Thursday, 28 July 2011

Not such a grim Reaper...

Not too much painting going on this week, I've done a little bit for my next article, and I've got the next couple of side projects started.  My love affair with Reaper miniatures continues:

Not quite sure what I'm going to do with this chap yet, I'm thinking different hues of black, with some dulled metalwork.  The other side project is Boris MkII:

I'd like to keep with the "Boris the Black" theme, so I'm thinking black cloak with some freehand on the back, and some beaten up armour - plenty of dents and scratches with some rust in places.  Or maybe black armour (still beaten up) with a dark red cloak?  Opinions (and alternative ideas) would be most welcome!

As you can see I've only pinned them to the 30mm bases so far, the next stage will be to fill in the gaps between the metal base and the edge of the rounded lip with modelling sand (and for Boris MkII, some bits of slate, stuck up at the front), and then they'll be undercoated.  Also on the horizon is Gandalf on his cart full of fireworks, and at some point the other Warjack from my Khador box set.

Then there are the Eldar Dire Avengers...

...and some Confrontation minis...

...and for some reason I'm itching to paint a Space Marine again as well - what's that about? 

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Big Bad Bald Bearded Boris

I'm really pleased with this chap - he does look like he's been ripped right of World of Warcraft (his fists are bigger than his head for a start), but that's no bad thing, and it was nice to do something a bit brighter than usual.  Boris was a single piece miniature, and quite two dimensional, but I love the pose, and it feels quite "old school". (early WIP shot here)

The blue was simple enough, a Necron Abyss base coat, highlighted with Regal Blue and then Ice Blue (with a little mixing for in-between stages).  The highlighting was done with drybrushing rather than blending - this chap was meant to be a little light relief in between projects, so I wasn't going to stress out blending each individual scale.

The horns and sword hilt were simply a progression through Charadon Granite, Khemri Brown, Dheneb Stone and for the sword hilt only a top highlight of Skull White - these were blended/layered as the surface areas were larger.  Charadon Granite and Chaos Black were used to paint the striations on the horns.

The skin tone is my favourite thing about the model , a base coat of Tallarn Flesh was washed with Gryphonne Sepia.  This was highlighted (blending) with Tallarn Flesh and then a 1:1 mix of Tallarn Flesh and Elf Flesh. finally a top highlight of Privateers P3 Ryn Flesh was blended in.  This gives a slightly paler flesh tone than I would usually use, but it works well with the ginger beard and eyebrows, a World of Warcraft inspired colouring.

The Gold started with a base coat of Tin Bitz, shaded with Devlan Mud.  This was then highlighted with multiple thin layers of Burnished Gold working towards the edges of the armour.  Then a 1:1 mix of Burnished Gold and Mithril Silver was applied as a top highlight.  The sword blade was Boltgun Metal shaded with Badab Black, with a blended highlight of Chainmail.  Some Devlan Mud was applied to the blade, just beneath the skull hilt to add a little more shading.

The cloak and tabard is my normal "exciting" scheme of Khemri Brown, shaded with Devlan Mud and blend/layer highlighted with Khemri Brown and Dheneb Stone.  To continue the WoW theme I added some moss and lichen to the base (also to mask where the lump of metal he stood on joined the base I added him to), and he was complete!  A quick, easy and funky looking model which was fun to paint, it's nice to have something like Boris on your painting table to give you a break from the serious projects.

I'm a huge fan of Reaper miniatures ( - they're not all brilliant, but there are so many lovely looking miniatures full of character, that it's easy to find something fun to paint.  Also I recommend the search section on the galleries - really helps if you're looking for something specific (e.g. someone human male, in plate armour, dual wielding...).

As always, comments and criticism welcome!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Polluted Royalty

I've posted about this chap a while back, but hadn't progressed him for ages.  I'd got a bit stuck with him, but in my desire to get my workstation cleared ready for the next projects, I put some serious effort into getting him finished.  Only quick pictures today, I'm going to sit down next weekend and learn how to use this camera properly...

I've described the green method before, but here it is again:
  • Charadon Granite base coat
  • Devlan Mud wash
  • Charadon Granite overbrushed highlight
  • Charadon Granite + Catachan Green
  • Catachan Green
  • Catachan Green + Camo Green
  • Camo Green
  • Camo Green + Dheneb Stone as a thin edge/point highlight

As I've said I'd toyed with the idea of leaving it "clean", but this didn't feel right for a Nurgle Lord, so I painted in some discolouration patches
  • Base coat: Scorched Brown
  • Shade: Devlan Mud applied to the recesses
  • First highlight: Bestial Brown
  • Second highlight: Snakebite leather
This was also the scheme used for the Chaos Star quarters on the corners of the cloak.

