Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kultured, anyone?

Just to let you know, the Miniworks has spawned a baby. It's a weblog dedicated to my first love in Warhammer and indeed the whole fantasy genre, that green-skinned, omnipresent figure without whom fantasy would not be what it is. Orcs were what brought me to the hobby all these years ago and it's only fitting if I pay them a proper, at least ten-thousand-points-worthy homage.

Without further ado, here is the Greenskin Kultur.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Chariots of... well, not of fire, definitely.

New stuff!

Well, the crossbowmen are not new, I painted them a while ago, just somehow forgot to actually take pictures. As you can see the three crossbow units in this army have a common theme. The last bit is of course a filler.

And the really new stuff - chariots:

Now, I put more thought into these that could be ascertained form the pictures. I've always imagined chariots to be mark of prestige for the druchii, something not possessed by your average naggarothi next door. No, these are a luxury. Cold ones are too in fact. The army book fluff reinforced my view.

Hence, I imagined the crew to be composed of a minor noble, not yet powerful enough to command his own troops, but definitely on his way to greatness (or maybe a son or daughter of one of the noble houses, not yet experienced enough to be trusted with command?) plus the chariot driver - definitely not anybody ennobled. A servant, maybe even a slave? Well, you get the point I hope.

So, if the driver is somebody who does physical work on a daily basis (someone has to tend to the cold ones and the machine, right?) he will surely be spending lots of time outdoors and that means a tan (I'm basing this army somewhere on the Copper Desert in Lustria - hence the reddish dirt on the bases). And that is wht I was trying to accomplish on the skins of the drivers. As you see I failed utterly, but I'll lave the comments to you folks and your tender mercies.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Arrrrr matey!

It's been a while, in fact it has been a busy while. Since finishing the Vampire Counts I've been elbow deep in the druchii project and here are the most immediate results, aside from rebasing of course:

The corsairs plastics are so good and so characterful I just had to have them, despite my firm resolution never again to paint a single seadragon cloak after doing 25 of them on the old metals...

The piece under the champion's foot was originally intended to be a chest with gold, but since I was not able to find a good chest, the high elf headpiece had to suffice. In fact it also served as a test subject for the color scheme of a high elf army I want to make someday. It didn't turn out bad I'd say.

the bits I particularly like about the plastic corsairs are their arms - looking good on their own and also very good for conversion work; scroll down to see just that.

I like the champion's pose I managed to pull off. He does lean to the side a bit, but it's not noticeable when you don't look at him directly en face. Plus, the outstretched arm is awesome, a very good idea for a weapon arm and I see plenty of poses with it. Too bad it's only one per box, but on the other hand it makes the bit quite unique.

I'm not happy about the cloak on this one. Will have to redo it sometime soon.

Speaking of arms, I'm very happy GW released something with such an incredible amount of conversion potential. Gone are the days of swords looking like train tracks in the hands of, say, witch elves or shades. In fact, the shades were another test subject of mine. I'm fully satisfied with the ease of hand swaps I've done and the final product.

Shades are nice for yet another reason - there are five 'poses' of them, well, specimens really. But still, in a unit of five you can have each member unique. Not something we got used to these days.

Right, time is pressing - next up are the crossbowmen (third and final unit) and possibly some bolt throwers, with custom crew even.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Something ends and something begins...

After, yet again, struggling with the Polish Post I finally got my fell bats couple of weeks ago. They were the last bit my VC army needed (until I decide otherwise, that is, there is always room for more) and with the completion of those five buggers the VC army is finally finished. That said, I am at last able to sit to my druchii army, which I am much more fond of, as it turns out.


And there is quite a workload when it comes to the dark elves. Aside from actually completing the army (of which I am roughly halfway through) there is an ongoing rebasing project, completely independent of the above. All in all, almost twice the work, but hell, it's the kind of work I enjoy, doubly so considering it's the druchii. The specifics are:
  • 2 Reaper bolt throwers
  • 20 spearmen
  • 20 crossbowmen
...need only rebasing. Whereas:
  • Death Hag on a Cauldron of Blood
  • 10 more crossbowmen
  • 5 harpies
  • 5 shades
  • 2 more Reaper bolt throwers
  • 15 corsairs
...all need actually putting together and painting. Currently the corsairs are on my workbench and I can only utter warm words about the new plastics. Characterful, detailed, but need quite a bit of consideration and attention when ranking up - it's a unit of infantry with flowing cloaks and two hand weapons after all.

In fact, I'm thinking I like the corsair plastics so much I'm considering kitbashing them with warrior plastics to make a twenty-strong unit of spearmen. We'll see how it goes, but judging from some early dry fits they should go together just fine. Similarly, the corsairs' weapons (I'm talking all of them here, swords, daggers, crossbows, even some weird ones) are very decent and just SO much better-looking than for instance metal swords on Shades or Witch Elves. Shades are actually a wonderful unit to convert using the corsairs' arms and this is exactly what I'm working on at the moment.

So, to keep you through to the next update, here are some individual fell bat shots.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Coaching in black

How many more bad puns on the Black Coach can be coined?

Anyhow, here is mine and it is finally, after a very painful process, finished. I decided to drop the old version since in the process of actually making the army the whole idea behind it got warped from a vampireless one to a very much vampire one. Well, as per usual, GW is to blame. Who the holy hell is responsible for the present vampire models on the market is beyond me, but her or she should be hung by the ribs.

Why was it so painful to make? Chiefly because I'm tired of this army altogether. Luckily, the completion of the Coach leaves me only with five fell bats to do for the army to be finished and I have already started working on their bases while waiting for the models themselves to arrive - which can take as long or as little time as the Polish Post fancies. Really, this company is Chaos incarnate. It is my solemn belief it is ruled by Tzeentch.

