The army green spray i had from sprayster.com is perfect for my turtles. I went back and forth on the idea of doing them in the cartoon or the movie tone but i think i'll start with a cartoony green and then work them down and back into a more grimey look halfway between the two. I am definitely going to encorperate the famous freckles from the movie versions, i always like how they had that black dot with a white dot inside them look, like little backwards eyes.
Pardon my internet but it takes so long to upload pics. I really enjoyed these trolls. They may still need a touch up, some more blending at the grainier areas but these older sculpts are kind of grainy in their apearence so i think most of that is the mix of techniques i used to paint them (washing and drybrushing can create that effect, you could call it "dusty").
I think they look great, i'll be eager for my clients feedback on these. Primarilly i think maybe the loin cloths might need a touch up to make them pop a bit more, as they are they blend in a little to well, but if my client likes the naturalistic look then it might just suit perfectly. All of these criticisms come from my own inner insecurities having seen so many pictures of these famous models and wondering if i did a good job myself.
I didn't even realise how much i was looking forward to this warg model. What a captivating sculpt! I haven't finished the grasses yet but i can't wait to put some thick bushels of siflor tufts under that rock to really give the apearence of the warg climbing up to look out over the hills of rohan! I felt the dead body needed to be gory, and i played it safe on blood on the actual warg itself. That feral mixed fur look wouldn't fare to well with a load of blood splatter. I mixed three different red and gloss mixes and used it to blend a brownish/red ish pool of blood at the feet of the casualty and then used the darker of the mixes in and around the lower jaw of the warg. I kind of want to get some "multi purpose glue" (the cheap stuff that doesn't really stick anything together but stretches and can be used to make blood trails) and make some gloopy blood dripping from his mouth. In my experience clients tend to generally veer away from models being to bloody. So i think we shall se what my client says.
As a warm down i painted my first harry potter model, i think i slayed those greens which i was worried about coming out to flat and they came out great. The hair also was very fun, working with blonde is always exciting. as expected the base was an underwhelming experience and negotiation. I managed to paint it to a nice standard but actually forgot to photograph it. More to come soon.
Finishing these romans was a blast. I had such fun whipping through the highlights and painting up those dawby cloth tons and mixed metals. What a group of awesome little dudes (and dudettes). I painted the bases to match the mixed color cobble look of the civilian bases and then i also painted the test models base to match. I went more sparringly on the leaves on these and by jove has it made them look even better. The bigger bushels of leaves look awesome on the group bases but the smll spattering here and there really sells the individual fighters well.
I haven't many major comments on these at their finish point, i think i've said all that needs to be said about them in the previous posts (see ancients categories in the sidebar) but i shall say a few of them where a nightmare to get their weapons to stay on. i don't fully trust (even given all i have tried) that they will stay. I shall inform my client of this. The net man specifically was a nightmare. I hope he makes the journey ok! I shall wrap him in bubble wrap as usual but also use some card around him gfor extra stability during postage.
I have jus tpurchased some of Brother Vinis beautiful resin turtles for my city fight game to act as a ninja gang! I hope indeed he does a splinter model soon!
LINK TO THE SHOP THEY'RE FROM
The sculpts are exquisite. Perhaps the best resins i've ever seen and that's saying something since last week i thought the Knight models resins where (harry potter models) but knight models is not one guy printing presumably at home. How awesome that he manages to get such a highly proffesional finish. There was barely a piece of flash, barely anything broke (and what did was due to my negligence) and they has zero print lines at all. Honestly phenominal.
I got a new sander and a new dremel the other day and i wanted heavy bases for these super lightweight models so i clamped and glued two 2 pence piece for each model and then i took my new sander and set to work like a medieval blacksmith. About 40 minutes later with some res ttime because the pennies got very hot i had some custom and heavy bases for these awesome guys. I can't wait to get them painted and get play testing with them, ninjas jumping all over the bloody shop. It's going to rock.
I have been waiting to get to these trolls for a while and i am so excited to try a new method i pioneered on the dragons. Using images from google i went to my spray booth, picked out three skin tones, a black, two greys, a white and a beige and i slowly and gently built of layers of paint, as though using an airbrush (yet 100 times cheaper, easier, quicker and safer) and i am so pleased with the result. Not only is the blending natural and to be honest kind of perfect for what i had in mind but the paint work was minimal (at this point). Following these images i inked them black with a watered down ink so as to not lose those lovely blends and after these photos where taken i finished them up with some dry brushing, highlighting and picking out of details. I will post the finished results soon as i want to let them sit for a night and come back to them in the morning. this way of painting "big" models isn't just logical but it looks amazing. I cna't get over how well the colors blend and how much like natural skin the finish is.
