Monday, 19 February 2018

Better Know A Blogger: Part 48- Hobbyist Girl

This week's Better Know a Blogger features Sophie from Hobbyist Girl/Paint Stained Leggings. 

I first came across Sophie's blog on Twitter, after seeing some of her awesome Ork vehicles. The blog features work on her growing Ork army, Da Bloody Hand Boyz, and features some fantastic conversion work on her Ork vehicles. Most recently, an awesome Big Mek on Bike, based on a Skaven Doomwheel. I can't wait to see how this turns out when fully painted.

You can also find Sophie very active on Twitter (@hobbyistgirl), where you can keep up to progress on her hobby work.

Here are Sophie's answers to my questions:

1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off? 
My gaming, in general, would have started early in life. I grew up with an Atari 2600 and Intelevision game console, playing on that when my parents weren’t occupying it. As video games progressed, I did as well; moving through 8, 16 and 32 bit systems as the 80s and 90s moved on. It wasn’t until High School, around 1993-94, that I moved toward table top gaming. I suppose the game that really broke me into it was Dungeons & Dragons, though we did play this new game that was gaining a lot of popularity called Magic: The Gathering. Most of our attention was on roleplaying games, however. 

I played two games that were a somewhat precursor to my wargaming hobby; HeroQuest and BattleMasters. I used to love playing these, but it was never more than just a board game back then. There was no urge to paint them up. I didn’t turned toward painting miniatures until later on. Toward the end of High School, one of my friends discovered Warhammer 40,000 being sold in a small military war gaming hobby shop. He relayed this cool game that he found, to our group of friends, and it was quickly picked up by everyone. 

2. What was the first model you ever bought/painted? 
My introduction to miniature painting was the core starter set for Warhammer 40,000 2nd edition. A friend and I split the box; him taking the space marines and I the orks. I loved the old models. They were so goofy looking and had a lot of charm to them. The pointy hat Goffs from this box would be the first models I ever painted. My first attempts were horrible, haha. Like a lot of people, we used testors enamel paints to start, with no primer coats… just slopping paint. I also had a little jug of house paint I had secured from home, which wasn’t great but at least it was water based. 

Eventually, we all discovered Citadel paints. It was still a rough time; no thinning, no priming… but techniques were slowly forming and I started trying this advanced technique I read about, called “drybrushing”. It was like instant ‘Eavy Metal, at least in my head anyway. From there, I became more and more familiar with paint flow and adding different techniques. 

3. What is your favourite aspect of gaming?
Painting and modelling is by far my favorite aspect of my wargaming hobby. Until last year, I had not played a game using my miniatures in over a decade. As time wore on, growing up my group of friends not only split apart, heading to different locations, but they also moved away from games that required painting. I just kept going at it, taking long sabbaticals here and there, but never fully removing myself from the hobby. Conversion work and sculpting has risen to the top of the list, over painting. I really enjoy trying to make things that aren’t conventionally covered by the model range and feel it’s more my strong suit currently. I spend a lot of time just browsing the website to brainstorm what to convert next. 

As far as video games or roleplaying games, the story is really what is important to me. I gravitate to single player or cooperative games like MMORPGs. I always focused on seeing all the content rather than trying to play against other people. My favorite board game, to this day, is old Warhammer Quest because of its co-op style play. I’d rather overcome the game with others than compete, I guess. 

4. Fondest memory in gaming? 
It isn’t an old memory, but working with the men and women involved in #RainbowWarriorsProject would be my fondest, that I can think of. It all started with a small group and ballooned into 15-20 people. We managed to gather a sizable army via donations and fifteen artists, including myself, painted them up as Rainbow Warriors Space marines. Once painted, the project would be raffled off, the donations going to a charity to promote diversity in gaming. It was so great working with them all, and provided a nice challenge personally. I did a Venerable Dreadnought for it, using multiple bits from the Seraphon “Engine of the Gods” plus some sculpting. It was my first large project, spanning 120+ hours over a couple months. Every step of it involved me challenging myself to add things that I had never done before. 

5. What are you working on right now? 
Currently, I am working on my latest ork concoction for an escalation league that I am in. I wanted to do some Speed Freaks for it, having been a while since I messed with any. I envisioned them in a GorkaMorka style, arming them a little more like savage orks vs traditional; many wielding spears. It started with s small 500 point list and is currently being bolstered to 750, in my current efforts. I recently added a battlewagon, made from the standard ork kit and using shipping containters in the back. Another addition has been my Big Mek biker, comprised of bits spanning eight kits; the primary build being from a skaven doomwheel. My most recent idea, however, is just now in the beginning stages of planning and will be a battlewagon made from a skaven plague furnace, pulled by a colossal squig (can't wait to see it!- Mike). 

I also have an Escher gang I am working on, for a Necromunda league. I had visions of prison colony escapees, wearing looted gear from dead guardsmen during the prison break. I used the new Escher kit, adding witch elf, kingdom death, and raging heroes parts to convert them. 

6. When you are not conquering the tabletop, what do you do?
I am a server administrator for a hospital, by day. At this point, my main hobby is painting/modelling. Between the two, I am kept extremely busy. Every once in a while, however, I do relax from painting with a game of PUBG with some coworkers, or Cuphead or Dark Souls. For hobbies that don’t involve gaming, I really enjoy baking. My chocolate chip cookies are sought after, by family and coworkers, and I make fairly good cakes and pies. 

7. What would you say about your blog to someone who has never read it to draw them in? 
I would tell them that if they enjoy seeing a behind the scene/step by step look at some conversion work, then give it a read. While being in the hobby for a long time, my social media presence is rather short lived. I just started my blog the second half of last year, after a close friend continued to prod me to do so. Being someone who paints for hours nightly, there is a constant stream of content and always something new to see. A lot is planned for 2018, including a new site, new projects, and a YouTube channel. Definitely excited to work on it all. 

