Monday, November 27, 2017

Finished - Frostgrave Warband

It has been about a month since I acquired the terminal Frostgrave bug and I have yet to even play a game!I have spent the time waiting for the host to prepare the game board by painting some of the Zombicide: Black Plague minis for my warband. I don't know that I would have ever found the motivation to paint these minis if it were not for Frostgrave.

I have already talked about my spells, so how about warband composition.

Tim the Enchanter is running the show and his Apprentice is Milo in the pointed hat next to him. I picked two ranged folk Arya the Huntress and “Deadeye” Joyce Dahl with the crossbow. In addition, since my Wizard and Apprentice are armed with crossbows since they really lack good ranged attacks compared to the damage-dealing Elementalists. Backing up the ranged contingent are the thugs of Candy, Bruce the knight of insufficient light, and Bruenor Stonebreaker each just carrying a single hand weapon despite Bruce having two axes and Candy having a dagger tied to her apron strings. The heavy hitter is the Infantrymen known only as the Ax Man armed with a two-handed weapon. I have two thieves for the smash and dash named Locke de Carr (in purple) and Brother Joe (with the green hood and torch). I also have minis for Completely-Headless Carl for the "Raise Zombie" spell and the Gmork for when I get a kennel. If you are keeping track, that is 12 members which is the maximum that I can see.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Vyndica - Char’s Zaku

Working hard on this beastly project. Since the last time I posted about it, I finished all the internal structures of the right leg and am starting on the armor. Once that is done, I should do the cables but I am going to them all at once. I will just move on the the torso. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

On The Table - Frostgrave Wizard

Starting work on my Frostgrave warband at the top with the Wizard. Before I knew what school I was going to choose for him, I picked out "Tim the Enchanter" for the mini. I changed around the color scheme a bit because I didn't want to paint that much black. I wanted to be able to pick him out on the table easily and too many minis that are dark and muddy.

Serendipitously, I picked the Enchanting school for my wizard. Initially, I was enthralled by the ability to create Constructs but I could only select 3 starting spells from my main school. I ended up going with the strategy of enchanting weapons and armor during the game and trying to make them permanent. This gives me the ability to buff any soldier in my army and sell those items for extra money.

For healing, I took Lifedrain from the Necromancy (though I am thinking of swapping that for Raise Zombie) and and straight up Heal from Thamaturgy. As far as offence, I didn't take much. Actually, I didn't take any direct damage spells. Everything is either a buff or an out of game spell. I view the caster as enhancing the warband and they are going to do the real work.

In retrospect, I did end up swapping Drain Health for Raise Zombie. The casting number was too high and with it being a Neutral school, I would be succeeding at that spell a quarter of the time. With Raise Zombie, I can cast it out of game without feeling that I am wasting an action or in game if I am running out items to enchantment.

My Final Spell List:

Enchant Armor
Enchant Weapon
Embed Enchantment
Elemental Hammer
Raise Zombie
Brew Potion

Friday, October 27, 2017

Finished - Blood Bowl Nuns

Put the final touches on 16 Blood Bowl Nuns through Vyndica. The client wanted white and red, two of the notoriously difficult colors to paint. I really struggled to get the white just right and had to take a few swings at it. I ended up basing Pallid Wytch Flesh, painted on some black wash, touch up, wash Agrax Earthshade, touch up then with pure white on the edges. This gave me deep shades but bright whites.

I tried some new things on the flesh as well. I took the highlighting one step further than I normally do. Usually I stop at Cadian Fleshtone but this time, I put just a little Elf Flesh on the shiny or raised areas. U have held on on this because it looks awful up close but at arms length it looks so much better.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

On The Table - Frostgrave

Got bit hard by the Frostgrave bug and I am lit.

Frostgrave is a hybrid mini-wargame and RPG. You play a powerful Wizard basically looting a deserted magical city that has befallen a terrible fate. Long ago, a powerful magic ran out of control turning the city of Felstad to a wintry disaster zone. Magical items and treasures were left behind and only the most brave (or foolish) adventurer would dare venture in.

Your wizard has none fools... erm brave heroes following him. You use these guys to grab treasure to be run off the board, kill other wizards and their henchmen or defend yourselves from monsters and wild animals. That's the mini-wargame part.

The RPG part is that each game can affect the next one. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Vyndica - The Game Is Afoot

Working hard on the Char's Zaku model. I feel bad for how long it is taking but this is a very complicated model. It has the same surface area as whole armies.

Back to work so I don't taste the agony of dee feet. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Finished - Daemon Prince of Khorne

Finished this bad boy tonight. He started out as a Reaper Bones mini called "Minotaur Demon Lord" that sold for a pittance. For conversions, I added a Khorne symbol to his knees, right shoulder and forearms. I had those left over in my bits box and count not think of a better use of them. My only regret is that I could not use eight of them. I also swapped out whatever this dummy was using for a flaccid weapon for a GIANT AX OF KHORNE! I planned to assemble my Bloodthirster of Khorne in one form and proxy it for the other forms so I didn't need to mag the other hands like a jabroni. That left some bits over. While it is wildly out of scale with the mini, I feel that it is still on point.

Speaking of scale, The mini is a little large for a Daemon Prince. The bottom the head is about where the top of the GW Daemon Prince stands. I put it on a Dreadnought base which is the same as a Daemon Prince. I also feel that the "out of scale" is on point for Khorne. He is more a god of excess than the Lord of Excess. Dude loves some big weapons so I feel good about the ridiculous size of that ax. Also it has teeth and I loved painting it.

I painted the Deamon flesh the same way that I painted the Bloodletters of Khorne. Like all the times that I have painted this before, I regretted not having more purple show through. The overall tone of the skin is red and I wanted more purple in the recesses. I knew this while I was painting this mini but somehow it still came out red.

To replace the mini would cost about $10 including shipping. The ax and wings become problematic. They run for about $10 and $16 respectively. The paint job took some time and I value it at about $60 making the total replacement value about $100. Doubt I would sell or trade it for less. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

On The Table - Daemon Prince of Khorne

Putting the final touches on the converted Daemon Prince of Khorne. The body is basically done and clear coated. I am mostly satisfied with it. I wish the purple base had shown through more but the red highlights turned out ok.

Super happy with how the ax swap turned out. I was worried that it would be oversized and it is. But I like the overt Khorniness that it adds to the mini. The Khorne symbold that I put on the knees, forearms and shoulder were ok but are lost somehow in the model. A giant ax with half of Khorne symbol on it is somewhat less subtle.

The top photo is to demonstrate what difference a little effort makes. I see so many people do a base coat, wash and call it good. A little hard hedge highlighting (or for Emperor-sake, drybrushing) goes a long way to add depth to a mini. The bottom left is just based and washed and the top right is a little broke-edge highlighting. A world of difference.

It doesn't take much time, effort or skill to create depth in a mini which leaves me confused as to why so many people walk away from minis that are barely started with no effort put in. What is worse is that it is painfully evident to anyone with skill that they are phoned in. I feel the same about half-ass air brushing.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Touch Up - White Marking

Did some thinking and experimenting on the Ultramarines white markings and I came up with this.

Base Celestra Grey, wide highlight of Ulthuan Grey then White Scar on the edges. It helps dampen down the starkness of the white over the darker blue while still keeping it bright.

It also adds some depth to the white markings that the white on white lacked.

I don't know what I am going to do when it comes to doing the helmets of the veterans or the laurels, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Finished - Ultramarine Test Marines

I wish I had titled these "finished" posts with the tag "stick a fork in" instead. Regardless these little blue devils are finished.

I started by spray painting the minis with Krylon "satin oxford blue" which is the closest that I could find to Kantor Blue and still not be gloss. I like matte or satin primer as the next layer tends to stick better. Because the primer and base were so close, I didn't waste much time in getting a good foundation.

To get a good base, I did an overbush of Ultramarines Blue or Altdorf Guard Blue as it is known now. I didn't make efforts to cover the recesses or cover up too much detail. Once the base color is down then it is time for the secondary colors. I paint black all the areas that I want black or silver straight black. The silver areas get a dose of Ironbreaker and the black areas are painted my new favorite color Eshin Grey before getting a heavy drybrush of Dawnstone. Both areas get washed black.

I used to use a 1:1 mix of Abbadon Black and Dawnstone as my base color for black with good success. I discovered that Eshin Grey is almost an exact match. I would rather have per-mixed paints for consistency. Also, if I was making a new batch, it took two pots of paint to make one batch of mix and it rarely lasted until gone as mixed and diluted paints tend to gum up on me.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

On The Table - Blood Bowl Nuns 3 of 16

Working on Blood Bowl Nuns for JHaygood on Vyndica and I am learning some things about myself as a commission painter. I have taken on too many projects at this point and I am not managing my time well. Painting time is down in general and I am not doing a good job prioritizing commission work over my own work.

I am also getting bored with big projects. The Char's Zaku project is grinding on and I am stalling out on it. I can tell that the client is getting frustrated with the slow progress so I need to finish it quicker to keep him happy.

I am also struggling with communication with a few clients. Part of that is that I have not made some things explicit in my painter profile and also that I am not great at communication personally.

Despite all these challenges, I am really enjoying commission painting. It is challenging me and getting me to do some things that I would not normally be doing. 

On The Table - New Rollers

Got a little tired of paying $2-3 a piece for nice bases. I had seen Green Stuff World's rollers for making textured bases. They were a little pricey at $15 before shipping but if I can make 10 bases with one it has paid for itself.

So I bought two.

I got the Factory and the Diamond Plate ones. I really wanted the Dark Ruins ones for when I start on the CSM and Deathguard armies. I should have also gotten the smooth flat one too to roll out the bases.

In terms of using them, they are decent. So far my first 5 bases have turned out of but not stellar. It is hard to get the green stuff smooth and even across the base for starters. The instructions say to use a lubricant or powder or nothing to keep GS from sticking to the roller. Pro top: that last one is not very helpful. GS got all up in the diamond plate roller on the first try. Now they are soaking in WD40.

So far I like them. It is going to take some time to get good at it, but hopefully this will let me bast whole armies for little money. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

On The Table - Ultramarines Test Minis.

