Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Evil Dead

I have four more Zs finshed up. Still using the same technique using the same colours. These will probable be the last of the green zombies that I'll do. Got a bag of zombies coming from Wargames Factory off eBay (£14.50 for 30 Zs!!!) which should give me plenty to paint up in a variety of rotting flesh tones and convert brutalised corpses till my hearts content as they are plastic!

Here's a group shot...

Again, some really nice character in these guys, all a little different with different challenges when painting them. Although, what's been really nice about these miniatures is that they have been really easy to paint and then to actually get finished. I'm now really looking forward to trying out some more colour variations and expanding the horde. Where I'm going to put all of these shambling corpses is beyond me however. What I'm going to tell my girlfriend to justify me buying more miniatures is even further beyond me.....maybe it'll be our little secret eh?!

This little guy was an interesting one to paint up. I didn't really want to coat him in blood like all of the rest of them. Firstly It felt a little wrong to do so (something about the innocence of youth and all that I suppose) and secondlyI think it's even more creepy when you can't actually see what's happened to him! The only injuries you can see are the bones poking out of his forearms so obviously he's fallen off something pretty high..... I wonder what happened to this little guy... Suggestions?

Back to lot's of beautiful gore with these fellas, given the state of them its hardly surprising that they bled a little. There really is something strangely therapeutic in painting lots and lots of blood on a miniature.....maybe I should keep that to myself though....

And it wouldn't be much of a zombie Apocalypse without a rotting preacher. I actually have the living version of this guy which I will try and paint up at some point too. I still think he looks a little bland but really can't think of a way to make him look any more interesting. Oh well. He'll disappear into the horde before long.

And a picture of the horde as it stands! 10 Zs at the minute with another 30 in the post. I also have a few survivors on order from Lead Adventures but I'm going to leave these for another post as I've been coveting these guys for a while now and would love to do something a little special for them.

Next post I have two survivors almost finished which are actually going really well. The paint job contrasts a lot with how the zombies look. Nice and clean compared to horrible and dirty. Hope you guys like them!


Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Walking Dead


Sorry, couldn't help myself. A cheap shot, I know, but there you go.

As I'm sure you've gathered by now this post is all about those adorable shambling corpses we lovingly  call Zombies. I really tried to capture the rotting flesh look, how did I do?

So these models are a fair departure for me for a few reasons. Firstly, these are the first ever miniatures that I have painted that haven't been produced by GW. I know, wash my mouth out with soap right?! It actually did feel a little weird. They're the same scale and of the same kind of sculpt quality but they look subtly different from the way GW make their undead look. But God were they a lot of fun to paint.

All of the models had a lot of character to them. Especially the girl in the nightdress above. She just looks so sad to be undead and I love the leaning stance she's got as if she cant hold herself up anymore. I also really like the juxtaposition I've got going on with something so girly and a flesh eating monster. (Although arguments could be made for me painting her with a normal skin tone and it having the same effect ;P)

For the life of me though I couldn't tell you where any of these miniatures came from. I was actually given these by Adam at ilikepaintinglead as he has a ridiculous lead mountain of unpainted models in his house, a large portion of those zombies. I said that I would lend a hand and paint some up for him (I know, I'm a regular good samaritan right?!) . If anyone can tell me where they're from it's him. Maybe he'll oblige by adding a comment for me? ;D

He also gave me a few survivor models to paint up to. A few of which I have the zombie equivalents too, like the Hillbilly Zombie above. I'll have those painted up next I reckon so you can see the comparison. Though given the way this guy looks I don't reckon his human counterpart will look a lot cleaner!

I painted the vast majority of these guys using only GW shades. I primed them all a light grey. Gave them three coats of Athonian Camo Shade (one of my new favourite washes), highlighted a few areas with Drakenhoff Nightshade to simulate bruised flesh and used our favourite Agrax Earthshade to make all the clothing suitably grubby.

And what zombie model is complete without lashings of gore?! To get the effect I have here I just layered coat upon coat of Carroburg Crimson Shade until I liked the tone of the blood. I like the way it's made the blood look really dark but still quite vibrant. I then used watered down PVA glue to make it shiny and fresh (I'm too stingy to buy gloss varnish!).

So what do you guys think of my take on the rotting dead? I'll have those survivors up soonish and maybe one day me and Adam will actually play some zombie apocalypse scenario type games like we've been saying we'll do for an absolute age! One day....


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Thunder Wolves Hoooooo!!! (Part 2)

Hey Guys!

