Age of Sigmar · miniatures.

Basing – Water Effects.

A long time ago, I was once told that what makes a miniature look great is ‘bases and faces’. I always remembered this, maybe because it rhymes, so I have set aside some time to really think about how I am going to improve creating bases. For basic miniatures, I am happy to stick to using texture paints, however I want to stretch myself and try new things as well.

I have recently started collecting Ioneth Deepkin – so new that I have only assembled twelve of the miniatures, and have been thinking about a theme for them. I love water effects but wanted to look at something a bit different than just have them as a generic sea based force. I thought about different biomes within the water and settled upon a swamp theme. I shall be using greens and browns for the force themselves but more of that when I get to them.

I began by using water effects paint and seeing what it looked like over sand:

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I also used plastic from the blister packs to try and create waves and splashes. They look ok, not great, and not very swampy. Alright for a first play around though.

I then thought about what a swamp looks like, and used Pinterest to do some research. I discovered that swamps have a lot of reeds and plants in them and have a green and brown look to the water as well. So I painted some bases, put different materials on for land. This is how they turned out:

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I think the little plants and the reeds look good. I also really like the sand and the dark brown mud texture paint. I think the green on the bottm of the base it too green though. To me, it looks more like slime than the sludge at the bottom of a swamp. I want to try this again with a browner paint. I also want to try and see if I can add swamp weed into the water. This will take more than one layer of the texture paint however and might be reserved for the character bases.

It is a good start however, and I have a lot of ways forward to explore.

40K · miniatures.

Astorath the Grim!

I finally finished this guy! What a fun miniature he was to work on as well. He fell into my basket at Element Games and I couldn’t be bothered to put him back on the shelf. I thought he looked pretty cool, though I had no idea who he was at the time. I wanted to try creating a lava effect on his wings and so tried a technique out that I wasn’t sure whether it would work or not:IMG_E3675IMG_E3676IMG_E3677IMG_E3678

I am not convinced this is the best I could do, but I think it looks alright for a first try. I got the idea from one of the Mephiston short stories – he creates lava wings to go fight a daemon or something like that – and want to recreate that scene in a diorama (more on that later). I did try and make some lava drops out of UHU Glue but they looked terrible so I didn’t bother with them.

For now though, I am pleased with this guy and learned a great deal while painting him too!

miniatures. · painting

Hobby Audit – Jan 2020

When I was a teacher, we used to assess our own skills using a system of rating yourself out of 10 against several key areas. It helped with self reflection and was a valuable tool when it came to setting yourself targets. I thought I would do something similar with my hobby skills and then set about improving them as the year goes on. I made a list of skills – as many as I could think of, and rated myself out of 10 for each of them:

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As you can see, I have been thought through this a fair bit and rated myself as I see fit.

Areas I want to improve, or need to work on the most would be Object Source Lighting, Skin Tones and Battle Damage. I am not terrible at them, but I want to get better. These are the key weak points in my skills.

As for Non-Metallic Metals, I want to learn how to do brighter gold shades and improve my silver before branching out and attempting others, such as copper.

Freehand is perhaps my strongest skill, though I know I am not perfect at that – is anyone ever perfect at a skill? It doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue to work on it though. I am far from complaicent with it and know I can do a lot more and a lot better as well.

I have the whole year ahead to improve my painting skills and techniques and to try different things as well. I shall revisit this list in a few months time and see what I have done to improve those areas I am not so sure about.

hobby · miniatures.

New Airbrush!

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!

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Also it’s black which makes it cooler

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.

figures · miniatures.

2019 – A Year in Review

A lot has changed for me over the last year and I wanted to have a look back at some of the things I have achieved over it. Last year, I was teaching full time at a primary school. I had a lovely class of children and great colleagues too. Unfortunately, being a teacher means that you have no real time to do anything else. Weekends are spent working and worrying and trying to get ahead of the demands placed on you. Hobby-wise, not a great deal happened in the first part of the year, however I do have a few pictures I can share in regards to what I did:

Night Lords, Ahriman, Tzeench demons and Reaver Titans galore!

The first part of the year saw me trying some new techniques, experimenting with freehand a bit more and working on skills I already had. I left my job as a teacher in May due to mental health and decided to become a miniature painter instead. It is not easy, but I have never been healthier. I went on a painting course and gained insight, and validation, into what I have been doing.

Here are some of my favourites from the previous six months:

June and July saw me working on miniatures for Everchosen, in which I came Third in the Open and Second in the Everchosen category – by one point! I also painted Mephiston for a good friend. I love working on dioramas and want to do more of them in the coming year.

In August I went on a painting course and learned how to use an airbrush – another skill I want to work on in the new year. I also began working on a large commission of D&D scenary miniatures for the local games store, which took most of October to complete.

In November, I painted a lot of Space Marines. Mainly Iron Hands. I also learned how to lighten pictures and so managed to begin taking better ones. I also finished Shalaxi, who is one of the best painted miniatures I have ever done.

December was a quiet month mainly due to illness and travelling and winter craziness, however I did paint the Sisters of Battle boxed set, which was fun.

Going forward, I have a few things I want to work on in the coming year:

  • Non Metallic Metals
  • Airbrush techniques
  • Creating dioramas
  • Conversions
  • Painting a whole army!

I have a lot to work on in January and some good ideas to work on too. I am looking forward to it!

miniatures.

Black and White.

I finished two miniatures today, that in itself is nothing remarkable. What I noticed was that both of them are colours that I have heard people say they find difficult. One of them is the new White Scar Marine, Kor’sarro Khan, and the other was the noise Marine:

The noise Marine I started at the beginning of the year and intended to use him for a diorama that I didn’t get around to finishing. I found him and baked him today and I think he looks great in the Black Legion colours.

Kor’sarro Khan was a challenge because white is a pain to get looking crisp. I think I did a decent job here though.

What colours do you find a pain to paint well?

40K · miniatures. · warhammer · Warhammer 40000 · Warhammer 40k · Wh40K

Titan Tuesday – Week 1

As some of you know, I have had a Reaver Titan sitting here for over a year. I love Reavers. I don’t know what it is about them, but I just think they are amazing. The shape, the aspect, imagining how noisy they are; they’re just brilliant. I bought this one for that reason. However, I looked at the box when I got home, saw how many bits it had in it and then balked.

Today, I faced the fear and got on with it. I opened the box again…

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The envelope is a really cool thing, inside it contains the certificate of Authenticity. I am going to have mine framed.

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Of course, mine is a Chaos Reaver, I am a heretic after all, and so the machine is excommunicated or whatever passes for ‘baddy’ in Imperial Speech. Under the certificate is a big pile of grey resin. And when I say big, I really do mean it:

The body is in the box, the weapons are outside!

First task then – use the instructions to check off all the parts. This took an hour. I spread them all out and then used the lists from the box to see if everything was there!

Can you believe it? I am short one pipe. I have already sent an email to the lovely people at Forgeworld who should hopefully be able to send me another one. However, I wasn’t about to stop because I was one pipe short. My next task was to wash the resin. I’ve already been advised to do this twice, so will have to do so again next week, but that’s fine. I want this to look amazing after all and it is worth spending the time on.

Interesting part of the week:

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A guy having a terrible day.

It is going to be a while until I am able to stomp on people in games with the Reaver, but that’s ok. I have something to look forward to at the end, as well as having an amazing miniature too!

I shall leave you with the final shot of all the drying resin!

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