I haven't done much painting these past few days because I've been on stomach-churning pins and needles waiting to hear back from PhD programs I've applied to. So far, the news has been grim - 2 rejections out of 4 applications. (Yeah, I know applying to only 4 programs was a very dumb mistake. If I don't get into either of the remaining 2, then I'll be taking out a loan in order to pay for a king's ransom in application fees next year. You know the old adage - throw enough "stuff" against the wall...)
I'm certain I'll know for sure by next week. Then after a brief mourning period, I'll get right back to painting. It might be skeletons, Cadian Shock Troopers and Necrons for a while after that, though, because I'll need to make up a ton of ground on my 365 project (which is still extant - never retreat! never surrender!).
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Here's my first attempt at a Genestealer. Overall, I think he turned out okay. He was, as expected, pretty easy to paint. I gave him a Black Gesso undercoat then basecoated him in White. After that, I liberally applied a Leviathan Purple ink wash mixed with Pink acrylic paint and watered down with Flow Improver to get that more pinkish (or as GW calls it Warlock Purple) coloring. When the wash dried, I went over the miniature with White again to bring the basecoat back up then picked out details here and there - the claws with Black and a feathering of Opaque Red; the back spine and forehead plate thingie with Rhinestone Purple; and the gaps in the carapace with Opaque Red and a Baal Red wash.
You'll notice the base is incomplete. I still need to paint it with Dolphin Gray in order to make it match the Termagant base (and to adhere to the rules I set up for myself regarding this project). But, alas, this is a case of expediency trumping principles. I just couldn't wait for the PVA glue to dry before painting the base so I just went ahead and took the photos. As Sophocles wrote in his play "Electra": "The end excuses any evil." Shameful, just shameful. (Apparently, this project is not only making me paint the backlog of miniatures I have sitting on my shelves, but it's also breaking my will down bit by bit. And it's only week 3!)
Okay, up next? Maybe that Tomb Kings Skeleton Archer, but maybe not. I have a day off tomorrow, so I just might paint up something more substantial. Possibly my Guardsman Marbo conversion? Or my Ork Kommando conversion? Or finally that Blood Ravens Multi-Melta Operator who's been sitting at my painting station all primed and ready to go? Who knows?
Heavens to Murgatroyd! Desperation has set in. I missed another day and am now 3 miniatures behind my pace. Thus, you all get another Necron Warrior. It's amazing how hard it is to find the energy, time, and motivation to paint these wee miniatures after a hard day's work (well, for me at least). Plus, the wife insists on quality time together in the evenings. Do her oppressive demands know no bounds?!? Just kidding.
So, Necron Warrior number 2. He was painted in pretty much the same way as my first Warrior - Black Gesso primer, a basecoat of Dolphin Gray, an extremely diluted Liquitex Carbon Black ink wash, then a highlight of more Dolphin Gray to bring the basecoat back up. The green bits were painted with Christmas Green and the eyes with Opaque Red. I then gave him a down and dirty and very quick drybrush with some White for more highlighting.
His base was put together with white talus and a strategically placed clump of dried moss all afixed to the base with brushed on superglue. Normally, I use watered down PVA glue for the basing materials, but I was worried the talus would be too heavy and irregularly shaped to properly bond with PVA glue, so I used superglue instead.
It seems to me that the two easiest armies to paint up in the Warhammer 40k and Fantasy Battle games would be Necrons and Tomb Kings respectively. Taking finances into consideration, I'm sure a person could completely paint a, say, 2000 point army of either of those two factions in a week or so. Especially the Necrons. Looking through their codex, I can't really imagine any models except for maybe the Flayers and the C'Tans who would require more than 1 primary color to basecoat. At least for the Tomb Kings, one has to worry about picking out details such as jewels, armor bits, and decorative stuff on many of their non-core choices. I don't really have a point here, and I'm certainly not bashing the painting abilities of Necron players because I'm sure it would take a long time to paint those models at a higher than table-top quality. I'm just saying.
Okay, another post will probably be coming fast and furious on the heels of this one. I've got a Hive Fleet Leviathan Genestealer completely finished at my painting station who is awaiting a decorative base and then some photographs. After that, I've got a Tomb Kings Skeletal Archer lined up, but I'm almost too guilty and embarrassed to paint him up for this project. But what can I do? The last thing I want is to fall so far behind that this project completely implodes. But I'd also like to spare you all the absolute boredom of 20 consecutive posts filled with Necrons Warriors, Genestealers, Cadian Shock Troopers, and Skeletons.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Well, I had a lot of fun with this guy! Here's my converted Gunnery Sergeant Harker who will replace my current Veteran Sergeant in the "50/50s." I love converting models, so whenever I have the opportunity to mess around with miniatures, I'll do it. Since I've never been very happy with my Veteran Sergeant (in terms of load-out, modeling, and paint job), replacing him with another sergeant has always been on my mind. After re-reading the Veterans Squad section of the Imperial Guard Codex, I realized that not only would replacing my Veteran Sergeant with Gunnery Sergeant Harker improve the offensive capabilities of the "50/50s," but it would also be an incredibly enjoyable conversion job.
