Tuesday, 20 October 2015

From the Wastes of Colony 87

Hiya folks, today we are returning to the inhabitants of Colony87 and adding a couple of new faces to the lineup.

As is usual for my painting I had come up with vague identities and narratives for these chaps. So on the left we have an old successful tech prospector and dealer and on the right we have a down on his luck chap scavenging the worst areas around the Colony. These are my two favourite sculpts of the Colony87 range and were a blast to paint. Let's start with the prospector:

I wanted to keep quite a drab palette for both of these. They felt like "salt-of-the-earth" chaps and thus less likely to be toting bright colours and finery. Vallejo paints covered most of my bases, in this case the dominant colour being the coat and that being German Fieldgrey. Interestingly, both this model and the scavenger have the same colour on them but you wouldn't guess it. This has been shaded with a wash of Athonian Camoshade while the scavenger got the brown Earthshade wash. Otherwise this fella is a mix of leathers and XV-88 on the body warmer/armour. All the colours in the scheme were highlighted with Deck Tan which made for a pleasing almost mono-chromatic feeling palette. The skin got my usual trick of adding a little light grey in place of the normal bone as the final highlight tones to make the prospector feel older.

Like the prospector, the scavenger needed a muted scheme but with one battered splash of colour, the re-purposed space helmet keeping him alive in the nastier bits of the world. His robes are again German Fieldgrey (the top bit) and US Olive Drab which I think might just be my new Charadon Granite, it is awfully close. Might try the "Andy-green" with it and see...

The helmet I was quite chuffed with, starting with my Averlander yellow and then adding little chips and dings with Ammo Chipping paint. Then I started in with streaks of lots of different enamel weathering paints, streaking and stumping them with odourless turps to make a nice rich collection of stains, muck and rust which of course the camera captures about 30% of. Sheesh. Anyway, I decided that a rusty poking stick/metal detecting wand would finish him off nicely. 

I've enjoyed these. The colony87 project is proving a fun little diversion amongst the larger projects (the Tau Battlesuits I'm working on for instance) and the client giving me complete carte blanche for colour scheme has rather set my imagination loose to just have fun with it. Nice.

That's all for today folks


Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Droning On...

Hi folks, bit of a change of direction this week. I've got a commission for three Tau Broadside suits that I've made a start on. As a means of testing the colour scheme I started with the drones that will accompany them. Then thought... why should they not have a feature all of their own?

I've always been rather fond of the Tau drones. They speak to the high technology and more "modern" tactics of the Tau compared to the rather 40's and 50's approach beloved of the Imperium. For me, more than the suits, more than the tanks it is the drones that define the Tau as an army. So I was happy to be giving these some love.

The client has chosen a very missile heavy Broadside squad with seeker missiles attached so has wisely opted for a markerlight drone to accompany each one. The scheme for these are the classic sandy-Tau. This starts, oddly enough with a lot of black. Most of the machines and suits are actually painted black with just the armour panels in the distinct Sept schemes. Black, drybrushed grey with a black wash covers this nicely.  Then we move on to the sand, I'm not fond of the very, very bright sand colour that the studio use, shocking news to regular readers I am sure. Instead I kept it more to the XV-88 Base-paint end of the spectrum. My Tau Sand therefore is XV-88, a highlight mix of XV-88 and Tau Light Ochre and then Pure Tau Light Ochre.

A word on panel lines, they are very important to the look of the tau army. They are also a swine to paint neatly. There are a bunch of different ways ranging from the simple (just leave the base colour in the cracks, tricky to keep neat), through the complex (use an enamel paint to darken the panel lines and then use odourless turps to remove the excess) but my preferred method is to use very, very carefully applied washes. Agrax Earthshade, thinned a little is painted into the lines cleaning up any overspill with a clean damp brush as you go. Best way in my opinion.

I'll talk in more detail about painting when we get into broadsides but I felt that the little dudes needed some love too. Until next time folks


Friday, 9 October 2015

Men of Praetoria, Stand Ye Steady...

Yep, fire this up, because it's Praetorian Imperial Guard O'Clock baby yeah!

This is part one of the commission with a platoon command squad and a bevy of heavy weapon squads still to come. Common sense though dictated I start with the biggest "block" of the troops and get the solid 20 man core of the platoon completed.

These were actually a lot more work than I was anticipating and a lot of that was due to nostalgia-tinted glasses. It's really hard to get crisp, clean lines on the old guard models because the sculpting and casting wasn't that clean. There are big filled in undercuts and wobbly chinstraps and the like. Of course, being post-hoc conversions of the Mordian models that proved so popular at a Games Day that they got released didn't help either. So, in other words, these are models that you have to either paint like a character for each one or get to a point and say, yep, that is good enough.

But enough grumbling about archaic sculpting. Painting! Fortunately for my client I've been restarting my Napoleonics in recent months (sloooowly) and thus had found a rather lovely red just perfect for Colonial era Brits (appropriate and very punk song here). Essentially the whole thing revolves around doing a normal highlighted red up to an orange highlight. This will look ridiculous, waaay to orange. Then mix up my normal blood mixture of 2 parts red ink to 1 part chestnut. Thin this with water and glaze medium and glaze the whole thing, ta daaaa! Colonial red. Vallejo Off White then provides the piping and webbing details and my fake not-really-NMM gold took care of the braid. Interestingly, I was looking to see what colour to do the heavy weapons, red seemed too gauche, black looked too "sleek", and found that Victorian artillery was essentially Codex Grey. So mid tone grey it went and shiny it looks! I washed some of the basing colours into the wheels to make them seem a bit dusty and that was about that.

I'll leave it there, as there are more of these to come and don't want to be saying "well, I talked about the painting extensively in the first post..." again. So for today,


p.s. these are getting a break now, Tau next!

Friday, 2 October 2015

It's Not That Easy Being Green

Hi folks, today, we have a bit of a departure from our normal faire with a rather nice frogman. No, not that sort, a Colony 87 Frogman (well "Amphiron") apparently called Barcoon Krobosh:

Yep, let the Frog Chorus play (those of a certain age hate me for that earworm, those who don't know it, google it and then remember it was released by a profit seeking entity and former Beatle to boot...). I have spent the past week working on a big batch of Praetorian infantry and while they are lovely, they are a bit involved. While they are looking good (cue sneak peek)...

...I was starting to get fatigued and needed a bit of a palette cleanse, something very, very different. Fortunately another client had some sci-fi civilians that needed doing, among which was ol' Barcoon the Froggy up there. Couldn't resist.

The colour scheme was determined by the frog skin I went for. On a split complimentary scheme, lime green works with a yellow-orange and red-purple. The purple is actually a lot more red than this photo shows. The camera decided to ignore the glazes and cut down to the darker bits. Grrr. Anyway... The skin started from a clean coat of Vallejo Stone Grey, this was going to be the basis for the underbelly so it made sense to use it for the bright green undercoat too. The green started with Moot Green, again just getting a clean coat, which was then shaded with two glazes of green ink mixed with glaze medium. That's it. It needed nothing else; anyone else thinking "Lizardman army in a weekend"? To keep the colour scheme balanced a tan leather bodysuit (XV-88 shaded and highlighted by adding Skrag Brown and Deck Tan respectively with a Seraphim Sepia wash) and a purple-ish magenta cape were married up with bronze, brass and gold decorations. A splash of extra contrast colour with the eyes and a mysterious steel flask (?) in his hand and job done.

I quite like the Colony 87 stuff, it's nice to see civilians getting some love in miniature form although some of the detail is a little soft. Might need to go around the foot claws again as the softness there really needs some sharper paint than it got on this pass (sometimes you only spot this stuff with the camera). But yeah, I think they're a useful addition to the canon. That's all for this time folks, predictably, it should be Praetorians next!