Friday, 20 December 2013

For his honour ......

So my second project is up on Putty and Paint, so please if you want to see the pictures or are members yourselves, maybe you could vote and comment.

Here's the link straight to Fulgrim (Primarch of the Emperors Children)

Cheers guys and Happy Painting!!!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Building and painting my first ever Salute entry - Volgor The Skull Hunter.

About 4 years ago i purchased Volgor The Skull Hunter (54mm Warlord Saga) from Andrea miniatures and upon receiving it I have to admit to some trepidation to actually start the project. A house move later and I had lost the loin cloth piece, so he sat in a drawer for about two years. Then about a year or so ago, I bought the mini again from my friend Volomir and today I decided it was time to build it and maybe enter it at Salute 2014. So here's a little write up about the build process and a little review of the miniature itself. Hopefully, time, commitments, commissions an family willing, will finish the article in the future with a piece on the actual painting too.

So as you can see from the picture, you only need pretty basic tools to get the build done. So before we start to clean the various pieces down lets take a look at the contents.

So the miniature consists of a dozen pieces of finely detailed white metal. There is a lot of various textures to the mini that should make the painting very enjoyable. The volumes to the anatomy are very attractive and thus offers painting the skin a host of curves and muscle groups to really go to town on the skintones.

So using my needle file and scalpel, mold lines and flash were removed initially and then the whole of each part was polished up and smoothed with wire wool. This step really does help to provide a great surface to apply the primer and hopefully means that all imperfections have been removed before i start applying paint.

The legs and hands were each pinned. I drilled a hole with a 0.5mm drill bit in my pin vice, into the main body part (roughly central), glued in a length of brass rod and then carefully brought the leg or hand into place. The metal is so soft that by carefully pushing the limb up to the rod, you are able to make an impression to act as a guide to where you need to drill the hole for the limb thus ensuring that the parts meet snuggly and accurately. I repeated the process for each limb.

I decided early on that i would assemble the whole miniature prior to painting and would only leave the shield off and then attach at the end when the painting was finished.

The picture of the shield shows the thin flash that is easily removed with a scalpel. The detail again is excellent.

There were two slight issues during the build but were not too problematic. The feet have pins that sit in the sockets on the rocks of the scenic base. So it was necessary to check during the attachment of the legs that they not only fit nicely into the waist of the mini but that they are also positioned at the necessary angle to allow the foot pegs to sit in the rock sockets and thus get the correct stance. Secondly, Volgor's topknot comes pretty straight and this would look rather strange as the mini is in a dynamic pose ,but if you glue the topknot on it would just stick up in the air. So it needed to be carefully bent back and positioned to look like it is in motion as Volgor swings his immense axe. During this little operation it snapped at the base of the horns that it is attached to. This meant another exercise in pinning but now looks far more natural.

The kit goes together very nicely and now I just hope the paintjob can do this great miniature justice. I will be referring to the article by David Rodriguez in "How to paint fantasy miniatures" by Andrea Press.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Congratulations to Rafael aka VOLOMIR!

Just a quick post to announce the winner of the Bloodlust Tyrant competition. So congratz to Rafael Garcia Marin aka VOLOMIR. Nobody expected the Spanish inquisition, nobody expected it was his birthday over the weekend and nobody expected him to be pulled out of the magic hat, well my wife's mixing bowl, but you understand what I am getting at.

Just want to say thankyou to everybody that has joined the blog already and please do spread the word. There are some rather interesting tutorials coming up soon.

Happy Painting!!


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Humble beginnings

Hi to all of my followers. So I've hit 50 already, and what a list of who's who in miniature painting already. I feel very humbled and excited about this beginning and just hope now that I can deliver the goods as they say. Really I just wanted to say thankyou to everybody who has taken time out to join so far. 25 more followers and then we can draw a lucky winner from my magic hat for the free giveaway BloodLust Tyrant by Darkhammer Miniatures. This is a beautiful, resin miniature, limited with only 5 available at the moment on their site and retailing at $45.50.

Anyway thats enough from me just now.

Happy Painting!!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Nagrus'z Strongarm - How i painted the various skin tones on the orc and wyvern banner!

Part 1 - Nagrus'z skintone.

First of all I want to say that I am a moderate painter at best and it is the help and guidance I received from Bohun, Camelson and Loler that has pushed my painting on these last couple of months. I have been asked several times on how I painted the skin and whether I would consider writing a tutorial. So here it is!Then more recently I updated the tutorial to also include how I painted the banner of wyvern hide.

First of all I was thinking about the overall colour scheme of the miniature and the setting I wish to place him in. As I am going with a cool colour (purple) for the dragonhide banner, I decided to go with a warm skin tone.

I So a warm green was needed and after speaking to Camelson who flaunted the traits of a particular Games Workshop colour I chose Camo Green (GW) which is a yellow/green and fitted perfectly. Camelson taught me to always add a touch of black to my basecoat, which basically begins to lay in the shadows. With painting the skin it is really important to block in the colours and define the volumes of the anatomy as quickly as possible, so I painted two or three layers of a thinned mix of Camo Green with just a touch of black added. Being careful with the direction of my brushstrokes so as not to leave strong build up of this colour in the shadows where it will become difficult to discern transitions from shadows to lights. The mini was painted with zenithal lighting in mind, so imagine a light source directly from above. Next I started lightening the skin tone with many thin layers of pure Camo Green, careful to leave the shadows within the darker base colour. So, to explain this in just a little more detail, bare in mind that when you start your highlights, to slowly cover less and less of each section of the mini with your chosen colour so that you eventually concentrate the pigment at the apex of the highlight, moving away from the midtones and the deepest shadows.
I always seem to struggle with highlights more so than applying the shades and glazes, so in this instance my base colour was lighter than I have previously done and it seemed to pay off. I currently find that when i keep my paints heavily diluted for the highlights, the paint can become chalky when i apply it to the mini and if anybody else has encountered this you will agree, the finished result is not too good.