My Harker conversion consists of parts from a few differen kits. His head, torso, left and right arms are from the Catachan kit. The heavy bolter and his right hand are from a Space Marine Devastator kit while his legs are from the Space Marine Scout kit. Overall, he was fairly easy to piece together. I was surprised at how well in terms of proportions the Catachan torso fit with the Scout legs considering how much taller the Scouts seem when compared to a standard Catachan trooper. I guess it helps that the Catachan models are so top-heavy and muscular.
When compared to the actual GW Harker miniature, my Harker obviously doesn't quite resemble him. For one, their Harker is much more statuesque and lean; I wouldn't be surprised if placed side by side that the GW Harker would be a bit taller than my conversion. Also, I couldn't quite get the string of bullets effect of the GW Harker. I tried by attempting all sorts of contortions with the Space Marine Devastator bolt feeder, but I couldn't get it to fit well enough. That's probably my biggest regret when it comes to this conversion.
Again, I forgot to do one tiny thing with a model. For this conversion, I kept telling myself I'd free-hand the name ("Payback") of Harker's heavy bolter onto the casing of the weapon after I had highlighted everything, but then...I forgot. I'll have to take care of that later.
Alright, so boy am I glad I didn't resort to painting up a Shock Trooper, Skeleton or Necron Warrior in order to somewhat keep pace with this project of mine. I have my day-off coming on Thursday, so tomorrow I might try another non-rank and file model. I've got a converted Guardsman Marbo waiting in the wings as well.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Well, apparently Necron Warriors are just as easy to paint as Fantasy Skeletons and Cadian Guardsmen. A Gesso Black primer, a Dolphin Gray basecoat, a Black ink wash and then some light drybrushing with Dolphin Gray to bring the basecoat back up. Finally, a bit of highlighting with White along the edges.
I guess I could have painted the Warrior up in a different, more complex color scheme, but I'm the type of person who likes recreating the actual look and feel of the fictional universe I'm exploring. For instance, I originally wanted to create a DIY Space Marine Chapter when I first got into this hobby. And I actually did write up some background fluff for them and even designed multiple color schemes for them using the Bolter and Chainsword Space Marine Painter. (Very cool tool for those of you who aren't aware of it.) But I just couldn't settle on a color scheme to my liking because it seemed like all of the cool schemes had already been taken! So I picked the Blood Ravens and the rest is history.
A good side effect of painting up this Warrior is that I can now add another go-to miniature to my list of "Quick to Paint" models. Of course, this means I'll have to kind of, sort of commit at least partially to building a Necron army - a codex of which I have no knowledge of. Well, the Necron Warrior box comes with 12 of these guys so at the very least they'll give me 11 more easy days (although at some point I might feel guilty over how simple they are to paint I just might consider counting multiples of them as 1 painted miniature).
Alright, still 2 behind. I primed my converted Gunnery Sergeant Harker and my Blood Ravens Tactical Squad Fortis Multi-Melta Operator today so they're technically next in line. But both seem like they would take too much time and effort at the moment, so I just might fall back to painting another Cadian Shock Trooper or a Necron Warrior. (I can't waste these guys though. I have to think strategically to a certain extent and save a handful of these easy miniatures for when I really need them.)
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Cadian Shock Troopers are almost as easy and quick to paint as skeletons! Whoohoo! Now I have 2 fall-back miniature types I can use when I find myself pressed for time.
Again, in my haste, I realized only after the fact that I forgot to paint in his eyes. A few of these miniatures I've painted up in the past 2 weeks have been missing painted bits here and there. I'm really going to have to establish a pace whereby I don't feel too under the clock where my miniatures end up looking like half-painted blobs of paint but also where I don't torture myself over minute details to the point where I refuse to put a miniature down and say it's done.
