Friday, May 30, 2014

Chico's Chaos Challenge, WIP. It must be the end of the world...

...'cause bases and shields!

Citadel CH 3 Champions of Chaos: Haktgore and Stro'knor Macekiller. 

This is where I am as of about 30 minutes ago. I want to do a few more highlights on the two of them, and tidy up the leather. Haktgore's armour was an experiment in blending with wet paints. Trying to get the blues to have a smoother gradient from the dark to the electric. I think I may have done one colour too far, and lost some of the middle ground.

The shields are so far from being done. On the back , I did a black base and lightly drew white lines lengthwise. Then I mixed black with brown and water and slathered that over the top trying to make it as streaky as I could to create a grainy effect. How does it look? Weeeell, it was a nice idea, and the brown looks good. I'm just glad it's on the back of the shield :0)

The sigil is a dear old friend from Robert Chamber's the King in Yellow. I've been reading a lot of Delta Green recently and I'm dying to see True Detective and the King in Yellow feature heavily in both. Hastur, a nominal god of decadent insanity, transmits craziness through the word. A perfect little cult for the text-rich ruins of Naghammahd. I definitely am going to tidy up the sigils.


When I got these two they both had hexagonal bases and now having ranked them both up on square 25mm bases.  They look ever so slightly off center with each other, I wonder if they were sculpted without a square base necessarily in mind. Eh, it's not an issue, just a spur of curiosity. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday: Chico's Challenge, basing and WIP

In no attempt at any order: Warmachine Cryx, Heritage Necromancer, Ral Partha Giant, and Cold ones and a Chaos Warrior from Citadel.

After my lament recently about basing, I have spent today addressing the issue. Holes filled in with blue-tack, slightly watered down PVA over the bases and then sand (scavenged from Petoskey on our last anniversary) is poured over and left to dry. Next will be to colour it black with a mix of AP dark wash and black and then to stick stuff on it.

Chico (of has announced another of his painting challenges. I'm finding these a great way to get something done. Whether it be one model or a dozen, I've enjoyed just cracking on and doing stuff.

This cycle's theme is Chaos and for me that can only mean Chaos Warriors. I'm aiming to get Mr. Mace above finished. Which for me means based, shield and varnish! By all that is pestilential, I vow this by Papa Nurgle's tallies. I'm also going to start on another Chaos Warrior (Haktor, I think) and get him to a similar state of completeness.

The fetching lass on Mr Mace's right is Marigold. Her favourite things are daisy chains, kittens and making those cute little skeleton's dance. She doesn't understand why people are upset when she holds her tea parties. The long deceased seem to enjoy the company and the cuppa.

Yes, she is also planned to be finished.

Forgive the atrocious photo, it's made everything look like a bad pastel. This is some random dude who will be a part of the Knights of the Scroll. He will be special because he will be first to be snipped from his base and attached to his cold one.

More work was done on faces of dark elves, eyes mostly. Ghastly. I've hit the wall on these guys. I think I need to take them out of the paint case and concentrate on doing other minis. I have a Hordes Legion of Everblight starter I can put together and a bunch of reaper and citadel singles I can paint. I will finish the Dark Elves but a breather is required.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Monday's WIP: Dark elves, Heritage necromancer, Ral Partha rogues

Straight to the piccies:

From L to R: Eastern Front Paladin, 2 Ral Partha Rogues, Citadel Dark Elf, Heritage Necromancer,  Citadel Dark Elf.

Way back when, in the dark mists of late 2012, I won a lot of cold ones with a bunch of these guys and the marauder sorcerers. In trying to work out a way to make them into a unit that made some kind of sense, I decided to just lump them all together. Sure, they looked like sorcerers but they'd be plain old cold one knights. It was a solution, sure, but not a very convincing one. I put them to one side and every now and then drag them out and ponder how to make them work. I hadn't really worked out what rules set I wanted to use and knew that if I wanted to play the latest edition I had to make them WYSIWYG* which for me meant depicting lances and shields on my riders somehow. It was while thinking about those I came across my answer. I would have their lances be covered in scrolls. The reason that they looked like wizards, wasn't because they were, it's because they wished to become wizards. A bunch of bored nobles with burnt out nasal passages (cold ones stink to high heaven) who have discovered something to follow, a cause. The Knights of the Scroll were born.

