Monday, 24 July 2017

The Minotaur and a tale of butchery and salvation.

During the last month I've had some hobby time out partly enforced by work commitments and partly lack of motivation. So to get out of my slump I painted up a conversion I completed some time ago. Now I have realised recently that I've always subconsciously divided my work into two distinct camps; convert the fuck out of new plastic or carefully collect and paint old lead. I give no value to plastic but hold the lead in a high regard, mostly because of nostalgia and of course the fact that it is oop (certainly from Citadel anyway). So I thought it was time to change that, I'd always been inspired by the lead conversions from White Dwarf back in the day, so let it be my turn to return to something I thought nothing of as a teenager in the 80's. Time to break out the jewellers saw and the pliers and get to work...

Now I didn't approach this willy-nilly, I chose a lead model that I wanted to paint up (i.e. it is one of my complete collection of the Citadel Minotaur Lords) but one in which the sculpt is a bit shit and could be improved upon by me. With this sculpt I always felt that the head looked odd without a neck and that the arms were disproportionate (i.e. Too short) and strangely tethered to the sides of the body (no doubt due to casting constraints) so I chopped it all off and ended up with this:

A new pointing arm from an Ork was added to give him the look of a leader and a mid-hammer minotaur head that had a bit more menace about it:

Now I didn't want to completely discard the chopped off pieces and decided to re-use them on the conversion. With the head I thought that it would be fun to make a three headed minotaur with the new head in the middle and the old one (and a re-mould of it) on the other. I'm a sucker for symmetry. So I used the Instamould to get a cast of the head:

And filled it with milliput initially:

Which really didn't work so went with greenstuff the second time around which really worked surprisingly well: 

I also re-used the club which I had earlier cut off; attaching it the belt behind him:

And re-sculpting the haft with some milliput:

Here with the two heads re-attached and banner pole inserted:

And some additional work on the pole, garden wire wrapped around the paper clip to help me sculpt a gnarly old tree and a plastic vulture perched atop:

The final greenstuffing on the banner pole and some old-school mushrooms on the base:

And then decided to add some plastic horns and a bell to add some more detail:

Now of course there was another source of inspiration with this build; John Blanche's esteemed minotaur banner bearer which also has multiple heads and a myriad of other conversions:

So I too went to town on the banner design, following a more obvious route of Greek Mythology for the banner image:

I think it's an improvement on the original.
Now onto the rest of my collection of Minotaur Lords...

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Modelling Workshop 3: The Barn, White Dwarf 140

Continuing on my quest to make the buildings that were published in White Dwarf's "Modelling Workshop" articles from the golden era of the magazine; I have now completed the Fantasy Barn from White Dwarf 140. 

I've made a few adaptions as I felt the original design was a bit bland and boxy, so I wanted to challenge myself to make some additions, such as the attached lean-to, the slightly ajar hinged barn doors and the smaller loft door. 

When constructing this I also wanted to add some further details to create a better sense of realism, rafters on the roof, contrasting vertical and horizontal beams for the building/doors, hinges, handles and wagon wheels, mill stones and a rat.. 

In terms of painting I started with a grey primer as this speeds up the process for the look I was going for. I wanted to avoid obvious, but rather unrealistic browns and go for a range of greys that showed the weathered and faded look I hoped would look best. Over the grey primer I washed a darker grey into the recesses and shadows and when dry started to dry-brush up successively lighter colours. This obviously looked quite pale and odd being so grey but was rectified by about 5 million washes of browns, yellows and greens to create a weathered and streaky appearance. All of these washes were applied in a vertical motion. The rusty spot colour breaks up the quite monotonous faded grey wood.

 Well here's the finished version for you to judge:

Learning from past mistakes, I ensured the roof was detachable on this model, but completely forgot to paint it! In fact I probably won't paint it but I am tempted to add some hay in the loft by cutting up some brush bristles:

And here's how the lonely barn looks on my first terrain board. Perhaps it would look better on a rural setting, but the paving slabs I carved into the cardboard exterior floor help it fit in a bit. It probably needs a farmhouse next to it which may be a future project (that may well be a ruined farmhouse...):

And here are my scans of the White Dwarf article if anyone else is interested in making their own version:

Friday, 9 June 2017

Handmade Goblinoid Combat Cards

I decided to make my own set of Goblinoid Combat Cards, using photos of my own miniatures, having seen the great work of Nico with his Frostgrave version and of course Fimm's completed set of Goblinoid miniatures. I have decided to take my version of the project in a slightly different route and go as old school as possible, eschewing Photoshop/Illustrator for the layout of the cards and instead going down the handmade collage and freehand route.... Here are the first three (I think I will go over the gold writing with yellow paint to make it truer to the original cards and to give a greater contrast - the gold is lost a little on the green card). The first three:

The idea being that when I have a complete set, I can give them to my son as a Christmas/Birthday present (he's currently 4 but may be a teenager by the time this project is complete) and we can play together with my hand made cards with photos of my own miniatures. Of course we could just play with the miniatures themselves, which I have only just realised as I'm typing this!

