Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Pre-Heresy World Eaters (Take 2!)

For those who are regular readers yesterdays post was essentially a grumble about bad light, hooray and hosannah Cardiff weather listened! We have lovely sunshine today so here are much, much better pictures and no whinging at all! Hurrah!

These are pre-Heresy colour scheme World Eater Berserkers commissioned to be absolutely smeared in gore and blood. As usual the client did all the assembly, posing etc I just painted. These models make use of the fabulous Forge World Khorne Berserker torsos and heads. Having painted both the basic plastic versions and now these I cannot reccomend the resin parts highly enough. They are laden with character and savagery and really made these models. So, on with the show!

Here they are, pre-gore. The picture is one of the ones from the other day and so doesn't show the white quite as well as I'd like so here's a post-gore one that showcases the blending work much nicer!

White is one of those colours, it took an absolute age.Two thin layers of Astronomicon Grey to act as a primer over the undercoat. Two thin layers of Fortress Grey that finally gets a smooth base to start working up from. All panel lines and deep shading are shaded with a thinned wash of Codex Grey. Then crude highlights composed of a couple of thin layers of 3:1 Fortress Grey and Skull White, highlights proceed increasing the levels of skull white (so, 2:1; 1:1, 1:2, 1:3) then blended layers of very, very thin white - we're talking skimmed milk here - to bring up the edges and raised areas of the model. About five or six of those is enough.

There is just no quick way to paint white folks, I'm sorry. Just counting back there that is 16 layers of paint carefully blended to achieve the smooth transitions that you need. You cannot edge highlight, drybrush or take any other shortcut. As a result, took a long, long time. Totally worth it though. And with the models at this stage, skin all nicely done and everything you now take a deep breath, engage bravery mode and get with the gore:

Blood is a tricky thing to get right. I always use inks (not washes) for blood as you need that translucence to give a convincing result. The mix is three parts red ink to one part chestnut. Test it on your skin; if it looks like you cut yourself then you are on a winner. Now mix in some gloss varnish and water down so it retains its viscosity. Now load up a brush (small brush for subtle, larger one for unbridled savagery like this) place a good bit of kitchen paper down and start blowing the ink off the brush and onto the model. Angle the model so the spatter goes where you want it. This takes practice. Lots. Get an old model and spend an afternoon making it look like an extra in a b-movie horror film. Let the ink dry and then mix up a new batch, this time with equal quantities of brown ink to chestnut. Paint this mix into the middle of large areas and into shaded regions, it will add depth to the pools. If you've got any comedic large spatters dot tiny spots of the original mix around them to retain scale.

Then if you want to make people retch a bit you add clotted gore. To do this add flour to the blood mix until it starts to gloop up (technical term that). Then add some fine modelling sand - really fine, the lumps of bone cannot be too large. Mix it all up, add a bit of gloss varnish for glue and smear it on to the models where the blood would clot. A better picture of the finished blood effects can be found here in the Ogre article. Unfortunately the light from the camera bounces through the ink and reflects off the white, killing a lot of the vibrancy of the actual paint job on the berserkers.

As anyone familiar with the plastics can see, the forgeworld resin bits add a huge amount to the individualism of the pieces. My favourite is easily the one with the smashed in faceplate exposing the nutter beneath. It doesn't stop at faces either, the shoulder pads are very nice. Actually sculpted continents inside the fanged maw of the icon:

While we are looking at details, the backpacks of the berserkers are really nice, a cut above the normal CSM ones. The cables give you the opportunity to really play with some spot colours:

As this has been the first time I've really been able to showcase my flesh painting technique on this blog, I thought I'd rattle on about how I go about painting skin for a bit:

In common with most other painters I used to go through a huge range of browns and skin tones in the old days with fairly unsatisfactory results. Then Tallarn Flesh and Ogryn Flesh Wash arrived and revolutionised my world. My skin method is now as follows:

Paint two thin coats of Tallarn Flesh to get a base coat.
Wash the flesh with Ogryn Flesh Wash to shade.
Paint first crude highlights in Tallarn Flesh.
Blend up highlights adding increasing amounts of Bleached Bone to the Tallarn Flesh.
I tend to stop before reaching pure Bleached bone as I find it too stark. The 'Eavy Metal team paint purely for photography and need those stark contrasts to grab attention.
On large areas of flat muscle I tend to streak the final highlights to give an impression of corded musculature beneath the skin.
Eye sockets get a very thin wash of either devlan mud wash (good guys) or leviathan purple (bad guys) to darken them. Lips get painted the old Tanned Flesh colour (which really ought to have been called Lips'n'Nipples).

Scarred skin gets a thin wash of Baal Red as shown below by the funky Chaos Star cut into the head of the champion:

That's all for now, I'm now working on the Thousand Sons from the On The Workbench post. Hope to have piccies by the end of the week. Then the other 5 of these bad boys! I leave you with a few cool piccies from the Big Cheese festival, a day of Dark Age and beyond fun.


Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Tewkesbury Empire Inspiration

Heyup folks,

Thought I'd share with you all some photos from a recent day out at Tewkesbury Medieval Festival. For those readers from far flung parts, Tewkesbury was the site of one of the defining battles of the Wars of the Roses (one of Britains many civil wars). Every year 2000 re-enacters come to re-fight and celebrate this historic battle. Watching with glee it struck me that this was perfect inspiration for any Empire (and even some Bretonnian) painters out there. One of the things that has always irked me about painting my own Empire army is that they look to clean and uniform. I could never figure out why until I saw these guys in action. This is what Empire are supposed to look like! I'll have a go sometime post-current commision

Cool eh? Got lots more but there's a limit to how patient I can be with uploads (and yes, the cannon firing one is just because it's cool!)

More minis next post,