Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Robot Rocket: Phantom 7 WIP #1

Rumours I can't stick with one project at a time are clearly accurate.

This awesome bust from the excellent Robot Rocket Miniatures called out to me, and since attending Bohun's workshop on true metallic metals, it felt a natural piece to try out what I'd learned. First up is getting the darkest metal down.

Working up to the brightest point for something crisp and futuristic. Think I lost more of the darkness than I wanted, so will come back to that. But it's looking good ...

Here's the first pass of the underglow to contrast against the blues of the metal. Just painting the underside in a super dark colour wouldn't have been any fun, this feels far more fun.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Painting Neon Bases - The First Element

Usually a work in progress is exactly that, but I realised my current WIP merited something more, and suddenly here's a tutorial for creating outrageous colours on bases. This is the Triple Hex pattern from Green Stuff World and I adore it.

Rolled out a base back in November 2018 as a test piece and then promptly put it to the side without really having a plan. Then my brain knew exactly what it wanted to do, and so here we are.

I like this effect, but as a painter of middling ability, I prefer deeper recesses to help me avoid painting over the wrong area. However ... off we go. Basecoated with the ever-reliable Hexed Lichen

Alternating rows painted in Warlock Purple with Squid Pink highlights. It still felt a little flat, so I went back into the recesses with Hexed Lichen and a little Stormy Blue into the recesses. I added white dots along one edge of the pink shapes to give it a little depth.

The idea was to give the road surface a feeling of life. Perhaps the pink strips represent active panels, and the purple ones are currently inactive. Or it reflects the direction of traffic flow. Who knows? Here's the rough plan with the vehicle adding to the big colours. You may have an idea of what I'm aiming for at this point with the inclusion of these two Heresy miniatures, but maybe not ...

The base still felt like it needed something more. Electric Blue really is quite electric. My eyes are starting to hurt a little while looking at this now, and strangely ... I'm okay with that. It reminded me of an oldschool computer game where the lives left are outlined in a super bright colours, or perhaps Moebius' concepts on Tron. Who knows.

This still wasn't sufficient, because I'm a masochist, so it's back into the recesses to add Dead White into my Electric Blue and paint in just two edges with this brighter colour. Again, trying to create the feeling of more depth in the shape. I also returned to the darker hexes and used Hexed Lichen and Warlock Purple and edged them, then added a little Dead White to that mix as final dots.

I'd done a little more work on the vehicle in the meantime, so here they are in situ. Reflecting the sames blues in the windows of the car and a little of that purple and blue "bouncing" up onto the underside of the yellow, with the blue exaggerated for effect.

So there you have it. A guide to painting face melting colours. I wouldn't recommend it for basing a whole army, unless you have an excellent therapist.

Saturday, 23 March 2019


I love sculpts by Romain Van den Bogaert. There's something very right about them, and he manages to pack in so many tiny details to appreciate when painting. I probably wouldn't identify them in a line-up, but I've been surprised how many just "appear" in my collection.

This sculpt is, I assume, based on the crazy, wonderful French comic called The Metabarons, written by the quite possibly brilliant or insane (delete as applicable) Alejandro Jodorowsky.

I have not remained faithful to the colours of the comic. Instead, I imagined this was a sci-fi wayfarer, passing through on a long journey. One of a million NPCs you've walked past in games, seen for a half second in movies, or imagined in your head when reading fiction.

There are roughly painted symbols on the head, indicating some sort of mentat or indentured man, but honestly, I don't feel they're very good - so no photo. With hindsight, they wouldn't be here any more - but I wanted to capture the idea of something unusual, not simply relying on the skintone.

The shirt is painted with blues, and glazed with purples to try and create a shimmering effect. Again, driving that unusual theme. The jacket is battered and worn leather, complete with edges rubbed away to almost white to set him back in reality. Add bruising and unnerving eyes, and here we are.

Someone asked me how I achieved this skin effect, so here's a few tweets condensed into something useful ... I hope.

Start with a zenithal prime - so black, then white from above, leaving darkest areas in shadow. Then look up suitable reference material. Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy movies was an inspiration here, but my model is deliberately not a perfect match, she's too shiny.

Apply a heavy glaze - basically, not as transparent as a normal glaze, not as opaque as a basecoat, and see how that sticks to the black and white. Build up a few layers of that. Then pick something that isn't just basecoat + black/white to darken or highlight. So using red as where I want to go, and basically, pulling the blue toward red, through purple. Apply not consistently, as skin isn't consistent.

There we go!

Monday, 18 March 2019

Warhammer 40,000: Armored Containers pt.2

A good 18 months have passed since I painted a few of these, but with the Conquest models coming thick and fast, I needed to start clearing space on the WIP desk, so here we are.

To everyone's surprise, including mine, they're clean with not a speck of rust or weathering on them! I didn't start out with that plan, but when it came to weathering time ... I couldn't bring myself to do it. The idea of clean pieces on the board, for once, was too appealing.

Recipe is simple enough and should go well for Imperial Fists. They're primed black, basecoated with Scrofulous Brown, then adding more and more Sun Yellow until that's the final highlight then for edging, Ice Yellow. I opted for silver and not copper/brass to keep the contrast high, and blue for the lights to fit with the last set of armoured containers.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Dimitr Von Goray

I've just returned from a two-day workshop with Bohun, run by Journeyman Miniatures. The focus was true metallic metals and textures - whether it be metal, skin or fabric. What a blast.

It's the first course I've been on where we've started and completed a figure in the time alloted. Usually the focus is studying a technique, rather than pushing to completion. Delighted this one was different - as it's nice to have a change of pace like that.

I'd say painting the freehand on the shoulder was the single most complicated miniature-related painting I've attempted ... and it only took an hour. A huge confidence boost to be able to achieve a result like this.

