Monday, 24 October 2016

Lady Alice Liddel and friend

Lady Alice Liddel and her pet rabbit, Lewis. These are the first of yet another new project, the South Kensington Ladies Amateur Dramatic Society. Both figures are from Guild of Harmony and are quite possibly the finest detailed metal figures I have ever painted. The size of some sculpting detail is completely mind-boggling. The ankles on the boots and the steam rabbit have tiny cogs, with all the spokes perfectly cast. It makes you wonder why some insist on using resin. I made a slight change, using the key on the rabbit rather than in Alice's back, which seemed a bit weird to me.

These have been painted as a birthday gift to my wife (obviously I have been sworn to secrecy on her age). She is quite a fan of steampunk and Alice in particular, so they were an ideal present.

When it came to palette, I was keen to avoid the pastel blue dress and blonde hair that is prevalent, but wanted to make a nod in that direction. I went with red and white checks on the apron, then added the blue/turqouise dress, then worked outward from there. The hair colour is auburn or red, to complement the red of the tunic. The stock of the gun is a rosewood colour - I thought this was the most appropriate to use for the flamingo head carving. The model is mounted on a 2p piece with a layer of cobbled plasticard. And for those wondering about the photo background, it's a sample of wallpaper from the local DIY shop - a wonderland of backdrops. There are plenty more amateur dramatics to add to the group, it's just a question of finding the time and deciding which of the wonderful models to paint next.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Chaos Knights and Beast Shaman

These figures are not recently painted. The knights must be at least ten years old, the shaman probably a bit less. The knights are part of a small Tzeentch force that I used to play. Originally it included daemons - horrrors, screamers and flamers - because they were all part of one book, but then the chaos book split into three and my force was much diminished. I have had plans to resurrect (ie rebase and add to) the force for some time, and recent events make that more likely, perhaps in 2017. The Shaman is one of just two painted beastmen I own - I have always liked the models but have never had the time to paint up a full army. Now that I play mostly skirmish games that might change.

The reason they are here today is that I have quickly added some snow to the bases. They have been recruited by Vorghan the Slayer and will be taking part in a mini campaign, some time soon (I hope). The rest of Vorghan's retinue were already snow based, at some point I will get the whole lot photographed and explain a little more.

It's interesting to see these old figures. At times it feels like nothing has changed down the years, but looking at older work does show that my painting has altered. I would certainly paint these figures differently today - a different palette and using different techniques. They are nice enough, but do not have quite the impact or finesse I would aim for nowadays. I guess that is no bad thing.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Vorghan the Slayer

Vorghan the Slayer, ready to lead his troops into battle and seek glory in the name of Khorne. This is, of course, the free figure from the recently relaunched White Dwarf. I made a slight modification by removing the head trophy that protruded from his back, as I felt that it ruined the profile of the model. I wish I had gone a bit further and swapped the large blade for an axe, and possibly changed to a different (non-helmeted) head, but that's hindsight for you. He looks a bit cramped on his base, but my chaos army is a stickler for tradition and he wouldn't be allowed to join on one of those new-fangled round bases. At some point in the future, he will be joined by a unit of marauders/warriors, I am not sure which as yet, but for the time being he is a lone character model. An infamous character, in fact, from the annals of lore - only the true Warhammer nerd will recognise the name. He does have a sizeable retinue at his command, ready to take on a rival chaos champion, but more on that in a future post.

I was particularly pleased with the armour. Black is quite a difficult colour to bring to life - strictly speaking it's an absence of any colour, so perhaps not surprising. I have always been hesitant to highlight it with blue as so many tutorials recommend, that gives a very silky appearance to my eye, best left for clothing. So I tried stippling and highlighting with grey, then washing in browns and reds. It seems to have worked out well. 

I was even more pleased with the flesh. I used my own base colour, glazed it quite harshly with chestnut and browns, then glazed with the original base colour to tone down the harsh contrast. Again, it seems to have worked well and it's a technique I can come back to on other models. Luckily, I blogged quite a bit of my painting progress so here's a handy list if you want to give any of the methods a go yourself. 

Friday, 30 September 2016

Champion of Khorne WIP 5

Quite a lot happening in this phase of painting. I started by glazing the metal areas in browns - light brown on the brass, darker brown on the silver areas.

While the glazes were drying I decided to tidy up the flesh areas. Using the original base colour (thinned) I painted on some basic highlights, just running the brush over the non-shadow areas in effect. Then I thinned the paint slightly more to make a glaze and applied this to the shadows and creases, to soften the contrast. I was working mostly on the chest and shoulders, the most visible areas. The arms just got a cursory flick of the brush because these will be drenched in blood so there's no point in making painstaking adjustments at this stage.

Then it was back to more glazing - armour, weapons, leather and loin cloth - pretty much everything apart from the skin and horns got a little glaze.

On to the penultimate stage. The figure is a little out of focus but it's still possible to see what I talk about. I added some colour to the metal areas - greens mostly to the brass and reds and greens to the silver areas. These will get a further glaze or two and some highlighting before they are done. I also stippled the red on to a few areas ahead of adding blood, and glazed more red on to the black armour. The leather straps got a basic highlight, again a final glaze will be required to fully separate them from each other. I quickly painted in the pouch on his belt and the base was sketchily painted - this will be covered in snow so I am not sweating over every little detail here. I gave the non-metal areas a coat of matte varnish.

That's it for my work in progress posts on this figure. The next and final stage will be more glazing to further define any areas, the leather straps for example. And highlighting of the metal areas. I will probably add a little gore effect to the hands and weaponry, maybe flick a little blood splatter on the loin cloth. And of course snow will be added to the base to tie in with my army. The next post will be the fully finished figure.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Champion of Khorne WIP 4

I have been studying pictures of black armour, both real life and digital renditions, to give me some ideas how to tackle this area. Translated to painting, I first stippled black all over the dark brown basecoat. I have left the brush in the photo, it's just an old one that is no longer good for fine painting, but is still useful for mixing, drybrushing and stippling. I then mixed some khaki into the black to give a dark grey, stippling this on the upper edges of the armour and anywhere I wanted more light. Next, I added some light grey into this mix and stippled towards the edges only. Finally, I applied thinned light grey (with a standard fine brush) to the very edges and around any dints or scratches. There was a tiny bit of light grey paint left on my palette so I quickly picked out the horns. There's still work to do on the black armour, but I need to paint the metals first to see how they contrast with each other.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Champion of Khorne WIP 3

A little more work on the chaos champion. This step is quite tedious, blocking in the main colours, but it does give a good idea of the overall palette.

The armour plates are dark brown (a mix of coat d'arms negro and black) - this is a little experiment for me in painting black armour. The armour trim is a brass colour, a mix of brass and gold. And of course it wouldn't be Khornate without a splash of red, the leather trim on the front of the figure is brick red - hopefully this will form a nice base for some red leather.
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