2016 is almost over, time for the traditional look back at the painting and gaming highs and lows. In terms of quantity of figures painted, this year has been the lowest since I started the blog. The main reason for this has been a desire to paint up a dwarf warband to my highest level. It takes a lot of time. Coupled with this fact has been a dip in motivation, especially over the summer months, when I painted and gamed virtually nothing. But that's the lows seen off, on to the highs for the year.
pair of kans and make some terrain (here and here).
Spring came around and I started on the slow, steady slog of painting dwarf slayers, a task that was to last through several months. To break up the task, I also slotted in a dwarf runesmith, a strong candidate for my favourite paint job of the year.
In the summer I took a break from sweating over beards, and switched to painting Anglo-Danes for Saga (which technically also have beards, just not as luxuriant as their dwarf counterparts)! It was a real pleasure to blast through a starter warband in a relatively short time, for the first time this year I really felt like I was getting results. I also had my first exciting encounter with shield transfers.
steampunk collection and a lone Blood Rage wolfman figure.
twin guard before festive activities ate up my time. So less than two dozen dwarfs painted throughout the year. Well I did say that it was a project to take my time over, and there's certainly no rushing a dwarf. Hopefully next year will be an improvement, I already have a couple of units assembled and heading up the 2017 painting list. And I am starting to think about some gaming opportunities. Let's hope for a better new year.
Friday, 30 December 2016
Mierce Miniatures trolls for such a long time, I thought it was about time they came out of the box to see the light of day. They immediately turned to stone - sorry, bad joke. They were pretty easy to put together, resin models with no air bubbles and few mould lines to scrape away. The joins are good too, I will probably run a coat of liquid green stuff over them just to be sure, but you could probably get away with priming from this point. Lovely models they are too, highly recommended. There is a brief sale on the website, get on there now and enter the discount code NEW-YEAR-2017. Be quick - the sale only lasts until January 2nd. I have ordered a couple more trolls to add to this little force, which I see rampaging through viking settlements and beyond some time in the new year. Much more in the same vein to come in the new year.
Tuesday, 27 December 2016
I love looking through art books, you can learn so much about colours and setting a mood. The subject matter in this case just happens to be fantasy, but more general art books can also be very inspiring. The Tolkien art book is one for the real Tolkien nerds - full of sketches of maps and line drawings, most of them very basic in fact, showing that all art starts with basic lines on a bit of paper (let's not get into a digital discourse). The Paul Bonner book is the opposite end of the spectrum, full of gorgeous fully rendered paintings of intricate detail and superlative technique.
Finally, the sketch pad and pencils. Strictly speaking I have had these for about a month, but I class them as a present to myself so lump them in here. I am trying to teach myself how to sketch/draw. After reading a few online tutorials I decided just to jump in and start scribbling. The Paul Bonner book contains lots of preliminary sketches, so I am getting started by simply copying them. This gives me a chance to get accustomed to the pencils and start on the lowest slopes of the learning curve. As you can see on this dwarf, I messed up the eye and need a decent eraser to fix it. But hey ho, Rome was not built in a day.
Friday, 16 December 2016
Such was the case many years ago in the dwarf hold of Oakenhammer, deep in the Grey Mountains. Their birth coincided with the Midfest - the festival of midwinter. At this time a huge and ancient oak is felled and dragged into the great hall, the trunk fuels the Midfest fire. The feast lasts as long as the trunk gives off heat, typically for twelve days and twelve nights. When Hurgin and Durgin were born, the fire was built from two huge oaks, the festival continued for almost a month. Among the gifts received by the twins were a pair of oakenhammers, fabled weapons after which the hold is named. The weapon shafts are crafted from the branches of the felled oak. Almost as tough as iron, but far lighter, they are highly prized and usually reserved for the most vererable Longbeards or honoured Hammerers. Great things were expected of the younglings.
Tuesday, 13 December 2016
When you have finished, your mini is pretty clean. Another buff with the nylon brush to remove any flakes and it's ready for priming. I have had a good success rate with this method. It's quick and easy, it's non-toxic and it's reasonably priced.
Thursday, 1 December 2016
in this post.
The twelfth gunner is a filler, a resin terrain piece from Scibor. The original ten gunners from a box of irondrakes, plus a metal character, left me one short from the number needed for a unit in Dragon Rampant gaming. Rather than use a metal musician I went for this rocky dwarf face. It will double up as a bit of scatter terrain, or an objective marker, in other games.
Monday, 28 November 2016
When I started painting my new dwarf army I never really thought about adding slayers, as I always viewed them as nice background but mediocre models. When I picked up a complete dwarf army on a forum sale, it happened to contain a few slayer models and I had a really close look at them. Some of them I immediately sold but a handful I thought to myself, these are actually quite nice models. They don't really match the ferocity of the artwork, but they were not too bad and would make a change from painting armour. So I put together a small unit of just seven figures, with the eighth a proxy or filler model of a dragon's head (eight being needed for games of Saga). I slowly painted the unit but never got round to the dragon head, thinking I should use a real slayer. I toyed with the idea of trying to pick up a Gotrek model from ebay, or maybe one of the Avatars of War models, but in the end gave up trying to bag a bargain.
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
For painting I primed white, a thin coat of a pale flesh and then used two colours to glaze on some shading. A red brown for some simple flesh tones, and a blue grey for some deeper shading. By mixing the two I got a good range of different tones. The blue grey also served as a foundation for the hairy bits. Once the basic shading was complete I added a few highlights using a thinned white, then glazed again to bring back the fleshy colour. Finally I added some darker blue glaze to the hair, then some black glaze, picked out the face details and the veins, painted the cobbles and it was done.
