Friday, February 27, 2015

Night Wolves commission: Logan Grimnar

My regular customer, Rhapsody, approached me last year about painting a new Logan Grimnar for his Night Wolves army (sans Rocket-Sled). I said yes, since I'd wanted to paint one since I first saw the model, but had no interest in paying that much for a mini I'd never use.

I got the mini a while later and holy crap was he detailed. It's easily the most intricately modeled mini I've ever been paid to paint. Rhapsody always preps minis before he gives them to me, and the only things he doesn't glue are bits that would make it difficult to paint the nooks and crannies. This usually means a mini will show up in two pieces. Grimnar here showed up in five. I wasn't even able to start assembling him until I was 90% done.
I knew this would be a visually busy model, so I did my best to limit the palette. The armor was either blue, or brass, the fur all had a base of Stormvermin Grey, etc. To make sure Grimnar's head stood out amongst the rest of the details I made sure his hair was the only area of pure white on the mini. Ideally this will draw attention back to the head, and differentiate it from the rest of the fur.

There were several entertaining details to this guy. The chest armor has a nice embossed scene of a trio of stars and a wolf, but it's almost completely obscured by the necklace he wears. One of the areas I wish I'd spent more time was the axe blades. My goal was to create a kind of marbled red glow, but I think I kept it too dark at the surface cracks don't read well.

Here are a few other Long Fangs I painted alongside Logan. They're done a lot faster, both because they're far smaller and less detailed, and because they just need to look good at arm's length. They're decent, but Logan Grimnar is the centerpiece of the army.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Bloodthirster leaks

Everyone has seen the Bloodthirs3ter White Dwarf cover by now, but this morning has delivered photos of the three Bloodthirster variants. According to Faeit 212 they'll be $116, which is pretty steep, but it is a pretty large piece.

There isn't a Skarbrand option, but it'd be easy to convert one, although you'd have to destroy a perfectly nice pair of wings (greenstuffing them might be more cost effective), and swap an axe into one of the whip hands.

The Unfettered Fury variant is probably the closest to the traditional thirster we think of. Horned head, wings, axe, and whip.
I'm curious about the model's balance. I've noticed two versions use the flame-trail foot, while the Unfettered Fury appreas to be directly on the base.
 I like The Wrath of Khorne in part because the head is clearly a throwback to both the classic Bloodthirster, and the old Hero Quest Gargoyle.

The newest variety is the Insensate Rage thirster.  It reminds me a bit of the Doom Bull.

It looks like a pretty good kit. There will be plenty of neat leftover bits. I'm not totally sure how useable some of the bits will be, due to the sheer size of the mini though. I be it'd be great to convert a Chaos Knight though. I'm looking forward to seeing what others are able to do with it.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Rant: Bring on the Sisters

I don't typically traffic in rumors, but the recent suggestion on a Summer campaign featuring Adeptas Sororitas & Tzeentch has me excited.

To date, I have collected about seven armies worth of Warhammer miniatures. I've only played seven games in the last year, so that's a lot if expensive models that are just sitting on shelves. It's also enough minis to make it tough to justify buying new armies. For instance, I really like the look if the new Harlequins, but I just can't rationalize buying a whole allied force. (I'll still probably buy the Solitaire & Shadowseer though)

That being said, I'll make an exception for Sisters of Battle.
Years ago I decided I wouldn't buy another army unless it was Sisters. I've always had a soft spot for the bolter broads. They have a neat back story, and a fun Gothic aesthetic, but I've always held back from starting a force due to their expensive old models and poor rules. If the rumors are true, and they receive a new codex & plastic boxes I'll drop $170 sight-unseen just for starters.

The Adeptas Sororitas haven't had their own codex, or a decent mini release, for over a decade, so I'd like to think they're due for a revival. They've been around since 2nd edition so it seems odd that space-elf ninja clowns got their own codex before women with guns.
Maybe we'd even get to see a mini of the Adeptas Familias (far left)

It has been suggested that they're a low priority for GW since they don't sell well. This strikes me as a silly argument since GW really hasn't really marketed them for years. No physical codex, no new minis to draw attention to the line, and just the barest amount of fluff support. The same was said about Dark Eldar before their meteoric rise following their rebuild.  It's also been noted that they're one of the most mistreated and abused factions in the fluff.

I don't believe they need a huge release. The way I see it they could get away with a Grey Knight treatment. Sisters, Celestians, Dominions, and Retributors could all fit into a single box (I'd guess 10 for $60), while Seraphim and Repentia would probably need their own. Throw in a plastic Exorcist and few plastic characters (like a Canoness and Priest) and you're set.

tl;dr, I hope GW gives Sisters of Battle a  so I can throw my money at them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reaper Bones kickstarter received

It's been said that when a mini painter has run out of minis to paint he will die.

