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.