Friday, 17 July 2015

Eisenkern Command

Hi folks! Remember these chaps? Well, we're back with some more, this time from the command box set:

I'm just going to come straight out and say this, these fellas just do not photograph well. The combination of the always difficult to shoot adjacent blacks combined with the gloss annihilating shading and highlighting means that they look waaaaaay better in the flesh. But ho hum! This is what we got so just engage imagination and press on. These were made with Dreamforge's Eisenkern command set and were then modified to have GW weapons to make them more Imperial Guard. I will say, I was a little disappointed with the options included. The set really only allows you to make exactly what is on the box. No real opportunities to play with the configuration. They're mix and match though so if you have other Eisenkern sets they cross-mojinate. In this case mercifully we had some spare arms so the special weapon squad could work.

Speaking of the special weapon squad. My client thought there were only five models in the box so the extra unit was a pleasant surprise. We decided that they would work well as a small squad of special weapon wielding dudes and that a "breach and clear" affair could be fun. Two meltaguns to crack open that tank/bunker/starship airlock and three flamers to hose the resulting breach. Nasty. As with the last squads of these, painting is fairly straightforward, the brief was "Tie Fighter Pilot" so shiny black the order of the day. To separate areas of the model, the undersuit is Ammo Rubber and Tires, the armour German Grey and then everything got washed black. The armour got another glaze of black before highlighting with the Grey and the gloss.

The command squad itself includes a nice long range comms/scanner thing with a nice little laptop. Strapping a medical auspex and a bunch of pouches to one of the Eisenkern and combining it with a white medic helmet made a decent field doctor. The flag comes with the kit and as with all these CAD-made less-than-a-millimeter-thick-details is a bear to paint cleanly. Seriously guys, we need either more height or a wider detail. Finally, the officer is just the standard Eisenkern with a chaos plasma pistol. If you ever want a nice baroque plasma pistol, go chaos, they've got lots of lovely exposed wiring. Makes it look dangerous.

And that's all folks, short one today with not being able to see lots of cool detail. More next week!


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Very Model of a Modern Empire Captain

Greetings one and all, in the fairly lengthy drying times for the Eisenkern commission I am working on I was able to knock out a quick captain for my Averlanders. Frankly it is time you were introduced:

This is the amazing, and slightly over formal, Captain Harald von Agbeiten of the glorious Averland Northern Relief Forces (read, invading force trying to take over the almost knackered Ostland). The model originally was the commander of the first iteration of the Empire Steam Tank. I long ago sold the teeny tiny tank but kept the incredible commander figure... for years. Well, he's been painted now!

With painting Averlanders being a nicely formulaic process regardless of rank - seriously, I just go a little neater on the highlighting for the characters - he was bashed out good and fast. I did change up the colour on the sash a little, making it a more saturated, higher contrast fabric trying to be more silk-ish. Haven't quite got the effect but it does look more yellowey than the military ochre on the clothing.

Harald is armed with a repeater pistol, the model was originally an engineer don't forget, which technically can't be used by a captain. There were a couple of ways around this, one, I could just ignore the rules. Done it before, will 100% do it again I am sure. But not this time, this time I decided to make him an idiot who had bought a multi-barrelled pistol masquerading as a repeater pistol but in fact just letting off all four small calibre bullets in one volley. Achieving the same effect that a single pistol would achieve but at four times the cost. Like I say, idiot. With a veneer of snob.

Other than his name, I haven't got Harald's backstory nailed down (it'll be on the Beard Bunker anyway). He will certainly be an old fashioned soldier out of retirement with a keeping up with the Jones' attitude and a stuffy manner leading to him bringing a damn box into battle from which to deliver inspirational speeches to the men. It's what they like after all.

That's all for today, some Eisenkern troops later in the week (more of these lads), until then


Friday, 10 July 2015

Aren't you a little short for a Huntsman?

Greetings one and all, in a sharp left turn from all the aeroplane themed posts of late; I thought I would go for very, very footslogging fantasy dudes. Short ones to be precise:

These are a selection of Halflings from various eras of Citadel variants. They are masquerading as Huntsmen for my Averland army. With The Moot being practically in Averland it helps the theme of the army to use these instead of the human archers.

Given that most of them are... kinda gormless looking, I figure them for being the easily led and persuaded sorts that might join a northbound expedition. They're also dim enough to not notice that they've mostly been given cast off children's dress-up uniforms, hence the ill-fitting garb. Irritatingly the close ups really don't look all that great, largely because these fellas are only 20mm tall. Suffice to say, they look more convincing in the flesh!

Painting wise, they are mostly the PVP Codified Averlander Scheme with occasional splashes of green to bust up the uniformity and linen shirts on any that have them. Deck Tan is the best colour I've found for this.

Love the fearless leader, clad in armour and with a chicken leg from the supply halfling (the one eating the supplies, he has more in a bag). It has a cartoonish charm. I'm rather taken with these yokels-playing-at-soldiers:

...Not least because of all the fun wee details hidden around the back of the figures. Pots, pans, tankards marked "mine", the whole nine yards. Bundles of fun. Now, I need to address a quick elephant in the room, you may notice that these fellas are based on square bases and in a custom built skirmish movement tray. None of which fits the "new warhammer" of Age of Sigmar. Well, I'm not moving on from 8th edition. I don't really want to rake over the coals of the many, many problems with AoS. If you are curious you can see my views and those of my gaming group over on the Beard Bunker. Here, I'll just say, if you're into warhammer 8th edition, you will find lots to please you. If it is Age of Sigmar (and why not? Each to their own)? Not so much. Anyway, that's all for today, more Averlanders soon!


Monday, 6 July 2015

Like a Thunderbolt from a clear sky

Yes folks, Project Thunderbolt is done! First, I think some musical accompaniment is needed, crank this up:

Yep, the long running series keeping content on the blog while I batch painted two massive aircraft is finally concluded. We can finally bask in the loveliness that is the Thunderbolt and I'm rewarding myself with a rather generous glass of Pimms (it is summer after all and I'm British). But enough waffle, to pictures of shiny things!

Obviously, I have talked at length about painting these guys so I'll mainly be focusing on the finishing weathering and detail stages and waxing rhapsodic about how lovely these sculpts are. Seriously, I defy anyone to hold one of these in their hands for more than a minute without making it "fly" and murmering "braaaauuuuu dakkkakakka" under their breath. That is the mark of a cool aircraft, vroom noises. Fact. But anyway! Weathering on aircraft is all about restraint, there really won't be a lot of chips and dings that aren't battle damage. Frankly, if an aircraft is flying into something hard enough to chip the paint then that is a sad, sad, crashing plane. So keep the normal chipping to an absolute minimum. Instead, streaks of muck, soot, dust, whatever the plane might have flown through are the best option. Note that while the jets are heat-discoloured, the rear "jet" isn't. That's because I figure the rear nozzle is the rocket motor that Thunderbolts have to break atmosphere (completely wrote "break atmo" in a Firefly reference but figured clear communication over nerd points) and these haven't been fired yet.

On the wings you can see the streaks of dirt, on the dark surfaces it was mostly Ammo Rain Marks streaked on and stumped with odourless thinner. The undersides were more muddy coloured to stand out. I realised I hadn't talked about the decals much as to my decision making process for where they should go. Some were obvious, the numeral and weird sine wave thing were in the classic place that the JG-52 markings were found. The rest needed to have some thought put in. Most of the "label" style decals were scattered around areas that need to be "soldier proof", bomb mountings, ammo storage etc. Things like the little white triangles I figured would work nicely as a targeting point for machine spirits to lock on to the plane when recovering to a carrier. There are a bunch of little steel discs that initially looked like fuel ports but there were way too many. I figured instead they were magnetic cradle clamping points. The triangles allow the cradle machine spirit to target the attachment points.

The business end of the Thunderbolt! Beware all ye that this is pointed at.

And that same business end with the torpedo of significant Jeff-obsession clamped on. The yellow cradle blends so nicely with the nose cone that it could have been designed to go there. Really happy with how that went down. You can see the muddy-toned streaks on the wings and some of the labelling decals if you zoom in on this view.

There have been better shots of the pilots but this final round-up didn't feel right without showing off at least one of them.

And finally, the prodigious collection of ordnance and an example of the basing. The rubble was my normal mix for urban basing, sand, cork granules and Secret Weapon bricks all welded down with thinned PVA. The ordnance was orginally all white (so it would not show up against the pale underside of the aircraft. The red, white and yellow elements would pick up the spot colours on the plane. The bombs though, just looked like toys in white. Did not work. So instead, I pulled the mid grey colour from the fuselage and used that as the ordnance colour. The torpedo got a dark sea blue tone. Torpedoes want to be camouflaged against the dark ocean once fired so a darker tone is appropriate. The ordnance seems small compared to the aircraft (which are huge) but each was like painting a normal 28mm fig (but simpler paint scheme).

And we're done! It's been quite the long haul but I hope you've enjoyed the journey. These now need to be shipped off to the client and long years of happy air-to-mud exploding action.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Tutorial: Heat Staining Engines

Tagline: Project Thunderbolt - build log part six and a half

Yeah, I know, it's no "in space no-one can hear you scream" is it? Today, I present a mini-update because I realised that I had something that I could easily step-by-step and would take up a ton of room in another update. So a tutorial is born!

This is a surprisingly nippy technique, took about 15 minutes to do both engines including stopping to take photos. However you really do need a hairdryer to achieve this time. Leaving ink layers to dry naturally will take approximately forever. Start by lightening the metalwork on the area you need to heat stain. You'll need the brighter steel to show through.

A thin glaze of chestnut ink (all ink layers are mixed with acrylic thinner, in this case Vallejo Airbrush Thinner) over the nozzle is followed by a thicker band. Feather these out a bit - stippling can be helpful too. Check to avoid pools of ink forming. You want a nice clean layer... of grime... you know what I mean.

Next a red and chestnut ink mix was applied to the bottom edge of the "brown band" (seriously, look at reference materials for this.

Then a mix of red and blue inks to create the right purple tone, feather this over the red-chestnut to keep the gradually shading tones.

Next, blue ink is used to stain the very ends of the nozzles (nozzles? Who knows), again feather the blue into the purple.

Finally we get some soot staining with drybrushing first German Camo Black-Brown...

...And finally black. Done!

Now if you are doing this on the polished chrome of a motorbike exhaust, for example, you will want it shinier than this, don't add the soot and put a thin layer of gloss varnish over the staining. It'll pick up the reflective quality of the metalwork beneath. These are old, 40k-ish engines so grime is better.

There y'go, quick tutorial, and just because "why not?" here is a picture of a nifty torpedo:

I think I'm a little obsessed with that torpedo...

Anyway, all for now