(okay, so it's not perfectly circular, and a lot of the lines are wobbly - but I'm fine with that, so you can be too)

This is probably the best result I've ever achieved on a figure and I'm delighted. Now to lie down and let my  brain recover.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Ruined Church diorama: WIP #3

And so it continues.

I had a crisis moment after the last update and added more shadows into the recesses, but lost the yellow altogether. I also remembered that shadows don't need to be nearly black, they just need high contrast between the colours. So back we went, with a lot of yellow and a lot of ... bright blue? But it's worked ...

The tiles around the light were too dark, and the blue helps to sell the image of a magical light beaming out. The colour contrast is very pleasing.

Alright, so the shape of the light is off a little when looking at it from overhead, but sssh! If you don't tell then I won't. It should give away where one of the protagonists in the scene will be standing too ...

Even up close this feels much better, and the specular highlights help to sell the effect. Crisis of confidence averted, and we're getting closer to completing this now!

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Kill Team: Skitarii Vanguard WIP #1

The other set from the Kill Team box. Long have they sat on my desk, biding their time.

This colour scheme has been through a few iterations in the last couple of weeks. Initially I had much brighter metals and pastel cloaks (below), to echo what I'd painted with my Genestealer Cult, to show there was little difference between loyal servants of the Imperium, and those on a different path ... but it was too similar.

As I just finished re-reading Dark Adeptus by Ben Counter, the scheme was modified with the remaining loyal inhabitants of Chaeronia in mind. After a thousand years, any loyalists left would have adopted a more practical approach - with well worn leathers, dulled metals and nothing overtly shiny to attract attention. Even in the world of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the environment they have to face on a daily basis is a harsh, unforgiving one.

Much happier with these, even if achieving something leather-esque took a lot longer. If you're interested in the recipe ...

  • Light Rust
  • Smokey Ink glaze
  • Light Rust stippled to create an irregular texture
  • Light Rust + Elf Skintone (4:1) stippled on highlights
  • Soft Tone to knock back the brightness of the Elf Skintone
  • Light Rust + Elf Skintone (2:1) stippled along edges
  • Flat Black glaze into shadows
  • Brown Leather glaze on midtones to soften any transition to black
  • Black Red stippling to break up surfaces
  • Elf Skintone scratches
  • Black Red glaze to soften the scratches


Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Ruined Church diorama: WIP #2

A little more paint added to this one now. Starting to plot out where the light whille come from and go to. Initially this doesn't make any sense when viewed in isolation.

Then you see where the figures will be positioned and how the story comes together. I love these hell dog sculpts from Heresy Miniatures. Painted one when they were first released, and very happy to be painting a couple more after so long.

Finally from the reverse position and some of the lighting and shadows in place to explain what I'm trying to achieve.

Now the lights are in place, I need to work out how best to darken the scene further. Thin glazes of deep brown and purple worked well in the taller corner already as my test, which bodes well for the future.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Hobby Bingo 2018

I joined in the Hobby Bingo challenge in 2018 but frankly it was a bust by the time we closed December. 2018 was a hard year to finish, after such a bright start.

However, some of the challenges were completed! Every title is clickable through to the original post ...

Play and Paint a Model For an Army or Game You haven't Played in Over a Year
Guild Ball Morticians had Veteran Graves and Vileswarm added. I do miss playing this game.

Paint All the Models in a Faction Starter Box
Primaris Marines from the Dark Imperium box. This isn't quite a faction starter box, but it's equivalent - so I'm claiming it!

Paint a Model and Use a Technique You Haven't Mastered
Shadespire Ironskull's Boyz, using NMM copper.

Buy a Model and Paint it Within 48 Hours
Attended Banshee's painting workshop in March, and by the end of the weekend I'd painted the bust that came as part of the course.

Paint a Model in a Color You Don't Normally Use
Word Bearers. I've traditionally stayed away from reds, as mine ended up too pink - but I changed it around and pushed into the shadows for depth, and it worked quite well. So well in fact my daughter practically has a whole army of them now.

Make Something That's Not For the Battlefield
Love my sci-fi vending machines and, while they're part of a larger piece, they meet this requirement admirably. In the grim darkness of the far future there is only a nice row of chocolate bar dispensers.

Finish Painting a Model That's Been in Your Do-Do Pile For a Year 
Norsemen from Hasslefree were a purchase from ... 2016! So nearer two years on the painting pile, but we got there.

However, that's a very poor seven from a potential 25. I plan for 2019 to be a better year on this front.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Ruined Church diorama: WIP #1

I don't usually make dioramas, as I'm seriously lacking in the imagination and creativity required. Thought it was time to make an attempt at one, to see if it was viable. In my head, I have a small scene with a priest holding the doorway of his ruined church against hellbeasts. Simple but a nice enough scene.

This is a combination of blue foam, part of a Rubble City set from Fenis Games (https://fenrisgames.com/shop), and Super Sculpey patterned with a roller from Green Stuff World (http://www.greenstuffworld.com/en/). Highly recommend both companies, and Fenris are awesome.

I've never used foam or Super Sculpey before, so this is new territory. Happily, my first attempt didn't suck, so it went straight onto the board! Putting hobby projects in the oven for ten minutes on a medium heat is something of a novelty ...

The tiles in the blue foam are one inch square and created by running a toothpick in straight(ish) lines to make it look like large flagstones.

Priming everything makes such a difference in bringing the scene together. No longer are you looking at multiple textures and materials, but the picture starts to emerge.

Next step is starting to define the differences in colour between the inside of the church, the walls, and the courtyard outside. A lot more colour variety is required, but this is a good start and I'm feeling positive about the direction it's going.