Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Necron Annihilation and Command Barges

Hello again, I think it's time for another update.

So my Necron-collecting friend has sent another commission my way, and this is a big one. At the moment I have in front of me two Annihilation Barges and one Command Barge, with another barge of some sort to be built in due time. They are all to be painted in the same scheme as his Deathmarks, which means a lot of time will be taken up by painting layers and layers of Dheneb Stone to get a smooth finish. The Command Barge on the left is to be repainted slightly to match the style that my friend has now decided on.

The Necron Overlord actually painted up a Command Barge himself so I would have something of a template to go by, and it's very pretty indeed!

Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures, but I'm away from home and the light-tent I have set up there. I'm in Nottingham for the week and trying to make as much progress as I can with these guys, getting in a bit of painting here and there whenever my girlfriend's at lectures. I've got a bit of time over the coming days to pop into Warhammer World too, which should be quite exciting. I love the Miniatures Hall there - having some many beautiful models in one place is quite impressive! I might see if I can get to try out some of the new range of Citadel Paints. I must say I am most intrigued as to whether they will actually be an improvement. I suppose we'll see in due course.

Thanks for reading! See you all soon.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Malifaux Nightmare Teddy!

I've spent the last few days working on a model that has been sitting, primed and ready to be painted, for a long time. I'd completely forgotten about it until I got back home from Durham and in the midst of a whirlwind of brushes and paint I somehow seem to have finished Malifaux's Nightmare Teddy. Scary!

I forgot to include some standard 28mm models in the pictures for size-comparison, but take my word for it, this Teddy is BIG. Accordingly, I grabbed a nice big brush and applied a base-coat of Chaos Black and Scorched brown to his fur. From that I drybrushed Scorched Brown, progressing up to Bestial Brown and finally finishing with Snakebite Leather. The fur was relatively easy, I just tried to concentrate the lightest layers on the areas that would naturally receive the most light.

When the fur was done I started with a Vomit Brown base on the teeth, the bow-tie and the claws. I predominantly used Golden Yellow for the bow-tie, to which I added Bleached Bone for the final highlights. The teeth were given a fairly solid layer of Bleached Bone, leaving just a little bit of Vomit Brown around the edges, they were then given a very thin layer of Skull White on the parts of the teeth that stood out most. The claws were first given a wash of Devlan Mud - I wanted them to look a bit darker than the teeth - and then a layer of Snakebite Leather, concentrating on the ridges that would catch the light. Using a 1:1 layer of Snakebite and Bleached Bone I further picked out these ridges before finishing with a very thin line of pure Bleached Bone.

The slightly supernatural purple on his gums, ears and insides was painted with Liche Purple and gradually highlighted with layers that added Tentacle Pink and Fortress Grey. His nose was painted Dark Flesh and highlighted by adding gradually increasing amounts of Bleached Bone. The base was just painted grey to keep it nice and simply, before some tufts of Army Painter static grass were stuck on - this stuff is really nice by the way, it's the easiest-to-use and best-looking grass on the market.

I saved the boy till last and applied a base-coat of Mechrite Red to his shirt and Fenris Grey to his shorts. The shirt was done with layers that added increasing amounts of Blood Red, before adding in some Blazing Orange and Dwarf Flesh. I find that this combination is the best way to highlight reds - it doesn't look too orange, but doesn't go too pink either. The shorts (which I seem not to have captured - whoops.) were nice and easy, just layers of Fenris Grey mixed with Space Wolves Grey, gradually increasing the latter as the highlights get finer. His shoes were painted Scorched Brown and highlighted to Snakebite Leather.

Oh and one more thing, just to make him look a little bit more scary? BLOOD! I tried not to go overboard and just painted it round the bottom of his teeth (as if he'd just licked them clean) and a little dribble onto his torso. Blood was also applied to the wound on his left-hand side. A 2:1 mix of Tamiya Clear Red Ink and Scab Red gave me a really nice, slightly glossy and thick, mixture that I find looks quite realistic.

I left the Teddy to haunt one of the cabinets Heroes and Legends where he will live for a little while. Next on the list of things to do is another commission for my Necron-loving friend, this time it's four Command Barges, two of which have super big cannons on them (yeah that's the technical term, I looked it up). I'll put some progress shots up soon, these will probably take a bit of time!

Thanks for reading, I look forward to your comments and criticisms. Happy painting!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Trollkin Champion Update and Haqqislam from Infinity

So! It's been a busy few days for me. I travelled home from Durham on Friday on a surprisingly smooth, and, even more surprisingly, on-time, train journey. There's been a lot of packing and unpacking, a lot of washing and clearing away but I'm more-or-less settled in now and happy to be home. Family occasions and visits have meant I haven't had a great deal of time to paint recently, but there are some things to show you...

To start with, there is some progress on the Trollkin Champions. First, they've all had their bases painted (don't worry, they'll look more interesting when the grass and snow is added). Secondly, their armour is now pretty much done. After I got a look I was happy with on my test model I applied the same techniques to the others and I'm quite happy with the dirty, rusty look I think I've achieved.

Now, I've also been working on the test model, who is a little way ahead of the rest. This guy has had the brass/gold bits of his weapons completed as well as his skin. I'm happy with the gold and this will be the next thing to be applied to the other four Champions. The skin was a little (read: a lot) harder because I was ambitious (read: stupid) enough to attempt some two-brush blending...

Yeah, it was harder than those videos made it look. It's a very difficult technique - a combination of getting the right paint consistency and then applying just the right amount of water to it in order to blend it into the layer underneath. I started with a solid layer of Trollblood Base, which I then darkened by mixing it with some Midnight Blue and painting this into the recesses. That's where things got a bit messy. In trying to use the wet brush to blend the shade into the mid-tone I ended up making it into something of a wash... Which was not my intention at all.

So I had a bit of cleaning up to do before I attempted to highlight the skin. This I did in three stages. The first layer was something like a 2:1 mix of Trollblood Base and Trollblood Highlight, the second was a 1:2 mix and the last layer, applied only to the very highest bits was pure Trollblood Highlight. Finally I painted on a very thinned-down glaze of Hormagaunt Purple Wash mixed with some Scab Red on to the knuckles, to suggest some bruising and natural colouration. I'm not too appalled by it, it is a first attempt after all, but I'd really appreciate hearing what you guys think of the skin.

I'm going to keep working at my test model in order to figure out my 'paint-recipes' for the Trollblood force. I'm still no wiser on to colours I'd like to use on their tartans... I'm think about just going for a green base with stripes in red and perhaps another colour at the moment. Has anyone got any suggestions? What would work and, more importantly, contrast well in this colour-scheme?

Finally, just another little thing to show you all here. This is the first model I have painted for a small Haqqislam skirmish group for the table-top war-game called Infinity. I have six more to paint before I have a little force that I can feasibly have some games with, so you'll hopefully see some progress on those in the future. I tried out a bit of non-metallic metal on this guy, just on the metal parts of the gun. It's not great but it's something I'd never tried before and something that I want to use my Infinity models to work on. I really like the desert-camo style and I chose these guys mainly for the painting-variety that they would offer me.

See you all soon and, as always, thanks for reading. As it's Mothers' Day, I'll leave you all with this:

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

An Invaluable Addition - The Ottlite

Look what arrived today!

Oh yes ladies and gentlemen, it's my very own 13W Ottlite Task Lamp which was delivered this afternoon. Firstly I can't emphasise how much I already love this thing. I'm not sure how I've managed so long without one. Seriously, I've got images in my head of me and my Ottlite running towards each other in slow-motion, across a big flowery meadow to the sound of 'Is This Love?' by Whitesnake.

Okay but seriously, this thing is fantastic. It looks a bit funky, yes, but acceptably so in my opinion. It seems sturdy, and certainly something I wouldn't mind stuffing in my suitcase if I'm going travelling anywhere. Which reminds me: it came with a European Travel Adapter! Perhaps not the most exciting thing on the surface of it... BUT, I travel to Holland quite often to see my family over there and those damn adapters always seem to go missing somehow... Quite chuffed I have actually managed to find one. Well... buy, I suppose.

I haven't even talked about using it yet. Basically, it's phenomenal. I've never realised how much difference it actually makes when you paint under a daylight bulb. First of all, colours are so much more vivid. You see them as you would see them if you looked at your model on a nice, sunny day (we do get a few! Don't be so cynical...). Secondly, I'm seeing things on the model so much more clearly. I know very little about the workings of lamps - I wasn't interested in Physics - but I'm surprised by how bright this lamp actually is, and it's only 13 Watts. I haven't had a chance to paint for an extended period of time today, so I can't comment on how it affects my eyes over a long period of time, but when I did paint my eyes felt comfortable. Wait, can eyes feel comfortable? I don't know... But that's how they felt. Like they weren't straining to see, like they had to make no effort.

Negatives? None I can think of really... It emits a VERY quiet hum when you have it on, but it's nothing worse than the hum a laptop emits when running. In fact, it's rather a lot less.

Oh, and the coolest thing about it? It doesn't have an on/off switch. To turn it on you just lift it up. And that's magic as far as I'm concerned.

A great man once said, "I love lamp."

I finally see what he means.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Blue Fellas

Now that the Deathmarks are done I've got a little bit of time to work on one of my own hobby projects. Warmachine and Hordes have really been taking off amongst the hobbyists at Heroes and Legends and I've wanted to get involved for a long time. I've been told, and I have seen (I had a demo game with one of the Legends), that it's a fantastically tactical and fun game with some really nice models. The armies are all so full of character it was hard to choose one to start with. In the end, I settled with blue-skinned, Scottish-inspired rabble-rousers, the Trollbloods.

I was particularly inspired (read: amused) by that enemy of all things sober, Borka Kegslayer. As you can guess by his name, he likes a good drink almost as much as he likes a good brawl. I thought he'd be a really fun character to base an army around.

The first thing I knew I wanted in a Trollblood army were some Trollkin Champions. In game terms these guys are HARD.

The Champions in progress
I bought these boys a while ago and they've been glued together for ages - I just hadn't managed to get round to painting them yet. A quick base-coat of Chaos Black and these guys were ready to have some paint applied. I grabbed by trusty drybrush, whacked out some P3 Cold Steel and painted all the metal parts of their armour (of which there is A LOT). I want their armour to look really rusty and battle-worn, to which end I followed the layer of Cold Steel with a very watered-down wash of Bestial Brown. It still looked a little bit too bright to me, so I followed that with a wash of Badab Black mixed with Scorched Brown (very watered-down again), but only into the recesses. Finally I went over some of the raised areas again with a thin layer of Cold Steel. 
I'm relatively happy with the result but I'm unsure of how it will look on the model as a whole when it is completed. Because of this I've decided to paint up this chap on the right as a sort of a test before I complete the others, just to make sure I know I'm on the right track.

Their skin will be painted in the manner typical of Trollbloods and I'll be attempting some two-brush blending on these guys, which I've never tried before. Using tutorial videos found here and here to help me along I'm just going to give it my best shot. As of yet I am undecided on how to paint their tartans. The plan is to get the rest of the model painted (skin, leathers, base and brass) to get an idea of what sort of colours would work well. At the moment I'm leaning towards a snowy base, perhaps with some foliage, but we'll see how it looks when I get to that stage. All in all I'm really rather excited to be painting models that are so different to anything I've done before.

In other news, I've bought myself a daylight-bulb, portable desk lamp from Ott-Lite and it should be arriving in the post sometime this week. I've read positive reviews, particularly here, and I think both my eyes and my painting would benefit from some Vitamin D. 

That's all for today folks, stay tuned to see how I get on with the Trollbloods and my new gadget. Comments and criticisms are appreciated as always.

Au revoir!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Necron Deathmarks - Done!

Definitely time for another update.

I've grabbed a hold of my friend's camera to take a couple of pictures of the, now finished, Necron Deathmarks. Progress has been slow of late, due to a bit of a pile-up in the essay department. It's getting near the end of term here at Durham and I've somehow managed to leave all my work till the last minute as per usual... Never seem to learn from my mistakes... 

But. They are finished! Hurrah!

Since last time I updated the blog I cleaned up the black areas with a coat of Chaos Black and I got started on the various bits of lighting and highlighting that are so important on these models. Inspired by the way I've seen them painted over on sites like coolminiornot and by the guys on the 'Eavy Metal team, I wanted to try and capture the idea of a glow coming from within the guns, without straying into the realm of object source lighting. That's a can of worms I don't want to open just yet!

So the original plan was to highlight their shoulder pads up to a white on the very edges, which I did on one model, before deciding against it. I'm not sure what changed my mind, I just thought it looked a little bit too bright... I wanted to keep the pads looking dark - a sort of mysterious, alien obsidian. To this end I highlighted them Scab Red, then Blood Red, Fiery Orange (just on the very edges and corners) and finally gave them a very watered down wash of Tamiya Clear Red ink. This last stage helped to mute the orange somewhat, and blend all the layers together. It has also resulted in a bit of a gloss finish that I think helps suggest the alien obsidian look I was going for.

To differ the hues of red (if only very slightly) I used some fleshy tones for the parts of their guns that give off light, before slapping some Skull White on to really get them looking a bit brighter. I tried my best to get a nice effect, but I suppose only you can be the judge of that. 

I'm quite happy with the finished result, and I can only hope that my client will be too.

I'm definitely glad to have got these guys done, despite having had a rather busy few weeks. It should quieten down towards the end of next week, deadlines will have been met and the pressure will be off. At least, until exams. 
Oh joy. 

Anyway, there's another project on my painting desk now, but more on that in the future, I'm quite excited about this one...

Happy painting!