Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tutorial - orc skin done my way

Hey there. A couple of updates ago I told you I arrived at a formula of orc skin that really suits me, Here is how you go about doing it.

Before we begin - this is suited for tabletop, not showcase. You won't win any contests, but you won't be ashamed either.

You will need the following paints:

  • GW Knarloc Green
  • GW Goblin Green
  • GW Thraka Green wash
  • GW Devlan Mud wash
  • VMC Flat Green
  • GW Waywatcher Green glaze
  • optionally, a matte medium of your choice
Click to enlarge
  1. Basecoat the skin with Knarloc Green. Take your time, do a couple of thin coats.
  2. Wash the entire skin area with 2:1 mix of Thraka Green and Devlan Mud. After this dries, take your mix again and apply it to the deepest recesses only. Allow to dry.
  3. Re-establish your base color with Knarloc Green on anything that isn't a really deep recess. I strongly advise you to mix in some matte medium here.
  4. Begin highlighting the skin with a mix of 1:1:1 Knarloc Green, Flat Green and matte medium. Naturally, go a bit higher than the previous step. Orcs tend to have a very well-defined musculature, so this step should go really smoothly.
  5. Even higher! Now apply pure Flat Green. Concentrate on the muscle lines, tendons and so on. 
  6. Apply a final highlight of 1:1 Flat Green and Goblin Green. Head for things like muscle lines, knuckles, lips, noses and the like - the highest points.
  7. Finish it off with a glaze of Waywatcher Green. This is one of the best paints GW has produced - it ties the colors together like a dream, dries quickly and doesn't pool.

And that's the long and short of it. Simple and easy. See you next time!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Great Gork, a movie!

This is not something I usually do: I firmly believe and support original content. However, this fellow caught my interest as a whole, but with this move in particular. It's really interesting to hear. In fact, all of his movies are. He's somewhat difficult to listen to for some people, but what he says is to my mind worth hearing.

What are your thoughts on this?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Boar boyz - riders WIP

The title says it all, really. Two shown, out of five.

I think I finally found an orc skin tone I am completely happy with. I know I've said that before, but this seems really it. I like it an awful lot and it's not hard to do at all.

What do you guys think?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Plans, wannabees, wishes and maybesometimes.

The other day I stumbled onto a peculiar post on the the book of faces, which you can see here (it's an awesome group by the way, if you don't know about Franz Sigmar's forum and projects, go and see them, it's really worth it). To make a long story short, the poster muses about making a themed ogre army, never mind the theme. For some reason, it got me thinking about my own projects, current, past and future.

I've always been a thinker more than a doer when it comes to Warhammer, mostly because I lack the space and the time to pursue each and every idea for an army that I have. But that doesn't stop me (and it shouldn't stop anybody) from having ideas. So, here is a run down of most of the things I came up with. Some of them might see realization, most of them probably won't, so feel free to  nick them if any one strikes your fancy.

  • A "lizardmen" army, with the 'under the sea theme'. Models from the ogre range mixed with tyranids (no legs!) and some reptile heads, basically something akin to the naga of Warcraft. Army list to use - Ogre Kingdoms.
  • A mercenary army. Long time ago there was an army book for the Dogs of War. It it, you could have found units as diverse as ogres, lizardmen, Chaos marauders and orcs, to name just a few, in one army list. This is what I've always envisioned a mercenary company to be: your race doesn't matter, as long as you're able and willing to fight. So, I'm thinking pikemen (of course!), some halflings, maybe even elves. Army list to use - The Empire.
  • A bretonnian force following an actual knightly order from the late middle ages, most likely from Spain. Knights of Santiago come to mind. 
  • A Mortis Engine and/or Coven Throne (from the VC army list) made from scratch. This actually might see fruition.
  • A winter-Egyptian themed Necron army.
  • A medieval-themed Space Marine force, most likely using the Space Wolves army list due to the abundance of close combat specialists there.
  • A dark eldar force with cybergoth aesthetics. Think very striking color contrasts and neon lights. As long as you see Tron with a much darker, sinister feel you won't go far wrong.
  • A plague-winter themed Vampire Counts or Tomb Kings army. 
  • A High Elf force with Oriental aesthetics. Think Ulthuan meets the 1001 Nights.
  • A Wood Elf army with a very strong 'folk' theme. Out with the misshapen treemen and dryads, and the wackily-armored elves we have now and in with centaurs, satyrs and so on. And hooded and cloaked archers, definitely.
  • And maybe even some Warmachine or Hordes!

There you have it folks. I'm sure I'm not the only one having more ideas than sense in this hobby. What do you think about these? Maybe you can share yours? Would love to hear from you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Product review - The Empire army book

Hello friendos! This comes a bit late, but the holidays have moved this review and there's not much I can do about it. But I eventually had laid my hands on the new Empire book and, well, read on...

As I've mentioned in my podcast, this is a very important release. The Old World finally has its new edition good guys and at the same time its most iconic human nation. The game now has one of its most appealing armies. Let's look at just what was changed and how.

The book itself is, again, not much different from four previous ones: hardcover, full color, semi-gloss. What I was particularly delighted about was the complete (or nearly so) lack of "art" by John Blanche. I know many of you love what this man is doing, well, I just don't. Not seeing a bit of it really made me smile.