This last two days has been busy! I finished off those base coats on those roman fighters and they're ready for inking and finishing now. I really enjoyed them in the end even though they took a while to get the motivation up for them. Usually when there's a bit of free hand involoved (bottom of capes, some shirts etc) then can be put off for a while, but once you get started it always becomes more fun and flows.
I bought myself some of the astounding harry potter sculpts (they're massive to) and assembled them ready for painting and hopefully my first proper planned re sales on etsy or ebay. I figured it's a nice way to implement my income while not straining myself creatively if i've got a few single figures up here and there. Sadly the base tabs on these have to be some of the worse "slot in" situations (for how well they blend, or in this case don't) and i had to some filling on the bases. For miniatures that cost about £10.00 each i'm honestly shocked at this. Truly.
Thre return of angmar! The remaining Angmar pieces turned up and i got to work drilling, pinning and filling these trolls and warg. They're funny these old trolls, they are SO HEAVY which is so odd since they're rather small for "big" models. I had to fill over the paint work of the painted troll and i'm under the impression my client wants it touched up but not painted, i may ask if he's comfortable with me doing a re paint, as i don't imagine he will blend that well with the style i'm currently working this angmar stuff in.
Last week was my birthday so a week of skateboarding and barbeques where on hand. I didn't get a lot of time to work. This week i resume the process. Firstly i aim to get those romans done. After that i'm going to focus on the remaining lord of the rings bits from Lukas order that just turned up! (we're talking cave trolls guys!)
Experimenting in magnets.
The beauty of City grounds (my new game) is that it's my own game. And i can make models look however i want. I decided to dive into my bits box feeling inspired by my client Bram who does some awesome work with magnets. I built two "leaders" for two new teams that we can play. One is an instectoid with bow and arrow and the other is a human soldier with a magnetised left arm. I'm excited to paint and play them and then after each game we could upgrade their weapons and change their arms which is super cool. I found that using my actual drill (full size 18V drill) was quicker for this job than using a hand drill (modeling one) as if just get's tiresome trying to make the magnet holes deep enough with a tiny drill bit.
Our next test game for City Grounds was based in a fantiscal forest fort on the edge of a ruined village. A band of orcs (with a trained warg) decided to push their luck and expand the boundaries of their nearby camp. A small gang of Frogmen hired a few human archers to help with the defence of their tiny town.
THe forest town of the frogmen has lots of high ground and complete defensible walls. Four human archers back up the two frog archers, two spearmen (one with shield) and their leader.
The gang of orcs (our orc model from the last game, in our heads he was coming back to reek revenge!), two shield and sword men, two spearmen and two archers. Acompanying them was our first test cavalry model, a warg! Low defense, high armour and high wounds.
The first few tunrs saw the frog team take defensive formation upon the walls, tower and front door. The orcs advanced slowly as we worked out some pass/fail roll rules meaning that now if you fail one action, but succeed another you may act out the one you succeed, instead of a total failure on a model. At this point in the game we also started pontificating about height advantages on archery, as we had some really high up models.
Our orc leader managed to charge the front door and start laying into it accordingly. The door wasn't strong but a few unlucky rolls and it stood another turn. Meanwhile the orc archers kept firing on the walls and the frogs kept firing back. We deduced that if you are 0-5" above another model, you shoot at the usual category (range bracket) then if you are 5-10/10-15 etc above them you may move down the amount of categories that you are above, e.g. a model three sections up can shoot a model at very long range, but it will count as short range. These rules are still in the works as they could be very OP but given the way the rules work, ranges work and the difficulty of hitting it definitely has a realistic (if not just logical) feel to it.
Much to my shagrin Toms orcs managed to get up to and bash down the door, his spearmen also progressed onto the battlements which we made accesible from all sides so they could be climbed. He also managed to basically jump the wall with his warg and dive into the fray that way, it was chaos. Short range shots being popped off by the humans and frog dropping like flies. We introduced a "brace" rule for miniatures within 2" of the door they wish to defend meaning they can add defence to the structure.
