Sunday, 25 March 2012

Brevik's Marauders: Basic Warband Complete

So, maybe a day earlier than expected, my fledgling warband is complete.  It's only the start though as I'm having a few ideas about some extra characters, but Brevik Dragonslayer and his small group are ready for the fight (not bad for a quick and dirty paint job).

I hope they give off the "classic" fantasy look I was aiming for.  I've tried to avoid the "Grimdark" look I seem to veer towards on a lot of my miniatures, and intentionally kept things a bit brighter.  The first step in doing this was to use a grey undercoat - I don't know why I don't use this more often.  This was particularly good for models with a lot of exposed skin, fur and iron/steel detail (so...barbarians then).

The gold and iron are pretty much my standard way of doing things, the only slight difference with the iron was that I blended in some Charadon Granite as an extra shadow in places (e.g. Brevik's sword near the hilt).  I tried to keep the gold as bright as possible, to act as the bright points on the miniatures.

The skin was pretty straight forward on all the models:
  • Base:  Tallarn Flesh
  • Shade:  A sparing wash of Ogryn Flesh (on Breggan and Juggo this was Gryphonne Sepia, but I wanted them to have a slightly different flesh tone)
  • H1:  Tallarn Flesh
  • H2:  1:1 mix of Tallarn Flesh and P3 Ryn Flesh
  • H3:  Ryn Flesh
On Mad Ulf the wash went on a little too heavy, and the highlights aren't as neat as they should be, but on the rest it works pretty well, even really close up.

This was my first proper attempt at stubble (they're barbarians, when do they get time to shave?), and it worked better on Ifil, than it did on Ulf and Brevik, but it's pretty easy to do:
  • Base:  1:1 mix of Adeptus Battlegrey and Tallarn Flesh
  • Shade:  Diluted Devlan Mud - this was important to tone down the grey and blend it in to the skin colour
  • Highlight:  1:1 mix of Tallarn Flesh and Codex Grey
The jewels on the helm were tiny, and I nearly painted them as iron studs, but decided it was worth the effort to paint them as jewels.  I didn't give them a coat of gloss varnish this time, as I'm not convinced it helps.

For Breggan and Juggo's hair, and Mad Ulf's cloak, I went for the wash and careful drybrush approach - you can probably guess Khemri Brown, Devlan Mud and Dheneb Stone were used. ;)

There are a couple more characters to add, a Thief/Rogue type and a Sorceror, once those are done I'll post them up with more of the back story.

As always, comments and criticism welcome!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Breggan and Juggo finished

I had a fairly productive weekend, and the first two of my barbarian warband for "Get the Girl, Kill the Baddies" are finished.  I didn't spend a huge amount of time on them, so they're not great works of art, but I'm really pleased with them, and they have tons of character.  After a bit of practice I've finally got the colour balance malarkey sorted out on my camera, next it's time to work on the focusing... 

Breggan and Juggo

So, here is a little classic (i.e. cliched) barbarian back story:

In the dense pine forests of the North, in a village in the shadow of the Shadow Mountains, twin boys were born.  The first to arrive, Breggan, was born healthy and strong and survived his first winters with little ill health.  Juggo however was born stunted and sickly and barely survived his first four seasons.  Much to his parents surprise he did survive, but as he grew, they realised he would forever be "deformed", stocky in build, but short in stature.  Mother and father counted their blessings though, for so few children survived the cold of the north.

In the exceptionally harsh winter of the boys eighth year, their village was attacked by mercenaries thirsting for revenge after being defeated in the Iron wars.  A few villagers fled into the forest, but the boys parents were cut down trying to defend their home, and alongside a few other children, they were captured  as slaves.  Like most slaves at the time, the children were taken to the great quarries, the source of rock for the new fortress in the mountains. The hard work made them strong and robust, and in their seventeenth year, the brothers were bought by a local lord, to fight in the gladiatorial arenas.

Here they learned to fight with swords and axes, and they formed a formidable partnership.  "The Bear and the Dwarf", were first laughed at, but became feared in the Black Colosseum and Arenas of the North and South.  It was in the Colosseum that they met Mad Ulf, and from there the story will continue...

OK, so not a great work of fiction by any stretch of the imagination, but it's fun to write some back story.  There's a couple of good "campaign hooks" in there, with some real cause for revenge, and several reasons for them to go off rescuing people.

