Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Before things crank up again with the next article for the Ancible, not to mention the Tale of 3 Painters, I thought I'd sneak in something I've been working on for a bit.  A long time ago my wife asked me to paint the Fellowship of the Ring for her mother.  This has been a long old project - the miniatures are fantastic (as is 99% of stuff related to Tolkein), but I often find GW's LotR range difficult to paint.  I also wanted to match the colours of the outfits in the movie as closely as I possibly could.

Unfortunately, because of how long this project took, I can't remember how I did half of this stuff...

These were painted exclusively with GW's previous range of paints, and I think you could pretty much call out the paints I used on each of them (especially if you had the time to go back through my previous posts).  They show up a little shinier in the pictures than I'd hoped for, but they are pretty matte in "real life"

The tall chaps (not including Gimli who would be better off with the hobbits), are all fairly recent, and I've started to use some of the new range of GW paints, Dryad Bark has come in particularly useful.  I couldn't let go of Charadon Granite for this project though, and it's the base for Aragorn and Legolas.

Last but not least is Gandalf the Grey:

He comes across a little blue in the pictures, but not so much in "real life".  In the films there is a blue tint to his robes and hat, and I did attempt to recreate that.  He is in fact, my third attempt at Gandalf, after the previous metal piece, and the plastic version that came with the LotR boxed set - this one is definitely my best attempt though.

One of the best things about painting miniatures as presents for people is seeing their reaction when they receive them.  My mother-in-law loves them, so I've earned some significant brownie points with the family, and it made me feel good too.  :-)

In other news, I found a solution for the white background issue I mentioned in a previous post:


...so that should do the trick.

I also received a small box in the post this morning - once I'd let the sniffer dog give it the once over and run it through the scanner (just kidding mate), I opened it to find the Watcher and Hoffman ready for the Tale of 3 Painters project from The Dark Templar.  So all things going well I'll get these bad boys started at the weekend!

As always, comments and criticism welcome!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A Tale of 3 Painters… For Charity!

Just a quick one before the Family Brevik head off to Charlton Park for WOMAD.  It’s an exciting one though (for me at least), as I’m getting involved in something pretty damn cool…

3paintersI’ve been invited by The Dark Templar to take part in a Tale of 3 Painters, where himself, myself and Michael Awdry paint up a Malifaux crew to be auctioned off for charity.  For more details, head off to The Dark Templar blog.

This post was brought to you by the wonders of Windows Live Writer, hopefully this will avoid the white text background issue.  Of course, this could mean a whole host of other issues crop up…

So this weekend will be live music, food from around the world, sleeping in tents and probably a little cider (I don’t drink normally, but I might have a pint or two of festival brew), I shall hopefully have a post or two when I return…

Monday, 23 July 2012

Purchases, ad hoc research and more drawings...

It's been a few posts since I've published any pictures of miniatures, sorry about that - the in-laws are in town, so painting time is at a premium at the moment!

I picked these up yesterday from "The Works" (for anyone outside of the UK, this is an outlet book store which also stocks crafty/arty stuff).  I don't know if they carry this stuff in all their stores, as I've only been to the one here in Swindon:

The vintage Space Marine is included for size comparison purposes...

The colour detailers will be great for working on buildings, especially when trying to fill holes or get stonework to join up/mesh.  At £2.99 I thought they were a bit of a steal to be honest.  As you can see the paint is metallic red - I'm not sure how this is going to work out (I've got some ideas for it's use - Vampire armour anyone?), but at £1.99 for that much paint, it's not too much of a gamble really.  I'll be posting my experiments with this paint in the next month or so.

Due to the invasion of the in-laws, this weekend we were in Wales, and visited Brecon on our way home, so for your pleasure, I include a picture of Brecon Castle:

I stayed there about 8 years ago (in the hotel part, not the actual castle part sadly), and it's a very nice place (the breakfast rocked), although it's best to avoid the town in tourist season, or you'll go crazy...

Building Design #2 - The next in my series of dalliances with pencil and squared paper:

I am more than happy for people to use these drawing to construct buildings, just please let me know how you get on with them.  I'm not sure if I'll ever build this one, but it would be nice if someone gave it a go.

A quick question for all of you - if/when you post from the blogger web based post writer, have you had any issues with all the text coming out with a white background if you've copied and pasted it?  It certainly shows up as my blog has a black-based theme, and I have to manually set the text background to black, which has to be done at the end or editing gets tricky.  It's getting very annoying, and I'm considering switching to Windows Live Writer or BlogJet instead.

As always comments and criticism welcome!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Construction begins...

I haven't started casting any blocks yet, but I have started building something, using blocks I acquired from Jez.  This was meant to be a small test piece to see how the blocks glued together, how things worked, etc, but as per usual, it grew into something a bit more interesting (and hopefully useful).

The majority of the blocks are from the Hirst Arts 4" Circular Fieldstone tower mold.  A few of the bits  didn't come out perfectly, with large air bubbles, hence why they hadn't been used, but I've started to fix these with a rounded metal work file.  As this is a ruined building, it actually looks better with holes and battered brick work!  It's mounted on a (now useless) CD, which is just about the right size.  There are a few bits from the larger 6" circular tower (e.g. the right hand arrow slit) which I've sanded down to fit.  Some more work is needed on some of these areas to "line up" the blocks in the walls.  The grey stones are Woodland Scenics coarse ballast, I'll be using more of that stuff to make the broken walls much less regular looking.

From the other side it's no where near as interesting - the structure is going to be used more as a back drop for photographing and displaying miniatures (with them standing inside the ruins), but it will come in useful as a terrain piece if required.   It does go to show how you can just grab a load of bits and throw them together to create something quickly - I still have plenty of work to do, but it's been a blast so far. I'm planning to paint it a grey-brown colour, and have loads of moss growing on it, maybe with some creeping ivy.

The back is most definitely on the mend, so painting should recommence soonish - off up to London this weekend though, so I'll be popping into Dark Sphere to get my hands on more goodies...

As always, comments and criticism welcome!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

And now for something completely different...

Painting has come to a grinding halt as I've managed to hurt my back somehow this weekend - very, very unamused and frustrated (and in lots of pain, I need sympathy dammit!).  Hopefully normal service shall be resumed soon, but in the mean time, here's something a little different

Occasionally I get bored at work - in one period of boredom (waiting for crap to install on a server somewhere), I stumbled across the Hirst Arts website.  Having uncovered the world of Hirst Arts, plaster moulds (or molds) and effectively "grown up Lego" - my "down-time" at work is spent sketching building ideas for battlefields (concentrating on Warhammer Fantasy Battle - Empire at the moment).

I've sepia'd it up a bit to make it look a little cooler:

I'm no Christopher Wren or Norman Foster (Or Christopher Robin or Norman Wisdom for that matter), but I'm having some fun with it, and once I get around to casting up some blocks, I'll have the ground floor built soon.  The upper levels will be mainly foam core and coffee stirrers (sourced from work, Starbucks, Costa and Subway).

If anyone is interested I'll occasionally post more of these drawings up (as I finish them) - please feel free to shout yay or nay...

In case anyone was wondering, I do have some previous form for building stuff, only in a digital 3D environment.  If anyone played Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (a free multiplayer FPS game spun off Return to Castle Wolfenstein) back in the day, they may have enjoyed (or been haunted by) the map Braundorf.  

Seven years ago (I can't believe it's been that long), I got this map from inception to Beta 4 version (with the feedback from some very good people), at which point it got used a couple of times in the Enemy Territory tournament at QuakeCon (I think it was used in ClanBase too).  Somebody else got it to a final version, but I have no idea if anyone plays it anymore.

The download link is still there on RTCW files:

I also contributed a little bit to La Rochelle with the talented Ifurita (who is also a miniature painter and wargamer), and my Night Watch clan mates blushing_bride (Architectural genius) and Leifhv (Morten Harket impersonator extraordinaire and makes a damn fine map too) also created some fantastic maps for the game.  Unlike the miniature painting world, where people are generally supportive and criticism is constructive, the game mapping world was like putting your head above the parapet while wearing a pink rabbit head in WW1 - the criticism and comments could be brutal and a fair few people gave it up because it wasn't worth the abuse.

Mapping for a computer game is hard - while being relatively successful with Braundorf, I had several aborted attempts that never made it to an Alpha version.  I have the utmost respect for anyone who does that as either a hobby or a living - miniature painting is a breeze in comparison.  :-)

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Ancible Issue 16

I'm not dead, I've just been busy - and to prove it, issue 16 of the Ancible has been published (and a week early too).

Back to a painting article for me this time, having a go at a Vampire boxed set for Empire of the Dead -  and I managed to throw in a few thoughts about the new GW paint range.  I played EotD at our weekly gaming session this week, and it's a lot of fun - my Vampires and retainers (and bat swarms) went up against Mr B's London Bobbies (a Gentleman's Club faction in new clothes) in a sewer network.  The rules are simple to learn and fast flowing - but best to read Jez's review of the rule-set in the magazine (I'm just the paint jockey).

In other news, I haven't done much painting beyond the stuff for the article, but I have stupidly added Mr B's coppers to the list of projects (I'm not smart), so there will be pictures of the boys in blue in the future.  The in-laws are over, and they brought me some lovely Hirst Art molds, so I'll be working on some buildings for terrain soon too.

Plus there's a load of other stuff going on that I can barely keep track of...

As always, comments and criticism welcome!