Sunday, 27 February 2011

Dire Avenger Exarch nearly finished

Nearly there with the Exarch, in fact the only things left to do are putting some static grass on the base, neatening up any rough areas, and working out what colour to do the damn spear blade...

I'm pretty chuffed with him so far, the spear haft and knife sheath match the weapons on the other squads, and I think both greens work with the armour shade.  When I do the rest of the squad (including repainting the first one I did a while back), I'll be doing a quicker and simpler job on each model, the Exarch has been fun, but very time consuming.

Once this chap is finished it's on to the Wood Elf lord, and something a little Warmachine...

Also this week, I'll be looking at building a light box Tentakel-style.

The Crest and Shimmershield...

...would be a good name for a sci-fi/fantasy geek themed pub.

It also describes the next bits completed on the Dire Avenger Exarch:

I started off painting the shimmershield a deep red colour, and quite frankly it didn't work.  I don't think the red worked with the existing colours, and it looked too busy.  So I made it match the wraithbone elements on the figure which I think works pretty well, my only worry is that the small jewels aren't standing out as well as I'd hoped, I think this is because they're so small.

As I'd ditched the red for the shimmershield, I changed my mind on the crest too, and went for green to match the other green elements - I think this is definitely a better idea too.

The next thing to think about is what colour to do the spear blade.  The spear haft will be the green I've used on the weapons for all the other Eldar, but the blade needs to be something different.  Any suggestions?

Friday, 25 February 2011

A little inspiration (Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford)

A "something of nothing" post tonight...

The pictures were taken with my phone camera, which was all I had to hand at the time, so apologies for the quality.  I love the Pitt-Rivers museum, it's totally random and crazy and feels like you've stepped back in time into an antiquarians grotto.  I'm not sure how recently they set this up, but the top floor is devoted to weapons and armour - well worth a look for some inspiration.

Unfortunately, the Samurai armour really didn't come out at all well, so may have to go back and take some more pictures at some point.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Getting more and more "Dire"

Another quick update. I'm happy with the armour and I'm now adding the green and wraithbone elements, and doing a couple of the soul stones (That's what they are right?  I've suddenly forgotten quite an important part of background...) and finished the faceplate.

I think he's coming together quite nicely - as always, comments and criticism welcome!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Back to the Dire Avengers

Just a quick update.

As I said in the last post, the colour scheme for the Dire Avengers just didn't work for me, so I decided to try something different:

Carrying on with an arboreal theme, I tried to make his armour look like silver birch bark, using Charadon Granite with increasing amounts of Dheneb Stone added.  I'm much happier with this colour and think it will make them stand out a little more against the other squads in the army.

I'll stick with the standard colours for the wraithbone, weapons and cloth elements (see previous eldar posts), apart from the spear blade, crest and shimmershield - they will be an autumnal red.

As always comments and criticism welcome!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The joys of a wet palette

Hopefully this isn't too much like preaching to the converted, but someone asked and I thought I'd share.

I have to admit I thought a wet palette was something elitist, that only the top miniature painters used.  However I'd seen enough on the internet to wonder what it did for the average miniature painter and thought I'd give it a go.  

These are what I'd been using:

They did the job, but what I'd noticed is how quickly the colours I'd mixed up were drying out.  I live in a Victorian terraced house in the UK, not exactly the warmest places in the world at the best of times, and we don't have anything fancy like air-con, but I think I was using about 25% of the paint I'd mixed up on the model(s) before it dried out on the palette.  This seemed like a colossal waste of paint to me, so it was time to try out this fancy wet palette thing. 

(NB: The design of my wet palette is not my own, I borrowed it from another blog and I can't remember the link, so apologies to whoever it was who published it.) 

I got myself an air-tight container (from Sainsburys I think) - specifically this one.  It's about 6" square, which I figured for a first attempt was about big enough.  I filled it half full with water saturated folded up kitchen roll (making sure I tipped out any excess water - was this important?  I have no idea...), cut out a piece of white (silicon based?) baking paper and pressed it down on to the kitchen roll.

That's it.

Nothing fancy, 1 shallow plastic tub (and you could use one a lot cheaper than mine, probably best if it's water/air tight though), some kitchen roll, and some baking paper.  Mine looks like this (sans lid obviously):

The paint on the paper there is still wet, the small amount of Bronze having been mixed up the night before.  On a standard tile that would have been dry in 5 minutes or less.  I think I use up 50-75% of the paint I mix up now, possibly more.  Which in itself is reason enough to use it!  I wouldn't say that it makes me a better painter, but it does make it much easier to paint to the best of my ability.  It saves both paint and time, and it allows me to mix up a "set" of highlight colours, that I can use one after the other without interruption, and go back if something needs touching up.  In my experience it also rewards thinning your paints more than you usually would too.  

It removes a lot of unnecessary frustration and stress (having to continually mix paints is frustrating for me), and makes painting a much more fun experience.

So there we are - wet palettes, not just for professionals!  Any questions give me a yell.  I'll do an update in a week or so on anything I've noticed using it.

In other news, Lucius the Eternal is finished (pictures in a couple of days).  I've got a new colour scheme for the Dire Avengers, as the dark brown didn't hit the spot for me, and I'm about to start on a Wood Elf lord with great weapon.  I'm probably going to start my first Warmachine miniature too - might give Sorcha (sp?) a go...