Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Dark Son completed (Repost)

Hah!  Having espoused the virtues of mobile blogging, I then deleted what I thought was a previous draft of the post from my phone.  It just so happens that it results in a deletion of the finished post on the blog...

Bugger.  So lesson learned, and here's a repost of the pictures of the Dark Son captain.

I can't for the life of me remember what I had written in the deleted post, so I'll finish with comments and criticism welcome!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Ancible

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed a few things about the lair recently:
  1. I haven't been posting quite as frequently as I should be
  2. My posts have more stage by stage malarkey and more images in them
  3. The Ancible logo in the links pane
This is all because Kenny Robb, editor of The Ancible online magazine (it's free, download and read it!), asked me to write an article!

"The Ancible is a full colour digital magazine that specializes in the field of Science Fiction and fantasy wargaming. Since we have moved from the print format the focus on design quality and independent reporting has not changed. The mix of articles hopefuly appeals to the majority of our readers but at the end of the day we have such a wide subject area that we can't please everyone in every issue so please be patient and hopefully there will be something in the next issue."

Talk about an honour!  Not ever having done anything like that before I was a little nervous about it, but in the end, it's just a longer version of a blogpost, with some more structure and more images - plus it's miniature painting, and I reckon I can do that...

My article is called "Watching Paint Dry", and looks at building and painting the light faction starter pack for the "Anima Tactics" game.  I also painted the "top gunner" for Kenny's article on the Khador Gun Carriage - he threw that at me as a rush job a few weeks back, and I completed it in an evening.  There's tonnes of good stuff in the magazine, and if you're interested in trying games outside of GW, this is a great place to go.

This is hopefully going to be a regular gig, so if anyone has any ideas about how to improve my articles please give me a shout.

Things I have learned already:
  • More stage by stage pictures - it worked well on the gold armour in the article, but need more of them
  • It's more fun if you get outside your comfort zone, i.e. non-GW, painting colours you have difficulty with, thinking more about your readers rather than what you want to see
  • It's a damn good motivator to getting things painted - having an actual deadline, with someone waiting on you, is a hell of a driving force to getting things done
As with my blog posts, comments and criticism are always welcome.

So if you haven't seen the Ancible before, get downloading it and spread the word

Saturday, 14 May 2011


A long time ago I got into the hobby via the wonders of Advanced Heroquest, and its little add-on, the Advanced Heroquest paint set.  Included in this box was a sprue from the Warhammer Fantasy Regiments box set (a wonderful box including 60 plastic miniatures released for WFB 3rd edition).  For those who never got to see this motherlode of plastic, this sprue had a dwarf, a wood elf, a dark elf, a skaven, an Orc and a goblin, with shields and alternative heads and weapons.  The dwarf was the first miniature I ever painted, and soon after bought myself the Regiments box.  In honour of my introduction to the hobby all those years ago, I decided to paint up a sprue of these guys.

The forces of Evil
I tried to paint these guys in an "old school" style of painting - kind of like they used to do in 'Eavy Metal back in the day.  So as well as blending and layering there's some use of drybrushing too, particularly on the metalwork:

The skin on the Orc I'm particularly pleased with - a little darker than I would usually do for an Orc.  The worst thing is that I don't remember properly how I did it.  I know it's Orkhide Shade as a base, but then I can only guess that it's a wash of Devlan Mud followed by Orkhide Shade up through Gretchin Green?  The metal has some Bestial Brown daubed in before the highlights were drybrushed on, to make it look a little rusty.  

The forces of Good (and a Dark Elf...)
These three are some of my all time favourite miniatures, particularly the Dwarf (I should have filled the divots in his hammer before painting, but never mind).  The Wood Elf's face is still a pain to paint even now, but at least he gave me some good practice painting "difficult" eyes...

Put up against the latest Dark Elf Executioner, the Crossbowmen is about 2/3 the size, it surprised me how much they had grown over the years.  This Dark Elf was painted before the assassin, hence the use of the "turquoise abomination" - I don't want to repaint that now...

The Shields
My favourite parts of these models, they really are fun little things to paint.  The Dark Elf shield is a bit dull (do Dark Elf Crossbowmen have shields these days?), but the rest have some nice character to them, particularly the Orc and Goblin shields:

The Orc one is my favourite, I'm not sure if the moon is meant to be orange, but it felt like a "Late 1980s/WFB 3rd" colour so that's what I went with.

As always comments and criticism welcome!

In other news, it looks like Blogger had a bit of a problem this week - apologies to SAJ as I can't remember what he asked on my Pedro post, before some of the comments got deleted.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A little progress for Pedro

Nothing finished this week, but I've made some good progress on Pedro Kantor.  The photograph isn't great, especially as the blends don't come out very well - blame the lighting (or lack of it)!

The blue is a little brighter than I intended, so some Necron Abyss is going to be used to add some darkness and depth (I'm trying to avoid him looking too much like an Ultramarine, and failing a bit at the moment).  I don't want there to be too much red - the GW studio scheme has overdone the red in my opinion.  The base has kind of worked, but needs some more shading added, and I'll do the rim Graveyard Earth like the rest of my Crimson Fists.  Everything else I'm pleased with, The braiding has come out well in yellow (although this maybe contributing to the Ultramarine look), and I'm really seeing the benefits of using a Windsor & Newton Series 7.  I don't understand why it makes things better, and I wouldn't believe it if someone told me, but it really does.

