Thursday, August 15, 2013

Herald if Nurgle, on the cheap

For my Daemon army I have troops from all four gods, and Heralds from three. Now that the Herald of Nurgle is worthwhile I thought I'd go ahead & add him to my army.

I like the plastic mini GW put out for him, but it's a bit spendy ($25). I kind f balk at the idea of having to pay that much for a single plastic mini.

Instead of ponying up the cash, I found a neat conversion that is easy, looks great, & costs 40% less than the official Herald.

I started with the Warriors of Chaos Nurgle Chaos Lord, from fantasy, and did a simple head-swap with a plaguebearer. I didn't use this head originally because I didn't like the big horns for the regular 'bearers. Here it works though.

The chaos lord mini's head is divided into two parts, a mask, and the back if the head. So the plaguebearer head fits nicely onto the body without having to reshape it at all. I did greenstuff the base of the neck, and add some fatty folds to make it blend on though.

The model is corpulent, rotting, and tall.about two heads taller than a Space Marine, everything a chosen daemon if Nurgle should be. And cheap, that's nice too.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

For sale: Khador Starter

I just finished snow flocking the Destroyer this morning, so I thought I'd show off the whole battle group.
This is first time I bought & painted minis with the expressed intent of selling them. I'd been wanting to try out the Zenith spray technique for a while and this seemed like the best way to get it done. So now that these guys are complete I'll probably seal them, & toss them on eBay. Don't worry, I won't be labeling them "pro-painted." I reserve that label to folks who are a lot better than I am. Rather, I'll probably say they're painted to a "high-tabletop standard."

I've never sold anything online before, so I'm not sure the price they'd fetch. I suppose I'd like enough to pay for the investment in the minis, as well as enough extra to buy some more.


Monday, August 12, 2013

How to Paint High Contrast Red


Reds can be a vexing color to paint at times. It can be tough to get a good basecoat, and shading can get tricky if you don't know what you're doing.

As you can tell from the minis above, I usually use the same technique for painting red. I picked it up from reading project logs by Spikeyjames on Warseer (he painted the White Scars army you see in the Space Marine codexes). It's a relatively easy process, and it takes less time than you'd think.

Step 1 is a basecoat of Mechrite Red, it usually takes 1-2 layers to get a nice even coat.

Second is a wash of Thraka Green. That sounds odd, but it works really well.

Once that dries the third step is a layer of Blood Red. Again, this can take a few applications to get even, but the dark red basecoat makes it easier.

You then layer highlights from Blood Red to Mecharius Orange through Golden Yellow. This step goes by really quickly, since I try to wet blend a little bit. The mini will probably look more orange than red at this point.

Finally, you give your mini a wash of Baal Red. This brings the orangey look back to a nice deep red, and covers up any green from the first wash.


Meet the PC: Arahan Nolatari, Elf Ranger

One of my favorite parts about tabletop roleplaying is finding, modeling, and painting the perfect miniatures for our party PCs. I've been doing this for years now, and thought I'd share some of these characters with you.

Another Elven Ranger? Yep! Although this one was played by a friend of mine, Mary.

The back story for Arahan here was very similar to Aeon: In the post cataclysm world the Elves didn't exist, or maybe they just didn't interact with the rest of civilization, who knows. Arahan here wakes up after a lengthy hibernation to discover the rest of her kin are missing, and so she sets out to figure out what happened to the world. At some point she joins up with the "Everyman Company."

The last member of our company was a Dragonborn Sorcerer, so we simply used the mini I'd painted for an earlier campaign.  So in summary, We had a Fighter (close range), an Artificer (mid range), an Assassin (mid range), an Archer (long range), and a Sorcerer (mid range). So we had a tough time in standup fights, and so many of them were standup fights.

I'd bought this mini close to a decade ago for another game (back when we were playing 3.5) but never finished painting it. I was dragging my feet in painting it for this campaign too, so Yorrik took it & ran with it. The mini is a Selwyn, Elven Captain for Reaper's Warlord game. It's pretty generic, but so was the character.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

New Space Marine shots from White Dwarf

It looks like Space Marine leaks are coming faster & faster, plus I've been reading up a bit more on what the rumors are. I got these shots from Ded'Ard.
Here are a trio of new HQs. My favorite is the Librarian. We don't usually see facial hair on generic marines, so I'm all for it. The Captain appears to be a recycled version of Sicarius from Black Reach, although the details are up up date. I like it. I'm reserving judgement on the Chaplain. The shot appears to be at a bad angle, So I'll hold off on naysaying until there are better pictures. 
Another new feature for Space Marines are the Graviton weapons (detail above). Rumor has it, they're crazy powerful and wound vs. armor, so I'll be keeping my ears open for more.

 These are called Centurions. If I didn't mistake what I read, these are like suits that a space marine steps up into. I've seen a bit of speculation about their size, but I'm thinking they're about the size of a Tau Crisis Suit. I'm warming to them a bit.

These two new Rhino variants are the Hunter (above) and the Stalker. Still not sure on their weapons, but I'm leaning a Graviton weapon above, and Auto Cannon below.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

First Space Marine leaks arrive

Space Marine leaks have finally arrived on our shores (the first of many, I'm sure). Courtesy of A GW facebook page in Australia

 I haven't been keeping up on the rumors, so I'm actually at a loss for what I'm looking at. They appear to be a combination of Terminators, techmarines, and dreadnoughts.

Now as far as this is concerned I hope it's a joke. The head & oversized weapon all loo wrong. This looks like it could be about 2/3 the size of a Riptide, maybe bit bigger. It isn't a clear shot, but all I can see here is Robo from Chrono Trigger.
"For the emperor, bzzt"
This is more like what i was expecting from a new codex. It looks like some kind of anti-air vehicle. I'm not sure what the turrets are though. Auto cannons perhaps?

More when I find it.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Warmachine: Khador Juggernaut

Contrary to the low expectations I set in my last post, I did, in fact, finish the Juggernaut last night.
All it really took to finish him up was some washes & highlights for the metals, the blue for the eyes and axe (to match Sorscha) and the basing. All told I think he took about 6 hours of painting, so it was a really good turnaround for a model of this size.

I'll definitely be duplicating this technique in the future. Probably at least one more time in the next two days in order to paint the Destroyer Warjack. Once that guy's done I'll be selling the lot of them. Not sure how much I could get, but hopefully enough to make my money back, and buy some more minis.


(P.S. One final plug: The Warmachine: Tactics kickstarter is in its final hours. Go check it out.)

Test Mini: Zenith red

A while back I came across From the Warp. The author, Rob had a nice little blog going with some good ideas. Sadly, he stepped away from his little corner of the internet about 6 months ago and hasn't been seen since, but his words live on. I've pondered over one of his speed painting techniques for a while, and this week, with the onset of my rekindled interest in Warmachine, I've decided to give his Zenith overhead painting technique a go.

If you don't feel like clicking the link above the premise is simple: using two cans of spray paint to create a two-toned basecoat for your minis. Rob posits that you need a black basecoat, and a dark color for a secondary coat, but I'm trying something a little different in order to paint a Khador Juggernaut Heavy Warjack.

Khador's army usually uses a red scheme, so in the interest of selling this guy on eBay that's what i went with.

I used two colors of Krylon: Burgundy, and Pimento (both with satin finishes) I wanted two tones of red, and for the lighter color to be a bit more orange instead of "cherry."

Here are the simple steps:
1. A light black primer basecoat
2. 1-2 coats of Krylon Burgundy. When you first spray the paint on it doesn't look like it's well covered, but just give it a few minutes to dry, and it'll be more obvious where you need more paint.
3a. Wait for the dark basecoat to dry, then hold the lighter color, Pimento, at about a 45 degree angle above the front of your mini, so you're spraying down on it. Then make 2-3, light, even passes with the paint. The first layer looks really splotchy, but it evened out with a few more coats, and also as it dried.
3b. The initial spray didn't cover the back of the gauntlets, so I sprayed them individually, using an envelope to shield the rest of the mini from overpaint.
4. After that dried, I went through and painted highlights along the edges (I used Mechrite Red through Firey Orange, through Sunburst Yellow).
Steps 1 through 4 literally took a single hour. So I'd definitely call it a speed painting success.

Finally, I coated all of the red bits with a wash of Baal Red. This served a few purposes: It deepened the red into the right shade, helped even out the fade between the two colors, and it dulled down the glossy sheen of the spray paint.

Here's how it looks now, after about three hours of painting. I might actually be able to finish it tonight before I go to be. (Unlikely, but possible)
I think this technique is ideal for large minis with wide flat areas. I imagine the smaller you go the dicier it becomes. The Khador 'Jack is idea since it has these wide, flat panels, but detail-heavy Menoth 'Jacks might not fare as easily.

