Thursday, 31 March 2016

And I Beheld A Pale Horse...

...And his name that sat on him was... Roderick... and the Death Korps followed after.

Yup, it's yet more Death Korps o'clock! This time it is the blue, sorta WWI Belgian variants and include one of my very favourite DKK models. The Death Riders always looked good on the website but getting one in my hands? Let me tell you all, Forgeworld knocked it out of the park on this one. Fantastic. Let's jump straight in:

I dithered a lot over the colour of the horse. I figured I had a couple of options, either a strong contrast or a colour that would compliment the regimental scheme. In the end the decision was made on two counts: One, the overall scheme would suffer by too much of a totally different colour being added (and I was worried a dark horse would diminish the impact of the creepy tack) and two, I had called to mind that "I beheld a pale horse" Revealations quote and figured that was perfect for the Death Korps. I didn't trust my ability to get a nice "champagne" colour - really tough with painted horses as much of the tone is the skin showing through the fur - so a pale grey was the best option. Plus it felt like the sort of colour that might be bred en masse for a consistent regimental appearance.

The horse of course (of course, of course) was not the only animal on the base. The officers little dog was a plastic part from another kit added on to give even more character to the piece. I joked with the client that the lack of gas mask meant it must be an Eastern Krieg Gashound bred for hardy doggy lungs. It's shape though was much more spaniel in form so spaniel it got!

The rest of the painting (including his two buddies) was the familiar Fenris Grey with assorted mid greys, rubber mask and brass fittings. Not terribly tricky and discussed in prior DKK posts so I won't bore you with it. Suffice to say, a fun project and was I to be doing a DKK army any time soon? It would have a shedload of the riders in it as they. are. awesome.


Monday, 21 March 2016

Servants of the Omnissiah: Part 1: Sicarian Ruststalkers

"We are the iron fist of the Imperium,
what possible use is there for the velvet glove?"
- Magos Explorator Cynia Breazeal, Cetus Cluster 4.160.834.M41.

Yes folks, today starts a new project just for me. A somewhat shiny, metallic project: A large Skitarii warband designed with Inq28 in mind. All glory to the Omnissiah!

Today's offerings are two Sicarian Ruststalkers. Let me tell ya folks, some of the Adeptus Mechanicus models are the best things GW has made since the Dark Eldar. Much like the Dark Eldar there are some slightly "ho hum" examples among the range (the electro priests having the most Warmachine/Warcraft ugliness for example) but the bits that I like? They are lovely. These Sicarians are delicate, elegant, have gorgeous pierced components giving lots of easy to paint visual interest. In short: Fantastic.

Ruststalker 985.Rho.14

Now, I shall level with you guys, I find some of the fluff for the Skitarii forces a little... silly. Very overblown and emphasising the ultra fanatical end of the Mechanicus spectrum. Thus I am choosing to ignore certain elements. The Ruststalkers though? They make sense, assassin cyborgs, what's not to like huh? I see these two as being infiltrating killers. Thin and agile, able to crawl through tight spaces and leap about. Anyone who has seen the Clone Wars cartoon series: I'm imagining the way the commando droids move in that. The kits have more variety than they first appear to have. The the extent that I could represent one Ruststalker favouring an Okinawan-style two sword technique (985.Rho.14) and the other (656.Rho.14) preferring a blade and main gauche dagger duelling style.

Ruststalker 656.Rho.14
Finally, lets actually talk painting! These two chaps were very much test models for the rest of the Skitarii warband so I was paying more attention to the overall impact than I was to what exact colours I was using, but, what I remember is: All of the Mechanicus models will almost certainly start with sequential drybrushes of steel colours all the way up to silver. In this case I also used a dark brown and german grey before I washed the whole thing in black ink to get nice black fatigues and dark brown leather. I wanted a very different vibe to the studio scheme, so no bright reds - only Tech priests are getting red robes - and no shining lights because, well, assassins right? I used bronze as the contrast for the armour and decided that I quite liked the dark glass-like blades the studio did. Dark Reaper shaded with black and highlighted through Thunderhawk Blue to almost white then glazed blue-green did the job. I finished it off by greasing and oiling the joints with Ammo Oil enamel paint. Exposed oily joints don't make a lot of sense in this context as it would just pick up sand and dirt but it looks cool and we'll assume the Mechanicus has solutions to that issue... totes.

I really like how these turned out. The basing was an experiment too, I wanted a scheme that would work in both urban and rural settings so went for "long collapsed overgrown rubble" with Baneblade Brown edging as the pale brown looks like the thin, sick soil you see in urban waste-grounds. I've got the next five - Skitarii Vanguard - on the workbench for evening and weekend sessions so there'll be more very soon. Until then


Thursday, 17 March 2016

Krieg Troops and Catalogue Models

Hiya folks, more shinies this week for ya!

Long time readers will definately recognise the colour scheme at work here. I dread to think how many of these brown Krieg I've done over the years but these are amongst the last. However, it's rather clear that three of these things are not like the others... let's check them out.

