Sunday, 23 April 2017

Woad Kill

An admirably muscled Slaughterpriest stumbled into my clutches recently and inspiration hit. I had been looking at some old Bisley art and was reminded of his amazing colour palette. While there are some aspects of his work I'm not so keen on, Bisley's portrait of Slaine is just awesome. I also love his cover for The Bitmap Brothers' Gods, which again uses the same blues and oranges that vibrate against each other. At the same time I've been reading a bit about the Dying Earth genre with its post-apocalyptic-meets-fantasy vibe. All this went into the mental soup.

I figured this guy might be a wanderer in Aqshy, the Realm of Fire. His native land is a vast, dried sea that the flames of Aqshy have evaporated, leaving the denizens to walk the cracked crust of what was the sea floor. If you look closely you can just make out a few shells I've worked into his base. I unashamedly stole the technique for using them from the amazing Don Hans. The shells were kindly donated by the awesome Julian Bayliss, whose work you can see of Ex Profundis (IMHO one of the best hobby blogs around at the moment).

I chopped the Slaughterpriest up a bit and gave him some Seraphon bits. I love the primitive-but-ornate feeling that these items conjure. They give the exact post-apocalyptic, desert raider vibe I wanted. He's at the wash stage at the moment and will get brighter with subsequentl stages. I think he needs a bit more variety in his colours though. I'm might try some gold on his weapon, plus he'll get azure-blue woad daubings too. I might end up calling him the Max the Woad Warrior.

Sorry, I'll stop with the puns now.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Basement booty: Realm of Battle

I'm hoping I'm not alone in having a basement which mostly functions mostly as A Place Where Things Go to Die. During a recent expedition into the depths I discovered an old Realm of Battle tile. I'd been given some time ago and had always intended to paint the thing as a skirmish board. With the unusually fine weather upon us, I rolled up my sleeves, brushed off the spiders (from the board, not me) and got stuck in.

I decided I wanted it to be generic affair which could be put to all sorts of uses and opted for traditional greens. However, I really wanted the exposed rocks to have naturalistic variation of colour. I started by blocking in the colours and working wet-in-wet with the acrylics to achieve the kind of colour transitions I wanted. This was actually really good fun. Because the weather was warm you have to be quick with acrylics as they go tacky in a very short space of time.

Below are some shots when the painting is nearing completion. I worked inks into the recesses in the rocks to add some depth and tone.

Below are shots of the flocking in progress. Top tip: don't flock when it's breezy. It doesn't end well. I was trying to build up a variety of types of grass and so layering the different types of flock onto the landscape.

Below is a shot of the finished tile. The glue is actually drying at this point on some of the grass areas so they appear slightly lighter. I wasn't too pleased with the deep green which forms the bulk of the grass. I feel the colour of the flock is too 'mono'. It'd be cooler if there was more variety there. Ah well, I'll know for next time.

I'd love to take some shots of minis in action on this table, and maybe use it for a bit of photography for painted Oldhammer minis. In the meantime, I need to sweep up a load of escaped flock...

Monday, 17 April 2017

Don't get overly-familiar

The Familiars are some of my favourite miniatures from GW's 2016 Silver Tower boxed set. The high-fantasy world of Age of Sigmar gets even more trippy when Tzeentch, the nefarious Lord of Change gets involved. Magical familiars are not merely cats called Tom, but walking books... with tails.

These miniatures are an homage to some of Citadel's oldest and most beloved scultps from the late 80s, rendered in 21st century style with cutting-edge technology. I was kindly gifted a set and they were tremendous fun to paint. They are also rare examples of modern single-piece plastics, but are no less dynamic for that.

These are some of the last I did in the 'grey' style that I had been experimenting with. While it's been fun I have eventually found the tight palette too restrictive so have moved on to more colourful things. I am very much into miniatures functioning as miniatures. I like mine to be be recognisable and intelligible from a reasonable distance and this style lacks the contrast necessary to do that.

Enjoy! And did it take you as long as it did for me to notice that the walking fish is in the shape of Tzeentch's icon? Genius!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Purple Sex Marine

I painted this Renegade as a gift for a friend. I was pretty pleased how he came out (no pun intended).

He's actually one of the later resin casts and I think came in a pack of four, each being the classic Jes Goodwin model for each of the Chaos powers. I just love this Marine's pose. He is relaxed and haughty, demonstrating the arrogance and posturing of the Slaaneshi cult. Jes is a master of the one-piece sculpt and I just love painting casts like this.

The paint job was really simple. Leadbelcher spray over a black undercoat, then washes of ink on top for most of the plate. Additional details were blocked-in as necessary. I used the technique I'd established on my Harlequins for the pastel-pink whites. Base with a mix of white with a dash of red, wash the recesses with a darker mix, then highlight up to white. The green eyes and very simple green grass base were deliberately chosen to contrast against these warmer details.

The decals are actually from super-old sheets printed in the early 90s. I still have all my old sheets in all their shabby, cut-up glory. I'm pleasantly surprised how well they still work after 25 years.

Secretly I imagine that when he talks, this Marine sounds like Kenneth Williams.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Hang on to your biomass - an Eldar VS Tyranids battle report

Posting has been a bit slow of late due to Life getting in the way. But at least the planet hasn't been consumed by a star-faring race of biomass guzzlers. On that note, I played a game of 40K yesterday against my long-term opponent and his Tyranids.

I brought my Rogue Trader-inspired Eldar to the party. It turned out we had both inadvertently dressed to match our factions. I wore a mustard yellow top, and Mr T had a shirt and jeans that matched Hive Fleet Behemoth. I am going to make sure this is a new rule that goes into the next edition of 40k.

We opted to play along the length of the table and, with a swish of their skirts, my space elves eased their crinoline into various ruins. Space elves in the open don't last long. My Hemlock Wraithfighter was so cunningly camouflaged you could hardly see it against the grass it hovered over.

Mr T's bugs thought they had been invited to a game of British Bull Dog. They lined up appropriately, ready to dash headlong into the fun that is Eldar munitions.

The game started off pretty badly for me. In true British fashion I blamed the dice, declared that I was underpowered and it was totally not fair. As the game wore on I decided to actually read the rules for my units. I discovered they can do all sorts of nasty things. At which point the tide turned and some of the chitinous beasties succumbed. This didn't stop Mr T's Termagants sweeping, Gallimimus-like, around the objective. Damn.

Gradually a combination of firepower and psychics whittled down the Tyranids. We each lost our warlords. Both our armies looked on in horror as their leaders were hacked down, then shrugged, carried on, and wondered why they took orders from those jerks anyway.

My Warlocks eventually got fed up of the Carnifex who kept rolling around like a puppy in your laundry. They whipped out their witchblades and Magic Dave the Warlock took him down. And everyone cheered.

This was the state of play at the end of the game. Mr T claimed the objective (darn!) but there were plenty of space elves left to boo at the Termagants. Props if you can spot the Hemlock. Very few people can.

All told this was a great game and we're both inspired to paint more. I had finished another five Dire Avengers beforehand and will post photos of them soon. I also realised I'd never shot my Warlocks, so I'll take some snaps of them at the same time. I think I might paint another squad of Rogue Trader Harlequins soon as well so they can become a playable force on their own. Looted Imperial Robots anyone?