Monday 6 February 2017

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Hi all, yes, as you might have gathered from the title of the blog post, this is something of a farewell. Not a complete one, don't worry, I'm just moving blogging house from here to the Beard Bunker. Maybe I should explain, and to prevent this being tedious, I'll do so in the manner of a clip show with some of my favourite pictures of a sort of representative sample of my work sprinkled throughout.

So why am I off to pastures, well, not new, just different? Well, there are a number of reasons. First and foremost, the reason this particular blog existed was to promote a business that no longer exists. I don't make my primary living painting little mans any more. So there's that. I'd have a personal blog studded with older, paid work and... it would just not quite gel. There's also the fact that I simply won't be able to post as often any more and thus the blog would sort of diminish, and go into the west, and remain Galadr... wait, that's not right is it?

Seriously though, I'd rather just call time on this than watch something I spent so much of my life involved with diminish gradually. Instead, I can be a part of an awesome site run by a bunch of people (the gaming group who I've mentioned many times) and thus capable of more regular material. A growing body of work instead of a diminishing one. That's nice. Plus, they're me mates and we egg each other on a lot so being off to one side on my old blog seemed a bit stand offish. I want in with the cool kids damnit!

I had thought to expand the tutorial side of things here. Of all the work I have done on PVP, it is the tutorials that I am most proud of. Sadly, they are also the things that take the most time and PVP is no longer providing money to the cause. I still work for myself, so all the time I take out of actual work to do tutorials is money I'm costing myself. I have a visceral dislike for advertising and while my style is popular with a slice of the hobby community, it's nowhere near popular enough to sustain a Patreon or something similar. So that wasn't really going to work either. I may come back to tutorials at some stage in the future but they'd likely be on YouTube or something rather than in text. I am, of course, going to leave this blog up as the work I'm proud of is still there! I just think I need to step back and be a bit more "hey world, this is my hobby" rather than doing as much as I was. Another advantage of the community blog.

Then there's tone. This page, while occasionally jokey, tends to the attempt at a veneer of professionalism. I think I'd rather leave that where it is and go to the more free-wheeling Beard Bunker for a change in tone rather than having a rather dramatic left turn on the longer running blog.

Lastly, and this is the thing I really want to happen: They really deserve your attention. They're a wonderful bunch of people with a wide variety of skills. The content is varied, some of the painting is waaay better than mine, there's a bunch of gaming content, story world stuff and general hobby shenanigans. In the last week we've had Maisey posting pictures of his Frostgrave warband:

And Charlie showing off his latest scenic creation in the form of another Tabletop World building:

And I'll be sticking up my next finished work (probably Frostgrave) very soon. 

It's been a wonderful six and a half years y'guys. And it's not over yet by a long, long way. I want to take you all with me and continue to enjoy what I put out and interacting with you (which we're better at on Beard Bunker for some reason, more chatty style I guess). Here's to another six years of bunker dwelling.

Farewell, and may your dice ever roll high and your brushes never split. 

Best regards


Sunday 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas Everyone

source: WolfSkullJack
A very merry Christmas and adjacent holidays to you all. May 2017 treat us all a little kinder.

Friday 23 December 2016

Frostgrave: Two more for the Frozen City

Hi folks! In a change to our scheduled programming we're taking a seasonal plunge into winter cold and fantastical locations. Yep, we're back in Frostgrave.

This time I'm bringing a knight and an archer to the party. I decided to keep the Dark Age feel going with the knight and realised that a repurposed Rohan captain would pass muster. I always wanted a mix of fantasy races in the warband so another LOTR figure - the dwarf with the deformed eye - joined up as well. Let's start with him.

In addition to a mix of races, I wanted the warband to have a rag-tag feel rather than a complete mercenary company with uniforms. As a result I'm just choosing whatever colours that I think will suit the model. In this case, green would stand out nicely against the more russet knight and the tartan infantryman already. The pale under-tunic is stone grey which I also used to highlight the green. Helps tie the colours together and gives the whole model a consistent tone.

The knight needed a bit of thought. With the horses on the shield, I needed to stay a long way away from the greens of most of Rohan. Decided that reds and russet browns would be my go-to on the knight. Vallejo Hull Red made a really, really nice russet brown for the cloak, shading with carroburg crimson, over-highlighting with a bit of bone and then knocking back to red-brown with a mix of chestnut and red inks. It's not quite as shiny as it seems. Sadly, I've got to wait for better weather to get some dullcote on there. The rest of the model pretty much used all the brown tones I usually have lying around. The end result, a nice, muted knight, not flashy, a "professional".