Sunday, 13 November 2016
The first skirmish would be fought using the Warhammer 8th edition rules, though I had the softback Warriors of Chaos army book, which was 6th or 7th edition. We played a scenario from the General's Handbook, which was a straight-forward battle but with the chance of lightning hitting units at the start of each turn, causing damage and preventing them from moving.
The battle ended in typical Warhammer fashion, with practically every unit destroyed. Both sets of knights had crushed everything in their path, Vorghan had valiantly led his troops into battle, and much blood had been spilled to honour the gods. They (somehow) decreed it was a narrow victory to Sven, but were so disgusted with his feeble performance that he was gifted with stupidity. Both armies were rewarded with reinforcements - Sven would be joined by three skullcrushers while Vorghan attracted a chariot. After totting up the points we realised this was already a bit skewed, so Matt valiantly sacrificed a unit of spawn, to make it a little more balanced in future encounters. We felt that neither general had proven worthy of reward, but Vorghan's knights had been valorous combatants and would gain a small reward. And the raging storm? It had no effect whatsoever - only in the last turn did lightning strike, and then harmlessly into the ground.
Monday, 7 November 2016
For sale - one very nicely painted Dark Angels starter force. I put this up on ebay last week, it didn't sell, so here we go again at a reduced starting price. Please spread the word if you know of anyone who might be interested. Here's the ebay link.
Posted by Old Fogey at 15:38
Friday, 4 November 2016
I am about to embark on a mini campaign down in the dungeon with the dice rolling maestro Matt. It's loosely based on the Path to Glory campaign from the Age of Sigmar General's Handbook - though we certainly will not be playing that ruleset and have made quite a few little tweaks to how it will play out. The first step in the campaign is to pick a warband. We both chose chaos forces and both elected to roll randomly for our starting force rather than choosing from the available options. We also both chose to start with the least powerful Lord option to maximise the number of units generated. I ended up with a Beast Shaman, 10 hounds, 12 warriors, 20 marauders, 5 knights and 5 horsemen. I will probably split the hounds unit into two as shown in the photo. It reminds me of the old battalion boxsets.
The basic idea behind the campaign is to accumulate glory points. These are earned in battle, 3 points gained for a major victory, 2 points for a minor victory and 1 point for a draw or loss. To keep it short and interesting we will play until one side reaches 7 or more points. At that stage we will fight a final battle, The Monolith, again lifted from the handbook.
We will use the tables and charts from the campaigns, tweaking them as necessary to fit our own purposes, as we will be playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle to begin with, maybe tossing in some Fantastic Saga or Dragon Rampant along the way. It's deliberately unplanned at this stage - we have a starting roster each, the first game scheduled and a rough idea of how it will end. By my calculations we will get between three and seven games before the final confrontation, so about a month or so of weekly gaming seems about right.
I have recently blogged on Vorghan the Slayer and the shaman and knights, these additional photos complete the picture. They are not new figures, they have all appeared on the blog in ages past, but it seemed a good idea to have a group photo while I was preparing them for their trip to the Chaos Wastes. Notice the marauder unit happily mixes together new and old versions of the figures.
Onward to glory........
Monday, 24 October 2016
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
Vorghan the Slayer and will be taking part in a mini campaign, some time soon (I hope). The rest of Vorghan's retinue were already snow based, at some point I will get the whole lot photographed and explain a little more.
It's interesting to see these old figures. At times it feels like nothing has changed down the years, but looking at older work does show that my painting has altered. I would certainly paint these figures differently today - a different palette and using different techniques. They are nice enough, but do not have quite the impact or finesse I would aim for nowadays. I guess that is no bad thing.
Tuesday, 4 October 2016
I was particularly pleased with the armour. Black is quite a difficult colour to bring to life - strictly speaking it's an absence of any colour, so perhaps not surprising. I have always been hesitant to highlight it with blue as so many tutorials recommend, that gives a very silky appearance to my eye, best left for clothing. So I tried stippling and highlighting with grey, then washing in browns and reds. It seems to have worked out well.
I was even more pleased with the flesh. I used my own base colour, glazed it quite harshly with chestnut and browns, then glazed with the original base colour to tone down the harsh contrast. Again, it seems to have worked well and it's a technique I can come back to on other models. Luckily, I blogged quite a bit of my painting progress so here's a handy list if you want to give any of the methods a go yourself.
Friday, 30 September 2016
While the glazes were drying I decided to tidy up the flesh areas. Using the original base colour (thinned) I painted on some basic highlights, just running the brush over the non-shadow areas in effect. Then I thinned the paint slightly more to make a glaze and applied this to the shadows and creases, to soften the contrast. I was working mostly on the chest and shoulders, the most visible areas. The arms just got a cursory flick of the brush because these will be drenched in blood so there's no point in making painstaking adjustments at this stage.
Then it was back to more glazing - armour, weapons, leather and loin cloth - pretty much everything apart from the skin and horns got a little glaze.
That's it for my work in progress posts on this figure. The next and final stage will be more glazing to further define any areas, the leather straps for example. And highlighting of the metal areas. I will probably add a little gore effect to the hands and weaponry, maybe flick a little blood splatter on the loin cloth. And of course snow will be added to the base to tie in with my army. The next post will be the fully finished figure.
Thursday, 29 September 2016
Tuesday, 27 September 2016
The armour plates are dark brown (a mix of coat d'arms negro and black) - this is a little experiment for me in painting black armour. The armour trim is a brass colour, a mix of brass and gold. And of course it wouldn't be Khornate without a splash of red, the leather trim on the front of the figure is brick red - hopefully this will form a nice base for some red leather.