The template:

To make this I used some green card and cut it to the same dimensions as the original, including the curved corners. The stat area was a strip of pale blue card, cut out and stuck down, followed by a thinner strip of white on top. The area to house the photograph of the mini was a smaller white shape on top of a slightly larger piece of black card. Some careful pencil lines were drawn in to give me the space to carefully write the title of each stat in place. You can also see the pencil lines for where the names and titles of each character will go. The template was colour photocopied onto nice thick card (I will laminate the cards at a later date).

Now of course we all make mistakes, mine was to colour photocopy this without removing the pencil lines or the white central shape. This meant that every colour photocopy has the pencil lines on (and can't be rubbed out - aaah!) and the photo I take of each completed mini has to be cut out to exactly the same shape as the white, if it's too small the white can be seen around the photograph. But no biggie, I can just black this out if necessary.

Finally on the colour photocopy I then decided to hand write the characteristics of each goblinoid. Partly because I have no idea how to do it on a piece of software but mostly because I prefer hand making and the irregularities that accompany that anyway. Red felt tip for the number stats and white and gold permanent markers for the namings. I will change the gold to yellow I feel though - agree?

Monday, 5 June 2017

Scatter terrain

Having finished my first modular terrain board and a growing range of buildings to populate it, I realised I was missing some detail - scatter terrain. My first batch here consists of some Renedra barrels and some Foundry compositions; both of which were not appealing to paint so received some real speed painting (5 minutes per barrel and 1 and half hours for the 5 Foundry pieces):

A couple of tips here. The Renedra barrels were purchased in brown plastic so that the base coat was already there! I then drybrushed two successively lighter brown highlights on, ensuring that my brush mark direction followed the direction of the wooden grain. This makes for a much more realistic wood as your brushmarks are effectively adding to the sense of grainy texture. The metal was one coat of bronze, one highlight of chainmail. Boom, done:

For the Foundry pieces, being lead and nice and heavy, I decided to prime black. All the wood was drybrushed in the same manner as above but with the addition of some green and brown washes to dirty them up a bit. My wet palette was used for the browns, a whole range mixed up, base coated and then highlighted with two successive layers of lighter tones. A couple of spot colours were added; green for the bottles, yellow in the lantern and some blues/whites for the jugs.

I love a bit of speed painting, these Foundry pieces have been shifted from pile to pile to paint desk back to pile many times as I just could not muster the enthusiasm to paint them. I've had them for about two years.. Some discipline last night (and the fact the wife had some shite on tv) and I just simply forced myself do it. And now I feel quite happy that they're done and quite happy with the speed painted results.

I've got a load of NPC's, some 4ground carts and some more ruined buildings to add to my terrain (whilst I work on the second modular board) - I will endeavour to get some nice photos with all the terrain when some of these are completed.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Frostgrave Bestiary Challenge: Wolves

Just 3 Marauder wolves lined up for you. White undercoats, wet blended with greys, browns and yellows; highlighted up and details in the facial features added.

Important note: check Google images in advance, I wasn't expecting lighter underbelly's which goes against my normal painting logic (ie all darker colours are underneath because the sun is above).

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Modular Terrain Board 1

Having planned 9 modular tiles, I've finally finished the first one! It didn't actually take too long (apart from all the engraving, but I worked on small sections at a time) but I've been busy with lots of other things and had to let my hobby projects fit in around them. The engraving was time consuming but the construction and painting were super quick. I haven't taken step by step photos of this tile, largely because I was solving problems as I went along, but I will for the next tile (which is already underway), so expect a tutorial soonish..

So here is the finished tile, the scenery at the back can be removed for storage purposes, or if I just want to re-position it:

Here are a few WIP shots so you can see the basic construct prior to painting:

And finally some shots of the tile populated with some of my scenery and a few miniatures for interest: