Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Ursakar Creed conversion and friends

Hi folks, remember this? Yup, that was November. It's one of the things that happen when you do long term projects with multiple elements for clients. You might do some conversion work to give yourself a break from painting that isn't on the schedule until late next season. It's a weird life. Anyway! Getting distracted aren't I? Here are some pretty models:

These three are the last members of Project Flektarn - Now formally named the Caterva Lupus ("Wolf Brigade") of the planet Saran. I won't go into details of the conversions - the first link is to the modelling page for these two - and will instead concentrate on the painting.

The colour scheme is exactly the same as the other flecktarn garbed troopers, I just added more layers of highlighting to everything. It helps to maintain the feel of the army while simultaneously getting the command staff to stand out as the higher quality painting draws the eye. I was really having trouble with deciding on the colour of the coat. Might seem daft to agonise over something like this but it is vital to maintaining the colour balance of the army. Within the army's colour pallete (the shades already used), aside from the insanely complex Flektarn, were blue-grey, beige, dark brown and green, with a pure grey as an occasional spot colour. With the armour being the blue-grey I was initially thinking of using pure grey as the coat fabric. This, I shed as an idea when I started mentally balancing the scheme, too much grey, especially as the bases are also grey. I started thinking about the darker brown but it would have looked like leather - as the other dark brown elements are gloves and boots. Then I realised that the webbing colour would make a perfect military tan brown with the right highlighting. Especially as I had figured that green would be the lining colour. Adding the grey wings to the cuffs help to bind him to the army colours from behind.

No such problems for the Jerren Kell conversion. He is just a trooper in design - albeit with extra armour plates - so once again it was just trooper-plus for the colour scheme. Where it gets exciting is that flag. The tough Wolf Brigade have a sort of runic, almost tribal feel to the personality as described to me and the client wanted the Grey Hunter wolf standard at their heart to help ram that home. I'm so glad he did want it as the finished effect is brilliant and so, so different to the base model that the conversion is based on!

One of the things I enjoy most is painting animals. I love trying to replicate the exact colours and patterns that a cover a creature rather than just going for "grey innit". As always quick research gave me the pattern and then I started playing with the colours. In the end the colours used were Karak Stone, Stormvermin Dinge and a darkened shade of the same by adding black. I can't give you exact proportions or methods as I just play with mixes until I hit the right ones. For sure, the base colour is Karak Stone with Stormvermin Dinge washed over it. The last stage was a very delicate drybrush with some Terminatus Stone to bring out the texture.

When painting designs on leather and hides it is important to remember to add some of the flesh colour you are using into the colours. This is because when you paint on to leather it will eventually crack and allow the colour to show through. Even staining the leather still leaves the colour of the original material present to an extent. Layering pure bright colours straight on there will look false. Instead by softening the colours with the flesh tone (and using it to highlight the colours) will give it a more realistic feel. The colours - blue grey, red, black and white - bind to the pennants painted last time. I deliberately reduced the impact of the shattered chaos star. I wanted the wolf to be the focus. I debated using an angular runic font for the script, but figured that a commissioning standard would be presented in Imperial Gothic rather than the local text of the homeworld, Saran is the world, Lupus the name of the unit.

Finally we have a blast from the past. This chap is from all the way back to the birth of Warhammer 40,000. He's got modern arms but the body and head are nearly thirty years old. For a tough looking regiment like the Wolf Brigade a tough looking commissar seemed to fit the bill. As a result I decided to go with the same Flecktarn camouflage as the troopers but with black armour. Combine that with the lack of gas mask and he'll stand out among the crowds. Some of the details have suffered a little from the age of the sculpt. The aquilae especially are not good, strangely the cap one now looks like a winged capital 'I' rather than the normal double-headed duck. Maybe some Inquisitorial service there Commissar?

So there we have it, the Flecktarn project is about 130 transfers away from completion. That's a job for tomorrow... and maybe Thursday depending on how long it takes!


Monday, 27 May 2013

Review: Perry Miniatures Desert Rats

Greetings shipmates! I've got something just a little bit different today. A first look at the plastic 28mm scale Desert Rats from Perry Miniatures.