I ditched the original brown colour of the cloak for a khaki/beige look .
  • Base coat: Khemri Brown
  • Shade: Liberally applied Devlan Mud
  • First highlight Khemri Brown
  • Second highlight: 1:1 mix of Khemri Brown and Dheneb Stone
  • Final highlight: Dheneb Stone
I think this works much better against the green.  I'm really pleased with the freehand - nothing complicated, but it's come out nicely, and not too big to be overwhelming.  I don't do a lot of freehand work, so it's something I'm going to be practicing more of from now on.

I wanted to make the metalwork look aged without it being too rusty looking - I know he's a follower of Nurgle, but a Lord still wouldn't be too impressed with having to use rusty axes I'm sure...
  • Base coat: Tin Bitz
  • Shade: Devlan Mud applied liberally
  • First highlight: Tin Bitz
  • Second highlight: P3 Blighted Gold (similar to the very old Citadel Colour Shining Gold, but a little darker)
  • Third highlight: Chainmail
  • Wash: 1:1 diluted Devlan Mud
  • Glaze: Heavily thinned Scorched Brown
  • Final highlight: Chainmail blended in to edges, top surfaces and points
  • Final shade: Devlan Mud applied to recesses
It's a bit laborious and it came about because the Blighted Gold wasn't really working for me, but I'm pleased with the end result.

The skulls, horns and axe handles were all painted the same way.
  • Base coat: Charadon Granite
  • First highlight: Khemri Brown
  • Second highlight: Dheneb Stone
  • Final highlight (skulls only): Skull White
I'm not sure about the base, but I think it's alright, I hadn't used lichen before and to be honest it's a bit of a pain, but I think it will get easier with practice.  I think varied colours would also help - particularly with a chaos figure brownish lichen, to suggest the plant life has died, would probably have been more appropriate.  Still it's not a bad effect, and something I'm going to be using more of in the future.

Question - does me listing all the colour I use help?  Do you guys read it all, or does it just get in the way?  Would I be better off posting pictures and shutting up?  I'm no expert but I like to share how I do things if it will help others.  I really would appreciate some feedback on this, so if I'm missing stuff too, let me know.

As always comments and criticism welcome, have at it!

Monday, 11 July 2011


...evich, Kommander Harkevich to be precise, is the first miniature I painted for the new FLGS here in Swindon, called Game Craft.  I delivered it this lunch time, and the new owner is very pleased with it, but damn, it was hard to give it up!  Trying different stuff with the camera again, this time I think the pictures are a little too light, but I think I've got the white balance right... 

This miniature was an absolute joy to paint, loads of interesting detail, and no large flat areas.  I'm not totally sure about his weapon, as I think it looks a little daft.  It was fun to paint though, it just looks a bit odd.  I think if I was to buy this chap myself, I'd be tempted to swap it for an axe, and turn the hand at the wrist 90 degrees, so it was horizontal rather than vertical.  Although I'd been given no requirements for the paint scheme, I wanted to keep reasonably true to the studio scheme, as the miniatures I paint for Game Craft are to be used to promote the Privateer Press games.  This was also the first time I've used some of Privateer's P3 paints, and I have to say I'm quite impressed so far.

The gold was done more traditionally than my normal method:
  • Base coat:  Tin Bitz
  • Shade: Devlan Mud wash
  • 1st highlight: Dwarf Bronze
  • 2nd highlight: Burnished Gold
It's come out really well I think, and certainly benefits from the "zenithal" highlighting method - I'm especially pleased with how the forearm guards look.

The steel was also slightly different to how I usually do things, particularly for the plates along the bottom of the cloak, which I didn't want to come out too bright, particularly with that amount of metal that was there:
  • Base coat: Charadon Granite
  • Shade: Badab Black wash
  • First highlight: Boltgun Metal was painted over pretty much everything leaving a ring of shade around each of the studs
  • Second highlight: Chainmail was painted on each stud and blended in along the top of each plate
  • Wash: Diluted Badab Black (around 1:1 mix with water) was washed over the plates, toning the metal down.
The rest of the steel was painted similarly, although I didn't do the final stage on the mace as I wanted to keep this reasonably bright.

The red armour was a little different again - I wanted to keep the red fairly bright, but make it look a little dirty, like it had been through a battle or two:
  • Base coat: Scorched Brown
  • Wash: Devlan Mud
  • First highlight: P3 Sanguine Base - it's a little more purple than I was expecting, but it works
  • Second highlight: Scab Red
  • Third highlight: Blood Red
  • Final highlight: Blood Red and Solar Macharius Orange
The first three stages give the dark and dirty undertone, while the last three stages bring the raised areas up, but without being too bright - hopefully a "dust of the battlefield" look.  There was a slight temptation to add some battle damage to the armour, but I decided against it (that stuff can take me a lot of time...).

