Sunday, 23 April 2017

Warhammer 40k: Space Ork Raiders

This weekend saw the ever enjoyable Salute happen, and a friend of mine flew over from Holland to attend. As he was the brain behind the 90-Minute Miniature Challenge, it seemed a perfect opportunity for us to go head-to-head for our April challenge to see how we do!

Guesses as to who painted which one are welcome. The figure is one of the original RTB02 Space Ork Raiders. I picked up a box of them last year and thought this was a nice step up from recent efforts. Big, chunky features and packed with character.

We were both surprised that around 70 minutes we had all the main detail in place - so it was a case of going back and picking up highlights to push up some contrast. Far more controlled than my recent mad dashes to meet the time limit.

They're not based, as my Ork army is in limbo while I decide what to do with them in 8th edition, and his is going back to Holland for some nefarious purpose.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Broken Toad: The Wicken King

Another model from my Salute 2016 pile that demanded attention. Broken Toad's lovely Wicken King bust.

This is the first bust I've ever painted, so there's been a struggle trying to understand how to play with shadows on something of this size. When it's a 28mm figure, my brain goes "yep, that's fine, more shadow!" but on a larger piece there are natural shadows too - and that needs more thinking.

I wanted it to look like he's wearing some sort of horrific skin mask over his actual face. Lot of things I'm happy with, including the mix of textures and colours but still room for improvement especially in understanding the concept of volume.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Hasslefree: Colonel Hogan

Fresh from Admiral Almos, his firm right hand (oooh, matron) was painted as my March #90MMC figure, and another attempt to do the green/blue uniform but stronger highlights.

He gets a pet too, another of the Colony 87 models, and again I've tried to pair the animal with the person, so it's sitting to attention and literally at his right hand. Clumsy metaphors with miniatures is becoming a specialty it seems.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Hasslefree: Admiral Almos

I'm still playing catch-up, but this was my 90-minute miniature challenge (#90MMC) for February - the wonderfully detailed, and super small, Admiral Almos from Hasslefree's Grymm command squad. He's finally based, so here are the photos!

The base and creature were already painted, but have been sat waiting patiently for him to be finished for a while now. I wanted to capture the "where the hell's my pet tiger?" look in the eyes and positioning. Hopefully that comes across in the pictures.

On review I spent too long on the face, trying to get the expression right. This really is a tiny figure and I was determined to bring out the character. It didn't leave me long to finish the rest, but the military uniform was blue and then green highlights with red shading to try and emulate a shiny, pearlescent uniform texture - I had Babylon 5 in mind at the time and wish I'd made the cuffs and trim a red instead of a leather brown. Successful? Not quite, but one for the future to play with when not working inside 90 minutes.

Funny how the ambitious ideas pop up when you're already up against the clock!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Warhammer 40k: Inquisitor with combi-weapon

That was a long five weeks of work, colds, terrible family news, colds, house painting and more colds. Normal service is resumed! Now where was I?

Oh yes, painting that Inquisitor. Having changed jobs at the start of the year, I now find myself within 10 minutes' walking of a GW so have made a habit of trying to get down at least one lunchbreak per week and have a little paint. This is the result of February and early March. The lighting in the shop isn't great - it's designed for product promotion in a dark shop - not painting, and I've only been able to chip away in 30 minute sessions, but I'm happy.

This fellow has a few notable points. It's a sculpt I owned when it originally came out, probably early 90s I guess? He came with a kick-ass Ordo Malleus character. too, so when when both of them were available again through the made-to-order scheme on Games Workshop's site, it was like the mothership calling me home and I was powerless to resist.

The red was fun and the highlights are just yellow glazes to the point of re-visiting the GW Red Period, which I can afford to do as none of my armies would ever use red like this. The base is one of the Sector Imperialis bases, and I'm playing with colours and options - so it's a little unfinished, because they'll be used for all my Space Wolves, and I want to find a scheme that suits all my Imperial forces.

He was rushed in for the local GW painting competition but was beaten into third place by a really well painted Ultramarine, and a reasonably painted Belisarius Cawl - but how superb is that sculpt?

