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Hobby Roundup: May 2021

Welcome to the May edition of the Hobby Roundup, a look at the hobby being done by our contributors in the Tiny Plastic People bunker. There’s no bunker, that’s just how White Dwarf always used to describe their offices. 

I’ve never visited where White Dwarf was printed, but they set it up in the early eighties when Reagan was restarting the Cold War, so who knows – maybe they felt a bunker was the safest place? 

Also here at TPP we don’t even have offices, just our respective devices, but that’s one of the challenges facing new media: a lack of resilience to nuclear weaponry.

James R (James Alone)


It’s been a month of new projects and old projects colliding. As mentioned on the TPP podcast, I decided ‘Hey, what if I, James, with not much planning, were to create a 3D version of the tiles from the Cursed City board game?’. Which it turns out, is basically saying ‘Hi, you know dioramas? And how you can’t let bits of detail go? Do that 40 times’

So, prepare for this to dominate the round ups for the next year or so. Maybe one day I’ll even play a game!

In other news, the imminent arrival of the new Adeptus Mechanicus codex has got me excited, and I quickly found that this resulted in more Skitarii, more robot dog horses, another kitbashed squad of vanguard and some of those lovely big retro robots. All of which are yet to be painted, but it is always good to be back on my robot bullshit. My dream of the 100 skitarii army is nearly true!

Tom G (Respectable Geek)


My slightly snowy game of gardenhammer last month reminded me that, while I have a lot of terrain, very little of it is painted. Generally speaking I’m ok with playing on unpainted terrain, but now that I tend to only use fully painted armies I figured it was time to break out the drybrush and get down to it. 

A collection of model scenery on a table, including forests, low walls, gothic ruins, and containers.
Terrain, by Tom G

The observant will notice a range of terrain in this image spanning the last two decades, with the oldest pieces being some classic Gothic Ruins from 3rd edition. These have been adorned with my most recent hobby purchase: the Necromunda Propaganda transfer sheet, which I have also used on the Armoured Containers. A particular highlight for me is the trees: I was lucky enough to get my hands on three packs of Citadel Woods just before they went out of production, and they are a very versatile terrain piece, being useable for both 40k and AoS (a particular bugbear for me with most GW terrain kits).

The nice thing about this project is that it is stuff I can guarantee I’ll use frequently, rather than an army I may use sporadically, and once I’ve got through all the terrain I will have a LOT of choice (seriously, this is barely half of what I have left to paint for scenery). It is also useful prep for an Apocalypse game I’m planning to run in June, which will hopefully be the subject of an article or two in the near future…

Alistair C


It’s been a very slow month for me hobbywise, for a variety of reasons. The Tau enthusiasm continues though! I am using them as an exploration of just painting a project with no deadline or expectations, which is working out so far.

I finished a Fireblade to lead the budding force. This model started out with the objective of working very hard at it and trying to get the highest level I could achieve; that goal lasted up until I made my first few mistakes on the cloak. Not wanting to bother with the effort of getting a good blend over white, I decided to just have more fun with it.  No model has to be perfect, after all!

I also finished my first set of Crisis suits. Of course, this meant experimenting with magnets, and my first few attempts were not wholly successful. However, I found some 3D designs for alternate arms, which have a far easier magnetising scheme, so I printed them out and I rather like the heavy, underslung look they give the weapons. I was very slow at finishing them off due to all the edge highlighting, but once I knuckled down and started it went faster than I expected.

A set of three model mech suits, with crisply outlined tan armour.
Battlesuits, by Alistair C

That has brought me to just over 500 points of painted Tau. Of course, the obvious missing part so far is… drones!  And I already have a lot of them to paint. Getting them done in a batch job is the next objective, which hopefully doesn’t hurt my enthusiasm for the project too much.

A collection of models aliens, including the battlesuits and commander above, plus line infantry and vehicles, all painted in tan and white.
Tau Family Picture, by Alistair C

James O


This month has been a slow month (most months are, to be fair, I am very slow) but I have been plugging away at the Warpsmith I got for Christmas, and managed to get him finished. 

This is one of my favourite Chaos Space Marine models, I love the movement in the tentacles that encircle the model: even though he’s an old sculpt, they help to hide his shorter stature when put next to the new models. Being finecast he was an absolute pain to clean up and straighten out, and the cabling felt like it would never end while I was painting it. 

I did at least get to try a few new things while painting him up. I had a go at blending some of the colours on parts of his armour from a Techmarine-style red through to a horrible, corrupted Slaaneshi purple, and I tried to use neon paints to do some glow effects, although I still need a lot of practice in that department!



