Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Warhammer Painting (FoPVP)

After posting the giant in the previous post I figured it would be only fair to include images of some of the armies that I have plundered banners from for his trousers...

This fellow is a Wissenland Captain painted by Maisey of the House of Beard, note how the red ties around the legs balance the swathe of red from the plume. An excellent use of spot colours, I might have repeated the process by painting the ribbon by the plume grey to pull the colour the other way but it still looks cool!

And from the loincloth (oh, and Maisey's paintbrush) is this horde of Bretonnian billmen, the striking mustard yellow and black works really well in a unit of this size with such prominant shields.

While we are looking at Maisey's Bretonnians, check out this sorceress, the rich blue against the pure white works really nicely with the aubern hair.

Moving around the giant to the - ahem - posterior we find a representation of Jen's Skaven force, Jen describes her army as a "banner delivery system" where the intricate banners distract from the batch painted unit. That having been said this is Jen's batch painting so they are still lovely!

We've seen it before but this banner of Charlie's army finishes the tributes/trophies/trousers. I strongly urge anyone who has regular opponants to include trophies from their armies. It binds the two together thematically and creates more of a story to the battles. Once while I was working at GW Peterborough, Alun (my collegue at the time) and I painted a whole Warmaster undead army in yellow and purple (the colours of our boss's Empire army) just to mess with him. Worth it! Until next time


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Even his name means "Big"...

Hello all, well, somewhat faster than expected, the Giant is finished!

He was a lot of fun to paint - hence the speed of painting - and also led to me doing a great deal of thinking how to make him fit in with the existing army. This is more of a problem than you might think, he is essentially a huge pink dude in a horde of green and black fellas. To get over this I made sure that all of the colours on the model - aside from the skin - are taken from the army itself. The yellows, blacks, greens and so on are all painted in exactly the same way as in the army. Check out the green on the trouser leg, it is actually the same green as the goblin flesh tone. Fortunately we don't have to worry too much about the model fitting in perfectly as he is massive. Forward Ms. Funnymoney to demonstrate:

See? "Giant" is not just a name for this fellow. Lets have a closer look at some of the elements of this wonderful model.

The flesh is the biggest job on a Giant so that came first. You would think it is easier to paint the skin on a larger figure. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have to delicately blend many, many layers of shading and highlighting to make it a smooth transition. I used my usual Tallarn Flesh and Bleached Bone mixes but with lots more layers than usual. The Ogryn Flesh washes had a little Thraka Green added to knock back the "pinkness" of the skin. On such a large model it can seem a little cartoonish. Once all of the shading and highlighting is complete I then added the stubble and body hair. This was achieved using the method shown in the excellent "Painting Faces Redux" article that Games Workshop produced. Essentially it is thin washes of a mix of grey, brown, black and Tallarn flesh with then little squiggly - technical term that - lines of the stubble mix and Tallarn Flesh for the body hair. Rehighlighting the skin knocks the stubble into the skin and prevents it from looking like it is floating on the surface.

The gravestone club was a lot of fun to play with. Lots of careful drybrush steps from Charadon Granite all the way up to Fortress Grey to give texture to the stone (it is perfectly smooth in actuality) and then stippled Camo Green and Camo Green and Vermin Brown mix to indicate lichen. Finally a wash of a mix of Devlan Mud and Thraka Green defined the details and gave it a weathered appearance.

Adding little details like dirty feet or banners of fallen foes (more on that later) is a great way of telling little stories with the figure and also giving a much more believable feel to the model.

A second club on the Giant is in the form of an entire silver birch sapling with a broken hunk of statue tied on to it.

And for armour? Captured shields and breastplates of the fallen (one with a slightly ironic "Ulric Saves" on it). When choosing the colours of the shields and banners I rather cheekily chose colour schemes that my friends have used to paint their armies in. So there is Charlie's Empire, Maisey's Bretonnians and Jen's Skaven all represented with my Averlanders also on the menu. This gives a nice sense of story to your battles with regular foes and can cause some tactical blindness on your opponants part as they attempt to erase the stain on their honour!

