Thursday, January 29, 2015

On the table now - Proxy Beasts of Nurgle

The proxy Beasts of Nurgle are coming along well. The pictures do not show this well, but after applying my base colors, I applied a Biel-tan Green wash, dry brushed Bleached Bone, washed Gryphonne Sepia and then touched up Bleached bone again. It still needs some detail work, but they are coming along nicely. 

Finished - Thousand Sons Helbrute Epic Post

 As part of the Cult Troops project, I am trying to complete groups of unit sin each of the styles of the 4 Chaos Gods. I have already completed a Dreadnought/Helbrute dedicated to Khorne and began to turn my thoughts to the other powers. Nurgle, was fairly obvious as it needed to be a mas of boils and puss much like the Daemon Prince of Nurgle. Knowing this was beyond my skills to sculpt, I sent a Helbrute kit off to a buddy of mine that is better with green stuff. 

That is two down. I have no idea what I am going to do for the Slaanesh Helbrute but I did have a tickle of what to do for a Thousand Sons/Tzeentch Helbrute. I wanted to borrow from the fluff of the Thousand Sons in that, thanks to the Rubric of Ahriman, many of the Thousand Sons Legionaries are spirits trapped in their armor. That is pretty close to what a Dreadnought is already. 

Assembly and Conversions

I had a metal Chaos Dreadnought that I had gotten in a trade on Bartertown that, if I did not use it for this, would probably never get used ever. I had some left over and extra bits from the Helbrute kit that I decided to incorporate them into this kit. 

Yes, I paid good money for the real Helbrute kit rather than Dark Vengeance one. Why? The bits man. The extra weapons and decorative bits could be spread across several kits. They are incredibly detailed. To sculpt them would be out of my league and to buy the bits individually would be too expensive. I really got all my money worth out of this kit. 

On the table now - Psykers x3

 I have wanted the IG Sanctioned Psykers in metal for a long time. Since the last incarnation of the Grey Knight Codex (back in the flying circus of Matt Ward days), they have had a psychic power that allowed them to shoot a S 3 AP 6 large blast template with a range of 36". The trick was that for each additional Psyker after the first, the Strength increases by 1 and the AP decreases by 1. With 6 Psykers, this means that they can lay down a S 8 AP1 large template even from transports with firing points. At 10 points each, this is devastatingly cost effective. 

I have three and need three more. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Finished - Helbrute of Khorne

I finished my first Cult Helbrute. It started with me just messing around and having a dirth of Helbrute kits. I even went out and bought a full kit and some bits to complete Helbrutes for each of the Chaos Gods. 

This guy is obviously the Helbrute from Dark Vengeance with a few modifications. I left out the front plate and swapped the head for a Bloodcrusher head that I had spare. I also added some spikes to the side of the head. I shaved off the icon on the left fist and replaced it with a Khorne symbol. I removed and re-positioned the chains under the fist. I adapted a Power Flail for a right arm weapon. I added some gargoyles to the smoke stacks because why not. I added a large Khrone symbol to the back and replaced the butt plate with a Bloodcrusher head armor. I hafe a metal flame that I'll mount under the left fist after I get it painted. 

As far as painting, I don't know that I did anything special. The reds were simple and dark. The metals were a barker version of my standard gold. 

I did add in a little Khorne touch. The right knee guard is painted blue and green like the middle of the World Eater's icon. 

I think with all the conversions that this mini is valued at $45 without the paint. With all the detail, I think that to replace this mini would cost about $85. That seems about right for trade value too. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Painting - Basecolors

 Let's talk about base colors. 

I was not always a good painter. I estimate that I ruined about 2,000 points of white Tau and 2,000 points of muddy Blood Angels before I got my painting feet under me. In this time that I was ruining minis with paint and and not painting them, I talked to an artist that painted minis masterful. She was painting a giant Skaven mini and showed me a picture of what she was going for. I was confused because she started by painting it a medium tan (like Graveyard Earth) and she wanted to end with lite skin tones (like Elf Flesh). She told me that painting for a dissimilar (and sometimes contrasting) base color adds depth to a mini in ways that layering can not. 

I told her that I thought that she could metaphorically fertilize a field with that.