So after my long, luxurious holiday of doing nothing I had a long and not so luxurious stint back at work. As such this is the first day that I have had off in a whole six days! Hence the lack of hobby time recently. I know, it's tough, but I've got to get the money to buy lots of little sculpted bits of plastic and resin from somewhere.

So on this day off I have managed to finish off one of my current projects...

Thunder Wolf Cavalry

The vast majority of this guy was actually painted with my airbrush (any excuse, I know) and the results turned out pretty damn well, especially on the wolf. I used 3 different browns to shade the fur which gives it a lot of depth and then washed the whole thing in Agrax Earthshade to deepen the shadows. In real life the wolfs coat just looks really rich (if a little ginger, stupid chestnut ink!)) which I'm quite happy with. 

I also airbrushed the marines armour which led me to a shocking revaluation. Airbrushed paint rubs off really easily! I guess I wont actually be handling the model when I'm airbrushing anymore. This left me with loads of touch up work to do which is very tough after airbrushing because the tone of the paint completely changes!

I think I really need to find a better way to take photos too. The shading and highlighting on the storm shield is actually really good but you totally can't see it as the white is completely washed out. Any tips on budget photography are more than welcome at this point!

As for the cultist I went for a really dirty, Nurgle theme to be in stark contrast with the clean Space Wolf. I did this using an interesting new technique. Anyone familiar with James Wappel's work should check it out. I used his shaded basecoat technique to get a really complimentary colour scheme going and then heavily applied wash to shade and add a layer of filth! Again, I'm really happy with the results.

So what do you guys think? I'm currently painting a load of zombies whilst watching the Two Towers using nothing but washes as a little experiment. Hopefully have them up soon!


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Thunder Wolves Hoooooo!!!! (WIP)

Just a quick one here,

Here's another of the projects that I am currently working on;

Thunder Wolf Cavalry

 You'll have to run faster than that....

Earlier this week my brother visited and brought me a belated birthday present. However, if his presents are going to be this awesome then they can be late all of the time! These models are awesome to behold. The Wolves themselves are incredibly detailed and there are loads of options for the Marines. For the first I wanted a really action oriented pose. This was inspired by some amazing conversion work I stumbled upon recently. Just check this out. Simply incredible...so her's my first attempts at something that cool!

As far as modelling goes I haven't had to do a lot actually. I repositioned the marines arms with a little cutting and gluing so it looks like he's hanging off the wolf to reach the cultist. The cultists head was simply clipped of, stuck on a pin and then I green stuffed some blood. Interesting thing with that though, I got the best blood effect not by actually sculpting but simply pulling small pieces from a clump of green stuff around his neck. We'll see how it paints up.

Luckily the Thunder Wolves come on massive bases which gives you a lot of options when basing them. I chose a single cultist having his head well and truly separated from his shoulders! I think it's worth pointing out that none of this is glued together at this point, just simple blue tack. The model is currently sitting on little sticks waiting to be sprayed black which I'm going to do right now!


....Too late!


Monday, 11 February 2013

Into The Fires of Battle....

 Hi All!

So first of all I'd like to say hi to the few new followers that Have appeared over the last few days! Hopefully you'll find some of the stuff I hobble together entertaining and I look forward to any comments or thoughts you guys have on any of my finished projects!

So what have I been up to? Nowhere near as much as I thought that I would get done on my week off. That's not a bad thing though as I have managed to get myself thoroughly engrossed in Skyrim again. All those caves aren't going to explore themselves are they?!

On the painting front I did manage to get one of my projects to a finished point; 

Salamanders Dreadnought

Into the Fires of Battle....

I've really enjoyed painting this guy for a variety of reasons. Firstly, this was my test project for my new airbrush! God it's fun to play with. The coverage and control of tone I managed to get on the armour plates was really cool. It was also much less scary than I thought it would be to use this piece of kit. No horrendous mistakes were made which was a relief and I feel that I learned a lot about pressure, paint thinning, technique etc as I went on. 

As I said, I only painted the Salamander Green armour using the airbrush. I used 3 shades of green; Caliban, Warpstone Glow and Moot. I attempted some light zenithal highlighting on the arms and legs, following the curve of the armour which turned out really well I think. I also attempted some gradient shading on the front armour plates which is now a little tough to see thanks to the weathering, oh well...

The second reason this was great fun is that I wanted the model to look thoroughly beaten up. Like it had actually seen war and been on campaign for a long time! I used two separate techniques to do this. Firstly tactically using washes to darken areas, add streaks, scorch marks (I particularly like his fists!) etc. I used combinations of Badab Black, Agrax Earthshade and an old GW Chestnut Ink for the heavy scorch marks on the flamer, melta and exhausts.