Of course, Jen's skaven banner (the blue one with the red and bone triangles) was the hardest! Worth it though. The barrel is also something I am happy with. The woodgrain was my usual trick of first basecoating the wooden area in Khemri brown and then picking out a few planks with a mix of Khemri brown and a few other colours to give variety. Then I use thinned Dheneb Stone to pick out the woodgrain and finally wash the whole lot with Devlan Mud.

If you want a closer look at the pictures (the stupid Blogger shadowbox thing being what it is) I have added all the original size shots to the Pirate Viking Painting Flikr feed. Come check it out and see the pictures in all their glory! Just click the image below:

And with that we come to the end of another installment, I am finally starting to recover the fine control in my hand so I feel confident enough to get back on the client painting horse now. Pictures to follow!


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Night Goblin horde

Greetings all, remember when I said in the Cygnar post that Warmachine would never be a big project? That is because the largest unit size I can find is just ten figures, whereas Night Goblins now, they are a big project, for example:

This is a unit of 50 Night Goblins, that's more figures than my entire planned Warmachine army. I have another 2 just like it planned for the full army. Pretty much all of the basic troops in the army are from the old Battle for Skull Pass box set. By buying two and swopping out the dwarfs for more goblins I wound up with hundreds of them. Adding a box of goblins and scavving netter arms from friends allowed me to have different command squads and also netters in the front ranks.

Because this army will work on a mass effect basis, the individual paint jobs do not need to be anything too special. The paint scheme for the army is simplicity itself. Start by base coating the entire model in the midtone of the black highlights. Use a mix of different colours across the unit, in this case I think I used (all mixed with black) Charadon Granite, Adeptus Battlegrey, Khemri Brown, Fenris Grey, Vallejo German Black-Brown and Vallejo Dark Sea Green. The point of this is to create a rag-tag look to the unit whilst keeping a degree of consistancy. Next add the metal colours, in this case Tin Bitz with a Boltgun Metal and Tin Bitz highlight. I then washed the whole model with Badab Black.

The skin is my favourite Orc and Goblin method, starting from Knarloc Green I then highlight with a 2:1 mix of Knarloc Green and Rotting flesh followed by another thin highlight of 1:1 Knarloc Green and Rotting Flesh. Wash the skin with Thraka Green. If you want to go the extra mile on the skin then go back and rehighlight with the same highlight shades as before. The woodwork is painted with Vallejo Beige Brown and then woodgrain streaked on with Vallejo Deck Tan, all string is painted Dheneb Stone, the rope around the waist is painted Khemri Brown. Then the brownish areas are washed with Devlan Mud. The yellow is a modification of Andy "Lair of the Brevicks" Walker's method. Starting from a basecoat of Iyanden Darksun I then highlight with increasing amounts of white in the Iyanden Darksun. A wash of Gryphonne Sepia added the shading. Finally, once everything has fully dried glaze the yellow with a thin coat of Yellow Ink. Dotting the eyes in with Blood Red finishes the model.

This shaman is an example of going the extra mile on the highlighting on the skin. I also put more effort into the woodgrain for a more realistic effect.

This next unit is the first archers unit, both will be 20 strong and follow the same colour scheme as the archers.

All of the command squads have a little extra effort put in. People pick out the command squads to examine more closely so it is worth improving their appearance.

The lunatics above are the Night Goblin Fanatics, there will be two in each unit of spearmen. For the uninitiated Fanatics are the signature weapon of the army. They are released when an enemy unit comes near and plow through like whirling dervishes. After that, things get kinda random. They spin in random directions afterwards and so can often do as much damage to your army as your enemies. But your forces are worth 2 points a man, knights are in the region of 40. It's worth the risk!

To support the infantry I have the Spider Rider cavalry. The paint scheme for these includes black warpaint across the top of the head to help to blend them in with the Night Goblins.

The spiders are painted in the same colours as common garden spiders (I have a mild problem with spiders so I wanted to make them look fairly realistic). Khemri Brown basecoat followed by Bestial Brown stripes with a Vallejo German Cammo Black Brown stripe in the centre of each one. The fleshy parts of the spider were painted with normal flesh tones to make them look even freakier.