Then I tried it.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

On the table now - Proxy Beast of Nurgle

I found these at the FLGS after seeing them suggested as a good proxy elsewhere on the internet. For $3 each, they were a screaming deal. I would have paid $10 each for them and they still would have been half the price of the GW model. It is better quality too. I would rather the Reaper Bone than Finecast any day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On the table now - Plaguebearers

The Plaguebearers are coming along. I am really pleased with how they are turning out. They just need to be clear coated at this point. After that I am going to try out Nurgle's Rot on a large scale. I used it before on the Nurgle Herald to good effect and now I want to take it out for a spin. 

I also have another Herald of Nurgle in the works. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

On the table now - Plaguebearers

Working on my Plaguebearers. I am trying some more advanced techniques than I did on my Plague Marines. These guys do not have large flat areas of armor to paint and that makes them more difficult. I had to approach it with finesse and patience. 

For starters, I learned a lesson from the Bloodletters and attached the arms before I started painting. I prefer to to paint and then assemble and while it make it easier to paint all the angles and crevasses, the place where arms join to the body on that daemon models never look right unless they are painted with the body. It is hard to get the shading right. 

The plan is to paint them Bleached Bone and then layer in green and sepia washes to achieve the rotten skin effect. I am not really going for realism. I know what rotten, infected and dead skin looks like but I find that it is hard to paint and uninteresting to look at. 

The plan with these is to have a 10 man unit of each of the 4 types of Daemonas an army and to be summoned by other forces. I already have 10 Bloodletters and 10 Horrors. All that is left is 10 Daemonettes and they will hit the table soon . I am not really enthused about Daemons as an army but they are fun to paint and collect. I am going to branch out into other choices from the Daemon army. I have 3 Bloodcrushers finished and plans for some proxy Beasts of Nurgle (which I just found out that you can not summon). 

Finished - Forge World Herald of Nurgle

I have been a fan of this model from Forge world since it came out. At the time, it was the most intricate and detailed Nurgle-related model available. The subtle detail that tie it into the Lord of Flies really take the mini to the next level. Nurgle has many symbols, but one is the three circles. This design is copied across this model. You see it in in the sores and blisters and most obviously in the loudspeaker. I love that attention to the fluff detail. 

This mini comes with a chainsword, but I did not like how it looked. The teeth are small and the blade is too thin. Initially, I tried to replace it with a Space Marine chain sword but it was hard to get the length right. Instead I dug through my bits box and found a corroded-looking sword from the Fantasy Range. With a little work, it fit right. 

Finished - Bloodcrushers

When we last left these Blood Crushers, it was October 1st last year. I had started them on September 24th. I did what I do with minis sometimes. I take a big bite of a project, get really excited, paint furiously, get overwhelmed and then walk away with minis in a not-usable state. I move on to pother projects that are easier, shorter or more interesting. It is a habit.

To counteract it, I tend to take on smaller projects. The best are groups of 3-5 small minis or one large at a time. When I try to paint several large minis, I'll get disheartened and set the minis aside. Sometimes my desk is so cluttered with half-painted minis that I don't have room to paint more. I get through it by gritting my teeth and telling myself to FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED! I refuse to let myself start new projects until I clear my table. This is why you will see a burst of "Finished" posts in a row. 

Back to the Bloodcrushers!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Finished - Arjac Rockfist

The Anvil of Fenris is one bad mutha. 

I love this mini. It is one of the most dynamic poses of any Space Marine models ever. You can just imagine him twisting at the waste and flicking his wrist and that hammer flies.I love this model. Perhaps the only bad thing about it is that it is only available in resin. 

Because it is only available in resin I decided to give Yoymart a try. They make resin recasts of GW minis for less than half the price. Arjac retails for and insane $25. I remember when rhinos cost that and you could get a 10 man box for that price. Yoymart sold this for I think $5 which is eminently more affordable. I don;t know that either price is exactly right but maybe it should be priced somewhere in the middle. 

As far as quality, it is on par with GW Finecast if maybe a little more brittle. There are places where the detail is a little fudged but again it is on par with Finecast. It required a little cleaning up before it was ready to be painted. 