To start building up the basic highlighting, increasing amounts of Elf Flesh (GW) were added to several subsequent layers of the Camo Green. Pretty basic stuff so far, just remember to keep the paints thin and use the direction of the brush to apply the paint. For instance when highlighting, your strokes should be aimed from shadow to highlight and vice versa when applying the shades. Remember even at this stage it does not matter if your blending is not smooth, the most important part is to have a nice transition from the shades to the highlights for the sake of contrast. I have traditionally struggled with this and no matter how crazy I think I am being with my colours, I always seem to produce another desaturated piece with a very natural feel to it. If your blending is not the smoothest, you can clean this up in the next stage with the use of glazes.
Now for the fun stuff. I had always assumed glazes were the same as washes but a very good, pug loving friend of mine from Poland, Loler (Adam Halon) showed me otherwise. 

Both are very diluted paints, but with a glaze most of the paint and water is removed from the brush, unlike a wash where the brush is loaded with paint/water and the miniature is flooded with the mix. With a glaze therefore you have much tighter control of where you place the glazes. 

So as I have already hinted at, the glazes will not only add varying contrasts and interest on the large areas of skin but it will also blend the various transitions that I had painted through 1) Camo Green + Black 2) Camo Green and finally 3) Camo Green + Elf Flesh. It is important that the glazes applied carefully and slowly and allow each glaze to dry before applying the next. A glaze will also dry  much quicker than a wash (so you can put your wifes' hairdryer away).
Firstly to accentuate the shadows a drop of purple and black was added to the base mix, thinned down and carefully applied to where most of the deep shadows would fall. With glazes it is important to build the colours up over several, almost transparent layers. Otherwise, you will simply be painting over one colour with a darker colour and ruin the paint-job underneath. Pure thinned black was then painted into the very deepest shadows. Sometimes as an extreme shadow, black ink can be applied, the glossy shine of the ink can accentuate the deepest shadows still further. Working out of the shadows purple by itself was added to the base mix (Camo Green with a touch of black) and applied leading up to the midtones, meeting glazes of blue which were added to the base mix. It is this careful application of several glazes that smoothes out the transitions and blending that was laid down in the previos steps of highlighting and shading.

With all these glazes beginning to take shape, especially in "busy" areas like the face, you can start to lose a bit of definition between the various components of the mini, for example between the face and the metallic elements of the helm, a dark brown/black mix, heavily thinned was used as “black lining” around the edges of the face and head, nose, eyes and especially important for gnarled orc faces, the top creases in the top lip. "Black lining" can also be used to define different areas i.e. certain muscle groups, the spine and around adjacent parts of the miini, for instance where flesh meets material or armour or belts and straps. This all helps to make certain details pop!!

Sometimes it is necessary to go back to applying mid tones and highlights and/or to tidy up certain areas. Pure purple  glazes were placed under the eyes and upon the bottom lip, and a red glaze was painted around the eyes leading down and onto the nose. 

The skintones were starting to get a little cold with the blue and purple glazes so to bring out some bright, warm spots to the skin some very dilute glazes of Camo Green and a yellow (doesn’t matter which) were placed in key areas again to add contrast and interest to the skin. Tops of muscle groups and shoulders are good places to do this as they have nice curves and volumes to them. The highlights were once again picked out and a final extreme highlight along eye brow ridge, nose, elbows etc were picked out with thinned down Elf Flesh. Unlike most of the painting of the skintones with very dilute paints, the final extreme highlights need to cover the skin quite strongly so these are almost applied straight from the pot, maybe just a touch of water. And that’s it! Oh now for Part 2, the flesh tones on the wyvern hide banner. Stay tuned for further developments. Happy Painting!!

Competition Time

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Competition time coming!!

Hey everybody (well there were 8 followers at last count), i have some news that i think you will find quite exciting!! I will be writing a post over the weekend on my facebook page, inviting people to follow my now almost, possibly infamous blog. Well that's not particularly exciting, so i (well ok my friend Chris Hibbert) thought how do we get people to follow me on a blog........................ FREEBIES!! So when I reach 75 followers i will be giving away a rather cool, limited miniature, that many of you have probably seen doing the rounds on facebook.

Over the weekend I will also be writing a tutorial on how i painted Nagrus'z skin and then i will post the facebook message.

Night all and Happy Painting!!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Nagrus'z Strongarm - Orc Standard Bearer

 Nagrus'z Strongarm

a trusted lieutenant and banner bearer of a great waaagh. This was my entry for Golden Demon UK 2013 and it took a finalist medal in a very strong warhammer single category. The damned skink priest by GamesWorkshop took Gold, Silver and Bronze with my friend Camelson taking the Golden Demon. This is my first post and first ever blog and once i have played around for a bit i will be posting a tutorial on how i painted his skin.