Friday, 25 November 2016

Die Historic on the Fury Road!

It's that time again! Spray yourself chrome and jam the pedal to the metal. It's more Mad Max-esque stuff:

This time we're going for something a little bit more ponderous in appearance. The "breacher", as I've been calling it, is built for all terrain grunt rather than top speed. I like the idea of it being a blocking vehicle or slamming through an enemy's fortifications while the turret gunner keeps them pinned down.

As with all the rest, this starts with an elderly 1:43 kit, a Peugeot this time I think, and some Zinge tracks. I made a frame of thick plasticard rods to replace the axles and attach the tracks to. I had to cut away some of the lower parts of the bodywork to allow the tracks to fit in, likewise, the bonnet needed a hole in it to make the engine fit. I chopped out the boot space and replaced it with a big ol' oil drum in order to make it seem like a fuel-hungry engine was involved in hauling the tracks along. A sort of turret-ey thing with a soviet machine gun and a bit of bent armour plating for an improvised dozer blade finished it off.

The Mad Max series of models has all started the same way, solid layer of rust to begin with, then layer on other colour where it needs it. Here, I decided that a bottle green would go well with the overall tone of the vehicle. I threw a few splashes of colour with the red of the fuel drum and the yellow dozer blade but for the most part? Rust. The interiors are all decked out in various shades of interior trim that seem to fit the era of vehicle.

Speaking of the dozer blade, I figured some sort of road sign-age would help the post-apoc looking cause. I believe these are going to be doing multi-duty across a range of culty type options, including in 40k. So I couldn't do - for example - a big ol' motorway signs for Leigh Delamere services or anything. A "Diversion" sign in a fairly straightforward yellow and black felt pretty universal. I scratched the hell out of it with sponge chipping and then drabbed it further with the dust and dirt so the yellow could be strong without dominating. Worked ok I think.

As usual, the weathering for these was layers and layers of Kursk Earth enamel weathering paint stippled and feathered out to make it seem realistically grimy. Of course, the camera lights eat most of the lovely subtle effect (these all look bang tidy in the flesh) but there's enough left to see how filthy the whole thing is.

Just one more of these to go and the quartet is complete. More Shadows of Brimstone next week though. Until then


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Shadows of Brimstone: Part Three

Somewhat belatedly (I've been ill, some kind of ear/lung-murder-virus thing) we return to the weird world of Brimstone and a pair of likely lads from rather opposing ends of the socio-economic spectrum:

Yep, today it's the turn of the Doctor (for whom I could not find visual reference for love nor money so I just went for it) and the Male Prospector. They kind of represent opposing ends of the sculpting quality in Brimstone, because the prospector - for all that his proportions are a bit weird - is a nice model. He's got lots of nice details and works well. The doctor is... ok. Unfortunately "ok" is the best most of the models come in at. They're mostly single piece and so occasionally suffer as a result of slightly unimaginative posing, or in the case of the doctor, a slightly weird element. In this case, his hair. The detail is also a little soft on that one but otherwise. Not terrible. Lets start with him.

The doctor is the companion piece to the nurse we featured in part one. Quite a few of the Brimstone models have both genders represented, which is nice. For this chap, there wasn't a whole lot to consider, I figured a basically brown tone would work and used a tan yellow waistcoat to both fit with the tone and also contrast the darker brown bits. I'm happier with the battered leather look on the gladstone bag this time. I went for a much lighter brown on the scuffs and it worked nicely. The glasses were a frustration. It's almost impossible to freehand the eyes in there to make them look like actual glasses so you're left with Django style shades. There's a reason not many models have glasses, there a swine to paint to look like plain glass lenses. Otherwise, he's fairly unremarkable.

The prospector was a lot more fun. I realised he's supposed to be wearing a sort of lumberjack shirt waaay too late and painted him with those red/pink longjohns on under his much-patched denim. He's got a ton of little details - the frying pan is really nice - and he looks exactly how you'd expect an itinerant prospector looking for claims in creek beds and the like to look. I think only a gold pan would have improved him but you could successfully claim the frying pan can do double duty. I actually all but finished this guy before I got sick so unfortunately the exact mixes have been forgotten. But he's a nice model!

That's all for today. More shinies soon


Monday, 14 November 2016

Frostgrave: A Tartan Infantryman

Hello one and all and welcome to a significantly chillier corner of PVP towers. Yep, along with some of the Beard Bunker folks I have been tempted into exploring that oh-so-dangerous frozen city. Wrap up warm folks, we're going to Frostgrave...

There's lots of good articles out there about Frostgrave so I won't belabour the explanation, suffice to say, it's a skirmish game on the lines of Mordheim owing a lot to games like Chainmail and D&D for a lot of its mechanics. The emphasis is on the wizard leading the gang and their apprentice; but I wouldn't be me if I didn't get obsessed about the little guys too. To that end, I decided that my first Frostgrave model would be a basic infantryman from my warband:

I'm not massively enamoured of the "official" Frostgrave models (seem competent enough, but a little cartoony for my tastes), but if ever there was a game begging for third party models to represent it's broad, ambiguous "classes" it was this. With that in mind I raided my bits boxes hard and found a bunch of models that would work nicely. Mix of races - there's no distinction made in the rules - and manufacturers, but my first is an old Games Workshop LOTR Clansman of Lamedon model mostly seen in bright blue, white and shiny steel.

didn't notice until way too late that pesky snowflake in his eye socket.

I knew I wanted the armour appearing lighter - the infantrymen are only in leather - so I went for a moulded leather set of armour in a lovely rich brown. This is my new favourite leather mix, Mounfang brown, highlighted with bone, glazes of Agrax Earthshade. Creates a wonderful warm brown which matches a lot of my own leather gear (I'm a LARP-er). On top of that, I definitely wanted that lovely great kilt painted in a realistic traditional tartan. I wouldn't be able to give you a mix guide of any kind as I was mostly fiddling with shades. But the basic way method is to mix half and half of the background colour for the stripes and always mix at least a tiny bit of background colour in for the intersections. Mutes everything and makes for a nice traditional feel. Me likey.

That's it for today. Lots more Frostgrave to come, not least because there's oodles of wandering monsters and NPCs to paint, not to mention my summonable demons... bwuah ha ha haaaaa!


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Ride Eternal, Shiny and Chrome!

Oooorrr, Rusty and Spiked as the case may be...

The minute I knew I was doing a pseudo Mad Max project (I believe these are actually becoming some sort of cultist mobile in 40k) I had to make the hedgehog. I loved that thing and knew I could make a slightly less bonkers version of it.

Starting from a - I think - Citroen of some flavour, I carved away wheel arches (and even whole sections of the front) in order to make the Zinge wheels fit. To the top I added a tank hatch as a fighting platform. Then I started gluing dozens and dozens of plasticard spikes. To make it really like the movie vehicle would have been possible but it would have taken approximately forever and would have made it very delicate as a wargaming model. This is a compromise on the vision.

As with all these vehicles, I started with a solid coat of rust. I already knew that this one would be almost totally lacking in paint so I went a bit further with the rust texturing. More colours of rust for added depth of colour. Then I moved on to the interior. I've left all the body shells unglued initially in order to make it easier to get a rudimentary interior painted. In this case a pale fabric roof and door covering and tan leather seats. I started off getting everything nice and cleanly painted, then dotted spots of darn near every weathering paint I have in order to work some filth in. Once this was done I stippled and streaked with a brush dampened with odourless turps in order to soften the effect and spread the stains in a more naturalistic way.

The hatch, I decided, was scavenged from an armoured vehicle and so added some chipped green paint to the hatch. The end result actually descends into all the rust in a very complimentary way which pleased me no end. Finally I went to town with the dust again. I went a little further than the last one as I pictured this vehicle going off road to overtake and get into position for close assault more often. In my mind's eye there's a lancer standing in that hatch urging his driver closer to a wheel so he can attack.

That's all for today. More Shadows of Brimstone next week before the last two cars get the treatment.


Monday, 7 November 2016

Oh What a Day, What a Lovely Day!

Witness me! We're delving into the somewhat high octane world of Mad Max. If you've no idea what I'm talking about watch this, then get the film*, watch that, then come back. I don't mind. I'll wait...

My client had four venerable Hauler 1:43 car kits and wanted something a bit more grungy... To that end I did some cutting and chopping, fitted various resin wheels and engines and a few more plastic bits lying around to the four vehicles coming up:

Seen here in very much work in progress mode. Final results will vary.
This first one is, I believe, a Citroen Traction Avant of some kidney but do not quote me on that. I am bad at cars. I envisioned it as a recon vehicle of some kind, big ol' searchlight picking out intruders into territory or something. Tanks of something nitro-like plugged in to the engine to get it out of dodge fast.

Painting wise, I knew this one was going to be black. Almost all the cars of this type I've seen are black and I confess, the black plastic of the kit inspired me a bit too. First step was getting a very grey car - yes, I know, it still is grey, but that's grey with dust, not just grey... honest - by using a series of progressively lighter shades with German Grey mixed into the black. Then I used a glaze of black ink mixed with matt varnish and airbrush thinner to knock it back to black. The rest of the metalwork basically went rust coloured.

On top of the general rust and grime there was some battle damage to take care of. Bullet holes were taken care of in my usual way. The crumpled fender was achieved in a similar fashion, heat the plastic with a lighter then mangle it with needle nose pliers. Job done. These got chips, scratches and just bare metal painted on and then rust colours used to weather it down again. Finally, it was time for muck.

I used Ammo's enamel weathering paints for this, they're just the best way to get dust and grime on models. I've not found anything better for the task. It's the way you can muck around with them using odourless turps or white spirit without affecting the acrylic coat beneath. Kursk Earth got liberally splodged on and then feathered out with stipples of odourless turpentine. Jobs a good un.

