Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A zombie pilot

Hi all,
A couple of weeks ago I got a surprise birthday present from my brother in Edinburgh. The plan is to paint him up and give him back as a Christmas present.
White Undercoat
GW Blazing Orange

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Skeleton Progress

Hi everyone!

So it's time to reveal what this blog will be about. For nearly the last 15 years I've been a huge fan of the miniature hobby. I was first introduced by a friend in school bringing in issues of Games Workshops hobby magazine "White Dwarf". I instantly was hooked by the images on the cover and contained within it's pages. Fantastical images showing gangs battling out in the underhive, massive titans dwarfing legions of troops, armoured warriors cleansing planet after planet in space and wizened Necromancers raising dusty skeleton troops to do his bidding. What young teenager could not be drawn in by those images and the ones imagined even more vividly, which occupied his mind instead of math, english and geography.

Unfortunately it turns out I was not good at the gaming side. It was either that or I just don't get enough games. My hobby is painting all these toy soldiers. I don't have the embarrassing stacks of grey plastic and metal that some gamers have but I hold my own. In 40K I've just put together the Dark Vengeance miniatures, I've also started work on Warmachine Khador Widowmakers and Hordes Minion Warlock Bloody Barnabas. But I really do want to finish off my large skeleton unit with spears for WFB, and that's what I have been working on lately.

Here's what I've done so far;

  1. Undercoat with White
  2. Wash bone with Secret Weapon "Dark Sepia" (Bone finished)\
  3. Basecoat metal with Vallejo "Hammered Bronze"
  4. Basecoat cloth with GW "Red Gore"

Current progress

This is 12 skeletons from the 30 man/skeleton unit. I've already 9 painted, with another 9 to go after these twelve are finished. I am going to wait until I have all 30 done before I finish their bases in one foul swoop.

Until next time thanks for looking in.



Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Pilot for the Dakkajet

Hi gang,

I've been able over the last couple of days to get some hobby in, and that entails continuing on with the Ork Dakkajet project I've started over the last couple of weeks. I have the initial work done on the body of the plane and I thought I could get started on the pilot.

So after about a two hour paint job on him, he has been finished and even if I do say so myself he looks delighted to be flying a plane!

His skin was very simple Vallejo Caymen Green with highlights of Vallejo Dead Flesh and a couple washes of the new GW Glazes to bring the Dead Flesh back down a little bit. The Bomber fleece jacket was just Vallejo Desert Earth and a wash of Devlan Mud. But I am most proud of his lips and ear tips with are done in a really simple way. A basecoat of Vallejo Dead Flesh, a wash of purple wash followed by a wash of Baal Red and jobz a gud un!

So now that the pilot is done I've no excuse to put off painting the highlights on each of these paint chips. SIgh..........


Sunday, 12 August 2012

A new hobby room and first use of blogsy!

Hi gang,
It sure has been a while, but I suppose moving back home, starting a new job and commuting about 2 and a half hours a day might be enough for anyone. I have been getting painting in though, so let's see what I've been up to. Ok? Let's go!
First things first, my new base of operations. It's a fairly small room but I don't need much space plus those shelves are great storage space. The only disadvantage is that it's at the back of the house and there is not much natural light, only a small window with a tree pretty much blocking any light brave enough to attempt to approach my minis. Which means the lights have to be on even in the middle of the day.
But what have I been working on? The largest project is a 30 man/skeleton unit for my Warhammer Vampire count army. They all are armed with hand weapons and shields and I really wanted to go for a weathered oxidised look but also somehow keeping them easy to paint. I decided to go with a white undercoat and build the bone especially with simple washes. I was quite pleased with how the first couple turned out as well as the command models.
The colour scheme of black and red isn't exactly inspired for Vampire Counts but hey, you shouldn't mess with a classic too much, right? The bases of all 30 will be done at the same time once the overall unit is finished.
Rank and File Skeletons
Skeleton Command
I have also gone back to my first 40k army and started work on the first Nob in my Warboss retinue. The idea is to have a Nob 'advisor' from each of the main Klans. So I started work on the Evil Sun Nob.

