Thursday, 30 May 2019

The Eyes of the Nine / Die Nibelungen

Eagle eyed readers (pun intended) might have noticed in a previous post there was a sneak peek of another project I'm working on - the Warhammer Underworlds' The Eyes of the Nine. This is hands-down my favourite warband for the game. For two reasons; it's got lots of 'texture'. And by that I mean lots of different things of varying sizes and shapes, right from the hench Tzaangor to the tiny Brimstone Horrors. Plus Narvia is one of my favourite minis ever. Because her gender is quite incidental. In fact, it took me a moment to actually notice she's female. She's pretty much dressed identically as her rival, Turosh. The sculptors have done a great job on this front.

But it's to Turosh we turn first. Here you can see him in all his triangular glory:

While I was noodling about colour schemes I watched Fritz Lang's 1924 version of Die Nibelungen. Which pretty much blew my mind. Here's why:

The surface design in the movie is mind blowing. Coupled with some audacious sets and Lang's eye for composition the film is a masterpiece. Lang shouldn't, perhaps, take all the credit for the visuals though, as it seems that the artist Carl Otto Czeschka produced the illustrations for a printed version of the tale in 1920. This body of work undoubtedly formed a template for Lang's costumes:

Back in Tzeentch land, the large shields form a perfect substrate for the pattern work. I was really pleased with the result and I want to roll this out across the warband. Not sure how this is going to work on the more organic chaps... but I'm sure I'll find a solution.

In an effort to paint faster by being more efficient I reigned in my natural desire to spend ages highlighting the model's skin. I just applied a gradiated wash to it and left it at that. I selectively highlighted elements like the cloth and face mask. I felt these areas are where the effort is going to be seen. Coupled with the neat pattern work the eye is somewhat fooled into thinking the mini has had more effort invested than is actually the case.

So, now on to the other members of the Nine...

Monday, 27 May 2019

Mordheim MMXIX - I finally made it

Below are the last four chaps who complete my Mordheim 2019 warband. They're the top-tier of the gang, being the Leader, Champions and a lone Swordsman. Because they are the big dogs they have been issued the sophisticated 'third ear' head devices. Don't let this deceive you though - they are hardened criminals to a man and hell-bent on collecting the warpstone their masters demand in return for freedom.

I covered some of the painting and theory behind these guys in my previous posts. All that really remains to be said here is that the fast-and-dirty paint techniques worked out pretty well. The camo isn't overpowering and the decals carry on the heraldry motif which runs through the warband. Actually you can't see most of the decals in these beauty shots. I'll try to take some alternative angles soon. The dirty, rusty metal also ties the collection together and the technique I hit on is really simple to achieve. Paint black, wash thinned brown, drybrush gunmetal, then sponge-stipple silver. Boom!

I want to take some shots of these guys on terrain too. There are some suitably dystopian tables in Warhammer World, so I'll cart the gang over there for a photoshoot one day. I would also like to make a little photo set for some more contextual shots, but whether I'll have time for this I'm not quite sure. The idea I have pretty blatantly refers back to the film Stalker, which is one of the key references for this project.

These boys are, of course, alien to both the city of Mordheim and indeed the era in which our game will be set (2019 in the Imperial calendar). I have been thinking a bit more about the world that they hail from. This will be articulated soon, in part through the little gaming card case I'm working on.

If you haven't already, do check out everyone else's contributions to the Mordheim 2019 project especially on Instagram where we mostly hang out. The work is utterly compelling and I can't wait until we all gather our warbands together on the beautiful tables that are being made to see the setting come to life.

Last but not least; a big 'thanks' to Echoes of Imperium for lighting a bomb under us and galvanising us into action for this project!

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Pattern recognition

I've discovered over the past year or so that one of the things I love adding to my miniatures are really bold patterns. Below are a couple of recent examples.

I am hoping to make this more of a consistent feature in the future. It helps a bit in my quest for maximum effect for minimum effort. Maybe.

If you can do a really clean pattern it goes a long way towards the overall impact the model has.

This little collection of photos also reminds me that I really need to finish Steelheart's Champions...

Friday, 24 May 2019

Slightly larger Epic conflict

I have been kindly invited by the infamous Lead Plague to join his titanomachy game this summer. The concept is simple; everyone rocks up with a vintage Oldhammer Warlord titan and may the best Princeps win! I would have loved to paint something special for this event, but that would have been rude given I have two Warlords I finished about a decade ago which have never seen battle. So I'll probably just bring the red guy.

I finished these so long ago that I don't remember too many of the details about how I made them. The Adeptus Titanicus box cover was clearly a massive inspiration. I added some 'super detailing' with tiny components to reinforce their scale (like the lasers on the carpaces). The slightly hard-sci-fi decals help them feel massive too. They are very 90s-John-Blanche with their stippling or heavy gloss varnish and dense heraldry. The banners were custom pieces which, I think, I drew and then reduced in size after scanning them in. I referenced this 'Eavy Metal a lot:

For their bases I used a technique John mentioned in his accompanying text. I think he talked about using real clods of earth flooded with super glue which effectively 'baked' the mud. Hence these guys have bits of mud and lichen on their bases which, in retrospect, actually works quite well.

I'm so glad one of these guys is going to be getting some air-time. Someone pointed out they're loadouts are a bit paltry, so I'm taking bets on how long he'll survive.