Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 29: Human Wizard

Now I'm all caught up. Just in time.

You might wonder why I pick the miniatures I do for this challenge. For the most part I look at the incomplete minis I have kicking around, gauge how much work I'd need to do to finish them, then plan accordingly. Today's mini?

I'm just tired of looking at him.

 I've had this guy since I left the Navy in 2005. A buddy of mine invited me to play in his game of D&D & he I picked up this mini, Reaper's Eredain, since it looked similar to the PC he described to me (but with hair).

He's been sitting, unfinished on my to-do shelf ever since.
Until today I suppose.

I'm the kind of person that prioritizes easily completed tasks over longer jobs, and this guy has always looked like a longer job to me. Between the straps, buckles, details, bags, studs, and staff, I just felt like my time would be better spent on other minis. He's been one of the standby minis for my mini-a-day challenge since 2012, but there have always been easier minis in line ahead of him.

It's true this year too, I just really wanted this guy off my table. Maybe I painted his face to be too judgmental.

I'm glad he's done though. I hadn't originally intended to give him greying around his temples, but it looked right to me. I think it gives him character.

We're into the last two days of the challenge now. I'm working as fast as I can, so hopefully I'll have something to show tomorrow.


Days 27 & 28: Orc boy, & Tau Fire Warrior

Alrighty. Now that I've updated my Tyrant Guard shots, I can post these:

 First off. one of the Orc boyz from the front line of my O&G mob. I've painted the 20+ orcs that stand in the back rows, but I'm taking more time with the front.  The guys in the back will die first, and be lost in the crowd (plus they only cost 8 pts or so). But I feel like the front line should be painted well since they're the focus of attention.
I'm particularly pleased with the decapitated guy. He really looks dead to me.

Now it wouldn't be May Mini Madness without one of my white Tau. Its an easy enough scheme to accomplish with some white primer and a steady hand. So here he is.

To complete my Tau army I'm gonna want a Riptide. Although I'm not sure how well the white scheme will work on such a a large mini with flat-open spaces. I'd probably have to fiddle around with it.

More later today.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 26: Tyrant Guard

UPDATE: Now, with better pictures.

Here's an old-school Tyrant Guard. I remember buying it back in 2005 right after ended my enlistment in the Navy.

Similar to my other Tyranid, he's painted in an orange and black scheme, like my home college team (my Eldar use the same scheme as the college just down the road)
The orange took a while longer than I'd intended, so I applied the black rather hastily to try & compensate. It's not an overly detailed mini, but it is big.

It just occurred to me that I have 4 large-based minis scheduled in this last week of painting (I've got two termis left).

In the last two years of this challenge I've only ever completed one large-based mini (although he wasn't actually all that large), meanwhile this year alone I'll have finished 6.

Apparently I back-loaded this year's challenge a bit.


Day 25: Khador Man-O-War

Three days into the final week & I'm running a bit behind. Sunday's mini took a little more prep than I'd considered, & I bit off a good bit more than I'd intended for Monday (Suffice to say, it's large & orange. Not a good combination)

Either way, Here's Sunday. Another Warmachine model: the Khador Man-O-War. I bought this one 5 years ago during a going out of business sale for a game store about 75 miles from where I live while visiting my fiance at her college. I'd always really liked the look for this unit. They're beefy and impressive, but still seem realistic to steampunk warfare. So when I saw there were a few blisters for 50% off I went ahead & grabbed one.

I'd originally wanted to paint them in a black & gold scheme, similar to a Necron test-mini I painted a while back, but I decided to stick to the classic red, since that's how I've painted all the other Khador I've done in the past.
I'm happy with him, although once I put him next to my other Khador types it occurred to me that the others don't have much gold.  I want Khador to have a more industrial look, not fancy, so most of them are silvery & brass rather than gold. Oh well. Maybe I'll sell him or give him away. We'll have to see.