 At this point I'm going almost a month between poets and that's not really acceptable. My main excuse is that the weather is nice in my lovely wife has motivation to do  work on the exterior  of our home. This is cutting into not only my painting time in but also all of my free time. This means that when I do sit down at my paining table are usually don't have the motivation to paint as furiously as I normally do.

 I still have the Char's Zaku  Commission that is about 1/3 finished, the dark Eldard commission that is about 80% finished and the blood bowl nuns that I only started the test model for.  On the back burner is a commission for some Alpha Legion terminators that the deposit hasn't even been paid. All of this on top of my own work and I'm trying to finish.  There's the deathwatch army to flush out for eighth edition,  there's the demon prince of khorne that is about halfway done,  A librarian on a bike that I paid him for a friend, and now these Ultramarines.

 I don't know if I've mentioned that on this blog but my next army and my fourth power armor army will be Ultramarines.  Before ruining any of the Primaris Marines,  i'm going to work out all the kinks of my painting style on some dark vengeance dark angels that have been rehabbed into loyalist Marines.  I did this by removing all of the raised iconography on the left shoulder pads with a Dremel    After that they were basically generic Marines. I found an awesome blue spray paint  to work as a primer and with a little bit of reading and a few mistakes I think I have a good paint scheme for my Ultra Marines.  I'm not gonna set it down in stone yet because I think there's are still some bugs to work out. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Vyndica - Char's Zaku

Every time I start a new portion of the external armor, I think to myself, "Why am I painting the inside of of these armor plates. Then I remember that I am a professional and cutting corners is not my bag, baby.

Even through more than a few of these removable are less than removable, I am still going to paint every surface of this mini. Even though this mini is is not precisely meant to be painted in this manner, I will press on. It is the same reason that I paint my chest plates on Space Marines even though no one will ever see it. I'll know and so will my clients.

The right arm (ironically on the left in the image), has all the internal surfaces painted but not all are removable safety though. The assembly on the left arm (on the right, duh) went faster and I am hoping that I can make more of the armor plates removable.

Next step are those legs. I know how to use them. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

On The Table - Daemon Prince of Khorne

Picked up the Reaper Bones mini for the Minotaur Demon Lord for about $10. The DP wings cost me more than that but it is worth it. I am going to use this as my Daemon Prince of Khorne. I had wanted the Ultraforge Wardeamon for these purposes but the price was not right. Can't drop almost $80 on a mini no matter how awesome it is. Also, I have seen more than a few people using them as Khorne Deamons and I wanted something more original.

I am painting him in the same way that I did the old metal Bloodthirster. I based it purple, drybrushed it red, washed it red then painted some purple wash where I wanted the shadows deeper. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Vyndica - Alpha Legion Seeker Squad

I've done a lot of painting lately but have fallen on on blogging. This commission of Alpha Legion Marines is actually finished. I'll attach an image of the final product at the end. The pictures at the top shot the finished bodies and torsos with the weapons blue tacked on. Below are the finished weapons.

I did a lot of subtle conversions on these minis to make them Chaos but still look like soldiers. The client's only real instructions were to make them "tactical" and I too that to mean, less spikes and more pouches. I bought some MK 4 bits and swapped the out for some CSM bits. I only charged the client for the Mk 4 bits as I kept the bits that were not used. I call that fair trade for my bits.

I also added in some Deathwatch and SM Scouts pouches and bullets to the chest plates. I kept some of the belt pouches from the Mk 4. Everyone got one set of those and something else. I tried to keep the accessories varied. Some got knives other got grenades.

I also did conversions with two of the Marines. The "leader" is shooting a drum-fed Bolter one handed and has a knife held in reverse grip. I really like how he turned out and I am totally going to do this on some of my own Marines. I also gave him a CSM Raptor helmet for an added touch of Chaos.

Also mocked up a "second in command" of sorts. The client only wanted two sniper rifles and left the other weapons up to me. A real Seeker Squad all comes with special Combi-bolters but the budget did not allow for getting these bits. I decided to give them each something special anyway. The "leader" carries that beastly drum-fed Bolter and his second in command has my version of a SAW, a drum-fed Combi-bolter. He also carries a bandoleer of grenades.

As seen in the completed images, I took CSM backpacks and trimmed them down. This made them look Chaosy but still like soldiers. I was really proud of these as they look like a transition from SM to CSM.

I tried something new for these minis. The client wanted them matte black but I talked him into doing very dark blue as black. I tried something similar with the Dark Eldar also for Vyndica when I did a very dark purple. It was not as successful and I had hoped but I could have painted straight black on the open flat places to get it darker.

I wanted to something to tie these minis in with the Alpha Legion minis like the Lord that I painted for the same client. I used a small about of interference paint and some blue and green washes to get a subtle but similar effect on the pauldrons. I just did it on the dragon head and I think it came off well.