I have to say I'm very happy how his skin has turned out so far. The metals are still the rest of the body pretty much has still to be done.

I'm going to leave the update there for now. Hopefully I will be updating this more regularly again as I've found this fairly sweet blogsy app which makes updating on my iPad a snap!

Until next time........

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Secret Weapon Washes

I ordered hobby supplies from www.basecrafts.com and I have been delighted with the service and speed of delivery. Sometimes I find it can take up to a month to get a delivery from Britain across the Irish Sea but not with this company. I ordered last week and it arrived within seven days. 

So what did I order?

I've been wanting to try out Secret Weapon Washes for a long time and I took the opportunity to order ten of them. (including the beautifully named "Baby Poop"). Because of this order I got a free full sized tub of weathering powder. I also got a large tub of Vallejo Grey Pumice and some water effects. 

I had a look at the Washes coming out of the packaging and there was some definite sediment. 

But after a quick 30 second shake, sediment be gone!

I'm really looking forward to trying these washes out. 

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The two-brush blending technique

Hi guys,
So over the last week I have been attempting to try and learn the two-brush blending technique. I do remember hearing about this techniques at some stage before but it was not something that had registered with me.  But I stumbled on the following video's and thought it might be worth a try.

After a couple of hobby related incidents I had just stripped and cleaned the Colman Stryker mini from the Cynar battlebox from the last post so decided that he'd be a perfect project to try and learn and develop this technique on.

First stop was a white undercoat and then a basecoat of GW Dheneb Stone on his cloak. I then give it a very watered down wash of Asurman Blue.
So I picked out two VGC paints, Khaki and Bonewhite to highlight the cloak with and set out on my first attempt at two-brush blending. After an hour or two of fiddling around, brush licking, head scratching, spit dribbling painting later I achieved this!
Fairly muck in my eyes! Tide marks and streaks all over the place, no solid coverage, just a general mess of a paint job. Here's a cropped photo to highlight the messiness of it all!
I had a general idea that I was making a couple of mistakes, firstly I didn't think I was leaving enough time for the first layer of paint to be dry before I painted the second layer, secondly I had a vague notion that I was wet blending incorrectly. I was using the blending brush to drag the paint away from the initial application and it dawned on me during the process maybe I should be zig-zaging the brush along the edge of the paint layer.
So to the internet and found these from McVey studio's (awesome painters and company!)  

These video's really helped me an awful lot and while confirming my inital suspicions about the above two mistakes they also seem to have pointed out another large mistake I have been making that I hadn't even thought about. This was the amount of paint I had been applying to the mini initially. I had been applying my paint as I normally would when I use my usual layering technique, in long lines down the raised ridges of the cloak. As I keep my paint thin (like a good boy) this meant that by the time I had gotten to line it had already started to dry and I just ended up pushing half dried paint around the mini.
So my lightbulb moment was less paint is more! If I added a small spot of the paint rather than a big long line like I would edge highlighting, the paint will not dry as quickly and I won't be pushing gunk around the mini.
I did not have a lot of time yesterday evening, but after my guitar class I re-basecoated the cloak/coat/tunic with VGC Khaki and tried to shade using the "spot" two brush blending. While I only spent maybe fifteen minutes, it seemed to work a lot better. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures but I will have some tomorrow.

Until then, keep painting.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Vampires, Airbrushes and Cygnar

Hi gang,

over the weekend I finished up the Vampire Countess I have been painting. I've been painting her over the last two weeks and it's a miniature that I really enjoyed painting.
Vampire Countess (Avatar of War)
I'm fairly happy with how she turned out, especially the reds and the skin. The pictures may be a bit dark and they are something I need to improve but I was also quite happy with the dark black armour, which I highlighted with Turquoise Blue to try and give it a steel look. I was really trying to achieve the classic, white skin/black hair/red cloak vampire look and I'm reasonably happy with how she turned out.

I also started work on the Cygnar Battlebox I purchased a month or two ago. I had the set already cleaned up and glued together but I broke out the airbrush and set to work with gusto. Firstly I primed white with Vallejo White Primer.

