Friday, June 23, 2017

Expert Sculptor Series 1: Hydra from

Whelp. I've saved the best for last. Here is our final tip, from multi-golden-demon-award-winning sculptor, The Hydra!  He hasn't been that active over on lately, but he came out of hiding to provide us with the secrets to his success!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did :D

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Expert Sculptor Series 2: Mr. Pink

Today I make my first official on-camera debut to share some very important sculpting tips with you:

Our final tip will come on Friday, and you can expect someone very talented to share their tips in that video!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Expert Sculptor Series 3: Kili from IRON RAIN

Today's How To Sculpt Miniatures tip comes to us from Kili, master sculptor over at the popular Blanchitsu blog, IRON RAIN.

I wonder who will lend us some helpful tips next?

Friday, June 16, 2017

Expert Sculptor Series 4: Monsieur Bonami Jeremant

Today's How To Sculpt Miniatures tip comes to us from Monsieur Bonami Jeremant.

Not really sure what this is all about, but hopefully we find out soon >:)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Games Workshop Inner Circle Winners Interviews - Xenos Alchemist

Here's part two of our report on Games Workshop's Inner Circle 2017 North American competition. In this second episode, we interview the 5 Inner Circle Champions about their armies, their backgrounds in 40k, and other bits of ridiculousness like which Age of Sigmar creature they'd most want to ride.

This second part completes our report on Inner Circle, so please let us know what else you'd like to hear us podcast about. We've already had numerous requests to extend our episode on Tyranid Design to talk about Forgeworld Tyranids, and we're thinking about doing an ep reviewing how well the new Xenos Indices present Tau, Tyranids, Stealer Cult, and maybe Dark Eldar from a fluff perspective.

So, yeah, let us know what you think, or if you have any ideas.

As always, if you think this podcast sounds good, all credit goes to Brother Pink. The Xenos Alchemist podcast is based on SoundCloud, but we can also be found on StitcherGoogle Play, and iTunes.

If you have any comments on this episode, please leave them in the comments section below.

Thanks, and happy listening!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Games Workshop Inner Circle Championship Report - Xenos Alchemist

Brother Pink and I have whipped up another podcast episode for your enjoyment! This one focuses on my experience of traveling to Games Workshop North America HQ in Dallas, Texas, as one of 5 Inner Circle champions (I was representing Canada).

This episode is going to be a two parter, with us talking about Inner Circle, and the weekend in Dallas, this week. Next week we'll post the second part, where I interview the four other Inner Circle winners.

As always, if you think this podcast sounds good, all credit goes to Brother Pink. The Xenos Alchemist podcast is based on SoundCloud, but we can also be found on StitcherGoogle Play, and iTunes.

If you have any comments on this episode, please leave them in the comments section below.

Thanks, and happy listening!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Xenos Alchemist: A Review of Tyranid Design

Today on the Xenos Alchemist podcast, we pour back through Tyranid history for a review of the Tyranid design aesthetic. This one should be of interest to anyone who followed my Tyranid Archive posts, or folks who have a morbid curiosity about which Tyranid models we love, and which we can't stand!

It's a long one, with ridiculous accents, but here's hoping you enjoy it!

UPDATE: Since Kym so helpfully suggested it in the comments on this post, here is a link to all of Mr. Pink's past Tyranid Archive posts. They're broken down by edition so you can get some visual references to go along with this podcast:

As always, Xenos Alchemist is based on SoundCloud, but we can also be found on StitcherGoogle Play, and iTunes.

If you have any comments on this episode, please leave them in the comments section below.

Thanks, and happy listening!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Omega Strain is Top 5 in North America!


After four solid months of work, and many hundreds of hours of work (118 hours in April alone!) on my Omega Strain Genestealer Cult, I succeeded in not only scoring an Inner Circle gold medal at my local store, but also being named top army in Canada, and top 5 in North America!

Games Workshop US HQ made the announcement last Wednesday. It was a nail-biting wait, and they made the reveal by posting photos of the 5 winning armies to their Games Workshop Inner Circle Facebook page:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Xenos Alchemist: A Podcast for Xenos Lovers

Brother Pink has been on my butt for some time to put together a podcast for anyone who likes Modern Synthesist but would rather it be fed to them through their ears. Since he was also happy to take care of all the fidgety editing work, I was hard pressed to refuse him.

Therefore, I present to you his oeuvre: 

Xenos Alchemist - A Modern Synthesist Podcast

What's a Xenos Alchemist?

This podcast will be about the same kinds of things you encounter here on the Modern Synthesist blog: reflections on the creative side of 40k (painting, sculpting, conversions) that trend towards the alien factions that might not see as much love as their power-armoured foes. Brother Pink and I are more interested in models and fluff than in competitive gaming, so that's what we hope to make our podcast about.