The coat and blanket were painted my favourite grey-green colour (almost olive drab) to compliment the red armour:
  • Base coat: Charadon Granite
  • Wash: Devlan Mud
  • First highlight: Catachan Green
  • Second highlight: Catachan Green and P3 Thrall Flesh (I picked this up as an alternative to GW's Rotting Flesh, and it really did the business)
The brighter top highlight was intended to give the fabric a worn look, and I'm really pleased with the result.

The brown fur trim, pouches, pockets and straps were done pretty quickly:
  • Base coat: Scorched Brown
  • Wash: Devlan Mud
  • First highlight: Calthan Brown
  • Second highlight: Calthan Brown mixed with Dheneb Stone
The fur trim areas were carefully drybrushed - I don't drybrush much, and the temptation is to do it quickly and roughly, when like all other painting it should be a slow carefully applied process.  Taking a bit more care with the drybrushing really pays dividends - and I can't recommend GW's drybrushes enough for this, they really are good.

The beard was P3 Cryx Bane Base, drybrushed with Codex Grey and washed with Badab Black - simple but effective.  After highlighting the "brown bits", I still had some thinned Calthan Brown, so I used that as a the base coat for the face - not something I've ever done before but I thought I'd give it a go.  I carefully applied some Devlan Mud to the eye socket and mouth, and then highlighted first with Tallarn Flesh, and then Dheneb Stone.  It certainly doesn't work any worse than my other skin techniques, so I'm happy with it.

Now here's something that I've found Privateer are better at than GW - defined eyeballs, for me so far (and I may have just been lucky), the eyeballs on Privateer's miniatures are easier to paint than on GW's, they might not be quite as realistic, but they're easier to get the paint in the right place.  For the eye and teeth, I used Dheneb Stone, and then added a Chaos Black dot for the pupil of the eye.

The final stage was the harnessed power in the mace - I seriously need to read some back story so I know what half this stuff is called.  This was nothing more than a base coat of Ultramarine Blue (making sure to fill all the cavity) and a dot or line down the centre of Ice Blue - simple and effective.

So there we have it, one finished miniature and one happy receiver (plus a happy painter too)!

Up next is article number 3 for the Ancible (which I'm starting in the next couple of days), something for the in-laws, and finishing off some projects on the work bench.

As always comments and criticism welcome!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Back in the saddle

Just a quick post today, I'm back painting again and should have some pictures of some stuff in the next couple of days.

The big news for today is that Issue 10 of The Ancible is out!

Contents of this issue:
  • A Call to Arms
  • Watching Paint Dry (my article)
  • Mansions of Madness
  • Campaign Cartographer
  • Darkage
  • Khador Smelter Terrain Guide
  • Firestorm Armada
  • Starmada

For this issue I painted a House Hawkwood fleet for Call to Arms: Noble Armada from Mongoose Publishing.  That's my fleet on the front cover of the magazine.  In the article the WIP shots are mine, but the pictures of the finished fleet are done by Kenny, the owner of the magazine - it just goes to show how good stuff can look when photographed by a practiced photographer (i.e. not me...).  I've learned a few tricks from Kenny about photographing miniatures, so hopefully we should see some continued improvement in the shots I take (I'm not promising anything though...).

Of course it's not just about my article - there's loads of fantastic stuff in this issue (as there was in issue 9 which I should have mentioned last time), the Firestorm Armada battle report has some beautifully painted  ships in it, the Khador Smelter terrain piece is spectacular with a capital OMG (and it's made to look so simple too), and there's a ton of reviews of stuff we might not have had chance to see before.  Oh and the final word is about how the D6 has done a "grey squirrel" on all the other dice types (my first miniatures game, Advanced Heroquest, used D12s, where have they gone?).  All great stuff, and it's a free download, so it's criminal not to get your hands on it!

In other news (and something new for me), I've started painting some new Privateer Press releases for Game Craft, the new FLGS in Swindon.  Like painting for the Ancible, this is painting to a deadline, so it's a bit of added pressure to get things done, but that pressure is good for focusing the mind on the job in hand.  I'm not totally sure how this will work out, as there's only so much spare time in the week (which is shrinking every week thanks to the pressures of work), but it's nice to have something new, and the little ego boost that comes from people wanting you to paint their miniatures, especially as it's a business that intends to display them.

First up is Kommander Harkevich, The Iron Wolf, a lovely miniature that painted up really nicely.  I'll have pictures of him up tomorrow.

As always, comments welcome.  If you have any feedback for the magazine, join the forum on the website and let the team know what you think - and like here, constructive criticism is always welcome.