Monday, 28 December 2015

Harlequins Progress so far

So, I decided as part of a sort of "tale of (insert whatever) gamers" project here to start Harlequins as an army for 40k.  I've spoken about how they were my first army, I've waxed lyrical about the nostalgia part of painting them, and I've even shown a test model.  Well, as we come to the end of the first month, I thought that I would show the outcome of the first months work (well, nearly, I have 3 days left)

Troupe Master
This is the Troupe Master for the first unit.  Neuro Disrupter and harlequin caress.

As you can see, the rest of the Troupe stuck pretty much to the test pieces colour scheme, with the green and purple halves with yellow and gold accents and black gloves and shoes.  I've stuck with the bone masks despite some ideas regarding making them a more standout colour, as I think a little the contrast with the red in gems etc works ok.  The Shadow Seer, in contrast, will have a completely black mask, at least for the first one I am painting.

 The work so far on the Skyweavers.  These are almost finished, except for some work on the gemstones, and, of course, the riders, who are in progress as we speak.

So that means that I have to finish the crews for the bikes, and the Shadow Seer to make my 1st months commitment.  When I achieve that, I will then move onto month 2, where I will have to decide if I want a gunship or a transport as my first vehicle, and then add some more Skyweavers.  I also need to do some final work on the Batpod for BMG that I said I would do for the manager of the FLGS.

As ever, I would be most interested to hear thoughts, opinions, ideas etc.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Harlequin Test Piece

So, I have finally completed the test piece for my Harlequin colour scheme.  I am fairly happy with the colours, and I think that the green, purple and yellow work together.  I have always painted my Eldar as if they have bone weapons and equipment, and that is not going to change.  I like the idea of weapons grown from wraithbone, and I like the effect.

The bone itself may need another highlight, but given that the initial goal is to get these table ready within a time limit, this will do for now.  I am considering making a set of terrain to go with these, red desert bases with lots of towering wraithbone arches and the like.
Any comments and criticisms are very very welcome.  The plan is that the Troupe Masters will have increased amounts of detailing and patterning on their outfits to mark them out.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

A Tale of NextLVL Gamers Month 1

So, as my previous post discussed, we have started a hobby challenge.  So, for the first month, I have purchased, all from LVL Up in Bournemouth,

I thought long and hard about what force to take for this.  For months I have been thinking about trying to start a 40k army, and debated whether I should or not.  I don't actually PLAY 40k at the moment, and my last few experiences of it some time ago were fairly negative, such that I was put off of trying it in future.  I read a lot of news sites, and there is always someone talking about the latest super army.  I don't even know what my local Meta is like, but I do know that I hate games where I might as well not have bothered turning up because I am so outclassed by the forces opposed to me.  I also know that I abhor painting units of models.
Nevertheless, I have been looking longingly at some of the models.  When I was 11 or 12, I got some toy soldiers from my parents.  I already had the Space Marine boxed game, but, of course, everyone I knew was playing 40k instead.  So, one day, I took a long trip up to central London with my Dad, and we went to the Virgin Megastore.  This was back in the day when Virgin Megastore actually stocked roleplaying games, and, from there, was purchased one Eldar Guardians box set, and one of the original Harlequin Boxes.  Of course, I had no rules for these (all I had at the time was a copy of Rogue Trader, purchased whilst I was on Holiday in Derbyshire, on a visit to Nottingham where I was also given my first copies of AD&D by my Uncle Robert and Aunt Margaret).  But eventually, I ended up with the rules, and the Harlequins were my first 40K army, and remained my ONLY army until I got the 2nd Ed starter set and decided to play Orks.  (at a grand opening of the Romford Store, not long after I passed my GCSE's)

So, for all sorts of nostalgic reasons, I want a Harlequin army, and this gives me a reason.  I have no idea what they play like, and they may never make it to the battlefield.  But, they should provide a pretty, force, and a link back to my past.

For Month One, I have purchased

Harlequin Troupe Box Set
Harlequin ShadowSeer
Harlequin Jet Bike Box Set.

So far, I have assembled and undercoated the infantry from the boxes.  The jetbikes will be my reward for finishing painting the normal troupe members.