We're still getting into the swing of things, so we've got a mixed bag of episodes at this point. However, in the pipe we have a two part discussion with Hydra about sculpting, and an episode on this whole Games Workshop Inner Circle thing.

How often will you be posting episodes?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Genestealer Patriarch Throne - The Osseous Throne

The centrepiece of my Genestealer Cult of the Omega Strain is the cult's Patriarch, known as The Master, and his Osseous Throne.

In this article, I'd like to share more photos of the Osseous Throne, both unprimed and painted. However, before we get to that, I should probably touch on my...

Inspiration for the Conversion

Anyone who has been along for long enough, or who has a vested interest in Genestealer Cults has probably run across either the following piece of phenomenal art by Tony Hough...

(Due possibly to some Twitter cajoling, he even did the following colour version of the same art in recognition of his 30th anniversary as a 40K artist!)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

What is Games Workshop Inner Circle?

UPDATE: Brother Pink and I have since put together a podcast about my experiences in Dallas Texas as the Inner Circle champion for Canada. It gives even more information on what Inner Circle was all about, so you can listen to it here, if you're interested:

On Saturday I attended the final judging session of the Games Workshop Inner Circle event, and I'm pleased to report that the Genestealer Cult of the Omega Strain walked away with a GOLD MEDAL!

Receiving my medal from Brando, who might just be my favourite blackshirt.
Don't tell Alphonso.

You may have seen the hashtag InnerCircle showing up on your social feeds over the weekend. For anyone outside North America, or those within North America who haven't heard much about this competition, here's the skinny:

Games Workshop's US head office has been running a pilot event called Inner Circle in support of Gathering Storm. It's an army painting competition in much the same vein as Armies on Parade, which happens across the world in October.

However, Inner Circle differs in a couple of ways:

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Omega Strain Genestealer Cult Wins Best Army at Astronomi-Con 2017!

Well thank god for that.

As I've been posting less on blog over the last couple of months, my fervent work on my Genestealer Cult of the Omega Strain has been ramping up like crazy. My goal for finishing this force was to enter my first ever tournament with them at Astronomi-Con 2017.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Genestealer Patriarch Conversion - MonsterMarch Week 4

So way back at the beginning of March, I cheekily committed to finish the above converted Genestealer Patriarch model for MonsterMarch, a hobby pledge event being hosted by Path Of An Outcast. However, to do that, I needed to make him look like this guy, who is The Master from Guillermo Del Toro's modern vampire TV series The Strain:
That meant sculpting some kind of cloak, which, honestly, terrified me. But I bit the bullet, took it on, and in the end I think it worked out.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The History of Mr. Pink and Modern Synthesist (Podcast Interview with Chapter Approved)

Something a little different today. I was approached about doing an interview by Tibbs, of Tibbs Forge fame, and more recently of his new podcast Chapter Approved. Tibbs is a GW hobby enthusiast after my own heart: he cares more about cool conversions and story than he does about uber-competitive gaming. And its this more laid back, more art-based hobby focus that he delivers in the Chapter Approved podcast.

Anyway. He thought that our interests aligned, so the two of us recorded a skype call, which turned into a bit of a marathon and will be broken up into a few podcast episodes. Over the course of it, we went through my history in the hobby, some of my work on Tyranids, a lot of my work on Dark Eldar and the Haemonculus Coven, and then onto what is probably best described as my ideological stance on the hobby and the importance of being true to what you enjoy.

This first part of the interview concerns how I got into the Warhammer 40k/Games Workshop hobby, and talks a lot about my work with Dark Eldar and the Haemonculus Coven. Tibbs put together a standard, audio podcast, so I painstakingly went through and annotated it with relevant images in the following video.

Have a listen/look and let us know what you think :)

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Paint Yoshit Week 8 Update (Squaduary Week 4)

This is the Week 8 update for mine and Brother Pink's Paint Yoshit Challenge, and also happens to be my final update on my progress/participation in Stepping Between Games' Squaduary challenge. To review, here's where we are in my own Squaduary schedule:

Week 1: Assembly
Week 2: Priming and Airbrushing
Week 3: Clean up and details
Week 4: More final details and basing

...and what do I have to show for myself?

I had been hammering away at painting yesterday to have as many models as I could absolutely done for the Squaduary deadline at midnight on February 28th, but then I saw this post from Rob over at Broken Paintbrush about how he'd failed at Squaduary.

Except he hadn't. Not in my eyes, at least. Sure, his Orc Bloodbowl team wasn't based, but they looked pretty great to me!

...which made me realized that I could base the models I had in their current state, and call it done, even though I knew I'd have to go back later and touch up/finish some of their details. So I got out the pin vice and my already-painted bases and set to work!

To review, I took on a VERY AMBITIOUS pledge at the beginning of Squaduary. I'm working towards a tournament deadline at the end of April for my Genestealer Cult, so I thought Squaduary would be the perfect thing to get me ripping through painting most all of my infantry for that tournament force. Here's what that looked like:

All told, that was about 46 models...which is nuts for a challenge where you're supposed to paint a squad. But I had an airbrush, so everything was going to be FINE!

In the end, I wound up completing three squads, for a total of 21 models, which is less than half, but I'm pretty happy with that I DID accomplish.

Completed This Week:

6 Aberrants: I'm not really sure why, but I REALLY love the Aberrant models...particularly with their power hammers. Thought there are still some final touch ups to be made, I'm really happy with how these guys came out—especially the one who's setting up to hurl the dynamite. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Paint Yoshit Week 7 Update (Squaduary Week 3)

This one should be a quick little update as I'm just trucking along with Squaduary and mine and Brother Pink's Paint Yoshit Challenge. To review, here's where we are in my own Squaduary schedule:

Week 1: Assembly
Week 2: Priming and Airbrushing
Week 3: Clean up and details
Week 4: More final details and basing

ALREADY a couple of days into week 4, and the trepidation I had with my progress last week has spilled over into full realization what I will not be finishing nearly as many models as I'd hoped in February!

I guess I need to remind myself that most people are trying to complete 5-10 miniatures in the time I allotted myself to complete nearly 40!

It's all about scale.

At this point I'm pretty confident that I should be able to finish 3 squads: the 10 "unwashed" Neophytes, 5 "shrouded" Genestealers, and 6 Aberrants. Oh, and though this update is posted late, I did actually take the pics on Tuesday.

Completed This Week:

I didn't finish painting anything this week as I'm aiming to polish off a bunch of stuff at the end of February.

In Progress:

MUCH WAS FINICKY PAINTED...though not nearly enough :(

6 Aberrants: Started in on their details. They have metalics on them now, and their chitin is all blacked in Secret Weapon Tire black. Waiting on highlighting their reds, painting their chitin, purple vascular tissue, then final details.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Paint Yoshit Week 6 Update (Squaduary Week 2)

This one should be a quick little update as I'm just trucking along with Squaduary and mine and Brother Pink's Paint Yoshit Challenge. To review, here's where we are in my own Squaduary schedule:

Week 1: Assembly
Week 2: Priming and Airbrushing
Week 3: Clean up and details
Week 4: More final details and basing

Starting week 3! And, to be honest, I hoped to have more stuff finished airbrushing by now, but whatever.

Completed This Week:

I didn't finish painting anything this week as I'm aiming to polish off a bunch of stuff at the end of February.

In Progress:


That includes:

Friday, February 10, 2017

Japanese Folding Wargaming Board

Hi Everybody! Brother.P here, and for the past few months, whenever I found some free time, I'd have to choose between painting models or continue on this a game board I've been making in secret. For lack of a better name, it's called the 'Japanese Folding Wargaming Board'.

There is nothing inherently Japanese about my folding board design. I am not Japanese, nor am I trained as a Japanese Wood Worker. It was made in Japan, and I sourced all the materials from Japanese hardware/dollar stores. The biggest Japanese influence on the board is my small living space, and why it needed to fold.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Paint Yoshit Week 5 Update (Squaduary)

So, though I'm meant to be in a sporesacs-to-the-wall painting race with Brother Pink for our Paint Yoshit Challenge from January until the end of March, I took a break from painting this week to BUILD BUILD BUILD! I'm using Stepping Between Games' Squaduary challenge to get a PILE of stuff done for my Genestealer Cult build.

Squaduary sets a schedule for participants, which looks like this:

Week 1: Assembly: 1st – 7th
Taking them off the sprues or putting them on bases, what ever way you get them ready for paint.

Week 2: Basic painting: 8th – 14th
This is your basic coating and blocking in colours.

Week 3: Clean up and details: 15th – 21st
Cleaning up your colours and picking out all the bits to make the mini stand out.

Week 4: Basing: 22nd – 28th
Adding the base or just painting it up.

All that is meant to be for ONE squad. However, I'm a masochist, so I'm trying to stick to that schedule for as many infantry models as I can in one month.

As you can see from the date of this post, I'm already behind :P

My own version of the schedule looks like the following:

Week 1: Assembly
Week 2: Priming and Airbrushing
Week 3: Clean up and details
Week 4: More final details and basing

Completed This Week:

Nothing was painted this week, but I'll outline what I completed construction on below.

In Progress:

A PILE of infantry. See below.


So, though some of them were already built, this is what I built this week:

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Yoshit ain't getting painted: Update #2

Hi Everybody!