Hope to catch up soon.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 24: Dragonborn Paladin

Last October I came up with an easy method of converting a Dragonborn Paladin. I got a good head start on the paint job, but then I stopped. Mostly becuase I was stumped on how to decorate his shield.

Well I finally buckled down & finished it.

I got tired of dragging my feet, & decided to do a little castle freehand with some simple shapes. It's a nice, long shield so I painted a little laurel motif at the bottom, and a few stars in the top corners to draw attention upwards. It isn't the cleanest freehand, but not bad for having been done sitting on my couch in the middle of the night.

I wanted to Dragonborn to be Black, and almost monochrome, while still having some pops of color. That's where the blue & gold came in. I suppose I could have gone for green accents, since D&D black dragons usually have acid breath, but this works just fine.

I have another, nearly identical, conversion ready to paint. Maybe I'll do that one green.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Day 23: Celestial Lion (4/4)

The last Lion
When the new Space Marine codex came out I started formulating a new army. The idea would be a primary detachment of Iron Hands for long-range & heavy support (Techmarines, snipers, Storm Raven, dreadnought, & Thunderfire cannon) & Imperial Fists for some reliable dakka (Tac squads in rhinos, lots of bolters)

Iron Hands are easy to paint, but Fists are a pain (as noted last week). So I've been considering successor chapters. Hammers of Dorn were my first choice, but now Celestial Lions are a contender too. Iton Hands & Hammers share a very similar palette, so the two chapters might not stand out on the tabletop. Lions would however. It'd just be a matter of whether or not I could figure out an easier way to apply gold.

I think they look pretty good as a group though.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 22: Herald of Tzeentch

I built this guy/gal (Tzeentch likes to keep you guessing) a few years back because I had too many spare parts. I purchased the Vampire Counts Cairn Wraith to use the scythe on my Plaguebearer Champion, which left me with a whole lot of mini left over.

While going over my options, I noticed I had a face & hands from the Pink Horrors box. They fit nicely onto the wraith body and voila, a unique & mysterious Herald of Tzeentch.

Where's his body? Tzeentch likes to keep you guessing.

I had this almost entirely complete early Thursday, except for the base. I'd just added a wash to its base when I I tipped the mini after I'd set it down. It broke off its round base, & splattering Nuln Oil wash across the whole mini. I was able to clean most of it off under a faucet, but there are still a few spots I missed.

As I was preparing to reglue the mini to its base I remembered that this month is a WFB painting competition at my local game store. I'm not really happy with the conversion I've been intending to submit, so I decided to whip up a quick scenic base using some cork and a bit from the WFB Battle Wizard box. He's only held onto the base by a peg, since I plan on using him in my 40k army (Those Malefic powers sound crazy).

It's funny though, if I hadn't tipped the mini & broke it off its base I wouldn't have thought to use it as my fantasy competition entry. How well will it do in the painting competition?

Tzeentch likes to keep you guessing.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Days 19, 20, & 21: Dark Vengeance Cultists

I actually finished these guys on Tuesday, but didn't have access to my work photo studio before today. My newspaper is actually in the middle of moving to a new location, so closer to the end of the month I might have to switch to amateur methods.  It happens.

Once my Night Wolves commission is over, and once this mini challenge is over my next big goal will be to finally finish my Dark Vengeance box before the *next* starter set comes out (rumored to feature Blood Angels vs Orks this August). At this point I've completed 9 minis from Chaos, and 12 from the Dark Angels. This leaves 18 chaos types (ugh) and 9 marines.

Here's a small chunk of DV box:
 One of the nice things about my batch painting plan is that it utilizes relatively few colors. In an effort to make them look both like a ragtag group, and a cohesive army I'm using the same palette throughout. This mostly means I'm using deep red, tan, black, brown and leather. Because of that, whenever I mixed paint I could work on three minis at a time.  Past that, the paint tended to dry up. So I figure three at once will be the golden number.

