October 27, 2009

The cusp of completion

It seems the weather has put an end to my gardening career! It has been really grim and gloomy here for the last few days, the rain has never been far away. The view from my room is amazing however, I am surrounded by wonderful golden trees with a few scattered pines for contrast. With the weather being so bad I managed to get a lot of painting done over the weekend. A few hours of brightness on Saturday enabled me to tackle some of the highlighting on the cloaks of the six that were remaning to be done. When I mixed a brown glaze for them that evening I got a strange purple tone in it. From where it came I don't have a clue. It was a clean palette I used so it was a little weird. In an experimental mood I applied it as it was only a slight purple tone. It worked suprisingly well. However it had some drawbacks! While at the bottom of the cloaks it was fantastic it made the transitions very stark at the top of the cloak. It seemed to change the mid-tone. It is okay but I will have to experiment a little more. Thankfully these cloaks were for the guys in the front ranks so it won't be too noticable.

The warriors are almost there, the cusp of completion. I have the skulls at the back of the cloaks to do and then the weathering and bases. I have undoubtedly missed some pieces somewhere so I will go back over them tomorrow with a fresh glance to see what needs some more attention. I have a tournament in Ulster in four weeks. The army will not be ready at all. It will be January I think before I can field a fully painted army. I tried to get to a tournament here over the weekend. I contacted the organisers but it was full. That was a pity. My Battlefoam case is supposed to be here sometime towards the end of the week so can get the army around now. I called their office to see what the progress was. According to them it will be dispatched today! That means I can start looking for opponents.

October 21, 2009

Will they ever be finished?

I am still not finished. These Chaos Warriors are taking ages to do! At least the first rank (not the front rank) is getting there. The skulls and plumes are the last things to do. I might need to tidy the mettalics on the swords a little more but I have to wait for them to dry fully and see what they look like then. I have realised that the large shields really cover about 50% of the model. That will be good to remember as I can skip painting one of the legs. Well I can skip the armour plates at least. The shield covers them completely. These guys are turning out nice and I am getting a little more enthusiastic about the painting. It really is nice to see something completed for a change (well almost completed!).

I am going to continue and get the final six members of this regiment done as soon as possible. I would have liked to have taken a break and get a second regiment of hounds done. It is probably best to keep going with these and just get them completed. I am currently sculpting some detail for the standard bearer. I am giving these guys the standard from the deamonette box that has the Slaanesh symbol. Sadly it doesn't fit straight onto the warrior model. A slight adjustment of the arm and some armour plates should work fine. Painting that standard will be great. I don't have a clue how I should go about that! For those that asked the heads come from the mounted Slaanesh Champion. I mail ordered them years ago when I was then thinking about a Slaanesh army. I never used them and found them just before I moved to Germany. That was a welcome suprise. It is a pity I didn't also order a few of the shields that models come with.

I am not looking forward to repeating this scheme on the Chaos Knights. That is really going to take me a long time. I hope that it will be worth it in the end. I don't know how far to go with the scheme across the army especially when it comes to the marauders. I would like to tie them in somehow but having them painted this way goes against the theme of just using them as standard norsemen.

October 19, 2009

The ambush

I have noticed what may be a national characteristic here in Germany, the lyrical ambush. This has happened to me a few times already and I am waiting prepared for the next occurence! The best example I can think of is this: I was asked what the word 'Levy' meant. I explained that it is special type of tax and recieved a look of incomprehension. Then I was asked again as there must be another meaning. I thought for a second and then explained that a levee was an obstruction both naturally and artifically created to prevent rivers from flooding. Once again a look of incomprehension but at least the guy left. Eventually the guy returned and said what does "I drove my chevy to the levy, but the levy was dry" mean? Hmmm this time the incomprehension was mine!