So, this Cadian Shock Trooper begins my 3rd Squad (the 1st Squad being my Veterans - "The 50/50s" - and the 2nd Squad being a standard rank and file squad with an attached mortar team) for my planned Imperial Guard platoon. He was pre-primed months ago so all I had to do was slap the Cadian color scheme on him and then give him a liberal ink wash with Badab Black, Devlan Mud and Ogryn Flesh followed by highlights of Hunter Green, Fawn, and Dolphin Gray. Well, actually, I replaced the Badab Black ink wash with a Liquitex Carbon Black ink because I was almost out of the GW wash. The Liquitex Carbon Black actually worked quite well...after I mixed it with about 10-15 drops of Liquitex Flow Aid. Without the Flow Aid, the Liquitex ink was not watery enough to slip into the cracks and crevices of the miniature. Instead, it kind of just acted like watered down acrylic paint and clung to the surface. After massively diluting it with Flow Aid, it then began to perform almost as well as GW's Badab Black. It seems like the key to GW's inks, then, is how ultra-watered down they are. I've also picked up 2 or 3 other bottles of Liquitex's inks as supplements to my GW inks mostly because they're much cheaper. I'll still primarily use GW's inks though because, honestly, they're awesome.
Okay, I'm still 2 miniatures behind. I probably won't have time to do another model tonight (the wife and I have to attend a friend's birthday soiree), but I'll try my darndest to get 2 done tomorrow. On the docket: a Necron Warrior (easy-peasy, I'm expecting) and maybe my Gunnery Sergeant Harker conversion if I'm feeling particularly ambitious. If not, then another Cadian Shock Trooper or possibly a Blood Ravens Multi-Melta Operator for Tactical Squad Fortis.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Day 13, miniature 11; still 2 miniatures behind. Hmm, I sense more skeletons in the very near future. No, just kidding.
Say hello to the meltagunner of Tactical Squad Fortis of the Blood Ravens...er...huh, apparently, I haven't considered which company my Blood Ravens are a part of. I'll have to do some research into this. I know they can't be the 1st Company as that's usually the all Terminator veteran company in a standard Astartes force organization chart. They can't be the 2nd Company because they already have a published history (Dawn of War 2). They can't be the 5th Company because according to Blood Ravens fluff, that's the "Fated Fifth," a company that returned from the warp somehow...tainted. They can't be the 10th Company because that's the all Scout company. So that leaves 3rd, 4th, and Sixth to Ninth Companies. Anyone know if according to the Codex Astartes, those remaining companies have any prescribed specialities? In other words, are any of them primarily mechanized companies or jump assault companies or drop pod companies, etc.?
Well, there's really nothing all that special with this particular model. He's the 14th Blood Raven I've painted up, so it's getting rather mechanical painting these guys. At some point I'm going to either buy some blank water transfer paper or learn how to free-hand the Blood Ravens chapter logo onto their shoulder pads though.
Okay, so what's next? I've got a converted Gunnery Sergeant Harker I'd really like to paint but considering that I'm already 2 miniatures behind, I'm probably better off focusing on painting up more rank and file troops. I've still got about 30 more Cadian Shock Troopers to do so I just might go that route and try to pull back to even in my miniature count. But I've also got some converted Ork Kommandos that have calling to me from their place on the shelf. Hmm, well, we'll see.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Woot! This guy was as easy to paint as I suspected. I needed that for sure. With him out of the way, I'm now 2 miniatures behind my schedule. I currently have a Blood Raven meltagunner basecoated Opaque Red sitting at my painting station. Hopefully, the motivation for painting I feel at the moment will help me finish him before bed.
Now about the Ghast - he's actually not from the Games Workshop Crypt Ghoul plastic kit. He's a Reaper Miniature I purchased almost a year ago, back when I first started this hobby. The first dozen or so models I bought were mostly Reaper minis; the detail, diversity, and, most importantly, cost of their line of miniatures really appealed to me. Before discovering cheap miniatures on eBay, the idea of paying MSRP (or even at a 20% discount) for GW minis made me recoil in horror. So I figured I'd ease my way into the hobby by painting some cheaper, moe affordable miniatures that were equal in quality (in my opinion).
I've pretty much segued almost entirely into GW models right now. I'll occasionally buy a Reaper miniature as a stand-in for a Warhammer Fantasy special character/ lord/ hero type because, again, the prices GW charges for these independent characters is mind-boggling. Why pay $50 for a Lord of Change when I can get a close equivalent from Reaper for $15? (In fact, I managed to purchase that exact Reaper minature for about $5 on-line from a secondary retailer.) Granted, the actual Lord of Change is much more detailed and probably larger and taller, but the Reaper equivalent isn't that far off. Or an even better comparison: why spend $20 on a GW Mounted Vampire Lord when you can get a similar figure from Reaper for $12? Now, again, the GW model is much more finely detailed but in this particular case, the Reaper miniature is pretty damn cool too. In fact, you wouldn't know it from the description of the model, but it comes with two heads - the helmeted one you see in the picture and a non-helmeted one showing the Vampire in all his dark majesty.