Today's mini was almost done, but then I dropped it. Shouldn't take too long to fix & repaint though.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 18: Celestial Lion Veteran Sergeant (3/4)

Here's the third Celestial Lion. I consider him the most impressive, although that's probably because the most work went into him.
When I'd originally put these guys together I wanted the sergeant to stand out, so I came up with a little conversion. I eschewed the arms that came with this mini (a pair of lightning claws) and gave him some plastics.

If you aren't familiar, The Celestial Lions chapter are known for loudly criticizing the Imperial Inquisition, an being largely destroyed as a result. For that reason I knew the sergeant needed a special sword. This sword in fact. I thought it'd add a fun bit of character. (Don't worry about the Inquisitor, he borrowed a sword from Mephiston)

Overall, this guy is my favorite from my Lions. Someone even posted him on Lexicanum for the Celestial Lions while he was still a work in progress. Maybe now that he's complete I'll have to see about putting him back on.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day 17: Celestial Lion (2/4)

Today brings us another member of the Celestial Lion kill team.

This one brought a new challenge: that axe. I like my power weapons to look wicked, but I don't want to overuse my magma technique. I've seen this kind of colorful high contrast metallic look a few places, & I've tried to emulate it before (on a Tiefling Paladin & an Eladrin Warlord) but I haven't had a lot of luck. This time, instead of attempting to wet blend metallics and inks, I used a multi-step process.

I started with a base of Mithril Silver/Asurmen Blue, then picked out highlights and lighter areas in Mithril. I then used another wash of Asurmen, resting the mini upside down so it would be darker towards the tips of the axe. Then I picked out highlights in Mithril again.

I think it worked out well for a quick & dirty coloring effect.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day 16: Imperial Fist

Years ago I won a few eBay auctions full of Space Marines. They were both pre-built. The first lot still had all it's mold-lines, the second lot looked like the mold lines had been hacked off with a bowie knife, which was worse. I salvaged the ones I could, and tend to use the rest as test minis.

Late last year I felt like doing something new, and like anybody with too much free time, and too little sense, I let 4Chan decide.
Aside from the Star Phantoms shoutout, the best suggestion was Imperial Fists. I've been meaning to try a yellow wash technique too, so it fit. White Dwarf & GW painting guides are always touting how easy it to create a decent yellow armor with washes & glazes, & I thought I'd give it a go.
Obviously, It wasn't as easy as the painting guides make it out to be.

I started with a few layers of Lamenters Yellow Glaze over white primer. The end result *was* really yellow, but it wasn't a very deep color. I wanted it to be darker in the recesses. I gave it a glaze of Seraphim Sepia to give it darker tone. Once dry, I picked out armor highlights with white, then hit it with another layer of Lamenters.

* It's still faster than most other yellow painting methods.
* It produces a clean look. Great for tabletop quality minis.

* The color is more lemony than I like. This might be fine for brighter armies like Iyanden, but I feel like Space Marines need to be a bit more grimdark. (I usually work from Snakebite Leather to Golden Yellow, up to Bad Moon Yellow highlights. It's a nice rich yellow, but it takes forever.)
* Without having a paint to fall back on, it can be tough to fix blemishes & areas where you overpaint. Usually I painted it black, then silver to make it look like weathering.

I'm glad I did it, if for no other reason than to test a new painting process, but if I were to do a unit of Imperial Fists I'd go a more traditional route.


P.S. It's the 16th, so we're halfway through. It's all downhill from here, right?

Day 15: White Scars Terminator

Last week a friend of mine took to my local 40k facebook group with a problem: He was headed to a TSHFT event in Washington in a few days, but he was short a Lightning Claw terminator for his new list.

We have a friendly little group, so another buddy, Abusepuppy, offered up one of his termis that'd he'd built & primed white for his old Blood Angels army. I gave him a few pointers on how to paint it up quickly, but he asked if I'd give it a once-over for my May Challenge.