As always comments and criticism welcome!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Keeper of Stones

I've been quite busy over this glorious long weekend, and ahead of schedule the Circle Orboros Stone Keeper is finished! Yet another miniature that's been an absolute joy to paint, I'm really digging Privateer Press at the moment.  Originally their style of miniatures put me off, but the more I paint them, the more I'm liking them.

The pose is great, not too much flash and he was easier to glue together than I expected.  For a miniature this dark I had to undercoat him black.  The first element I painted were the robes:
  • Base coat:  Black - the blurb for them refers to them as "stoic blackclads", so the colour had to be a type of black
  • First highlight:  A 1:1 mix of Charadon Granite and Black blended in
  • Second highlight:  Charadon Granite blended in
  • Final highlight:  A 1:1 mix of Charadon Granite and Dheneb Stone applied as an edge highlight
I used a variation of the scheme above on the Dark Elf Assassin from a few posts back, but I feel like I've nailed it on this chap. I'm really pleased with the earthy tone to the black, it feels more natural.

Next up was the green on the shoulder pads and "hood stripe" - I have no idea what this is meant to be called, so that's the name I'm giving it.  With an already black undercoat/base coat there, the green was really simple:
  • First highlight:  Orkhide Shade blended in
  • Second highlight:  Knarloc Green blended in
  • Final highlight:  Gretchin Green blended in
...and that's it!  Nothing complicated and it compliments the black well.

The stonework was up next.  The stones on the base were dry brushed, to give them a textured look and to be honest it would have been difficult to do anything like blending on them.  The stone on the weapon, chest plate(s) and backplate(s) were layered/blended in:
  • Base coat:  Adeptus Battlegrey
  • Shade:  Chaos black diluted to a wash liberally applied
  • First highlight: Adeptus Battlegrey
  • Second highlight:  Codex Grey
  • Final highlight: 1:1 mix of Codex Grey and White
When looking at the bottom of the staff against the rocks on the base, I'm not sure having two different styles of highlighting works, but it's not too noticeable.

Then I was on to the gold - I wanted this to be quite bright as the rest of the model was so dark, but I also wanted to avoid the orangey gold that the PP studio used, so another simple scheme was born:
  • Base coat:  Scorched Brown - my current favourite base for gold
  • First highlight:  Dwarf Bronze
  • Second highlight:  Burnished Gold
  • Final highlight: 1:1 mix of Burnished Gold and Mithril Silver

The last of the major elements was the skin (Nothing groundbreaking there, just my usual way of doing mid-toned skin):
  • Base coat:  Tallarn Flesh
  • Shade:  Gryphonne Sepia
  • First highlight:  Tallarn Flesh was applied to all but the most recessed parts
  • Second highlight:  Elf Flesh
  • Final highlight:  Bleached Bone
With all the major elements done, the boots were highlighted with Charadon Granite and Khemri Brown, and the gravel of the base was dry brushed with Charadon Granite and Dheneb Stone.  The eyes were done with much swearing, and the gem was painted - using the same colouring as for the green of the shoulder pads, and a white dot highlight.  The base then had it's curved lip neatened up with some Chaos Black, and we were ready for some greenery.

I added some Woodland Scenics "Underbrush" olive green foliage to the base (good stuff by the way, I will be getting their lichen too I think), with some dabs of PVA glue, and when this was dry, I sprayed the whole model with Humbrol acrylic matt spray varnish.  After waiting a while for the varnish to dry, I then carefully applied some gloss 'Ardcoat to the gem to make it shine.

So job done!  I don't know if I'll ever collect a Circle Orboros army, but this model is cool enough to tempt me.  After doing a quick scan of the PP website, it will be between them and the Legion of Everblight if I do take up Hordes, both have some lovely models.

On to Pedro Kantor next, and then the second warjack...

As always comments and criticism welcome!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Next in the Painting Station...

Making the most of the long weekend we're having in Britain (oh, and I actually enjoyed the Royal Wedding, much to my own surprise), I've started two new projects:

Pedro Kantor
It was about time I got the one special character specific to the Crimson Fists, and it was also about time I used one of the resin base additions I got with the Warhammer 40K basing kit.  Pedro is a nice miniature and I'm looking forward to painting him - loads of detail, and plenty of armour to get some nice blending in.

The resin base additions are a bit dull to be honest.  Some of the smaller bits are nice, with different helmets and weapons on them, but the 25mm and 40mm "base caps" (I can think of no better name for them at the moment), really don't have a lot going on.  They're not bad, just not great.  I could redo the base, but I want to see how good they look painted up, so we're sticking with it.

Circle Orboros Stone Keeper
On a recent visit to London, I popped into Orc's Nest, and had a browse for a miniature to treat myself with.  Having been bitten by the Privateer Press bug with my Khador box set, I thought I'd try something from Hordes, and this miniature jumped out at me:

I have no idea what he does (other than the little blurb on the PP website), but he's proving to be fun to paint, and I used him to try out a little basing idea I had:

Using the WH40K basing kit again, I found a few "slate" pieces with a flat(ish) end, and stuck them down to look like little standing stones around the miniature.  I've also bought myself some Woodland Scenics "foliage" to glue in amongst the stones to look like moss type flora. 

Both models have been undercoated, and I'm around 60% done with the Stone Keeper, I'll have some pictures of him for the next post.

As always, comments and criticism welcome!