It is, I think, the first figure painted entirely somewhere not my home. Literally stepping outside my comfort zone on this one. Interesting experience. While I'm unlikely to do a full figure end-to-end as the poor lighting bugs me on fine detail and colour choices, I will continue to chip away at larger projects in this way during lunchbreaks.

So that's it! Back into the swing now hopefully. More to follow in the coming weeks now I'm back on track.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Procrastination and Q&A

For the first time this year, I don't have an update ready to go on a Monday, as real life painting of ceilings* has dominated my life in the last week.

Happily, there's still something to share as the excellent St Anderw's wargaming blog has a short Q&A with me as part of their Better Know A Blogger series, and you can read my contribution over here.

Read the older submissions as you'll find a few blogs from his previous Q&As that will definitely be to your taste. Worth mentioning his own blog is also pretty good for hobby progress and fantastic for 40k new unit breakdowns. It's a regular read for me since discovering it.

In addition, here's a WIP of an oldschool favourite that I picked up in the recent GW made-to-order offering - the wonderful Inquisitor in Terminator Armour.

I've been painting this during the occasional lunchbreak in my local GW for their next miniature challenge. Close-ups from my phone always make it look a little harsher than it is in person, but it'll come good before the end - promise!

* I was using something a little larger than a size 2 on this occasion.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Miniature Factory: Uncle Meat

Sculpted by the wonderfully talented Jacques-Alexandre Gillois, this has been sat in my WIP pile for quite some time. In fact since April last year when picking it up at Salute. It's so ridiculously detailed that I wasn't sure it would be done justice by my skills at the time - but now felt like the right time.

I wanted an unhealthy feel to him, but quite practical with it. His only real concession to colour is the chainsaw and a little use of green and blue on the visor and boots. Obviously the visor should be transparent, so I just tried to echo the sky.

Very pleased this one's finally done, and if you want to see how it's done properly then visit the Miniature Factory website to see their studio versions - which are so beautifully done it's a little depressing.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Heresy Miniatures: Colossus Elemental

Now my Colony 87 project is done and dusted, it's time to hit the next projects in the WIP pile from Salute 2016, starting with this beauty - Heresy's Colossus Elemental.

I looked at the official paint job on the Heresy website for this guy, and felt it was a little too monotone and wanted to do something different to play with the elemental side of the figure more than the stone/rock aspect. This was an exercise in OSL and playing with colours I wouldn't normally use on a figure together.

He's painted up to feel like he's grown from a crystalline formation on the ground, and powered by something in the chest. All the blues, greys and purples were airbrushed to try and achieve a smoother gradient then highlights added by brush.

The scenery is a bit of a cheat as it's an old piece I found in my bitz box and wanted to use up and happily it illustrates the scale of the model towering above. Few tufts of different grasses on there, and we're done!

Very happy it's a resin figure, because this would be far too heavy as a metal model to handle comfortably. This was a timely reminder that Andy at Heresy cranks out such a wide variety of great figures. More power to him.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Colony 87: Conclusion

So that's it - the whole set of figures painted during January. Phew.

Personal highlights would be the Recordist, Junker and Botanist - but generally I'm happy with how everything turned out. Here's all 12 characters from the two projects to highlight the wonderful variety in the sculpts.

That's 12 characters and 3 pets over the past 18 months, and they're so rich in character it was a real pleasure spending time on them. As a side project for this year, I'd love to work out a diorama to feature all of them - but so many other things to finish before that thinking starts!

If you like the look of these figures, I'd recommend following the project creator on Kickstarter as there was talk of a third wave later this year. He's delivered both projects on time, with zero delays and no drama - and I can't speak highly enough of how well the projects were managed.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Colony 87: Mechanic Asa Stent

The final piece in the jigsaw, the mechanic Asa Stent - she's a no-nonsense lady with a wrench.

Very happy with how the face turned out here. Green eyes, and better shading in evidence. Playing around again with blues on black, and pushing up contrasts on her jacket and hat. With hindsight, she would probably benefit from a little glazing, but that's one for the future.

But we're finished! I'll post up some group shots during the week.