Saturday, 8 December 2012

Pheonix Guard

The crew so far
Well its been along time again between posts unfortunately and whats more I haven't been able to get a lot done. I finished these two last night and I'm hoping with the start of the holidays I'll be able to start making progress on my High Elves again. Anyway I'm happy with how they turned out I think the gold is definitely an improvement on my last attempt, so with any luck I can get the technique halfway decent by the end of the army. Besides that I think it still looks okay now and more importantly for me it looks different to most other metals in the shop. As always C and C welcome and for a bigger view you can click on the pictures.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Something a bit different

So I have been working on stuff lately even if the silence would indicate otherwise but I guess you cant help exams, but now there over updating should be regular again especially with looming holidays. Anyway I did finish off another commission in the past month, a model of the US flag raising on Iwo Jima. This kit was only in 1:72 scale so was a lot smaller to what I'm use to be working with which made assembly a bit difficult. This was compounded by the plastic being very brittle and the casting not especially well designed. In the end though it looked good and painting wasn't difficult.

Hopefully I'll have some more phoenix guard to show you tomorrow in the revised colour scheme.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Gondor W.I.P, Free Angron model and some terrain

So whilst I haven't finished much in the past few days I have got a lot done. Firstly I've been starting work on repainting my Gondor army for War of the Ring. So far I'm about half of the way through stripping all the models (so tedious, all the scrubbing) and I've started the painting for my first company of archers. To paint them I've base coated with Vallejo version of mithril silver through my air brush after undercoating them with vallejo's undercoat black.

I've also been putting heaps of effort into planning my entry for Armies on Parade next year, if I can pull off what I have in mind it will be totally mind blowingly awesome! (no understatement, seriously, hopefully my painting doesn't let me down) Anyway to warm up my scenery skills so that the board itself looks good I tried my hand at building a shipping container in the past two afternoons, and for a first prototype built off the top of my head I think it looks really good.

I'm planning to paint it up navy blue, with plenty of rust and a stencilled on serial number and Aquila. Scale wise it's pretty much exactly right when compared to real life standard containers, not really important but it does ensure it looks about right when put next to models on the table.

And finally what your all still reading for, how you can win a signed copy of forge world's new Angron model. It's simple really after their recent success with their Games Day coverage are giving away a signed copy of the model in its case, all you have to do is join. For more information follow this link to their post explaining it all.

Picture from Forge World

In addition you really should check out all their other stuff, they have some great tutorials and do your self a huge favour and go through their Picassa albums with all the Games Day pictures there's some truly great stuff in there.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Finished Pheonix Guard and a Product review

Okay so the title may be a little misleading but I did get this guy finished today so that bits true, only thing is I want to repaint my entire army like him. I'm really pleased with how he came out, the pictures let him down a bit as my skill not quite up to scratch, especially painting red. I tried painting true metallic metal for the first time (essentially metallics but takes the principle of high contrast from nmm) and I think that came out pretty well. I reckon by the end of the unit it should be looking pretty sharp. Also this is the first time I got nmm looking reasonable in my opinion, I think the uses of washes and the high level of embossed detail on the banner helped a lot. But still a wins a win, whenever I tried it in the past it never worked. So what do you think, is it worthwhile doing an entire army like this?

And now onto the product review of the post. I guess the most note worthy thing of the whole process was that I used my new air brush, though admittedly that was just to paint the base a bit and to undercoat the model. But that doesn't stop it from being great, it was a tonne of fun to use, it didn't break, wasn't to much of a pain to clean and I seemed to pick it up pretty quickly. Leading on from this was the under coat, I tried Vallejo's polyurethane black primer through the airbrush and it worked really well. Here's a more in depth review from Tale of Painters, but in short it was brilliant, cheaper even with shipping and the product being really easy to use with great results. Finally I tried army painters steppe grass on the base, its their version of Games Workshops static grass so here's my experience of it:

  • It seems cheaper, I don't know if it is not having worked out the maths but I don't feel ripped off when buying it like I do with the GW version.
  • It comes in a neat container that opens easily enough that it doesn't fly everywhere when you try to open it but again I have no fear it will spill in storage.
  • The actual grass has a whole lot of different colours so it looks quite interesting and realistic.
  • Finally and perhaps most importantly in my opinion it sticks down well with PVA glue. This was the main problem with the flock I used to use as I would open my case with green fluff covering the foam (the stuff I used under the rocks in the base above is what I'm talking about, in this case after the glue had dried I gave it a wash of 1:1 catachan green and watered down PVA to tone it down a little and make it look more like moss.)
Thanks for reading and I hope it helps even a little.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Urban Bases Part 2: Painting

So after a forced hobby break of nearly a month I was itching to get going again, especially to try out my airbrush for the first time. As a result I thought I'd finish off the jet bike base I'd started a while ago (can be found here). Here's the finished product (the bases at least) hope you like them, I'd really appreciate any feed back on them before I roll them out across an entire army.

