I've been working on this commission slowly and intermittently since last winter as i have had a big house move and some other bits to sort out in life. The commission is large and exciting and i have really enjoyed painting a unified and individual force. As with anything uniform (in this case rather asymetrically, being that not *everyone* is wearing a greay cloak) i had a good time working out the color scheme and the unifying elements.
I had the most fun working on the deer rider, on this model i took my time to work some soft and gentle blends of brown to light brown/grey and i love the final effect, it's very naturalistic.
Some of the troop choices featured a fair amount of colour variation, so i went with a "three-four colours rotation" and the final look is fantastic but most of the troops feature a grey and black pallete. There where so many troops i had the chance to experiment with different types of black, different ways of painting it and different ways of finishing it. As a final choice, once basing was complete i went through the whole collection and added a tiny bit of mud and dust kick up on every single cloak (and many of the shoes). This really ties them to the winter look and every one of the my housemates that i've shown have specifically noted "they love the snow on the capes".
The heroes took a little longer and i really took my time to make sure each one stands out from the other. I also added a little more detailing on their bases so that they pop on the battlefield for the player. During the end of this commission i feel like i really mastered the snow effect of the bases that i've been devloping since the first valhallan order a few years ago. These days i've got the "mottled/ stepped in" snow down to a T.
I will be posting high res images later today. I hope everyone enjoys them.
I had a little photo booth day with all the current orders on the table so i can begin getting them packed up and get back to the usual work flow (pre corona i would not stockpile orders so much but during the pandemic it's made more sense to keep things here under my clients discretion until i can send all their work back at once as they sent me lots at the beginning of things).
I also did a little shoot for the romans as i needed some nice big pics of them for my client.
Finally i've been quietly working on those orcs and i'm basically done on them now with the bases going on last night/today. I need to paint the two little goblins they came with but they'll be nice and quick to do. i can't wait to see these all finished and in the photo booth. I tried to think back to the last time i painted orcs
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.
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.
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.
Dragons are always interesting. Dragons by their very nature ae large and for the most part observe naturalistic patterns. The images given to me for this dragons showed many blatant red and pink hues. I had many ideas as to how to get that "red lizard" kind of look while maintaining the obvious ruby association of the gems. I decided in the end to go with a brown undercoat and then work in basecoat, ink heavilly down to a dark brown/black and then slowly mottle and overbrush my way all the way past the original brown tone into a dim red. This i think has achieved the interlacing affect of natural skin, brown scales and the general red tone of the skin without inking it heavilly in red (creating lots of gawdy red pools in recesses) or working up from red, which might have made the model brighter than we wanted. I think the final result is great and i am really proud of how that red mottling worked out in the end for sure.
Most of the work on my romans order is hands on basing and stuff for a few days, removing tabs and sculpting bases so i shall post pictures once i get to that stage but for now i decided to jump back to a special order by a newer and exciting client Dom.
Dom once sent me a parcel (with a LOT of mini's in it) that got lost by royal mail. It was a horrific moment and luckilly Dom is a super nice guy and understood the issue.
Years later we began discussing more work and i was super eager to get back on it for him. I have a big mixed order of models (all for DnD) which is so exciting for me as i tend to paint lots of uniform models, so this order allows me to really flex some working muscles as well as genuinely learn new stuff. The latest model i've finished for this order is this giant ancient saphire dragon. It is an astounding model but i've lost the box with the manafacturer on it. I shall ask my client and maybe he can comment here with the producer.
This model is so large i went hunting around the house for a bigger photo booth or similar and literally found an actual large photo booth so i set up my lights and my tripod and grabbed some great pics for you. I decided to collage them together so you can see all the elements of the job in one picture.
Here is the collage picture i've built, i really hope you like it. Painting this model was a challenge in patience more than anything, all those gems and going back over bits in black then sometimes blue and vice versa. It was Nice to get to the end and then as usual it just kind of came together in the last few moments. Very satisfying. I think i got the contrast down, i hope my client likes the blue i've gone with.
How about a size comparison...
What a behemoth! I am excited to get on with the next one now (there is two more dragons before i get on with the rest of the infantry).
I shall post tomorrow about some of the other finished pieces of this very fun order. I hope you enjoyed this update. I surely did.
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A blog for the w.i.p element of the EZPainter process.