A Tale of NextLVL Gamers

So, following a random comment on the Facebook by the owner of our FLGS, I agreed/decided/went ahead and organised a challenge based around the Tale of Four Gamers that has been done originally in White Dwarf.  I know it's not original, I know that at any time there are hundreds of these running on blogs all over the internet, but this one is ours, and should be a good way to motivate the few of us that were interested to paint some models and have some fun.  We decided that we weren't going to limit ourselves to one system, and so we have people signed up for 40K, DZC, and Batman.  Its still in its infancy, but at least we have a challenge.  The rules are below.


A hobby challenge for all of us.

Objective - Some friendly competition amongst a group of players aiming to build some forces for tabletop games.

Plan - Starting with a force of up to £50 value, unpainted (but may be assembled), and increasing it by £25 worth of models each month, aiming to have completed each section by the time the month ends.  If your force is worth more than that months value for some reason (starter boxes costing more, etc), you can spread it over several months, and get all of the points available when you complete it.  At the end of the period, we shall see who has the most points - and thus bragging rights.


1-Participation - have purchased/added £25 of models in a month 
2-Preparation - Models are assembled/undercoated
3-Painting - All of the models in that months section are painted
1-Playing - Each game you play with a force made up of that months models (ideally alone, or as part of a larger force) Max 3 per month
1-Posting - Each blog post/facebook post/engraving on stone tablets about your models and your progress (Maximum of 2 per month)
1-Pictures - Each one of the above gains you an extra point if there are pictures to support it (Max 2/month)
2-Player Choice - Each month, we could have a vote as to who's force is currently your favourite, be it best designed, best painted, whatever (we could change it each month)

This means that there are a maximum of 15 points per month available.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Killer Frost

So, I finished up my Killer Frost.  This was completed for the manager of my FLGS, with a view to him paying me a small amount in compensation, the first time anyone has ever paid me to paint anything.  Not sure how I feel about this, as I love painting (however badly) and this gives me the oppportunity to paint something completely different.  So, without further ado, some pictures.

Currently, on the desk either in progress or waiting to be started, in no particular order are
The Lone Swordsman, and two Thunder Archers for Malifaux
Batpod (half assembled, and needing a lot of cleanup and figuring out where the handlebars actually fit) plus Jokers daughter, catwoman, and a wonderland crew
A surprise present for someone who shall remain nameless, and be a bit shocked when they get it (I hope)
The first in what will hopefully be a new project (a modern Infinity/Batman table).  My first scratchbuilt building for a while.

Any comments on the models painted, or what I should do next most welcome.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Finished Green Arrow

So I finished the Green Arrow that I was painting for my local FLGS (LVL UP) manager.  At his request, the base was left undecorated and unpainted so that he can match it to the crew that he already has.  Of interest, it was finished and I am told that he is going to be using it in his game of shifting loyalties tonight.

I'm quite pleased with the way this turned out, and it seems like Marcus was pleased with it as well.  Next up, is finishing the Killer Frost pictured before, and then starting work on a Wonderland Gang.

    I've changed some of how I am working whilst I was using this.  I have taken to using "wet" water (water with a tiny amount of washing up liquid to break up the surface tension) for diluting paints.  I THINK that  this is helping, but how much is the placebo effect, I can't honestly say.
    I have also just got some brush cleaner.  Cheap stuff from Hobbycraft, but its interesting to see already how much colour it gets out of brushes I previously thought were clean.
    The upshot of all of this is, of course, that I now have up to 4 open containers of fluid on my desk at one time (Wet water, water for pre brush cleaner cleaning of brushes, brush cleaner, and water for post brush cleaner rinsing).  This does make me a little nervous, given that my desk sits above my PC.

Tomorrow night is the Vampire:The Masquerade game that I run at the local store.  Hopefully, should be fun, and usually inspires me to do a little more painting when I get home.  Until then, its Mass Effect 2 and finishing Killer Frost.

As ever, comments and suggestions are more than welcome (I should be so lucky)

Sunday, 15 November 2015

(Not) Batman

So my painting has been a little bit slowed down by work being busy, early nights, and starting to play through the Mass Effect series of games again.  I've mostly been working on Killer Frost and Green Arrow.

Killer Frost continues my theme of Batman models that appeal to me from an aesthetic point of view.  I don't play the game, and therefore my choices are purely based on what I feel like painting.  

