Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Urban War Viridian special forces trooper

A very quick post to show the completed special forces trooper that I showed a WIP of in my last post.

Really pleased with how this turned out and I've got another one base coated and ready to start soon.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Urban War colonial marine commander & conversion work

I've been busy painting all sorts of stuff on the commission side of things but I'm still slowly expanding my Urban War strike team as well. I think this project interests me more than anyone else really but I'm sticking with it.

Recently I finished painting up my first named character and commander for the team, Lieutenant Johnny G. This model was originally released under the Void line but was one of a few that were transferred directly over into Urban War. Really nice sculpt and it's great to finally have a proper command model in the mix.

I also started work on a special forces trooper. I've got two of these guys and a sergeant I want to add but they sat for ages gathering dust because I wanted to paint them in camo but wasn't sure how to tackle it. I must have made four attempts on one model and just wasn't happy with either the colour or my execution of the design. I had a few drinks, picked up one of the other models and the camo came together instantly! Here's a WIP courtesy of Vallejo paints and Smirnoff vodka.

I have since done a bit more work on him and may actually get him finished later tonight. Hopefully the second trooper will come together quickly now I know what I'm doing with the colour scheme. I think I might put the sergeant off until a little later though as I've got another model I'm really keen to get painted.

One support trooper I was short of is a colonial marine heavy gauss rifle gunner. I think these weapons fall somewhere between a standard gauss rifle and a heavy machine gun. There are two models available with HGRs but they're later sculpts and as such they don't quite match up with my preferred earlier models. Of course the only option was to convert a model.

Obviously the original sculpt is on the left and in the third pic you can see the HGR from a saurian mounted marine that I modelled my conversion on. Easy enough job to cut the end of the rifle off. The gun barrel is a piece of brass tubing, the bit above it is piece of a Bripping Beast wire spear (bought a pack years ago and have been mostly using them as pins) with a Green Stuff iron sight. The hand grip below is a pin with three strips of pewter sheet wrapped around it. I also used pewter sheet for part of the housing and to cover the ammo feed.

The ammo belt is a flexible resin one from Zinge Industries. It's kind of a rubber material with a piece of wire in the middle to help pose it. I stuck it in place with super glue which really sticks the material well but I did have to make a few attempts at it as I've got quite a tight coil there and being rubbery it needed a bit of careful securing so as to not twist and warp too much. To attach it to the gun I cut away the top face of the metal magazine which was a real ball ache. I then cut half of the rear of the end ammo belt block away and then that married up nicely with the gun. The pewter sheet cover tidied it up nicely.

The ammo box on the back required one of the packs to be cutaway from the model. Easy job. The box itself was made from two bits of thick metal sprue from a set of Junkers back packs (an opposing faction in Urban War for those not familiar with the game). I had to rip it off after fixing it in place though as the ammo belt didn't fix securely initially. I ended up cutting a chunk out and gluing the belt into it. For the sake of neatness I put a piece of pewter sheet over the front of the box and it covered the belt join. I also added a bit of lid detail with more sheet material. A bent pin made a good handle too.

I'm not much of a converter but I'm really pleased with how this has come out and I think once painted it'll look the part. So there we go, that's my strike team update. Still more models I really want to add, not that many to be fair but I am a bit slow to get these done so I'm sure it'll take a while to get the team 'finished'.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Urban War Shock Marine

Those who have been following what I do for a while might remember that quite some time ago I re-worked and added to my Urban War Viridian strike team. I painted a couple of shock marines at the time, started a third, a sergeant and then left him to gather dust. A familiar story I'm sure. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I dusted him off and cracked on with getting him done.

I should point out that this is a very minor conversion of the original model. I replaced the head with a Hasslefree Miniatures one from one of their head sprues. Also, the shield is from one of the later shock marine sculpts. They have a little extra detail on them, mainly on the back which I prefer over the original plain ones. Same deal pretty much with the other two shock marines except I swapped their heads for the later version shock marine sculpts.

A fair bit of freehand on this guy which is something I usually try and avoid although in this case it came together surprisingly easily. I guess I must have had plenty of practice on the previous two models. I did the 'V' wing insignia, sergeants stripes and of course the shield. For those interested I took a few WIP pics as I painted the shield just to show the process. I'll lazily copy and paste my write up from Facebook here too.