A citadel dark elf. This is her good side. The other side of her face looks like she has stored acorns in her cheek like a demented chipmunk.

This photo was taken by Jfk187, the awesome storeowner on Ebay who sold me this miniature.
This was the state of the Heritage Necromancer when I bought her. Whoever had it before me had undercoated it and started the process of painting the flesh. The face was bad like 2 year old playing with make-up bad. The lips were a red slash and the eyes were huge black dots. She looked like the Other Mother from Coraline with her shiny button eyes.

And this is where I got her to tonight. With some tidying up of the flesh the black and the red toned right down and reveal a very serene face. Most unlike what you'd expect someone who trucks with the dead to be like. I am finding that I really like the heritage range. Even the barely defined hands add to the character of this miniature.  I base coated the gown with orange and spent a long time layering yellow on top. The effort was worth it. I waver on whether red and yellow are the worst colours out there. They force you to use multiple coats to get the coverage, but I'm finding that the frustration gives way to satisfaction at the depth the added layers give.

A Ral Partha rogue. Another mini that has real problems with definition (the mouth is barely there, the hands are teeny) yet this adds to the overall character.

A different angle on the necromancer. The skull on the staff is goofy. Her face is wonderful.

*For those who come from other areas of my life and haven't suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous rules-mongering, WYSIWYG is a painful acronym for "what you see is what you get."Simply means that what a miniature looks like is what it is, what a miniature is carrying is what it is actually carrying as far as the rules go. If the goblins on the table carry bows then that is what they are: goblins with bows. I suspect that this became important in competitive/tournament play to lessen confusion. If your opponent doesn't have to keep on asking things like "what did you say they were armed with again?" or have to take back charges because your giants are being represented by a single small goblin then things do runs smoother.

I also suspect that this single 'rule' required people to buy more miniatures as the army composition rules changed.

I'm really talking about Games Workshop and the Warhammer games here. The company has pushed the tournament angle so hard that this appears to be the accepted mode of play. And as time has gone on, rules changes coupled with WYSIWYG have rendered chunks of everyone's collections "illegal" (in heavy, underlined, wanker quotation marks) for tournament play.

And as the product that is being produced has gotten more and more expensive, people are, I am, less and less inclined to keep up with it all. Ranty, rant, rant, rant.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Chico's Challenge: Wild Card Drunk-arsed gnolls.

I should have got these photos put up on Monday, but misplaced the camera. Yeah, excuses, excuses. I did do one final touch today, which is the trouser patch. The red it was originally just didn't click.

I like the way that I've painted them, and am fairly chuffed with some of the things that I'd never really done much of before (some blending on the arms, the patch).


The gruesome twosome on their walk of shame. This was sculpted by Michael Perry, so it was a MP scribed into the base.  


Close up of the details from the top. Ah, the joy of ale. How I don't miss the gluten poisoning. And the bum patch, of which I am all out of proportion proud of.

Now to find more of the characterful little blighters.

Base, base, bastard, base.

I did a cursory tally on the miniatures I have acquired in the nearly two years since getting back into painting and it is lots. Like several hundred. Several very cheap and large purchases have bulked it out (like some near complete 5th and 6th edition WH boxes and a 100 piece Empire army for the price of an army case). 

Of these miniatures I've painted about 100. Which is actually pretty good, considering I don't really have a grasp on what is where. Unfortunately, none of these are finished with bases, shields and varnish.

It is a best intentions situation. I totally plan on doing this task. I have the materials and I've decided on the look. But I can't help but procrastinate. What was once a small speed bump on the road to painting has turned into a freaking unpaved mountain at the end.

I just know that doing the bases will make everything look better, especially the dark elf army that I've been mucking around with since the second month.