8. What is your favourite article that you have written? 
My ork bandana tutorial is my favorite, as far as tutorials. It was done while working on my Freebootaz as I wanted to add to them to make them more pirate-like. The bandanas were one of three sculpting modifications I did and I loved how simple they were to accomplish. 

My favorite series has been my WIP breakbown of my Bloody Skull Boyz. These have been some of my wilder, and more extensive, conversions and it has been fun breaking down the thought process and showing people how I accomplished creating everything for them, thus far. 

9. Which rule would you like to see changed or removed entirely? 
At this point, I have only played three games of Warhammer 40,000 so it is hard for me to say what should be removed. 

10. Which of your armies is your favourite? 
I am an ork girl, through and through. They will always be my favorite. I loved how goofy they were, and still are to a point. They provide a nice balance of seriousness and silliness, when you want it. I LOVE grots and squigs, for this reason. You can model a mean looking group of orks but also do silly grots and squigs with them, and it fits. The only thing really like it has been some of the nurglings for Death Guard or maggotkin, as of late. 

While I don’t have a favorite for Age of Sigmar yet, I am planning an extensive Daughters of Khaine army. I am loving the models they showed, as of recent, and have my eyes peeled for the preorders to start. My Necromunda gang has always been Escher, and Amazons are my go-to Blood Bowl team; though I have been known to play dwarves on occasion. 

11. Secret wargamer or loud and proud? 
Loud and Proud! Most of my friends are into the same things I am. I just assume that if someone has an issue, they’ll just not look or read. I am a very animated gamer. I am not competitive at all but love to smack talk. I tend to get really excited when rolling well and have stomped my feet at times when rolling poorly. Usually Nuffle has it out for me, but every now and then he gets distracted and I have some good rolls. 

12. Any hobby tips or cheats to share? 
The biggest is simply repetition. You will improve as time goes on by simply doing and trying new things consistently. Also, never let something overwhelm you or stop you because it seems too hard or daunting. I used to think of ideas to convert, sculpt, or paint and think it was too hard or out of my reach. It will always be out of reach if you don’t try it. I started making myself see my idea through. One of these ideas was the cheetah pelt on the Rainbow Warriors deadnought. I was sure that I couldn’t do it; I had never modelled or painted a fur pelt before. I had actually talked myself out of it before stubbornness kicked in and went for it. Since then, I see through an idea if it is one I really like. Worst case scenario is that it doesn’t work and you go a different route. A second tip is, if you are trying to improve, simply focus on where you are at in skill and not become fixated on where others are. With the hobby having such a massive online presence, it can be easy to feel outclassed or be disheartened when seeing something that you feel is miles ahead of your work. Keep working and those techniques and skills will come, as that’s the same thing those artists had to do to get there. 

13. Tournament or Casual? 
Definitely casual. I am a “rule of cool” person. My armies tend to have themes that make them less than competitive. I prefer the hobby side and the story behind the armies I make over how they play on a table. 

14. Nintendo or Sega? 
I had both growing up, but Nintendo wins out for me. Loved the old NES Zelda and Metroid games and I wore my SNES out playing Final Fantasy 6. I have yet to get a switch, but I have a feeling it will be soon. 

15. Xbox or Playstation? 
That one is harder. I really like them both. I went full in on PS4, after playing The Last of Us and assuming there would be a sequel. I waited almost a year for an Xbox One, and purchased that because my co-workers wanted me to play GTA5 and later PUBG. I preferred the PS3 over the 360, due to the GUI, and now prefer the One to the PS4 because of the same thing. Really though, the games I buy are more based on who is playing them with me vs the console they reside on. 

16. McDonalds or Burger King? 
Burger King for anything burger related, McDonalds for Chicken McNuggets/sandwhiches. I actually like Burger Kings fries more, too. McDonald’s fries are great, if fresh. Otherwise, I find them gross. 

17. Coke or Pepsi? 
Coke, 100%. I tend to steer clear of soda these days, but coke has always been the better of the two.

Thanks to Sophie for taking the time to answer my questions. Be sure to check out Paint Stained Leggings and follow on Twitter (@hobbyistgirl). 


  1. Another nice background piece. Sophie is a good laugh on Twitter and does some wonderful work.

    1. Yeah, some brilliant conversions and concepts for the Orks.

  2. I love this article series, keep up the good work Michael. Sophie always seems a great person on Twitter, nice to learn a little more about the person behind the name

    1. As long as I can harass people to write them for me, they'll keep coming!

  3. Loved those Rainbow Warrior SM and these Orky vehicles are great! Good stuff

  4. Cuphead and Dark Souls; that's hardcore man. The doomwheel is marvelous.

  5. A woman after my own heart with the Orks. They were my first 40K army, and despite not having played them in years, I just can't get rid of the bastards.

    1. I love my Ork army too. Need to get them on the table in 8th edition.

    2. Fingers crossed on the 8th codex for them.

  6. Fantastic work there. Def someone worth following!

  7. Crikey, my reading list is going to explode if you keep posting about these great blogs Michael :-) I can remember starting to play D&D and MtG at about the same time, it was all about Modules, 3rd Ed. and Fallen Empires; I still have Goblin Grenade, Thallid and Homorid decks from those days! Gah! The nostalgia!

  8. That was a neat interview! Thank you, i've been reading your blog for bit so i suppose it's a bit odd for my first comment here to be on a post about someone elses blog but... I really like what you do here.

  9. Always great to see content on the other sex in wargaming. Would be a amazing thing to see, a tournament that had equal representation.