This month has seen me knuckling down and, with the prospect of games getting ever closer, trying to get some Orks finished. However, this has meant a lot of sculpting little bits of a whole range of models.

I did come up with a very dumb idea, and quickly converted up two Squig Bosses to lead my squig-squads into battle.

Two-partly painted Goblin models, wearing heavy armour and equipped with huge claws.
Squig Bosses, by Drew

Then because I was making a bit too much project progress, I butterflied off and repainted my first two ever AoS models. Who doesn’t like Vampires, though.

Nick (AircraftTerrier)


My hobby month has been laser focused on Adeptus Titanicus. I only just recently bought into the game, and the humid summers where I live can making rattlecan priming dicey, so I’ve been pushing myself to get as much assembled and primed as I can before the heat.  I picked up the core box for the game, and dove into the Knights right away. Then into a Reaver…

An unpainted model Reaver, a large bipedal walker, with a selection of weaponry at its feet.
Reaver, by AircraftTerrier

Then into the Warhounds…

Two unpainted Titan models, large bipedal vehicles. One has a huge ram's skull chained to its upper carapace.
Warhounds, by Nick

A little poking in my bitz backlog found a big beasty skull that fit so neatly on the carapace armor that I truly had no choice in the matter. A trip to the craft store got me more tiny chain than I could ever use, and the Warhound had it’s trophy.

Between frenzied assembly, I’ve also been practicing my hand at some techniques for their custom Legio color scheme, and hopefully a few will make it into full color next month!

Rich (Cronch)


Since our last installment, I’ve finally caved to inevitability and started a Lumineth Realm-Lords army for Age of Sigmar. I’m using this as a weight loss motivator, rewarding myself per few kg lost with a shiny new Lumineth kit, rather than a sweet treat. I started out with a Vanari Lord Regent, with the idea that the complexity would be a good barometer for my interest in actually painting a whole army’s worth of models. It was a slow start, but I’m very pleased with how it came out – I was determined to integrate some new tips and techniques that I’ve picked up, and really push for a finish that looks impressive on the tabletop. Alongside this I’ve also been working on my photography, to better show off my work.

A model elf mounted on a deer-like creature. It wears ornate armour painted in pink and gold.
Lord-Regent, by Rich

Second to join the force is a Scinari Cathallar. I wasn’t a huge fan of this model on release, but I found it a really interesting challenge to paint in the scheme, especially with the comparative lack of armour panels to draw the eye.

A model of a veiled elf woman, carrying a chalice and wearing a long flowing gown of pink and red.
Scinari Cathallar, by Rich

Alongside working on some other commissions and building some things from my shame pile, I’ve been slowly working through an old metal Escher gang for Necromunda (thanks to contributor @chimp for the models!). I think these minis still have a lot of charm, and they’ve been a welcome break throughout the month! 

Two model women in form-fitting armour. Each has a tall, brightly-coloured hairstyle, and carries a pair of huge guns.
Escher Gangers, by Rich

And the Lumineth aren’t the only elves on the scene, as painting up the Elladan and Elrohir models from the Lord of the Rings’ recent made-to-order wave has started me off on assembling a Rivendell army for the Middle Earth setting.

Two model elves in the Lord Of The Rings style, wearing blue robes and carrying paired swords.
Elladan and Elrohir, by Rich

Tom F (LeSwordfish)


Personally I’ve also dipped a toe into Middle-earth this month, painting some old metal Osgiliath Veterans. These were the last nine models I needed to finish for the 30 in 30 challenge last month (paint thirty models in the thirty days of April, remember?) and though technically they’re finished, I ended up rushing them a bit and couldn’t say I’m especially happy with them, so may come back to them later to tidy them up. I include a picture below, because I’m a big believer in a Warts And All approach to hobby.

A group of model soldiers, with battered armour and tattered cloaks.
Osgiliath Veterans, by Tom F

Since then it’s been a quiet month. (I enjoyed a post-lockdown holiday in North Wales, which may or may not be related to why this article is so late.) Most of the hobby I’ve done since then has been assembly, adding fifteen assorted Heavy Support troopers to my Heresy-era Imperial Fists, plus a squad of Cataphractii lead by a Praetor.

It’s uncharacteristic of Imperial Fists to panic, but this one’s clearly lost his head. Next month I’m hoping to get the lion’s share of this painted and I’ve got a very daunting, but very special, project on the painting table next. Although… have you seen those vampires? My best-laid plans may be about to go very awry.

By Tom

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