With those two - fairly quick - paintjobs done, my warband is almost 50% complete. Three out of seven (well, 11 if you include the zombie and three demons I need to paint) is an agreeable bit of progress. More soon! Until then.


Thursday 15 December 2016

The Future Belongs to the Mad

Hi folks, yes, the Fury Road reference in the title means that it is our fourth and final vehicle in the Post Apocalyptic car commission.

This one, with it's girt hench engine, I decided was the personal transport of some important gang member and thus has nicer paint and less damage than the others. It can outrun anything else on the road so sees less combat... or something.

I'll be honest, I think this one is the weakest construction of the four. I was trying to get a Zinge engine designed to replace ork trucks (approximate scale 1/35) into a 1/43 scale vehicle. It was just farcically vast and simply would not fit in any satisfying way. Eventually I broke out my post apocalyptic scrap mechanic head and figured a cut-and-shut job on the front would "work". I added an extra set of wheels mainly to hide gaps and did some welded on plates to stabilise the build. Unfortunately I just don't have the scratch building chops to do what I could see in my head so this had to do. Some Russian submachine guns in the headlamps and a random bit of stowage helped the overall effect.

The only classic car colour I hadn't really used is that lovely red that you see on Morse's car. Finding that shade can be tricky but thankfully there is a paint that fits the bill and is good for this one job. Vallejo Model Colour "Red". Just "Red". Nothing else. It's a horrible paint that dries very different to the colour in the bottle and is very, very shiny. I've found no other use for it (it came in a multipack)... but for this, it was perfect. So as usual I rusted the hell out of the car, put the red on and was feeling good.

I decided that the business end needed some fancification, plus, the steel plates down the side needed to be linked to the rest of the build. Black flames that lap over the plates seemed to fit the bill. The tarpaulin on the top gave me some pause. Initially, I thought to have one of those cheap blue jobs, but the blue would have looked horrible against the rest of the scheme. So a camo tarp like you see on survivalist webpages worked better.

And here they all are. I've enjoyed this project, been a lot of fun to flex my converting muscles and with Fury Road being one of my favourite films of the last ten years it's inspired me a bit. I'll almost certainly return to a post apocalyptic setting at some point. I think I want a gang of road warriors of my very own some day. But for now, that's that. Final few Shadows of Brimstone models up soon. Until then


Tuesday 6 December 2016

Shadows of Brimstone: Part Four

Hello there happy people, we're back with another whistle stop tour of progress on the Shadows of Brimstone commission!

It's going to be a bit whistle-stop because these were (with the exception of the scout) some of the, how to put this politely, less exceptional sculpts... So I don't have a huge amount to say. These were all either possessing odd proportions or strange fabric flows, some had anatomy problems, most had disappearing details (belts that start on one side and vanish on the other). There's only so much you can do with that sort of thing, so here we are.

We'll start with the best of the bunch. The scout (who I could not get properly in focus, rackum frackum grr) was the nicer of the four, although even she had a levitating rifle necessitating a rock under it and a face that was way more "standard white girl" than Native American. Using this as another occasion to play with my skin tones palette, I checked some references and set to. Given that "tanned but rosy" would be how I would describe the average tone, Bugman's Glow seemed the ideal starting point. This was shaded down with Reikland Fleshshade and then highlighted with increasing amounts of Cadian Fleshtone with a dash of Kislev Flesh for the final highlights. Then I glazed it back down with a thinned Seraphim Sepia. The buckskin clothing was various sand tones and I finished her off with the details from the picture on the card, warpaint, belt etc.

The gunslinger was another "alright" model, face was a bit weird, eyes almost missing. This one was painted to match the card and as a result doesn't work quite as well as a miniature, because artists can choose how their paintings are lit it doesn't matter if you have dark hair, dark hat, dark jacket. It all just works. With a miniature, you'd normally want to change up the tone a little, have some contrast breaks in the overall effect. She looks fine in person, you can see all the changes in which black I'm using, in photography? Not so much.

The Marshal is pretty much a twin of her sister model from back in part one. Just with physics defying coat added. Seriously sculptors. Look at the hair, look at the coat, look at the hair, answer me what is wrong with that picture... Again, colours from the card but this time a bit more mini-friendly!

This last one, the outlaw, I'm including for a sense of completeness, do not like this one at all, bizarre sculpted coat (although at least hair is normal), eyes in the wrong place on the head (nothing I could do about that). The only one of the whole lot of models I just have to say: Bad about. Considering the amount of complaining I've seen about the models online I'm surprised she's the only one. I will say that the casting is not great on a lot of them - the six that are last all have holes in really critical locations, one on the face and all need sculpting to fix - but people seem to be grumbling about the sculpts when it is the cheap casting that's at fault. Except for the outlaw. She's just bad. End of grumble.

