Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Dark Vengeance Chosen and Other Animals

The bulkhead door crumples with the first impact, the second blow sends the door flying across the room and it clatters against the back wall.  The monstrosity that fills the doorway terrifies the guardsmen manning the hastily constructed barricade.  It is huge, bigger than any normal man, armour plates of putrid green and bleached bone, foul symbols hanging on chains from its armour.  The corrupted warrior screeches, a high pitched wail of static, and the face in its left shoulder pad starts to gibber uncontrollably.

"You will all die tonight little fleshlings, more souls for the great father, more souls!"

The unnatural voice stuns the guardsmen into action and they open fire.  Las rounds burn the air  between them and their enemy, but nothing breaks through the corrupted armour.  It raises a bolt pistol and fires, and a guardsman's chest explodes, spattering gore over his comrades.  The invader strides forward. and a second shot removes another man's head.  It is at the barricade now, and a blow from its glowing left fist punches a hole through the flimsy piles of furniture.  As it forces its way through, one of the defenders is backhanded across the room, his skull and ribcage smashed.

There are only two defenders left.

"Run!" Shouts one.  "Get everyone out, we cannot hold!"

His shouts attract the attention of their enemy, and the guardsman is face to face with this vision of hell.  Too close to fire, he swings his las-rifle like a club, but it is futile, and the powerful left hand envelopes his helmeted head and crushes his skull.

The last remaining guardsman runs...

The first of my Dark Vengeance Chosen is finished, and finally spray varnished to a finish I'm actually happy with!

The first colour I put on the miniature was the bone - I figured it was easier to do this than do the green first, as there was so much fiddly detail, that base-coating the bone, would end up with some slippage into the green areas.  It started with a base of Zandri Dust, washed with Agrax Earthshade.  The highlights were then more of the base coat, Karak Stone and finally some Dheneb Stone (I really need to find a replacement for this).  I could have added some white to this, but I didn't want to go too light - it's probably a little too bright  for Nurgle as it is, but it looks good so I'm sticking with it.

The green was based with P3 Cryx Base, which was dark enough not to need a wash.  Originally I highlighted this with Catachan Green, Deathworld Forest and Ogryn Camo - but the green was too dull in comparison to the Bikers, so I went back and added in Camo Green to brighten things up a bit.  The brown is done the same way as on the Cultists.  The pipes, eyes and details are based with the new Balor Brown (which is a poor replacement for Tausept Ochre in my opinion), washed with Sepia and highlighted with the base and Iyanden Darksun.

The powerfist is one of my favourite parts of the miniature - I used the same colours as for the rest of the green, but added a lot more Ogryn Camo to the top "edges" of the crazy paving effect.  I'm thinking about having a little bit of this pattern on all of the Chosen, just to tie them all together.

I'm a big fan of the faces sculpted into the armour too - I like the thought of this one gibbering away, hurling insults and expletives at the enemy.  The tongue is highlighted with the old Scab Red and the new Screamer Pink, which works quite nicely over a dark brown base.

With Chosen number one finished, it's back to the Cultists.  I'm working on a group of 5 of the close combat squad, but before I start batch painting them (if I can bear it), I thought I'd do a test model first to make sure I like the colour scheme.  I wanted to do something to distinguish them from the rifle armed squad, but still keep them tied together.

Although red isn't strictly a Nurgle colour, it does feature quite heavily on one of the covers of the Realm of Chaos books (obviously the one with Nurgle in it), so I thought I'd give it a try. It's just dark brown, with a layer or two of Scab Red, then Scab Red and Snakebite Leather.  One plus point is that he didn't take too long to paint - just as well, as there's one chap who's 50% skin, who probably will take a while to paint...

He works alongside our new Chosen Marine too:

More of these ugly scum soon hopefully.

In other news, I still have a few of the "half-finished" on the go - I've actually made some good progress on Commissar Yarrick, with only a couple of colours left to do:

He's coming along nicely, although I still have some work to do on the red of the power claw.  I'm particularly pleased with the Ork skeleton on the gun and the sash.  I'm also working on another of the Imperial advisors:

The metal work is pretty much done, I just need to decide on a uniform colour.  Last but not least I'm still struggling with the Bushido Dragon:

No idea what the problem with this miniature is, as it's a lovely looking creature, I just can't stand painting it.  There is a lot of yellow to do, but that's not usually been a problem.  Hopefully posting it up here will give me the incentive to crack on with it...

...and that's all folks!  I've started my next article for the Ancible, so that will be taking up some time too.  I also solemnly promise to comment on other people's blogs more - I really appreciate all the comments you guys make, and I have been very rude in not extending to you all the same courtesy - I am going to make this right.