1. The green used a base mix of VMC Russian Uniform WW2 and VMC Olive Brown (used to be called US Olive Drab). This was highlighted with more Russian Uniform and then had some VGC Desert Yellow added. This was highlighted more on the right side as the shield was going to be mounted sideways on the model. When dry it was given a wash mix of GW Agrax Earthshade and GW Nuln Oil. I lightly painted in the outlines of the stripe and numbers with VMC German Camo Beige WW2.

2. With the markings roughly in place I filled them in and neatened them up with Camo Beige.

3. The markings were highlighted by adding VMC Stone Grey to give them a bit of depth. Like the shield highlights these were weighted to the right side of the shield.

4. With the green mix I painted chips and scratches onto the markings.

5. Reinforced corners and vision slit got a base coat mix of VMA Steel and VMC Olive Brown and quickly highlighted up with more Steel. Eagle had a base mix of VMC Old Gold and Olive Brown highlighted with more Gold and then some Steel. I applied a paint wash mix of VGC Charred Brown and VGC Imperial Blue over the metals and the shield face. Rust was built up by adding VGC Parasite Brown to the wash mix and used on the metals and in the recesses. Dirt was built up on the bottom of the shield with the washes but also by stippling Olive Brown paint. Finally steel was used to create chipping on all the edges and a few small chips on the shield face.

Of course, to round things off there's the obligatory group shot of all three marines ready to face the cold dead void of my measly display unit.


Wednesday, 4 April 2018

RBG Norse & things I forgot to post

As the title says, I've got more Red Box Games Norse models painted as part of an on going and quite large commission. This is a set of multipart models equipped with two hand weapons a piece. I'm not sure if these are currently available as they weren't in the RBG web store when I checked the other week. Could have been from a Kickstarter some time ago. Anyway, really powered through these to get them done in double quick time as there are more models waiting to be done for this army.

Then there are a couple of things that I forgot to post from previous weeks. There's another set of Copplestone Castings Tupi warriors from another casual on going commission. I've already done a few sets of archers and a set of chieftains. This time it's warriors with whatever those weapons are called.

Finally there's a pair of GW Black Library characters, Max Schreiber and Snorri. I've already painted Felix and Gotrek, and the female character whose name escapes me right now so these were commissioned to go with those models.

Both models were sent to me in original foil packs but there was a hilarious packing error with Snorri. I tore the top off the packet but rather than a violent dwarf being inside, two Cadian Lieutenants dropped out onto my desk top! Bemusing, hilarious and rather gutting for the owner. No chance of getting a replacement from GW on a 12 year old OOP model. Thankfully one was found on Ebay but was missing the base which I ended up cobbling together myself.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Dark Age Forsaken faction box

I painted up a Dark Age faction box as part of a commission job recently. This is the Forsaken Saint Mark set. To be honest I don't really know too much about Dark Age. The original range of models must have been released in the early 2000's as I recall seeing them all over Cool Mini Or Not at the time. This set is part of the new range of models and long gone are the chunky rather old fashioned looking sculpts and instead we've got a more 'sophisticated' set of modern designs.

Sculpting wise this set is a little mixed. Most of the models have that ultra tiny, 'to scale' look that plagues a lot of modern day premium figure ranges. It's not just a case of them being made under magnification to be painted under magnification (I don't know if these are traditional sculpts or digital) but when details get too small they can quickly disappear under paint. There are a number of areas on various models where the detail is so indistinct from the get go that undercoat and paint completely obliterate it. Oddly enough though two of the models are much chunkier sculpts in comparison and were much easier to paint. Could be the result of using multiple sculptors.

Saint Mark is a big lad and is well sculpted for painting in my opinion. Just the right level of chunk for all the detail to be well defined. Personally I don't find his pose to be imposing enough for what I assume is a leader type. I wish they'd replicated the original model's pose from back in the day really.

Hephzibah is the other model that was a better one for painting. I'm not keen on the sculpting of the face and like most of the models her eyelids disappear a bit too much into her brow making them tricky to paint and define the eyes nicely. Other than that I kept thinking this could almost be a Kev White sculpt!