Here's the planned look. Not too sure if I like the all slate over the all Probably going to have the earth be a black brown and drybrush the larger rocks (HO clinkers) slate. Black edges on the base to raise it from whatever surface. The flock is the autumn blend from Gale Force Nine clumped on with PVA dabs.

Since beginning this entry I actually went to the Oldhammer FB page and asked when people did their bases in the process. Most people sand the bases before doing the undercoat because it's not quite as messy as at the end. Which totally makes sense. I guess I am going to have to appeal to my innate laziness to do it now to avoid an even bigger job at the end :0)

Friday, May 9, 2014

WIP Wildcard Challenge Citadel Gnolls.


Progress! I sat down for an hour and added layers. I think that I am enjoying painting individual miniatures more now than I have ever done in past. There's something freeing about simply painting a miniature and knowing that there isn't an army or unit waiting for it and dozens more like it. I love my Dark Elves, but I'm sick of the sight of them. To the point that I am really questioning getting into painting another full on army. My planned beloved Skaven and Nurgle armies? *deep breath*

Makes me appreciate Mordeim and Warband style games all the more.

Random thoughts that I had while choosing the photos: 
The wet palette makes it so much easier to flit from colour to colour.
I'm still not happy with the skin of the duo; they're too similar, not blue enough. I'll do a blue wash to get the colour I want into the recesses. I really needed to have an all out green tinted blue as the base colour.
I'm quite pleased with the way their legs turned out. Orange makes for a fantastic leather/tan base colour. 
Oh, and red is totally the wrong colour for the patch on the bum. 

And now for something completely different...

...though really similar. I painted my wife's toes. 45 minutes of dinking around with nail polishes and a size 3/0 brush makes me really appreciate the formulation of acrylic miniatures paints. Nail polish is the hammer to the toe's, well. nail. Carmen suggested that I open a nail painting business. Only if I could name it "Hands of Glory."

Left foot.

Right Foot.

Left foot, close up.
The photos give you an idea. Light green base. Black used for the silhouette. Emerald green used for the dots on the smaller toes and for the sheep eyes and grass. Purple on the flower. Fluffy pink for the wool.

WIP Wild Card Challenge: Drunken Gnolls

Another of Chico's challenges. This time a wild card. I chose to do the drunken gnolls (I thought they were goblins) after seeing someone (Jamie Loft) post a photo of their drunken Citadel orc villagers.

I picked these guys up along with the frost giant and a bunch of other minis. Didn't know who made them, had no clue where to start. Did a search on ebay on the off-chance, "drunken orc" "drunk miniature" etc "drunken goblin" got me a listing that gave me all the info. And the cost, in case I wanted to pick up a second copy, was 26 of those United States dollars. Uh... O.K. Would only make me spend $26 on a bunch of other stuff. Like a lot of miscellaneous miniatures with all of the buried treasures that turn up in those things. If I were an avid collector of early Citadel then the price might be right. I simply can't imagine paying that though.

Citadel FTG10 Drunken Gnolls. 
Anyway, after a quick detour through Stuff of Legends, these friendly chaps are officially from Citadel's Fantasy Tribes Gnolls range. Their code is FTG10 and they are simply 'Drunken Gnolls.' Stuff of Legends tells me that these miniatures were also sold by Ral Partha and were later folded into Citadel's 'C' goblin code. I don't know who sculpted them and the only mark on the bottom of the base looks like 'MF'. It's badly filled in with spray enamel so it's hard to tell if it's an 'F,' a 'P,' a 'B,' an 'E,' or an 'R' I'll clean the bottom of the base and get a better look. I hope for laziness sake that it might be 'MP' for Michael Perry, only because he's the only sculptor with the first initial 'M' that I could think of that worked at Citadel in those days.