I've nearly finished Ifil Ironwolf (just needs grass on the base), and I've made a good start on both Ulf and Brevik.  Hopefully I'll have them all finished by the weekend.  I'm in crazy new project mode at the moment, where my head suddenly fills up with ideas, so I need to get some stuff finished...

As always, comments and criticism welcome!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Praying Knight Complete...

Mornin' all.

The praying knight is finished.  I've been practicing a little more at the picture processing malarkey (using GIMP), and I'm beginning to get the hang of it I think.  I'm having all sorts of colour balance trials with my camera, so I've used GIMP to get it to where I think it should be (certainly a lot damn closer than what they were pre-processing).  I need to do more with the camera in the first place so I don't have to mess about with the pictures quite so much afterwards, but this will do for now.

I'm really pleased with this chap, he's not perfect, but the overall look and feel I was going for has come across pretty well (I hope).

Most of the colours I've gone over in previous posts - I think the only ones I haven't really covered are the hair and skin.  So the skin first:
  • Base:  Tallarn Flesh
  • Shade:  Gryphonne Sepia
  • H1: Tallarn Flesh
  • H2:  A 1:1 mix of Tallarn Flesh and P3 Ryn Flesh
I've been careful not to go too light with the highlights as his face is mostly in shadow.  I was very relieved that his eyes are closed.  The sword and hands are a separate piece from the rest of the model, so I wasn't sure whether I should glue that on before or after painting.  As it was, the lower arms didn't fit too well on the elbow guards, and needed a lot of work to get to fit, so the decision was made for me.

The hair is nothing too spectacular:
  • Base:  Khemri Brown
  • Shade:  Devlan Mud
  • H1:  Khemri Brown
  • H2:  1:1 mix of Khemri Brown and Dheneb Stone
  • H3:  Dheneb Stone
  • Glaze:  A thin wash/glaze of Gryphonne Sepia was applied to tone everything down
The final glaze really did do the trick, as it was too bright before.  All that was left to do was sort out the base - here I used some Gale Force 9 basing materials in patches, interspersed with some of the grass tufts I'd bought from Mutineer Miniatures.  The tufts are actually quite big so I broke a couple apart to use.  I love the effect they give, with the autumn leaves dotted about, and really add to the model.  A couple of coats of Humbrol Matt varnish flattened off the model nicely.

Next up (amongst other things) is my fledgling warband for "Get the Girl, Kill the Baddies":

From left to right - Ulf the Mad, Ifil Ironwolf, Brevik Dragonslayer (yeah I know he's a bit wimpy to represent me, but he'll have to do...), Breggan the Bear, and his brother Juggo the Dwarf.  I wanted Juggo to be a dwarf human (a la Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones) rather than a member of the Dwarven race - Juggo isn't exactly my creation, it looks like "Juggo" is written on the tab of the miniature, and it seemed appropriate...

Readers of a certain age may recognise some of these miniatures, as they are certainly old - Brevik has 1985 written on the tab!  They are all very old Citadel miniatures from their long OOP Norse range:

Ulf is the only miniature I'm not entirely happy with - looking at his outfit, I swear he was meant to be a Wood Elf Wardancer and they changed their minds about him and added a fur cloak and covered his pointy ears. I might swap him out for a Hasslefree Viking Libby at some point, but we'll see how he paints up.

My challenge with this bunch of crazies is to batch paint the majority of them and then finish each up individually with the details.  Regular readers will know how much I enjoy batch painting, so this should definitely be a challenge!  Hopefully I'll have some background for these guys soon too, all epic swords and sorcery stuff, with heroic deeds, betrayal and vengeance.

I may be borrowing from other works in the genre, but only a little...

As always, comments and criticism welcome! 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Ancible Issue 14

A little earlier than I expected, issue 14 of the Ancible is out!

As always, loads and loads of good stuff in this one:

  • Dystopian Wars review by Jez
  • Gears of War board game review (this game is very enjoyable by the way)
  • Carnevale - not played it yet, but the miniatures are superb, like a cross between Malifaux and Freebooter's Fate
  • Painting the Kingdom of Britannia - my painting article, this time it's the Kingdom of Britannia land army
  • Firestorm Armada Battle Report - where my lovingly painted (but apparently useless) Aquan fleet get annihilated by the boss's Dindrenzi
  • The last page also has a couple of Khador miniatures you may have seen before...