I cut this guy a bit of a break on the price as this is his second commission. Normally the lest I charge for a basic small mini is $15-$20 each with a minimum bench fee of $40. Less than $40 and it not really worth my time. Normally assembly, conversions, painting, basing, clear coat and shipping would have been closer to $100 and most likely over. Dude only had $50 to spend so he over-spent his budget and I came down in price. I threw in some metal Alpha Legion shoulder guards at no charge because I still have 60 of them laying around.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Vyndica - Zaku

Haven't been into blogging much lately but I have been painting up a storm. Started and stopped a few projects but keep plowing on with the commission work from Vyndica. The biggest of those is the Zaku. I feel like every time that I write about this project I talk about how hard it is. It is a massive undertaking. Just the assembly is hard but put paint and assemble it is very time consuming.

I finished work on the head armor and those damn power cables. I ended up using magnets to hold the whole thing together rather the system of clips and friction that the kit used.

Also did some work on the right arm.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Finished - Deathwatch

These may be the last Deathwatch minis of 6.5th (totally not 7th) Edition. 8th is going to drop within the next month and that may dramatically change the makeup of my armies.

For example Combi-weapons. Word is that they are no longer one-shot weapons. Now you can shoot one or the other each Shooting phase or fucking both with a -1 BS, making this a must have for ant Chapter Master or Commander. That is going to throw a wrench in the plans of my Combi-weapon bearers that I spent so much time finishing. I think that I can still use them though they will more be counters rather than removable markers. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Vyndica - Zaku

 Still working on the Perfect Scale Zaku. I was a little worried about the electrical components as I am not electrical wizard and the bits are super fiddly. After wiring the whole thing backwards and experimenting with the admittedly bullshit wiring. Honestly I am surprised that it worked at all let alone so well.

The LED is effing bright as eff! I am also super glad that I glazed it red. I was watching a lot of Mobile Suit Gundam and Gundam Wing while doing this and it gave me a moderate to large boner when the light came on and the eye moved.

I removed the clear plastic part and clear coated the whole thing and I was rubbing off paint every time I touched the head. This mostly worked but some bits flaked off when I mounted the armor.

Things are going well but slow. Up next is to finish the armor and the power cables that circle the head. 

Vyndica - Alpha Legion Lord

Wrapping up on the Alpha Legion CSM Lord for a Vyndica commission. I know that I haven't blogged about this project but it all came together pretty quickly.

The client, jtalley12, posted for an Alpha Legion leader for his army. He didn't give any real direction other than to say that if there were conversions that he would be willing to pay for them "if the price were right." In conversation with him, I confirmed that he wanted the standard blue/green colors and that he wanted a "tactical" look. He didn't really expound on what that meant but I took it to mean that he wanted them to look more like soldiers rather BDSM space demons.

I asked what he wanted and he said he trusted me and I could pick bits. I sent him links to some eBay posts for single Forge World Alpha Legion bits. I found some and, since his deposit just about covered them, I pulled the trigger.

This is when things start to get a little weird. The links I sent were to a bits seller in Germany. While I didn't point this out specifically, I kind of assumed that he looked at everything I sent him and I didn't need to hold his hand and walk him through things. I told him that I would keep him updated once the bits got here.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Fixing Vehicles - The New Toughness

Just had a good drunken idea about how to reconcile Toughness with how vehicles take damage in 40k.

Rather than a Toughness characteristic, vehicles would have a Durability score. Wvery time they took damage you would roll versus their durability score. If passed then they were durable enough to shake it off much like biologics and Toughness. If they fail they reduce their Durability score and keep moving. This represents a vehicles ability to shrug off damage but also slowly accumulate damage as well.

Borrowing a mechanic form Deadlands RPG, We could add in steps to the Durability characteristic where for each mutiple of the step, the vehicle would add in a mishap (basically a roll on the vehicle damage table). For example a Durability rating of 4/9 would mean that a vehicle could fail 9 Durability rolls but at the 4th and 8th failure they would get things like weapons blown off or immobilized.

I know that drunk me has not thought this through very well but it is still an interesting thought.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Vyndica - Zaku

I know that I B&C a lot about how hard this perfect scale Zaku kit is but it is really hard. Assembling the head alone is a 13 step process. At least all the pieces are labeled withe a sprue letter and a bit part. that makes it easier as so many of these pieces look a lot alike.

I found a helpful site that shows pictures of this kind of an assembly and that is helping a lot. It is hard to know how things fit together. This is really speeding things up as it lets me see not only what bits I should be grabbing but also how they should fit together. It is also super helpful to see what edges will be exposed or hidden so I can paint or leave them hidden as appropriate.

I told the client that I was concerned about heavily painting (base, wash, highlight etc) as many pf the places they join do not allow for any excess space. There is a gear in the head that moves the eye inside of the head. If I had panted the bits on sprue like I had intended, then the eye would have either not fit at all or stuck when trying to move it. I messaged him and asked If I could drybrush all the internal parts metallic and paint only the bits that I knew were going to be exposed and safe. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Finished - DnD Mini

Behold! Adr Al'akhir in all of his glory. Major inspiration for this comes from the description of Kossuthan priest and their garb in Faiths and Avatars from 2nd Edition D&D. I knew he was going to be red and gold as those are thematic and I am pretty awesome at painting them. The silver areas are inspired by the box art.

I knew I wanted to do the hems in a burnt theme based on the description in F&A and I knew how to do it thanks to my flamers and plasma weapons in 40k. That was done with a dry brush of Mournfang Brown and then a drybrush/stippling of Abaddon Black. It was not homogenized enough for me, so I did a little wash of Agrax Earthshade to mute the colors.

The dark skin was an experiment. I had never done anything like this before. I based it with Bugman's Glow then washed it with Reikland Fleshtone. This did not make it dark enough for me so I washed it with Druchi Violet painted into the recesses. A touch up of Bugman's Glow and that was about it. I wish I could have highlighted it some more but the end result is ok.

Very happy with this mini. It cost me 50% of $25 as it is a set of 2 minis in a box. The paint job took considerable time for a single mini that bordered on 10 hours. I value it at $40. Total replacement cost is $63.

Looking forward to causing some serious damage with this class in the near future. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Vyndica - Zaku

Dear god, what have I done. I put in a bid for a commission on a "perfect grade" Gundam suit from the old Mobile Suit Gundam. I had put together similar models like the Dreamforge Knight proxies and I thought I could handle it.

This is the most complicated model I have ever attempted.

There are more sprues and bits of different kinds than in any kit I have ever seen. It makes the Dreamforge kits looks like single-post GW models. The head assembly alone is 13 steps.

I know that I can assemble and paint this doing honor to the model and the old series. I bid $120 on the job and I am going to earn every penny of that. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

On The Table - DnD Mini

I have done a lot of work on this mini since I posted last. I should have taken this picture after all the base colors were down. I think I have used every color of red on this mini so far and I am not even half way yet.

Based the mini Khorne Red and applied Wazdakka Red liberally over that. That was my overall base color to work up from. I washed it red (which is a mix of Fugan Orange, Seraphim Sepia and Carroburg Crimson), touched it up with Wazdakka Red and then did a pretty sloppy highlight of Evil Sunz Scarlette. It then got washed with Seraphim Sepia and then touched up with Evil Sunz Scarlette.

All that washing really sunk into the cracks and crevices especially on the front. In some spots it is so thick that it fills in the gaps. This is a mistake on my part for painting with too much beer in me.

Up next, the red needs some more work and then I start on the skin.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

On The Table - DnD Mini

I have fallen in with a bad crowd and they are into Monsters and Mazes... I mean Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Ed. The character I chose is a Firewalker, a Specialty Priest of Kossuth. He wears a combination of ring-mail and leather armor. His weapon of choice is a ball and chain with a back up of an OG sling.

I scoured the Reaper archives, but could not find anything close. After saying that I had looked fairly extensively on my own and wasn't intereested in the "build your own custom mini services" I posted on a very unhelpful Facebook group where the only suggestions were "look at Reaper minis" and "here is a link to hero forge." I swear people read like 5 words of a post then comment.

I found a DnD mini on eBay by chance from WotC that is kind of close but will require some modification. My plan is to swap that rod for a ball and chain. With a little re-position of his right hand to the horizontal position, he can be holding the chain in a pretty threatening position. I may be able to sculpt the ring-mail but I am unsure about it.

That is the plan, anyway.

As far as painting, I am going to do him in red/orange robes with burnt edges. I have a pretty good idea of how to do that. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

On The Table - Vindicair Comission

Painted up this mini for a friend of mine. He says it is Chinese replica of a Vindicare Assassin and given that it is made our of off-color, brittle resin, I believe it. Pretty good cast though compared to some.

I based the mini in Kanto blue then painted a 1:1 mix of Darnstone and Abbadon Black on the harness and the weapon. The mask is painted straight Dawnstone. The whole mini got drybrushed with Dawnstone. After that, everything was ashed Nuln Oil.

I used the new dry compound for the first time and it is actually better for drybrushing than the regular stuff. Goes on more smoothly, don't have to wait for it to dry and overall easier to handle. I hope it lasts.

I did a very light dry brush of Dawnstone once the wash was dry to bring things back up. I then shaded the blue suit with Agrax Earthshade and Gulliman Blue. The black areas were hard edge highlighted with Dawnstone.

The pillar he is standing beside, was based Dawnstone and then washed Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade in between dry brushes. I did a final drybrush of Ushabti Bone to make it pop a little more.

Pretty simple painting and it didn't take that long. If this were a commission, I would probably charge $40 for it but that usually includes about $5 in shipping too.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Finished - Deathwatch

These guys came together fast at the end. There were a few hiccups along the way though. The Frag Cannon back pack took some creative engineering to make it fit. In the end, I just had to glue it in the best I could. It is really hard to tell that it was a foul up. Why GW just skipped putting this bit in the Deatwatch kit, I do not know.

The guy in the middle used to be an Ultramarine with a Bolter but now he is a Crimson Fist with a Stormbolter. Everything went pretty smooth with him. I thought I would be slick and use the Imperial Fists shoulder guard in the Deathwatch: Overkill box with the ropes on it. Unfortunately, the way the arm was bent had those ropes defying gravity. Had to paint up a fresh one. Should have dry fit it before painting. No worries, it will all go to good use.