    I started the process by cleaning up the model, assembling it  and undercoating it with Army Painter White Spray.  I don't know whether it is that I have gotten too used to plastics, or the high quality of Wyrd Models, but I am finding that the casting quality on these, in particular misaligned molds and flash to be quite bad.  Once it was cleaned up enough to pass, I then Washed the whole thing with Gulliman Blue, since I have found that these models benefit from a guide coat of paint to help pick out the details from the white undercoat.  The skin was then base coated with Genestealer Purple, in several thin coats, before being washed with Druchi Violet.
The skin was then worked up adding more and more White scar to the mix and blending it in, until I was happy with the result, which looks smoother in person than it does in the photo.  The final step with her so far has been to use Teclis Blue to paint the fabric, which has again been highlighted up, not shown.
The other model that has occupied my time is a first for me.  I have agreed to paint Green Arrow for the manager of my FLGS.  Its the first time I have done this, where I have had no input in which model I am going to paint. So far, it is progressing reasonably well, with the skin and the undersuit done, and the base colour down on the armour.  I've experimented with trying to shade the dark green with red, and it seems to have given the result I am hoping for, and will hopefully give some contrast to the brighter green parts.  Anyway, some photos of the progress to date.

 As always, any thoughts are more than welcome

Monday, 2 November 2015

Harley Quinn

So, today, as well as finishing off my Torakage, I have been working on my Harley Quinn for the Batman Miniature Game.  I should say in advance, that I don't play this, this is purely a painting project.  There are photos of my Poison Ivy for the same game elsewhere on the blog.
  I started off by assembling the miniature, and then the whole thing was given a wash of seraphim sepia for the purposes of allowing me to see detail more easily.

  After that, the skin was worked up from Kislev Flesh with a reikland Flesh wash, and then a couple of highlights layered on.  This was then over painted with a mix of White Scar and Lahmian Medium to provide the face paint.  Eyes and Lips were painted with a mix of the appropriate colour and the white glaze.

Following this, I then started work on the red on her outfit. This was basecoated with Mephiston Red, washed with Carroburg Crimson, and then highlighted using mixes of the following plus Lahmian Medium  to the consistency of almost glazes.  These were worked from Mephiston Red, through Evil Sunz Scarlet, and then with a very final edge using the above plus White Scar added.  In the following photo, this looks quite pink, but in the flesh, the pinkness is less pronounced and it looks an awful lot better.
 Following finishing the red, I have now got to a point where I am starting on the black.  This has been base coated with Army painter Matt Black, my new favourite black paint.  I have to say that this is where I have stopped, knowing that I am both awful at, and hate highlighting black without making it too grey.  To that end, I shall sleep upon it, and then decide how to proceed tomorrow.  Any ideas on the best way to highlight the black up of course are gratefully received.

I should add, that much of my inspiration for actually getting around to painting this has come from reading this blog.  I sincerely hope he doesn't mind me linking to him, and if he does, please let me know and I will take it down.  His amazing paint job led me to finally get up the courage to have a go at this model myself.

Finally, it would be remiss if I didn't include a photo of the other models I finished today.  My Torakage.  I have to confess that I didn't enjoy building these, and I haven't enjoyed painting them.  Still, the progress my campaign to paint all of the available 10 Thunders models for Malifaux.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Quick Update

Just a quick picture of my Shang, for my 10 Thunders...Not sure how happy I am with it, and any comments on improving it are welcome.

I'm also working on a Harley, as part of my, "Paint the Batman models that appeal" challenge.  Got the 1st highlight on the skin, and the makeup painted tonight.  White mixed with Lahmian medium, and then applied over an already highlighted face.  Then that mix added to the black and the red for lips and eyes.  Again, thoughts and ideas welcome

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Here Doggy...

Been working on my Komainu.  I bought these as part of the Gencon pre release, and didn't check them after they arrived.  When I got to open them, I found that one of them had a piece of the head missing, and that the body piece was warped.  A quick e-mail via the website, and replacements are on their way.  I can't speak highly enough of the Wyrd customer service.