That's all for today, but obviously there are three more of these Mad Max vehicles to come so watch this space.


*Yes, I know, there are other Mad Max films. But hey, Fury Road is my favourite and doesn't give Mel Gibson more money...

Friday, 4 November 2016

Shadows of Brimstone: Part Two

Continuing our Shadows of Brimstone mini-odyssey, this time with the two "Jargono Natives":

Apparently there is some sort of jungle/swamp thing in the Brimstone setting and these two are residents of it. They're actually some of the nicer cast models in the game that I've painted so far.

The "male native" - if these characters have names, I don't know them - is supposed to be armed with a turtle shell shield along with that alligator shoulder armour and Inca-esque sword. Given that the sculpting on the shield was not a huge amount like a turtle I needed to use some trickery to get the effect. For the outer layer I just painted a suggestion of the ringed look that turtle shells have. (By the way SoB sculptor... that isn't how turtle shell looks... just saying...) For the inner part, it was sculpted perfectly flat so I put a bit of shading on to indicate the internal ridges of the turtle skeleton. The alligator hide is just Caliban Green, over-highlighted with Nugling and then glazed down with Athonian Camoshade which knocks some of the saturation out while still keeping it a nice green.

I've left discussion of the skin till now, introducing "female native", because, well, what else would I talk about? I'm always a little confused when sculptors do the bikini thing on tribal types. A loincloth would have had the same effect and been a little more in character. But hey, aesthetic considerations aside, I knew I wanted these to have that particular skin tone that most Amazonian tribes have, a little redder than, say, Hispanic. Following my usual progression of human skin tones (Burnt Umber through Beige Brown to the GW pinkish skin tones) I figured start at Beige Brown with a tiny dash of Burnt Umber. Warm it up a bit with a wash of Reikland Fleshshade - I'd usually use sepia with this tone - and then start the highlighting: Pure Beige Brown layered on and then further lightened with Kislev Flesh added to the mix. Finally, I glaze the whole thing again with another, slightly thinned, layer of Reikland Fleshshade. I think I got it about right. Some stone daggers and the tiny bits of clothes later and jobs a good un.

Well, that's all for today folks, next week we'll take a bit of a break from Brimstone and have something with a smidge more horsepower. 'Till then...


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Shadows of Brimstone: Part One

Hi folks, today we're kicking off the first of a new commission, painting minis from the Shadows of Brimstone game. I'm completely unfamiliar with the board game so I'll be focusing on the painting only!

First things first, they didn't photograph too terribly well. But assume that there's some more transitions and subtlety about them and all will be well... The models do have some problems, very, very 2D sculpting, the casting quality is... ok, verging on terrible at times and the material is that irksome restic stuff. However, once you get through all that, the models are quite nice treatments. This US Marshal above in her civil war style uniform and chaps is a good example of the box's miniatures. I was following - ish - the colour schemes on the game cards so it was mostly figuring out the mixes that would give me the desired effect. In this case starting from The Fang (sigh) for the jacket; a mid tone grey for the trousers and Burnt Umber for the chaps. A nice sculpting touch is the trouser cuffs just peeking out from the chaps at the bottom. Well thought through.

The nurse was one that I didn't have a card for so I pulled some Victorian nurse images from the web to get a sense of colours. In this case a petrol blue (Vallejo Field Blue) highlighted with lighter greys. White for the apron of course and dark slightly scuffed leather for the Gladstone bag. Finally, I tried to replicate the difficult-to-capture-in-paint brown/amber glass colour for the jar in her hand. I can't remember the exact colours, but the basis was a vague tan/amber colour highlighted with white and then glazed in first chestnut and then a thin brown ink. Worked out ok I think.

The nun was one of the worse minis so far, harsh sculpting on the face and thick details in places but otherwise ok. Not a lot to say about the painting on this one. There's black, black, black and some details. I have just this second noticed that the lining wash on the cross' necklace got away from me so I'll have to go back in and tidy that up tomorrow. With not a lot of painting to speak of we may as well talk basing here: The "Brimstone" setting is in various landscapes so we went with a parched, rocky soil with struggling clumps of grass. Essentially it's what I did for my Night Goblins (pick out the bigger bits of sand in a rock colour before the final drybrush) just with less grass.

Finally, we have a collection of bandit types. These are just stormtrooper types, there to be gunned down as soon as they appear so didn't warrant huge amounts of time. Instead, I chose to make it an exercise in "how different can I make a mob of totally identical dudes?". By changing up the clothing colours while staying in the classic palette of the "Wild West" I think we wound up with a nice gang of individuals rather than a uniformed squad.

Well, that's just the start on the Shadows of Brimstone. There's another 15-20 characters to go at least before it's all done. So if you like your fantasy Wild West, watch this space.