Just in case you're wondering, I don't work for Reaper or for Miniature-Giant (the on-line retail store I've linked to in the previous paragraph). I'm just a very frugal collector who, as it is, spends way too much money on this hobby. Anytime I can trim costs from this very expensive past time, I will (e.g., buying decorative basing material from general craft stores rather than from dedicated hobby stores/ manufacturers, buying stand-in minis from Reaper or some other maker rather than from GW, using craft paints rather than specialty paints, etc.). At this point, all of those things have served me rather well in terms of producing decent table-top quality miniatures. About the only thing I might replace in the future is my use of craft paints. If I get to a level of painting where I think craft paints are holding me back, then I'll make the invesment in Vallejo or GW or Reaper paints. I'm obviously not there yet.
Finally, a little bit about the paint scheme for the Ghast. I pretty much followed GW's online article on how to Crypt Ghouls - I basecoated him with Dolphin Gray, then gave him a liberal ink wash with Leviathan Purple. After he dried, I went back over the upraised parts of his musculature with a drybrush of Dolphin Gray and also added in some watered down streaks of Opaque Red into some of the deep crevices of his skin to give the impression of infected, torn flesh. The tombstone, by the way, was from a Halloween decorative kit that Michael's was selling over the holidays. I think for a set of 4 or 5 tombstones, I paid about $5. The relief seemingly carved into the front of the tombstone is actually a plastic Empire shield scavenged from the Warhammer Fantasy Giant kit. Overall, it took me about 2 hours to complete the Ghast.
Well, I'm slowly falling behind my goal of 7 miniatures per week. At the moment, I'm now off my pace by 3 models. Boy, this is going to be harder than I thought. As I wrote in the post which launched this project almost 2 weeks ago, I do almost all of my painting either late at night during a workday (after the wife has gone to bed) or on my two off-days. The last two days, though, work has totally sapped my energy, so I got very little painting done Tuesday and Wednesday. However, I did cobble enough time together to paint up this converted Lord Commissar.
The Lord Commissar is essentially a Cadian Command sprue torso affixed to Cadian Shock Trooper legs. His power fist is also from the Command sprue while his bolt pistol from a Space Marine Tactical sprue. He is sporting a Pig Iron head and the tattered cape fluttering from his shoulders is actually a loincloth from the Warhammer Fantasy Giant kit. Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with him. He's not as grandiose looking as Games Workshop's Lord Commissar, but that's easily explained away. I'm just going to say that he's been out in the field for months, furiously barking at his men to dig in and hold the line against the xenos scum so reinforcements can drop down from the sky and save their worthless hides. In other words, he's had to abandon most of the shining accoutrements of his office in order to better do his job.
Painting-wise, he's okay, if a bit rough in some areas (my highlights are still too harsh). Turns out this Lord Commissar was easier to paint up than I thought, seeing as how his uniform is black, thus allowing me to basically use the Black Gesso primer as the undercoat and basecoat. I'll probably need to clean up the highlighting around his peaked cap as well as the blotchy paint around and about his bolt pistol, but he's for all intents and purposes finished. I'd like to possibly add a few more fiddly bits to him at a later date - maybe a sword scabbard, free-hand designs on his shoulder pads, and a pistol holster for starters - but that can wait for now.
Well, today is my day off, so if I plan on sticking with this project, I better get cracking on the painting. I've got a Vampire Counts Ghast primed and ready to go at my painting station. I figure he's going to be quite easy. As far as I can tell, VC Ghouls are basically a single primary color (for the skin) plus some contrasting colors here and there for the detail bits. Hopefully, I can get him painted up quickly and possibly move on to another miniature before the day is done. Best case scenario: I'm back to where I started to begin the week - one miniature behind.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Finally finished with the Skaven Clanrat. As I wrote in my previous post, the new plastic Clanrats are very nicely detailed, so much so that it took me completely by surprise at how much fine effort was required to properly paint it up. I've got a couple of the new Stormvermin plastic miniatures laying around as well, and they look incredibly complicated. Considering Stormvermin are also Core units, I salute the efforts of all of the Skaven players who have to paint up 20 or 40 of them for their armies.
Again, pretty pleased with how this little feller turned out, although looking at it now, I probably should've given him a Black nose to make it stand out better. I also completely forgot to ink wash his teeth! Isn't it strange that the miniature with the most prominent teeth is the one I forget to shade while Imperial Guardsmen who have barely visible teeth always get the ink wash treatment? All in all though, I'm seriously considering starting a Skaven army. Aside from 40k Orks, most of my miniatures are human in nature and it would be a nice change of pace to be able to paint up more monstrous creatures. Also, the Skaven fluff is just awesome. How can anyone resist an army of mutated, overgrown rats who's politics are dirtier than our own?
