Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Shadow Empire - The Yeren

I initially had some trouble locating the main characters I wanted to use for the Shadow Empire. LoPan and the yeren were particularly bothersome. That was until I was made aware of 'The Demons' set from North Star Military Figures (thanks Colin!) for a Fistful of Kung Fu. This was a set that solved all my problems and gave me a few extras to boot. So armed, I could field some of the main villains from  Big Trouble in Little China.

Hey baby.
The Yeren always intrigued me in the movie. No explanation is ever offered as to why this hairy niutball is wandering around LoPan's hideout, he just kind of shows up and does his thing. He seems to be in thrall to LoPan though, so it makes sense to add him to the retinue.

The Yeren, or Chinese wild man, is a kind of demon/orangutan/gorilla/hobo combo. He's a curious wee fella with his sloth-like claws and too-wide mouth, and he adds some much needed colour to the army. I kept the colours pretty close to the movie character, though it took me a couple of attempts before I was happy with the face.

Check out his monkey buns.

That then gives me two of LoPan's retinue done with four more to go. Next up will be a triumvirate of demons, Ching Dai's enforcers. Before that though,  I'm taking a short detour for something Heroquesty and something a little seasonal.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Shadow Empire - Liu Sheng, the Jade Prince

The first of LoPan's retinue is finished. Liu Sheng, the Jade Prince. 

Buried with his wife Dou Wan one hundred years after the first Emperor was interred in his tomb, he was awoken by LoPan to find tomb robbers had stolen Dou Wan's body. They would have taken him too no doubt, but the thieves warding stone failed them, and one of Sheng's tomb guardians awoke in time to scare off the looters before they could ransack the tomb further.

Something of a hedonist in life, Sheng's focus was sharpened by undeath. His suit ensured he was not bound fully to LoPan's will, and so Sheng resolved to find his lost wife and restore her to her rightful resting place, a quest he pursues relentlessly when not attending his new master.

I've had this guy for years. He's from John Jenkins Design, and has been OOP for some time. It's nice to finally get him painted up, it's a nice variation on the mummy theme. There isn't a terribly huge amount of reference around for jade mummies. There was enough to give me an idea of the kind of colour I wanted the jade to be though, quite pale, so that the individual tiles could be picked out. The pale jade suits (hah!) the undead vibe anyway. I chose a dark brown for the wrappings to give some contrast to the suits sections. There is a load of it around the back of the suit, as you'll see below.

I added a fair amount of targeted green glazes in the recesses, and finally painted the small amount of exposed flesh a dead grey with blue and purple washes.

I've been looking forward to painting this guy for some time, and I'm happy with the result. Next up, the beastly Yeren.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Shadow Empire - Painting Terracotta Warriors

Now that my  horde of terracotta warriors are complete, I though it time to put up a tutorial for how I painted them for anyone else out there who fancies painting animated clay men, or simply want to paint clay statues/urns etc. All the paints used below are Citadel paints unless stated otherwise.

The warriors are base coated with Tallarn Flesh. I then sponged on a generous helping of Shadow Grey. Many of the warriors are still coated with the remains of paint, as they were originally brightly coloured. The Shadow Grey adds a second colour to break up the basic clay colour a little. Once this is dry the whole model is washed with Reikland Flesh shade.

The model is then drybrushed with Tallarn Flesh, followed by Rakharth Flesh and finally Dheneb Stone. Finally, Typhus corrosion is blended into some of the recesses. Use this sparingly. I only added this step to some models that are cracked open, or to represent mud and dirt that has caked onto the clay over time.

The bronze on halberds, swords and shields is basecoated with Dwarf Bronze. The face of the shields is sponged with Shadow Grey. Wash the bronze with Agrax Earthshade, and then highlight with Shining Gold. Once this dries wash with Thraka Green (or Biel-Tan Green) amd the glaze with Waywatcher Green. Finally, paint Dark Angels Green into the recesses and blend out.

That's essentially it. Wood is painted with a dark brown to show the wood has aged and hardened. For larger areas of bronze, such as horses, I'll be mottling areas with dark greens to echo the patterns on living horses such as the fetlocks and facial stripes.

The basing is my usual recipe of base coat Dawnstone washed with Agrax Earthshade. This is drybrushed with Fortress Grey, Bleached Bone and then a light drybrush of white. This is then liberally doused with Typhus Corrosion and blended out to stain the ground and rocks. I then add tufts, though since I took these photos I've added some flowers to the bases to add more colour. You can see this below.

There we are!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Kickstarter - Dwarves at Arms

With less than three days left to go on the Dwarves at Arms kickstarter, I figured it was time to give it a wee plug on the the Mumblings, especially as I've been doing the concept and and design for it!

It has been the most successful kickstarter yet run by Macrocosm, who have three previous successful kickstarter projects under their belt. People just love dwarves it seems, though there are several rather fantastic non-dwarf add ons available too, but more on those later, especially the hobby horse riding ogres.

