04 – Forever Autumn – Building a Base

DSC_0616-01 [127126]

Basing models is something I tend to rush. For me it’s normally the last step in the process and comes after I’ve completed the model which means I’m thinking about the next model and not the one I need to finish. With this in mind I decided that for my Emperor’s Children I’d make the bases in conjunction with the models.

The next decision was what type of base would match my pre-heresy Emperor’s Children, industrial, lava, snow, swamp or grass? In the end I went for a tiled derelict temple. I looked at resin bases but decided against this as I enjoy having a little money in my wallet. This led me to start trawling YouTube for do-it yourself basing videos. After watching a lot of dross I came across this video and decided that the method of creating a tiled floor looked easy, effective and a hell of a lot cheaper than resin bases.

The first step was to mark up 1cm x 1xcm squares on an old Warhammer box. After spending what seemed like an eternity cutting up a warsphinx box I eventually had enough tiles to begin gluing them to the base. For the tactical marine bases I decided to keep things simple so the tiles were glued directly to the base. For the larger terminator bases I added the hero of basing material cork. The cork added a physical depth and also distinguished the more costly models.

IMG_3819

I then glued the tiles to the top of the cork in a fairly even tile pattern. Once the glue was dry I used a craft knife to trim the overhanging tiles. I then removed and lifted some of the tiles to add to the sense of age, decay and abandonment to the base. Once this was done I added some grit to the base area of the cork and random piles on the tiles to further add to the abandoned feel. The base was then primed black.

IMG_3820

The next decision was around the colour scheme for the tiles. Originally I was thinking of making a dark green and black harlequin pattern but decided against this I thought it would probably end up being too dark. I then started to think about the overall theme of my Emperor’s Children, they’re still a loyalist legion but standing on the cusp of their fall into chaos. This led to me becoming a little poetic and thinking of my Emperor’s Children as being in the autumnal season of their service to the Emperor. To reflect this I thought I’d go with autumnal colours on the tiles so a deep red and yellow. To further reflect this I wanted to add some autumnal flocking to the base.

I then started to paint the full base using Scale 75 Walnut. The cork area was then dry brush highlighted with Scale 75 Tenere Yellow. For the tiles I went with Scale 75 Deep Red lightly mixed with the walnut and Scale 75 Tenere Yellow mixed with walnut and painted in an alternate pattern. These colours looked the most autumnal to me. After this a light drybrush of Scale 75 Rainy Grey over the tiles to pick out the tile edges.

The last element was to add some autumnal colour flocking to give the impression of fallen leaves.

I think the base complements the model nicely, what are your thoughts?

 

03 – Gold, Gold, You’re Indestructible 

Last night I decided to start work on the Cataphractii Terminator sgt. Ideally, I wanted to tackle the armour highlights and low lights, unfortunately, I’m still waiting on a few purple paints to arrive which led me start on the golds.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post I wanted the golds to be rich and deep, the warm look you get from pure gold. The one thing I didn’t want is for the gold to overpower the model as I want it to fit in with all the elements of the model, plus it’s a grimdark future so we don’t want things too shiny.

With this in mind I started basing the area I wanted with Scale 75 Viking Gold. As with all Scale 75 paint the Viking gold has great coverage and it’s colour is deeper than the more yellow hued golds.


To add more depth to the gold I thinned down Life Colour Black and applied it to the gold areas. More coats were applied to the recess and areas that would be in shadow. I could have used GW Nulin Oil for this but I’ve found that it dries with a slight shine which isn’t the look I wanted for the shadows.

Once everything was dry I picked out edges and details with GW Retributor Armour.


So that’s about that, does the gold compliments the purple? Again all thoughts and feedback are welcome.

02 – The First Foundation Paint

The first five of my Emperor’s Children have now been built, primed, undercoated and highlighted. So I have five very mean looking cataphractii terminators who are sporting a fine set of lighting claws each, the captain and the apothecary. I have to say they are all very cool models that look amazing.

I started by priming the models black and then pre-highlighting with a light grey using an airbrush.

image.jpg

After this it was a matter of choosing the right purple to use as my layer and first foundation . In the end I went for Scale 75 Violet for the darker areas with Army Painters Alien Purple as the highlight but colours were applied using an airbrush. These two colours will hopefully give me a nice base to either bring lighter for the extreme highlights or darken for the shadows. Due to the details involved with this next stage I’ll abandon the airbrush and pick up the trusty brush. For the highlights I’m thinking GW Emperor’s Children Pink or P3 Carnal Pink but I’ll probably end blending the two. For the low lights I’m thinking that P3’s Beaten Purple will be a good choice.

So that’s everything I’ve done so far, what do you think?

imageimageimage

01 – Tickle Me Purple

I’ve always liked the pre-heresy Emperor’s Children, like the Lunar Wolves time is spent in the early Horus Hersey novels establishing the legion as flawed but deeply proud and honourable. Fulgrim finds beauty in the arts and strives for perfection, he also loves, Horus, his brother deeply and is the first to try and sway him from his path into chaos. We also see the best of the legion in the staunch Saul Tarvitz and the legendary Ancient Rylanor who both watch in despair as their legion is slowly corrupted and then there’s Lord Commander Eidolon who is pretty much a dick all the time.

image

With this in mind I’ve decided that my next project will some pre-hersey Emperor’s Children, who are at the point in their history where they are proud, perfectionist, a little arrogant and they alsoappreciate a good poem so I’m thinking pre the “Murder” campaign. What I don’t want them to be is at the point in their history where they are knobbing everything that moves, incorporating musical instruments into their bodies and generally being sick puppies. In short this will mean no Kakophoni models.

To capture the feel of the Emperor’s chosen legion I want a really deep and rich purple, an imperial purple, a purple that is so deep you could sink into it. *My plan is to prime firstly in black and then from there airbrush with a thin deep purple colour – Scale 75 Violet, Army Painter Alien Purple or P3 Beaten Purple come to mind as prime purple candidates. After this I was thinking of a small highlight something along the lines of Scale 75 Sunset Purple followed by P3 Carnal Pink for the edges. Hopefully, if I can keep the black primer creating the shadows and successfully blend in the base purple the highlights will only need to be at a minimum meaning that I should retain the deep, darker purple I want.

*As an aside I really need to thank @teabreakgossip – an inspirational Ultramarine painter and all round nice guy – as a Twitter conversation with him really focused my mind on how to achieve the look I wanted for my ECs. If they end up looking sub standard then it will be down to my ability and not the advice I’ve been given.

image

As most people are now doing I decided that the easiest way to get the Astarte would be from the Betrayal of Calth set which is an exceptional deal if you want a good number of models to kick start your legion. I decided to stay away from the forgeworld legion upgrades for heads, torso, shoulders (knees and toes, knees and toes) and instead opted for two sheets of transfers. I may, at a later date, pick up some heads and shoulders to intersperse them into the legion for variety but I’m not Scrooge McDuck swimming in a vault of money so I can’t afford to do it for every model.

In terms of the forgeworld transfers they are fantastic, it’s great that you get the standard iconography as well as the Warmaster eyes which links in with the Emperor’s Children lore and the shared history between them and the Lunar Wolves. In terms of the quality of the transfers the gold is really rich and vibrant and I can’t wait to get them on some painted models.

image

If I’m honest there is one model in the Betrayal of Calth set that I’m not overally impressed with. Perhaps I’m being a little harsh as the rest of the plastic models are excellent but the contempator dreadnought just looks really static and lifeless from the hips down. Now I know the Astarte encased in the dreadnought no longer needs functioning hips but I’d still like to see a little motion there. It looks like he’s been turned off which takes the soul out of the model and a model like the contempator dreadnought needs soul as they are the living heart and history of a legion. I think that I’ll either try and add some life to the model myself, with some motion in the hips and legs, or failing that just flog the model and put the cash towards a forgeworld Emperor’s Children contempator dreadnought….at the moment the later option is winning and you can understand why when you look at those hips!

imageFor the white pauldrons, which some of the models will have, I wanted them to obviously looks white but not too white and with a soft shadow around the edges. To archive this I’ll probably put a base layer of Scale 75 artic blue and then find an appropriate dull white to finish it off. In terms of the gold on the Emperor’s Children I want an antique feel to the gold, that deep rich colour that you get from pure gold, so again I’m thinking something along the lines of Scale 75 Viking Gold as a base then probably GW Retributor Armour as a highlight.

image

So this, at moment, is my plan for a pre-hersey Emperor’s Children force that contains dark shadows and rich, deep, purples and golds. Hopefully, I’ll be able to realise the vision laid out in this post. I plan to document the journey here from start to finish so watch out for future updates and please feel free to comment with suggestions and feedback.

Until the next time.

‘Children of the Emperor!  Death to his foes!’

Genesis of a Painting Daemon

Bilbo just knocked his last  bottle of Devlan Mud over

Bilbo just knocked his last bottle of Devlan Mud over

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, painting miniatures. You buy one model, and if you don’t keep your wallet closed, there’s no knowing what you might paint.”

Bilbo’s hobby advice.

I’ve exchanged tweets with a few of my twitter followers about the pictures of my miniatures which I post under the #warmongers, #MiniatureMonday and #WIPWednesday hashtags. Most of the people I’ve spoken too are involved with the hobby but some are people who follow me on twitter for different reasons (my charm, razor sharp wit, dashing good looks, magnetic personality, beer nonsense and general moaning to name but a few). I’ve noticed over the past few months that several of my non-hobby followers have spoken to me about my miniatures and have said that they’d thought about getting some models in the past but have never taken that next step.

I enjoy painting models, it helps me unwind and relax and it seems a shame that some people think “I wouldn’t mind to trying that” but then never get any further. I believe part of the issue is that there’s a hell of lot of things to get from a specialised shop. If you’re totally new to the hobby to it all it can be very daunting.

The aim of this blog, therefore, is to provide a starting place for people who are interested in painting miniatures but have no idea where to start. I’ll cover what basic things you need to get and hopefully the cheapest way to get your hands on the godies. I’ve been painting miniatures now for just over a year so hopefully all my initial problems will be fresh in my mind.

1GD

The first stop…

The first step with painting miniatures is also the hardest and it involves going to a hobby shop. For most people this will be a Games Workshop store as they are in most major town centers. You can get almost everything here that you will need to start the hobby, models, paints brushes, tools and primer. It sounds like the most ideal place to start but it’s not the place I get the bulk of my supplies from. To get all the basics you require you to start painting you will need to invest a little cash and buying direct for Games Workshop is notoriously expensive. If you buy your equipment from an independent model shop you will be will save around 15-25% off Games Workshop price as well as having access to other manufactures models and paints.

I’m going to plug Elemental Games here, cheap, massive stock range, a quick and reliable service and you earn store credit with each purchase. They have a shop and an amazing website too. If you do buy from Elemental Games then use promo code STE978 on the payment screen and you’ll receive double store credit points and I’ll receive some too! Everyone’s a winner baby!

Also remember to read as many blogs and watch as many videos as you can on painting – not rude videos as you’ll go blind. The information in blogs and videos is free, you’ll pick up so many new techniques by just reading and watching this stuff, so make sure you do it.

I’ll list the Games Workshop price (GW) and the Elemental Games prices (EG) below.

The first step…

So you’ve now decided where you’re going to buy your gear from, the next step is which models are you going to buy. I paint Blood Angel and Orks, both from the Warhammer 40k range, but if you want to go either into fantasy or sci-fi have a look at the whole model range as one model may look fab whilst the rest are mediocre. Google the fluff and get a feeling for the whole army. Once you’ve decided what army you want to paint (and even play) then I’d recommend that you get some general infantry units as your first models. If you buy infantry units you’ll get a lot more models for your money meaning you’ll have more to practice on as you start to learn the basic painting techniques.

Space Marine Assault Squad – GW £20.50 / EG £17.42

If you have a little more money to invest, and you like the armies, then you can get one of the box sets for either the Warhammer Fantasy Island of Blood featuring High Elves and Skaven or the Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance box featuring Chaos Space Marines and loyalist Dark Angels Space Marines. You get a hell of a lot of models in each box and a self-contained game which you can use to bully your friends into getting into the hobby with. They do provide good value for money. If you’re only interested in one of the armies then you can put the others on eBay.

Island of Blood – GW £61.50 / EG £52.28

Dark Vengeance – GW £65 / EG £55.25

Step two…

Tools! There are lots of different tools for all manner of different purposes but you can actually get away with only needing a few to start with. At this point I would highly recommend that you do not buy any of the Games Workshop tools as they are really expensive. The build quality and finish are great but this is an area you can save on.

The first essential tool you will need are clippers to remove the model from the plastic spruce.

Clippers – GW£18 / EG £6.79

Next you’ll need a semi-circle file. One side is a semi-circle the other is flat. You’ll need a small plastic file to tidy your model by removing the mould line and smoothing over the areas where the model was attached to the spruce. Sadly, you can’t seem to buy individual files as they come in sets, you could, I suppose, use the spare files as bum scratchers.

Files – GW £12 / EG £4.49

Step 3…

Next you’ll want to glue your models together. Get them striking an epic pose and then use strong plastic glue.

Glue – GW £4.10 / EG £3.48

Step 4…

You’ll also need some primer. Once you’ve built your model you’ll want to prime it. If your model is going to be painted a dark colour scheme or mainly metallic then use a black primer. If your model is going to be of an overall lighter colour scheme, mainly flesh or light coloured robes then I’d use a white or grey primer. Primer allows the paint to stick and hold to the model. Bear in mind that you will only need a light coating over your model.