Okay, I'm still 1 model behind in my project. This Clanrat makes it 8 miniatures in 9 days. I probably won't be able to make a serious attempt at catching up until Thursday (my day off). Still, the last thing I want to do is fall behind even further, so I have a couple of options on my docket for tomorrow - a Blood Ravens meltagunner, a Vampire Counts Ghast, or a converted Imperial Guard Lord Commissar. If I find myself really pressed for time, then the Ghast will step up to the plate for obvious reasons. If I find myself for some odd reason with ample time and motivation, then I'll do either the meltagunner or the Lord Commissar.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Day 8, miniature 7. Two skeletal spearmen for a Tomb Kings army (who will count as 1 miniature for the project). You all better get used to seeing skeletons on this blog because whenever I find myself falling behind on this 365 miniatures in 365 days project, I will resort to painting up skeletons. Not only are they extremely easy to paint but also extremely easy to make look decent with some ink washes and minor highlights. I got bogged down with the Clanrat so I broke the emergency glass and quickly painted up these two skellies. I thought the Clanrat would be easy but it turns out the new plastic miniatures GW have been putting out as of late are pretty finely detailed, even on the rank and file models. This is both a good and bad thing. Good in the sense that finely detailed models are always preferable to shapeless blobs of plastic; but bad in the sense that the notion of having to paint up 100 Clanrats and Skavenslaves is enough to make one run for the hills.
Do not fear, however, faithful blog followers! The 365 miniatures in 365 days projects is still on track! The Clanrat is almost finished; I only have one or two more basecoats to go and then an ink wash, some highlighting, a decorative base, and he'll be ready to go. That'll give me 8 miniatures in 8 days - bang on target. At some point, I'd like to start painting up more special characters rather than continue focusing on Troop/ Core choices, but for the moment, my painting acuity is still not quite at that speed.
Oh, by the way, I'm going to have to add a 7th rule to this project - I won't require myself to completely paint a miniature in a 24 hour period in order for it to count. In other words, I'll allow myself to start miniatures and then put them down to be finished another day. That way, I may actually get some more elaborate models done after a year. Still, the prime directive stays the same - after 365 days, I must have 365 painted miniatures.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Day 7 and here's my 6th figure of the week - a Tyranid Termagant in the colors of Hive Fleet Leviathan. A fairly easy model to paint although the fiddly bits around and in his fleshborer were a little annoying to navigate around. I can definitely imagine speed painting through dozens of these at a time - 2 primary colors, a 3rd color for the weapon biomorph and then a targeted ink wash in the crevices and voila! A finished termagant! I actually should get used to painting these critters seeing as I have about 30 of them in my army list and a further 30 more hormagaunts.
The termagant was basically about 3 basecoats of White and Purple and Red (for the detail bits) followed by ink washes of Leviathan Purple along the carapace and Baal Red in the joints and exposed flesh parts. I also applied a Thrakka Green ink wash to the Red bits. A drybrush of White was used to bring the basecoat back up and a Purple/ White mix was used to highlight the edges of the carapace. The base needs a little bit more touching up however. I was in such a rush to get started on the Clanrat that I painted the sand on the base before the PVC glue could completely dry thus removing granules here and there. As a result, the base looks a bit splotchy with too much of the black plastic surface showing.
Well, day 7 of this little project and I'm still 1 model behind. I've already begun painting up a Skaven Clanrat and I'm determined to finish him up before bed. It's a good thing tomorrow is Sunday as I imagine I'll be burning the midnight oil tonight. So far, I haven't felt burned out yet by all of this painting. In fact, I feel rather productive. At some point I probably should concentrate on 1 or 2 armies (my Blood Ravens are practically complete - only missing a Razorback - in terms of collecting the miniatures) just so I can finish one off rather than dispersing my attention and energies willy-nilly. But I have a terrible time staying interested in one particular line of miniatures for any extended period. Thus all the jumping around from army to army.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Technically, this Leadbelcher was supposed to be done yesterday, but I got bogged down trying to get his skin to match the Games Workshop's ogre skin tone. I had basecoated his skin Dolphin Gray then, following the advice from a White Dwarf article on how to paint monstrous creature skin, I added Baal Red and Leviathan Purple ink washes (to give the gray some life). The result was some weird pinkish hue that reminded me of a jellyfish. Well, a heavily muscled jellyfish carrying a big friggin' hand cannon. So, I drybrushed a very light skin tone onto the miniature then, still not being satisfied, I drybrushed the Dolphin Gray on top of that. The final result is pictured in this post. Again, I'm pretty satisfied. The paintjob was fairly clean and while the skin tone still doesn't match the standard Ogre skin tone, it's at least interesting looking. Maybe I can make up a background story wherein this Leadbelcher once accidentally set himself on fire or something.
