Thursday, 31 January 2013

A very exciting photograph (for me anyway!)

Yes folks, the day is finally here!

Pyladii Beta is together! I finished off the few detail bits on the legs that were missing and then glued that bad boy together. The posing, despite the problems, seems to work. Beta has a real "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" vibe. Its brother titan Pyladii Alpha is going to be armed with a titan killing turbo-laser and will be a little lower on its haunches, creeping around forests and skyscrapers to make the kill while its brother attracts attention and shreds shields and attendant infantry. Oh, and if anyone is unsure as to the true scale of these beasts?

Yep, that's a 28mm space marine by his toes. There is still work to be done on Pyladii Beta, namely weathering to really make it a god of the battlefield rather than a toy on a shelf but I am going to do that once Alpha is finished so that they match and look like they are on the same battlefield.

Anyway, me and Mrs PVP are off to the in-laws for a long weekend, so there won't be any "Today I've mostly been" until Tuesday. Have a good weekend, shipmates.


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Its so easy when you're Evil

Greetings shipmates, following on from yesterdays post, today we have the last two members of the eeevil adventuring party commission. A Gnoll and a Cambion rounding out the gang nicely:

[edit: I forgot to mention, the post title references the brilliant Voltaire track "When You're Evil"]

We'll kick off with the more bestial (just) of the pair, a Reaper Gnoll Cleric called Boneflail:

Strangely, for such a large model, there isn't a huge amount to talk about the painting of it. The model is almost entirely leather, fur and bone with a smidgeon of rusty metal. The sculpting on the pouches is worth a look though, zoom in and check them out. Absolutely brilliant. The shield is also fairly groovy:

I decided in deference to the Minotaur member of the group that cowhide wouldn't be appropriate so goatskin all the way! I found a clawprint on the net (I think it is actually badger) that looked ferocious and stippled it on to the hide - Mephiston red first and then Evil Sunz Scarlet - to give it that "savage artwork" look.

Only now do I notice that I haven't shaded the brass on his back. Doh!

Finally we have the Cambion, a half-human offspring of a devil or demon. He's based on the Reaper Warlord Kang model with horns added by yours truly. I just lopped off the horns on a spare beastman banner top, shortened them and then sharpened them up once they were securely superglued on. Knowing that red was going to be a prominant skin tone, I needed colours that would work with it. Initially I tried a triad of red; blue and yellow but that was looking... off somehow. Triads are tricksy and can often look a little childish as they are such a classic combination that they are used in children's books, toys and school rooms the world over. Instead I went for the split complimentary of yellow-green and green-blue. Even then the yellow-green was overpowering. The edging has been sculpted very thickly and so dominated the scheme. Cue a line of the Stegadon Scale Green down the middle of each stripe and a generic sigil on the tabard/loincloth thingy. That helped to balance it out. The skin tone is just Khorne Red highlighted with Kislev Flesh and then glazed back down with Carroburg Crimson. A touch of black for the horns and everything is groovy. There is still something not quite there thought. He's fine and all but I think there is still something missing. If I come up with it I'll let you know.


But before I go, an update on probably the most important of my resolutions. The "keep Jeff alive past 40" resolution. Well, I am happy to report that progress is being made. I'm using something called alternate-day fasting where you eat a normal, healthy diet on the first day and then a drastically calorie reduced diet on the second. About 500 calories on what Mrs PVP calls the "non-eatey days". That means that your average intake hovers around the 1500 calorie mark without having to spend every day tediously counting and without having nothing to look forward to. Sounds mental? Well, it is working. I've lost 6lbs of fat in the last four weeks. Near as damnit half a stone in a month. At that rate I would be 15 stone by next year. Most importantly, my visceral fat count is dropping, meaning there is less fat caking my organs. And that is with changing nothing else at all. I'm a great believer in one change at a time. This month was all about getting used to the new food routine. Next month will be introducing a few days of exercise a week into the routine. March will be making it every other day and so on. Gradually your habits adjust and your life is different. More updates as we progress.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Hags and Drow, evil RPG commission

Hi all, today we are crossing to the evil side of the street and working on an evil adventuring party for a client, starting with...

"Fascist!" (one for Hot Fuzz fans courtesy of Mrs PVP)

A Hag. A D&D creature that lives beneath the surface of the water and drags passers by to the clamourous depths of her lair where they can drown. They are based on the old legend of Jenny Greenteeth and Grindylows and are very nasty. This one is a Reaper Sea Hag model and is just splendid. I decided from the outset to have her skin be a muddy green, so breaking out the trusty Rakarth Flesh and mixing in a little Castellan Green gave her a nice green-flesh basecoat. Highlighting by adding Pallid Wych Flesh and then shading back down with Athonian Camoshade finished the deal.

I wanted her garments to look wet and clingy so after base coating the dress I "reverse highlighted" the raised areas (where the flesh pressed against the cloth) and the depths of the creases by adding the flesh colour to the cloth colour. By increasing the amount of flesh tone I mixed in I was able to make the cloth appear translucent and clinging. Not that a Hag is anything that you'd want to see beneath the dress! Her hair was Karak Stone shaded with Biel-Tan Green. The pondweed and kelp likewise a base of Elysian Green also shaded with Biel-Tan Green. Barnacles were just picked out in bone and shaded with Agrax Earthshade.

Say hello to my leetle friend

Something I had never spotted in the unpainted shots of this model was the octopus clinging to her upper arm! A familiar maybe or just a friend? Regardless, he was an opportunity for a spot of colour and warmth on a deliberately cold model. Checking out some reference photos I hit on the orangey one with a pale underbelly. No idea on specific genus and species, someone more versed in cephalopod biology care to help out? I first painted him Pallid Wych Flesh all over to give the pale underbelly and to serve as a bright base for the orange. Then mixing Wild Rider Red with the Pallid Wych Flesh gave me that coral-ey orange. Finally little dots of Pallid Wych Flesh on the... head? (I dunno octopus at all) Finished him off.

Then it was on to a Drow. He's originally a Privateer Press Mage Hunter, no changes made, just painted as a Drow. Well, I say no changes. The sharp bit of wood at the front of the crossbow is a plasticard brace that I made to hold up the bow of the crossbow. Privateer had done their normal trick of cutting a componant for casting at a tiny, tiny contact point. Guys, a relatively heavy metal componant will NOT easily stick with less than a square millimeter contact point. It is also too thin to pin. You can just get away with it in your weird resin/plastic hybrid as it is light. Metal will not tolerate it! Rant over. Anyway, I wanted this chap to be a collage of dark greys and greens. The Underdark is a lightless, joyless place and colour is not really their bag! To that end I used my usual trick of applying several different black highlight colours as a basecoat and then drabbing them all down with Nuln Oil. The dirt on the cloak was applied for three reasons, first, it makes him look like a tough, seasoned adventurer who comes from caves underground. Second, it added a splash of another colour than black! Third it balances the tiny amount of brown wood in the crossbow. Sorted. The black leather is Vallejo Leather Brown, mixed with a little black, washed in Nuln Oil and then rehighlighted with pure Leather Brown.

slightly fuzzy face, the autofocus on the camera struggles with subtle black tones
The skin needed to be really black. Not what we in our world call "black" which is really every shade of brown from caramel to burnt umber. No, Drow are black as midnight. To do this and still have it look like skin I used a simple trick that works with any unnatural skin tone. Use a light flesh tone as the highlight colour. In this case Black mixed with Kislev Flesh in increasing amounts for the highlights.

Remember this guy? Well he's a part of this group too. Hopefully tommorrow I'll give him two more friends in the form of a Gnoll and a Cambian adventurer. Until then.


Monday, 28 January 2013

These legs are made for stridin'

And that's just what they'll do...