So here we are:

I call him Brother-Sergeant Come-at-me-Bro

When I got him last Thursday he needed a little work. Abusepuppy had done some great work converting him, but there were a few small mold lines to clean up, the soft armor at his armpits looked a little off, and his right shoulderpad had a GS skull that didn't fit with the White Scar theme.

It was an interesting mini to paint. I gave it thorough coating of white primer, then lined the recesses with Mechanicus Gray mixed with Lahmain Medium to make it more of a wash. After lining the piece I cleaned it up with a few layers of White Scar paint (how appropriate). It took a bit of practice, but I think it turned out nicely.

One thing I've noticed is that white primer sucks for bases. I had to pant and repaint that base several times because the black kept rubbing off with casual handling. Anyone else notice this problem? I suggested that he seal the mini with dullcoat before it saw any action on the tabletop. Here's hoping he kicks some ass at TSHFT. (and by extension, my friend as well)

Either way. It was a nice mini to work on, and it's given me a few idea on how to paint up my Ethereal conversion, since my Tau army is mostly white. I'll have to see how well the technique transfers to xenos.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 14: Long Fang (5/5)

Alright, this unit is done.

I still have 5 Night Wolves to finish this month: 3 sergeants, a Lone Wolf terminator, and a Wolf Guard. All of them are here on my painting table, quietly waiting their turn to reach completion.

There's quite a bit on my painting table at the moment actually. 5 termis, 7 marines, a daemon herald, a Tyrant Guard, some warmachine, reaper, and my end-of-the-month game store painting contest entry. That might not seem to be a lot, but my painting table is a GW painting station sitting on a tray table (now that the twins are walking I have to be able to move my bench to the top of our dresser for protection, for both the twins and minis)

More tomorrow,


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Day 12 & 13: Celestial Lion (1/4) & Long Fang (4/5)

Years and years ago Yorrik & I were contemplating a Kill Team campaign at our FLGS. If I remember correctly he was working on a SoB team, and I decided to create a group of elite space marines. I started getting interested in 40k when the Armageddon books were coming out, so I always liked the fluff behind the Celestial Lions.

Who better to play in kill team missions then a group of dejected marines fighting to regain their honor and save their chapter? I started five minis almost a decade ago, but I've only be able to find four of them to finish this month.
I've always liked their color scheme, although the gold can look a little grainy. I'm still using my old Shining  Gold though, so I don't know if newer line, or other manufacturers have smoother application.

The next mini is the fourth Long Fang to grace my painting table this month.
Say what you will about Space Wolf minis, but good lord are there a lot of head options. I've been painting this commission for a while now, and he has yet to duplicate a single head. It's kinda nice actually.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Day 11: Night Wolves Long Fang (3/5)

Here's another Long Fang I finished. Like I said, I'm hoping to hammer out the remainder of my commission this month, so get used to this scheme. :P

The armor scheme was relatively easy for these guys. As far as the armor & details were concerned I didn't blend or fade. Just color, color, wash, color. Sometimes not even that much.

I put the same amount of detail in the face and hair as I do for all my minis, since people pay more attention to faces & heads so they need to be presentable.

Blue: Necron Abyss basecoat ---> Hoeth Blue highlights ---> Asurmen Blue (watered down) wash
Bronze: Warplock Bronze basecoat ---> Runelord Brass layer ---> Agrax Earthshade (watered down) wash
Silver: Boltgun Metal basecoat ---> Nuln Oil wash ---> Boltgun Metal highlight
Leather: Balor Brown ---> Agrax Earthshade wash ---> Balor Brown layer
Fur: Bestial Brown basecoat ---> Agrax Earthshade wash

More tomorrow, I'll try to break up the stretch of Night Wolves a bit with a different chapter or two. We'll see how it all shakes out.


Days 9 & 10: Night Wolf Long Fangs

 This weekend was crazy. My family is sick, I was working until late, then up early the next day, then it was mother's day, excuses, excuses.