As always comments and criticism welcome!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Scholarly Militiamen

OK, you can label me a Lead Adventures miniatures fan-boy.  Their miniatures are full of character, beautifully sculpted and bucket-loads of fun to paint.  Having painted a few miniatures that have felt more like a chore recently, it was a real pleasure to work on these two.

These chaps are "Scholars" from the Bruegelburg militia range, and I reckon they are perfect for a Warhammer Empire army, or a Mordheim Witch-hunters warband (which is a little plan I have going around in my head at the moment).  The quality of the miniatures is first rate - well detailed, and lots of nice touches, like the book under the arm, and the mis-matched pieces of armour.  Flash and mould lines were at a minimum too, so neither miniature required too much clean up work.

The bearded chap is painted in the colours of Ostermark, as a nod to the first Warhammer Fantasy Battle regiment I painted, back when I was about 13!  The yellow is painted using my favourite method, and the metal bits are pretty much the standard way of doing things.  The purple was a little different to how I normally do it - I basecoated the areas with Hormagaunt Purple, washed with Leviathan Purple, then highlighted up adding more and more Astronomican Grey to the purple.  This looked a bit too grey when finished, so I glazed it with Liche Purple and got it much closer to the colour I was aiming for - result!

For old beardy's friend, I went for the colours of Stirland (my second Fantasy Regiment).  The green is a base of Catachan Green, shaded with Agrax Earthshade and highlighted with the base, through Deathworld Forest and then a little Ogryn Camo to finish off.  It's a dull green, and may be a little flat in hindsight, but it works well with the yellow.

...and that's about all I need to say about them - aside from I've got my eye on a few of their other miniatures, so expect to see more Lead Adventure stuff in the future.

As always, comments and criticism welcome!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Boris the Executioner

After the serious nature of my last post (thank you for the comments everyone, much appreciated, there's likely to be a similarly themed post in the future, and how miniature painting helps), it's back to miniatures again.

Is it just me (and the guys at Reaper and Heresy) or is Boris a really appropriate name for a fantasy warrior?  This chap is "Boris the Black" from Reaper, he's another from my half-finished list, and he's been sat around for a long time.

To be honest he wasn't the most fun miniature to paint for some reason, and in the end I just wanted to get him finished and out of the way.  The black armour is my current usual method, without the final black wash, as I was happy enough with the way it looked.  The horn on the shoulder pad worked nicely, but the horns on the knee-pads look a bit flat, and I'm tempted to wash them with Devlan Mud to tone them down and shade them.

I'm really pleased with the axe-blade - at one point, after shading and highlighting, it also looked flat so I went back to it, and using Dryad Bark and Black, I painted in some more shading - kind of like how it's done with non-metallic metals, and it now looks much better (shout if you don't think it looks right...).

The cloak lets the miniature down in my opinion and I think I'm going to try some sort of subtle freehand on it to liven things up, it doesn't help that I can't get the spray varnish (Testor's or Tamiya) dry matt on it, so it's hard to see the shade and highlight contrast.  It was a base of P3's Cryx Base, highlighted up with Catachan Green and Deathworld Forest, then washed with Agrax Earthshade - I think it could have done with a reapplication of the highlights afterward.

So a request from me to you the readers - any suggestions on what would work well as a freehand motif on the back of the cloak?  I'd like to keep it subtle, so I'm thinking along the lines of something in black, dark brown or dark red, or possibly a lighter green - what do you think suggest?

The skin I'm actually pleased with - it's a base of P3's Beast Hide, washed with Ogryn Flesh.  The highlights are then built up through the base to a final highlight of P3's Ryn Flesh.  To add in a little colour and variation, I carefully applied some Leviathan Purple to some of the recesses on the face and to the scars/veins on the arms.

He looks good with Valaska Syn, so I think this maybe the start of a new warband (for what, I don't know yet), a group of selfish, rather nasty mercenaries, with some slightly evil/chaotic tendancies.

As always, comments and criticism welcome!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Mental Health...

Nothing painting related in this post, I'm afraid.  However, it felt important to highlight that today is World Mental Health day.  Sufferers of mental illness often find it difficult to explain to others how it feels, and it can seem that outwardly there's nothing wrong with them.  It's a horrible, crappy set of illnesses that wipes you out and screws with your mind, and it hurts the people around you as well.  It smashes your confidence and self belief and stops you functioning as a regular human being.  

So today, spare a thought for those who are struggling, and if you know someone who is suffering, give them a big grin, or a high five, or a hug and let them know you care.  Remember...

Friday, 5 October 2012

Lords of the Flies

After buying the Dark Vengeance boxed set I did a fair bit of ummming and ahhhing about the colour scheme for the Chaos force.  In an earlier post I had settled on making them Word Bearers, with the Cultists following different gods, the autogun armed bunch being Nurgle worshippers, and the close combat ones slaughtering for Khorne.

Then I looked at my 500 points worth of Lords of the Flies marines I did for a GW store painting competition a few years back and thought "Why don't I just expand this army instead?".  So we're back to Nurgle colours, which to be honest are my favourite colours to paint anyway.  The original force consisted of:
  • Chaos Sorceror
  • 7 Chaos Space Marines, 1 x Flamer, Aspiring Champion with Chainsword
  • 7 Chaos Space Marines, 1 x Meltagun, Aspiring Champion with Power sword
  • 3 Bikers
I have no idea how much this costs out as now, I'll pick up the new Codex this week hopefully and work out a new army list using the original force bulked out with the new Dark Vengeance stuff.  The Bikers have never made an appearance on the net, so they deserve a little of the spotlight:

From what I remember these bad boys were an absolute pain in the posterior to paint, they just weren't much fun (which doesn't bode well for the Ravenwing).

The green I think was Catachan Green washed with Devlan Mud and highlighted with Catachan and Camo Green.  The bone colour was Khemri Brown, shaded with Devlan Mud, highlighted with Khemri Brown and Dheneb Stone.  The brown was Scorched Brown, again washed with Devlan Mud and highlighted with Scorched Brown, Bestial Brown and Snakebite Leather.

They fit in reasonably well with the new cultists I've done, although I think it does go to show that I've progressed technique wise a fair bit in these few years.  I'm not sure whether to go back and do the classic brown base trim on the cultists, or redo the old stuff with a black trim - the brown is Graveyard Earth, which I very much doubt I'll be able to get any more of.  

The first of the Chosen marines is 60% done, so hopefully should have some pictures of him, and 5 more cultists up soon.

As always comments and criticism welcome!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Warning shot in the head sir?

It's been a while since my last post, so to get back in the swing of things I'll introduce to you a certain Balthazar Weiss, the Arch-Militant of the good (bad) ship "Siegfried and Roy", last seen stood atop a transport vehicle, blasting away at another Rogue Trader's foot soldiers with his hellgun, while the rest of his merry band were busy falling over each other trying to pick up a "relic".

Balthazar likes to fade into the background, follows orders, prefers others to do the talking, and quietly and efficiently cleans up when others make a mess.  Due to a rather good characteristic roll at character generation time, plus weapon specialisation and some helpful equipment, Mr Weiss has an insanely high Ballistic Skill, which makes him very effective in a firefight.  Our glorious leader is a decadent, spontaneous nut job, who jumps in first and thinks afterwards, so this skill is going to come in very handy...

Miniature wise, he's not the best paint job in the world, but I wanted him done quickly and went for neat and tidy.  Unfortunately the model is quite a bad cast with plenty of rough areas that needed cleaning up, and in some cases, make the best of a bad job.  There's very little in the way of conversion, save for removing the Imperial eagles from his armour and equipment.  While he's a loyal citizen of the Imperium, he'll frequently have to go where Imperial Law is not welcome, so the eagles had to go.  The base is from Model Display Products, and he's positioned on it to look like he's going up a step

The dark grey of the armour was Vallejo German Grey, Highlighted with Adeptus Battlegrey and Codex Grey, washed with very watered down black paint, and then re-highlighted in places with the Battlegrey.  I think this works OK, although it does look a little flat, but it fits in with the stay-in-the-shadows, no-nonsense character that he is.  The green cables are a base of P3 Cryx Base, washed with Agrax Earthshade, then highlighted with Catachan Green and Deathworld Forest.

The leather is a base of Dryad Bark, washed again with the Earthshade and highlighted with the the base colour and increasing amounts of Graveyard Earth.  The metal is equally simple, Leabelcher, shaded with Nuln Oil, and then highlighted with Chainmail.

In this picture you can see one of the casting issues that I couldn't fix, on the top of the hellgun - I didn't want to damage the rest of the model trying to fix that, so it had to stay as it is.  To be fair it's more noticeable in this picture than it is when seeing the model with the naked eye.

The off-white of the trousers and shirt is painted using the House-guards method.  I started with a base of Khemri Brown, highlighted with increasing amounts of Karak Stone and then white - it's a bit patchy in places on the trousers, and suffers from me breaking my own rule about laying down a solid base coat, but the sleeves turned out nicely.  The base is done in the same way as I did for the Seneschal, with the addition of a glaze of Gryphonne Sepia to tone everything down, as I thought the Seneschal's base was a bit too in-your-face and drew attention away from the miniature.

So the Siegfried and Roy has its second character painted, and another of my half finished collection on my painting desk is completed.  Like I said at the start, it's not the best paint job in the world, but it's effective and it was quick to do, and he does look the part.  Just in case you were wondering about the post title, it's kind of become Balthazar's catchphrase...

As always, comments and criticism welcome!