White Undercoat Cygnar Battlebox
I then used masking medium to block out the white areas I wanted to keep.

Blocked of masking medium
 I then used Vallejo Game Colour Enchanted Blue to give a good base colour to work from.

And that's where I left that battlegroup at the moment. The plan is to darken the blue up a little bit but at the same time have a very clean bright colour scheme. I don't normally undercoat my mini's white so it's going to be a learning curve for me.

Talk to you guys later.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Privateer Press WarRoom and Colossals

I've just seen the two new announcements from Privateer Press in relation to the next supplement of the Warmachine game. The Colossals look amazing and while we only saw actual physical mini's of the Khador and Cygnar units, the artwork for Cryx, Menoth and Mercenaries units look great. Also the news that the "legendary" versions of many of the famous warcasters will have many gamers (even privateer press noobs like me) drooling.

But the real exciting announcement for me is the iOS and android app "WarRoom". This announcement shows that PP as a company are willing to make brave decisions to move into areas that are not traditionally associated with tabletop gaming companies. Digital decks of cards and a card marking system, instant errata and updates, what looks like a digital issues of No Quarter, card sharing during games, a company sanctioned list creator and rule references.

How refreshing to see a miniature company moving with the times and using technology that will make games more dynamic and interesting. WarRoom really has amazing potential and I'm very excited to see how it works out and what develops from it.

Kudos' to you Privateer Press.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Skeleton Base, Dark Souls and Cross Country Running

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone had a great weekend. This will be a quick enough update. I'm just going to share a couple of photo's and one video.

Firstly I did get some painting done over the weekend and the base for my mounted vampire is nearly finished. I am thinking about giving it a coat of the Army Painter varnish to finish it off. (maybe after another highlight of the red)

So the plan is to highlight the red a little more, go back over the bone in places to tidy it up and give it a coat of the AP varnish. I must say I am quite happy with how the weathering powders worked for the metal areas. But has anyone any experience using AP quick shade varnish over weathering powders, how does it work out? It won't make a mess will it?

Secondly something I don't really cover too much on my blog as it is more focused on my miniature painting hobby but I wanted to bring up Dark Souls. I finished this game over the weekend (Friday night) after playing it solidly since it came out. 

Hard? Hell yes!

I had an absolute blast playing it over the last 4 months, racking up nearly 90 hours overall and nearly 420 deaths. How do I know I racked up nearly 420 deaths? Because I kept a record! As a game who's tag line is "Prepare to Die", I certainly did!

So I was cursed once and found Obstein and Smough the toughest dying nealy 100 times at those two alone!
Finally between finishing Dark Souls and painting I also got some exercise. My first ever cross country run. The weather on Sunday was awful but here's a video of the first obstacle in the 10k run. A very enjoyable day but very very muddy.

I was in the third wave so it was fairly muddy. I'm hitting the water around the minute mark. Did I mention it was muddy?

Until next time.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

40k Battle and Updated Vampire's

Two posts in two days! What the hell is going on?

Game of 40k:

Well my regular gaming buddy Phil, sent me on a couple of pictures of our game of 40k the weekend before last. A classic Ork vs Guard match up, 1500pts each. I was playing a boy heavy Ork army (90 slugga's) supported by 3 deffkopta's, an eight strong Nob mob with a painboy and a Weirdboy, a Big Mek with a Shokk Attack Gun and a looted wagon with Boom Gun. I can't remember exactly what Phil ran, but there were definitely 3 sentinels, some snipers, a couple of platoons, a veteran squad in a chimera, three autocannon teams, three heavy bolter teams an a Leman Russ of some sort.

Phil's Deployment (with objective)
My Deployment, beginning my first turn (with objective)
We had a great game, despite the fact we were both fairly rusty with the rules having not played a game of 40k in a couple of months. I gave Phil a bit of a shock in the first couple of rounds with my Weirdboy warping the unit of Nobs up the board right into his lines. The painboy made the unit quite durable and they caused a lot of damage initially, but eventually weight of fire wore them down. By this stage two of my maxed units of boyz were almost on the Imperial Guard lines. But Phil stayed disciplined with his firing and eventually wiped out both boyz units. He eventually counter attacked in turn 5 with his veteran squad in the chimera for my objective. It would have been a drawn if the game finished on turn 6 but his chimera tank shocked the remaining boy unit to contest my objective in turn 7 and earned him a hard fought win.

