Sunday, January 30, 2011

Movie Predator Space Marine

Started this thing a long time ago, very straight forward kit bash. The head is the only real putty work required to make a cool looking model.

I've thought about building an entire unit of these like the beastly chaos marines. That will have to be some other time as I'm running behind on painting my Crusading Normans for Adepticon.

The rock is actually flattened out Apoxie Sculp allowed to cure, then broken with a hammer. I also press a relief pattern into the top of the flattened piece of putty before it cures with an actual broken rock.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beastly Chaos Space Marines

A long time ago when I was building my Beastmen army, I got to thinking about why we don't see many Beastmen influenced chaos space marine armies. I've always been quite fond of these guys.

I think its the facial expresions and weapons for the most part. And I converted all 85 of the models in my army similar to the ones above. I also chopped up quite a few of them to make my own plastic bestigors, since back then the only choice was metal bestigors.

That left me a lot of chopped up pieces and lead me to this. If you have a bitz box like mine, which is pretty much all chaos, you have plenty of capability to crossover.

Some of it works, some of it could be done a bit better. When I build I often build the army pieces first then figure out later what I want to do with the bases, learned this the from all of the Fantasy work.

Decided to leave the bulk of the gor tabards and buckles exposed and not take them off. If you look at the normal beastmen above those icons are just kind of drooping down around the waist.

The Ungor heads also work for a neat look. Marauder torsos look okay, definitely need to cover the shoulder joins, one of the truly awful things about that kit.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pics of My WAB Roman Army in Full Force

For the Glory of Rome.

I'm not really setup in this place to take a full army pic, but here it is, my Roman Legion Army. I will be taking some form or variation of these models to Adepticon's WAB singles tournament. Not sure what the final makeup will be just yet, as its a 2000 point tournament. I'm guessing there will be a fair amount of Greek Phalanxes to deal with. The display is one that use with my Warriors of Chaos army. This is not the display base that I intend to use, but being behind on my 1/2 a 1000 point WAB team army for Adepticon, will probably make this the display base that I will use as I'm running out of time.

Close-ups of some of the various units.

Some of the vets, better pics of the cavalry unit will be coming at some point.

The new archers, one of two scorpions in the back ground, I hope to be able to deal with the elephants. The General in the foreground that I will probably not use, he may become a regular cav officer.

Huge unit of Praetorians that I will use as veterans also.

Three regular units of legionaires.

Definitely, not my best army, but I'm still happy with it.

For those interested, the bulk of the army with the exception of 4 character models, these are are all Warlord Games models. The majority of those are plastic. I do have an Aventine model and 3 Foundry models in the army as characters.

And to seriously make fun of my poor game playing skills, the legions are numbered the 17th, 18th, and 19th. And yes my general is Varus. ;)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Goblin Spider Rider Conversions...The Devil is in the Details

Spider Riders....These are to go with theVC Clubbin' Orc boys. This is the first time I have ever worked with these models.

I was dreading these models, to begin with. The riders are a converter's nightmare, one piece, super-tiny highly detailed models. Not what I call fun to work with. The spiders are fine.

The real concern was continuing the theme: Bashin' Vampire Counts.

I decided to do that by simply including the VC element on the base and movement tray work.

There is my favorite element, a skeleton all wound up in spider webbing.

What to do with the riders, as you see above, I just decided to enhance the detail with some more feathers, and some fur. The arms essentially are just cylinders so repositioning the spear arms is easy enough, but not necessary.

The movement tray and bases will get some sand and later flocking.