I'm also starting to become bothered by the mold lines on my miniatures. I absolutely hate cleaning the models. The most I ever do is remove the most glaring and obvious of flashing, but I almost never trouble myself with the mold lines. Sometimes, the paint is enough to cover some of it up; sometimes the mold lines kind of blend into the armor and equipment of a model (like for Tau or Space Marine figures). But on more organic looking miniatures like this Leadbelcher, they stand out like Yao Ming at a little people convention. So I'm going to make the concerted effort to be a bit more fastidious when it comes to cleaning my models. It's a pain in the butt, but I guess it's part of the hobby.
Well, I'm still one miniature behind. Apparently, the weather gods are on my side because they gave New York a snow day thus providing me with a 2nd day off from work to catch up on my project. I have 2 miniatures lined up - a Hivefleet Leviathan Termagant and a Skaven Clanrat. I'm hoping both miniatures are as easy and quick to paint as they seem.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Day 5, model 4. As you can tell, I'm one miniature behind, but since the rules I established for myself allow me to miss a day so long as I finish the week with 7 painted models, I'm still on-track, I think. I have a day off from work today and it's snowing/ sleeting like the dickens in New York, so I should have enough free time to get my fifth miniature painted up before I go to bed tonight.
So, what we have here is a Tau Fire Warrior painted up in the "dress colors" of the army. I chose the Fire Warrior as my next model because I thought the simple color scheme would make for a fast paint job; I was wrong. While it's true the miniature pretty much uses 2 basic colors (a dull orange and a dark brown), the fact that I had never painted a Tau Fire Warrior before conspired to slow my progress down. Unlike painting Cadians or Marines, my hand had to adapt to new brushstrokes as I worked my way around the model's armor plates, trying not to get too messy and painting over the brown fatigues underneath. I also had to find a color match for the Vomit Brown GW uses for their Fire Warriors. Since I use craft paints bought cheaply at Michael's and A.C. Moore, I couldn't quite find a single comparable color match, so I settled on a dark yellow/ orange called Marigold and then gave it a liberal Gryphonne Sepia wash after finishing up the basecoat. Overall, I was quite pleased with the color match.
Some of the highlights on the Fire Warrior are a bit harsh and messy. At some point, I'm going to really have to learn to either a) become much more steady-handed when applying stark highlights or b) become adept at blending. The former obviously is easier and will be the path I'll go down in the near future. Blending, I think, will come much, much later in my development as a figure painter.
No conversions at all with this model. I did realize, after painting up the model, that I forgot to attach the communications antenna to the side of his helmet. Bleh, I always seem to forgot some little thing. Oh well, I'll fix that after I finish my 2nd model for today which I've decided will be an Ogre Kingdoms Leadbelcher.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Day 3, miniature 3. Wow...362 days and miniatures to go. I'm doomed.
Well, this fella wasn't too hard to paint up. I purposefully chose him because of his cloak. I figured with most of his body covered up by that big surface, it would take less time to fully paint him, and I was right. Thank goodness for cloaks! I also chose him because he was a Cadian model, which I've become very good at painting fast and clean. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with him. He could use a few more highlights, but he's table top quality, which is really the only thing I'm going for with this project. Hopefully, just the mere act of forcing myself to paint so often and so consistently will naturally improve my abilities so that at some point, I'll be able to exceed table top quality while still maintaining this blistering pace.
As the title to the post suggests, this miniature will be replacing the first sniper I painted up for my Veteran Squad. While I was fairly happy with the conversions I performed on the first sniper to make him fit the Cadian mold, once I got my hands on the two-piece sniper body from the Cadian Command Squad kit, I knew I had to use it in my Veteran Squad. Essentially, this new sniper is 100% from the Command Squad kit, but with one minor change - a head swap from the Empire Great Swords kit, I believe.
By the way, this miniature took me past midnight to finish up, which means I'll be adding a 6th caveat to my project - since I'm a night owl, a day for this project will be any time before I go to bed. So even if the clock passes midnight, thus signalling in a new day, as long as I'm still awake, I'll count the miniature I finish as being for the day previous. Yeesh! By the time I get through with this project, my addendums and amendments and codicils will be hundreds of page long, all leading up to the inevitable result - less miniatures for me to paint. Let's hope that doesn't happen!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Well, a quick post showing 2 miniatures I worked on prior to embarking on this insane 365 miniatures in 365 days project I've got going here. To the left, you'll see my converted Officer of the Fleet for my Cadian Command Squad. He was put together using the torso, head, arms and shoulder pads of a Tank Commander (I believe the Baneblade one), a holstered pistol from the Tactical Space Marines kit, a sword from a Bretonnian kit, and the legs of a standard Cadian Guardsman. Getting the legs to fit with the torso was the toughest part of this conversion. I had to carefully estimate how much of the legs would be showing from underneath the great coat as well as cut the legs off in a such a way as to fit the underside of the torso without the miniature looking weird and wobbly. I personally think the end result was pretty good. The paintjob was decent, if a bit messy and rushed in some parts, but overall, I think the model is a pretty close stand-in for the actual Officer of the Fleet miniature which Games Workshop sells.
To the right, we've got the Nob with a Waaagh! Banner. The banner was obviously a total conversion seeing as how none of the available plastic Ork sprues sold by GW has anything resembling a Waaagh! Banner as described in the Ork Codex. For the banner, I basically just piled on bit after bit until I felt the banner was sufficiently grand and that the model would support its weight without toppling over. I had originally wanted the Nob to actually hold the banner in one of his hands, but it was impossible to keep the model upright even after gluing a metal washer to the bottom of the base. So, what's in the banner? I believe the base banner is from the Warhammer Fantasy Orc Warboss kit. I then added the bull skull from the Boyz kit (or was it the Nobz kit?) along the top of the banner; glued the metal mask from a Black Orc kit over the bull skull; decorated the rest of the banner with odds and ends from the Vampire Counts Zombie kit (the dangling severed heads), skulls (both Orkish and human) from various other kits, and a Lizardmen snake icon to represent the Snakebite Clan. I'm very happy with the results. Personally, I think any Ork Warboss would be proud to have one of his Nobz carry something like this into battle. This is only the first of two Waaagh! Banners I've converted for my Ork army. Believe it or not, but the 2nd banner is even more elaborate.
Day 2 of the project is done! Here are 5 Blood Ravens Space Marines which had been sitting at my painting station, mostly in need of an ink wash and minor highlighting. I'll be counting them as 1 miniature as I did the Orkz from yesterday. I've decided to name this Tactical Squad - the first of two - Fortis, which is Latin for "strength." I have 3 more Blood Ravens to fully paint up before Fortis is complete - the Sergeant, Meltagunner, and Multi-Melta Operator. Fortis will also be mounted in a Rhino, so that's gotta get painted up too.
Previously, I had major issues shading the red armor with ink washes. I'd been using Badab Black and the results were less than pleasant. The Badab Black darkened the armor way too much, forcing me to spend extra time bringing the Red back up. It was a real pain. But then I read an article in White Dwarf (not sure which issue, but it was a current one, I believe) on how to paint, shade, and highlight Red which suggested using either Thrakka Green or Asurmen Blue to shade Red, depending on the effect you're going after. So I decided to use Thrakka Green on this batch of Marines, and I must say, I'm pretty happy with the results. The shadows aren't as deep as if I'd done them with Badab Black, but the Thrakka Green is definitely neater while still providing a decent level of shading. I selected Thrakka Green over Asurmen Blue because the Blood Ravens already have elements of Green in their paint scheme, so I figured it'd tie in better.
To the right is a more detailed look at 3 of the Blood Ravens from this batch. You'll notice the Marine to the far right has been given a Black Templar boltgun. I wanted to add some diversity to my Marines and seeing as how the Black Templar arms were so damn cool, I knew I had to include them. All it took was some careful scraping off of the Black Templar icon on the boltgun and it was good to go.
Okay, as I wrote up top, Day 2 has been successfully completed. Tomorrow though begins the real challenge as I have to paint up a brand new miniature from the bottom up for it to count towards this project. I haven't quite figured out which one of my hundreds of unpainted models to pick yet, but depending on how much time and energy I have left tomorrow after work and family obligations, I might either go with a rank and file model or a more elaborate character model.
Note: again, I've had to post these miniatures past midnight my time due to time constraints, but rest assured, they were finished prior to the midnight hour tolling! I'm very likely going to have to follow this sort of schedule for most of my miniatures in this project.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Well, here's my production for Day 1 of my 365 day project of painting 1 miniature a day for a year. Apologies for posting it so late, but I honestly had finished these guys before the end of Sunday but could only find the time to take pictures of them and then post them really late at night. The picture to the left shows 20 Ork Boyz led by a Nob along with a Big Shoota and a Rokkit Launcha. They are my first complete Mob of which I have 2 more to go. 7 of the miniatures had already been painted months back. The remaining 13 were in various stages of completion, although most required just an ink wash and some minor highlighting. Thus I will consider the 13 new members of this mob as 1 miniature for the purposes of my 365 miniatures in 365 days project.
As you can hopefully tell, these Boyz are from the Snakebite clan. They have been mostly painted in 3 uniform colors (two shades of Brown, Red, and the occassional Yellow). Their skin does not vary much in hue - mostly Hunter Green although some have starker Light Green highlights than others. Their weapons are also predominantly Dolphin Gray with smatterings of Red, Yellow, and Black mixed in. Their bases have all been decorated with various supplies I've picked up at Michael's over the past year. I highly recommend using standard craft supplies to base miniatures. The money you save by avoiding the hobby specific basing material is enormous and, in my opinion, the effect is practically the same. By the way, I used Games Workshop's ink washes for the shading, which I also highly recommend. Their line of ink washes are priced reasonably but the quality of those washes have never let me down.
To the right is a more detailed view of the Nob which leads this mob. The keen eyed among you will notice that he's a different Nob than the first one I painted up for this mob. The original Nob has been officially promoted to full Nob-hood and has joined one of my Elite Nob units. (In fact, I've made him the bearer of the Waaagh! banner!) This Nob is more humble. All of the bits above his waist are standard Nob bits (except for his close combat weapon arm, which comes from a Black Orc kit), but his legs are merely those of a lowly Ork Boy. I figured that Nobs tasked with leading the Boyz are probably the smaller Nobs. The truly monstrous Nobs would be more effective grouped together as shock troops. After taking the pictures, I noticed to my chagrin that I forgot to paint the skull I glued to his base.
To the left is a picture of two of the Boyz from this mob. The Ork to the left is a standard Boy from the Ork Boyz kit but I armed him with a chain from the Warbikers kit. The Boy on the right, however, was given bits from the Warhammer Fantasy Orc Boyz kit - a shield strapped to his back and the head and torso of a fantasy Orc. Seeing as the Snakebite Orks are a bit more old-fashioned, I reasoned that they'd look more like their forebearers from millenia past. I think the kit bash was pretty effective as it gives what could have been a pretty monotonous parade of similar looking Ork Boyz a bit of character and uniqueness.
Well, that's Day 1! Yes, I haven't yet painted up a miniature from gray plastic to highlighting and basing, but that day will come (very likely by Tuesday at the earliest). Tomorrow, I'm going to finish off 4 Blood Ravens Space Marines that I also had laying around my painting station and treat them as a single miniature for Day 2.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
First off, apologies to my mates in the Tale of Even More Painters challenge. Unfortunately, I was unable to participate in the last 4 challenges because of real life (holidays, work, graduate school applications, etc.). Overall, though, it was great fun and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. It really did improve my painting/ modeling/ conversion skills and, in fact, in the time I've been away from the blog, I've actually assembled and converted an enormous amount of unpainted miniatures in my (not very much) spare time.
Which brings me to why I've decided to resume updating this blog. I'm not exaggerating when I say I've assembled quite a horde of unpainted miniatures over the last 3-4 months. They sit on my shelves, their gray and white metal exteriors silently accusing me for being such a lazy bastard. Well, after watching "Julie and Julia" with the wife, I resolved to embark on a journey of my own. For the next 365 days, I shall paint one miniature a day! Here are the ground rules:
1) I am allowing myself to prep models ahead of time (i.e., clean, assemble, even prime). In other words, I don't have to start fresh with a model still on the sprue every day. So long as at the end of the day, I have a completely painted, shaded/ highlighted, and based miniature, I will consider that day successful.
2) If I happen to miss a day or two, I will force myself to make up the missed miniatures over a weekend or a day-off from work. Bottom line - I need to have 7 finished miniatures at the end of the week or else I will consider the experiment a failure.
3) Ultimately, real life can take many strange and unforeseen twists and turns. There may come a time when I might have to put this project on hold. (I can already anticipate a week to 10 day cross-country trip to the West Coast sometime in May-June which would certainly interrupt my painting.) If something truly out of my control (i.e., anything other than sheer laziness on my part) forces me to stop painting for a bit, then I will try my best to make up the loss in painted miniatures. At the end of 365 days, if I can count 365 painted miniatures then I will consider this project a success regardless of whether I painted one a day or 7 a week.
4) At some point in this experiment, I might have to convert my one miniature a day into x number of painting points a week. For now, though, I'll try to stick to my one miniature a day project for as long as possible. If I have to resort to painting points, then I'll set the number of points at something equatable - like 7 painting points a week with no carry-over points (i.e., even if I painted a vehicle or 2 monstrous creatures in a given week, I won't carry the 3 left-over points into the next week).
5) For the first few weeks or so, I'm tempted to finish up some partially painted miniatures I have laying around just to get warmed up. I have about 4 Blood Ravens and 6 or so Orks sitting unfinished at my painting station that really need to get finished. We'll see. I'll definitely fully disclose in my daily posts whether or not the miniature I finished was already partially painted or not however.
Well, that's that. I'm glad to be back blogging and painting. I'll have to start visiting the various blogs I enjoyed out there as well. See you all tomorrow with painted miniature #1!
Note: the image for this post was used without Games Workshop's permission. If Games Workshop objects to my using the image, please contact me and I will take it down.