Suffice to say, the last few days have been long, but I'll be caught up shortly.

Friday & Saturday's minis are missile launcher Long Fangs for my friend's Space Wolf army. (I'm not sure if he has an official name for them, but I call them Night Wolves)

My goal was to batch-paint these, so they aren't as precisely executed as a lot of my other work. When we were negotiating prices he wanted them to look good at a distance, but didn't need them to be showpieces like some of his other minis. I also cheated a bit with the lining of the shoulder pads. In an effort to save time I used a .05 micron pend to line the recesses. It doesn't look great up close, but at an arm's length it's fine.

Before the end of the month I hope to have 8 more night Wolf commissions done.

More later today.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Day 8: Kovnic Andrei Malakov, Journeyman Warcaster

Back in August of last year I was touting the Warmachine: Tactics kickstarter. Sure, the video game sounded exciting, but I was more enticed by the limited edition minis you could get for pledging. The one I was most intrigued by was Malakov. I liked his look. In particular, he had this long, characterful face that struck me as neat.

My Miniature rewards showed up a few weeks ago, and while I was thinking about minis for this project Malakov came to mind.
He was mostly red & black (two easy colors for me) and this project helps keep me from overthinking the fact I'm painting a limited edition miniature. I tend to drag my feet about painting limited minis. I don't want to screw them up, so I never actually end up painting them. It's silly, but it happens.

I'm happy with Andrei here. There was a lot of little detail to work through. The minis isn't quite as large as I was expecting, and there was a ton of fine edging. I suppose these CAV models allow you to add small details an artist would be hard-pressed to add. Everything is pretty crisp though, and he'd stand out on the table.

He's a bit walleyed, but I don't want to try to fix that until after the month is over. I don't want to go back to repair the problem & make it worse in the process. Overall, I'm happy.

The next week or so will be dedicated to Space Marines. I'm finally going to finish more Night Wolves, and probably break into some of the marines I've neglected to finish over the years.

More tomorrow.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Day 7: Duergar Grenadier

I accidentally poured a glass of water on my laptop last night, which is why I'm so late in posting this (I got it turned off, upside down & on a towel almost immediately, so it's fine this morning)

I decided to go ahead & wrap this guy up. He's the fourth dwarf mini in the Chainmail booster I bought two years ago. I spent Wednesday at my inlaw's place a few towns away. When I do that I take a few paints with me & I a mini that only requires a limited palette.

This guy was pretty easy to finish up, all things, considered. All I needed was some browns & washes, so it didn't take super long. Had I put a bit more thought into my paint selection I probably would have diversified a bit, since a few places look kinda one-note. At very least I probably should have made the grenade lighter to add some more contrast. Oh well. It's done, and it fits in nicely with the rest if the Duergar, so I'm happy.

If the kids give me enough time to paint today it should be a nice new mini that many of haven't seen before.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Day 6: Maki Watanabe

What can you say about this mini's face that you couldn't say about a flat shovel?

This is the second mini I was given to paint from Fantasy Flight's Adventurer's box, Maki Watanabe. The mini is alright, but everything from the neck up was a bother. Where David Gore had a few notable aspects on his face, glasses, a nose, etc. Maki here was almost featureless. the eye holes were slight indentations. The lips were a slit. Not the best.
The original artwork

Looking at the picture I can tell my paints were too thick. It looks a little caked on, but I did what I could with the time I had. I'd tried to make the coat more red, but it ended up more brown.

On the plus side, I don't have any more of these things to paint. :P


Monday, May 5, 2014

Day 5: Duergar Gunner

The Cinco de Mayo mini is one that I picked up two years ago for my very first May Mini Madness. Back then I bought a 4-pack of dwarves from the old WOTC skirmish game, Chainmail. I painted the cleric the first year, the legionnaire the second year, and now the gunner.

