2017: The Year Ahead

For the last few months my hobby stuff has been and still is packed up as I’ve been moving house. If truth be told I’ve been in the process of moving for around 12 months now but the first house fell through. Anyway, we’re all in now and the vast majority of the boxes have been unpacked. In this house I should have an area that can be a dedicated hobby space, I’m really looking forward to this as I’ve never had that luxury before. 

As I haven’t had chance to crack on with some hobby for a few months I throught I’d write a to-do list of everything – hobby related – that I want to achieve in 2017.

So here we go…

1. Set up a hobby space. This will involve finding a suitable desk that will also have space for tools and paints. I also want to get some integrated lighting into the area.

2. Finish off my Carmine Dragon. It’s been knocking around for months now and it just needs the flesh and bone areas painting. I also need to find a suitable base for it.

3. Complete my Sylvaneth models. This involves painting three hunters, two tree lords and a Sylvaneth Wizard that I knocked up.

4. Build and paint up the Silvertower models along with extra hero packs.

5. Build and paint up my Emperor’s Children Tactical Marines.

6. Build and paint The Everqueen.

7. Try and not buy anymore models until I’ve painted everything. 

With the speed that I paint I think that there will be more than enough for me to do here but if I manage to get all this painted I wouldn’t mind picking up some Death Korps of Krieg and building up a little force of them. So that’s my 2017 plan, it’s a little late but a late plan is better than no plan!

Painting my Horn

For those people who follow me on Twitter or Instagram – which should be all of you as I’m the bees knees! – you’ll have noticed that I’ve been painting a Forgeworld Carmine Dragon for a few months now. Progress, admittedly has been slow as I’ve been taking my time in the hope of doing the model justice and I’ve also been doing a little more gaming and archery lately as well.

I’m now at the point on model where I’m starting on the details so I thought I’d do a little blog update on how I’m painting the horn and bone sections. I wanted my dragon to look old, he’s been around and I wanted that reflected in the bones and horns. I looked at pictures of lots of different types of bones and horns – not of the penis variety – for some inspiration and decided that the look of buffalo horn was what I wanted to replicate.

  
The base colour of my Carmine Dragon is purple and green so I wanted a little lighter colour on the model. In order to add a little contrast I reveresed the natural horn colouring, so instead of having the dark colouring at the end of the horn – as you can see above – I placed it at the base. Other than that one change I wanted to replicate this bone look as closely as my skill would allow.

 *as an aside, to avoid confusion I’m referring to horns as the pointy bits that look like horns and I’m using the term bones to refer to the more angular edges that protrude from the flesh on the model. It’s probably not the correct termonology but it will do!

I’m fairly happy with the look and by reversing the tips the model is lightened so the darker colours don’t look so oppressive. To achieve the look I firstly base coated the horn and bone areas with a dark brown after that I painted the area closest to the base of the horn in black. From then I blended progressively lighter shades of brown from the end of the bone / horn gradually getting fainter into the base. This meant that the base – the bit closest to the model – stayed dark whilst the the tip was light. Once I was happy with the browns I picked out the tips and any edges with white.

I then changed things slightly depending on if I was painting horn or bone. I’ve noticed that the buffalo horn had a really subtle gloss texture to it whilst the bone looks mat. To replicate this on the dragon I added a coat of ‘ardcoat over all the horn area but not to the bone areas. After the ‘ardcoat was dry I applied a light dry brush of tyrant skull to break the ‘ardstuff gloss up and I also applied the tyrant skull to the bone areas.

I’m fairly happy with the result. To me it looks like really old bone and horn which is what I wanted. What do you guys think any tips or suggestions?

Slaughterpriest

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Last week like most people who have an interest in all things Games Workshop I picked up the new version other The White Dwarf – I like to imagine that White Dwarf is actually fully written, edited and pictures provided by a dwarf who is simply known as The White Dwarf – which is back to a monthly publication and as a little bonus there was a free Slaughterpriest model attached! Huzzah!

When I was home browsing the pictures with my son, who I’ve affectionately given the nickname Tiny Man or TM, he wanted to know more. So after a quick “history lesson” he was soon up to speed with the betrayal of the Emperor by Horus and the various Space Marine and Chaos legions, his favourites were the Imperial Fists but he also took a shine to the Deathwatch. We then moved onto the Age of Sigmar and he spotted the Slaughterpriest model I’d placed on the side. After seeing the completed pictures in the White Dwarf TM asked me to start work on mine. So like an loving father would – when their child shows an interest in their hobby – I put my glade of dryads on hold, ripped my shirt off, sacrificed a unicorn to Khrone and started work on the Slaughterpriest.

I started by cleaning the model up, assembling and priming it black. It’s worth noting that some elements of the model are a little fragile, particularly the ball and chain and the spike and skull attached to the back so be careful. I didn’t want to spend too long painting this model as I had no army, or intention to create one, to add him too. I wanted a paint scheme that I didn’t have to work out myself so with this in mind I simply followed the paint scheme that was in the White Dwarf with a few modifications to replace the GW colours I didn’t have.

As a slight aside, I’m normally the sort of person that just wings a paint scheme. I’ll write down what I do but I just paint from what I see, which means I’ve never actually followed a painting guide before. I have to say that by following the guide my painting speed increased dramatically and I’m very happy with the results, Khrone I’m sure is also proud.

Stage 1 – Brass Monkey
The first step advised by The White Dwarf was to cover all the area you wanted to be brass in GW Retributor Armour. Luckily, I have GW Retributor Armour so I added a little thinner to the paint and applied it to the pauldrons, the trim of the boots, the guard on the sword, the chaos belt buckle and the tips of the leather tassels.

Step two was to wash the areas i’d just painted with the Retributor Armour with Agrax Earthshade. Now obviously I own a bottle of this stuff and I have a feeling that people who aren’t even hobbyist will have a bottle of Agrax. It’s like Oasis’s “What’s the story (morning glory)” everyone has a copy even though they can’t remember buying it.

Stage three was to drybush GW Sycrorax Bronze over the areas and this is where the White Dwarf caught me out as I didn’t have Scrotum Bronze*. So instead I turned to my trusty Scale 75 paints and used Victorian Brass instead, which I think looks ace.

*warning will shine if polished.

Stage four and we have a final drybrush of GW Necron Compound. Again I already have this so I followed this step to appease the Dwarf.

Overall, I was happy with the bronze tone I achieved.

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Now next on the Slaughtpriest hit list was the Khrone red armour. A little known fact about the followers of Khrone is that they don’t actually like the sight of blood as it upsets their tummy but they do love mindless slaughter. So in order to not have a dicky tummy when they’re partaking in their favourite pastime they paint everything red so they can’t see the blood.

Stage Two – Bring your Auntie to the Dancy

Step one is to cover all the bits of armour you want red in GW Khrone Red. Now I don’t have or couldn’t find Khrone Red so I covered the helmet, ohhh matron, pauldrons and leg armour in Scale 75 Deep Red. You do need to be careful not to mess up the brass areas you’ve just nailed, so unlike a follower of Khrone you need to take your time. You also need to add a few drops of thinner to your paint. Blood and thinner to the paint God.

Step two is to apply a wash of GW Nulin Oil over all your red bits. I own Nulin Oil so I used Nulin Oil.

Step three, we’re back to the GW Khrone Red or in my case Scale 75 Deep Red. Pick out the raised areas and keep away from those recesses otherwise step two would have been for nought.

Step four, crack open your GW Evil Sunz Scarlet and start picking out major highlights. If like me you don’t have, can’t find or can’t borrow Evil Sunz then you can use a brighter red. I went for Scale 75 Antares Red.

Step five The White Dwarf says use Fire Dragon Bright for highlighting the red and as I had disobeyed his Dwarfness enough I followed his instructions on this one.

Again I’m happy with the results on the armour, I think it may need a little more Fire Dragon Bright just to add contrast.

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Stage Three – Oil me up for sun-bronzed skin

Step one – The Dwarf says colour all the fleshy bits in GW Bugman’s Glow. So that’s the chest and the hands just in case you’re struggling to know which bits are flesh. I didn’t have any Bugman’s so I went with Scale 75 Basic Skin. The paints were thinned so this took several coats to get a nice consistent layer. You need to be super careful at this point as you don’t want to get flesh tone on the areas that are now finished.

Step two – Pick out all the raised areas with GW Cadian Fleshtone, which I didn’t have but I did have Scale 75 Golden Skin. Again, I thinned this bad boy down and applied a few coats.

Step three involves reaching for the washes again and this time it’s GW Reikland Fleshshade, which I did have. The wash just pulls the two different layers of flesh tones together which is a good thing.

Step four is picking out the muscles with everybody’s favourite flesh tone…. GW Kislev Flesh. Which I didn’t have. So I went back to Scale 75 and whacked out my Pale Skin. Apply it thin and laugh.

Overall I’m happy with my flesh painting as it’s not a normally something I like doing but its turned out okay. For added detail I added a little purple to the flesh tone and picked out the veins under the skin.