Secondly I used the old sponge battle damage technique. Adding a small amount of paint to a ripped up piece of sponge and lightly dabbing the areas you want to be damaged. It worked a treat! I used Chaos Black as the base for the scratches, highlighted with Chainmail and then applied Badab Black and Agrax Earthshade washes to dull down the metal.

I also attempted a lava themed base. Like he was actually fighting on Nocturne! I used wet blending to get the lava effect and scorched the stone using Chestnut Ink. I think it turned out alright actually, even if the base is way too small.....and square.....it's all I had alright!!!

So there you go, a Salamander Dreadnought using the old school Blood Angels Furioso Dreadnought that I stripped in a previous post. You see, I can actually finish things that I start......sometimes......

...Unto The Anvil of War!


Monday, 4 February 2013

The Chosen! (well, one of them anyway)

 Finally managed to get the first one done!

This guy took me a ridiculous time to complete. The main reason being that he was my test bed for getting the colour palette down as well as the actual techniques I would use to achieve the results I wanted. I tell you something, I have actually learned more when painting this model than I have in a long time. Here's a couple of pics and some explanation of what I did....

 The main thing being something really fundamental; water down your paints. Don't get me wrong I've always known this and have also always watered down any paint I use but to nowhere near the extent I did with this guy. Takes his armour for example. To get the red I used a basecoat of Khorne red. After that I used Mechrite red so watered down that the pigment actual began to split. I added around 3 full coats and then a couple of texture coats. What I mean is that the first 3 coats looked rubbish as the paint was too watery but then layering coats in the middle of the flat expanses of the model created an amazing, subtle, textured quality. So simple, looks so good!

The second thing I learned was using targeted shading. I used a lot of washes on this guy but not how I usually use them. Again, I'll use the armour as an example. I used Agrax Earthshade around the edges of the armour plates where they meet the gold. This added great shadow but didn't change the actual hue of the red. It did however leave a slight line where the wash ended so I used Seraphim Sepia shade to blend it in with the rest of the armour. Again, simple but created loads off really subtle shifts of colour in what could have been boring, flat areas of the model.

 I also started getting much better with the OSL technique. Especially underneath the power fist. This was all tied into using really watered down paint making it much easier to blend the colour into the model without fully covering the 'actual' colours of the armour, robe etc.

So what do you think? I'm actually pretty happy with him even though he took an absolute age to do! However, if I can get all of the models in the unit up to this standard then I'll be a very happy man!

Let me know what you think!


Saturday, 2 February 2013

Making A Winter Themed Display Base

Good Afternoon All!

The vast majority of the miniatures that I paint are used mainly as cool ornamentation that get scattered around my house. That said if I ever paint an entire unit I tend to build a display base for said unit to tie all the models together, creating a single ornament out of multiple miniatures. This fits quite well into my OCD that requires everything to be neat, ordered and tidy in certain aspects of my life, miniature painting and display being one of them! For my current project (Chaos Chosen form the Dark Vengeance box set) I decided that I wanted to base them in a rocky, snow covered landscape. I also wanted to have a go at making a tutorial just to see how it would turn out and to remind myself how I did things in the months to come. Maybe it can even help someone else to boot, who knows!

Anyway, here goes nothing...

Making A Winter Themed Display Base

Step 1: Gather Your Materials!

When making this type  base I use the materials that I regularly use to build my scenic bases for single miniatures;

I use small cuts of pine wood and whittle them into shapes that resemble rocky outcrops. For this base I wanted it to be multi tiered hence the three different sizes of wood that I have. 

The saw and the craft knife allow me to make large changes to the over all structure of the wood or small details such as the shaping of the rock face. 

I have a fine grained piece of sand paper that will allow me to smooth out any of the edges of the base and to create gradual inclines in the wood.

And lastly I have a pencil and a ruler to rule out where I want the main cuts of the wood to be. This stops me just sawing willy nilly and ruining lots of wood due to being over zealous with the changes I make!

Step 2: Whittle!

Using the craft knife you can see that for each of the pieces of wood I have whittled a rock effect into its sides. This provides me with the multi tiered look I was going for and also makes the wood look like a rocky outcrop rising out of the lower piece of wood. The best tip I can give for this is work with the grain of the wood. It's very easy to strip away pieces of wood when you work in this way. If you try to cut against the grain you'll find it much harder to cut and you won't get as good an effect as it will start to splinter!

