Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Oh Hell(dorado); a random Westerner

Well, it seems that my tutorial was well received - I had more blog traffic the day I posted it than any other day since I created this blog nearly a year ago. I'll endeavour to post some more articles in that vein in the future, but for now I'm back with a regular update of painted models. I wanted a break from things small and beardy, so I grabbed one of my neglected Helldorado miniatures and got stuck in. I really tried to do the beautiful sculpt justice, and I'm pretty happy with the paintjob. I hate making excuses, but I think the photos really ruin the metals on this figure, they have a lot of depth and colour in real life. Anyway, all up this guy was about four hours work. Let me know what you think. Also, should I add blood effects, yea or nay?

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Starting with the Base-ics; a simple dungeon basing tutorial

Two posts in an afternoon? Yes, I'm feeling productive! For a while now I've been wanting to write some reviews and tutorials, and to do more with this small blog than just document my painting. There are plenty of blogs and websites out there that I've been inspired by and learnt from over the years, and I'd be thrilled if I could give back to the gaming community in some small way myself.
Someone on WAU asked how I did the bases for my dwarves. I gave him a quick summary, but I thought I'd turn it into a proper tutorial, since it's quite straightforward but looks, I think, rather good. I'm sure someone else out there already does something similar, but I've honestly never seen anyone use this technique before, so here's Magos' Patented Wood to Stone Transubstantiation Method...

This tutorial will go through the process of creating simple flagstone bases like I'm using for my WFB dwarf army. These bases would also be perfect for RPG models, or for use in a dungeon terrain piece. Best of all, they're dirt cheap and very easy to make!

To start with, you'll need an MDF base. Mine are 20mm square, but you could use smaller or larger, or attach them to GW plastic bases if you wanted. There are plenty of places that sell laser cut MDF bases. Mine come from Back 2 Base-ix and, bought in bulk, only cost 13c each, which is ridiculously cheap.
Here's our victim example:

Now, this is fine if you want perfectly neat, squared off stone block. Concrete, perhaps? But for dungeons, I think something rough-hewn looks better. Using a hobby knife, simply slice away little bits of the edges and corners. The MDF cuts very easily, so this isn't too hard or dangerous (obviously be careful when using sharp knives though). If you want to carve runes or designs into the base, do so now.

Your base is now looking a little more weathered, and if you painted it like this, you'd get an ok result. But real stone need some texture to make it look realistic. The solution is remarkably easy, and turned out better than I expected when I came up with the idea - Liquid Greenstuff. This is one of GW's technical paints, ostensibly for filling gaps. I'm not a big fan of it for that, but I do love it for texturing bases. I previously used it on my Tohaa bases. All you have to do is paint a heavy layer all over the base, then stipple it to with a crappy old brush to roughen the texture. The result gives you a really nice, subtle stone-like texture.

Prime the base (I use Vallejo german panzer primer, black would be fine too).

Now the magic starts. I'm painting traditional grey stone, but different colours could be used to create sandstone, concrete, etc.
Using an old brush, lightly drybrush the base with P3 Greatcoat Grey. Concentrate on the edges in particular.

Repeat the process with VGC Stonewall Grey.

Finally, finish the base with a light drybrush of VGC Wolf Grey. You can leave it light that, or add finishing touches to taste. I've used a small amount of brown pigment to create dirt, but bloodstains, moss or puddles would all be easy.

Bam. Done. Easy.
The whole process, including drying times, wasn't much more than half an hour. If you work on twenty or so at once, it's a real fast process.
Hopefully you've enjoyed the tutorial. Feel free to leave feedback or advice, and I'd love to see any pictures of bases created with this technique!

Thanks for reading,

Shields Up, Brace for Impact!; finished shieldbeard unit

Well, here's the finished unit of shieldbeards, a little short on numbers right now, but there'll be a few more added at a later date. Let me know what you think of them!

