Monday, 1 November 2010

Mojo Returns! Death Company and a Wizard!

Hello all, first, let me thank everyone who sent messages of support to my Grandfather. He really appreciated them. The good news is that he is out of the hospital and doing much better, this plus a weekend of fun and giggles has recovered my hobby mojo considerably. Last night I was able to finish off two "drying time" projects and I am deeply chuffed with how both of them turned out. For those unfamiliar with bulk painting strategies a "drying time" project is something you do during the times when the models you are working on need some time to let washes dry or glue on bases set etc. In order to prevent distraction setting in you work on another model. Keeps the discipline going. So, here are two drying projects: the first of the Death Company and the Island of Blood High Elf Mage.

Kicking off with the Death Company; given how fiddly they are and how few there are in the army I decided to paint them all as individual characters. The models are a hybrid of Sanguinary Guard legs and Death Company torsos. The other legs and torsos are combined to form the honour guard. The painting is reletively simple. The red, gold, bone and gems are all as per previous Blood Angel posts. The black armour is painted using my favoured method of mixing increasing amounts of Fenris Grey into black and then edge highlighting with pure Fenris. I like the blue/grey black highlights for armour, gives a natural progression. I tend to use Khemri Brown for cloth instead. When the highlighting is finished I paint in the metallic colours and then wash the whole thing in Badab Black to tone down the blue.

Unlike the gemstones on the normal Blood Angels (purple in hue) I painted the Death Company's gemstones red to increase the percentage of red on the model. Basecoat the gems in scab red, shade the top corner with a mix of scab red and black; then blend scab red and blood red sequentially across the gem. Highlight the bottom edge with first a blood red/blazing orange mix, then blazing orange and finally dwarf flesh. Yes, really dwarf flesh. Try it sometime. It is the perfect finishing colour for the gems and makes them look slightly different to the vomit brown highlighted red armour.

EDIT: Damnit, I have just noticed that I misspelled Forsaken on the model. Curses. Lesson to be learned there, check the damn spelling, even on simple words. Grrr.

I had an idea that when repainting their armour black that the Death Company rename themselves. Divorcing themselves from their former lives and accepting their doom. The name "forsaken" seemed appropriate, the scrappy style seemed appropriate given the frenzied thrashings of a marine in the grip of the Black Rage. Some servitor trying to hold him still to repaint a name suggested a shakey style!

Secondly we have the next part of Project Island of Blood: The mage. I cannot stress enough how brilliant this model is. I painted it in two parts; leaving the cloak detatched to allow me to get at all the little details. Keeping with the bone and red feel I decided to paint the majority of the model in bone but have the sash and cloak lining in red to make him stand out from the troops around him.

Speaking of the cloak lining, I wanted to paint a subtle design on the red. I was looking for abstract, repeating patterns. Eventually I hit on Japanese art. The High Elves have a slightly Japanese feel to them anyway and so I figured that it would work. Using a plum red would mean that it would only be obvious close-up, from futher away the cloth would just appear red. The design is a repeated cloud pattern comprised of triple arcs overlapping and forming a bank of cloud. If I had kept this going all the way up the cloak it would have been far too busy. So I broke the pattern and painted individual abstract clouds all the way up.

When you have a paint scheme like this, with similar colours in close proximity the areas of detail can blend together and make your painting look messy. To avoid this I used a technique called black lining to divide the seperate areas of detail into discrete colours. This is well illustrated in the photograph below, while the finished product looks crude in this high magnification take a look at the long shot above to see how crisp the effect makes areas of detail. The technique was also used around the face, hair and helmet to give deep shadows.


I was agonising over what colour to paint the ball of energy for some time. It needed to contrast or compliment the paint scheme so far. For a while I contemplated purple, green was a possibility but would have been too remeniscent of Skaven magic. Finally I settled on a light blue which would have the right High Elf feel, contrast the paint scheme and lift the model further from the rank and file soldiers around him. The blue started from a basecoat of Enchanted Blue over a layer of Necron Abyss. I highlighted it with increasing amounts of white until it was almost white, I then washed the area with Asurman Blue and re-highlighted the pale areas. I then washed the areas that I wanted lit by the magical energies with a very, very dilute Enchanted Blue and white mix. The same wash was finally applied to the basing, a highlight of a lighter blue finished off the lighting effects.

With the descision taken to paint the magic blue the colour of the crystal ball was easy. It needed to be blue as well to balance the colour scheme. Basecoated with Necron Abyss the ball was painted in stripes of Enchanted Blue and darker Necron Abyss (mixed with a little black). A couple of lighter highlights of Enchanted and White and a gloss varnish later and the crystal was finished.

Well, both of these models have been a lot of fun and I am really happy with the results. The mojo is back with a vengence and the commission work is back on track. Hope you all like them and as usual any questions or comments are welcome and actively solicited.


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