Primer – GW £9.80 / EG £8.33

Step 5…

You’ll need paints and there are lots to choose from. Paints are probably one of the cheapest things to buy but they can start getting expensive when you buy lots at once. I’d recommend searching the net for painting guides for the models you have chosen. Once you’ve read / watched a few you can buy the colours used to achieve the look you want.

Washes will soon become your best friend, they won’t let you down and they’re always there to make you look better than you actually are (which to be fair is better than what a real best friend does). Washes are a very easy way of adding shading to a model. They only contain a little pigment which allows you to see the painted area underneath but make the recesses of the model more shaded. The two washes I’d buy are Nulin Oil – a black wash that work great on metallic colours and Agrax Earthshade – a light brown shade that works well over fabrics.

GW – £2.40 a pot / EG – £1.99 a pot

Step 6…

Acrylic thinner, you need this, please purchase this. If you paint straight from the pot then your paint will be too thick and your model will look like it is melting. Paint that is too thick will destroy all the detail on the model and it’s probably the biggest pitfall for new painters. The acrylic thinner will thin your paint allowing for a thinner but smoother application of paint. It might take a little longer and a few coats to paint an area but the end results will be worth it. For each blob of paint on your pallet you’ll only need a small amount on thinner. You’ll want the paint to be the consistency of milk. The Emperor Demands thinned paint.

Paint for the Paint God!

Too Much Paint for the Paint God!

Acrylic thinner – GW Lahmian Medium £2.40 / EG £7.19

Step 7…

If you bought a paint set which included brushes then you’re set. If you didn’t then you’ll need a fine detail brush and a standard brush. To be honest you’d probably get away with just a fine detail brush (it’s the one I use 95% of the time).

Detail Brush – GW £3.75 / EG £2.98

Step 8…

All these things are free or you’ll have them in the house anyway, yippee!

  • An old mug to wash your brush in.
  • An old take-away tub lid to act as your palette.
  • Old newspaper to cover up the area where you’re painting. You will spill a paint pot and if you don’t have anything down to protect the table or carpet your significant other may hurt you as punishment and The Emperor won’t protect you.
  • Kitchen roll to dry your brush and remove excess paint.
  • Light for your painting area.
    • If you’re painting during the day then paint in front of a window. The natural light will help you see all the areas and stop you straining your eyes.
    • Painting in the evening (welcome to my world). Energy saving light bulbs are crap for painting under. Try and paint in the best lit room. You will also need to use a desk lamp to illuminate your work. If you take to the hobby then you need to invest in either daylight bulbs or a daylight lamp. It’s the kind that seamstresses use.

Things not to buy…

  • The White Dwarf monthly magazine. It’s expensive with no written content just nice pictures. Save the money and look for inspiring pictures on the internet.
  • Painting guides. Honestly, at a beginner level don’t bother. All the basic techniques and videos can be found on the net for free. There are some good guides I have bought but they have covered advanced techniques (airbrushing etc).
  • Too many models. If it’s not a limited edition then leave it in the shop. There’s nothing more disheartening than having a pile of models awaiting your attention as it puts pressure on you and then you’ll start to rush. If there’s only a limited run of the model then by all means get it and save it for the next project.

To get all the basics along with 10 tubs of paint  and a basic infantry model set you’re looking at splashing out £94.54 from Games Workshop and £70.50 from Elemental Games, a saving of £24.04.

The final and the most important thing you need for miniature painting is patience. Don’t rush the painting, take your time and enjoy the time you’re spending painting your model, you’re not thinking about work or life just the model. See your painting time as time to relax, have a beer or a glass of wine and listen to some music. It’s time wasted but in a constructive way.

If you do have a go at the hobby or you just want to ask a question then please add a comment.

Grukk Face-Rippa

15126748275_4819013c6f_o

I recently picked up the Sanctus Reach: Stormclaw box set as it contained some really cool models that will take my an age to paint. I have to admit I mainly picked the box set up for the orks as they’re a little quirky and crazy. With this in mind the first model I decided to paint was the Warboss Grukk Face-Rippa. Grukk would hold a number of firsts for me – the first 40k model I’d paint, the first ork I’d paint, the first time I’d use a yellow blending technique and the first time I’d use stone, sand and pigment to create the base – because of all these firsts I took even more time over this model than I normally would.

Constructing Grukk was a simple process. I drilled out his shoota and the air vents on his power claw before construction began proper as I believe this looks better. I then assembled the core of his body before priming but didn’t attach his face, warboss pole and shoulder guards. The squib was also assembled separately and I didn’t attach its face either. The models were primed using Army Painters black primer – it was the first time I’d used this primer but it went on really smooth.