Brother P. and some of my models have actually gotten painted! I'm a couple weeks late with an update, though. After finishing the Daemonette, I started work on a techmarine, I made from a Deathwatch: Kill Team model, as well as a Diabolist, I made from a Betrayal at Calth Chaplain.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Paint Yoshit Week 4 Update

Whelp. That's January done, which means four weeks of mine and Brother Pink's Paint Yoshit Challenge have passed, and the amassed group above is all the progress I made in January. In that photo we have the Neophytes I completed in Week 1, the Acolytes that took until end of Week 3 (BLOODY. CHITIN.), and on the right the Enforcers I just polished off at the end of Week 4.

And, as we have yet to see a second update from Brother P., I may just be out to a phenomenal lead! I'll keep my tentacles crossed.

Completed This Week:

- 12 Genestealer Neophytes, which I'm calling Enforcers. Though it was a pain to paint inside the hoods once they'd been airbrushed, the fact that I airbrushed large swathes of these models made them pretty quick. However, I should have masked and airbrushed the black as well since line highlighting it was a pain and came out a bit rough on a couple of the dudes. Here are some individual shots of the squad.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Paint Yoshit Challenge: Week 3 Update

I have a little more progress to report this week, but I haven't been absolutely slaying this challenge as I'd expected to (apparently real life demands to be lived; who knew?). However, in my ridiculous way, I've taken up ANOTHER challenge to keep my hobby mojo running. More on that below...

Completed This Week:

- 6 Acolytes and 3 Neophytes! YEAH! They still need to be glued on to their pre-painted bases, but I was pretty happy to finish painting them last night!

Friday, January 20, 2017

How to Sculpt Miniatures 6: How to Sculpt Hoods

When posting photos on them online, someone requested I do a tutorial on how to sculpt hoods, so here it is: my long-delayed return to my How to Sculpt Miniatures series!

So remember these guys? They're my Genestealer Cult Enforcer squad, which is a fancy, made-up name for a bunch of hooded, shotgun-totting Neophyte who are meant to escort my cult's higher-ups into battle.

To make them stand out and seem covert and insidious, I wanted to give them hoods to match the hood I will eventually put on my Primus, based on this guy:
So, without further ado, I'll get into the materials, tools, and process you need to follow for sculpting your own hoods!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Paint Yoshit Challenge: Week 2 Update

Soooo, after feeling good about my first week of this challenge, which was bolstered by two solid days of work afforded by new years, I feel like this week's progress was more realistic.

Completed This Week:

Nothing :(

In Progress:

- The same 3 Neophytes and 6 Acolytes I started last week. I've resigned myself that I HATE EDGE HIGHLIGHTING CHINTIN! Clearly this is why I had such a long hiatus after painting Tyranids for so long. I am not looking forward to the fact that I still have 20-some Acolytes to paint for my army, all of them as chintinny as these bastards. That being said, I am pretty happy with the way the red accents and teal of their chintin is popping.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Genestealer Cult Enforcers - Omega Strain

Though I shared some shots of these guys as part of the Paint Yoshit Challenge, I love them so much that I think I need they need their own post. They've also been pretty popular on Twitter and Instagram, with a bunch of people saying they reminded them of House Delaque from back in Necromunda days.
These guys came out of a want to make some slick Neophytes that would stand out from the rank and file, whole serving as appropriate escorts for my Primus.

The unit type "Enforcer" is pure invention on my behalf, but it seemed appropriate

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Yoshit Ain't Getting Painted Week 1 Update

Hi everbody.

Brother.P here, and I'm an idiot. We're a week into the challenge that I proposed, and for the first five days I had nothing to show. Mr. Pink was kicking my ass without breaking a sweat.

He suggested we post an update after the first week and I wanted to reach across the world and smack him... instead I hit the paints.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Paint Yoshit Challenge: Week 1 Update

The Paint Yoshit Challenge was suggested by Brother Pink. It is a race between the two of us to see who can paint more minis between January 1st and March 31st. I'm happy to report that, at the end of my first week of the challenge, I'm off to a pretty strong start!

Inspired by my Instagram buddy VulkanHesten, I also succeeded in doing at least one hour of painting every day!  I'm hoping to keep this up for all of January, but we'll see how it pans out.

Further, I signed up for my first ever tournament, which is pretty huge as I never play. However, Brother P. and the dude who beat my Haemonculus Coven at Armies on Parade both assure me that my conversion and painting chops, added to the crazy tactics of the cult, should serve me well at the tourney. Right now it's mostly serving as added motivation for delivering on our Paint Yoshit Challenge.

Completed this week:

- 7 Neophytes, which I had previously gotten to minimum standard to play a game of kill team.
For these guys I experimented with Object Source Lighting (is that what it's called?), adding highlights to their shoulders and guns as if the shoulder lights on their mining armour were illuminated. It began as a flight of fancy, but morphed into something else as I obsessively blended black to grey to white.

I did it as a laugh, and it turned out way better than I'd expected! I even went so far as to wash in shadows on the opposite sides of their faces from the lights!

Other progress: