02 – The Sakura Glade

Since the start of September I’ve painted 32 dryads and 1 branchwych – which for me is a lot of models – to form the basis of my Sylvaneth glade. As I mentioned in my previous Sylvaneth post I wanted my glade to have a cherry blossom look to them, they had to symbolise a renewal of life and new beginnings, so the Sakura was the obvious choice.

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So how did I paint these pink bad boys and girls? Firstly, I primed everything with black and then I hit the models with a really messy layer of Scale 75 Dubai Brown. Once that was dry all the raised areas were painted with Scale 75 Graphite. I then washed the model using Scale 75 Inktensity Wood, which I’d thinned using an acrylic thinner. The wash blended the all the previous layers togeather and helped the transitions look more natural. Scale 75 Rainy Day was then used to pick of the raised areas, again, and then White was added to the raised areas.

I then began to pick out the areas I wanted to be pink. This was done by hitting these areas with Scale 75 Fuchsia followed by blending in P3 Carnal Pink. The runes were painted using Scale 75  Alquima Cullcita which has a pearl-like quality that makes the runes look a little more magical.

And that was that, I’m really happy with how they’ve turned out and I can’t wait to add some more units to the glade.

As always thoughts and feedback are welcome.

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.

Paint Killing

Whilst working on my EC chaplin’s cloak I noticed that some of the paint was starting to the rise off the model. I imagine that something stopped the base layer and the highlights from drying properly.

Using a brush and some water I managed to get most of the paint off the cloak but there were still some stubborn areas of paint left. As I wanted the cloak to be as smooth as possible these had to go before I repainted the cloak.

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If I could avoid it I didn’t want to strip the rest of the paint off the model so I decided that I’d give Scale 75’s aptly named ‘PaintKiller’ a try.

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Before buying the Paintkiller, from Elment Games, I did a few internet searches for reviews and couldn’t find any. Now I’ve been using the Scale 75 Scale Colour range, and they’re excellent, so this gave me some confidence that the PaintKiller would be a quality product.

The other day my Paintkiller arrived and I have to say I was fairly excited, well as excited as a grown man get over a bottle of clear liquid that wouldn’t get me intoxicated if drank it. Now one thing I’ve learnt in the few years I’ve been modeling is to always read the instructions and in this instance I’m glad I did as Paintkiller can only kill paint on resin or metal products. I have to say this came as a bit of a blow as I was after a miracle product that would remove paint from a plastic model.

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The other reason I was a little bit narked was that I’d checked both the Scale 75 website and the retailers site and there was no mention on either about the restrictions on use. For my part I was probably being a little naive by thinking that a 100% plastic model safe paint stripper had been developed but I live in hope.

I do have a resin Dreadnaught that needs stripping and given an EC colour scheme so I can use the paint killer on that but for the plastic Chaplin I’m unsure of what to do. I will probably try cleaning the cape up a little more and then re-paint the cape OR I could find a plastic safe method of stripping the whole model and paint it all again OR as a last resort buy the model again from eBay as everyone is splitting the sets up.

 

Epilogue

Test 1 – Plastic

So the other night I thought ‘fuck it, I’m going use that Paint Killer on the Chaplin” so I made a little PaintKiller bath, dunked him and watched in amazement as the paint just fell off him within seconds. I used an old toothbrush to get to the paint in the creases of the model but other than that it needed no help. As you can see from the piccy the model hasn’t melted, exploded or gained superpowers. In short I’m super impressed with Paintkiller on a plastic model! Oh Scale 75 I think I love you…. please don’t break my heart because you have it now.

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Test 2 – Resin

I picked up a Contempator Relic Dreadnought when I first got back into the hobby, it was, and sadly still is my biggest Forgeworld purchase which will now obviously change as I’ve started collecting Emperor’s Children. I don’t know if I got over excited by painting a Forgeworld model but in short I really messed the paint job up. I wasn’t happy with it at the time and each time I’ve looked at it since it seems to have gotten worse (like some 30k picture of Dorian Grey, oh wait that story has already been plagerised in Fulgrim).

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From my earlier Paintkiller plastic test I had around 3/4 of the bottle left which I poured into a disposal cup and then I part submerged the model. I let the dread soak for around five minutes after this time I took the model out and turned him around so that the other area would get chance to soak. I then started to work on the model with a tooth brush.

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As you can see the paint comes off easily, even if I does look like an alien that’s just burst from your stomach. The only issue I had was that the PaintKiller quickly became saturated with paint so that everytime I dipped the brush I inadvertently added a thin wash off diluted paint and Paintkiller over the model. This wasn’t a big issue but it did make it hard to see were the stubborn bits of paint were.

It took a bit of scrubbing to get the paint off especially in the model recesses but eventually it moved. Once the model was scrubbed I rinsed it under the tap. If I’m honest, the model could probably do with another wash to get rid of the odd red tint but I’m hoping that when I apply the base coat there will be no hint to its former life.
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Overall, I’m really happy with the Paintkiller as it removed all the paint on both plastic and resin without destroying the models or any details. As plastic is not listed on the instructions as being safe to use with Paintkiller then I would be very careful if you do use it on plastic. Add a little, don’t leave it to soak and scrub with a brush.

On a final note please wear gloves when using this stuff as your skin will melt.

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.

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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.

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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.
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Love, hugs and kisses,

Jester

04 – Forever Autumn – Building a Base

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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