I painted him in my standard Space Wolf colors. I went a little heavy with the weathered bronze. In the middle of painting him, I reflected that all of the detail was painted bronze. I regret that partially but I don't have a good idea of how to paint it better. 

I am pretty pleased with how the face came out. For some reason the wash didn't want to stick to his face. I ended up having to paint on Agrax Earthshade to get it dark enough. I used Elf Flesh and a detail brush to get some subtle highlights on his face. 

I have to be fair in my estimation of what it would take to replace this model. I can't claim retail value for it when it is a knock off. The mini itself is worth about $5. The paintjob to me is worth about $25. That means to replace this mini would be about $30. However, Yoymart seems to have closed down. Right now, a retail mini is all I have access to and to replace this mini with that one would be closer to $55. 

Finished - Njal Stormcaller

This mini has been my unicorn for a long time. I made a number of offers on it and ended up paying almost retail for it. I dislike Finecast and wanted this mini in metal only. Any mini that was metal makes poor Finecast and any that have straight bits like staves, rods or swords are nightmarish ti fix. Often I end up clipping those bits off and replacing them. No such luck with this guy as his staff is a major part of the model and (until this most recent codex) a powerful relic. 

As for painting him, it is pretty straight forward. Like the Rune Priest, I really tried to go to town on the face. I wanted all my Space Wolf Psykers (I know they hate it when you call them that) to have fiery red hair, but Njal is old or at least I feel that he is so I gave him grey hair. 

I feel bad that the runes are recessed rather than raised like the old model or the Rune Priest. I didn't feel comfortable painting them red like I did on the other models. It breaks with the established pattern but I think it makes for a better model. 

The psyber-crow on his shoulder did get attached after these pictures were taken. I dislike that part of the mini. It is awkwardly placed and breaks up the outline of the model. I think that it should have been a separate mini like Azrael and his Watcher.

I think this mini turned out average for me. I don't have much that I really like or dislike about it. The mini retails for an astounding $22.25 but you can only find it in resin. Due to the rarity of the metal mini, I would value just that at about $35. The paint job is good for me but someone else would likely have to strip it. For me to replace the mini would cost me $60.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Finished - Rune Priest

I am finishing some Space Wolf character models while I am finishing my last commission for this year. I have to take a break from all the detail on the Infinity minis. They are maddening and sometimes you just want to paint something brown. 

I think I paid near retail for this mini because it is metal. I can buy a Finecast mini for almost $20 but I am disappointed in that material. It is not made to last and I'll take a mini in metal any day to a resin one.

I painted him in a pretty standard pattern for my Space Wolves. The only thing I really went to town on was the face. I did a flesh wash over Dwarf Flesh and then touched it up. The eyes were painted Bleached Bone, then washed Leviathan Purple and touched up again. Usually I stop there, but on this mini, I took out Elf Flesh and my finest detail brush and put the faintest highlights on his skin. 

I am getting better at skin. I am light-years ahead of how I used to paint flesh and this makes me excited of where I can go from here. 

He is magged out! I put magnets in his wrists so I can swap out his close-combat weapon for a forse ax/sword/staff. That's not a really a big deal but I am only painting one of these guys so I want all the options. I could also use him as a Wolf Lord in Power Armor in a pinch. 

As long as I was sinking magnets into this mini, I decided to magnetize his back as well. It is highly unlikely that I will ever give my Rune Priest a jump pack, but I want that option.

The mini is hard to get and probably worth $30 on its own due to its rarity in metal. The paint job is pretty good but it is not in a Codex color. The magnets also add to the value. To me it is worth about $25 but to someone else it would hard to tell. I would estimate the value for me to replace this mini at $60.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Finished - Bretonnian Knights

I finished these a while ago right after the Black Knights. I traded their paint job for a Battlefoam Shield Bag with pull and pluck foam. In retrospect I should have asked for more as they took forever. I am beginning to see why so many people request that I paint cavalry for them. They have a massive amount of surface area and detail. I would say that they are equivalent to two Terminators in the amount of time it takes to paint them.

The client sent me with a sample Knight to use as a template, one Champion model and 5 knights to be painted. The color scheme was simple halves. One side of the caparison was to be black and the other half teal-blue. His specific colors made necessitated my buying some new paint because I typically do not paint teal-blues.