August 29, 2010

The last horses for a while!

Horses... that has been the last few weeks of my hobby time. At least finally today I managed to get started with the riders. I have, as you have seen, been busy on my Chaos Steeds. I have finally finished the armour on them and as a break I started the riders today thankfully getting them basecoated. The Chaos Steeds are actually quite nice to paint and being pretty much covered from head to hoof in armour fairly simple. It still takes time though. There is very little flesh to paint. The small amount there is is heavily muscled and doesn't need much work to look nice. These models are really lovely and I would be tempted to paint a lot more of them if they still proved to be effective in this edition. I think I have a total of five boxes of them... bought before I had effectively planned out even my seventh edition army nevermind eighth!

PhotobucketA good eveing or two this week should see the knights finished! It will be nice to get something finished for a change. I find that is one of my main motivations in painting... getting things actually finished. It always then gives me a big boost to do more. I haven't finished my marauder horsemen at all and as such the last few weeks have seemed to be a chore. Seeing these knighzt relatively quickly coming together has been great. As the knights are base coated and pretty much armoured all over I have two surfaces to work on. The first being the cloak. These are pretty big but fairly easy to paint. I don't think they will take me too long. I made some mistakes while base coating them. Well actually the wash made some mistakes. When I applied the wash it once again went white in places. I am still not sure why as this is a brand new pot of Badab Black. I have an idea that because I was using some foundation paints before hand I contaminated the wash when I watered it down. I will experiment with this a little on a spare model. The effect was really interesting this time and it could really help me out on a future project I have been mulling over if I am able to replicate it fairly exactly.

PhotobucketThe armour is pretty straight forward at this stage for me thankfully. It will take some time but once it is done then there is not much further detail to do for these guys. The large flat plates on the shoulders and the helmets are the only areas I have to be really careful on as these are going to be the main sufaces that you will be able to see. I do wonder what the effect of having the exact same armour on the rider as on the steed is going to be like. It might be a bit much? I suppose the shields are the only thing to work on then. I wish there was a little bit more of a selection on shields. I would have prefered some more plain ones, a little like the foot warriors. The ones they have are pretty busy affairs and seem to be themed towards certain gods. I have eough knights whereby I could give them all the same shield I think but that wouldn't be nice either! Anyway I am sure I will figure something out.

As to what to paint after these I don't really know. I would like to start on one of the marauder regiments but I know that is going to be a slog. I have some time off in October where I intend to sit and finish one of those regiments, hopefully in time for the tournaments that month!

August 23, 2010

Progress... whats that!

I spend far too much time listening to Podcasts. I started off with the now defunkt Fell Calls podcast. I believe this was the first gaming podcast and in many ways it is still one of the best. I listen to them while I am painting and it really helps pass the time. Painting is pretty boring when you get down to it. It really can become tedious and to help prevent this it is great to have something else to occupy your attention. I used to have a painting table where I could see my computer screen and I watch TV series while painting. In fact I think I watched the first three series of Battle Star Galactica this way. I found that this was really distracting though and I switched to Podcasts and audio books pretty quickly. Audio books are great especially as they are free from the local libraries. The best I have listened to so far has been Patrick O'Brians Master and Commander. Sadly its next to impossible to get the second and subsequent audio books... That would be a dream come true. Those books were made to be read aloud! Anyway with the profussion of Podcasts out there I thought I would list a few I like and let you know why.

Thaco Podcast
This is easily my favorite podcast. I have been listening to these guys for a few years now as they were the original makers of Fell Calls. This podcast is about a lot of things and most of them have nothing to do with Warhammer. It is mentioned occasionally though. I think Thaco originally was envisaged as a DnD podcast but it quickly evolved into a general gaming an geekdom one. There are even a few early episodes that feature some recorded play from one of their campaigns. It was really great to listen to and sadly they dropped the campaign. The podcast is humourous andas you never know what you are going to get it is always a pleasure to listen to. The presenters have real personality and it comes through. I recommend this one highly! There is no premium content at all for this podcast.

Podhammer
This was the second podcast I listened to. It was pretty strange for the first few episodes but Jeff really improve the quality. It does provide a lot more than just gaming, in fact it is pretty much like a soap opera. Still it has improved a lot over the last few episodes and I am once again a regular listener. The army reviews are a mixed bunch and there is almost no hobby discussion beyond what the guys are doing themselves. It does provide some interesting insights into what seems to be a vibrant tournament scene though. Its currently the best podcast for eight edition content though they admit that in six months a lot of it could be completely wrong.