Painting the bases:

  • First I primed the base with Vallejo black primer (brilliant stuff by the way I'll be doing a review of sorts of a lot of the stuff I used today tomorrow) masking off the flying stem with tape.
  • Then I sprayed the entire thing with Chardon Granite.
  • Using a zenithal like highlighting motion I used the airbrush to apply a thin layer of scorched brown over the dirt and codex grey over the rocks, making sure you could see the first layer showing through.
  • I then dry brushed all the dirt with snakebite leather before making a wash that was about 1:1:3 catachan green, devlan mud and water and blasting it through the airbrush covering the whole thing. This toned all the paint down and gave it a more natural tinge, blending the separate parts together and making the overall appearance more interesting.
  • Time for another round of dry brushing, this time I gave the dirt a pass of commando khaki and the rocks a 1:1 codex grey and skull white before hitting the entire thing with the wash again, moving it into the cracks of the rocks and off the smooth areas to avoid pooling and achieve a more realistic effect.
  • To do the metal I just painted it bolt gun metal, hit it with the green wash then badab black, quickly dry brushed it bolt gun again and then washed the cracks with thinned bestial brown to simulate brown.
Static grass:

This was the first time I had properly used static grass on a base but I had no difficulty what so ever and I think it really made the base. To apply it I just painted on a blob of static grass, then using tweezers a pushed on a huge clump of the stuff before tipping the whole thing upside down and tapping the excess off.

All in all it didn't take me too long, and I could have sped up the process in parts, I just really wanted to use the airbrush. I think the whole thing looks really good though the rocks could be improved on, but I guess that's just practise.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Birthday Goodies and Furture Plans

So it being my birthday on Tuesday I was very lucky to pick up an airbrush which I've wanted for a while. Besides that though, last Friday I received a replacement order from Wayland Games which included some paints that should go well with my new airbrush. Though it should be noted that when replacing my order (my last one never turned up and I had to but all the paints from Games Workshop) they were really good about it, explaining the situation and offering me credit for the order. So good job Wayland Games customer service.

Compressor kit came with two airbrushes, both dual action

Latest goodies from Wayland Games

But getting all this new gear, and not having any time to hobby, (for the past and probably next two weeks) has given me a chance to reflect on what I want to do. A good thing too as with the airbrush a whole lot more things are now possible.
  • Firstly I want to repaint my Gondor army and build it up to a 1500 War of the Ring army. I already have the vast majority of the army, it being my first but I still need a couple of boxes to bulk out the troops. It being my first army the paint jobs are usually pretty terrible and the paint really thick, so I'll need to strip the lot an start from scratch. I'm hoping with the airbrush I'll be able to move through them pretty quickly. Finally it will also involve converting up about two companies worth of Osgiliath veterans from plastic warriors as I just cant face that many repeats of the same three models.
  • Secondly I want to finish up my High Elves to a 1500 army. Again I want to repaint most of it, as I want to learn how to do True metallic metal (great tutorial here), and see if I can apply it to an entire army. Besides that I can't really decided what to add to it, but I'm leaning towards a BSB and some more dragon princes and an archer bunker for my mage. Finally if I get time I might try and convert some of my spear men to look like this.
  • Finally I have my eldar army, about three years in progress and I still haven't got any where with it. The main problem I have with it is I keep changing lists because I can never make something I'm happy with, as a result of this I have a fair number of models but not enough of anything to turn them into an army that will work. Matters are made worse in that I lost some enthusiasm for 40k by buying the old rule book (hardback) and then getting two games in, one with the other guy forfeiting by the end of turn 1. Right now I'm tempted by Eldar corsairs from forge world and the allying them with some codex eldar. However the cost means I wouldn't get it done by next Christmas and with a new codex rumoured for next year unfortunately this just isn't an option as a result.
So where does this all leave me? Well in between wanting to enter armies on parade next year and commissions I'm determined to at least finish either my fantasy or my Lord of the Rings army and accompanying board. Fight now 40k is definitely on the back burner, though I am thinking of building a 500 point Imperial Guard force around Christmas with the models I already have, pick up the mini rule book and learn the game. (though this time I plan to start 6 months into the new edition instead of 6 months till a new edition)