The Ravenguard on the end turned out ok. The pose is a little awkward but I think it works. I didn't think about putting a Covis helm on a Errant torso. The raised collar made it difficult to get the head seated.

Monday, March 20, 2017

On The Table - More Deathwatch

Just a quick update. The arms are finished and the heads are coming together right now. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

On The Table - More Deathwatch

Working hard on chopping up Deathwatch: Overkill minis and changing them around. From left to right there is a Dark Angel that used to have a Power Sword and Plasma Pistol but now will have a Frag Cannon (you know the thing that hits like a Las Cannon at close range). The guy in the middle used to be an Ultramarine with a Bolter but now will be an Imperial Fists with a Storm Bolter. The guy on the left is older bits but will have the Power Sword from the Dark Angel and a Grav Pistol.

The bodies and bases are done and I am working on the arms right now. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Finished - More Deathwatch

These guys really came together fast near the end. I am pretty happy with them too.

The Shotgun/Shield guy came out great. I had some pauldrons painted up and ready to go. I made an impulsive choice to make this Marine an Imperial Fist of some flavor. I was experimenting with colors rather than the black and yellow that I have been doing for Imperial Fists thus far. I was not really thrilled with how it came out but didn't feel like repainting it. Lesson learned though.

I was worried about how the Hammer Marine was going to turn out. I used a Forge World torso on Deathwatch legs. The waste is really thin and made it look like he was wearing a corset. He still has an hourglass figure but the way the arms hang down it makes up for this a bit. I used the head from the Iron Hand from the Deathwatch: Overkill box. The slightly downward position give him a glower that I really love. The backpack is magnetized so he can be an Vanguard Vet if the mood takes me. There is also a hidden magnet so he can carry a Storm Shield if I want. I am going to hide some magnets in other Marines from here out so I can use this option.

I am not 100% satisfied with the Techmarine. The silhouette is off somehow. From straight on, it is not bad, but from top down (you know, the major way that I'll view it on the table top), it looks funny. Maybe there is too much of a gap between the body and the back pack. He is an Iron Hands too. I swear I don't have a thing for them but there do seem to be a lot of them in my Deathwatch Army. This guy is going to stand in as a Power Fist Marine until they put legit Techmarines in the army.

I am trying to clear the table at this point. I have the Lord of Change from a million years ago to finish and those Warbuggies. I think I am going to start some more Deathwatch Marines too. No other commission on the horizon.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Vyndica - Lovecraft

I got this commission from theKlute. $40 for a single mini was pretty good. I got a "how do we do this" message at first. I responded with my intentions on how to paint and got no response. 15 days later there has been no communication and no mini. Sent some messages and no response for a week. Kinda strange for someone with a deadline on the commission.

He "checks into what is going on" with no further details or explanation. Then radio silence again. Sent him another message a week later and still no response. Never gave me a tracking number despite my asking for it mutiple times. The mini arrives another week later. This is over a month after the commission was agreed to at this point and past his deadline.

It took me about 10 days to paint the mini. Really it was two weekends worth of work. I went as fast as I could but it was not treated as a priority. I just worked on it between other things.

I am mostly happy with the finished product. The flames came out a little rough. I could have painted it a little more like the box art but this is how I do flames. The suit worked out about how I thought it would. I like how the little beastie turned out. It draws attention but so does the book, the face and the torch.

I have mixed feelings about the skin. I tried to paint it like I did the Dark Eldar from my last commission. I wanted it to look pale and unhealthy but it came out too pale and too unhealthy. If the client does not like it I think I can make it look more human with a flesh wash and some touch ups.

That is if the client ever gets back to me. I've never heard of someone spending money on something and be so non-communicative. It is very frustrating. If he ever does get back to me and pay the rest of the money, he can have his mini back. Until then, Mr. Lovecraft is going to watch over the Deathwatch minis that are on the table.

Update: Client got back to me and he was out of the country. I feel bad about being cranky about him not getting back to me. If I was in Italy, there is no way I am even checking my email so I don't blame him. As of now he has the mini and he seems pretty happy. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Finished - Deathwatch Watch Master

I mostly fished this guy back in Nov 2016 during the first wave of Deathwatch madness. I didn't know how I wanted to finish him though. I ended up using a Deathwing head that I bought during a bit buying spree long ago. I used the shoulder guard (or pauldron if you want to be a smarty pants about it) from the Deathwatch: Overkill set that I am currently cannibalizing.

I love how this mini turned out. I think that I was right in that giving him a Chapter and a different head not only really sets him apart but also gives him a lot more personality. I don't know if I could pick out 3 things that I particularly like or dislike about how this mini got painted up. I think I made some good choices on picking more simple colors. I stayed away from the gold and I feel like it is over-done on some of the Deathwatch minis.

This min retails for $25 and that sexy alien base he is on was $2 if memory serves. The paint job took a long time to finish with all the detail and cloth. I value the paint at about $40. Total replacement cost is about $65.

Up next I am finishing a commission and three more Deathwatch Marines.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

On The Table - Combi-weapon Bearers

After I had a masterfully-executed Alpha Strike executed against me in my last game against Suitcase Dave, I remembered that I love that kind of crap. Then I started figuring out how many more Marines I would need to give Combi-weapons and I got discouraged. The down side to the Combi-weapons is that is one more Marine that I need to paint and that guy is only good for that things. What is more is that there is no built-in counter for when I use the one-shot weapon.

I used to use pieces of paper to do both but then I worked up these little guys. I used the metal and plastic Watchers in The Dark from the Dark Angels and converted them to hold the Combi-weapons. This way I can put them next to the Marine and remove them once the weapon is used.

The ones that are painted are for the Blood Angels so Deathwatch will need some. I think that I'll just paint them whatever color I want in terms of Bolter and robes just for fun. This way they can be used in the Space Wolves army too. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Vyndica - Dark Eldar Warriors 10/10

The last 4 of the Dark Eldar for FlayedEwok are finished and I am pleased with how they came out. I feel like I went above and beyond for this client. I was flattered when he selected me for further work. I am always concerned with giving the client just what they want and nothing says that they are pleased like coming back to the well.

I cut him a little break on the cost as a thanks for coming back to the well. Usually the least I will charge for painting small and simple minis is $10 each but I cut him a little break with $80 for 10 minis.

I also did custom bases for these minis even though it was not really part of the deal. In some part, it was an experiment that I wanted to conduct anyway. To go even further, I wrote up a step-by-step and posted it for him so he can copy it later.

I spent a little extra time on the leader of the group which is the guy with the whip for no extra charge. I did a little extra effects on the whip and was very careful with his armor. I also build up his base a little more and had the blue acid running between his feet.

I have few regrets about this project. I wish I knew more about Dark Eldar so I could have customized the weapons a bit more. Some of the weapons are clearly different like the Shredder and the Dark Lance in the two minis in this group but apparently there is a Splinter Cannon in there that I didn't know anything about. I wish I could have painted them in different colors to set them apart on the table top.

I hope that Mr. Ewok pick up some more minis for me to paint. I'd love to try something big like a Raider or perhaps some Bikes.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Vyndica - Lovecraft

I love Lovecraft. Some parts of his personal live (like the name of his cat) and his early works are problematic, but I love the world that he set up and his writing style. I am sure that he did not originate the concept of "elder gods" but he certainly gave them a direction and focus.

This commission comes from Theklute. He asked for it to be painted like the box art. I think that the miniature is well within my skill level but simple minis can sometimes be harder to paint. Less detail on the mini means that I have to work harder.

The paint job for what I assume is the box art is a little appalling. It is very dark and not much in terms of palate. It is very dark overall except for the torch. I can see the artist tried to do some half-ass object source lighting by making the highlights heavier on the face and shoulders. I can do better.

On The Table - Deathwatch Techmarine And Others

While I am waiting for my next commission to get here in the mail, I am putting some work in on these three Deathwatch Marines. From right to left there is my take on a Iron Hands Techmarine, the second of my Storm Shield and Shotgun Marine and an Iron Hands with a Heavy Thunder Hammer.

I am cannibalizing the Deathwatch: Overkill box and converting each mini. I knew that I wanted a Techmarine to in my army and it was a little upsetting to see that Techmarines have no place in the Deathwatch.They feature so heavily in the RPG and to not have them at all in the table top game seems to be an oversight and missed opportunity. Until they fix this 30 years for now when we get another Deathwatch Codex, I plan to use this guy a just a Marine with a very fancy Power Fist and I'll use a Servo-arm to represent this. I know that I have the Servo-arm from the Iron Father mini saved somewhere, but no idea where it got to.

I love shield walls. Maybe it was seeing 300 when I was younger, but the images of a phalanx thrill me. I had the idea of three Marines standing in a shield wall with weapons pointing out. It is a silly dream but it is my dream. On the table top, these guys would make a good addition to an assault-based Kill Team. The Bolters are Assault weapons so no good for mowing down enemies and then charging. The Shotguns are a compromise as they are Assault weapons.

I don't know how I feel about Heavy Thunder Hammers but I like the minis. I never would have considered giving a HTH Marine a Storm Shield until after I saw it in the FAQ. After that, I just wanted the option to. I learned a trick from magnetizing the Thunderwolf Calvary of putting the magnet int he palm of the hand so the shield fits on top of it seamlessly. The only downside is that you need to get the magnet in place before assembly.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

On The Table - Deathwatch And Hard-edge Highlighting

Putting in some work on the last three Deathwatch Marines that I have planned. Not to say that they will be the last for this army by any stretch.

I have developed a new way of doing black armor that has sped me up considerably and gives a good result. I base the mini with 1:1 Dawnstone and Abaddon Black then dry brush with Dawnstone. I then wash the entire mini with Nuln Oil. This also takes care of my silver metal areas as well. Rather than using Nuln Oil to wash a second time, I find that I can get darker blacks and shadows as well as breaking up the mono-tone of grey on black. After the washes there is no touch up and I go right to hard edge highlighting.

Both of the sets of legs in the picture at at the same stage in painting but the ones on the right have a hard edge of Dawnstone.I posted this because I found the contrast (ha ha black and white puns) between the two striking. Hard edge highlighting takes me forever, it is hard to do and it can very easily go wrong. I think that it is totally worth it though.