Painting wise, the praying knight is very nearly done (basing and varnishing left), and I've dug out some very old Citadel barbarian models to paint for my first "Get the Girl, Kill the Baddies" warband - just to test the ruleset.  At some point I'm going to go all out on a flash warband made up of the best miniatures I can find.  :-)

Comments and criticism welcome!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Further Prayer...

A little more done on the praying knight from Reaper - this is "bright" for me...

There's plenty of work still to be done (I keep spotting bits of blending that need to be improved), but I'm pleased with the solid start I've made.  The grey of the scabbard is not-so-subtly pinched from Jeff at Pirate Viking Painting, who took the Charadon Granite base coat I use for green and added codex grey to it, which works really rather well. 

The green is not based on Charadon Granite (I'm trying this bright malarkey remember?), but followed the scheme I've used on my Eldar Dire Avengers (still numbering only two completed at present):
  • Base:  Catachan Green
  • Shade:  Devlan Mud
  • H1:  Catachan Green
  • H2:  1:1 mix Catachan Green and Camo Green
  • H3:  Camo Green
  • H4:  1:1 mix Camo Green and Dheneb Stone
I like this colour as it's light, without being gaudy (despite using Camo Green).

The yellow is slightly different to my usual Tausept Ochre base and Gryphonne Sepia wash scheme, but to be frank it looks the damned same anyway, and was more effort.  It looks a little flat in the picture (phone camera again), but it looks better in "real life", trust me.
  • Base:  Calthan Brown
  • H1:  2:1 mix Calthan Brown and Tausept Ochre
  • H2:  1:2 mix Calthan Brown and Tausept Ochre
  • H3:  Tausept Ochre
  • H4:  1:1 mix Tausept Ochre and Iyanden Darksun
  • H5:  Iyanden Darksun
  • H6:  1:1 mix Iyanden Darksun and Dheneb Stone
All that for no extra benefit over Breviccus Flavus - rubbish.  Thankfully I've painted all the yellow bits.

In other news, I found out about this WIP skirmish game from Andy Hoare:  

This has really piqued my interest - while I love all the alternative worlds and stuff out there, I've had a real hankering for a proper old-fashioned style fantasy game, something a bit Conan or Red Sonja in feel to it.  I've downloaded the rules, but haven't had a chance to read through them yet.  However I'm already scouring the Reaper and Hasslefree websites to come up with some ideas for a warband or two (or three, four, etc) - I'm going to try and push our gaming group to give it a go (if we can fit it in).

I hopefully should have the Knight done this weekend, then I've got a load of other projects to be cracking on with...

Onwards and upwards (possibly sideways)!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Praying Knight WIP

...and we're back!  The next article for the Ancible is done, so I've got some time to do my own stuff.  These are a couple of WIP shots of a praying knight from Reaper, a nice little sculpt I wanted to practice some metalwork on.  A lot of my miniatures are on the dull/dark side, so I wanted to do something a bit brighter this time. 

With this in mind I wanted the armour to look polished:

  • Base coat:  Boltgun Metal
  • Shade:  A good wash of Badab Black
  • H1:  Boltgun Metal
  • H2:  Chainmail
  • H3:  Mithril Silver
  • H4:  A 1:1 mix of Mithril Silver and White added as a very small edge and point highlight
Nothing ground breaking, but I'm practicing the blending here, which is going quite well.  There are a couple of bits that need work (the visible foot and the sword blade), but other than that I'm pleased with the results.

The gold is equally as straightforward:

  • Base Coat:  Tin Bitz
  • Shade:  Devlan Mud
  • H1:  Tin Bitz
  • H2:  1:1 mix of Tin Bitz and Burnished Gold
  • H3:  Burnished Gold
  • H4:  1:1 mix of Burnished Gold and Mithril Silver
The gold is not that bright, but it looks old and works well with the bright steel of the armour.  Next up is the green and yellow tabard and details, and a grey scabbard.

In other news, the Breviks made a trip to Dartmoor to recharge the batteries, including a visit to Princetown, home of Dartmoor prison and where Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle wrote Hound of the Baskervilles.  Also some walking on the moor:

Some inspiration for basing and terrain - I've bought some Woodlands Scenics "realistic water", so will be trying that out at some point.  :-)

More soon!