The Sentinel is a bit of weaker sculpt I think. It's a rather flat model and one of the tinier sculpts, although not as bad as some in the set. Painted he looks a lot better and looks a lot less flat.

The Shades had a few areas that were tricky to paint due to disappearing detail. Their head gear was really hard to do, faces, what you can see at least are very tiny and the left arms on both are just indistinct lumps of 'detail'. They look nice enough when done though.

Finally we've got the Junkers which immediately make me think of Void due to the name alone. These are the tiniest in the set. Very slim sculpts and a lot of tough to pick out detail. Fingers are terribly small and little more than thin strands than actual fingers. Some areas the detail blurs a bit too much and it's just guess work. Again, they look good when done but if you look too close the flaws begin to stand out.

I've got some more sets to paint up so it'll be interesting to see how they compare. I suspect it'll be more of the same but you never know.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Stormcast Eternals Lord Relictor

Quick post to show my finished Stormcast Eternals Lord Relictor. I started painting this last year when I was on a bit of roll after finishing up a little unit of Liberators. Did pretty well with the main body of the model and was looking to have it done before Christmas with hopes of getting another hero done too. Weeeeeelllll... that went to shit didn't it! I got a little bogged down working on the relic icon thing and then commission stuff kind of burned me out a bit and killed my desire to paint anything. A couple of weeks back I finally managed to force myself to get it finished off. Chuffed to have it done at last and I'm hoping to tackle another soon.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Empire War Wagon

Got the chance to paint up a nice bit of Warhammer history in the classic Empire war wagon. At the time of it's original release I was drifting away from GW, or at least what GW was becoming and I had mixed feelings about the new Empire range. On the one hand I kind of liked some of the models but they were also quite different in style from the classic 80's stuff and were synonymous with a changing GW (at least for me). The war wagon I didn't care for at all though. I thought it was a dumb idea, simple as that. Years down the line though I'm over all that knee jerk bull shit and I've grown to like a lot of what I wasn't keen on.

Being an older model and a metal casting the wagon itself didn't quite fit together perfectly. It's lacking a few right angles I think but thankfully it's not noticeable and the model sits properly. From the underside though that slight skewing can be seen and needed some gap filling to secure the floor. The only real problem was one of the end pieces of the lower structure was too misplaced and needed some trimming and filling to be able to get it into place. Whilst prepping the model I also discovered it was missing the yoke to attach the horses. A replacement couldn't be found so I cobbled one together from a piece from a beastman chariot, some metal sprue and a Grey Knight icon. I had to skin the beam with greenstuff and texture it to match as best I could. Never done that before and I'm quite pleased with the end result.

Fitting the crew in place was easier said than done. It's quite a squeeze in there and later I realised that on the studio model from the box art the crew appear to be sitting slightly higher up so they may have been mounted on an extra bit base. Got them all in though and drilled holes to pin them prior to painting which proved to be a really sensible decision.

Painting the crew and horses was nothing out of the ordinary. Base coating them all certainly took a while, especially with all those puffed and slashed sleeves. I had hoped to get the horses done a bit quicker but they proved to be a little more work due to their coloured armour. The freehand designs are semi-cheated. The shields are totally freehand but he crosses are overpainted decals I had printed out for something else. They were actually Maltese crosses or something so I painted over them to turn them into something a bit more Germanic.

The wagon was a bit daunting at first, it's a hell of a lump and not something I've painted a lot of but it's just timber and bits so I settled into it pretty quickly. In some ways it came together quicker than expected. These things can drag on a bit and become real bug bears but the lower section of the wagon painted up in good time. The upper portion of the structure though took a bit longer. The coloured shingles got a bit annoying after a while and the timbering took longer than hoped. I think largely a result of the model being awkward to handle at that point and I really wish I'd left off the yoke until the end as it just got in the way.

I was going to leave the crew loose for ease of packing the model for posting back to the owner but I ended up gluing them as they were really difficult to fit without damaging the paint work. Went with an epoxy glue rather than superglue just to ensure a solid join.