20140819_201806

After priming I painted Grukk’s tongue and inner mouth with Khrone red, I then mixed in a little Ceramite White for the highlights, once the paint had dried I applied a wash of Nulin Oil. After that I attached Grukk’s face and filled in any joint gaps with liquid green stuff.

Now any warboss worth his salt knows that you have to wear red trousers – it’s ork law – so Grukk had to have red trousers. Khrone Red was again used – mainly because it was already on my wet pallet – after the first coat was down I started to mix in a little Evil Suns Scarlet for the highlight. I didn’t go overboard with the highlighting on the trousers, I wanted just enough so that it looked realistic but not crisp. After the trousers had dried a Nulin Oil wash was applied.

Unsurprising Grukk’s base flesh tone was Waaagh Flesh as it provides a nice earthy green base. The first set of highlights picked out the major muscles and was a mix of Waaagh Flesh and Warboss Green. The second set of highlights picked out the extremities with Skarsnik Green added to the initial highlight mix. Once it had dried a wash of Bieltan Green was applied.

Bad Moons - The Yellow I didn't want

Bad Moons – The Yellow I didn’t want

I wanted Grukk to have Bad Moons yellow as part of his colour scheme but I also wanted some purple on him as well. All my models tend to have a little purple on them if I can fit it into the theme without ruining the scheme. For the purple on this model I decided to go for the left should guard and Grukk’s body armour. Both pieces of armour were painted with a base of Xereus Purple.  Once this had dried I mixed in a little Ceramite White into the mix and with a small brush I added dots and lines loosely across the raised parts and edges of the armour. This would, hopefully, give the impression of wear and tear on the armour. Once this had dried I used the same technique but this time with Leadbelcher to add areas where the paint had totally chipped away to show the metal base.

The Power-Claw, parts of the shoota and warboss pole came next. I wanted these areas to be yellow, Bad Moons yellow. From the start I knew I didn’t want to emulate the crisp Bad Moons yellow which you see in all the GamesWorkshop promotional pictures. I wanted my yellow to look more rugged and dirty. After searching the internet for a while I came across the video – below  – that achieved the look I wanted.

Any area I wanted to paint yellow I firstly undercoated with Mournfang Brown. After that I started to mix in a little Averland Sunset, then went over the areas which I wanted to be yellow – I kept the paint as watered down as possible – I then went back and added a little more Averland Sunset to mix. This took a while as I was blending from brown through to yellow. Once I had the Averland Sunset areas as yellow as possible I started adding in Yriel Yellow to the mix. Still keeping the paint as watered down as possible I was making the areas I painted  smaller with each coat. I then added some Flash Gitz Yellow to the mix and picked out the edges of the yellow areas. Once that was done I added a little Ceramite White to the mix and with a fine bush added some weathering around any edges and scratch lines across the surface of the yellow. Once this had dried I pulled all the yellow areas together with a glaze of Lamenters Yellow. I was really happy with the end result, it wasn’t perfect but as my blending techniques get better I’m sure it will look more effective.

15126364872_853fc6690d_o

The rest of Grukk was fairly straight forward, basecoat, highlight and weathering. Once the yellow areas were completed he came together really quickly. The next big challenge for me was basing Grukk. I wanted Grukk based on something that looked like a red, dusty Martian desert landscape. So the first thing I did was to super glue pieces of slate to the base so that it would have a little texture and character. Once the slate was set in place I coated the base in PVA glue and then covered it with Fine Basing Grit, once everything was dry I primed the base with matt black Army Painter primer. I then positioned Grukk and his squib on the base and stuck them down with a mixture of superglue and green stuff. Once that had set I started to add pigment to the base. I used Vallejo Pigments and started with a base layer of Natural Sienna. To apply the pigment to the base I added some to a palette, I then dipped an old brush in water and mixed the pigment into the water. I then applied the pigment to the base by dabbing it to the base. As the first layer was wet it looked like mud. Once it had had dried I added a layer or Burnt Sienna pigment. I added this to the base with a slightly damp brush which made the pigment look more like dry sand than mud. Once I was happy I sprayed the base and the model in Army Painters matte seal. As this was my first attempt at using pigment I’m fairly happy with the result, ideally I’d like the base to look more of an orange red colour but it hasn’t turned out too badly.

14940040239_028254929e_o

So there we have it, my Grukk Face-Rippa – I really enjoyed painting this model, it was a lot of fun and provided me with some knew challenges as well as some old ones! I’m not going to make a start on the Killa Kanz which will be the first full machine models I’ve painted. If you have any comments or want me to add more detail to any element then please comment and let me know.

15123745131_0c95e5163d_o