flesh-Eater Courts, Word Bearers, Imperial Guard, and a few other bits-and-pieces. I want the chart for 2023 to be less “spikey”. I’m consciously keeping most of it simple: relying on hairy brush rather than airbrush for the most part, simple and fast techniques, and basically trying not to overcomplicate what I want to do. The quicker I can go from idea to painted model, the better for keeping interest and inspiration. Time will tell if the plan works! I’ve used the New Year as a reset; if it wasn’t finished by the end of last year then it’s boxed up and put away until inspiration drives me to return to it.

Evil, or just misunderstood?

I’m starting the year with a couple of test models for one of this year’s big hobby projects: the cosmic “Bond Villains” that are the Word Bearers. I’ve kinda fallen in love with how comically over-the-top evil they are, yet also comically inept.

This was just supposed to be a quick and small project using kits I had in my backlog, but it’s since grown arms and tentacles as it turned out I had passively acquired a lot of CSM kits over the years, and Christmas added a couple more… oh well!

The paint scheme itself is relatively simple, though given how much trim there is on Chaos Marines, I hesitate to say it’s “quick”:

  1. Spray the whole model silver
  2. Wash the trim with Gryph-Charger Grey Contrast paint
  3. Drybrush everything with Necron Compound
  4. Paint the armour panels with Flesh Tearers Red Contrast paint
  5. Apply Black Templar Contrast paint to the soft materials between joints and to gun casings
  6. Paint the tabard, horns, and pistol holsters with Ivory
  7. Wash the weapons and power pack with Nuln Oil Shade
  8. Anything golden is given a coat of Nazdreg Yellow Contrast paint over the silver. Bronze is Snakebite Leather over silver
  9. Belts and other leather details like the holsters are given a coat of Garaghak’s Sewer Contrast paint
  10. Shoulders are filled in with Black
  11. Bones and horns are given a coat of Skeleton Horde Contrast Paint, with some Snakebite Leather blended into the base of the area
  12. Tabards are painted with a mix of Black Templar and Dark Angel Green Contrast paint
  13. Eyes are painted with Tesseract Glow, straight over the silver. A little bit was added around the eye, to create a glow effect
  14. Any touch ups to the trim were made with Plate Mail Air by the Army Painter

And that’s it for now… I’m hoping to avoid edge highlighting by relying on Contrast paints doing their thing, and shading down, rather than going lighter. I might add an oil pin wash for more separation between areas, once I’ve done the transfers, but I’m not 100% decided on that.

I’m a day late posting Day 10, as I spent so long painting miniatures yesterday! It was by far the longer time I have managed to devote to hobby time in several months.

The whole day was basically spent batch painting different details across the whole Slaves to Darkness army – cloaks, furs, cloth, and boots have been based with an appropriate Contrast paint, as has the Chaos Lord’s Karkadrak.

Hopefully Day 11 will be metallics and some other details that will bring things close to “tabletop ready”.