First impressions then: Like all Perry boxes it comes in a nice, well presented format, nifty pictures and the like and interestingly... unsealed. You can open the box and check out the sprues before you part with any cash. This is welcome feature as there is only the one actual model on the front, I say welcome feature but also a double edged sword. Check the box contents before you buy lest some unscrupulous type chose to bolster the numbers in another box. Value for money? The Rats retail at about £20 but there are thirty eight of them in the box. Yup, 38 28mm models for your £20. That's 52p a model. Not shabby compared to - plucking a random example out of the GW new releases - a dire avenger box set for £20 that has... five models. Yeah... £4 plays 52p. Obviously then the models aren't as good right? Wrong.

Firstly, these are horrible photos. I am sorry for that. Hope you can still see enough detail. By the time I had noticed the astonishing albedo of the white surface beneath I had already cut off half a platoon's worth from the sprues and couldn't reshoot! The models are cast by Renedra - who are some of the people who used to do GW casting by the way. Citadel had their casting operation in Wisbech (my home town). So having a Wisbech miniature casting firm still going is a source of nostalgic glee. You'll notice a similarity to the way the Lord of the Rings plastics were designed - not surprising as they were also Perrys! - with the models being primarily one piece castings with only the gun arms and helmets being separate. This is very common amongst historical miniatures where for some reason it is considered essential to have plastics with the absolute minimum of parts. Probably to do with speed of assembly for the huge armies some games need.

Another nostalgic point was the plastic, somehow, seeing tan brown plastic soldiers transported me back to playing with the pound shop army men of my youth and later the airfix kits that went with them. Couldn't matter less to the quality but a pleasing frisson nonetheless. There are three identical sprues of regular infantrymen and a command sprue making up the numbers with enough weaponry to perfectly replicate the armament of a full platoon of the period (a mix of Lee Enfields, Thompson sub machine guns, the peerless Bren guns, a light mortar and even a Boys anti-tank rifle). It was this "platoon-in-a-box" feature that drew me to buy them in the first place, this along with the soon-to-be released Perry Afrika Corps platoon-in-a-box would give me a perfect wargaming microcosm. A platoon engaging their opposite numbers. But I digress.

The command sprue contains the officer and a signalman complete with radio set. You get a few options on the officer so not all your "Ruperts" look exactly the same. Given the pose though I'd probably replace with a metal alternative for subsequent platoons if I was building a company. Note the seperate leg on the signalman for ease of casting. I'll be coming back to that later. Before we get into impressions of assembling these lads I do want to mention one really bizzare decision in the packaging. The bases that come with these are almost all 20mm round bases from Renedra. Essentially thick plasticard that you glue the integral cast bases on the models to. However, for the lying down models they have included larger 40mm bases... that are square. Just weird as a decision because Renedra make round 40mm bases that would be perfect and wouldn't jar with the smaller ones. Confusing. Possibly a mispack?

Assembly is a mixed bag. The models have virtually no flash and minimal mould lines. The mould lines also (with one exception) go across the head from ear to ear rather than across the face. As I've mentioned, they are almost one piece figures so removal and clean-up is a breeze. Take care of the smaller componants though. These are true-scaled 28mm miniatures so the weapons are thin and delicate. The helmets in particular - kept separate in a cunning move to allow realistic undercuts - are easy to damage at the rim. Remove further along the sprue and then use a new scalpel to shave it smooth. The poses are nice and varied with decent unexaggerated movement. Something to note is how well the centre of mass is positioned. Some companies *cough*mantic*cough* are quite bad at this, creating models that look like they are falling over because the centre of mass is beyond one of the legs. No such problems here.

There are a couple of problems created by the one-piece casting, but only a couple. One of the lads has some very baggy shorts and the bren gun loader's right arm is quite badly distorted by the position it was cast in. Considering that they removed the Signalman's leg to make for a nicer cast surely we could have handled the arm being removed so that it too could be well cast? Some of the models also need pouches adding for the ammo (again not cast in place due to undercut problems). These are very, very small and fiddly. Use tweezers.