With the door down things where looking grim for the frog team. Fighting on difficult ground (the fallen door) the orc leader had one unlucky round and with fustrations mounting on both sides the game ended in turn 6. I think we where both glad as it began to get comically competetive and because our first game went on forever we decided to cut it off after two hours. When playtesting most of the process is talking and taking notes but even with that in mind this game was certainly smoother and much more fun than the first. The next step before more test games is to make some ruins (generic osgiliath style) for us to play in a proper ruined city.
I managed to get that beautiful purple gem dragon done this last two days and i had a whale of the time. I really enjoyed those purples and buying those new paints was the way to do. There's some minor touching up and blending left to do but other than that he's basically done and by gosh is he cool! Also i think mainly due to the skin tones (the pinks beiges) the mdoel looks so much better now than it did in resin grey. Not that i couldn't see how cool it was i just feel like it looks more real and natural now. As though it's a bit odd to show people pictures of this pre paint as the mold was so strange but looks so normal painted up. It's as though those wierd arms just blend in now.
So i'm probably a week or two away from actually getting around to these guys (due to it being my b day this week and there being other stuff in the queue) but the secon my client sent me the below inspiriation pic i couldn't help myself and dove into action. They will likely stay this way for a few days but i wanted to show you guys this beautiful cian i got for undercoating these as it's just so gorgeous! I've been a long time waiting for an excuse to do blue orcs, and now that i've had a commission of them it means two things:
1. I may get more for this order, which is exciting and will be fantastic for my already broad and interesting portfolio.
2. I will now have this beautiful turquoise in my "arsenal".
I should say also that these where the nicest resins i've ever assembled and they absolutely S*** all over the games workshop resins, such care taken over quality assurance. There was literally ONE extra bit of resin i had to break off and that was it.
PROGRESS ON THE DRAGON
I got a bit more done on this guy before i stopped last week. I need to clean it up and add the purple before i ink it, i want to use a weak ink on this one as i want to do most of the mottling and fading before the ink. The purples have been freaking me out a bit so i went to the local friendly gaming store and i grabbed two brand new purples from GW. I find GW paints can be really good especially after just opening. So given my track record with purple i thought i'd grab two new tones.
During my time as a commission painter i have written and released a few wargames. Two of which i released on kickstarter and they got a fair bit of attention. One of my games "City Grounds", a mordheim inspired city fight style game has been in development for many years and only this year during lockdown did i begin working on it again. The game is a fun mix of gang fighting, skirmish style mechanics and it is inspired by the manouvers and actions of parkour style films and video games (such as mirrors edge or district 13).
Since this was our first physical play test of the system in nearly 8 years we decided to play a simple territory grab. We had two markers, one on the factory and one on the water tower. Whoever held each (within 2") at the end of each turn (up to 6 turns) wins a point of renown. Kills also gain a point.
My old buddy Tom playing the Constabulary (below in blue and purple) and as usual kicking my hiney.
After priority rolls we set up on either side of the board. Tom took the woods and i took the ruins.
During the first few turns the rabble split in half and attempted to climb the ruins while also meandering into town. Due to the activation rolls rules the rabble kept hillariously failing actions and stood fairly still for a while. We dove into the game so fast that we forgot some basic rules e.g. "most basic actions first" which increases your chance of elongating your own turn as more successes means more turn.
The constabulary had better luck and took control of both Dens within two turns. There was no combat yet but because this was a playtest game we where fairly busy flipping and jumping over things (in game).
As the game progressed the constabulary continued to have a solid grasp on the victory locations. The rabble tried to push in and had some success but where pushed back again and again by the constabulary. Many bad rolls plagued the rabble including a few hillarious "snake eye moments" concluding in many funny falls from height and some damages. The rabble took a few tragedies as they tried to push off the constabulary but many failures ensued including a drastic death of Gorthak (our orc) who was kicked off the top of the water tower by one of the constabulary. There was one really fun parkour moment where the dark elf character from the rabble ran the full height of the water tower and contested the location for a turn, sadly also getting kicked off the top and falling also to his death.
As tom piled up points of renown one after another (he scored a total of 12 to my 0 which is hillarious) the rabble finally got some good rolls and got up to the victory locations. With just a few turns left they made a good effort to push back the constabulary but the combast where brief as the constabulary are so strong. The game concluded in an obvious win for the constabulary.