In terms of fable not much is really new. Yes, we do have a new special character (a pretty typical lonely avenger type), but other than that the Empire's fluff hasn't advanced a bit. That is one of the things I was disappointed about (we'll get to the others in a moment). I really expected at least some bits to be developed, anything really. Karl Franz's new exploits maybe? Perhaps some development in the never-ending war with Chaos?

Well, none of this happened, but other things did - the rules of course. Most notably, the poor footslogging infantry got a great boost to the detachment rules. To make a long story short, the detachments now share the entirety of psychology rules their parent unit (now called the Regimental Unit) is bound by at any given moment. This is a great benefit to the basest of troops, it makes them somewhat more useful, reinforces 8th edition's "make-huge-armies" approach and does wonders to solidify the 'feel' of the Empire army.

Ah yes. The Feel. The Theme. Something I've always loved about the Empire and I'm sure I'm not the only one. What does the Empire actually have to counter all the threats it faces? Ordinary human soldiers are no match for the ferocity of Chaos. They will never outnumber the orcs. They will never outlive the elves or outmatch their weapons. So the men of the Empire resort to drill, synergy of the units, muster and pretty much everything that can give them an edge. This feel is prevalent throughout the book and is one of its greatest assets.

But getting back to the new stuff. The wizard contraptions are wacky, potentially very helpful and generally useful; I'm sure they will be found in most army lists. Yet while the rules are decent, the models are not to my liking - there is something like too much details, you know. And the omnipresent labels! "Sigmar" and "Karl Franz" are seen everywhere on these models. If I get my hands on one of these, I swear I will add "was here" to some of them... And the same goes for the War Altar.

The demigryph knights are by necessity powerful. Special choice, but definitely worth it. They, at least on paper, look very deadly. And also have halberds, which seems weird.

The Witch Hunter is possibly my favorite model in the new range. It's characterful, it's dynamic, it's great. And the rules are as well - this fellow can actually mark one enemy character as "heretic" and get several nifty bonuses (Sniper!) against him. Good stuff.

The Reiksguard are now a distinctively different choice in the list. They're special and they're Stubborn, differing from the 'ordinary' knightly orders, who are neither.

And with the Empire knights comes my greatest disappointment. Yes, the most obsolete and possibly worst looking miniatures GW makes remain unchanged. Luckily, the pistoliers and the demigryph riders  provide good alternatives and it's the only reason for leaving the knights set I can think of.

Oh, and the mortar is now S 2(6). As my buddy put it, "yeah, it lays the big template, but who gives a fuck now?" ...

However, these mishaps don't overpower the positive shine that the book exudes. The Empire is again a major player in the Old World. It's still desperate, it's still wacky, but now it also has that much needed kick here and there. It will be a pleasure to game with it and against it.

A very decent release, Games Workshop. You have my congratulations.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So you want to continue airbrushing?

Welcome to the final installment of my little airbrushing trilogy. Today we will look at actual miniatures and try to apply the techniques we've discussed to them.

If you look at this boar, you'll notice it has three main colors on it: light brown, dark brown and black (and some tan on the snout, but don't mind that now). These were applied from the lightest to the darkest on a light gray undercoat.

That approach serves three goals. Firstly, you can apply very diluted paint, making transitions and shades as easy as making or not making another pass with the same color. Secondly, there are no problems with coverage, as darker colors cover the lighter ones better than vice versa. Thirdly, once you get the hang of it, no mixing is necessary: in extreme cases (like batch painting twenty Space Marines or so) you can make the shading/highlighting just by applying more or fewer layers of the same color.

Of course, the painting does not end with airbrushing several layers. You still need to make the deepest shades and the lightest highlights. Airbrushing only takes care about the larger surfaces, but it does it very, very well.

On our boars, we achieve the fur texture by employing the easiest of techniques, but only after giving it the color proper by airbrushing. By combining the tried and true ink-then-drybrush routine on an already shaded and highlighted surface, we achieve a nice, naturalistic effect.

So, after all the browns and black were in place, I mixed some devlan mud and badab black in a 2:1 ratio. I applied this mix towards the boar's back, rather than its belly and head (and also on the fur near its hooves; by the way, it's high time someone actually told GW boars don't have horse-like hooves at all, they have four "fingers" - I mean, haven't they ever seen pork shanks?!). I diluted it, but only slightly, GW washes don't take diluting very well. I applied pure devlan mud nearer to the belly and head, and pure badab black nearer to the back.

To bring out the fur texture, I simply drybrushed the boar with VMC Beige, going against the "grain". I wanted the beige at the very tips of the hair, just to make an extreme highlight and make the texture pop.

After that it was just the matter of detailing.

To wrap things up, it has to be said that the airbrush will not make your life easier overnight. It is simply another tool, a very useful one, but still a tool. It will not, by itself, improve your quality of painting (undercoating and sealing aside, perhaps). It will simply broaden your arsenal. What you do with it is your choice.

I can hear the cries - what about masking? What about stencils? What about patterns?

Well, all I can say is that I'm still learning. Neither do I have the experience nor the materials to cover masking and stenciling properly. But these will come, sooner or later - that much I can promise.

Take it from here folks.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Boar boyz - first batch of boars

Here they are. Gorgeous models if you ask me.

Of course five are done, these are just samples. To maintain the ragtag appearance of the unit of ten, the other five will be done in a different color scheme. I'm thinking black.

The riders are another matter altogether. I can't give any estimates when will I even begin working on them.

Until next time!