The mini on the left is totally table-top quality but the little extra effort of the hard edge highlighting takes it over the top. It also takes what could be a very dark and shadowy model and makes it brighter. Painting dark colors in a bright and vibrant way is a skill that I have cultivated and this will come in handy with my next unpronounceable commission.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Vyndica - Dark Eldar Warriors 6/10

Three more down. This project seems to be taking forever. I don't feel like I am getting more than two or three done per week. Don't get me wrong, the end result is turning out well. I am just frustrated at the speed.

I would really like to do commission painting more, but I can't make it worth my time. Each of these minis is taking about 5 hours each for me to finish. An average Space Marine takes me about three. I am charging $80 for 10 minis. That is $8 each and about $1.5 per hour. That may seem low, but I am making that watching Netflix and drinking soda. The main downside is that time is not being spent painting my incredible backlog of minis of my own to paint.

Regardless, these three are done and that makes it more than half way done!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Vyndica - Dark Eldar Warriors 3/10

Wow, I finished these guys on the 21st and am just not getting to write about them on the 26th. There was a wife-birthday and a pretty fierce work week in that time span. Now it is the weekend and it is time to blog and paint!

Even with working on the bases, it took me about 10 days to finish these 3 guys. That is a little slow even for me but that also included getting base colors on the other 7 minis and working on other projects. Hopefully the next three will go faster.

I am pleased with how they are turning out. The client is out of the country on deployment so he is hard to reach for input on the details. Hopefully I have a product that he loves for him when he gets back. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Finished - Deathwatch Marines

While two months is not a record for something gathering dust on the painting table, these three really seemed to languish. I started and finished several other projects while these guys were waiting. The Ork big gun, Nate's Haemonculus, the whole Hellion commission. I even started the three Warbuggies before putting the finishing touches on these minis.

Regardless they are done. The good news is that I've already written about them a bunch now so there are only a few details left out.

Since the last time that I posted about them, I really only finished the backpacks and pauldrons. Before that, I was trying to think strategically about Black Shields. I am still not sure that I understand how to use them the best even now. And way back when, I was griping about points.

Aside from the Black Shield, I picked the other two Chapters at random. The Black Templar shoulder pad was painted before this project even started. The idea was for him to be a Veteran. In the Black Templars, their Vets are Sword Brethren and they get to paint their cross and trim red. I have no reason to think that this change in color would survive the transition to the Deathwatch, but it makes for more variation in shoulder pads.

Vyndica - Dark Eldar Two-Stage Highlighting

In the last 24 hours I have made some progress on the Dark Eldar commission. Progress is still slower than I would like. I have a giant commission coming and need to clear the table.

I am going to take this opportunity to define some of my terms and painting process.

After priming the models and cleaning them up a bit, I based the minis in Xereus Purple. I don't have a good word for the major colors that I paint all over the mini as a base coat but there should be one. After that, the other base colors need to be painted. That was Sotek Green for the feet and shoulder guards, Ironbreaker for the weapons and Rakarth Flesh for the loin cloths. This is indicated by the top picture. If you just do base colors, this is flat painting.

After that, the whole mini gets washed in Nuln Oil... twice. Purple is really forgiving and loves black wash. Dark Eldar need to be... well, dark. Middle picture shows this. If you stop after things are washed then there is no word for the muddy mess that you created.

After the wash completely dries, the purple needs to be highlighted. This is a hard edge highlight but a very thick one. You have to be careful to stay out of the recesses to keep the deep shadows. The easy parts are the segmented armor plates. The hard parts are where there are no hard edges to follow like the curved helmets and the calves. There you just have o use your skill. Good thing is if you mess up, Druchii Violet wash fixes any places where you might have over highlighted. The figure in the middle in the bottom picture shows this well.

Here is where things slow down a bunch. A true had edge highlight is made with Genestealer Purple. It is very important not to "trace" the mini. A hard edge highlight should be of variable length. Thickest in the middle and tapering to nothingness near the sides. I keep trying to find good pictures of someone really messing this up but this is the best I can do. Less is really more when it comes to hard edge highlighting and this is where a painter's skill comes in.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Step by Step - Toxic Bases

My last Step By Step was almost two years ago and the Chaos Deamons post is the second highest rated on this blog behind the Thousand Sons post (inexplicably). Given this and the fact that I promised Flayed Ewok that I would post a how-to, I would say that it is time.

Formatting has plagued all of my Step by Step articles. I feel that it stems from them needing to be picture-heavy and coordinating those pictures with text. Either there is no skillful way to do this or I am not skillful enough to get it done. Regardless, all the information will be included in this post however ugly it may look.

What you will need:
Flat GW bases
A rough file
Gorilla Glue
Cotton-tipped applicators
Wood, PVA or Elmer's glue
A small bottle
Basing sand
Spray paint (here Krylon flat black)
A drybrush
Paint for painting the sand (here 1:1 Abbadon Black and Dawnstone, Dawnstone, Nuln Oil)
Paint for painting the toxic sludge (here Celestra Grey, Temple Guard Blue, Gulliman Blue)