01 – a Thousand Trees

image

“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.

image

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.

Anti-Shine

During the continuing course of painting my Emperor’s Children I’ve started to use a lot more transfers. In the past I’ve had a love/hate relationship with transfers. On one hand they add a level of crisp detail that I don’t have the ability to match with a brush but on the other hand they always have a slight shine to them making them look as false as politician who is asked to carry out a normal activity in front of the press (for examples see the pictorial evidence below).


To try and remove the shine of the transfer I thought I’d try the Anti-Shine Matt Varnish by Army Painter. To apply the varnish I brushed it on like I would with paint. I applied a few layers over the transfer and the shine, at least to my eyes, was reduced. The Anti-Shine doesn’t seem to have affected the colour of the paint either which would have been a massive disappointment if it had.


In short along with the micro-set and micro-sol the Army Painter Anti-Shine will become a mainstay in my transfer arsenal. Buy some and use it for all your anti-shine needs.

Tending to your brush

Brushes are an integral part of painting models*, even if you use an airbrush there will be parts of the model you’ll want a brush for. Brushes can also be extensive with prices around £15 for GW’s artificer detail brush.

*if you use your fingers, or those of your defeated foes to paint, then you will not need a brush.

It can therefore get expensive replacing brushes when the bristles start to point in all directions. There’s nothing more frustrating than being happy with an area you’ve painted and then catching it with a stray bristle loaded with another colour. It’s a crushing feeling when this happens as you feel like your masterpiece has been damaged to the point that even your own mother couldn’t honestly say looks good. The picture below shows the dangers of stray brush strokes.

image

After doing a bit of research on the problem I found a product called ‘”The Masters” Brush Cleaner and Preserver’ which promised to be the solution to all my problems. It’s basically like shaving soap that you lather up using your brush and then wash the bits of paint out with water. To maintain the shape of the bristles I’ve started leaving some soap on the bristles.

As an aside worthy of Iago,  I’ve noticed, as I’m writing this blog, that the cleaner is ‘specially prepared’ by the ‘original B&J’ and that ‘stains’ are specifically mentioned on the label. Now I’m hoping that these aren’t clues to the soaps construction but either way it cleans brushes really well even if it does taste a little salty.

IMG_3831
I’ve been using the brush cleaner for around five months on the Element Games Kolonsky brush and I have to say it is absolutely fantastic.

As you can see from the picture the bristles look new and not five months old. So if you want to buy some magic brush cleaner the the only place I’ve found that stocks it is the eternal flea market that is eBay. If anyone knows of another UK stockists that won’t shaft me on the p&p then please let me know.
image

Love, hugs and kisses,

Jester

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.

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!’

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.