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Stage Three – Balls of Steel

Step One is, according to the Dwarf, to add a coat of GW Leadbelcher to all the areas you want to be steel, so that’s the ball and chain and the sharp pointy thing in his over hand. I also wanted the spikes that are sticking out of his flesh to look metallic so that it looks like he’s added them to his body himself. I want my Slaughterpriest to look like he feels no pain so will add spikes and metal to his flesh for fun of it. You could also play it the otherway and paint the spikes to look like that they’re bones that have mutated out of his flesh. Instead of the Leadbelcher I used Vallejo Game Air Gunmetal.

Step Two apply Nulin Oil to your steel bits. I have this so I did this.

Step Three and the Dwarf has reached into his technical paints and decided that it’s time for Typhus Corrosion to shine. I don’t have this paint – the shame – so I missed this step out totally.

Step Four and it’s a drybrush of GW Ryza Rust to the steel areas. I’d advise not going crazy with this and make sure you don’t have too much on your brush as you’ll end up just turning the metallic areas orange and not the subtle rust effect you’ll want. Again I have the paint so no substitutes were needed.

Step Five and the White Dwarf tells us to highlight the steel areas using GW Runefang Steel and it’s a good call just make sure you pick of the details and don’t go crazy or you’ll destroy all the layers you’ve added which would be a shame.

Step Six and I decided to be a maverick and disobey the Dwarf and add some GW Blood for the Blood God technical paint to the blade and the ball. The White Dwarf does advise doing this but he adds it at the end of the process but I say screw you Dwarf I’ll add it when I bloody well want. In terms of using Blood for the Blood God i’d follow the maxim of less equals more. You don’t want to ruin all the details you’ve spent an age painting by going mental with BfBG.

And that’s it really for the complex stuff. The Dwarf does include some details on painting the leather, bones and tattered robe but to be honest it’s pretty standard stuff. After I’d finished the Slaughterpriest I created an ice base for him so that it looked like he was on his way down from the frozen north to pick up his Amazon order. I’ll cover the base creation in another blog as I’ve rambled on long enough.

Comments as always are welcome.

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01 – a Thousand Trees

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“But it only takes one tree to make
A thousand matches
Only takes one match to burn
A thousand trees
A thousand trees”

It’s not often a modelling blog starts with the Stereophonics but I thought it was apt, it does, however, give away the easiest way to destroy a tree which probably isn’t the wisest thing to give away if you’re starting an army based on wood. Anyway, around a year ago I was browsing the armies with the wifey at the Liverpool GW store. As we looked at the Sylvaneth Treelord my wife said that it looked cool and I have to admit that it did. After that I picked up a box of dryads but they just ended up in my “to do” pile. With the release of the Sylvaneth starter set that contains a Treelord, a Branchwych and 16 dryads, I decided that it was time that I picked the starter set up and start my Sylvaneth glade.

So with a Branchwych, Treelord and 32 dryads to paint I needed to decided on a colour scheme. I wanted a colour scheme / theme that would work across several different order armies so that they’d look themeatically the same on the battlefield just in case I wanted to add some allies at a later date.

For the Sylvaneth I started looking at the different seasonal schemes other painters have used. The ones I was really drawn to were the autumnal ones that used brow, reds and yellows. There were two reasons why I decided against this, the first is that I wanted my Sylvaneth to represent a resurgence, a fresh start, a new hope, so that meant I’d have to go with a rich spring scheme. The second reason why I decided against an autumn theme was that it seemed really popular and I wanted to choose a scheme that was a little more unique, especially if I was going to base a combined order Order army on it.

After doing some searching online I came across a cherry blossom theme by Awaken Realms that this really inspired me. I just loved the way the pink popped against the white. The cherry blossom theme obviously lends itself to an oriental scheme which I thought might be cool to explore further as I build the glade and perhaps incorporate different armies.

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So now with a scheme in mind I just had to work out what colours I needed to use in order to create the look I wanted but I’ll leave that for another blog.

paintRack – the Greatest Painting App around

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Like most hobbyist I’ve amassed a small* collection of paints in every hue imaginable in order to paint my battle hardened plastic warriors.

*read large collection, however, if anyone asks I will never have enough paints.

I own paints designed to be used with a brush, with an airbrush, to be dry brushed on, and to be washed on and they’re all from several different paint manufacturers; Citadel, P3, Vallejo, Scale75 and Army Painter (this doesn’t even cover the oil paints and pigments).

What I’ve found, however, is that I get colour blind with all the choice so I end up painting with my favorite paints at the moment, which is currently Scale75, and ignore the rest.This both limits my pallet and is a waste of the paint I own but haven’t considered as it wasn’t immediately at hand.