There's also a grenadier that I'll paint in the next few weeks. No need to save him for 2015.

I want the Duergar to look drab, so I've been using browns for much of their clothing, and using Agrax Earthshade to mute the golds. She isn't perfect, but she's a proper cave-crawler. I guess I'll have to write a duergar encounter to put into a game someday.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Day 4: Ring, Dwarven Rogue

I'd originally bought today's mini in 2008, at the dawn of 4th edition D&D. I'd come up with the idea for a sassy, headstrong, dwarven rogue with the moniker "Ring" that ran away from her mountian home to avoid a less-than-favorable betrothal.

So I wrote up a little back story, bought this mini (Reaper's Bailey Silverbell), and waited for the new edition of D&D so I could play her.

Turns out that was a terrible combination. In an edition where optimization and mobility was pretty important dwarven rogues had no stat support, and less movement than most. So I filed away my character for another day, and tossed the mini into the bits box: Never to be painted or played.

Until my GM got a hold of 13th Age, that is.

13th Age is a bit more free-form. One of your stat bonuses comes from race, and another from class, so suddenly "Ring" was a lot more viable, and I got to painting.

The campaign went on hiatus before I finished the minis, but I thought this'd be a good opportunity to complete Ring at least.

More tomorrow.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Day 3: David Gore

Today's mini was a bit of a pain in the butt.

The owner of my friendly local gaming store bought Fantasy Flight's Adventurers as a present for his daughter, and wanted all of the minis painted before she got back from a road trip this week.

I told him I'd take a stab at a few of them, in exchange for a pot of Red Gore paint (I need it to paint my remaining Chaos guys & my paint pot just dried up), so he handed me a pair of minis and the character card that showed how they should be painted.

 The minis themselves are lowish quality as far as these things go. The faces are really non-descript, with almost no detail (the second mini has it way worse. I imagine you'll see her in a few days). They're just as soft and bendy as Bones, so you have to watch how you handle them too. There's also that mold line under his pointing arm. The store owner flashed most of the model & primed it so I left it alone, but now I can't stop staring at it whenever I look at the picture.

Plus this guy was wearing a while suit & pants. That's always fun while attempting to paint speedily.
 Here's the art he was based on.
I stayed true to the color scheme. Although I imagine my mini's suit is more of a light cream than white, but it still stands. The face is what got me the most though. It's all wrong to me, so I did what I could before calling it good enough for government work.

Wife & I are going to go see a show in Portland tomorrow, so the next mini might be a little late.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Day 2: Fenrisian Wolf

The second finished mini for the month is a Fenrisian Wolf commission for a friend's Night Wolves army. This is the 18th and final wolf from the group I did for him. This one lagged behind the others a bit because I've been taking my time in order to take photos for a tutorial.

I adapted the Zenith spray painting technique a bit in order to knock out a bunch of these wolves in a quick and easy fashion. It isn't super high-end painting, but it should catch plenty of attention to see over a dozen painted wolves hit the table.

Aside from the base and several details (eyes, teeth, paw-pads) only one paint is used. Everything else is spray paint and washes.

I'll be posting a tutorial in the next few days.


Day 1: Pathfinder Alchemist

I took it easy for the fist day.

This guy started as a test mini for painting freckles, but ended up pretty decent. He's actually a Reaper Bones version of the Iconic Alchemist. A few months back I wanted to try a few stippling/splattering/spraying methods for freckles, so I picked up this mini. I got it for $2, since it was on consignment, so I wasn't particularly worried about making him look good.

Well, the freckles really didn't work, and by that time I'd come to really like the color scheme I came up with for this guy so I set to painting him. I was later derailed by a shiny object, so he was never finished until now.

Like all the Bones minis I've dealt with, he's kinda bendy (particularly that arm & wand) and the details suffer a bit, like the nose. I tried to compensate with a bit of shading.  All told a decent start to my month.

More tonight as soon as I have time to post today's mini.