I was in Hannover at the weekend. I attempted to attend a tournament and party there. Sadly I missed the tournament due to the party! I was going just to spectate and see what the armies were like. It would be nice to know what exactly is acceptable in terms of nastiness for armies. I don't want to turn up at the first tournament with what I thought was fine but nobody else does. Maybe it will be the one time I would get away with it? There has been a huge amount of disscussion online about army compositions within the Irish Warhammer Community. It is great to see everyone chatting about it and hopefully some reasonable concensus will be reached! With the vastly improved tournament scene there now I think these types of issues really need to be discussed.

I am still slowly getting the army prepared. Sadly real life things like a job are getting in my way. I suppose I should be happy about that but still today I would have prefered to paint. The Chaos Warriors are what I am working on at the moment. As I can't glue the shields and weapons on to these guys yet but I still want to use them. I felt they needed some attention. At least that way my opponents can see exactly what they are armed with. I have half of them started. It takes a long time to do one!

I incorporated a few Slaanesh symbols onto these guys. The helmets come with a tiny symbol in the centre. GW really hot the ball with this one. The mould line runs right down through the centre of the delicate sigil. I removed it fairly well but on one or two of the models so far I have also managed to remove part of the symbol. Annoying but a steady hand fixs them up pretty well. The heads look really great on the warriors. I don't have a clue what colour to do the crest in. I was thinking a dark grey blended up to white, keeping the colour cold. It should offer some contrast to the warmer palette but not distract from the details. It will be the last thing I paint on them anyway.

I still haven't finished with the Hounds. They are almost done, I think the claws are the last bit to do. To tie them in with the army I put some lava on these guys too. I wasn't sure what colour to do the scales so I experimented with the same pattern as the armour. Its not bad!

October 18, 2009

Virus!


I am just writing to say I have a nasty virus on my computer that is preventing me from using google and therefore this site. I hope to have it removed soon so normal business can be resumed! I hope you don't mind the wait!

LATEST NEWS: I just managed to find what was blocking Google. Hopefully the fix is a permanent one. I don't think this machine is virus free but at least all the internet is working now! Some new pics coming soon! I would like to draw peoples attention to the following website. It seems like an invaluable resource when dealing with a troubled computer: Geeks to go!

October 11, 2009

From burning to glowing

I have always wanted to try Object Source Lighting. I never tried it before as I didn't have any models that I felt were suitable for the technique. I have to paint fire with the Cultists I have prepared for the army so I assume I will have to give them some form of OSL to look right. Therefore I have decided to practise now! I was looking at my dark warhounds wondering what would brighten them a little. I decided to experiment with glowing eyes! Following two guides the first from the Brush Thralls and the second fromCool Mini. I managed to get the dogs to look fairly decent. I am not 100% happy with the effect but it is a start and I can't possibly get it 100% correct the first time that I do it! By the way the dogs are nowhere near finished. I am trying out a few different things with them so see what I can manage.

The fur was the first thing I did with them. I never managed to get my hand on the guide I previously mentioned even though I remembered where I saw it. The guide to painting varied tone fur is in the Hordes Evolution rulebook. I left it in Ireland thinking that I wouldn't need it. Anyway I figured out approximately what I needed to do. Again I am not totally happy but it came out alright. I went with a not too light mixed colour faded down to GW Charadon Granite. The highlights and a glaze tied the tones together well except for the very lighest colour. It still contrasts a little too much. Across the battlefield it isn't noticable.

I haven't started the 'skin' areas at all. I was considering a flesh colour for them but I don't really like the naked look. I have done that before on my Dire Wolves and while it worked okay for them I don't think it would be that nice for these guys. I just need to figure out what colour I can use to enrich and lighten the darkness of their skin now. Once I have that figured out another days work will see the first regiment finished!

The next tournament is six weeks away in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. I won't have my army painted by then. I think if I just sat and painted constantly between now and then I still wouldn't get finished. I will have the army fully based at least. I always texture and paint the bases of the models first. It saves getting paint on the finished model while trying to reach an awkward spot on the base somewhere! So while I won't get the fully painting marks I will get some at least. I might manage a base coat on everything, fingers crossed! At least Battlefoam have gotten back to me now so I might have an army case to carry my stuff in finally. Much better than the metal toolbox I have used for the last fifteen years!