Heelan Hammer
This is another quality podcast. It started off as more of a hobby style 'cast but it has changed somewhat. The hobby tips seem to again revolve around what the guys are doing with their own projects rather than anything actually informative. Sometimes it feels like Dan is just listing off his games during the previous week and then having a ramble about what GW are up to. Don't get me wrong its good to listen to but it gets repetitive. As it has gone to a two week schedule I don't find that I have the same habit for listening. If I have to hear them talking about dipping again... aaaaagh. That rally drives me nuts. I can't quote directly but those of you that have listened should be familiar enough with it!

So I always wonder about the premium content of these podcasts. I am curious as to what you actually get for your euros... I work in an industry based on a very similar premium model and its a pretty hard thing to get to grips with. I always found that you should cater for all players and not just those that pay but the more and more I get to understand things I have realised that you really should cater for the people that are paying. They really deserve the attention and I don't think this is what is done by podcasts out there. If I thought that there really was some golden content available I would sign up without a worry. I wonder is this because it is treated as a hobby project and not as a business? Anyway just my thoughts on some of the Podcasts I listen to regularly.

As for my army I am making slow progress. I figured out how to mount the cavalry riders so that I can paint them while not attached to the horses. At least I can get started on them soon. I am painting up more of the Chaos Steeds at the moment. The weekend was hectic and I only got one to a decent standard. The others are base coated washed and ready for detailing so I think this week may see them done. The weather will help as it is a usual grey day outside. I have signed up for two tournaments in October but the more I think about it I know I won't have my Chaos ready for then. I will pull out my Dwarves I think. They shouldn't need much of an update to be playable in eighth edition as I have pretty much everything in duplicate. Anyway I am trying to not think about it and get on with the painting. ho knows the Chaos could be ready...

August 15, 2010

Back to burning

As I have been busily sculpting fur for my knights I decided to do a test model today. I wanted to see if I was still able to do the burning armour I have done elsewhere in the army. I was concerned that it would not be that nice on the horses of the knights and if not I really wasn't sure what else I would do. So I tested it and it came out okay. I have more details to do and I have the horses flesh to attend to also. The model has come out quite dark which is a little annoying. I really don't want to have such a dark army but hopefully the rest of the army can provide some more light. The marauders especially as they are mainly flesh and I have been painting it fairly light.

PhotobucketI finished the cloaks yesterday despite my hangover. Friday was a nice night out with the guys. I wasn't really in a painting mood the following morning and sculpting was enough to occupy me. I listened to some of the Podcasts especially Podhammer. Somehow they managed to get two episodes out without me noticing. Sadly the review of eight edition and Chaos in particular got me pretty annoyed! I have twenty cavalry models in my army and on my painting desk. Well according to them and a few other Wwarhammer broadcasters cavalry might as well be thrown out the window! So do I continue or not? Well of course as they are generally easier models to paint than infantry at the moment. I will at least have the army finished that littel bit more quickly even if it loses some effectivness.

PhotobucketI have also been reading the Skaven book again recently. Having seen the wonderful contents of Island of Blood I am tempted to try out dipping. The skaven should be handy enough to do in this method and maybe I would get a quick and nice army done. I will wait until after the Chaos are playable at least and then consider my options. However blocks of sixty Clan Rats should really great and with some nice options to back them up I think they could be pretty formidable. Aanyway thats something fo the future.

August 11, 2010

A theme of fur

I am thinking that I must mention fur in every post in this blog. This one therefore will be no different. I have once again being sculpting and yes once again it is fur. Looking at my lists and the quickly approaching Irish tournament scene I have decided that six Chaos Knights are equal in points to twenty Chaos Warriors. Hence I pulled the knights out of storage and began to put cloaks on them. I am really annoyed with the ones I have done on the mounted marauders. Looking at them now I see that I have made them way to small! If the marauders were standing the cloaks would only reach to the back of their knees. With the knights I may have over compensated. The cloaks here would really drag on the ground if the knight was walking.

PhotobucketThey look pretty impressive in my opinion at least. With the over sized cloaks on them they really are much more bulky. I am also able to sculpt better on the larger surface and the fur has much more of a direction. When sculpting large cloaks it can really begin to look boring if you don't add layers to the fur. On a smaller area you don't have to worry as much as people looking won't pay the same attention. With the knights this cloak is easily the largest surface on them so it needs something. Once painted I am hoping it looks decent.