I also assembled the command section to show you the other varients of the lying down soldiers. The Boys rifle fits just the same as the bren gun, the mortar is simple enough as well. Both of these weapons do require the modelling of the teams lying down. It does mean that only one of the bren gunners in the platoon (there are three) can be modelled lying down and firing. The others need to be modelled moving (there is a spare arm with a bren gun held at the trail). The fit of the parts are all very precise, I had almost no problems getting things to fit, there was only one pair of arms that was a little awkward. Had the feel of being designed for a specific torso and I think I'd used it already. This brings me to my only major bugbear with this kit and it is one that I keep running in to. No decent documentation.

There are no real instructions for this kit, just a mention of which arms are paired for the heavy weapons. Granted, there is a handy diagram of the armament of a platoon but almost no assembly help. Considering how much effort was made in every other aspect this is a bizzare oversight. Seriously? Too hard just to assemble a couple of sprues and take some pictures? There are guys out there who will be happy to do loads of photos of assembled models, even step by step guides for no more payment than some free sprues. Heck, I'm one of 'em.

Having said that, this is a superb set. The ease of assembly, the quality of the sculpting from industry veterans for a mere 52p a model, the nice range of poses and armaments and best of all the platoon-in-a-box aspect all make this a real winner. I'll let you know how they paint but I can really recommend them to anyone interested in gaming some 28mm WW2.

Hope this helps some people!

*EDIT* Something I completely forgot. If you want to represent the Long Range Desert Group (forerunners of the SAS) they've included the conversion parts in the form of arab headdressed/soft hatted bearded heads. You can chop off the regular heads and add these. Just add a Pink Panther Land Rover or two and you are set.

Best of all, you only need 37 men for a platoon. 1 Officer, 6 command staff, 3 platoons of 10. The spare 1 man can therefore be put together as a free SAS chap! So if you are doing a company then you can fairly easily have an LRDG patrol without buying anything else.


Saturday, 25 May 2013

Bumper Flecktarn update and... Its our birthday!

Greetings one and all! Well, my goodness me. This time of the year rocked around quickly! It is our 3rd birthday, hooray!

After the chaos that surrounded our second birthday (it was right in the middle of the two house moves in 2012) it is gratifying to get to our third birthday at all! Thankfully, here we are and here indeed are all of you: An unbelievable 34,207 of you have from 108 countries generated a scary 79,000 pageviews. Yikes. Seriously, I'm just some bloke in Cardiff painting models. It is humbling to have that kind of attention. Thanks to all of you. Actually, something that has changed since last year is the almost 30,000 fake hits from spammers (blogger reckons that there have been over 100k hits, I have better data!), there is a weird growth in spam sites visiting blogs to generate sudden spurts in traffic, as a result the blogs owner visits the referring site and thus is exposed to whatever they want. Usually Canadian pharmacies for some reason. As a result it is becoming harder for us bloggers to track our audiences.

This may seem vain but in fact it is to do with giving you guys the content you like best. I can see which pages get the most hits and re-visits and give you all more of that kind of content. Helps us to improve our writing and presentation. Its tricky to know what to do about this, Blogger - I suspect - are aware and trying to find a work around. For now, what I would recommend is that as many of you as possible actually follow blogs that you like (hopefully including this one!) as it will give us a much stronger audience impression and ensure you never miss anything cool! I follow an absolute heap of blogs and have found more cool stuff in the last three years of wargaming than I had in the previous twenty three! So go ahead and follow all those cool blogs out there and get more content, rather like this:

The Flecktarn project is coming to a close. Just three models remain, a commissar, an Ursakar Creed and a Jerren Kell pair of conversions. I also need to spend a day applying the transfers and markings to the army. This first photo is of the platoon standard bearers. The client wanted the red, black and white classic Imperial colours to fit in with the Imperial agents I did last year. I wasn't sure about the bare arm on the chap on the right at first but somehow it makes him seem that bit more badass. Adds to that "uniform but ragtag" feel that the rest of the army has. Almost like a private army, a mercenary force that has equipped itself.

And then a host of boomsticks. I love grenade launchers and missile launchers. The tactical flexibility of the choice of anti-infantry or anti-armour warheads makes them my favoured armament for Imperial Guard. If you need to punch a hole through something bigger then you have stacks of tanks and anti-tank squads. Keep the squads for dealing with the variety of light armour and infantry that the enemy can throw at you. The green warhead on the missile matches the green painted cylinder grenades that several of the lads have on their backpacks.

Earning the bravery awards for the army, the three plasma gunners have arguably the most dangerous job in the Imperial Guard. When every sixth pull of the trigger can kill you, you've got to imagine that the operators are either constantly nervous or insanely full of bravado. The two on the outside flanks were both conversions to fit metal space marine plasma guns to regular plastic imperial guard arms. I kept the stocks of the lasguns in situ to give a nice "rifle" look which I like for the plasma weapons.

The heavy flamer came out really nicely. Thanks in no small part to the AK Interactive enamel weathering paints I've been playing with lately. The grimy, rusted nozzle and the oily, leaking pipes are all achieved in seconds with the enamels. They aren't for everyone and are far, far more toxic than anything you'd find in an acrylic but they have some real advantages, mostly for feathering and streaks. I promise a tutorial is coming. I think I've got it sussed now!

Like the rest of the army, the comm-links are an eclectic bunch, further reinforcing that rag-tag PMC look.

The sergeants give a nice view of the resin torsos used on some of the guardsmen.

And finally the officers. The only markings they will have are the cuffed sleeves and the wermacht style commissioning plaques around their necks. Love the guy with the swagger stick.

And thats all for today folks. Obviously there is a little bit of work still to go on the markings and on the last three figures and of course, there will be pictures whent they're finished!


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Pray they don't take you alive...

Greetings shipmates, something a little different for you today...

Yup, that's a Dark Eldar. See, the Beard Bunker are doing a series of small skirmish projects this year. One of them is a Commorragh project where we all do a small Dark Eldar raiding force that can join together when the Bunker goes on the road (A Beard Tank maybe?). This chap is the first test model for the new army, the Void Crow Kabal. I knew I wanted something different to the cybergoth pixies look that the studio had. So I thought I would channel more of the Craftworld Eldar feel than is normal for the Dark Eldar. I still went for a very cold scheme - turquoise offset by the split complementary bronze and red - though as I wanted them cold and cruel. The armour is not fast. Not at all. At least five stages lies between the Stegadon Scale Green basecoat and the lightened Sotek Green edge highlight. Not an army that will paint quickly.

I'll do a full step by step eventually so that I can record the method. For now though, I'm happy with the look of this fella and feel confident to continue with the next four of his mates. More pictures as I go!


Monday, 20 May 2013

Flecktarn lasguns

Eyup folks, just a quickee today. Those of you who follow Today I've Mostly Been... (or indeed use our Twitter feed or Facebook page) will know that I've finished all the Flecktarn-garbed Imperial Guard. Still got the exciting specialists, command and characters to go but I thought I'd share this image of the progress so far:

They hang together quite nicely don't they? I still need to apply the white transfers to the shoulder pads for unit markings, but decided that I would do that in a mass batch and a haze of fumes from the decal fixing chemicals. You'll notice that they are made from a variety of componants from a wide variety of sources. The paint scheme helps them look uniform and the variety of parts give them an independent and varied tone.

There'll be more soon, the Flecktarn project ought to be finished this week with luck. As always, photos to follow!


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Inq28 - Ogryns and friends

Greetings shipmates! While I continue to plod on through the Flecktarn guard (45 lasguns should be finished by the end of the week) I've had time during the considerable drying times involved with so many heavy wash layers to finish a couple of lads...

First off the drawing board, so to speak, is Mung the Ogryn with his whacking great multi-laser. You can see details of his construction here and here. I'd decided that I wanted him to be very much a civilian Ogryn. Not some ex-guard serviceman but a genuine civilian. His backstory will be up on Beard Bunker eventually but for now, lets focus on painting!

One of the things with large figures like Ogryns is that the huge areas of skin need careful blending to avoid really harsh contrasts... Then you stick it under photographic lights and it strips through the thin blended layers. Grump. I assure you that the shading is far less stark on the actual model!

His backstory has him as a bouncer for a nightclub so I figured a band t-shirt and jeans would be the win image-wise. The band is Genejack which is a deeply oblique reference from Eisenhorn and refers to the 41st millenium equivelent of heavy metal: Pound. The denim was an enjoyable challenge to get right. It is a very specific colour, in this case Dark Reaper and Thunderhawk Blue mixed and shaded with black. There was no sculpted pockets of seams on the model so I added them just with paint effects. The trick is to supply contrast. A line of darkened basecoat to be the ridge of the seam or the fold of the pocket. Then a highlight along the lines of the pocket or either edge of the seam gives the three dimensional effect. I finally added a couple of very thin lines of Jokero Orange to the seams to be the classic orange stiching. You can barely see them but their presence says "denim" to the brain.

Like any good biker-syle bouncer Mung needed some tatts. A quick google search gave me a nice islander style faces to put on the left arm and just went for simple barbed wire on the other. Just like when painting stubble its important to both add some flesh tone into the tattoo colour. Once finished you can also glaze it with a few layer of appropriate flesh tone. This knocks the tatoo "under" the layer of skin and gives it the right tone.

To help keep Mung in line I finished off my Inquisitor's still unnamed Interrogator. This is his apprentice and a fairly new one. I wanted to show an operative in transition from the pampered nobleman that he was into a hard bitten Throne agent. Hence the powdered wig and scarlet waistcoat working alongside the tough brown leather coat, the very practical bionic with no aesthetic adjustments and that weapon! I've always loved the Tomb Kings Khopesh's, really nice sculpts and a superb weapon. They are evil designs intended to be used for hooking and tripping limbs and then transmitting a very severe blow due to that long curved edge maximising the force. I figured that this was a fairly recent acquisition and again has a stylish yet practical aire. Painting wise, he wasn't anything remarkable. Even the metalwork was just a mix of Val Liquid Copper and Rich Gold then glazed with Agrax Earthshade.

So with that we are done once more. I'm off late tomorrow to help my brother move house but should have the lasgun Fleckies finished first. See you next week folks.


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tutorial - Flecktarn Camouflage

Greetings shipmates, while painting the latest batch of the Flecktarn Guard I mused "wouldn't it be useful to just take a few photos as I went so that I can show people how to achieve this sort of thing rather than just telling them". Then I grabbed the camera and went for it! Hence, here I present Pirate Viking Painting's guide to painting Flecktarn style camouflage. Note that I said "Flecktarn-style", this is not intended to be some kind of historically accurate guide to recreating a pattern. Rather it is intended to show how to achieve a reminiscent pattern.

image from Trident Military

First things first, you need some reference material, this is an image grabbed from google. Between that and the small library of books I can usually find what I need for reference material! The next stage is to really examine how the pattern is put together. In this case it is a pale green/brown/grey with three different browns printed over it. So the easiest way to accomplish the effect is to try to replicate the printing with paint.

First, the model gets a nice solid basecoat of Val Grey-green (I), this is very pale but will be dulled and browned by later processes. Once dry - and it is worth noting that Vallejo paints dry much darker in tone than the wet tone - patches of Val Flat Earth are painted over the Grey-green (II). Try not to make the patches too smooth edged or it'll look like a fresian cow. Next, another layer of patches, this time in Val Chocolate Brown (III) making sure to overlap some of the Flat Earth. Very few camouflage patterns have hard edges and clear, high-contrast demarcations. Makes it a pain in the bum to photograph which is why you end up with the typical Cadian schemes. The last stage of the patches are painted in Val German Camo Black-Brown (IV). These need to be smaller patches and trying to leave some Val Grey-green showing. Don't worry too much about this though as the next stage will add a fair bit more Grey-Green into the scheme again.

The next steps in the scheme are to use the same colours as in steps I-IV again. But this time you just put small dots of the colour on the other patches. Each time apply a fewer dots so you end up with lots of grey-green dots (V) and not many Camo Black-brown dots (VIII). This is technically finished but there is no differentiation in shading across the cloth. Regular highlighting will cause insanity or blindness, trying to highlight each tiny dot or patch across folds in the cloth? Life is too short. Instead I opted to just use a glazed shading wash.

Before I apply the wash I paint all of the colours that would need a brown shading wash (IX). Gaiters, belts and pouches in Val US Field Drab, ropes in Val Deck Tan and so on. Then you give the whole thing a very generous wash of Agrax Earthshade (X) which corrects the tone of the Grey-green and also adds shading and contrast. Once all the other bits are finished the camouflage forms a nice textured backdrop to the other regions.

So there y'go! How I paint this scheme. Hope it proves useful inspiration for someone. Granted a ten stage cloth painting scheme is not for everyone but can provide a nice effect if you have the patience! Until next time folks.


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Inq28: A grenade launcher and a kilt...

Greetings one and all and first I simply have to say: 200 Followers! Good Lord. Seriously, three years ago when I started this I didn't think there would be half as many people interested in the random wurblings and paint daubs of a hairy bloke in Cardiff. You are all clearly people of impeccable taste, peerless intellect and I'll warrant devilishly handsome too.

But now, on to the real matter of the day, some painting! This chap was finished last week and is another in the line of Inq28 models I am doing.

This grizzled veteran is a member of Inquisitor Vandemar's warband, I talked about his construction in an older posts. He is a ex-guardsman demolitions expert and bombardier. His story will be up on the beard bunker before long. He's a professional looking soldier and so I wanted to keep his colour scheme subtle and subdued with one important exception:

The kilt! Tartan isn't easy to do but with patience and a determination to put every line properly into place you can get some really nice effects. Anyone from my family reading this miiight recognise the pattern:

Its the Duffy tartan, which I'd be entitled to wear from my maternal grandmother's side of the family. I thought I'd use it for this model as for almost every other tartan kilt on models they will have regimental tartans. This one didn't so I jumped at it!. Looking at the image above I'll talk you through the process I went through. First I applied a solid basecoat of Caliban Green. Look at the image, the white lines are the delineating feature of the pattern. As a result I painted the white lines first. Then darkened and lightened the appropriate squares. Yellow lines were painted next - sadly not the nice double line but I valued my sight - with green lines either side of them to cut them up. Its the constant crossing and cutting of the lines that is the crucial feature of tartan designs. If you have a clean line with no cuts on there then it will start to look odd and unreal.

As far as the rest of the model is concerned, the cloth was all Val Grey Green, the backpack and weapon sling Val English Uniform, shaded with Agrax Earthshade and highlighting with Val US Field Drab. This gave a pleasant canvas look. The grey-green gave his shirt and gaiters a very military look.

The autogun and it's underslung grenade launcher were given a very spare, utilitarian paint job. Simple green composite furniture and dulled metal fittings. Its got a nice military feel to it.

So there we go! Another in the line of Inq28 figures. I was going to publish him later in the week but 200 followers was too tempting to celebrate. Back to Flecktarn Imperial Guard now!


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Flecktarn Guard - it begins!

Hello folks, back to work again! Managed to get through the weekend with a bare minimum of injuries but there's a certain intensity to the fighting when you are all the enemies the players have to face! After taking tuesday to recover I'm back to work and finally getting a march on with the Flecktarn Imperial Guard commission.

I seem to have guessed right, a batch of five can be knocked out in a day's work whereas the mass-batching of such an involved scheme I was initially attempting would have resulted in blood running from my eyes! The colour scheme is the same as the original squad, but I've changed Vermin Brown for Val Flat Earth and Charadon Granite for Skavenblight Dinge as, well, they don't really exist anymore!

Something that is working very nicely are the variety of different backpacks the client has used. Gives them a nice soldierly air. Certainly, if I was to be doing an Imperial Guard force of my own again this sort of level of equipment and webbing would be what I was looking to achieve. I know that procedure is to dump heavy equipment somewhere fairly safe before an attack starts but it sort of "feels right" for soldiers to have equipment!

Much like the DKK project, I'm not going to be posting a picture here of every individual lot of five lasgun armed dudes that I finish. That would just be boring. They'll be going up on Today I've Mostly Been though and I'll do a group shot of them when all 45 of them are finished! Until then (or until I finish a drying time project)...


Friday, 3 May 2013

You've got red on you...

Arr me hearties, happy Friday to one and all. Well, as usual with the start of a new project the first few days consisit of assembly, fixing problems, removing mold lines and the like before mass base coating. Given that this would be far, far more boring to read about than to do I haven't shared any pictures of it! Instead, I'm going to show you all a model I've been itching to share but haven't been able to until now! (Because it is being entered in a WAMP contest and you have to post it in the competition gallery before it is shown anywhere else).

For those who aren't immediately familiar with this chap, this is Simon Pegg as Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. Again, this is a model with no real purpose in gaming (though I'm sure I'll find one eventually!) that I'm drawn to painting. I'm calling the series Cathode Ray Conquerers and you'll find more TV and movie-land characters under that tag. He is a Hasslefree miniatures sculpt and another corker: HFA052 Dynamic Ray. I've also got an "Ed" model converted to have a spade ready for some paint to join him. Oddly enough, this is the second time I've painted one of Hasslefree's Simon Pegg look-alikes (PC Nick Angel being the last one) that I've painted. Kinda hoping that there will be a third model in the Cornetto Trilogy...

First, I've got to say, this sculpt is brilliant, the pose; the weight distribution; the likeness; all are fantastic. But now to painting! Unusually for me I started from a white undercoat - as I knew the cricket bat, the flesh and the white shirt would all be happier for it! When you are trying to replicate a specific colour scheme for a project like this, reference material is all important. For things like face and hair colouring almost any still from the films will do, but it is often trickier to get a full length shot. So here is my top tip: action figures. These days almost every film (that would merit induction into the Cathode Ray Conquerers) gets collectable action figures, meticulously researched and nicely photographed. Like this one!

They really are a godsend for reference material. I toyed with painting him covered with blood but decided in the end (largely due to the pose of the Ed model) to set him in the garden right before the first zombie kill. If anyone knows of a "Mary" zombie let me know and I'll totally diorama this up!

Painting started with everything that wasn't white getting basecoated and shaded! Sadly, I didn't make notes on the paint colours used for everything and I painted him a few weeks ago so I can't really give full details. I can say that the shirt was painted with my new favourite white technique. A solid basecoat of Ceramite White is shaded with Val Pale Wash which is a very thin, sort of Fortress Grey colour. You can then very easily rehighlight and be left with a very clean, very straightforward white. Now to try doing those pesky Napoleonic British webbing straps again...

Little details like bothering to paint a watch face make a big difference in this sort of work. He's so simple a colour scheme that all you can really do is get the shades right and pick out small details to make him stand out. So, there y'go, one Shaun, very much not of the Dead. I'll stick Ed up when I get him finished. If you happen to be a WAMP member come on down and rate him would you? I'd quite like to win this one! There'll be Flecktarn Guard up soon so until then


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

I don't want to set the world on fire...

Eyup folks, after a slightly frustrating day I needed a quick win, a nice simple paint job to give me that warm "I did that" feeling and restore dented mojo. Casting around my boxes I found a "Nuclear Sandlot Robot" from Brother Vinni out in Russia. That'll do me!

Given that I am a big fan of the Fallout universe and games I noted at once the remarkable similarity (cough) between the robot model and the Robco Protectron robot from the series. A lot of Brother Vinni's stuff is in this bracket and I would not be at all surprised if he isn't gently encouraged to cease and desist before too long! Get your models sooner rather than later if I were you.

It may surprise you but this model is only about 2 hours of painting. Seriously. The weathering is what does almost all of the work in this and it was done with nifty purpose-built enamel paints. To start with the whole model was painted with AP Plate Mail and then shaded down with slightly thinned Val Black Shade. Val US Dark Green was then painted on to the painted plates. I chipped the edges with a fine brush and a sponge - where I could get in to use it - using the Val US Dark Green lightened with Nurgling Green. This was followed by Val German Camo Black-brown, perfect for this, to be the dark metal chips through the paint. I added some AP Plate Mail Metal to the very edges to be the polished bare metal.

Then the fun quick weathering. AK Rust Streaks was painted over all the bright silver sections. Once dried a little I used Odourless turps to move the rust colour around until happy with it. AK Fresh Engine Oil was painted around the joints and the mechanisms at the back. Its thin enough that capillary action pulls it around the joints nicely. Finally I added AK Streaking Grime to the gaps between the panel lines and then drew it out into nice streaks with more turps.

I think he turned out alright for a couple of hours work. I've no intention of doing a huge number of these post apocalyptic types but I've got a few totally-not-Brotherhood models and a not-really-an-Eyebot that I ordered with the Protectron. Anyway, he had the desired effect, frustration and dented mojo repaired. Huzzah!