So the other night on twitter I asked the question to the #warmongers community

I recieve two responses to this question with both recommending paintRack

After downloading paintRack by @courageousocto and using it for a few days I can honestly say it’s excellent. The app allows you list paints from the Citadel, P3, Reaper, Vallejo, Warpaints, Tamiya, Scale75, Coat d’Arms, Citadel Classic, Minitaire, Watercolours, Humbrol, Andrea Colour, Ammo and Secret Weapon. You can add the paints by a simple click or just scan the barcode.

They’re two features however, that really make this app stand out for me. The first, is the library feature that lets you organise your paints, irrespective of brand, in colour order. I’ve found this really useful when picking out shades of paint for new schemes. The second features I really like is the ‘sets’ feature that allows you to store the colours you’ve used for specific models and their different elements, there’s even an area to add your mixing ratio notes. This for me is a great as I normally write my colour scheme down and then I lose the book a few days later.

So if you want an app that will list, organise, create sets, have a wish list and colour tools for your paints then this app is definitely worth looking at. I believe there’s a trial version but I immediately forked out for the full version at £2.79 after using it for a few minutes as I was really impressed. If you’re still not convinced then you can watch the promo video below.

 

And the link to the app on the Android Play store is here. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is available for the i-People.

The Discontinued Undead – The Fall of the Tomb Kings

After painting a handful of Stormcast Eternals several months ago I decided that I wanted a change so I purchased some Tomb Kings – a set of guards, A warsphinx, and a tomb king. It takes me an age to paint anything so in the space of me deciding to start collecting Tomb Kings the Fates – who live at Games Workshop HQ – unsheathed their sharp scissors and cut the Tomb Kings thread of life or removed the spell that is holding their dead bones together. Either way they are now officially shafted which will make it a little harder to pick up TK models. With this in mind I decided that I’d just imalgimate them into a larger undead army (this will explain the VC in some of the pictures).

For my TK army I wanted the models to be connected with a colour theme. After looking at images on ancient Egyptian artefacts it struck me how vibrant the golds and the turquoise where. I think this is especially shown in Tutankhamun’s death mask, the mixture of the rich gold and the deep blue really make the turquoise pop.

My only concern with emulating this colour scheme was that I didn’t think the really bright gold would translate well onto a miniture so I decide that I’d probably dull it down.

With all the models I primed them with Vallejo black surface primer. After this I painted all the gold areas with GW Retributer gold as it’s a rich deep gold and provides great coverage. Now I know gold doesn’t tarnish but I wanted the TKs to look ancient, like they’ve been knocking around the desert for years and I thought that tarnishing the gold would achieve this.

To tarnish the gold I first applied around three washes of GW’s Seraphim Sepia. After the sepia washes had dried a dry brush of the retributer gold was applied to pick out the edges and give the gold a little more depth. Next was a diluted solution of GW Nihilakh Oxide to add the tarnished look. Once this was fully dried I did one last dry brush of retributer.

Next up was all the areas that I wanted to be turquoise. I started with a base coat of Scale 75 Bering Blue and whilst I had the blue out I also painted all cloth areas and airbrushed the Warsphinx flesh with the same blue.


After this it was wash time again. The cloth areas received a wash of GW Drakenhof Nightshade, this wash significantly darkens the light chalkey Bering blue and gives the areas a deep blue look. Once the wash had dried I edge highlighted with Bering blue to give some depth to the cloth.

The areas which I wanted to be turquoise had a wash of GW Biel-Tan to add a green hue to the Bering blue. Once dry highlights of Scale 75 Adriatic Blue where added to give the look of turquoise.

Since these mini’s are primarily skeletons it would probably be best if I mentioned how I painted the bones. Firstly, I added a base layer of P3 Menoth White base followed by a wash of GW Seraphim Sepia. Once this was dry I picked out the bone detail using Vallejo Game Air Dead white. It’s a fairly simple method compared to some of the others I’ve heard and I think it looks effective for old bones.

After tidying up the bits and pieces I went onto paint the desert resin bases. To add a little warmth to the models I wanted the desert to be more of any orange hue than a yellow wash out. I started by firstly priming the base with Vallejo black surface primer, the base coat was Scale 75 Mars orange, followed by a highlight of Vallejo Game Air Sun Yellow.

So that is pretty much that. I think they’ve turned out okay and captured the Egyptian feel, I’ll be carrying on the blue and turquoise theme with any other undead as I believe adds an ethereal quality to the miniture.

As always all feedback is welcome.