Thanks for reading,

Built on a Rock; more Hammerers and some bases

Just a quick post to update my progress. I finished a couple more Hammerers, and my bases arrived, so I got started on those today. Currently not totally sold on them, but we'll see how I feel about them tomorrow...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Drums in the Deep; finished command group

Finished the command group today, which means shieldbeard unit number one, also known as the Goldfists of Clan Galaz Baraz, is done for now. Pretty happy with the unit overall.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, 17 February 2014

Red Flag; dwarf standard bearer

Finished the first member of my shieldbeards' command today, the standard bearer. I'm not 100% happy with him... I really suck at freehand. The runes on his banner say 'Galaz Baraz', the name of the clan this unit is drawn from. Roughly translated it should say 'precious gold oath' - the clan is part of the jewelsmith guild, which is also responsible for the minting of coins. In the wake of their hold's fall, this clan has remained prosperous thanks to their lucrative crafts, and many of the clan are master jewellers and bankers in Imperial cities. While they aren't contributing as many warriors to the army as other clans, they are providing large amounts of gold to fund the expedition (and if 9th ed introduces allies, they'll probably be hiring a contingent of those as well).
The large rune is the symbol for my hold, Drung Drakk. I made it up on the spot when I needed something to fill the space, so I can't say its design has any particular meaning. The last rune is just a grudge rune - I'm not sure what banner runes I'll be using on their banner, so I figured something generic would be fine. I'm sure any dwarf banking clan is particularly interested in grudges.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Oh Look it's More Dwarves; it's more dwarves

I meant to post this last night, but it was 2am by the time I finished painting and I was pretty wrecked. Knocked out another couple of longbeards last night, slowly growing the throng.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Shieldwall Grows; more dwarves

Another day, another batch of dwarves to join the growing army.

Thank's for reading

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's Off to War We Go; more dwarves join the throng

I like dwarves, do you like dwarves? I hope so, because I have plenty to paint. Lucky they're so much fun to paint (apart from the metals...).
Anyway, my hand is still giving me grief, but that didn't stop me knocking our another four dwarves today. Three longbeards with shields, and another hammerer. There's not really a whole lot to say about them, so here's some pics:

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Mountain Kings Return; random Infinity, and new WFB dwarves

Well, once again I've let it go too long without a post. At least this time I've been productive, just too lazy to post about it.

I'm pretty tired tonight, so I'll try and keep this short. Last week or two have been ok from a hobby perspective. Gotten a bit of painting done, and have been playing games each Sat at the local club. Still yet to lose, although my opponent is definitely starting to push me, so kudos to him for improving fast.
On the painting front, I think I'm starting to get an RSI in my right hand. I'm guessing this is from playing too many hours of shooters, although I didn't think I was doing anything particularly click intensive lately. It's a minor niggle, and I'm avoiding playing games for a while to try and make it go away. It's affecting my painting though, since just holding a brush is a little uncomfortable at the moment, which is frustrating.

Anyway, first up is a couple more Infinity figures. I picked up some Pan O military order guys cheap second hand. I like the figures, which is why I grabbed the deal, but they're not in the best condition, even though they weren't painted. My paintjobs are pretty utilitarian, definitely not pretty. I've just abused glow effects to make them presentable on the tabletop. Pretty meh, but I'm happy enough with them.

The other models I have to show are definitely not meant to be tabletop standard though. GW is in the middle of releasing the new Dwarves, and I have to give it to them, much as I dislike GW, they make damn fine models. I fact, the new dwarves rank as some of the best models I've ever seen. I love them. Dwarves were my first gaming army, over a decade ago. I sold that army about six years ago when I moved onto better games, but the new models finally do the amazing art and imagery of dwarves justice. I've cut into my limited budget and ordered a couple boxes of the new Longbeards/Hammerers, and two Belegars. I plan to eventually build a full throng and take to the skull strewn field of Warhammer once again... and then probably give up in dismay at how awful the system is. But oh well, I'll have fun.
My old army was blue and white, and I originally was going to go back to that. However then I realised that every man and his dog paints dwarves blue and white - I wanted to be original. Crimson looks great on the new kits, so that's what I settled on. 
I don't plan on all the models being as red as this longbeard is, others will have bare metal plates or scales, as well as different red/white patterns.
The hammerer is one of the guards of my lord as he attempts to retake his lost hold - the hammerers wear black armour in mourning for their former king who was slain when the hold first fell, hence the different colours. 
I painted these both today, about two hours each.

Thanks for reading,