I also have a short break from my german courses now so I can dedicate a little more time to painting. Hopefully this will result in some more progress!

October 8, 2009

Burning heat

I have begun testing the painting schemes for the army. While the Chaos Sorcerer was just to test the neutral colour choices, this Warrior is to test an exact technique I intend using! I painted him in a really dark bronze colour. I didn't want to go for black due to the fact I don't like black on a model. It is too negative and draws the eye away from details. I built up the flames with Vajello paints as I find them easier to use for this than the GW ones. A hot orange base it built up around where the final lines will be placed. A wash of black tones this down and helps the blends. It also brings the armour to an even darker bronze colour. Once this has dried I can then build up the colours through hot orange to white. This gives the fantastic lava look. The large flat plates on the warriors are really suited to this. This guy is a real WIP. I am testing the colour combinations and blends so please forgive all the other areas! I will eventually figure them out and apply to the warriors. To contrast the armour strongly I will hopefully be doing the cloak quite light. The fur around the collars will be a very light brown, something I intend for the whole fur component of the army. The cloak itself will then be also a light brown but blended up from GW snakebite leather towards GW bleached bone.

As I intend using the bronze as a base for most of the metal in the army I have premixed it! As GW brazen brass is sadly no longer available I had to improvise a little. I had a tiny amount in the bottom of a pot left. Into this I added the Vajello brassy brass. I added black ink to darken and thin the paint a little. Finally a little glaze medium was added to thin the paint further. I will have to leave this overnight to mix a bit more and settle. While I stirred it quite well I find it needs to sit a little longer to mix better. I can check tomorrow and hopefully it will have mixed well. It might not be dark enough so I might have to add some futher ink. I am not sure if I will start straight away on the Warriors then. I would prefer to do something simple like the hounds and get them out of the way so I can do some more interesting stuff. I have been looking online for a tutorial about painting fur. I believe it was on the Brush Thralls site but I can't find it. It was, I believe, a walkthrough of how the Privateer Press studio painted the fur on their Buffalo mounted Trollkin! Anyway it is bound to turn up somewhere. This is the technique I wanted to go for on the hounds as it gave a very natural colour to the furs that I liked a lot. Failing finding that I will look up some reference pictures of wolf fur to give me an idea of what I am going for.

I am continually making it difficult to have a Slaanesh themed army! While I want one still I will really have to work out how I can get all my imagery together! Maybe some burning runes of Slaanesh on the armour? I at least have the symbol on the helmets for the regiment so maybe I can have it painted black emerging from the hot surroundings. I will have to see exactly where it is located in relation to the eye slit to see if that would work. I have come up with the idea of Ash'senal, the Mother Bear and patron godess of the tribe. As an aspect of Slaanesh she protects and suckles her children. In battle her fiery rage is unleased upon their foes.

October 6, 2009

Small and hairy...the cloaks are almost done!

Nearly there... thirteen cloaks left to do! I have been trying to get the army fully constructed over the last few days. That means basing everything and sculpting the details I have left to do. The worst part is the cloaks simply because they are the most invloved sculpting task. The marauders are now fully done. I have even managed to finish the champion. I was really stuck for inspiration for this guy. I just couldn't get a decent picture of what I wanted in my head! Eventually I just started positioning pieces and seeing what came out. I quickly decided that I liked the idea that he would hold his shield over his head. That left me confused though as to what he could do with his weapon. I considered having him point it forward. However that would make the piece hard to carry, a big concern for this army as I intend travelling a lot with it.

The weapon naturally fit across the body and had the effect of spreading the shoulders and making this model fit his body better. I find with the marauders that they don't fit their bodies. The huge chest muscles just don't look right. By increasing the volume of the shoulders and making them a little taller they suddendly seem to be scaled correctly. The shoulders are easy to do. The cloaks cover them almost completely and increasing the volume of greenstuff covering them makes them look bigger. Making them taller is also easy enough. The position of the legs allows for one of the feet to be raised on a stone or log. I didn't do this for all the models. I did make sure to do it for the Champions though.

The standard needed some sculpting too! I wanted to have a bear skin hanging as a standard. However I didn't want to sculpt the whole thing. I found a great compromise in using the existing standard as a base and simply sculpting the fur unto it. I left the details on it but sank them into the fur to give an impression of depth. I removed the strange hooks from the ends of the standard as they look bizarre. I wanted to add a bear claw or even a bear head to the standard but at the moment that might be beyond my abilities. I will consider it for a future regiment. I might add a few runic talismans or bones to the standard. All in all I am happy with it. I hope it will paint up well!

The full regiment of eighteen is done. I have all the ones with cured cloaks based. I just need to select the shields now. I won't glue them on until the models are painted. I wanted the regiment to look like they were rushing forward in a shieldwall like formation. I turned all the bodies so that it gave the impression of forward movement. The shields should all face directly forward then. I didn't want theem all to be to the side as they usually are. I also need to start thinking about how to make these guys Slaanesh. Most of their skin is covered so tatoos might not be noticable enough. The shields would probably be the best place though I haven't decided yet. I don't want them to be overly corrupted or marked. Hopefully a good skin tone with some interesting shading will give a suggestion of Slaanesh and a few select tatoos and markings will seal the deal!

In the last tournament they didn't see any combat. I don't believe they even suffered a casualty. Not a single spell or cannon shot was directed their way. They serve well as a home for my two sorcerers at least. I am not sure how these guys will preform if ever called upon to charge in. Their insignificance seems to make them ignored while people deal with the more obvious threat of Chaos Knights and flanking Marauder Horsemen!

October 2, 2009

Testing the colours...

I am trying to not be distracted by all the cute red squirrels in the backyard attempting to hide nuts. Some strange mischevious streak in me wants to go down and move the nuts around! It is quite cool to have squirrels in the backyard. Between them and the odd birds it is quite a sanctuary! I am finally close to a stage where I can begin to paint my Warriors of Chaos. As a break from sculpting cloaks (24 done, 30 to go!) I decided to paint this guy to test the colours, well some of them at least, for the army. I also need some practise as I haven't painted anything to a high standard recently. I wanted to keep them warm so bleached bone was a base for the highlights on almost everything. I have some practise with this style of a palette with my Circle of Orboros horde. I do want to expand on that into new colours.

The skin needed to be sickly, well he is nurgle after all, so I shaded that with a nice green. I want the skin pale but warm for the army. I won't be doing it too much like this guy but it was some practise! For the rest of the army I will build from a brown base except for the more corrupted members. A purple base and whiter highlight should make them distinct. Well I hope so! I have some Daemonettes that will eventually become Forsaken. These will be the most corrupt and feature almost pure white skin. What position this guy will have in my army I don't know as I never intended to have a Nurgle Sorcerer. He came as a gift. Having now painted him I have come to like the model more. I hated it at first. Now I am considering that I might mount him in a chariot so I would have to get a second model. We shall see. Its not a priority just yet.

I need to do something about the poor symbol I painted on the skull. It is terrible. While a bad workman blames the tools I do have to say my detail brush is useless. I can't get paint to 'flow' from it at all. I suppose it is time to upgrade from the GW brushes! I will have to search around Hamburg for a good arts and crafts shop. The Windsr and Newton brushes seem to be the best. They are spoken of most fondly on the Warhammer Forum. I hope the shop near Jungfernstieg sells them. I am finally getting to know my way around without constant references to the map I carry. I still haven't managed to get a game here yet but I still have hope!
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