This is an excellent photograph that illustrates exactly what you are trying to sculpt when you do fur. There is not a hope in hell that I could sculpt each hair. I don't think it would be worthwhile and look good anyway. What is needed is an impression of the fur. Here you can see that the fur is capable of movement and has a direction. You can also see that there is in some places a feeling of depth while in others is pretty flat and uniform. If you look at a picture of long hair you will also notice that it forms long tufts. The combination of these is what I attempt to achieve when I sculpt. There are quite a few others that are equally valid but for me that is the easiest.

I still haven't finished the marauder horses. I haven't had the patience to sit down and build the highluights on the skin. Its pretty easy to become demotivated about a task. I will get to them one of the evenings this week though. Then onto the riders who I am also not looking forward to... oh well just one of those painting chores we all have to get through. Reading the Dresden Files (two books more since last I posted) has given me the idea that running Hunter: The Vigil would be good. So far I haven't put pen to paper as it would eat a lot of my time. Hopefully I can continue to resist!

Some extra shots:

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August 9, 2010

White Horses....

Three days.... twelve horses.... not finished! Like I said before I don't know how it is possible to spend so much time on horses. I now have twelve in total almost finished. The spray painting doesn't take so long, laying the basecoat over the white does take some time, some highlights and mettalics.. whooosh three days vanished. I have them to a stage wherew I just need to finish the skin. The shading is finished and hopefully subtle. I need to build up some highlights which with white is never easy. I will have the horses at least finished this week and my schedule is pretty much free in the evenings. Painting white is something I have tried a few times. My first model that was fully in white was a Warp Wolf from Privateer Press:

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PhotobucketIts not an easy colour to paint. I really haven't figured out a decent way to do it. I often find that the pigments in white paint seem to leave a very chalky effect once you build up highlights. They even do it if you are using white in a wash to lughten the colours. I have heard of a white ink which I intend looking up but I haven't found anywhere in Hamburg that sells Windsor and Newton Inks yet. I am not really sure what white ink consists of but it sounds like it should do the job. In fact the art shops here in Hamburg are pretty poor. Maybe it is an unfavourable comparison with Dublin where I have ten years of experience in rooting out the best art suppliers! I am not looking forward to having to find jewellery chain for my Warshrine thats for sure. It was tough enough to find that in Dublin despite the shope almost being beside the Games Workshop store! I haven't really started work on the Warshrine yet. I would like to have it pulled by hounds but I am not sure if they are convincingly large yet. I have a box ordered so once I get them I can line them all up together and then I will see.

Currently with white I lay down as solid a white spray as possible. It is much easier,in general, to lay down white evenly in a spray. It depends on the angles of the models. For my horses for instance the underbelly was impossible to reach with a spray. Painting on white as a base coat leaves streaks. With a solid base coat down I generally paint on a light coating of white. Its important to not water this down too much as it will pool and leave really strange vibrant white spots in the recesses of the miniatures! A grey wash over this provides a lot of definition. Then its simple enough to go back and highlight the white. Well sort of White is tricky and if it was as simple as above then everyone would do it. A couple of hints though:

1. Clean Water! Your water really cant be clean enough for white paint. Any time you wash your brush and there is a colour in the paint you will end up with it on the model. Get a clean water jar and dedicate that to cleaning your brushes when using white
2. Clean Brushes! Notice a theme? Your brushes need to be clean just as much. I have a few times managed to apint a model obeying rule one and when I come back I notuice the model is an odd light shade of pink. A lot of paint can build up in your brush and it usually waits until you are doing a nice white model before leaking out just a little. Some painters use separate brushes for white. I don't but I make sure that the shampoo comes out before I begin.
3. Patience! You really need to take your time with the highlights on white. A wrong streak somewhere and your model is literally ruined. Its easier with other colours to hide the mistakes but with this one it shows straight up. Water down your white until it is aptly like milk and apply a few thin coats.... most definitely do not apply a strong undiluted white except to the highest and most defined areas. It really stands out and ruins a natural look!

Meanwhile I have been busy with Fool Moon and Summer Knight. These are books two and three of the Dresden files. They are warming up! I like Harry Dresden. He is an interesting character and the books are funny. Make no mistake it is light entertainment here but fun. Check them out! I also finally picked up Name of the Wind but it will be a while before I get to read it. Once I do I will pop a note up here.
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