The uk has been hit with a massive heat wave. It's lasted about two weeks and since i work and live underground it's been particularly difficult to work in the heat. Due to this my mental health got a bit down and i struggled to paint at all. Luckilly my bulk of remaining work at the moment is with one of my most patient and kindly understanding of clients Bram (who is also a creative genius by the way). I have spoken to bram and i'm glad to have finished these base coats today on his valhallans as it has allowed me to feel more caught up and less lazy (although i wasn't being lazy its difficult to not feel that way when the work desk is six feet from my bed!).
I really like how these are coming out so far and now i just need to decide what wash i'm using on them. I've alternated washes with all of Brams stuff and as he's so understanding of the creative process (and also he's not anal and particular) so i tend to get slightly varying finishes across the board on his work. I want to master my wash for these white tones, although admittedly bram is a flatterer when it comes to my ability to paint white, as he seems to think me a bit good at it.
I also slapped a basecoat on those tiny bloodbowl gobbos, as lukas is eagerly awaiting gallery photos of the lot and that's something else i didn't get around to doing. I can't wait to photograph these guys!
I decided that a little dotting of green static grass and a nice contrasting red flower would add a striking finish to these wonderful blue orcs. I am so chuffed with these, I haven't emplyed any particularly complicated techniques (although i did try some new stuff on the skin to attempt to keep that nice bright blue skin from the get go, which worked really well and it still pops even after all the finishing highlights.)
The red flowers add the finishing touch and i was careful to cut the flowers small enough to add but not subtract from all the work that's gone into them. They look especially good on the big dudes base creeping out from underneath the cracks of the bigger pebbles.
Next up on the table is the remainder of the infantry pieces for brams wonderfully creative valhallan force. In this small batch is the last of the foot soldiers and the two additional bear riders he's built. After that (for brams order) i will get around to his last tanks. Bram and me have been in discussion about more work near christmas time, so i am excited as always to see what he sends next and as one of my longest running loyal clients i'm glad to get around to his valhallans again after a break of a month or two as i always enjoy his feedback and dialogue when i'm working on his bits.
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
I took a second swing at the blood and gore effect on this warg chieftan. With a little creativity, time, patience and in the end a tiny little dot of pruple paint (for that good old "innards" look) and i think i nailed it. I am very happy with the result and it really makes the model stand out agains't it's counterparts, that and the "old man" style grey to white fur.
Starting off today i roughed up these wights i painted for my client recently. He asked me to make them dirter, more "old world" so i went with a nice burnt umber, orange, silver tip "rust" effect i have been practising recently when i get the chance. I applied the effect over both the silver and the gold armor and i think it worked well and they look explicitly less "clean". I also added glowing eye and mouth sockets, they really look ready for battle now!
I went to the shops and tracked down some gloopy all purpose glue to try out this bloody maw effect i saw ages ago (maybe 2003!) I'm sure i haven't pulled it off properly but i will admit i rushedly applied it when i could have taken more time. Likely i will re do this before asking for a final verdict from my client as i think he will really like it when i get it right.
I thoroughly enjoyed basecoating the troll chieftan, what a mad model with such invigorating character qualities. I have had to do some dremel work on the sword as it's broken at the worse place and just keeps coming off with even careful handling (it takes a tiny poke!) Hopefully it's stronger today now that is dried (done after photography here).
Perhaps the most interesting model of this paint sesh is this orc captian model from the "not bloodbowl" orcs i'm doing. What a fascinating and interesting piece with so many curious little elements to paint. Pictured here half done with the fur finished but the rest still needing finishing.
I have painted the skin of these orcs now by giving them a soft dark blue wash and two highlights of turquoise blue and then a light sky blue for lips, eyes and fingers and such. I decided to contrast the blue with purple tongues which i'm sure is going to look stellar.
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.
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A blog for the w.i.p element of the EZPainter process.