As well as working on the Swordfysh, I have also managed to finish what is perhaps the most ‘blinging’ of the Dreadfleet vessels, The Curse of Zandri. The detail on the model is fantastic and it took ages to paint the marble effect on the statues and the dozens of tiny gems along the hull. I’ve painted a few Eldar models in my time but this is without a doubt the most gemstones I have encountered on a single model.
There is quite a lot of gold detail on the model so I gave the gold areas a wash of Agrax Earthshade to try and keep the gold muted and prevent it from overpowering central pyramid. This was painted in a brighter gold to stand out.
My only real deviation from the GW colour scheme is That I picked out some of the skulls of the statues in bone. From the sculpt it just seemed to me that some of these would benefit from being painted this way and it also provides these figures with a bit more of a focal point than if they had been all marble.
I’ve made quite a bit of progress on my Dreadfleet set now. With the Curse of Zandri complete the undead fleet is almost complete (just the Shadewraith to finish off) and I have a few more models to paint for the Grand Alliance. Click here for some of my other Dreadfleet models.
A quick nautical update with the Swordfysh from Dreadfleet. The main body of the ship is pretty much done now, just the sails to work on.
I’ve made some progress on the space marine tactical squad. All of the main colours have now been blocked in. I just need to do a bit of highlighting and they’ll be finished.
I was reminded the other day that I haven’t updated the blog in a while. This is because I haven’t really had much hobby material to show. Work continues slowly on the ork fleet but their isn’t much to see at this stage which is significantly different from the pictures already published. I’ve just blocked in a few colours prior to shading and highlighting. However, something I have been working on is more space marines for my Astral Claws. These guys have become my go-to models when I’m between projects.
The space marine kits are great fun to assemble and the newer tactical squad kit is no exception. I won’t write a review as these models have been out nearly a year now but the kit has very crisp detail which far surpasses the previous incarnation of the tactical marines. There are some subtle details which might be missed when looking at the photos in White Dwarf. The poses are more upright making them appear taller and the unarmoured heads are ever so slightly smaller, giving the models better proportions than the older kits. One thing I also really like about the kit is the number of early armour mark bits included in the kit and I have made full use of the mk4 and mk6 components to add variety to the force.
So far the silver armour is complete on these models and I will be moving on to the blue and gold detailing. More to follow.
Before painting he whole fleet I decided to paint one model to completion to get the colour scheme right. From the outset I knew I wanted a dirty metallic look to the ships with red details. Once I finished painting all of the ships a metallic colour I decided to use one of the escorts to see how the red looked.
For the red I used a 50/50 mix of Khorne Red and Mournfang Brown highlighted by adding increasing amounts of Evil Suns Scarlet. I also chose to paint on tiny checks to break up some of the metallic areas and to give a sense of scale. The smaller the checks the bigger the ship looks. Overall I am pleased with the results.
One of the inspirations for the fleet was the following piece of artwork which I found online.
I decided to try and copy the glowing green eye on my models. For this I used a mix of Dark Angels Green and Putrid Green (an old Citadel paint) and highlighted this Putrid Green followed by Putrid Green and White Scar. This was then washed with thinned Thrakka Green and a tiny white dot was applied in the centre. I am still not totally sold on the effect but the green does add a nice contrast to the red and provides a strong focal point, drawing the eye to the ‘face’ of the ship. I may refine the green glow effect further as I paint the other ships.
I recently decided to start a new fleet for Battlefleet Gothic. I’ve always had a soft spot for Battlefleet Gothic; the miniatures are great and have really stood the test of time. What’s more, I really enjoyed painting my Imperial Fleet and, with a few simple techniques, the models are quick and easy to paint. For my second fleet I settled on Orks as I have always liked the race and I really like the models with their ‘aquatic predator’ look. I also managed to pick up a few ships quite cheaply on ebay (which, coincidentally, work out at exactly 500 points) which was pleasing as a number of BFG ships sell for crazy prices since the game was discontinued.
One thing that is worth noting about both my Ork and Imperial fleets is the way I have based them. Although I have used the standard GW flying bases I have replaced the fragile stems with lengths of brass rod. This gives the stands increased durability and, although cutting and filing all of that brass rod was a real pain, is definitely worth the effort. As I think BFG stands look better painted black anyway it does not matter that you lose the transparency of the plastic.
If you are going to do this than I suggest you find a thickness of brass rod which fits snugly in the hole in the base of the stand and then use a drill bit to widen the sockets on the ships. Don’t worry if the rod is a bit loose as you can always secure it with a bit of putty.
BFG models really benefit from drybrushing and washing which are the main techniques I have employed here. The models were basecoated with a 50/50 mix of Leadbelcher and Tin Bitz. After this they were drybrushed Leadbelcher before being washed with Nuln Oil followed by Agrax Earthshade. A quick drybrush of Necron Compound brought them to the stage you see here. Not bad for an afternoon’s work. Now all I have to do is paint in the details.
Here are my finished Mordor Uruk Hai. These were fun models to paint and I kept to a very limited palette of dark browns and greys to match their appearance in the films as closely as possible. The tricky thing about painting them was to keep them very dark but without them ending up looking like black blobs. Hopefully the different areas look distinct enough while still having the desired overall effect of dark, dirty orcs.
The Uruk Hai were painted using the same techniques I used on Shagrat. However, one problem I ran into was the fact that Scorched Brown has been discontinued. Although Citadel’s Rhinox Hide is the new alternative the paints are not quote the same. When painted on neat the colours look similar enough but the pigments used in them are different, something which becomes very apparent when mixing the paints with lighter colours for highlights. Scorched Brown had a red tint to it which Rhinox Hide lacks. In order to solve this problem I mixed Rhinox Hide with Dark Flesh for the brown leather armour and highlighted this by adding Kommando Khaki to the mix. This has produced very similar results.