If that's true, this photo is proof that I am now Immortal.
That's 175 miniatures from the Bones II kickstarter.

Last night I got home from work to find this in my house. I knew it was in transit, but I really wasn't expecting it, since it was a national holiday, and the postal service doesn't deliver. They must've used FedEx or UPS.
Either way, I was eager to break into my box.
Beneath the packing material you can see a box, the Core set, containing about 150 minis. Underneath that is a carrying case I purchased as an add on for $30. The case only carries 36 minis (24 standard sized minis, and 12 large) but it'll be easy to shape foam to fit whatever I need in the future. Outside of the core box the various mini add ons were loose inside, although they were packed in their own individual plastic bags.
The three large bags are the core set, while everything below are add ons.

I bought a handful of add on minis, but the biggest was Narthrax. (in the open box picture above you can see I was overeager, and opened his bag before I thought to take a photo)
While most of the minis were pre-assembled & glued, the add-ons were left in bits. The dragon was still pretty easy to snap together though.

Upon first inspection I thought they'd modified their plastic recipe. Several miniatures seemed more resistant to moving & bending. This wasn't consistent throughout the box though. Some, like the mummies, even seemed bendier than other Bones minis I experienced. Mold lines were hit-or-miss. Most of the models seemed alright with a few exceptions: the dragon hatchling minis lack almost all detail, and the Dub Bullock mini looks like the molds were a bit offset. Overall these are small nitpicks on what is a decent product.

I'm sure you'll see more of these minis in the future.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Chaos Leaks: New Bloodthirster & Khorne minis for Endtimes

Hot off the presses, the web is buzzing with new images from Endtimes: Archaon:
 I photoshopped this a little, since whoever took the picture had the page under a light that added a blue cast. It's not perfect, but it's a bit better.

Aside from the Bloodthirster on the right of the photo you can also see a few new minis in the foreground. These have been ID'd as the new Skullreapers and Wrathmongers, similar to the Blight Kings we saw come out of the Glottkin release.

According to the rumors, the Bloodthirster will have 3 variants. Although, supposedly, none of them are Skarbrand.

I really like the size and pose of the Thirster. He's clearly flying, or leaping, which is fun and dynamic. He strike a stunning figure on the tabletop, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the variants. I can see a lot of conversions coming out of this guy too (I'm already thinking about a Cygor head-swap).

I am kind of on the fence about the wings. The ridged texture of the membrane seems really busy, and potentially distracting.

Either way, I was happy to wake up to these leaks, & I'm looking forward to more in the coming weeks.


BTW, a bit of rumor-mongering: The photo of mist-covered battlefield has some people believing the models have circular bases. I guess we'll see once the next leaks come out.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Painting Competition: Valentine's Orcs

It's been a while, but I'm back.

I've been keeping pretty busy lately, although little of that time has been spent painting. Between holidays, birthdays, work, family (including potty training twins), and life in general, my gaming has been pushed from the back-burner to the warming tray.

Now that we're back into the year I should be able to dedicate more of my evenings to laying paint on primer. I've been steadily working on a few more Night Wolves for a buddy of mine, but that'll be a separate post.

Most recently, I completed Holiday-themed competition mini. I had something big planned for this year's contest, but it totally fell through about a week before the deadline. Instead of throwing in the towel I brainstormed a completely different concept, built, modeled, primed, and painted it before the Saturday due date.

Here it is:

modeling notes:
* The orc is almost completely unmodified. All I did is replace the usual banner pole with a bit of PVC pipe I'd melted into a curve.
* It turned out shaping a tiny hollow bit of pvc is a lot harder than you'd think. because it's hollow it wanted to bend in a single location rather than a whole curve. I used a candle and moved the pvc over it in smooth motions, bending it a little at a time until it took shape.
 * "Da Kissin Boof" is wrought from a single Haagen Dazs popsicle stick. The night before the mini was due I realized it had some balancing issues, so I created the booth to keep it from falling over all the time. I would've liked to make it a bit bigger, but I only had one stumpy stick to work with.
 * To give the booth a little extra support I attached it to a small piece of movement tray.
* The rope is greenstuff wrapped around a paperclip. I don't think it turned out very well, but I didn't want to do it again.
* The goblin's "wings" are just a bird familiar from the Reaper Bones line. I wanted it to look like they'd just strapped a bird of the goblin's back. I also tried to paint in a few places where the panicked bird had "relieved" itself.
* The rightmost portion of the Goblin's cloak is greenstuff. The feet were in the wrong position and it looked unbalanced when I first put it in place. His right shoe is just a piece of sprue I whittled down & stuck in place.