Actual model is painted, and I am not sure whether to base on my usual 10 thunders bases, or to try and add a pillar for them to sit atop.  Either way, I'm pleased with the variety of metals that I have managed to get on the models.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Low River Monks

Well, after a long period of no posts, I seem to have got the urge back to post pictures of what I have painted.  I have completed my Monks of Low River for Malifaux.  Not terribly exciting to paint, but I think that I have done a reasonable job.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Mysteries of the East

Well, I've not posted very much recently, although there has been painting.  I even managed to play a game of Malifaux (Unusual, as the RPG campaign eats most of my hobby time at the moment)

Anyway, some pictures of my Shenlong crew so far, for what its worth.  Experimenting with medium and glazes to highlight the orange, and pretty pleased with the results.

Still to come are the monks of Low River, 2 more Thunder Archers, 2 Katanaka Snipers, and the Lone Swordsman.  Then I can think about opening and building the other 10 Thunders masters to add to the crew.  Possibly starting with some Moon Shinobi.....

The whole crew

2 Peasants, Sensei Yu, Shenlong

Thunder Archer

Monks of High River

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Punk Zombies and Widows

Some of the most recent things off the paint desk.  The Punk Zombies which I finished off so that they could go with my Yan-Lo Crew, thematically at least.

The Widow Weaver was already painted, but needed a new base.  Since she will fit with lots of my crews, she go to go here.

This is not all I have painted since the last post, but I am trying to get my next project finished, or at least playable, so I can post them all in one fell swoop.

Comments always welcome.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Playing Malifaux

Got to get in a game of Malifaux on Tuesday last week against David at LVL UP FLGS.  His second game, and I've not played that much, so it was a bit of a learning experience.  35SS, and mostly based around the starter boxes.

It was a fun game, played on my Malifaux table, currently on loan to the store, and painted by the long suffering girl.  I was supposed to take photos, but completely forgot after the first turn.

I won, but it was close, and I think that if David had had a few more of he models that made his Somer crew work (Slop haulers were mourned for their lack repeatedly) and played a little more for the objectives it would have been very different. Still, we both learned some more of the system.

I fielded
Victoria - Of Blood and Of Ashes
3 Ronin

All of this has led to me having the Malifaux painting bug again.  I'm currently working on my Lilith crew to go with the Tuco I painted, (pictures to follow), and some Punk Zombies to go with my Yan-Lo crew.  the next plan is a Kaeris crew, based around Oxfordian mages and possibly some rail crew.

Monday, 15 June 2015

More Shaltari and the Fear!

Not that much to report on the hobby front since my last post.  I have finished painting the next batch of my Shaltari, and I have assembled my Stormwall for Warmachine.  I have also had some ideas for finishing off the Cherub from Malifaux.

Before we go any further, I should say that Hawk Wargames customer service is at least as good as Privateer Press's (And we all know that I love their customer service)  Emailed I was missing the turret for a Yari.  Got a replacement part within days.  Granted it was the wrong part, but it arrived.  Quick email back.   Hours later, got a reply.  Correct part is on the way.  That's what I call service.

These Shaltari are, again, a case of the simplest effective paint scheme I can come up with.  2 Coats of base, followed by wash and drybrush, and then the purple (base and wash) and finally the black.  They are only 10mm scale, and so, while they are not works of art, they work at the sort of viewing distances I am expecting.  I only have two small flyers to paint to finish this batch, and 4 bases of infantry to detail.  Overall, its been nice to have a project that has a definite end, that I can dig my teeth into, paint, and finish.  I think that part of my problems with making hobby progress is the crate of stuff for each system sat on the shelf.  It makes it daunting to start, and when I get bored, I can just swap projects.  With this, I had an acceptable amount, a definite end, and it worked really well.

The Stormwall is one of those projects that has been sitting part started on my shelf for absolutely ages.  Its a fear project.  I am sure that everyone has one, one of those projects that, for whatever reason, we are afraid to proceed with.  Be it the Stormwall and Storm Strider (Now done) where I am scared because they are expensive models that I don't want to mess up, or the Iron Kingdom Starks, where I am afraid because they deserve a better paintjob than I think I will achieve, and they were bought for me by someone I love very much (Thanks Lisa), or even the ones where you fear the boring that will come with them (Painting big units of trolls, or Storm Knights, or, well any unit of more than about 3 models really at the moment) they are there, and they loom.  They can even make me feel guilty, because every other project I do is NOT DOING THEM!  Still, assembly done, undercoating pencilled in for tomorrow.  I know that once I get to the getting started phase, I'm usually pretty good at the finishing them.