The twist with this particular take on dwarves is that the range is split up into dwarves from several historical eras. So far we have Crusaders, Normans, English Civil War, Late Romans, Vikings and Samurai. Each of these have several packs available. World War One Russian dwarves and Spartan dwarves are coming up as stretch goals. You can see pack 1 for the Samurai Dwarves below, which were designed by yours truly.

So, as you can see there's a massive range for dwarf lovers out there. The add on section bears special mention too, where you can add (deep breath) Jotnar (trolls) for the vikings, several sets of ogres, archers, cavalry, command, spearmen etc, WW1 tanks, treemen, a MASSIVE range of halflings, both fantasy and WW1, Monty Python dwarves, dwarf cavalry of various types, dwarf berserkers, a siege tower (chaos dwarf players should really check this out) and art prints. Check out the size of the trolls:

Huge eh? It also bears mentioning the kickstarter is really good value. There are a couple of other models I want to draw your attention to, as they are buried in over forty add ons. Look at these guys:

Ogres on hobby horses. Now, you might take your gaming a bit more seriously than I, and you may be thinking "What the hell, are you f*cking kidding me?" but for me, these are one of the best things in the kickstarter bar the dwarves themselves. A set of Monty Phyton Holy Grail dwarves and some of these lads, and you have a fine, fine theme for a warband. It also tickles me to think of these guys taking down some super badass chaos knights while making clip-clop noises.

As to the dwarves themselves, they are mostly multipart with several head and arms options, sculpted by the mighty Alessio Cispani.  Here's some examples:

Pretty cool eh? I'm sure the Vikings fans among you recognise the seer there. So, if you bear any love for the dwarves (or halflings, ogres or trolls), you'd be doing yourself a disservice not looking at this kickstarter before it ends.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Shadow Empire - Terracotta Warriors Complete

After a lengthy delay, my final unit of terracotta warriors is done. The crossbowmen give the army a little ranged ability, and fit nicely with finds made in the warrior pits. The Chinese crossbow of the time was incredibly advanced, mass produced, simple and reliable, so it would be remiss to omit them from the army.

With this unit my clay painting technique has moved on again. I've stippled more colours over the basecoat before washing and drybrushing to give the impression of the remains of paint. The original warriors would have been very brightly coloured, gaudy even. I added some flowers to the bases to give them a little more colour. After some discussion with the Scale Creeps, I went back and added some to my other units too, the colour varying for each unit.

With the crossbowmen done, that give me three infantry units, the halberdiers, swordsmen and crossbowmen, the guts of the army. It was a bit of a slog near the end, but I'm delighted they are done, and I'm very happy with them.

Here they all are, emerging from a hidden tomb entrance at LoPan's foul bidding, ragged pennants blowing in the wind as they await their new master.

Speaking of their new master, then next unit up is LoPan's retinue, which consists of LoPan himself, a jade mummy, 3 Yaoguai (demons) and a Yeren (beast). After painting so much pottery, I'm dying to paint something colourful!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Greenskin Wars - Kickstarter

If you're a fan of orcs, gobbos or trolls, the Greenskin Wars kickstarter by Diego Serrate of Pantheon of Chaos fame is worthy of your attention. The former Crooked Claw range (now owned by Diego) has been hugely expanded by Kevin "Goblinmaster" Adams for this kickstarter.

Those of you out there who are greenskin aficionados will know the kind of insanely good sculpts Kevin is know for, especially greenskins. Diego has several of his excellent trolls available on the kickstarter as well. The range has gotten quite big, with orcs, goblins, war machines, black goblins, trolls, tuskers, feral goblins (these are excellent), doom goblins, wolf riders, hobgoblins, chariots and a ton of characters. Here's some images of the range.

Pretty tasty, the black goblins are a favourite of mine. They look like real assholes.

Anyone with any love for the greenies will by now have probably already clicked on the link above, but if you've made it this far then let me tell you there's a goblin witch on the kickstarter that would bring a goblin enthusiast to tears. 

I won't put up an image, you'll have to go see for yourself.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

FOR KHORNE! - Arnuld Clotchewer

Arnuld here is my entry for the Haemo-Erotic tag for the upcoming Gorechosen game over on Scale Creep. I've not painted a chaos mini in a long time, so I thought it would be nice to paint up my favourite thug ever. He'd been sitting in his box for about thirty years, so y'know, it was time.

I wanted to give him quite ruddy skin, which I hadn't painted in a while. Added to that I wanted to use his shoulder plate as test for the armour technique I want to use on his mates, whenever they might appear. The blood spatter is done with my trusty old toothbrush. I just made him a little kitchen towel poncho and then flicked watered down red paint on him. I often mix a little brown or black into the red for dried blood, but this is fresher, so it stayed bright.

This guy has been a nice palette cleanser from my terracotta warriors and it's given me an urge to paint more blood-soaked maniacs. For now though, it's back to ancient China/Nippon and time to get some pottery crossbowmen painted.

Wayland Games

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