Sorry this one seems grumpy, this batch has been somewhat trying so finding nice things to say can be tough. Promise I'll be cheerier next time! Until then.


Friday 25 November 2016

Die Historic on the Fury Road!

It's that time again! Spray yourself chrome and jam the pedal to the metal. It's more Mad Max-esque stuff:

This time we're going for something a little bit more ponderous in appearance. The "breacher", as I've been calling it, is built for all terrain grunt rather than top speed. I like the idea of it being a blocking vehicle or slamming through an enemy's fortifications while the turret gunner keeps them pinned down.

As with all the rest, this starts with an elderly 1:43 kit, a Peugeot this time I think, and some Zinge tracks. I made a frame of thick plasticard rods to replace the axles and attach the tracks to. I had to cut away some of the lower parts of the bodywork to allow the tracks to fit in, likewise, the bonnet needed a hole in it to make the engine fit. I chopped out the boot space and replaced it with a big ol' oil drum in order to make it seem like a fuel-hungry engine was involved in hauling the tracks along. A sort of turret-ey thing with a soviet machine gun and a bit of bent armour plating for an improvised dozer blade finished it off.

The Mad Max series of models has all started the same way, solid layer of rust to begin with, then layer on other colour where it needs it. Here, I decided that a bottle green would go well with the overall tone of the vehicle. I threw a few splashes of colour with the red of the fuel drum and the yellow dozer blade but for the most part? Rust. The interiors are all decked out in various shades of interior trim that seem to fit the era of vehicle.

Speaking of the dozer blade, I figured some sort of road sign-age would help the post-apoc looking cause. I believe these are going to be doing multi-duty across a range of culty type options, including in 40k. So I couldn't do - for example - a big ol' motorway signs for Leigh Delamere services or anything. A "Diversion" sign in a fairly straightforward yellow and black felt pretty universal. I scratched the hell out of it with sponge chipping and then drabbed it further with the dust and dirt so the yellow could be strong without dominating. Worked ok I think.

As usual, the weathering for these was layers and layers of Kursk Earth enamel weathering paint stippled and feathered out to make it seem realistically grimy. Of course, the camera lights eat most of the lovely subtle effect (these all look bang tidy in the flesh) but there's enough left to see how filthy the whole thing is.

Just one more of these to go and the quartet is complete. More Shadows of Brimstone next week though. Until then


Tuesday 22 November 2016

Shadows of Brimstone: Part Three

Somewhat belatedly (I've been ill, some kind of ear/lung-murder-virus thing) we return to the weird world of Brimstone and a pair of likely lads from rather opposing ends of the socio-economic spectrum:

Yep, today it's the turn of the Doctor (for whom I could not find visual reference for love nor money so I just went for it) and the Male Prospector. They kind of represent opposing ends of the sculpting quality in Brimstone, because the prospector - for all that his proportions are a bit weird - is a nice model. He's got lots of nice details and works well. The doctor is... ok. Unfortunately "ok" is the best most of the models come in at. They're mostly single piece and so occasionally suffer as a result of slightly unimaginative posing, or in the case of the doctor, a slightly weird element. In this case, his hair. The detail is also a little soft on that one but otherwise. Not terrible. Lets start with him.

The doctor is the companion piece to the nurse we featured in part one. Quite a few of the Brimstone models have both genders represented, which is nice. For this chap, there wasn't a whole lot to consider, I figured a basically brown tone would work and used a tan yellow waistcoat to both fit with the tone and also contrast the darker brown bits. I'm happier with the battered leather look on the gladstone bag this time. I went for a much lighter brown on the scuffs and it worked nicely. The glasses were a frustration. It's almost impossible to freehand the eyes in there to make them look like actual glasses so you're left with Django style shades. There's a reason not many models have glasses, there a swine to paint to look like plain glass lenses. Otherwise, he's fairly unremarkable.

The prospector was a lot more fun. I realised he's supposed to be wearing a sort of lumberjack shirt waaay too late and painted him with those red/pink longjohns on under his much-patched denim. He's got a ton of little details - the frying pan is really nice - and he looks exactly how you'd expect an itinerant prospector looking for claims in creek beds and the like to look. I think only a gold pan would have improved him but you could successfully claim the frying pan can do double duty. I actually all but finished this guy before I got sick so unfortunately the exact mixes have been forgotten. But he's a nice model!

That's all for today. More shinies soon