Getting back to the Coach, it would be a damn shame to leave it shut and not show the greatness that is the coffin-bound vampire. So I made the roof and one side removable, and of course the coffin itself is left open as well. Not very practical game-wise perhaps, but firstly, I don't play games with my armies and secondly, it may be used to denote some Wound loss or something similar, so it might turn out to be more practical that I initially thought.

On the coffin itself, I opted for something a tad different than I usually do. I realized how rarely I go for painting some extra effects on my models, so I decided the coffin will be my test field. I went for the marble effect and, well, here is the result. I'm quite happy with it and the way it goes along the rest of the model. The Coach is deliberately done in tender, neutral colors and the coffin with its marble finish and golden filigrees immediately stands out as the most important part of the whole thing. After all, the Coaches are constructed not by vampires themselves, but rather bu their servants after the master's untimely demise. Nevertheless, the Coach has to be the focal point of the army and this is what I wanted to achieve. Here's the roof section itself.

To wrap up, another shot of the whole coach and next time - the fell bats.

Coaching in black

Thursday, January 29, 2009

...and a new header to boot.

Yep, been playing with the Photoshop lately. The result is to be seen above and on the photos. Took me damn three hours to figure out how to do the gradient on the new stamp. But eventually I did and I'm quite happy with it.

On the painting side of things, here are the latest. The last five Dire Wolves are done. It is my hope I won't have to do another dead canine for another several years. Don't get me wrong, the minis are splendid, but you tend to get bored after your tenth or so, wouldn't you say?

Yes, I definitely need a refreshment. I seem to begin to observe the overwhelming sense of chore while working on the Vampire Counts project. Luckily, the end is very near. Once I finish the Black Coach, the only thing left are the Fell Bats e voila. One largish VC army, well done. And then the new one...
But let's not skip ahead. I was talking about the Black Coach, well, here it is, at least what I've done to it so far.

You might remember me actually doing a Black Coach back in the day... well, all I can say is that I've grown dissatisfied with it. I still hope I'll be able to use it eventually as a second Coach (now that I can actually do it, army list permitting), but for the time being, the 'proper' Coach it is.

It will be opening, showing the coffin inside, which also will be open and the vampire left in plain view. Models like this deserve going a little beyond what's necessary. Even with a lousy paint job like this one.

Speaking of painting, I have to scorn the Vallejo greens. Maybe it is me who is incompetent, but these paints are very difficult to work with. The coverage is erratic at best, the hue gets altered after drying... no, the GW greens are in fact better than Vallejos. Or, again, I can't paint.

Sticking with the Coach, I have to reiterate something that has already been said a million times - it's a bitch to fit on a chariot base, and I mean a bitch with a capital B. I have seen some very creative methods of squeezing it onto the base and I've been considering several. In th end, I chose careful bending. Here's how it looks like. It's not perfect, but it works.
That about wraps it up...

...except it doesn't. As I mentioned earlier, I need a refreshment in my painting regimen, something completely different and preferably something that involves practice in the areas I'm not good in. These include:
  • greens, reds, yellows
  • metals (especially colored metals)
  • bases
  • painting patterns instead of uniform colors
  • repetition (e.g. painting lots of models without lowering my standard)
It would be best if my next project included most or all of these. So, what army does? And, more importantly, what army does include these traits AND is interesting for me? I've come up with the following, not in any order:

  • Space Marines
  • Orcs, both fantasy and space-faring
  • High Elves
  • Dark Eldar (yum!)
  • Necrons
So, what will it be? After being done rebasing the druchii, what will it be?

Monday, January 5, 2009

New year, new minis

Namely the skeletons and some vampires! I'm a bit sick, so I'll restrain myself from longer ramblings and just show you the minis.

On the boney lads, I tried the new GW washes and I must say they work quite decently. Well, at least they do what they say they are supposed to be doing. They give a great, matt finish, they really don't pool and they really flow nicely. Sometimes they tend to be a bit too transparent with a single coat, but then they cover thinly enough to make several coats. All in all a good product.

As for the minis themselves, I am in love with the design. These are the skeletons looking as they are supposed to look. They are noticeably smaller than their living counterparts and their equipment is really worn and battle-scarred. Splendid designs, really.

Now, I finally got round to doing the vampires. These are of course the old Blood Dragons; in my opinion one of the best designs on the market. I simply had to have them, they actually look like vampires and not vampirized figments of someone's sick mind.

I realize I've made a blunder on this gentleman's cloak. Vallejo greens are rather difficult to work with and it took one ruined cloak to make me realize this. Trust me, these paints change their tone and opacity as they dry on the mini and this can lead to several problems. My advice is to be quite bold in highlighting - don't skimp on the lighter color, you'll need more liberal amounts than usual to make the highlights really pop out. Don't be afraid of overdoing it - glazing with VGC greens is, on the other hand, a breeze. You will always be able to correct your mistakes.

I tried to do just that on the second, mounted vampire. After all, the count has to look grand.

I also tried my hand at gore effects, something I have never attempted, for reasons unknown. Turned out rather nice, no?

There always was a thought in my head to make my general carry a blood-filled chalice. Well, it's there. In retrospect I'd better have cut away the lance bit, but it adds that bizarre flavor to the whole chalice, makes it clearly an unusual artifact rather than a mundane object.

That about covers it for today. With the skeletons done, there are only three units left to finish the whole army, and I saved the tastiest bits for last. Except for the dire wolves, which I've come to sincerely detest.