The spiders are actually nice to work with and fairly easily to manipulate. When I do my human bashing orc army, may revisit the spider riders, but I will most certainly use the larger mult-piece goblins, and not these weenies.
Next up, the Roman Legions.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tips on Brushes for Army Painters

Over the past few years I’ve been doing a number of seminars locally and sitting at the Golden Demon Lounge at Games Workshop’s Gamesday Chicago event, which is back this year. One of the things I almost always discuss is, what in my opinion are the differences between high level army painting and one off display piece painting that you would do for say Games Workshop’s Golden Demon competition or Adepticon’s Crystal Brush. The vast majority of things you find on-line in tutorials are oriented towards that high level competition painting and not really towards painting high level armies. So with that said let’s talk about brushes, something that is shared by both:

Types of Brushes
Synthetic - typically Taklon brushes for this type. They are relatively cheap, great for doing the dirty work, I generally view them as a throw away brush. Numerous manufacturers make these, the ones I typically use are from American Painter, Loew Cornell, and recently Simply Simmons. Acrylic painting of miniatures, especially army painting, has the tendency to make the ends of these brushes curl, even if you properly maintain them. In army painting this is the workhorse brush, abuse it. When it can no longer be used for painting details use it for base coating. When it is past the point of being any good for base coating due to curling, bristle separation, or fouling at the ferrule, use if for drybrushing.

In the picture from top to bottom: American Painter 10/0 Spotter, American Painter 6 Shader, Artec Red Sable 2/0 Round, Loew Cornell 1 Round, and Simply Simmons 2 Round

Sables – Red Sables are good quality brush for performing the finer work of painting details. Numerous manufacturers’, essentially a watercolor round brush. I look at these as an intermediate brush as they give better quality painting than the synthetics when comes to freehand detail, but not quite as good as the Kolinsky Sables. They cost a little bit more than the Synthetics. If properly maintained they will last a lot longer than the synthetics. Don’t abuse them. I’ve recently used a few synthetic and sable blends, some are very good, better than synthetics, but not as good as my sables.

Kolinsky Sables – This is the luxury brush, normally very expensive, not something that I typically recommend to army painters unless they are doing highly detailed line work. Take care of it, wash and clean it immediately after use. I have used some of these for over a decade with acrylic paints and India inks. I save these for the most delicate and intricate line work and details. They typically have a nice full body that comes to an extremely fine, sharp, flexible tip. Mostly I just use the round type brush. Raphael Series 8404 and Winsor & Newton Series 7, are the most popular. There is in my opinion a noticeable difference between them, don't let people sway you one way or the other. It’s about personal preference and comfort. I personally love the Raphael's and not the Winsor & Newton. I can't get the W&N's to work as well as the Raphael's, but I know others that swear by them. The Raphael brushes typically have a more flexible tip, in my opinion. Isabey also manufacturer's a high quality Kolinsky Sable, 6227Z Series, that is a bit cheaper than the Raphael and W&N brushes, the difference with Isabey's brushes are that their bodies for equivalent sizes are much smaller, but the points and quality are just as good.

In the picture from top to bottom: Simply Simmons 2 Round, Isabey 2 Round, Raphael 3/0 Round, Raphael 2 Round, Winsor & Newton 2 Round

Brush Types & Sizes
Rounds - The workhorse brush for most miniatures. Sizes I typically use are 2, 1, 0, 2/0, 3/0. Typically, I will use the size 2 or 1 for base coating. When I start painting finer details I’ll use the size 1 or 0. 2/0 and 3/0 are quite small and I only use them for painting very fine details.

Shaders or Flats - The workhorse brush for models with large open surfaces. Shader Sizes I typically use are 4, 3, 2, and 1. For those of you painting Space Marines and tanks, these are a good time saver and will get rid of those nasty looking brush strokes. On Display bases and terrain I will use everything from a 2-inch to a 1-inch flat brush and the aforementioned size 4 thru 1 shaders.

Spotters – Usually a 5/0 or 10/0, special brush. Smaller is not always better for things. I don't recommend them. I've used them when I was first starting out think that they were the way to go to get really fine detail, and I was wrong. I have found that I get better results with smaller sables or better yet the Kolinsky sable that have the finest of points with an actual body that can hold paint. As you can see above, the spotter has no body to hold paint and is only good for, what else, spotting.

A Worn-out Tooth Brush or New One if you prefer
Want to get some really great looking, random, and semi-controlled splatter effects. Use a toothbrush. To do this simply dip the brush in some paint. Hold the brush next to your miniature and run a finger across the bristles in order to get them to flick the paint onto the miniature. Be careful to mask off things that you don’t want the effect to get onto.