I really enjoyed this game and about half way through thought I had a good chance to win it, but two mistakes really cost me. Firstly I just didn't have a enough anti-armour weapon's in my army. I had neglected to give any nobs power fists, and relied two heavily on the Shok Attack Gun and BoomGun to do the damage. While the Shok Attack Gun was decent (I managed to roll a str9 shot for 3 turns) and only rolled a double once, relying on the looted wagon with a BS of 2 to do a large amount of damage may not have been the best plan. Especially with the amount of terrain we had on the board. The second mistake was calling the Waaagh a turn too early, and not actually getting any of my ork units into CC. A rookie mistake made due to lack of game time with my boyz.

But a very enjoyable game over all and well done to Phil for staying the course and eking a win out of a hard fought game.

Vampire Counts:

So here is a quick update on the painting of my vampire counts. Firstly I did a quick basecoat and wash on the mounted vampires base. It was a basecoat of GW Khermi Brown followed by a heavy wash of Devlan Mud.

Inital work on the skelleton's
I have spent more time with the female vampire (stop snickering down the back!), focusing mainly on the reds. I have been experimenting with shading and highlighting with complementary colours.

Initial work on the red dress
Currently the closest to finished part of the dress
So the recipe so far looks like this:

1. Undercoat Black
2. Basecoat Vallejo Gory Red
3. Shade 50:50 mix of Vallejo Gory Red and Dark Green
4. Darkest Shadows Vallejo Dark Green
5. First Highlight 50:50 mix of Vallejo Gory Red and Livery Green.

The use of complementary colours to shade and highlight is only something I have recently come across but I think it's a very interesting technique and something I would really like to get to grips with.

Until next time.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Vampire Counts Vampires


so I've had a fairly productive hobby weekend. I built the Vampire Count Coven Throne and am now worried whether I should have painted it on the spruce rather that after the building. I have kept the 3 Vampire's off of the mini for painting though. I also converted the 3 banshee's in that kit for the Mortis Engine into normal banshee's which I hope to use place in units in the future.

My main work though was the cleaning up and undercoating of two of my Vampire models. The first of these was the female vampire from Avatars of War. A model that I really love.

Vampiress Count cleaned and given a black wash for detail

The second vampire I was working on during the weekend is mounted and comes from the great German Gamezone Range.

Gamezone Mournful Knight 1

The base does not come with the mini, but I have taken it from the Harry the Hammer limited edition release GW produced a couple of years ago.

Base without the Knight

I'm delighted with this little bit of a conversion. (Does a base swap count as a conversion) because I really think it adds a sense of dynamic movement to the model. Like the Vampire is charging over the useless ranks of skeleton's to get at the enemy more quickly.

Coming in the next post: Basecoats of the the vampire miniatures. 

Friday, 20 January 2012

Current painted Vampire Counts Army

Hi gang,

A very quick blog today to show you guys (and keep a record for myself) of what I have completed for my Vampire Counts army as of the 20th of Jan 2012. I finished off my 60 zombies last night. These were painted and based last but I wanted to magnetise them and their movement tray and give them a coat of Matt Varnish. So I did this and took a couple of pictures of the finished unit with my Ghouls, Dire Wolves, Spirit Hosts, Wraiths, Necromancer and Banshee.

Vampire Counts Army-Jan 2012

So from the list and the picture you can see that this army is missing it's title character. My next project with this army is to add not one but two Vampire Counts. A male vampire on a nightmare and a female vampire on foot.

Expect an update in relation to these soon.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Vampire Count Dire Wolves

Hi guys!

just a quick update to show you the finished unit of Dire Wolves. Like the Ghoul unit before it I had the basecoat of the main colours done well before Christmas but they had been sitting in my 'to finish' pile for a couple of months.

