From the Painting Desk #2

The last few posts have mostly been a series of reviews of Kromlech and Maxmini’s resin conversion components, which has been fun (I’ve still got a few more of those posts to make, not to mention some reviews of Scibor, Puppetswar and Bitspudlo to put together, but those reviews take a bit more energy than I have at the moment. I’ve been under the weather for almost three weeks now as Winter has hit Melbourne, and have been keeping up with my work commitments, so blogging has taken a back seat for the past few. I’ve been painting a bit when I feel up to it and just enjoying the process. I put together one of these WIP posts some time ago – Back in March 2010, so this is the (somewhat) sequel. Though there’s also been a few other half-arsed WIP posts made as well. Unfortunately, not much has been done on those LotR figures in the last one of these posts since the post was made. Having moved twice since then, the figures are safely boxed away until I find them and decide to get back and finish them.

The main things I’ve been completing are boardgame figures from the D&D series of Ravenloft and Ashardalon. I’ve got Drizzt but won’t be opening it until:

a) All the figures from the previous 2 are completed

or

b) We finish the campaign in Ashadalon (as we’ve finished Ravenloft)

I just finished a triad of ghouls from Ravenloft that I must have started a full year ago. Since I don’t like the models, I found it to be quite a hard slog. I’ve also been working on some semi-random figures, which we can/do use as PCs in the boardgame, and just generally looking through my old models to try and “finish” some of those half-painted figures that have been sitting around for a long time – in some cases quite a few years or even more than a decade. While in theory I’m a miniatures wargamer, I haven’t played with any regular consistency for close to ten years, so whenever I try to start working on or completing an army, it’s been easier than ever to get distracted. Now that we’re in our own place, it’s going to be easier to get back into it, though even with a FLGS nearby that runs events regularly, I find myself pretty deep in a rut that prefers to come home to a warm, heated/airconditioned house with drinks, TV, snacks and all the other amenities than to go and hang out in a crowded games store for the evening. So once again, army building has been pushed to the side, and I’m now going for painting for pleasure with only a side order of “duty to get specific things finished” – in this case, the D&D figures – and it’s been enjoyable to actually finish some models.

I’ve also been trying to play around with some new techniques. Specifically: weathering powders, oil paint washes, verdigris effects, and things like MIG washes for various rust effects. I still haven’t tried NMM. I can appreciate how good it can look, but there’s still just something about it that doesn’t sit well with me, and I prefer to use actual metallic paints. I’ll get around to learning it at some stage, as after all, it’s just another technique for the painter’s toolkit.

So, some photos. I’ve been keeping the D&D figures out of photos since I started them – until I complete the set for each game I won’t be showing them off. This is because the figures are nice, but not quite “wargamer” standard being made of that bendy plastic, and so my paint has been more concerned with getting a tabletop quality that I’m happy with for boardgaming – which is below what I’ll generally do for a nice metal model from Citadel or Reaper, etc.

Old, old Citadel Ranger, and a Brettonian Lady of some sort.

The foot figure is an old Citadel ranger, which I picked up around the time of WHFB3, twenty-odd years ago. I started painting him only last year, in a scheme that is somewhat a homage to the paint he had in a very old issue of White Dwarf. The red bow is a nod to GW’s “red period”, though I may yet decide to go over it with a more neutral brown before I complete it. He’s probably only got an hour or so worth of work left on him now, but I feel that I need to be over this cold in order to put in the last bit of work at a standard I’ll be satisfied with. The Brettonian lady must be at least 5 years old? Certainly the majority of the paint on her was done in that time period. When I found her, I again noted that she probably only has an hour or less of work to be completed. I considered doing some freehand on the horse’s caparison, but my wife (who the figure is for) likes the figure as it is, and for my part, I’m not entirely sure which green I used on it…  again though – I need to get over this damned colds before I can do so.

Dwarven Standard (cleric!) and Half-Orc thief.

These two figures were started essentially as proxies for the bendy plastic D&D hero figures that didn’t inspire me at all to get painted. The D&D Dwarf was okay, but not great, and the Half-orc was arse. Both of these were started last year before I moved, and have just come out of the case to be finished. The Dwarf is either a GW Runesmith or Standard bearer, but I figure that he’ll work nicely as a cleric – armed with a (rather large) Warhammer and an (even larger) Dwarven Holy Symbol. The half-orc thief is from Reaper, and didn’t fit onto a 25mm round base, and his stance was wide enough that he’d end up overlapping one too much if I cut the broccoli base off, so he ended up on a Proxie Models 40mm round base. Apparently D&D Half-orcs are supposed to have grey or greenish-grey skin these days, but I’m going a ruddy human tone with a touch of orange instead. Like the old Blanche hobgoblin face icon. I’ve been painting my D&D orcs with a dark brown, Weta-version Uruk-Hai skin tone anyway rather than the GW green I paint my Citadel orcs. The dwarf is pretty close to that “final hour” stage, while the Half-Orc needs a bit more work to get there.