WHAT DID WE LEARN DURING THIS GAME?
- Fall damage needs tobe revised and extended.
- Rough terrain/ high terrain needs to be modified to include balance mechanics to give more gravitas to fantastical acrobatic feats.
- Models cannot run up ladders now.
- footing tests for unarmoured models on high ground who may fall due to actions.
- adding Dive, Tackle and Swing actions.
- Removal of bonus dice on extra hard rolls.
- Attacks of oppertunity need some minor revision.
- Jump distances have been changed.
- Punch and kick prerequesites changed and shortened.
- Points values for wounds have been added.
OUR NEXT GAME?
We will be playing the same game (swapping teams) this week and then hopefully purchasing some new teams (probably simple 5-10 man teams in different races). I am excited to have a playtester friend again as i haven't been able to test my games for a long time. Keep your eyes peeled for more soon!
My final Dragon in the big 6 i was sent by my client Dom is a large and boney Gemstone dragon. He is painted and pictured in the art reference in purple. I left this guy till last for one simple reason. Purple hates me. I have bought P3, vallejo, games workshop etc and i have always found purple to be a color that just doesn't seem to want to be painted in small scale. Am i missing something? Yes, likely i am. I will do my reserach for this model, but starting out i gave it a grey undercoat with a light to blue grey gradient on the wings which will give me a great base to work from.
If this dragon doesn't remind you of Clover, then either you haven't seen the movie or you forgot to put your eyes in today.
FIXING UP SOME WARG SKIN
Recently i finished these "wild wargs" for my client. Mildly disapointed by games workshops re release of warg models that are designed for miniatures to go on their backs (therefore having literall flat backs with no fur) i sculpted som extra fur on and then gave them a lick of paint. Not to linger on the point but come one games workshop (or as i call them the "evil empire") you literally could sculpt a bit of fur on them and THEN re release them. Such money hungry, money grabbing desperation and it deeply saddens me. The capitolistic nature of our industry is saddening.
Although my client was appreciative of the little effort and paint job he did say that the skin was "to clean" and i agreed immediately. I think that's a second danger of these basically detailed models, they will always have a danger of seeming to clean. As a fix i decided to mix a flesh wash/home made black wash and added that onto the models skin today and it has worked a treat. I imagine i may go back and give them a little beige drybrush later today when they're dry.
The touch up on those wargs went really well and since i have since received a big old mix of flowery siflor tufts from ebay i decided to upgrade their bases a bit to as the general "green" static grass wasn't helping their slightly cartoonish finish. Either way it was detracting from the naturalistic tone of the project.
HEADING BACK TO VALHALLA
In the coming weeks i will be dipping back into (and finishing) Brams Valhallan order (although we all know that this army....will never be finished and i'm half tempted to get an old frost giant model and convert it to be some kind of behemoth ogryn captain for bram sometimes, that's how extravagant and exciting his imagination is!). Bram has a fantastic imagination and has created these amazing bear riders (rough rider stand ins) using foundry bears. Below is a picture of the last ones i painted.
ROMAN FIGHTER COBBLE BASES
I am a decisive artist generally. I don't tend to back and forth on decisions but with these roman models i did a bit. Should i remove the tabs entirely and pin them, should i do the bases first and them stick them down, should i match these to the mob bases even though i did the test model slightly differently and then found that the mob bases would have been much harder to do correctly in the previous style. I wouldn't say they threw me, moreso i might say i just couldn't decide so i let them sit on the back burner a few days while i did the mob bases and got them painted. Now that i finished them and stood them next to the fighter test model i could see that regardless of the style of cobble the coloring, flocking and overall general art style (being my own usual naturalistic, gritty one) matched quite well.
Step 1. Mix your putty and squeeze it onto the base. Rub off the edges to get a bevel and use a cuticle (nail) tool to flatten the top. I also used the pointy end of this tool to clear out the semi circles on the fighter bases.
Step 2. Using a dentists tool (from a craft shop) sculpt lines into the base, making sure they cross and intersect randomly, so as to imply larger and smaller cobbles in a mixed fashion.
Step 3. Using an old tooth brush stipple some marks and dots into the bases to finish.
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A blog for the w.i.p element of the EZPainter process.