So once again I gave them a good coating of Army Painter Quickshade followed by a spray of Matt Varnish once they were dry. I then added the snow to the base and called it a job.

Three large photo's when one could have done!

Once again I'm quite happy with how this unit has turned out. The Army Painter Quickshade really does take a lot of work out of getting these mini's finished and looks particularly well on browns I think. So that is the majority of the low hanging fruit painting wise finished this year. I don't think I'll be making such quick progress for the rest of the year but 31 finished miniatures before 2 weeks of 2012 is over is easily the record of productivity for me!

My next project is to go back and magnetise all 60 of my zombies and give one or two of them a repaint. As well as start on painting the first of my Vampires to lead this army.


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Finished Death Korp of Krieg Commissar

Hi gang,

I can today reveal what miniature I painted for the Librarium-Onine secret Santa, since Allonnairre has informed me he has recieved his package in the post. As the title may have given away it was a Death Korp of Krieg Commissar.

I really love the Krieg range of miniatures from Forge World and have a full unit of riders of Krieg that I am as of yet afraid to touch incase I ruin them with paint.

Anyway here is the finished miniature and I hope he finds a lovely home and Allonnairre will love having him as much as I loved painting him.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Vampire Count Ghouls Finished

Hi gang,

over the Christmas break while I was at home (about 200km away from my paints and models) I really got the itch to paint. This feeling is always the same for me, If ever I go a couple of days without doing something hobby related I really start to feel a need to sit down and glue or paint something.

When I finally got back to my hobby desk I set about satisfying that itch with gusto. I got my secret Santa for 2011 finished and in the mail. (I will post finished pictures when the person who it's meant for confirms delivery) I then set about finishing a 20 strong unit of Ghouls for my Vampire Count army.

With the new army book being released at the end of this week I thought it was the ideal time to go back and revisit the two VC units I left in mid-paint, the first of these was the unit of Ghouls. Over Christmas I resolved to get more of this army painted but I needed to find a way to do this more quickly than what I was previously achieving. Eventually I remembered that I had done some previous experiments with The Army Painter Quick Shade range of products and that the browns of these shades would be perfect for a grotty falling apart Vampire Count Army.

So I broke out a used paint brush and gave each of the twenty models a fairly liberal coating. After leaving them dry for about 24 hours I then gave them a coat of Army Painter Matt Varnish. I finished the whole unit off by basing them with a couple patches of snow.

I have to say I am really pleased with how this unit turned out. It is not going to win a Golden Demon anytime soon but they are a good solid tabletop quality. So that hobby itch is being satisfied but it's not quite gone yet, but 21 finished models since the beginning of January is not a bad start to 2012.

Next unit on the painting table is my 10 man dog unit of Dire Wolves.

Until next time.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The New Year Plans

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a very relaxing and peaceful Christmas with families and loved ones and are now fully refreshed for a new year of hobby action!

The big news over Christmas is of course the leaked pictures of the new Vampire Counts miniatures and army book on Christmas Eve. My initial thoughts from the blurry scans are very positive and as a vampire player I think I will definitely have to pick up at least the Coven Throne, Wight King and Black Knights.

Of course there is nothing like a new army book to refocus your thoughts on the unpainted models in your army. So with this in mind I have gotten out my half finished regiment of Ghouls and my old long forgotten tub of army painter dip. I have liberally applied the varnish with a brush and the ghouls are now sitting around drying. I think it should be a matter of a few spot highlights here and there, the basing and I can call them done. I also have a unit of five Dire Wolves which are going to get the same treatment.

From there it will be onto the units of Skeletons. I plan to use the army painter dip for all of this painting and really hope it will help me speed up the production of the 60 or so skeletons I have to get through.

So in this very soft and fuzzy outlined plan I'm setting out my new year hobby resolutions. So expect to see Vampire Counts stuff for the first six months of the year from me. (With maybe a little Warmachine stuff thrown in for good measure.

I hope you'll be able to follow me in the year ahead.  

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