Paving the Silvertower 

I’ve had Silvertower and the two hero packs knocking around since Christmas so the other week I thought I’d crack on with it and start building some of the models. In order to try and keep things as simple as possible I decided to pick up the appropriate sets of the GW Shattered dominion bases.

Now when it comes to bases I’ve been known to be a bit of a fool as I’ve made them either too complicated, to the point where I lose interest, or I’ve bought resin ones that cost a fortune, these GW bases I hopped would fit somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

For £20 you get alot of bases 30x32mm and 40x25mm in one box and in the other 6x65mm and 20x40mm so for £40 I have more than enough bases. The bases themselves come on a spruce so if you want to batch paint them quickly you can paint them on the spruce. My only complaint is that GW haven’t produced a 50mm shattered dominion base which means that for some of your slightly larger models you’ll be trying to make your own.

After looking at the Silvertower board for a while I decided that I’d use the box art base colours on the 25mm shattered dominon box art.  I went with this for three reasons; the first was that I liked the colours and thought it would match up with the board; the seconds was that I wouldn’t have to think of what colours to use as GW have done that for me; and thirdly I didn’t want to spend tooling painting the bases but I wanted them to look good.

Now the box art gives you the basic paint list you need but it doesn’t give you all of the paints you’ll need to try and replicate the full base look. For this you’ll need a copy of White Dwarf  #130 which came out on the 23rd July 2016. Now I had to get this off ebay as I pretty much abandoned the Dwarf down a mine shaft when it went weekly, but to save you the fuss of finding it here are the colours.  

Like all the GW guides it’s very clear and you achieve a decent looking result very quickly and with little effort. I’m happy with how it looks and I think a whole host of models based this way will look fab. 

Games Workshop and Social Media

Last December it was a landmark birthday for my wife. So in the hope of easing the pain I booked a secret family break to stay in an old hunting lodge – that looked very much like a castle from the old world – near Carlisle. On the way we decided to stop off at Kendal and have a look around and like most people who paint plastic miniatures we (myself, wifey and the tiny man) ended up in Kendal’s Games Workshop store.

I have to admit that ending up in the store didn’t happen totally by mistake as I really wanted to meet the man who was behind the stores Twitter and Instagram account. GW at the moment are in the middle of a social media awakening with the creation of Warhammer TV, the community site and the use of platforms like Instagram. Even the staff at Warhammer world have their own personal Twitter accounts and are engaging with the community. If I’m honest this level of engagement is excellent and as a member of the community the impression I get is that GW it’s filled with passionate people that love their job and their hobby.

However, there is a problem and that’s the social media engagement from the local stores which, if I’m honest, is pretty poor. It feels like the memo was only received by the staff at Warhammer World that they can use a social media platform, other than Facebook, to promote the hobby, their store and engage with the wider community.

This has led to a situation where the local stores are languishing in the chaos realms of Facebook only using Twitter to push their Facebook posts to, which isn’t engagement, it’s just annoying. Now this may be just me being over sensitive to the issue as I don’t use Facebook but as the hobby is very visual I don’t understand why Twitter and Instagram aren’t used as both platforms have a massive community that would willingly engage. I can understand the argument that a lot of GW stores struggle for time but engaging with a new generation on the platforms that they use would surely be more beneficial in the long term for both the store and the hobby as whole.

Social media certainly brought me back into the hobby, after a long hiatus I discovered the #warmongers community along with some stunning model pictures which meant I popped into a GW store and picked up a few paints and a model, several years later I’m still painting and buying! I probably never would have gotten back into the hobby without the online community and I certainly wouldn’t have improved as a painter without ther guidance. So if social media can bring back an old warhorse like me then I’m sure it can entice a new generation that are on several social media platforms into this creative and fun hobby.

In closing and getting back to my visit to GW Kendal I met Adam the store manager and I have to say he gets it. He engages directly with the community through, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, he posts pictures of the models the guys who visit his store paint, he retweets tweets from other community members – many I assume who have never been to his store – and he engages and responds to comments, in short he promotes the hobby and his store. Because of his presence and use of Twitter and Instagram I visited his store as I was passing through the town, purchased a copy of White Dwarf and we had a chat. I will never be a regular visitor to Kendal but I can guarantee that the next time I’m there I’ll pop in, say ‘hello’ and buy something.

So GW stores I don’t expect the level of engagement that is coming from Warhammer World but it would be nice if the hobby at the local store level was engaging with the online community. It can be done as Adam at GW Kendal has shown, treat him as your primarch and mould your chapters in his image.

I’d be interested to hear what the community thinks. Are there any GW Stores that use a few social media platforms to promote their store and hobby. If there is please mention them in the comments below.

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.

05 – Terminator Captain

I have to admit I approached this model with a little trepidation as the captain wasn’t wearing his helmet, which meant i’d have to paint some flesh. I’ve always shied away painting flesh as there tends to be no middle ground in that it either looks good or crap.

So with this in mind I cracked open the various flesh shades contained in the Scale 75 Scalecolour range, Pink Flesh, Basic Flesh, Golden Skin, Light Skin, Pale Skin, along with Citadel’s Lahmian Medium and Reikland Fleshshade.

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I started with a base layer covering of thinned Pink Flesh. It took a few coats to get the colour uniform.After that it was just a case of building the highlights up but instead of thinning the paint with thinner I used the Lahmian Medium as I’ve found this is great for blending. After I’d added the first highlight of Basic Flesh I used a thinned wash of Reikland Earthshade just to pull the blends together. I then highlighted further with Golden Skin, Light Skin and a final highlight on Pale Skin. In between these layers I added every increasing thinned layers of Reikland where needed.

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After the flesh was painted I thought I’d try my hand at adding some details. Firstly with a really light purple mixed with a little Pale Flesh I started to pick out the veins in the head. It took my ages to do this but sadly I couldn’t get the camera to to pick them out.

After this I started on the facial and head stubble. This was done by mixing a light grey with some pale skin and applying it to the correct areas. Applying several coats made the hair look thicker. Once the hair was dry I applied a super thin wash of pale skin mixed with Lahmian to pull the colours together.

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The only other thing of real note that I did differently on this model was to add some Emperor’s Children transfers to the cape as I wanted the cape to show the prestige of the Captain. The transfers were added using Micro Set and Micro Sol which is a must purchase if you’re adding transfers (I have a blog on Micro Sol and Micro Set in the pipeline). Once the transfer where set I added a layer of anti-shine, see here.

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I’ll add some piccies later once I’ve finished the base!

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.