In order for the diorama to look how I want it to, I need to make some changes to the miniatures I am using. Most plastic kits are dynamic these days, which makes doing so a little bit tricker, but with a bit of willingness to have a go and see, I have found it to be ok. Admittedly, the changes I am making are fairly small, so until I tackle a larger conversion, I cannot comment.
I started with Mephiston. I needed to make him a hand with the palm out to look like he is creating a force shield with it. I used a couple of different parts for this. One was a hand from a tank driver that I had spare from the Execusioner boxed set. I then used a spare Intercessor arm and matched the two together. I then had to find a leg for Mephiston. He has one, but the other in the kit is hidden behind layers of skirt. In the diorama, he is supposed to be floating in the air, so I stole a leg from an intercessor, carved out a space for it in the skirt part and now he has two legs! Here are his parts layed out – I am not assembling him fully yet because I want to paint some of the parts seperately.
Next was Doom Breed. I am using the demon prince kit for that, and so it was fairly simple to pick the bits I want and assemble them, again in parts. He is described as having a reptilian face with forward facing horns in the short story, so I had to alter the face in order to fit this. All I did was take the horns off one of the head and replace them onto the other. The rest was relatively simple. I know I am going to have to use a bit of greenstuff to fill gaps and smooth lines, but here he is for the time being:
Next will be playing around with liquid resin stuff and that UV torch I picked up at Vapnartak!
I have always shied away from yellow in the past, the colour is a pain to get looking vibrant and usually takes loads of layers. I’m not one to shy from a challenge however and I need to be comfortable in all colours. So, I decided to paint some aggressors and a tank as Imperial Fists.
I used the airbrush to base coat them. I have been told by a painter vastly superior to me, that Doombull Brown is good for yellow, so I started with that. Then used Ochre yellow, then Medium Yellow by Vallejo.
They came out rather brighter than I expected. Bonus. I then painted in the other base colours, which never makes a miniature look good. They have to get worse in order to get better in some ways. I wasn’t panicking, but I wasn’t impressed either…
Remembering Gary’s words, I then got my shade on with thinned Doombull Brown. Highlighted with Yriel Yellow and then Flash Gitz yellow, I also touched up the rest, finished off the bases and have left him to sit. I will no doubt tinker with the one I have completed tomorrow when I have a fresh set of eyes. Then it is on to the tank…
I finished the Lord of Change today and I am glad I did so. I am glad to get the miniature off the table and into the cabinet so I no longer have to look at it. Not because the miniature is terrible, I just lost enthusiasm for it and wanted it done.
I started off using the airbrush to base coat it and try the blending on the wings. I have tried to use a mainly blue/green/yellow colour palette for the miniature, and I think this worked out well. I am especially pleased with the colour over the silver – watered down contrast paint – on the wings and the head of the staff:
I am not too thrilled with how the gold has turned out, but don’t think it looks awful. I’m glad to call the project done, and all in all, it’s not too bad. I did learn from it and that is the important part!
I have set up an affiliates link page on the blog, http://www.blackhandmarines.com/afiliates, and I am looking to add to the list. If you are interested in adding yourself to the page, please get in touch and I shall do so. Please only give me one option to start with, this may change in the future, but for now I think one per person is enough. I hope to create a reference place for other hobby blogs and maybe even generate some traffic. Who knows, it might even work.
In other news, I have finished painting somem squig hoppers and I am pleased with how they have turned out:
Not only were they a lot of fun to work on, but I used the airbrush for the base coats and that gave me some practice as finer detail work. Hopefully, they will find a new home soon!
I won’t lie, I was a bit wary of reading this. I did not get along with Dark Imperium when I read it and so was unsure whether I would get along with this. All hesitation was blown away after the first few pages however and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel.
What makes this novel exceptionally good, is how invested I was in the characters. I knew of Mephiston of course, and his friends Rhacelus and Antros, and I knew names of the others but not what they were like. It did not take long for me to become truly involved with them and want them to win. Every character in the novel plays a part but there are no carbon copies, not one of them is the same as the other, despite claims to the contrary and it comes off well. They all compliment one another in some way and seeing them all work together is a delight – even if they don’t want to! This is a true writing skill, and shows how masterful Haley is.
I don’t do spoilers in my reviews because I want readers to go out and wnjoy books for themselves but character highlights are fine:
Gabriel Seth of the Flesh Tearers being an angry meathead at everything forever.
Dante’s speeches, actions and general heroism despite his personal doubts.
Mephiston’s questionable deeds, and the dynamic between him and the other librarians.
The genuine sadness as the planet and its system is devastated.
Other points that made this book readable: pace, dialogue and balance. The pace is good. It kept me reading until late as I wanted to know what happened. It was punchy, didn’t linger too long on a single point and wasn’t too heavy on the description either. The dialogue between the characters is good, whether a rousing speech, bickering or banter, it works well. Again, it is not over written but in some places, it is funny. It hits the right tone throughout.
This novel is well balanced, quick paced and has some truly emotional points in it. I didn’t cry (only Graham McNeill makes me do that these days), but it was close. I was afraid, gutted and relieved through the book and that is down to the skill of Guy Haley.
I also bought Gabriel Seth so I can have my very own Angry Meathead to glare at the other Angry Meatheads in the cabinet!
I was lucky enough to get a new Airbrush for Christmas and today, I tried it out for the first time. I have only been using airbrushes for about six months, and find them to be a useful tool when it comes to base coating. The one I have been using, the Harder and Steenback Ultra has been brilliant when it comes to learning and is a great piece of kit, I have done a lot with it since I started as well.
When I went on the painting course in August, the model of airbrush used as the Harder and Steenbeck Evolution AL Plus. It’s made of aluminium and is less than half the weight of the other one at 56g. It might not seem like a big deal, however I use the airbrush for extended periods of time and I also have carpel tunnel syndrome in my right wrist. I don’t want to make the condition worse and although this is a small thing, it will make a big difference. This is the one I am now using!
First thing I did was take it apart, which was easy – there were instructions to follow which helped. Once it was back together again and connected up, I had a go at some scenary to check the flow of the airbrush itself and see what it could do:
The paint flowed well, and the coverage was even. It’s not perfect but then my skills are still being refined. Patchiness in the paint work is down to my lack of ability rather than the airbrush itself. I was pleased with how these sections turned out and I want to try and do some fine detail work with the airbrush another time to see exactly how small an area I can cover.
This airbrush is a quality piece of kit. It has finer control of the trigger; I need less pressure to activate it and it fits in the hand better than the Ultra does. It’s more refined and suited to someone who has had practice with an airbrush and wants to move on to something a little more sophisticated.
I also base coated a tank, which is the first commission of the year:
I am very pleased with it so far, and look forward to being able to refine my skill with the airbrush as the year progresses.
A very good friend of mine is a bit of a Mephiston fangirl – no shame in admitting that, he is an awesome character. Happily enough, he has also just had a new miniature (and novel) released and I was only too happy to paint him for her.
I wanted to do something a bit special with him; he is a Christmas present after all, and I wanted to push my skills. There is no point having them if you’re not going to use them. I used layered blending to create depth on the red cloth and armour. I have done this with blue before but not red, so it was good to try it with a new colour.
I then gave my friend some choices about freehand on the cloak. I could do a fancy pattern, the Blood Angels symbol or a galaxy. She went for option number two, and after some discussion, we opted for a flaming blood drop. It was tricky to do and took a while to get right. Symmetry is something I find difficult, so when it turned out how it did, I was most pleased.
Enough of my waffling on about it though, here he is in all his red glory: