Sunday, 23 October 2016

Zomtober Bonus Post - The Others

Despite the expectation stated in my previous post that I wouldn't get a chance to finish anything else this Zomtober, between my wife being at work and my daughter having the mother of all naps I managed to paint these three from start to finish yesterday:

A set of three 'Draugr' from Elladan miniatures that are coincidentally the spitting image of the White Walkers from the Game of Thrones television series.

This is potentially the first horse I have ever painted, and it was actually pretty fun (although not every future horse that I paint will have hanging ribbons of flesh and exposed bone to pick out, so I don't know if that will affect my enjoyment).

The chain is a fun touch too, although in hindsight I wish that I'd soaked it in a dirty wash before attaching it so that it wasn't so shiny - I only thought this after having already glued one end of it inplace sadly, and it was a bit fiddly trying to apply Vallejo Smoke to the hanging chain in situ). Maybe I'll go back an try and give it a bit of a drybrush with a dark brown...

The sculpts were pretty straightforward to paint, hence me being able to finish them in a single day - their armour, which is the majority of the surface area of two of the three, was simply drybrushed with grey, then again with a medium silver, before being washed with black, to give an unnatural, unusual finish that I felt suited the alien nature of the Others. I think the Others are to Game of Thrones what Elves are to other fantasy settings - humanoid, but totally alien in their design and desires; inscrutable in their objectives (which will turn out to be nothing like the original assumption of them,meeting based on human logic and ideas).

(Don't worry, I went back and fixed that shiny spot on his shoulder just after taking these pictures)

(Ugh, I need to go back and tidy up just under his eye don't I)

Everything else was quickly layered up or washed and then highlighted, until they were done!

The ice weapons were probably the things that took the most time, as I ended up almost completely repainting them when my initial plan for them resulted in the looking too grey, so I glazed them back down with a couple of coats of Ice Blue and then worked them back up from there (this picture makes the white highlight look a little dull - the picture of the previous chap's sword is closer to true).

Finishing these three chaps brings the Tally to:

51 vs 342 = -291

Now that this little mini-project is over for now (although there's always scope to add a couple more Wights to bulk out the horde if it happens to take my fancy - plus, I need to make some Wildlings and Night's Watch for themto terrorise, but that means waiting for plastic Frostgrave barbarians and getting some old LOTR rangers respectively), what to do next? There are the Star Wars thugs that were bumped down the painting queue for Zomtober, but knowing myself as I do it's more likely that I'll grab a single miniature as something of a palette cleanser (and also to take the completed figures this year to 52), the only question is will it be something half done to clear space in the trays or something new? For the last couple of weeks, I've had a sudden hankering for the Horus Heresy, and then they announced Prospero Burns, so maybe I'll kitbash something to scratch that itch... Then again, I'm sure I've got a Santa somewhere I could prep ready for Christmas, but oh wait I'm sure I undercoated the War Doctor...

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Zomtober week 3-5 - 'skinny Wights'

So, this is my submission for week 3, 4, and potentially 5 of Zomtober 2016 (as we're off to Germany next week, so I'm unlikely to be able to get anything else finished and posted in time):


What I've come to refer to as 'skinny Wights' -  a mixture of Mantic, Perry and Frostgrave bits to make some more dessicated wights to supplement the batch I previously completed, inspired by images like this:

Although I'll admit, the skeletal pup isn't entirely in keeping with the original idea, but it was such a cool little piece that I just couldn't resist...

Especially fun was getting to play with weathering on these miniatures, which isn't something I'd really done much of previously. Enjoy, a selection of some of the shields that got a little extra detail before being weathered to within an inch of their lives:

(if you follow me on Instagram you'll recall the trials and tribulations I went through finding where past me had stored my transfer sheets, only to then mostly obscure them with weathering. Eh, c'est la vie!)

Most importantly, they seem to mix fairly well with the other Wights I've painted, and the slight scale and style discrepancy between the two sets isn't overly jarring, as the 'skinny' wights are meant to look thinner than their more recently deceased comrades!

Completing these takes the Tally to:

48 vs 342 = -294

Only 4 away from hitting an average of one miniature a week for the year, and only 11 away from catching up to last year's total.

And so here they are based for mass battle:

If I paint their icy leaders, I think I could probably knock together another couple of Wights using left over bits from the Mantic sprues and some Perry bits and then have enough miniatures to fill a fourth WOTR base (and then I'll go back and see about adding some dead grass and snow to all of their bases at the same time)

Monday, 10 October 2016

Zomtober week 2

'But you've missed the Sunday deadline' I hear you cry! 'And wait a minute, doesn't week two imply that there should have been a week one?' I hear you add, incredulously, reader voice in my head. Well yes, both of these points are true, in part because I had bigger plans for Zomtober this year, and also in part because I didn't actually refresh myself on the proper format of Zomober until the month had already started!

So, rather than my usual additions to the modern zombie project (that I should really get around to taking stock of one of these days), I thought I'd have a focused theme month of sorting out some wights for the A Song of Ice and Fire project, and here is the first batch completed:

A blister of Revenants from Gripping Beast bought at Salute a couple of years ago, they're a lovely little set of really characterful miniatures. Whilst not technically zombies, they're near enough I think that I can get away with it for Zomtober!

(excuse the weirdly lit pictures here, I think the light behind me fell over while I was taking these pictures)

I had great fun painting these, and spent a little extra time adding damage to the metals (adding little chips and dings, and picking out the occasional link on their rusted chainmail with a much lighter metal to give the appearance of really worn, damaged chainmail, in various states of disrepair) - when it came to time to paint the gore thought, it turns out that I apparently haven't painted a zombie in so long that my pot of Tamiya Clear Red has dried up...

and it turns out that the Games Workshop 'Blood for the Blood God' Technical paint doesn't behave quite the same when you try and mix up a much darker shade...

Ah well, I can always go back over it with TCR if I really hate how it looks after giving it a week!

Here they are based ready to be bolstered by some reinforcements for some mass battle action:

Reinforcements you say? A nice chap over on Instagram sent me a sprue of leftover Mantic skeleton bits so that I could make some more dessicated wights:

So the combination of finished miniatures and received bits leaves the Tally at:

36 vs 342 = -306

Once I've finished the next batch I'll go back over all of their bases and add some static grass, and maybe try adding some snow for the first time (I've had a pot of snow flock sat in my desk drawer for a while now but not got up the courage to try it, having seen so many articles on the various methods of doing snow bases - should I scatter it onto glue or mix it into a paste before applying?)

And in the meantime, here's a little preview of an accesory made for one of the next batch of wights (leaving me glad that my old press mould still works and hasn't been damaged in the move!)

(If I don't get round to finishing and posting the next batch, or the other batch planned for after that by the end of the month, which is entirely possible as we're off to Germany in a fortnight so that our daughter can meet her Great-Grandmother for the first time, pretend I split this post out over several weeks so it still counts for Zomtober, Okay?)

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Postman comes bearing goodies...

The postman comes bearing goodies:

I took advantage of the Northstar Figures sale to grab a discounted Mars Attacks Scenery Upgrade Pack, which is essentially some sprues of ruined building bits to add to other buildings, or can be used to make some Fallout-esque ruins:

Everything comes handily removed from the sprues, and should be useful for making quite a few bases of ruins! The holes where the connectors clip on will need filling, but I saw an article online that suggested making a green stuff stamp to print the brick design onto the gaps...

In other acquisition news, the builders at work sorted me out with a bag of sawdust so that I can have a crack at making my own flock as per the instructions on Luke's APS YouTube channel:

I don't think they had any actual wood that needed sawing, as everything at this point of the build seems to be MDF, so I suspect that the foreman might have just gone and chopped up a random plank to make me some!

In other news, I've started a seperate account on instagram for miniature stuff: so if you use that, follow me for more regular pictures than posts here (as I tend to mostly only post completed things or WIPs that are several stages in) and so I can see what you're doing!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Talz copilot

Having rediscovered the time sink iPad app Star Wars Uprising, I found myself inspired by one of its loading screens:

Sure, they've just made Chewbacca into the abominable snowman and made Han a gender swapped Twi'lek, but I think it's pretty cool! I like the idea of a Talz NPC or PC if I were to run the RPG, or worst case scenario he can make up the numbers in a Fringer band when I get round to finishing enough miniature to be able to run a tabletop game...

So, after a quick rummage through my supplies (making sure I still had another spare for when I get round to making a Foul Moudama conversion) I dug out an old Talz spy miniature, and set about separating him from his base, as well as popping off the arm that was on a plug for ease of access to his body:

Whilst I wasn't looking to make an exact copy of the character in the picture, I wanted to take several cues from it (mostly the belts and bags) and so set about marking out with a pen where I wanted belts:

I considered green-stuffing belts on, but thought that it might look a bit scrappy as my green stuff skills are fairly rudimentary, and it would look a bit like the belts were laid on top of his fur rather than he was actually wearing them - so I decided to cut in the belts, figuring that if I didn't like how deep the cut went I could always paint some liquid green stuff into the groove to bulk it back out:

Brief side note: despite having spent so much time getting my work desk sorted out, I'm doing this in the living room, as my wife wanted me to watch the Great British Bake Off with her in exchange for watching The Thing with me (because nothing says Happy Anniversary like old school body horror):

[edit - it's a week later as I'm editing this and we still haven't watched The Thing]

Surveying the cuts, I think they will look fine without green stuff, so I set about scavenging some pouches. A modern Space Marine sprue provided a set of three for his chest harness, and a freebie Journeyman Bot Handler sprue from Maelstrom's Edge from Spiral Arm Studios that I got at Salute provided another pouch to go on his leg.

Looking at the figure thus far, I thought he could do with a bigger gun than the somewhat scrawny pistol that the figure originally had; so I turned to the freebie sprue again:

A little trim here, a blob of gel glue there and here we have a completed conversion:

That's a 30mm base he's on, if I recall correctly, to give an impression of what size he is...

I ummed and ahhed for a while over whether to replace the doodad in his left hand (as there was an interesting looking technical aerial... thing on the freebie sprue) but decided to leave it as it is, figuring that it looks enough like a hydrospanner to leave. 

A few days later (well, just shy of two weeks from initial conception to finished miniature) and he's done:

(Pictures were taken with a daylight lamp balanced over my shoulder last night, so are a little better than the usual subterranean nighttime shots, if only by a little)

And the back! The straps turned out... passable, I think. A LOT of tidying up around the edges was needed after I dropped some colour into the grooves...

Pow, baggage and his new gun!

I especially enjoyed weathering the baggage, adding little dings and nicks in a variety of lighter shades, trying to make them look beaten up and lived in!

Another miniature painted takes the Tally to:

24 vs 333 = -399

What to paint next though? I've got the Star Wars thugs previously showcased undercoated on my desk, as well as some Lannisters for the A Song of Ice and Fire project; an undercoated obscure Batman character and a moderately obscure Batman villain that's had some red base coats and little else, or maybe something else entirely?

In other news, Blogger informs me that this was my 250th post - blimey!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Luke's APS

Luke over at Luke's Affordable Painting Service is having a giveaway to celebrate reaching 2000 subscribers, and I'd like to win some Amera terrain, so I'm posting here! Japery aside, if you're a wargamer and aren't already following Luke's series of videos, they're well worth a look - as well as being informative, I enjoy their conversational style, not to mention the fact that Luke's aim seems to be saving everyone a few quid! Plus, he's started investing in the channel, so the production values have gone up - one of the things that turns me off of a video quickest is poor sound quality!

Here's a link to the video where he announces the prize draw:

But do have a dig through his back catalogue of videos - I want to give making my own flock a try when I can get my hands on some sawdust!

Also, White Dwarf has supposedly changed format to be more like the old style (back when I used to actually get it - my wife used to get me a subscription for Christmas every year, until it turned into Visions) and has a free figure on the front that would normally have an RRP of around £18, so of course I picked up a copy:

Which takes the Tally to:

23 vs 334 = -311

My first thought was to use it for an Inq28 conversion (by which I mean chucking it in my bits box for several months whilst looking enviously at all the talented bloggers making things with theirs) but whilst writing this post I suddenly got the urge to roll up a Khornate Path to Glory warband for him to lead... I've not had a chance to actually read the magazine yet, so who knows, maybe I'll be persuaded to rush out and buy a copy of their new Gorechosen game or suddenly be converted to like Age of Sigmar...

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Painting minis gunmetal - painting minis gunmetal never changes...

So, here's the other miniature that I finished the night I turned thirty that was alluded to in a previous post:

A power armoured chap from Brother Vinni - despite the reference-heavy title of this post, you would not believe how many layers went into the metal on this armour! My usual basecoat, wash, two drybrush highlights method looked a little flat and boring, so I went over it with various targeted washes to grub it up a little, follwed by a newer silver highlight, before scrubbing Mithril Silver and Tin Bitz over it to make it look well-used and worn!

And here's the back - I'm quite pleased with how the weathering came out on the laser rifle, as usually I struggle to get it to look natural...

Completing this miniature doubles the Fallout projects current total - the intention with that project is to eventually complete a couple of 'hero' type mininatures, and a variety of enemy groups, so as to be able to run a small skirmish level exploration game, where players would search the wasteland for weapons and resources, potentially using a card based system for exploration - so when a player searched (in a building, or at a specified objective marker or some similar mechanic) they'd draw a card from a deck, which would either give them some reward, or spawn an enemy or group of enemies, or a neutral character like this power-armoured Brotherhood of Steel Paladin, who might join the player that revealed him's group, or attack them depending on their affiliation... Some playtesting might be required though to see if that system worked!


23 vs 333 = -310