The chain sword blade was done with toothbrush splatter.

Not a Brush
Having problems painting eyeballs on a hundred plus figures? I know I do. I could use the Kolinsky and get some really great detail with it sharp point, but there is a better tool in my opinion for eyes. It is the Micron Pen with a 005 point (0.20mm tip). It will pass the eyeball test. It is also great for doing highly detailed script on your mini’s if say you are doing 40k Templars or Word Bearer space marines. Most hobby stores will carry them.

Taking Care of Your Brushes
Generally, for the synthetics I don't even bother. I used to, but it doesn't seem to matter with them.
For the Sables and Kolinsky Sables that is different. As soon as I'm done with them, I will wash them. Pink Soap brush cleaner works good, but so does regular shampoo.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Many Projects Coming...

I’ve had a number of people ask me what projects I have on my agenda this coming year, and I tell them that if things go as planned, which they never do, I will finish for sure my Roman Legions, have a playable 2500 points of Warriors of Chaos army, painted a 1000 points of Norman/El Cid/Crusades Knights for Adepticon, the beginnings of my next major and hopefully extravagant Fantasy army which will be the brutal Orcs, and starting my British Napoleonic’s/War of 1812 army.

The Roman Legions are basically done with the exception of the movement trays, which I’ll be finishing up shortly. I hope to have pictures of the entire assembled army within the next month. I don’t think I will get done with a display base for them when I go down to Adepticon, so I plan to use my 1000 pt Warriors of Chaos display as a fill-in, it is roughly using the same basing.

My Warriors of Chaos army, otherwise known as the Mutant Marauders, is approximately 1250 pts of completely finished models.

I started this army back in 2007, then the interim chaos rules came out separating beasts and demons from the book, then the new chaos book came out and I began to lose interest with them, then I got it back, then 8th edition fantasy came out and I lost interest in the game for a bit, but I like these guys and still love the models, so I decided to just keep going with the army. Not my normal style of doing things. I like to build everything first, then paint it all in one fell swoop. What makes it more complicated is that one of the colors I’m using for the army is a custom blend. I think in the next post, I’ll discuss my concept of how to I build armies whether fantasy or 40k or ancients.

The knights, something I have always wanted to do. I love reading about this period of history, I find it very intriguing and fascinating. Not much else to say about this army, other than it is meant to be for the Adepticon Team Warhammer Ancients Tournament. If it goes as planned, I will be teamed up with a bunch of Saxons under the command of the Mike “Old Coot” Butcher.

The orcs, much like my Khorne Demons, are meant to be my next extravagant, and hopefully the army will blow people away. With my Khorne Demons, my theme was obviously the evil depths of Chaos with blood pools throughout the basing and hands reaching up out of the depths of hell to drag victims down into the pits of despair.

I think it was interesting change from the whole lava based Khorne army scheme that you see done over and over. With my Orcs the theme is quite simple, brutality. And that brutality in particular will be directed at humans, namely the Empire and Bretonians. The orc project will be moving forward, now that I have figured out how to do my bases and movement trays. More on that to come, and I will probably do some posts on using themes to build your armies, something that seems to often be lacking in Warhammer 40k and Fantasy from the more casual army builders.

British Napoleonic is something I’ve also wanted to do over the past decade or so, so I decided to at least make an attempt at it. In this area I know of one other person that is interested in trying this and wants to do French, so I think will try this out, probably using Warlord Games’ Blackpowder Rules.

As for the other things on tap, there will be a few one-off display pieces, some more 40k conversions, and some commission work. I’ve basically caught up with my commission work, and have decided that this year; I will likely take on less commission work than I have in the past. I don’t always show pictures of the work I do, as once and awhile people request that I hold off doing so for a period of time for different reasons. I will be continuing with the VC Orc commission project, it’s been a lot fun, and is sort of an on-going project. This is not to say that someone may come along with a commission project that I simply can not refuse. For me, it has to be something that I want to do before I take it on.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

40k Chaplain Biker Conversion

This is the last of the bikes that I have had forever it seems. I'm using up a bunch of bits that I had lying around.