These three lovely ladies are more of the "Toughest Girls of the Galaxy" range, yep same as the Vostroya Today cover model. While these are still posed in rather a "catalogue model" attitude I quite like them. The middle one has a too large head but the sculpting is actually really nice and they were a ton of fun to paint. Not least because the client wanted darker skin than the usual Caucasian. Picking which exact shade you can paint a model generally depends on the sculpt. These girls are very European in sculpt, but that means you can choose anything from the far North of Norway down all the way to bits of Turkey. Lots of choice. This skin tone started with Val Beige Brown, shaded with a mix of Reikland Fleshtone and Agrax Earthshade, highlighted by adding increasing amounts of Kislev Flesh to the Beige Brown and then glazed with Seraphim Sepia. I think it came out quite nicely and is definitely being added to my repertoire of skin tones I'm happy with.

The rest of the paint scheme was rather informed by their attachment to the brown Krieg forces. Camo greens, khaki and a saturated dark green was the order of the day and led to quite a quick, enjoyable session bashing them out. Fun models. No idea what I'd ever do with them myself, but fun nonetheless. One of those times where its nice to be a commission painter as you do things that you wouldn't have chosen to try yourself.

Heading back to the gasmask lads, well, there isn't a lot to say that I haven't said dozens of times before. So we'll just check out the pretty pictures and not worry about my blathering so much.

Really like this tank commander. Such contempt for the kind of weapons normally flicked at an armoured vehicle that not only is he out of his turret, but in a pose of absolute, casual calm.

And that's all for today. Hope you've liked them and more next week!


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Rocketgirl and friends

Hi folks, I'm back and I brought shinies!

These are a quartet of Inq28 operatives - probably not related in the client's own backstory but mashed together to prevent endless one-model-painted-posts (if people would prefer more regular but limited or sometimes repetitive posts let me know in the comments). The gang is a pair of - I think - Toughest Girls in the Galaxy, a kitbashed crusader from GW components and a nautical chap the origin of which I have no idea! an Aether Pirate from Miniatures of the North. As usual assembly all client, only colours are mine.

still struggling with colour fidelity, imagine this more crimson.
First up - as she looks most "in charge" of these four is the model I was thinking of as The Exorcist all through painting. The brief was for crimson robes, OSL staff and some sort of banishment scroll. So that is what we went with! I decided that I would pair the crimson with deep gold and mid brown leather. The colours worked nicely but needed some black lining to push the boundaries as there wasn't enough contrast in the scheme. Black lining is something we need to bring back more, especially those of us who like naturalistic schemes. The internet's obsession with "pushing contrast" makes great photographs but leaves us with that very cartoony, unrealistic look. I understand why studios do it. Trouble is, as photo sharing online is the way our community primarily interacts on painting it has become an unwelcome truism that high contrast is the only way as we're not judging the painting, we're judging the photos of the painting. A thin black-brown line is enough to break up the areas of detail and give us clean delineation of detail without that high contrast push. It may be old school, but it ain't useless.

There are bonus points available for anyone who recognises the banishment sigil on the scroll ;)

The crusader had an even simpler brief, red and white with lots of leather. I decided on a darker, more threatening red on this one with the white used very sparingly on the sleeve slashes. Initially, thinking of the lots of leather brief, I had the trousers in leather, but they were so clearly sculpted as fabric that it just looked wrong. I wound up deciding that the red was a uniform and the balance of the whole piece was improved. Speaking of which, the little spot colours of brass also help the balance. Before the helmet was brass with steel details it looked a bit plain and there was a weird stripe of brass across the midriff of the model with the sword hilt, belt and pouch aquillae all brass. Picking out the inner helmet in brass shifted the contrast colour back to the head and also had the side effect of making the helmet look much, much fancier.

For the Rocketgirl and her ageing retainer the brief was French Napoleonic voltigeurs. This means a rich blue with black leather, white trousers and white piping along with a yellow collar detail and red cuffs if available. Given that I was basically painting the Rocketeer I couldn't resist copper and brass as the mask and wing details. The blue flashes on the wings were another of those balancing considerations. It's hard to explain sometimes what I mean when I talk balance as I rarely photograph the times where it doesn't work. Might work up something tutorial flavoured at some point.

I'll level with you, I found this model to be quite crudely sculpted, the piping is massive and the epaulettes are chunky and irregular in size. I've clearly been spoiled rotten by the quality of modern miniatures. The ageing retainer was handled in the same way as the rocketgirl. The exception is the coat which I chose to paint the same grey as the voltigeurs of old. Initially I had it blue as well, but it just looked wrong. The grey works much nicer and also gave me the "industrial" colour of the middle of the wing on rocketgirl. My usual "add light grey instead of bone" method for the final highlights on the skin gave the aged look to the ageing retainer and all was good.

That's all for today folks, I know it's been a while between posts but these things happen right? Should have more shinies very soon.