Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Wizards! And some progress...

Hello hello!

So, progress has been slow of late. It's partly my fault and partly the fault of the mountain of work I need to get through before the end of term. Got a few essays to write, which requires reading, planning and all sorts of things I didn't need to bother with when I was at school - University is quite a different experience! I have managed to make some progress on the Necron Deathmarks though. Their metal parts, as well as the carapace, are now finished. The aim was to achieve a really clean, solid colour using Dheneb Stone, with a simple edge highlight of white to make it pop. As I've said, these are for a commission and credit for the scheme has to go to Jon - I love the choice of colours and I think they look fantastically appropriate on these robot-skeletons.

The next stage is to clean up the black areas, which are to be highlighted with red, through to orange and white, in the style that is often used for Dark Eldar armour. I love the very alien effect that such a style produces. Next, I will be taking care of the various orbs and lenses dotted around these models. Some of them will be pulsating with electrical energies and some will be painted as sources of light. The plan is to get these finished in the next week or so, but it might be a bit tight what with various deadlines creeping up on me...

Empire Wizards

Aside from current projects I have a few more completed models that I wanted to post up here. These two are Empire Wizards from the Warhammer Fantasy range that I painted a while ago, just for kicks really. They live at Heroes and Legends while I'm away looking down on that bustling world of hobby from their towers... well, cabinet.

I tried my best to achieve a really smooth gradient of dark to light on their cloaks and to just keep the paint-job generally tidy in all areas. For the fire I took my cues from an old Masterclass from White Dwarf, where the 'Eavy Metaller used this effect on Skulltaker. I'd always wanted to try it out and there was plenty of opportunity with this Fire Wizard. For both these models I wanted to paint them in the style of 'Eavy Metal and get them looking as much as possible like the pictures on the box. It's not the same standard of course but I am still fairly happy with these models and I'm proud that they're still on display in the shop.

I was asked recently how I did the stars on the cloak of the Celestial Wizard so I thought I'd just mention it here. Essentially it's quite simple: Using a very thin brush, and a steady hand, make a faint cross shape using a lighter version of the cloak's highlight colour - in this case a bright blue. The trick is to paint the cross 'from the outside in', which is an abstract way of saying that when you finish a line, your brush should finish at the point where the horizontal meets the vertical. Usually this will mean that a small blob will amass in the centre of the cross, which is what you want - this looks a bit like the way a star might glimmer. If you feel your star needs more shine, using the same technique to paint an 'X', centring on the mid-point of the cross will make it look more like those stars you used to see in primary school nativity plays. After doing all this in the same colour, use white to do the same thing again, but much more faintly, allowing some of the colour underneath to show through.

While this wasn't the exact technique I used for the Celestial Wizard, I 'refined' it, if you will, when painting Jon's excellently converted Necron Cryptek.

Anyway, I better get on with some work... Does blogging count as procrastination?


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Some Malifaux Zombies and Current Projects

Hello all,

Two Death Marshals
So it's been a few days since my first post and it's about time I put something else up here for you chaps and chapettes to have a look at. As I've mentioned before I do a good deal of commission painting and this 'Dead Justice' set from the skirmish game Malifaux was one of the first jobs I got through the guys at Heroes and Legends.

I had a lot of fun painting these miniatures, the sculpts were really nice and there's always something darkly humorous about the models that Wyrd produce. I must say however, I had rather a lot of difficulty with a certain zombie who seemed intent on removing the various arrows and spears from his body that were making him into something of a pin-cushion. Honestly, I'm pretty sure every single extremity of this miniature was intent on falling off... Anyway, a lot of super-glue later and I had a model that would actually hold together long enough for me to get some paint on it. Talking of extremities, I was somewhat surprised by the size of Lady Justice's, shall we say, 'weapons'. I'm very much of the opinion that such over-sized additions to female miniatures are somewhat unnecessary and don't do a great deal of good for the way that the war-gaming hobby, or its main players (I mean the companies) are viewed by others. That aside, I realise that Wyrd's approach is often comical and tongue-in-cheek and quibbles like this aren't a serious problem.

Lady Justice and her blade-swinging compadre
As you can see, the three dead Death Marshals are painted predominantly in shades of brown, against which the blue flames of the chap emerging from his casket, and the gore of the fellow having a little snack, contrasted well. All their skin was done in a similar style using mostly Citadel's Rotting Flesh with some shading in purple hues and a highlight up with Bleached Bone. I wanted to keep the colour palette fairly limited in the same way that the guys at Wyrd had painted these models, which limited me to browns, reds and blues, along with the grey of the metal and the coat of the zombie on the far left. I wanted to maintain a realistic level of lighting and kept the overall tone rather darker than the style in which models like this are sometimes painted. As I hope you can see from the above photo, I'm trying to learn that not every fold or crease on the clothing of a miniature need be highlighted, it can just be a little bit too much sometimes. I won't take you all through an exhaustive stage-by-stage painting process as it would be far too long and boring, but if you have any questions about the techniques used please feel free to comment or drop me an e-mail and I'd be more than happy to share what I did with these models.

All three Death Marshals - guess which one caused me the modelling trouble!
The above set of models are the standard to which I paint my commissions for such games as Malifaux, Infinity or other skirmish war-games where the squads are small and the models are somewhat more expensive than your average plastic infantryman for games such as Warhammer. I charge the box-RRP for painting commissions such as these.

Work in Progress
As for my current projects I have a Leman Russ on the painting table, to be added to my (ever so slowly) burgeoning Imperial Guard force. So far I've given it a Catachan Green base-coat, a cursory drybrush and a light wash of Badab Black in the areas that needed more shading. I've picked out the metal areas, which have been washed with black also and the first layer of the mud on the tracks has been painted. There's still a way to go with this girl but hopefully I can have her looking battle-ready soon.
Deathmarks on the desk

For my next commission, I have a squad of Necron Deathmarks to paint for a friend of mine. I have already painted 20 Immortals and a Lord for his army (pictures of which will have to wait I'm afraid as they've not immediately accessible, being around 350 miles away), as well as the Cryptek which I posted a few days ago. These guys will be done in a similar scheme with a few small differences to mark them out from the rest.

Thanks for reading, let's get to work.