Sunday, 23 September 2012

Dark Vengeance: Cultists Set 1

So having finished off a couple of miniatures that I've had on the go for a while, I rewarded myself with some miniatures from the Dark Vengeance box set.  The temptation was to start with one of the character models, but that would have been spoiling myself, so I went for five of the cultist/traitor guard models.  This might amaze you to read, but I actually batch painted them!  Well not quite, I base coated and shaded them all at the same time, but when it came to highlighting and detailing, I did them one at a time - so not quite batch painting, but nearly...

I wanted to do these quickly (for me), so the paint jobs are a little more rough and ready than my usual work, but I'm still really pleased with the way they came out.  They are a bit drab looking, but as they're meant to be Nurgle cultists, it didn't didn't feel right painting them bright colours.

I'm a big fan of these models, loads of character and all quite nasty looking - when reading the Gaunts Ghosts novels, this is what I imagined the "Enemy" looked like.  The quality of the models is really impressive for snap-fit pieces, and there's not too much "stretching" of elements to make it work as a two piece miniature.  I've gone for a Nurgle style scheme, to fit in with my Lords of the Flies Chaos Marines that I painted years ago, so plenty of greens and browns.

My favourite model so far is this chap:

He looks like some some heavy built Forge worker or mechanic, I love the apron, the tools hanging off the back pack and the enormous Heavy Stubber.  The leather is my new favourite method - Dryad Bark, shaded with Agrax EarthShade and highlighted with Dryad Bark and Snakebite leather.  Highlighting was only a 2-3 stage process, keeping it quick and simple.  The skin was a base of P3 Beast Hide, washed with Earthshade, and highlighted with Beast Hide and then Rakarth Flesh.

The rest of the guys aren't quite as great as "Heavy Stubber Mechanic Man" but they're still nice sculpts and were a breeze to paint:

The green was a basecoat of P3 Cryx Base, shaded with the Earthshade, and dry-brushed with Catachan Green and Death World Forest, with a little Ogryn Camo in places.  The guns were Stormvermin Fur, washed with Nuln Oil, dry-brushed with Leadbelcher and Chainmail.  The wrappings were even quicker, Zandri Dust washed with EarthShade and highlighted with Zandri Dust again.

The bottom two cultists had Chaos stars branded on their shoulders, I washed these with Catachan Green, and then painted them in with Death World Forest and highlighted with Ogryn Camo.  I used the same effect to do a little OSL around eyepieces - not strictly "realistic", but it looks cool - especially on the odd bird like mask:

The great thing about this colour scheme, was that I could base coat everything and then wash it all at the same time - certainly cut down on the painting time!  I don't usually enjoy batch painting at all, but these were really fun to paint, and as long as I vary it up a bit, I reckon I can get all the cultists done in a couple of weeks - which is pretty damn quick for me...

So with these 5 done, it's on to some more half-finished stuff before I do 5 of the close-combat weapon armed cultists.

As always, comments and criticism welcome!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Next up on my "miniatures that needed finishing" list is Valaska Syn from Hasslefree miniatures.

 ...and I'm not sure she works...

The model itself is nice, and I wanted to veer away from the rather obvious purple/pink and black Slaaneshi look and go for a more no-nonsense butcher type character - still evil and nasty, just without quite so much of the kinky bondage feel.  If you've seen the rather ropey/awesome "Legend of the Seeker" TV series, I was aiming for a Mord Sith look, without the...ahem..."truncheon" shock weapon thing (seriously, that was just...wrong).  Thinking about it, maybe that wasn't the best idea if I was trying to get away from the kinky bondage look...

Of course this "no kinky bondage" idea all falls apart when you see the rear (pun very much intended) of the model and it's all hanging out.  I'm no prude by any stretch of the imagination, but this felt a bit unnecessary, and actually detracted from the feel of the model, rather than adding to it.  Maybe I should have sculpted some extra skirt (Mrs Walker suggested that this evening after I'd painted her). She's still pretty tame in comparison to some of the stuff from Kabuki and Kingdom Death though, and at least she's wearing underwear...