Not a very inspired conversion.

And actually you can get this for very cheap on Ebay if you want it. I mainly just attempting to clear some stuff off my desk and make room for more important stuff.

Packers in the Playoffs begins today...

Win or lose the Packers have overcome so many injuries this season, its amazing that they made it this far.

And one last shot at Brat Favre. Traitor. Pervert.

Friday, January 7, 2011

War Boss on the new plastic Boar

I've been wanting to work with these new boars since I saw them come out. They are very dynamic in pose, much better than the old ones and much better than the current Warboss Kit.

This boss was built on commission for the same person who commissioned the two shamen and two VC Orc boy units.

I decided to us the black orc torso with the armored legs of the normal boar riders.

That means covering the joins of the legs to the blorc body. Covered that with armor plates and mail.

I decided to add a bunch of glyphs as you see on the model's helmet, elbow, sword, and shoulder.

To continue the whole battling of the undead them, I put a broken tombstone on the base. This I will use again with the Wolf Riders.

I do like how the armor plating looks on the boar's head. I'm definitely planning to do some more of that.

Also when you do not use the boar rider arms, you will need to add some fur on the ridge of the boar's back.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Orc Shaman Conversion #2 Finished on Budget.

Why paint up a metal GW model for an orc shamen, when you can have more fun building one out of plastic pieces and a typical rank and file plastic orc boy and your bits box.

Of course not everyone can do the green stuff work, so that does make it a bit harder, but as seen with the first and with this secound one it can be done and give you something very unique looking.

The staff as you can tell by the glyph was once an orc boy spear, I added an overlay of GS and did the wood grain sculpting. Topped it off with a bit from the beastmen or skaven, can't remember which.

As you can see I gave him a pouch full of bones and other trinkets.

I think the tatter of bottom of the robe could have been better, an I maybe should have removed a tooth or two, but I am happy with the conversion.

On the Road to Adepticon...

My journey to Adepticon is in full swing as the new year has started. I decided after last year that I would not be playing 40k and after seeing the goings on of the Fantasy realm that I would not play the Fantasy tourney.

The 40k decision was easy as I have not played 40k in a few years, though I have to say I'm being tempted to return the game, space marines are beckoning me.

The Fantasy tourney...I hate to say it, but their rules decisions for last year really soured me towards playing the tourney, the composition scoring was pitful in my opinion and having only one playable army ready to take to the tourney that was utterly killed by the composition scoring, I figured why bother. Also locally, in state, I think my Khorne Demon army is well liked, but there are a number of bloggers in that area that have talked smack about it the last time I went to Chicago and really I don't think appreciated my efforts. I'm pretty thick-skinned but some of the comments were uncalled for, ill-informed just quick glances based on their comments, and quite frankly ignorant in my opinion.
I know Marty aka Mr. Clean who runs Adepticon Fantasy. I like the guy, he runs good tourneys and fun events and attends the bigger tourneys here in Wisconsin. So I really don't know what the story was with last years tourney, and honestly I have not asked him. Marty is about fun wargaming, and that did not look like fun. I'm sure he will run a great event this time out, but 8th Edition is something I'm not comfortable with and not something that I have an army built to play. I am also currently annoyed with the rules changes. I played the local tourney here with my only playable army and got pretty well spanked by everything. That and I'm sick of painting Khorne Red, to make it playable for 8th, and the Warriors of Chaos is too far away from being in a playable form. So I will pass on Fantasy.

So 40k is out.
Fantasy is out.
So what to play. Why Warhammer Ancients 2.0. The game appeals to me. I'll be going there full force and playing WAB Singles and WAB Team, bringing with me the Romans and hopefully the Perry Knights for the Team effort. Its a smaller and olded turnout and played in a quieter setting. Geese I must be getting old. I'll be teamed up with my buddy Mike Butcher, our team is the "The Grumpy Old Coots".