As Rob noted in one of his last posts, this method can easily obscure finer details. For instance, the holes in the Juggernaut's face plate appear to be divets instead of vents (or whatever they're supposed to be).  The best way to prevent this is by placing a bit of masking tape over details you don't want painted, or want to protect. You finish painting, and the tape strips away clean once the paint is dry.

The next step for me (other than finishing this mini, and it's brother) is to try a new spin on the Zenith technique with Fenrisian Wolves. I'll keep you updated on that once I give it a go.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Privateer Press Kickstarter

I mentioned yesterday that I've been getting pretty spun up about the Warmachine: Tactics Kickstarter.

I'm not invested at a very high level, but it definitely has my attention. In addition to liking the tabletop game and story background, the developers say game is modeled after Valkyria Chronicles and Final Fantasy Tactics. If they manage to capture a fraction of the enjoyment garnered from those classic games it should be a fun ride. Plus there are a number of great looking Limited Edition minis you can get in addition to the game, and I've been lurking extensively on the off chance they'll post more.

Of the eight minis they're releasing, I've ordered five: Two for myself, one that I'll paint and sell (the Evil version), one for Yorrik, and one for a friend's birthday present.

One of the minis that's piqued my interest is the smarmy, greasy, self-interested young Khador Journeyman Warcaster Andrei Malakov (below in white metal). The artwork is really characterful, and I think it will just be a fun mini to paint.

I don't actually *own* a Khador army, but I've been looking into it more and more. To that end I found a really good deal on the old, metal starter box which I decided to paint, sell, and hopefully turn a nice little profit (that I would then use to buy the plastic Khador box. I realize that makes no sense).

Here's the metal Khador warcaster, Sorscha. When I got her it looked like the previous owner has smashed her nose, so I had to re-sculpt it.
She turned out pretty well for the little time I put into her. The Warjacks are coming along even faster. I'm testing out a new painting style and it's working quite well for me. I'll show you the results tomorrow.

In the meantime though, Go check out the Warmachine: Tactics Kickstarter. There's less than 3 days left to pledge, so if you like what you see I'd encourage you to invest.


Monday, August 5, 2013

What I've been up to: The excuses start here

As you can probably tell from the weeks of "Meet the PC" posts, I've been keeping pretty busy in my offline life.

I took close to three months of time off from my job to take care of my twins earlier in the year, which left me without any more time off for the summer. The net result was that I'm the only guy in the office that doesn't have vacation time, so I've been covering a lot of slack while co-workers are having fun in the sun. (Although to be fair, they had to cover for me for those three months.)

The extra work hours, plus helping out with the babies has not provided a lot of time for painting or blogging. I'm working on that though.
Yeah, it's kinda like that (photo from
Currently, I've started a commission to paint an entire army or Night Wolves (my friend's DIY Space Wolves), which will probably last me until the end of the year. I'll make sure to photograph & post those as I get them done.

Also, I've been avidly following the Warmachine Tactics kickstarter. In addition to being interested in the game, there are several limited edition miniature add ons that I'm gunning for. I've also been painting the Khador battle group I picked up on the cheap. I'll post more about that tomorrow.

If you're tired of "Meet the PC" the good news is that I've pretty much run out of PC minis. Yorrik has a few more, but I haven't had a chance to photograph them yet.

Here's hoping for more updates in the future.


Meet the PC: Aeon, Dwarf Revenant Assassin

One of my favorite parts about tabletop roleplaying is finding, modeling, and painting the perfect miniatures for our party PCs. I've been doing this for years now, and thought I'd share some of these characters with you.

The third party member of our ill-fated "Everyman Company" was Aeon, an undead Dwarf assassin played by mu buddy Roshko. I don't remember the whole back-story, but nobody in the world had seen a dwarf following an ancient cataclysm. Aeon here had been a lore keeper, and awoke a millennium later and set out in search of answers.

I'd say that Roshko has a strong affinity for playing whatever classes & races are new & shiny, and this campaign began shortly after the 4th edition book "Heroes of Shadow" which introduced Assassins as well as the Dragon magazine that kicked off the Revenant race. The concept was cool on paper, but in practice he was a mid-range DPS that couldn't stay in melee for too long since his HP was so low. This made him a bit of a glass hammer.

The character mini was an easy choice. You can't get a much more shadowy dwarf than Reaper's Klaus Copperthumb. He was the whole package, dark cloak, knives & throwing axes, light armor. All I really had to do was paint him in dark, desaturated tones to emphasize his post-vascular existence.