Thursday, 4 August 2016

Warband Miniatures Sisters of Serens

Just a quick post today. I've finally finished painting up the Warband Miniatures Sisters of Serens models so it's time for a few pics.

Thankfully after the problems with the first few models I didn't suffer any further breakages whilst working through the rest. It seems Warband had some issues with the resin so I'm wondering whether there was a bit of inconsistency in the quality of the material that may have led to those initial breakages. Just need to get them packed up and across the pond safely now.

Also after whining about lacking the time or inclination to paint anything for myself I did manage to put paint to another Urban War colonial marine. This time part of a mortar team that has been patiently waiting for paint since 2006 when I first prepped the models. He's almost finished in this pic but now I just need to add a shoulder number. Easier said than done though as I might get it bang on first time or it could take half a dozen attempts. The mortar itself shouldn't take too long to paint up. It's a significantly simpler piece of kit than the machine gun was from the last weapons team. If I'm not too busy at the weekend I'll see if I can get it done.

And that's it for this post!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Bit of a round up

I realised it had been a little while since my last Facebook post, which probably means I'm long overdue a blog post, so here's a little round up of what I've been painting 'recently'.

First up is a set of villains painted for Crooked Dice. All Ernst Veingart digital sculpts and very well done they are. Ernst seems to have a pretty good idea how a digital image will turn out once printed and moulded and cast. Anyway, I'm sure people might notice who these are meant to be but if not then just turn the TV on on any given bank holiday and you'll likely spot one of them in a Bond film.

I also got one of those odds and sods jobs as I call them out of the way. Many of the jobs I do for people are small sets of models but occasionally I get single figures. This model is a Wizards of the Coast Boba Fett (from Star Wars of course!) and as such is one of those bendy plastic monstrosities. I think the owner had wanted to get the Knight Models Boba Fett but that was difficult to find so he made do with this one. I was kind of expecting the model to be a bit crap what with it being bendy plastic and a pre-paint, and certainly the paint job it came in didn't do it any favours. Clean up is usually a pain in the arse with these model but it ended up being pretty painless apart from a bit of mould line I couldn't shift from the detail of one foot. A blast of black spray paint quickly covered the horrors of the pre-paint and revealed a model that wasn't bad at all! Of course it had a few of the usual issues that bendy plastics display but nothing that made me want to put pencils up my nose and headbutt the desk.

For a change, rather than painting all the chipping on the armour in metals I just used white and I think it came out pretty well. The shoulder insignia proved to be a tricky bugger to get right and I scrapped my first attempt. Second time though it came out pretty much spot on, considering the small size. I actually ended up really enjoying painting this model, which surprised me a little as I was fully prepared for it to be an absolute ball ache.

Finally I'm currently working on a set of battle nun types by Warband Miniatures. Just a quick pic here. These are mostly done but a couple need the metals finishing and the rest need another coat of varnish.

Digital sculpts and cast in resin, which I don't think is the best material for them given they're rather delicate. I had a number of breakages during additional clean up (they were sent 'cleaned' and assembled) but most problems were to do with removing the original bases which were horrible things. Plenty of cracked feet needing glue and putty, plus none of them could be pinned so I had to just glue them to my bases and hope for the best. My superglue is pretty solid though and nothing I've glued has fallen off (had to re-attach a few bits that fell off from the original assembly). Other than that had an ankle snap whilst brushing some undercoat on, a foot sheared through when my finger tapped the back of the model during painting, and a hammer broke. I gather from Warband's FB page that they've had some issues with getting these cast and I can see why. I think a move to metal would really be a good choice if possible.

I've got more of these to paint and then I might have a Guildball team to do next and all the other stuff that's backed up in my schedule. Nothing new for my own collection sadly although plenty I'd like to do. I've not forgotten my colonial marines! Right, time to continue my afternoon of thrash metal and whisky!

Friday, 1 July 2016

Otherworld Adventurers & Stuff

Not far off a month of no posting here but as anyone following me on Facebook will know I have been busy daubing stuff. First off, as the title says I've been painting more Otherworld Miniatures so I guess I'll throw some pics up and then go into the waffle. We've got berserkers, adventurers, familiars and a sorcerer.

I had planned on these being done much sooner to be honest but a combination of some taking longer than expected to finish plus a hefty dose of burn out creeping up on me throughout the year really made them drag on. My favourites were the berserkers although the familiars were rather fun. OSL and the shield design on the female paladin wore me down a bit. All 'new' models to me except the sorcerer which is my second version painted (not sure I ever posted the first one). If I'm honest I don't particularly care for that model, it's a bit confusing and 'busy'.