The gold works well (base of Dryad Bark, highlighted with increasing amounts of Burnished Gold mixed in, and then some Mithril Silver to finish off), and I think the boots look pretty damn good (if bloody uncomfortable to wear I would imagine).  The leather was Dryad Bark, shaded with Agrax Earthshade, highlighted with Mournfang Brown, and then some Deathclaw Brown.  It kind of works, but I'm not sure - I don't think it has enough "Oomph" in it, and maybe could have done with more of a red hue to it.

I wanted the skin to be really, really pale, a "cosmetic" mark of Chaos.  It's based with Rakarth Flesh, then shaded with Gryphonne Sepia.  To be honest I wiped out most of the wash in the end as it was too dark, over-painting it with the base coat and then building up the highlights with more and more white (Ceramite White still doing the business), until a pure white highlight.

The Axe blade was based with Charadon Granite (yeah I know) and washed with Agrax Earthshade, then drybrushed with Boltgun Metal, Chainmail, Mithril Silver and then Silver with some white mixed in.  I then glazed the pockmarked areas with the new red glaze and some Agrax Earthshade, and highlighted again.  I like the blood red hue this gives the axe, hinting at something malevolent within the weapon.

So what does everyone think?  I'm fairly happy with the way she looks, I just think she could have been so much more striking, and I missed somehow.

As always, comments and criticism welcome?

Sunday, 16 September 2012


The Tale of 3 Painters is over, and my article for the Ancible has been published, so what next?  Finishing up all the little finished miniatures on my painting desk is what, before I start on the Dark vengeance boxed set.

First up is a Confrontation miniature (originally started a long time ago) - you'll have to forgive me my ignorance of the Confrontation fluff, but this chap is known as (an) Ashkasa as far as I can tell - he looks like an elf.  He has a couple of "hook" bits missing, the spike on his back in particular, which is a bit of a shame, but I think he still looks good.

I tried to keep to roughly the standard paint scheme for him, the blue is a base coat of Necron Abyss, highlighted with increasing amounts of Fenris Grey.  The gold is a base of Dryad Bark, highlighted with increasing amounts of Burnished Gold, and then Mithril Silver.  This seems to work really well, and could become my new method of doing gold.

The "skirt" and sleeves is a base of Zandri Dust, shaded with Agrax Earthshade, then highlighted with the base colour, plus Karak Stone and then some white mixed in.  The leather bits were Dryad Bark, highlighted with increasing amounts of Snakebite Leather.  I've used the new Balor Brown on other miniatures (see my latest article), but it's no substitute for Snakebite - thankfully I think I've found a proper alternative, Vallejo Leather Brown, so will be ordering some of that soon.

I reworked the face too, using Rakarth Flesh and White to smooth out the transitions between light and shadow, and then I redid the eyes.  The hair was also highlighted better to improve the contrast.  

To be honest, I'm kind of glad he's finished.  He wasn't actually a lot of fun to paint, and if I did him again I'd probably choose a completely different colour scheme.  He's certainly nicely sculpted, and the end result is something I'm happy with, but he was just very, very fiddly, and required a crap-load of concentration.  I've learned a bit from painting him though, so it's all good in the end.

Next up on the conveyor belt of half finished stuff is this young lady (a bit naughty), the original Commissar Yarrick and something from Reaper, with maybe a Bushido Dragon thrown in for good measure.

As always, comments and criticism welcome!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Ancible Issue 17

It's that time again...

As always, loads of good stuff

  • Mercs
  • Freeblades
  • Painting Infinity Miniatures
  • More thoughts on Empire of the Dead
  • Tale of Three Painters

Yep, the Tale of 3 Painters makes it to the Ancible, for a little more exposure...

I'll be back to blogging again soon, I've finally got around to finishing the Confrontation miniature I started a year ago!

As always comments and criticism welcome!