But if you're still reading (understand if you're not) you may be wondering whats going to happen to the blog if I can barley get any time into hobby anyway. Well it should get a lot better as I'm able to experiment with new techniques, move through models faster (so fewer single model updates), and get on to new projects that I've held back whilst waiting for the airbrush. Any way the next year's looking pretty good , though definitely busy.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

How to make urban 40k bases.

When I think of urban bases I imagine piles or rubble with detritus everywhere, and in that is the major problem: finding a balance between detail, ease of creation, finding a place for the models feet in all the rubble and cost. Whilst there are some great resin bases they are quite expensive and so for a lot of people the only option left are either:

a) boring bases
b)make them your self.

Now there is already some great tutorials out there but none of them really fill my most important criteria of "piles of rubble," so I thought I'd make my own. I actually got a bit lucky as I found the right ratios first time around  so saved my self a bit of time with trial and error, but on with the tutorial!


  •  Some Plaster of Paris (I got a 1kg bag that's never going to run out for a measly $5)
  • Fine Sand (preferably have some coarse sand available to)
  • Water
  • Cheap brush and plastic spoon (unless you want to cover your eating cutlery with sand)
  • PVA Glue (also known as white glue)
  • Pieces of chopped up spruce (pieces from your bits box can also come in handy)
  • Disposable plastic plate (included as something to mix on and also not to wreck my pallet)


  •  Before starting you need to prepare the base, for this I'd recommend using a knife to cross hatch lines into the base to give the glue a chance of attaching. (note. I also applied this straight onto plain sand glued down with PVA and this worked well)
Black lines being where you would cut.

  • For a flying bases worth I used a about a spoon's worth of plaster combined with about half a spoon of sand. To this I added some water mixed with PVA and a couple of drops of pure PVA.

  • When this was the consistency of whipped cream I slathered it on to the base. Then I pushed in little rocks, and pieces of rubble, sprinkled some coarse sand on and the covered any gaps with more fine sand.

If you end up making to much you can smooth it out on a plate, wait for it  to dry and then break it up and uses it as rocks next time.
  • When this was dry I selectively added some more sand to places (this was to help rocks and the like to blend in) and then I painted on a mixture of glue and water. 
  • After this is painting and application of static grass, a step I have admittedly not gone up to yet.
 Besides the last step your now done, what do you think?

A couple I did up earlier (sorry just had to include the line)

And with models.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Halbarad 2 and some urban Eldar bases

Got some more work done on Halbarad this week, namely the metal and the muted green as well as getting started on the boots and banner. For the metal I tried doing a True Metallic Metal technique for the first time and whilst not perfect by any means I still pretty pleased with how it turned out. For the muted green I followed the Games Workshop tutorial for painting an Ork's head from the Lizardmen White Dwarf (2009 I think it was).

After picking up some plaster last week and my little basing experiment with this model I was keen to try my hand at doing some more interesting basing, (because along with sculpting this is my weakest area)> Anyway I did two flying bases up today for my eldar using my new technique, I also have a tutorial in the pipeline so check back midweek if you're interested.

Just a little teaser.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Halbarad W.I.P.

After taking a short break from painting in the past few weeks from painting, i got going again on the weekend, to make good progress on the Halbarad model that has been sitting on my desk for the last year and a half. So far only the face is pretty much done and I'm really happy with that, especially the lips, not the best in the photo but in real life the red glazing I applied really makes them look good. Otherwise I'm also trying true metallic metal for the first time, something I want to do to my whole High Elf army as I think it looks great but I'll see how that goes. The models is still in the early stages obviously so any comments or criticisms will be greatly appreciated.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Command Squad 408

So now that the commission has been all wrapped up for a bout a week I thought I'd post the last of the models from it. Now that it's finished I'll be moving on to finishing Halbarad, a model that I've had on the bench for about two years so you can expect to see updates on that soon.