I’ve also painted up a couple of Mordor orcs. Together with the Uruk Hai this adds a nice 100 points to my Mordor collection. I don’t know why that is important as I haven’t played a game in ages but it is a nice neat number.
Posted: July 12, 2014 in Terrain
I wasn’t in the mood for painting yesterday so I decided to work on my terrain. Construction of the boards was completed a while ago so I just needed to flock them and add detail.
I have wanted my own battlefield for years, ever since those early days of reading White Dwarf in the mid-nineties. Back then the hobby had much more of a do-it-yourself approach and the kind of terrain kits produced by GW now did not exist. Therefore the magazine encouraged you to build your own terrain and was full of information on how to go about doing this with minimal cost and easy to get hold of materials. Rather than buy the Realm of Battle Board, which is expensive and not to my taste (the geological layer of skulls is just plain silly in my opinion), I decided to adopt the old school approach and make my own.
The tiles are 2’x2′ squares of think MDF which I acquired for free (although they wouldn’t be that expensive to buy) and the hill was constructed out of insulation foam cut to shape with a hot wire cutter (I think I paid about £30 for more insulation foam than I will use on this project). Gaps were filled with Pollyfilla and the whole thing was sanded down with fine grit sandpaper.
Detail was added using Woodland Scenics rock moulds which were cast in plaster. These were glued onto the foam using liquid nails for a strong bond and any gaps were filled using filler. Sand was then glued in place around the rocks to help blend them in to the grassy areas. The grass itself is a Gaugemaster Autumn flock mat which was cut up and glued into place using PVA. Any gaps were then filled by gluing on flock of the same colour and Citadel ‘dead grass’ was glued on in patches to add variety. Detail was then added in the form of various tufts and clump foliage which was concentrated around the rocky areas. Some of the more open areas were kept deliberately clear of tufts so that I would have space to place free-standing terrain on the board later.
Although this board is intended primarily for games of Lord of the Rings, when building the basic board I avoided anything which would add scale to the piece. This means that by using different free-standing terrain pieces I can use the board for any game system. Here you can see some Epic models on the board which transforms the rocky hill into towering cliffs.
I have eight pieces of MDF and I plan on using these to build a 6’x4′ gaming area (the largest I can sensibly fit into my dining room) and then use the two spare pieces to create extra tiles to allow for different set ups (at the moment I’m thinking of maybe building a river section with the two spare boards). Now that the hill is done the next few tiles should be a lot simpler. I will post pictures of the tiles as I finish them. Remember, you can follow me on Twitter where I tend to post work-in-progress photos as I work.
Until next time,
Just a quick update to share some Mordor uruk hai that I am currently working on. As you can see, they are all in various stages of painting. In the background are some Men of Gondor who I have also started.
And here are some other projects I have on the go as well. I never seem to be able to stick to one thing for long. Is anyone else a ‘hobby butterfly’?
I have finished my Venerable Dreadnought. Thanks to everyone who commented on my previous post, your suggestions were much appreciated. As you can see, in the end I did decide to swap one of the armour panels and repaint the other in order to make the overall appearance less blue. I decided that this was worth the effort (and risk of damaging the model). I think it just shows that there are times when, despite the time and effort you have put into a model, you need to go back and do things again in order to get the best finished result. He now looks like a proper Astral Claw and not an Ultramarine.
The left panel was carefully removed and replaced with a new one which was then painted silver. This was done because the other one had already been given a coat of gloss varnish in preparation for a decal and so I couldn’t repaint it without it looking a mess. The panel on the right then had two strips of silver painted along each side to leave a stripe of blue down the middle rather than the whole panel being blue. Not only does this tone down the effect of the blue but it also better matches the Forge World artwork which shows the Astral Claws with blue vertical stripes on their vehicles to break up large armour panels.
The engine was painted to simulate heat discolouration on the metal. In order to achieve this I painted the engine stacks Leadbealcher and, when dry, applied a number of washes. There were, in order, Seraphim Sepia, Ogryn Flesh, Leviathan Purple and Agrax Earthshade. The trick is to use less wash each time so that some of the previous colour is still showing. I also used this technique on the end 0f the plasma cannon working towards the front of the barrel. The soot at the top of the stacks was painted on using Typhus Corrosion followed by a wash of Nuln Oil. I’m really pleased with the dirty, grimy look which has real texture to it.
As this is a Venerable Dreadnought I decided to try and reflect the chapter’s history on the model. I used the original Astral Claws heraldry rather than Huron’s personal heraldry which was later adopted by the chapter. For this I used a Forge World decal over a blue stripe. I imagine him as an old veteran from when the chapter was fleet-based and that it was during this time that he fought against the Tyranids and ended up entombed inside a dreadnought (hence the honour badge on the sarcophagus). I also painted the name of the chapter’s new homeworld to his other leg as a nod to this later stage of the chapter’s history. this reflects the way that in the background the dreadnoughts are living embodiments of their chapters’ histories.
His power fist also has a blue stripe painted down it to help balance out the blue areas elsewhere on the model. Originally I was going to paint blue stripes on the shoulders (as Leeman suggested in the comments) but I decided that as I had already painted blue onto the power fist I would leave them plain so as not to over do it on the blue again. Instead I added a small Imperial eagle decal to provide a bit of interest and painted on some freehand battle damage. The blue stripes on the storm bolter ties it in with other weapons carried by marines in my force.
And that’s it. Overall I am very pleased with how he turned out and it was definitely worth going back and redoing certain parts to get the right result.