I took the photo seconds after finishing washing them with the shade. Shiny and wet. Like they've just been on the dungeon's best pub crawl. At this point, I've put on all the base colours. The leggings, laces and shoes will all be worked up to various shades of tan and brown. The other colours will get a couple of highlights. I wonder if I've made the skin colours too pale. The green one is 1:1 army painter barbarian flesh and greenskin, the bluish one is 1:1 that first mix and an ultra blue. I may have to repaint the skin with a darker mix and then work up to what I have them at here. I also brushed a little bit of red/brown mix across nose and cheeks. They are happy drunks, after all.

Here they are leading the walk of shame. I really dig the way their arms are supporting each other. The mugs were painted metallic iron, and I like the way that the wash has coloured the mug of the drinking gnoll here. I think I'll try and extend the colour to the entire mug, giving a tarnished, well used look.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Painted stuff for May 5th

Every other Monday I go with the wife and kid to ceramics and while they paint rabbits, hearts and nativity scenes I paint tiny machineries of war. Last night I touched brush to Dark Elves and added faces and touched up some colour, but I just wasn't in the mood for the grind of regimental types. I decided to finish two that had been sitting in my paint case for a long time: a preslotta Citadel Fighter and a Reaper Alchemist.

I love that somehow I managed to make her eyes look quizzical. "Oh, really?" I do need to add a spot of white to the right edge of her right eye. Eyes are new for me, as in this will be the fourth miniature I've added them to. At the moment I'm trying the white base with the black dot added approach. If I mess up, then I switch to black base with white edging. This is before I do the Quickshade wash. The wash takes off the edge of the white and the effect is quite attractive.

I decided to use the strong quickshade I'd picked up on a whim earlier in the day. I usually use the dark QS and I was quite surprised at how warm the strong shade is. This is more brown than the Dark's black and I love the warmth it adds to the miniature. I'm thinking that I'll start using this on skin.

There is something about this miniature that is really quite charming. As per usual, I really like the packs and pouches on the back of this miniature (and again! photos needed of the back.)

A Reaper miniature from their warlord game, alchemist I think (I had big plans to be really precise and well researched and now I'm relying on my swiss cheese memory). Another miniature that I'd painted the base colour on and then ground to a halt. She turned out quite nice after applying some highlights to her robes. I experimented with some blending on her jar and it's pretty rough. Something that I'll get better at the more I do it. 

Pretty Blue Dragon

I was going to write a great big gleeful post delving into my memories of seeing the Tom Meier Dragons in White Dwarf and how I fell in love with them the instant I saw them. But do you think I can find them? No, of course not. I found the Nick Bibby sculpted dragons in 'Eavy Metal (Red, Blue, Green, Spined and Imperial) but couldn't find any of the Meier ones. I remember vividly the advertisements for the green dragon with the running dwarf and I think it was opposite an Illuminations page for Ian Miller. And again, this would be the citadel sculpted one and not necessarily the Meier one.

Why am I talking about this? Because I have just received the fantastic Blue Dragon sculpted by Tom Meier that was produced by both Citadel and Ral Partha.  I got the RP version because it is about 4 times cheaper than the Citadel produced one.

And I bought it based on memories of having seen it in White Dwarf in the late 80s, early 90s,

Isn't she beautiful?

And now I am in a weird situation. Because I can't find this specific blue dragon in WD to save my life. I'm fairly certain that it's in one of the damned things but I don't have physical copies to hand (stuck in a box across the pacific) and the scans available often cut advertising (idiots! that's oft-times the best part)

I did however find citadel's serpentine dragon, by Nick Bibby, which is a very similar sculpt from the issues that I had and I am wondering now if this is the dragon I actually saw. Or perhaps I saw both?

This did appear in a Citadel/GW publication, just unsure where! 

The Nick Bibby Serpentine Dragon as showcased in WD 96.

(Pictures nicked from here:

The end result is that I now have a miniature that I love, based on  misremembering another (albeit similar) miniature that I also love. Which is hilarious to me. The memory is now a superimposition of the Meier dragon and the Bibby Dragon, both blue, both similarly posed and both produced by Citadel around the same time. Curses, I now need to find the other blue dragon!