Here's a detail shot to see the overall effect. All of these models were painted over the period where my computer was kaput and I had clean forgotten to photograph them! They are all really quick paint jobs though and I think I can get the entire 2500 point army finished in a couple of months. Here's the list if you are curious:

And another one showing my usual painting plan progression:

I figure that the order will be: spearman horde, character, archer unit, spider rider unit, monster. This twice and then one more unit of the spearman horde followed by the giant spider riding character. I am currently working on the giant so the first rotation is almost complete. I'll have pictures when he is finished, until then.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Cygnar reinforcements stride in

My Cygnar force continues to gradually grow, today we add a new solo in the form of a Jouneyman Warcaster and another warjack with the 'jack hunting Hunter Light Warjack.

The Journeyman Warcaster is an apprentice warcaster who is learning the art of controlling the mighty warjacks on the field of battle. I deliberately painted her to look young and wide eyed. She shouldn't be a grizzled veteran just a scared kid. Sadly I was painting her at the time I started to loose some fine control in the wrist so I am going to have to go back and fix the eyes at some point.

I used the same colour palette as on Captain Cain as the combination of Vallejo English Uniform and dark brown leather along with the blue is fast becoming the army colour scheme.

The Hunter is designed to attack rival warjacks. I went for the same "furnace glow" look for the faceplate as with my other warjacks. The cygnar swan symbol on the carapace was obviously freehanded on to the figure. All the other jacks have one so I think I'll have to make sure all of them do. I kinda messed up the dimensions but that turned out to be a happy accident, extending the tail onto the helm made for a nice effect and makes it slightly different to the other warjacks.

Once again I frehanded on woodgrain to make the pressure vessel into a wooden barrel. Just underscores the transition period of the steampunk world war one that I am going for. The pressure gauges were also freehanded in.

I'm quite happy with how the axe came out. On the studio paint job it looks a tad ridiculous and I initially thought I would have to remove it and replace with a better weapon. On getting the model in my hot little hands I realised that it was simply the bright shiny steel of the studio that had made it look rubbish. Painted in a nice dark metal tone with pin washes of Vermin Brown to give it a lightly rusted feel it seems heavy and dangerous. Given that the weapon is for cleaving armour it is a decent design, the power of the swing will be focussed on a tiny area.

With the Hunter painted I am getting close to my first goal of a 50 point army. Trying to decide between another warjack (the Ironclad) or the unit of Long Gunners next. It is probably going to be the Gunners as they are the next "big" job (as Warmachine goes, just wait for the first Night Goblin update to see a BIG job). Anyhow, that will be later in the week so...


Monday, 7 November 2011

Empire feature (FoPVP)

Greetings all, as I am currently on holiday I thought I would treat you all to another instalment from the files of Friends of Pirate Viking Painting. This time it is the turn of a beautiful Empire army from the talented brush of Charlie Brassley.

Charlie's army is a sort of coalition force of various provinces, these Halbardiers are from Salzenmund and are called the "Chancers" hence the predominance of gambling images on their banner and their champion's shield.

One of the things that characterises Charlies painting is the lovely banners and freehand details that cover his armies. This is largely because Charlie is a "real" artist at the same time as being a figure painter so brings that skill at 2D painting to our 3D world.

The chap above is Salzenmund's Captain Rainer to give a closer look at the colour scheme.

These Greatswords are from the Middenland contingent and have the city of the white wolf emblazened on their banner. The converted Vostroyan standard bearer is the army standard.

Again from Middenland these knights are followers of Myrmidia and bear her image proudly upon their banner. The unit also contains the army general whose handsome visage is shown in the next two images:

Charlie's army includes some wonderful character work, amongst the best of which (in my opinion) are his wizards:

The object source lighting against the dark Arabian skin is just wonderful. Charlie has a whole storyline for this army about crusading in Araby and returning with a few friends like the astronomer shown above. Notice how he kept the staff very muted so as not to draw attention from the central feature.

For a more "home-grown" wizard, this Light magister is another chance to enjoy Charlie's freehand work. I can tell you from experiance that Charlie spends a great deal of time on each of these projects but the effort is clearly worth it.

Finally we have a warrior priest to round out this feature. Note the lovely scroll work and the simple yet effective additional freehand decoration on the shield itself. That is all from this episode of Friends of Pirate Viking Painting. I'm back from holiday on wednesday and normal service will resume. Until then, I leave you with the sunset from the top of the Great Orme in Llandudno.