You can see that I have also begun to mark out where the bases for each of the members of the squad are going to be on the main base. The reason for this will become apparent in the next step.

Step 3: Basing Material

Now you can see why I added the base markers! I have covered all of the base in a basing material that I make from all of the off cuts from my cutting board mixed with sand and PVA glue (Thanks Adam for this ingenious idea!). This mixture ends up being really varied in texture and dries rock hard after about 24 hours. I have also used some slightly larger rocks from a GW basing kit (any rocks from a garden will do) and some of the off cuts from the wood in the previous step. I find it really useful to keep all of this kind of stuff as you never know when you'll need some pieces of wood for a base your making!

Leave this all to dry for at least 24 hours and then on to step 4.

Step 4: Undercoat

Undercoating the entire thing has a few benefits. Firstly any paint you use to paint the base will apply easier as with models but secondly it also adds a further layer of sealant to basing material. The last thing you want is to create an awesome looking base and then it all crumbles because it wasn't properly sealed. I under coated this one with Grey Gesso as it runs really easily into all of the nooks and crannies on a base and then I washed it with Badab Black wash to give it some depth.

Step 5: Dry Brushing and Glazing

In this step I have dry brushed the entire model using an old GW paint called Shadow Grey (not sure of the new paints name) and then highlighted with Rakarth Flesh (previously Dheneb Stone). This creates the stone effect that I will be using for the lowest areas of the base. Once all of the paint was dry I then added various washes to the lowest areas of the base to create a more interesting stone effect. I mostly used more Badab Black and Agrax Earthshade for this. I have also used a Chestnut Ink (not sure GW do this anymore) on the pieces of wood. As the wood was already dry brushed with the stone effect this wash just gave the wood a brown finish meaning I didn't have to highlight the wood again!

Step 6: Let it Snow! 

Stage 1

I deal with snow in two stages. The first stage being the more compacted snow that has been laying there for a while. For this I use GW's new basing paint Mourn Mountain Snow. I have liberally painted this in random areas across the base. I had a look at a few real world examples of this kind of landscape and found that the snow mostly sits in recesses, presumably where its less windy? This is exactly how I directed my stage 1 snow.

Stage 2

It's actually a little hard to see in this pic but I have now added the freshly lain snow on top of the compacted snow to add more depth to the effect. I added PVA glue to the already white ares of the base and then sprinkled some snow flock on top. I then sprayed the entire thing using an aerosol varnish. I did this without shaking off any of the lose flock off the base as this tends to settle quite naturally and provides more natural snow cover on the rocky parts of the base. The varnish seals this onto the base. I have also added a few patches of grass using the wasteland tuft from the same GW basing kit as the snow and the rocks.


And heres some shots of the finished base!

And some shots with (really) old Blood Angels for scale purposes. 
(I painted these up about 13 years ago I reckon. Not bad, but certainly not good....)

All in all I think the base turned out really well! I just hope that I can paint up the Chosen to a decent standard so they look good displayed upon it.....

So what do you guys think? Any feedback is always welcome especially about the tutorial as it's the first one that I have ever tried to do!


Vengeance At Last!

Look what I just bought!

I couldn't help myself honest!

So, Dark Vengeance has been calling to me for quite some time. Every time I seemed to look at all the models I would notice another one that I thought was awesome. Thus, I decided to take a trip into town and use my hard won birthday money to buy the box set. The way I can easily justify the purchase to myself (and more importantly, to my girlfriend) is the sheer value for money. At around £1 a model it's a bargain and it means that I will have plenty to keep me painting and modelling for the foreseeable future. Plus, the quality of the sculpts and poses of all the individual models is incredibly high. Sure, given the nature of the sculpts it is slightly more difficult to customise each of the individual models but I figure that the poses are so good on most of them that I actually wouldn't bother unless a particular need took over me!

The first models that really caught my eye in the set were the Chosen Chaos marines. Each and every one of them has such character it was easy (even for a lifelong Imperial like myself) to fall ink love with them. I also saw a fantastically painted example of one of them on Camelson's blog;

Just Wow....

I would encourage anyone to go and check out this guys stuff as everything he does is of this standard. I can't even comprehend being this good unless I painted every hour of every day and given that my back seizes up after a couple of hours of painting that's not really an option for me!

The paint job on this model really inspired me to work on these guys first. Which is exactly what I have done. I currently have two of the Chosen in various stages of WIP but I'll shows those off once one of them is completely finished. I have however finished the base that I intend to display the entire unit, with the Archon, on and I thought to myself, "why not try a tutorial?". So that's what I plan to do....

......In my next post


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