Greetings shipmates, good lord its been almost a week since I posted here! Shocking, I know, the main reason for this was the snowmageddon Cardiff underwent. Having run out of even basic hobby materials such as primer and being trapped in a rather hilly cul de sac I couldn't do all that much painting. What was I doing instead?

picture from "Today I have mostly been..." ignore the Nuln Oil, I was celebrating.
Assembling an absolute ton of resin Eldar vehicles and getting the car through its MOT. Ho hum. But now there has been a thaw, I am restocked and so Titan progress! Hurrah! There are still some details and quality control (checking I haven't got paint anywhere it shouldn't be) to do but we are devilishly close to an assembled titan. Now then, those legs. Oh, dear gods they were a trial. I debated whether to tell this story in public or not but as it can serve as a cautionary tale then here goes:

Note the unusual posture of this leg. I wanted it stepping off anyway and transferring its weight to the front foot but the angle is a little forced, barely noticable as I did a ton of work fixing it but... The reason for this? As I was getting ready to delicately place the shin's ball into the foot's socket joint, nicely lined with good strong superglue, I dropped it. Normally not a problem, this time, huge problem. It had fallen into the socket and instantly glued solid. Backwards and on a wonk. Cue sudden, blinding panic. I tried as much brute force as I dared. Nothing, the surface area of the contact point (being two spheres within one another) was massive. The bond was already beyond my considerable strength. I then spent nearly four hours with acetone and an old brush trying to free the join (acetone kills superglue's bonds y'know). Utter failure. I couldn't get the acetone far enough into the join to free the bottom of the ball. Despairing (remember, this is a clients model, not mine, panic is not a strong enough emotion) and almost at the point of phoning forgeworld and begging them to let me buy the foot and shin of a warhound without the rest of it, I suddenly had a brainwave. I realised that I could saw through the ankle piston and rotate the entire shin until it was at least facing the right way. I could then make the angle work through posing the rest of the leg.

Unfortunately this caused knock-on problems for the whole leg, some caused by the design of the kit itself. You see what forgeworld don't tell you - and for a three hundred pounds kit you would think their instructions would be better right? - is that none of the joins can actually flatten, the pistons just won't connect. There is no way of knowing this until you get further ahead in the process and there is NO warning anywhere. By this point I was cursing ill fortune but was at least thinking "solve the problem". I realised that this was a serendipitous opportunity to add some character through posing. I sawed through the piston and cut some texture into the cut surface to indicate that it had snapped. Either through stumbling on rubble or through the malevolent actions of the enemy Pyladii Beta had snapped the thigh piston of its right leg on this march. To combat the problem the Princeps has locked the thigh and knee sections into a straight line to prevent collapse of the leg. Beta will have a limp but will fight on as a living embodiment of the god machine should!

So the moral of that story? Well, hold on to blummin componants better would be the trite answer, but the real one is: You can always fix the problem. Yes it will cause further complications but you can never know what stories you can tell with those complications. In this case it helped tell the mid battle story of the titan. With the broken cable on the head and this snapped piston Pyladii Beta actually looks like it is mid battle, not pristine on some factory floor. Do I feel like a plank for messing up in the first place? Hell yes. Am I relieved as all get out that I could fix it? Gods yes. But then that is where experiance is the greatest assistant, I've fixed all sorts of problems before and will do so again no doubt. However, in the spirit of forewarned is forearmed I am putting together a little guide to the things forgeworld do not tell you about their models and the ways you can fix the problems and get on with your happy hobby life. Until next time folks.


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Pathfinder Commission (Part Three)

Greetings from a very cold, snowy Cardiff! Just a quickee here as the pathfinder commission is all finished, boxed up and off to London and so here is the final piece:

This chap is supposed to be an Elven Prince so slightly fancier armour. The requested tone was green and red and with the armour being the major area I decided that the best course of action was to have the armour painted green with the steel edging showing through. Initially he had more red on him (I'd gone for a deep russet orange on the trousers and inner sleeves) but it was just too much. On clothing a linen white works as a neutral shade so I threw that in on the trousers and inner sleeves and that worked nicely.

And so here is the whole gang. I've enjoyed this group, don't have many opportunities to play with Reaper stuff (the markup from the UK retailers is a crime) and you need $35 in one hit to get free shipping from the states. Taking this tiny sample of 5 out of their range I would say that I like most of the sculpting, a few odd choices - the paladins face for example and the swords are a bit thick. But the general style of the pathfinder figures is pragmatic and well, adventurer-like, I approve. Anyway, this little gang are crated up and shipped out (I schlepped through the snow to the post office) and just as soon as this ice lets up on the roads I'll be able to restock the hobby supplies and get back on with the titan. Until then, I'll be doing some assembly work on future projects and cursing the weather.


Monday, 21 January 2013

He's more Machine than Man...

Eyup folks, yeah couldn't resist the Star Wars reference. Today I thought I'd share the next in the growing retinue of my Grey Knights Inquisitor. I painted this techpriest a few days ago in drying times but forgot to photograph him with the bushido batch. Anyway, here he is!

Some of you might be asking, why is there a techpriest in your Inquisitor's retinue Jeff? That's not an option right? Nope, it's not, but I wanted a Jokero Weaponsmith in the retinue but didn't really want to pay £8 for a space Orang-Utan. A few moments thought on what else could modify weapons and fire wierd guns led me inexorably to... semi-renegade (likes to fiddle with and improve upon the sacred schematics, tut tut) tech priest. So here he is:

oddly the gun looks wonkier in this picture than in real life

It's the forgeworld titan tech priest. Now I need to say a few words here. First, this is the only crew member missing from the warhound titan. Second if you wanted to add one to a warhound titan you wouldn't want him on a base right? So why in the name of sanity did forgeworld sculpt a cast-on rocky earth base? Seriously, it makes no sense at all and the base isn't even the normal size, it's a little smaller! Mystifying, absolutely mystifying. Anyway, those familiar with the normal model will know that he has a girt great axe in his right hand. I wanted a more ranged-style tech priest in order to fit with the vibe of the Jokero rules. So, in a fit of converting frenzy I hacked up the axe, a lasgun, a space marine missile and a mortar shell of all things to create what I am calling a graviton gun for the sake of completeness. Painting is fairly straightforward, I used a brown wash on the red rather than the more normal, well, red to create a rustier red. I painted the power bayonette to match the grey knights nemesis weapons and added a lot of bronze twiddly bits to the skin of the graviton gun to appear as patterns of circuitry on the furniture.

With the techpriest finished I move closer to getting the retinue of the Inquisitor finished, soon be time to paint the big man himself. The more I do of this retinue the more it feels like an Inquisitor (the game) Warband. I've recently discovered the concept of Inq28 (28mm scale Inquisitor gaming) and it was like a lightbulb lit up. Why the hell was I ever playing with the 54mm scale models, oh sure they were pretty but so, so hard to effectively convert and customise, a limited range and expensive to boot. With this in mind I will be expanding the retinue a little beyond it's battlefield participants to include a few characters more suited to the Inquisition's mandate. As always, I'll keep you in the loop.


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bushido figures, a review

Greetings shipmates, as those of you who have been paying attention will know, I've been painting more than a few of GCT Studio's Bushido range of figures for the Hendybadger over at Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher. So many in fact that I feel I now have enough of a grasp on the range that I can offer a few review-esque thoughts.

To date I have painted the starter sets for the Prefecture of Ryu (plus the ninja model Bikou and the Sumo Wrestler Mikio:

And the Cult of Yurei (plus their rat-man Nezumi):

Now straight off the bat I'll say that before I painted them I thought the Prefecture (PoR) would be my favoured models but the Cult (CoY) blew me away when I got my hands on them. The painting/photography on GCT's site doesn't do the Kairai zombies any favours. When you have them in your hot little hands they are stunning. Unfortunately the PoR demonstrate more of the problems with the range than the CoY do so they wound up playing second fiddle in my affections.

So on to less wishy washy stuff. First of all, these models are not 28mm scale. They even say on the website 32mm but I assumed that was a more precise way of saying "Heroic 28mm". It isn't, and even between the figures the scale is a little inconsistant. Check out the following pair of pictures and you'll see what I mean:


Especially in the PoR group at the top, stand any of those figures up straight and they are about a head taller than a space marine. Except for the Ashigaru with spear (second from right) who only comes up to the shoulder of the Samurai to the left. Then look at that samurai (drawing his sword) and compare him to the rest of the models in the PoR group. He looks like a model dropped in from another range, really huge! Now maybe the character is a giant of a man (I haven't read the backstory) but it does make for some weird group shots. The CoY group is a little more conservative with the model's heights being fairly consistant. I don't mind height variety in a range as people are different sizes and with Bushido being a skirmish game it won't matter too much, they would look odd ranked. The problem is using them with any other range but Bushido, I really don't think they would fit in any Warhammer army for sure. I don't think this is some kind of failing on GCT's part but it does mystify me, why wouldn't you make your models as compatible as possible with one of the largest market shares? Especially when you are only out by a couple of mm each?

The quality of the sculpting and casting though is wonderful. The attention to detail and thought that has gone into the models is fabulous. I've pulled a few examples of my favourite little details out to demonstrate:

I wanted to start with the puppet master as I think he is just superb. From the tiny tools hanging from his belts - each one different, and each a real carving tool - to the gorgous spirit taking form from his smoke and whispering secrets to him while she strokes his head. Absolutely fantastic. The little marionette is ace too, just thick enough to be tough.

GCT have clearly got sculptors who "get" anatomy (Kev over at Hasslefree is another excellent example). Mikio the sumo actually looks believably fat. He isn't a cartoon, the weight is distributed properly and even where the kesho-mawashi (yeah I looked that up) cinches in around his waist has a small roll of fat above it. This also leads in to:

Brilliant expressive faces. Not over exaggerated and with a few exceptions - notably the two ashigaru - they don't have that passive "deadness" that a lot of sculpts have, in fact compare the ashigaru face below:

With the sumo above, she is flat, dead, doll like while he is lively and expressive. Even the deadpan puppetmaster has a presence. Nice work for the most part.

The next three show some wonderful depth of detail and care in sculpting. I've never seen Japanese armour look this nice before, as on the Arquebus Ashigaru and on the helmeted Samurai:

Someone has obviously bothered to actually go and look at real armour as it is just great. While on the subject, it may be a small point but:

Proper bindings on a katana? Almost never see it. Again, very nice.

And the attention to detail doesn't end with the nice stuff either, they've thought about things like "zombies will attract rodents..."

"...and carrion birds". The flat, deadpan masks contrasting with the horror elements of hideous wounds and actually being, y'know, eaten make these so upsetting!

Speaking of the masks, this goblin Nō mask on this one just makes me grin every time.

The geisha is another example of stunning attention to detail in research - the parasol for instance is perfect, all the mechanisms are there - and the sculpting of the cloth is sublime. I have deliberately left out the face as I think it lets the model down. They wanted a monstrous geisha and didn't go far enough (she's just got Joker style scars at the sides of her mouth with big ugly sutures). I think in this case they should have abandoned subtle and gone for a daemonic face amongst that perfect hair, clothes and poise or left her flawless with just the evil within. The halfway house just makes you focus on the sculpting process, trying to figure out what they wanted, rather than on the finished result:

And so that brings us to some of the other small problems. Some of the detail can be a little confused at times, especially the rat piles with the Nezumi. So it can take a little while to figure out what is what on the figures. Another problem is the scale thickness of some of the parts. Not the usual problem where spears are the width of the average sapling, quite the reverse. Some of the weapons especially are so thin that you can break them very easily and the tiny widths mean pinning to repair is very hard. The Kairai with the back banner and two swords is a good example of this problem. The last issue is only on their earliest models and is something that almost every starting miniatures company suffers from:

2D posing, very, very flat and actually a little thin front-to-back. Now this is not all of them, only a few, and only the oldest models. They have figured out the tricks of getting dynamic poses while allowing a model to lie flat in a mold so the newer models have none of this. They are a part of the range though, indeed in the starter set, so I'd feel remiss if I didn't point it out.

So to summarise then!

  • Larger scale than the more common 28mm, some variation in scale across ranges, shouldn't be a problem playing a skirmish game like bushido but limits cross-compatibility.
  • Wonderful crisp casting showing off some inspired sculpting.
  • Older models look "older" as they are missing some of the modern tricks to achieve nice dynamic poses, this isn't a problem for the newer sculpts.
  • Brilliant attention to detail and a commitment to research showing through on the models.
I really like this range, I want to see more of it. The monsters and mythology of Japan and Malaysia (where most of the influences seem to be drawn from) are a rich and largely untapped resource by wargaming companies. Now I just need to get some of my own and try the game out for size.


Thursday, 17 January 2013

Pathfinder Commission (Part Two)

Well, still no Nuln Oil and with Cardiff set for Snowmageddon tomorrow (that's about 2-3 inches for any Canadian readers who want to laugh at us) it looks like I'm on "stuff other than titan" duty until next week, so....

More Pathfinder RPG models! This time we have a nature warden for starters. These two models are again Reaper Pathfinder figures. The brief for this lovely lady was an earthy elemental caster with a pet crow. Trouble is, there was a hawk on that arm, not a crow. I couldn't completely replace the bird so I decided to just adjust it a little. Chopping the tail thinner and shorter, straightening the beak and tilting the bird forward to give it that corvid pose. The pelt around the waist had me scratching my head for a while, too small to be anything but an infant bear but definately a bear. Then I remembered this:

It's a red panda. Bear enough for the sculpting, badger sizef for the scale! Hurrah! If anyone is curious the colour scheme starts at Jokero Orange. Two successive washes, first Fuegan Orange, second Seraphim Sepia gave it the right orangey brown tone. The black-brown areas start at Rhinox Hide and then darken down with increasing amounts of Abaddon Black. The pale areas can't be pure white as that doesn't really exist in nature. Instead I added some Karak Stone with White Scar to give the right shade.

The second model on the bench today is a paladin (Andoran Steel from the Pathfinder range). Lighter blues and shinier armour was the order of the day here. I decided to give him subtle livery colours to emphasise the "knight" element of a paladin. I have to say, the face is the wierdest sculpt I have seen in years! Long face, Bruce Forsythe chin and tiny sculpted eyebrows! It was actually tough to paint the face to look normal. I'm of two minds whether to dirty him up a little to help him fit in with his other adventuring pals.

Now doubtless I will be finishing the last of the Pathfinder commissions tomorrow so I'll put up a group shot when everything is done! Until then...


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Pathfinder RPG commission (Part 1)

One of the genuinely awesome parts of my job is the variety. On Sunday I was painting some of my Dwarfs, Monday, a pair of titan legs, Tuesday, oriental zombies and today... Pathfinder RPG miniatures.

Both of the models I am featuring today are from Reaper Miniatures' excellent Pathfinder range. The briefs for the entire project just came down to a "feel" and a basic colour pallete so I had fairly free rein! This chap is representing a half-elf fighter. The ears were already pretty much the right shape and I emphasised this with the highlighting. "Well used" has been the brief for most of the models in the project so I made sure that the armour had a slightly more weather-beaten look than usual. A quick tip is that using Agrax Earthshade as a wash over steel gives it that ever-so-slightly rusty look.