I mentioned being a bit burnt out this year. I guess it's something that hits most of us eventually. For me it's the kind of models I'm painting more and more. Things that are very detailed or maybe simple but very delicately detailed and requiring a lot of patience and concentration can get a bit draining over time. In the past I've had a mix of models that have helped lend a lot of variety to my workload but certainly this year and going back into last year it's been one tougher job after another. There have been a couple of what I thought would be easier jobs but when I'm distracted and lacking focus on those I know I'm clearly ready for a rest.

One thing I have really enjoyed this year has been resurrecting my Urban War Viridians. That bit of time I grabbed to retouch my old models and paint a couple of new ones was really satisfying. I think I've posting pretty much everything here but a few days ago I did finally manage to take some pics of my retouched and rebased saurian rider. It was only the base that needed finishing and then it sat gathering dust for a few weeks but here it is all tootled up.

The nice big GW oval base is far more stable than the old 50mm lipped base was. There is some pinning in the legs here though to ensure it doesn't droop under the weight of the model. I know the initial castings, of which this is one were prone to warp. Back when I assembled this I put a pin up through the foot, ankle and into the calf and another into the back of the knee and down the second section of the leg to strengthen those points. I still wasn't sure if it would hold so initially wedged a 'rock' under the raised foot. With rebasing I decided to just pin the raised foot. You can't see the pin unless you look closely for it. If I get time I'll definitely do more Viridians.

One thing I've been threatening to do for while is video tutorial type stuff. The camera I've been using for what must be a couple of years now was bought partly on the strength of its video recording capabilities. Not having a suitable lens or really knowing what kind of set up I needed stalled those plans but I finally decided to take one in the ass from my credit card and get a couple of bits of kit.

Here we've got a zoom lens and an extension tube. The lens as you may guess makes distant things look closer and the extension tube adds macro capability to a lens. Together it means I can have my camera placed out of my way, essential for painting, whilst being able to bring the image closer to fill the frame and show what I'm doing more clearly. I just need a couple of extra bits to make life easier, a holder for my tablet and an adapter to connect my camera to it (plus a software app) so I can see my cameras live view on the tablet in my eye line rather than having to keep looking away from what I'm working on to see my camera. At least I hope that'll be everything.

I think that's my lot for this post. Time to decide whether to have another large vodka and make tomorrow a problem or just play Sniper Elite V2.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

More Bushido models

I've been busy finishing off the Bushido Prefecture of Ryu warband that I started not too long ago. A bunch of different characters and a dragon! These models (including the previous set) are a little bit of a mixed bag really. There's clearly the work of a couple of different sculptors on show and some models are better than others. The better ones are really nice, especially the faces which are very well done (take a look at Genji and Eiji Takashi) whilst some of the others are a bit more caricatured or even crude in places. Most painted up well though.

Brothers, Genji and Eiji Takashi. Like I say really nice models, well model really seeing as it's just head and arms that differ between them. Great faces on these. The only thing that I found a bit awkward was defining the detail of the chainmail on the sleeves. I couldn't quite make out what was what so after a quick Google search I realised that the chainmail at the top of the sleeves was likely a fine mesh of mail. Unfortunately it was a bit too subtle to see what was going on, likely a loss of detail during the moulding and casting process and not helped by being partially obliterated by a join. I had to fudge it and hope for the best.

Mizuchi, a dragon. I don't tend to paint dragons and big creatures as I have little experience of painting them and they might need a different approach to that used on 'normal' figures. This wasn't too big but was still a little vexing initially and proved to be a learning curve. It was a pain in the arse to assemble though. Lots of pinning and gap filling. Maybe not so much of a problem if you're not working against the clock. Still, came out rather well I think and makes a nice centre piece for the warband.

Fujitaka. Initially I planned to paint the banner some shade of blue but it didn't seem like it was going to stand out from the blue/grey of the rest of the model. I liked the yellow of the studio paint job but I planned to add a golden dragon faction emblem and that wouldn't have worked. I ended up going with a rust colour but it just didn't look right. Annoying at the best of times but especially so seeing as all the blending had finally knackered my pricey experiment with Winsor & Newton brushes. Nothing to do but grit my teeth and take it like a prison bitch and repaint it. Green tied in nicely with some of the other models so I went with that.

I had planned on printing out a crude decal of the dragon design and using that as a guide for overpainting. This is something that I've found to work really well as my freehand is a little limited and even a low res image printed in black is a great guide. Unfortunately the printer went from being highly temperamental to being totally fucked so no decals for me. Pure freehand wasn't my favourite option but I was out of choices really. I did come up with a cheat to enable me to get the outer ring of the emblem as spot on as possible though. An old Crimson Fists decal! The dragon design was freehand but I did pencil in a rough line to show the curve of the body before painting. Amazingly I got it first time with no fuck ups which I can still barely believe to be honest, especially considering it was last thing at night. Here are a few pics I took to show the process.

A Guardsman of Ryu. Basic soldier really. Bit annoyed with myself though because I painted a musket armed model in the last set and thought the wrap around the gun was fabric and painted it red. On this model I realised it was supposed to be metal as it forms the trigger guard. Oh well.

Hagane Takashi. Not my favourite sculpt but the face came out nicely. Both of the swords should have tassles on the hilts but one fell off the moment I touched it and was too fine to pin back on.

Finally Ryoko-Sha. The runt of the lot in my opinion. Poor facial detail being the main issue although also a model that suffers from 'Infinity-itis'. By which I mean it comes in more parts than was probably necessary. Five pieces make up this figure and I'm pretty damned sure it could have been done in two. Why? Why? Why?!!!

So that's the lot.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Urban War Colonial Marines

I had the camera set up for doing some photo's earlier so decided to get some decent pics of my Urban War Viridians done as well. This is the six man strike team as it currently stands. Trooper no.27 is a recent paint job and the rest are all ten years old but with the some retouching done to bring them up to date (in case anyone hasn't been following my progress with these).

I still need to rebase my saurian rider. I had to wait a while to get some nice big oval bases from GW. I've also been working on a machine gun team of which I nearly have the gunner and gun done. Here's how things stand so far.

I'm hoping to keep up my enthusiasm for these models and get a few more bits done over time. I've got mortars, a bazooka team, special forces, heavily armoured shock marines and interdict drop troopers all tempting me. I'll see how I go.

For anyone interested, a good portion of the Urban War range is available from Scotia Grendel and OOP models are slowly getting re-released. Some came out this month (Viridians to boot!). Well worth checking out. There's also an Urban War Facebook page.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Hamburger Wizard

Had a couple of oldies to paint up which proved to be a really nice change from everything else I've been working through this year. As nice as some models are, they can wear you down a bit with the mountains of fiddly detail or the realistic sculpting styles that have you straining to paint faces and the like. Some nice chunky old school caricature can be the perfect antidote.

I don't know too much about the 'Hamburger Wizard' other than it being Citadel and listed as 'unreleased'. I don't know if it was originally known by that name but I recall some discussion years ago somewhere online as to whether he's offering a burger or a muffin on a napkin covered plate. I've seen both ideas painted in the past so when I was asked to do this fella I had to check which way to go. Burger it was! Love the details on the model from the teddy bear and treats to lure the children to the severed heads of his victims. I do wonder whether the kiddy killing aspect of the model had anything to do with it not getting released, but then again I'm sure someone will have a far simpler explanation.

There's also an old Citadel half-orc and a resin mutant 'dog' which I can't place so no idea who makes it. Fun to do and a bizarre skin colour for the orc. He's supposed to be some kind of vampire henchman I think. I wasn't sure it would look right but it turned out quite nicely in the end.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Bushido Models

I suppose I should prove that I have actually done some painting in addition to waffling away on my recent video reviews. This time I've been working on some Bushido stuff from GCT Studios. Some nice models here but quite time consuming to paint in some cases. I was hoping to plough through them pretty quickly but realised that wasn't going to happen after getting some of the simpler sculpts out of the way.

These models are all part of the Prefecture of Ryu faction. I've got another seven models to do but I think I'll have a rest from them and get some other stuff out of the way before tackling them. First up is the starter set.

Next there's Akio Takashi.

And finally Katsumoto Takashi.

The base markings show the forward 180 degree line of sight and the front facing of the models. I tried to keep them pretty subtle (as opposed to those on the Infinity models I've been painting). The symbol on the front is a kanji character that supposedly means 'dragon' which fits this faction nicely. I did find it on a tattoo website though so it may well be wrong or mean something completely different. It's not like I'm getting it tattooed on me somewhere so even if it turns out to mean 'penis' or 'microwave' it's not the end of the world.