Sunday, February 28, 2010

81 - Tomb Kings Skellies

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.

Leia Mais…

Saturday, February 27, 2010

80 - Termagant of Hive Fleet Leviathan

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.

Leia Mais…

Friday, February 26, 2010

79 - Ogre Kingdoms Leadbelcher

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.

Leia Mais…

Thursday, February 25, 2010

78 - Tau Fire Warrior

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.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

77 - Updated Sniper For My Cadian Veteran Squad

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!

Leia Mais…

Monday, February 22, 2010

76 - Bonus Post! Officer of the Fleet and Nob with Waaagh! Banner

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.

Leia Mais…

75 - Blood Ravens Tactical Squad Fortis

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.

Leia Mais…

Sunday, February 21, 2010

74 - Ork Boyz Mob #1! Waaagh!

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.

Leia Mais…

Saturday, February 20, 2010

73 - Back! And On A Mission!

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.

Leia Mais…
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