Annoyingly shadows have muddied the waist detail on this one although if you zoom in you can still see what's going on! This chap was a ranger and as such, plenty of warm leather and forest-y greens. The hilt of the sword is worth a look, I decided there wasn't quite enough detail in that area and so freehanded on a spiraling pattern on the handle:

There's a simple formula to attempting to fool the eye into thinking there is sculpted detail where there is none. First, deliniate the pattern with the base colour plus a little black for shading. Then apply highlights predominantly to the "upper" surfaces (the top of each band in this case) but also a very thin strip to the bottom of the strip too, helps the 3d look. I've also left a bit at the base of the hilt near the quillions to make it look like a thin skim of leather over the metal that is wearing away.

The backpack on this guy also confirms something I've often said, solve a painting problem on one model and you'll find a use for it on the next one too. In this case it was figuring out a recipie for the light tan suede-y leather on the Dwarf's apron that I was then able to use to break up the unrelenting dark brown and green on this model. It's why, even before I blogged, I used to keep a painting journal with useful colour combinations or mixes in. These days the journal is electronic and called a blog! I regularly pull old posts up as refererence for previous jobs or ideas. Anyhow, hopefully, there should be some Nuln Oil in stock tommorrow (otherwise it's the weekend before I can get into town proper) and the titan can recommence! Until next time.


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Master of Puppets (Charity)

Isn't it funny how you come to depend on certain paints? This has been brought home to me this week by my running out of Nuln Oil, discovering that my FLGS has also run out and it wasn't in their order this week indicating that Games Workshop has run out. Bumsticks. This has brought progress on the titan (and indeed a few other potential projects) to a crashing halt. Instead, I looked for something that I could work around the lack of black wash on. The answer? Finish the Bushido models for the Paint the City Pink auction.

This motley lot are the Cult of Yurei, the Geisha and the Nezumi rat dude article can be found here. Today we focus our attention on the Puppet Master and his hideous undead marionettes.

I just love this fella. This is the second time I've painted him in fact although the first one was rather more colourful! I also decided not to string the marionette this time as I think having it being controlled by magic makes him a bit more mystical. Once again I was struck by how gorgeous the sculpting on the smoke lady is, thorough enjoyed working on her again. I deliberately kept the colour pallete subdued to allow the bright white masks and his vibrant skin tone to dominate. Given how drab a lot of the Cult were going to be this would help him stand out from his zombified charges.

Speaking of which... These things are called Kairei by GCT Studios which roughly translates to "puppet". While painting them I figured out how they work, the Puppet Master uses freshly dead corpses, ties one of his Nō masks to the face and awakens the dead. Creepy or what? I painted this chap in the same scheme as the Prefecture of Ryu models that I'd finished the other day as his clothing matches. The Sashimono (back banner) I kept simple and just found the Kanji for Death and Puppet. Probably horribly drawn and with the grammer of a three year old but forgive the Gaijin!

Something I'm really happy with is the skin tone on the Kairei. Rakarth Flesh is rapidly becoming one of my go-to paints. In this case it is simple, Rakarth Flesh, a general wash of Agrax Earthshade and then patchy glazes of Druchii Violet; Reikland Fleshtone and Athonian Camoshade. This gives the patchy bruised lividity and decomposition I was looking for. It'll certainly be my standard zombie method in the future. With this one I decided that the very thin haft for the weapon could only be bamboo so I freehanded some junctions on to create the striped bamboo feel.

When everything was finished I then went over all those wounds with my blood mix of 3:2 Red:Chestnut ink and then added black ink in roughly a 3:2 (Blood:Black) mix again. I went over all the wounds again with this second mix and the combination created a "nice" dead blood look. Less is more with blood. You have to use less than you would even for stage blood as otherwise your model looks like a bystander in a Tarantino movie.

And so that is it for the charity epic, the group shot above shows all of the models I have done for Paint the City Pink. Time to crate them up and post them off to Cornwall. If you want to get your hands on any of them just pop over to Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher and contact Hendybadger. He'll sort you out!