WHFB3 Wardancers

After rebasing a couple of my old, old WHFB3 dwarves about a year ago (ones that survived my Dwarf Army cull, back in the days of my youth) to boardgame with, I’ve decided this week to go through many more of my old models from decades past and update them. I don’t mean strip them entirely (I made that mistake with some very well painted for the day Rogue Trader marines last year, and regret it badly). I mean rebase them on 25mm rounds since I’m pretty much at the point that I recognise and admit to myself that I’ll never play WHFB again. I’ve always strongly preferred the aesthetic of round bases, they’re still just fine for skirmish games like Mordheim, Song of Blades and Heroes, LotR, Fanticide, Realm of Chaos’s warbands and if I decide to use them in another Fantasy mass battle game like Kings of War (somewhat likely) then I’ll simply mount them in/on regiment bases, WotR -style. I’ll also take the opportunity to touch up paint chips, brighten sword blades, perhaps reblend some cloth highlights and pretty up gems, but the essence of my original paintjobs will remain the same. The linked dwarves for example, had bright yellow shield rims changed to metallic bronze, their warhammer heads brightened up and bright yellow belts changed to a yellowish tan. The rest is original 1980’s/early 90’s paint. Like the Dwarves, the Original Wardancer models from the Wood Elves’ range are some of the few of these old models that survived successive culls through the years. I always had a soft spot for the Wardancers that GW painted up like Eldar Harlequins (though they predate the Harlies!) Maybe I’ll mix these fantasy figures in with my 40k Harlequins when I get around to playing them?

Wardancer, Dwarf, Knights, Undead

A few more figures getting the rebasing/updating treatment. The wardancer will pretty much be left alone. The dwarf will get a bit of a touch up (even though there’s something about him I don’t really like). I’ll probably brighten up the knights’ armour, add another layer of highlights to the plume, repaint the horns, and I also need to figure out what to do with their shields – since I’m unhappy with both. Either repainting the devices (Bat, Snake) or something more drastic. Basically, I’ve never truly been happy with either of these figures, so I need to do something to fix them this time. The skeleton.. well, yeah. Clearly he needs a complete clothing overhaul.

The bases for the models in both of these pics are obviously WIP as well. The sand is still drying as I type this.

Squigs!

A shot of some squigs I found earlier today. These guys will be getting round-base updates for 40k Orks. The scaled squig looks good in person, but due to his downward pose photographs badly. I’ll have to see what I can do for him when I rebase him – so his face can be more visible. I’m still very happy with the paint on my Scarlet Squigs, and the yellow one is a paint-over of a figure I bought from a friend in the late 1990’s, that also turned out nicely. With the exception of the greenie, these ones just need rebasing.

More Squigs!

More squigs. Obviously I bought a blister of the newer models sometime around 2004-5. Nothing had been done on these models since my Ork army got shelved in late 2005. The Yellow one was simply painted a pale yellow, but when I found these about three days ago, I was just staring at the models on my painting table, basically wishing I could finish the ranger from the first photo and so I started playing with yellows and oranges. I’m thinking I might try some orange-yellow oil washes on him as well, to experiment a little more with the technique.

The Painting Desk.

My temporary painting desk, a folding table in the lounge/dining room. Until I get the garage sorted out properly, I won’t be able to get the “studio” sorted out properly, so this is my temporary location. It’s not too bad actually. It’s a bit of a pain to pack up, but it’s doable. I’ve got heat and television and Marouda doesn’t have a problem with it, so it’s all good for now. There’s a pegasus and unicorn of hers there who are also getting their bases upgraded (though theirs will be bright green static flock rather than brown sandy dirt). A techmarine, Reaper Vampire, lizardman and bones troll and a bunch of my WIP D&D figures. You can also see my philosophy when it comes to paint brands is simply to use whatever works best for me at the time for the project.

I hope to have some nice shots of finished models sometime soon. I usually like to use natural light for those, but the days have been short and dark for some time now, and I’m at work for a good amount of the daytimes as well. Hopefully you enjoyed reading this and poking around my paint desk!