Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sláine 4 - Skull Sword Champions

Today we have MORE skull swords for the Sláine project. This time a pair of champions. One from the new Warlord range, and one far older fellow, an OOP sculpt from Foundry whose time has come at last.

This guy had resided in my box of 2000AD minis for many years, with no project to call his own. With the release of the new Sláine game though, his lonely days were over, and as a little extra I decided to make him a champion, hence the 32mm base. 

Even when you've had a mini in your 'to paint' collection for years, I find it interesting that you only really look at it closely once you decide to paint it. I'd never noticed the little triskele on his sword hilt, or the fact that he actually had eyes. 

I painted him as the rest, and the contrast paint took to him well. His shield was very plain compared to the flamboyant designs of his new peers, so I freehanded a triskele on there to jazz him up some. 

It's rather satisfying having him finally added a wee force of his evil brethren.

Speaking of shields, look at this! This guy was a mini I'd been really keen to paint since the start of the project, with his massive over the top Gwar concert shield. He's a little more fancy than the basic skull swords, he has a fancier helmet, a better weapon, more bangles and that amazing shield. Let's see that barbarian Sláine get through this!

His basing is the same as the rest bar that little pile of bones. I think they belonged to a mouse. It's been in my bits box for about twenty years.

He's manspreading like crazy, but then big skull shields are great for confidence.

 So, a pair of new champions joins the force, giving me three heroes. It's past time I added more mooks, so another three pack of axe-wielding skull swords is up next, and a creepy Drune priest.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Sláine 3 - The Lord Weird Slough Feg

The Sláine project continues with one of my childhood favourites, Slough Feg. His pose is based on the iconic Bisley drawing for the Horned God series.

Feg is Sláine's predecessor, the old horned God, and he is not planning on retiring. Having thrown in his lot with Crom Cruach and the Dark Gods of Cythrawl, he now leads the Drunes, intent on destroying the land of the young. Also, he is as mad as a box of frogs.

How could you not love him? he also gets some cracker lines in the comic. His odd syntax only adding to his macabre appeal.

So yes, Feg, all round top guy. 

As to painting this loon, his skin took me a while to get right. I didn't want him to look too undead, as he isn't, just super old and fairly stinking. I uses GW Contrast paints almost exclusively, bar some highlighting. A mix of Basilicarum Grey and Fyreslayer Flesh mixed with medium finally gave me a nice wash for the skin. Over that I glazed, mostly in the recesses and on the elbows, knees and knuckles, purple, pink and red to add some unholy life to the flesh. Some minor highlights of Flayed One Flesh and finally Pallid Wych Flesh and that was it. 

The rest of Feg used techniques I'd tried on the Skull Swords for leather, cloth etc. All pretty natural materials. His horns and progressive washes of Contrast browns from Skeleton Horde down to Garaghak's Sewer, mixed with medium. 

So, now that the main man is done, it's time for some of his champions, and yet more Skull Swords.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sláine 2 - Skull Sword Pack 1

So, that's my first pack of skull swords for Sláine complete. I'm sticking with the Contrast paint approach for this project, and I'm learning more about their uses all the time. Right now I'm of a mind that they won't replace my traditional way of working, but they will certainly add a very nice set of new techniques to my painting arsenal.

The Siocast these fellows are made from holds an insane amount of detail, and is quite pliable. These lads won't break in a hurry. On the downside, files are useless. The material shreds when filed, so a super sharp scalpel is your best friend when cleaning mould lines and such. It holds paint just fine, at least it holds primer fine. I'm using Games Workshop Wraithbone primer on these lads.

So considering I'm using new paint techniques on a new material, I think these lads are turning out pretty good. The shields designs are great, particularly the one you can see just above here. The designers have taken a lot from the art of Belardinelli, who drew the Sláine strip in the early days. 

Skull sword packs come in 3s, and die easy, so I have a couple more groups of these evil guys to paint yet. I need a bit of a treat though, so next up is their evil boss, the lord weird, Slough Feg.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Sláine 1 - Skull Sword Contrast Test Model

The recent Sláine release from Warlord Games was something I've been waiting for for a while. I'm a huge 2000AD fan, and of Sláine in particular. With some friends already painting up factions for the game, it wasn't something I wasn't going to be able to resist. So I gently laid aside the Silver Bayonet for now and took up the stone axe.

I decided to paint up the Drunes. I'm more often than not drawn to the bad guys, and their leader, the Lord Weird Slough Feg, is a childhood favourite. He's like Skeletor's cranky grandad. Sláine draws on rich seam of Celtic history and myth, and laces it heavily with delicious fantasy tropes. The Drunes, my faction of choice, misuse the Earth power running through the land, eventually turning it sour in their greed. So a lot to identify with there from modern life. At least Feg is straight up about destroying the world. Would vote for.

Anyhow, I decided with this project to go full Contrast paints, pale primer, the works. So with some (loads) of help from Juan Hidalgo's YouTube channel, I set to work on the first Skull Sword.

Lord Vade- I mean Feg will not be pleased.

Skull Swords are Drune soldiery. Bearing the dreaded Triskele and willing to part heads from shoulders at their master's slightest whim, they are a nasty lot. They wear breath masks to protect them from their Drune masters foul stench, as Drune priests begin to decay as they become more powerful, and you can only get someone a Christmas deodorant gift set so many times.

Yeah, look at those Skull Swords, getting their... asses... kicked...

I was on new ground painting this fellow, so there was a lot to learn. I usually paint metals first, but this time they'd be the last thing I painted on the mini. I find contrast very pleasing to work with, but up until this point it had been more of a supplement to my style. This was a another level though, and I'd have to dispense with some tried and tested ways of doing things. Old dog, new tricks? I dunno...

I borrowed heavily from Juan's Kruleboy Eavy Contrast painting video, as it has lots of natural materials like leather and wood. I find his videos suit my style well, and aren't too time consuming. One thing that did give me a bit of a pain in the arse is re-touching the primer after working on an adjacent area. That said, the Skull Sword took about four hours in total. I reckon I could shave an hour off that now I have the colours picked and I'm not searching for techniques. I'd probably batch paint troops too, maybe groups of three, which, conveniently is the size of a unit of Skull Swords in the Sláine game. 

I painted the bases in my usual recipe. Some dead leaves and withered plants give a nice impression of sourland.

I do like the control I get with painting the metallics more like I paint other colours; base, wash and highlights for the most part. I usually use a lot of drybrushing on metals, and I think I still will for things like chainmail and such. Contrast paints are fantastic, but they are just another arrow in the painting quiver. I do love being able to tint metals with Contrast so you can easily turn a single basecoat into steel, bronze, gold or whatever. I used Canoptek Alloy as the base metal colour on the Skull Sword as I like the warmer tone.

So, with the tester done, time for some buddies for this fellow.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Silver Bayonet - Privates Festerev and Moulderoff

Joining my undead Russians for Silver Bayonet today are two reasonably fresh line zombies, privates Gregor Festerev and Dimitri Moulderoff. Still having most of their faculties (and fingers) means these fellows can still recall how to load and fire a musket, though they won't be making it to any parades in the near future. Clad in Winter greatcoats, which are more to keep them in one piece than fight off the cold, these lumbering infantrymen are the backbone of Morozov's small force. Able to keep firing even while taking hits that would put down a living man several times over, these two loyal soldiers will follow the vampire until utterly destroyed. Even then, Rigorov has a very special, possibly magical sewing kit that can mend even the most terrible damage, rumoured to have been given to him by the Baba Yaga herself.

These two ambulatory carcasses are from Alernative Armies Flintloque range, more specifically the Deadloque boxed set. I liked the ragged greatcoats they are wearing, it sits nicely with the Winter vibe I'm going with. I have quite a few of these fellas, so it's nice to get at least two painted up for service. 

Painting-wise, I spent far too long looking at Napoleonic Russian uniform guides. Targeted contrast washes are playing more and more of a role in my painting, they are incredibly useful paints. For example, Gregor's beard was too grey initially, but one contrast wash later, problem solved. I might go more heavy into contrast paints for my next project, and start with a (GASP) white undercoat.

So that's the unit up to about half strength. I'm enjoying it, but I'm taking a break from the Silver Bayonet for a while and starting a new project that's very close to my heart. But more on that anon!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Ghost Archipelago 10 - Treasure!

A long awaited upcoming gaming event involving competing bands of pirates recently forced me to dig for treasure. I need several treasure markers for Ghost Archipelago, and I was a couple short, including a larger marker. These two had been in the primed tub for several years, so I decided to finish them off. Two odd pieces, a human-size canopic jar of evil from Bob Olley and a box of offal from the Citadel Night Horror range.

Of note was the chance to crack open my precious hex pot of Citadel Polished Blue, which I used to give the canopic jar a touch of glamour. It's a lovely paint, and you have to go all out for a giant jar of mystery meat.

The box of guts is grim little thing, but it did give me another chance to work on my dead flesh recipe. I finally relented and added some green to the mix. Thanks Mr Mengel.

I have the required five pieces required for a game of Ghost Archipelago now. You could of course just use counters, coins, or your own milk teeth, but it's always more fun to paint up the ancillary bits and pieces for gaming, those often being the pleasurable garnish and make for a far prettier game. One nice tip I'll offer, which you can see below on the gold piles, is to add a touch of gold gllitter with PVA glue on top. It makes them shine lovely.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Silver Bayonet - Igor Rigorov

Returning to my Silver Bayonet unit, I've finished off this creaky old fellow. Hailing from the venerable Deadloque boxed set, this old soldier will serve as an irregular in the unit. 

Igor was an old solider even before he died. Having long served Kapitán Morozov as a tracker through the deep woods and vast wildernesses of Europe, his skills have lost little of their edge despite Igors subsequent lack of eyes, nose or ears. His ragged uniform hangs loose on his once robust frame, but  his rifle is kept scrupulously cleaned and oiled. In fact, he maintains much of his fellows gear as well, as some lack the dexterity or wit to do so themselves.

Igor was painted in a reasonable approximation of a Russian uniform. I will forgive myself any historical errors on my undead Russian soldiery. I did freehand a little decoration on his cartridge pouch from a Russian example though.

Yeah, look at me, all historical. It's quite fun looking up quite detailed uniform guides for Napoleonic infantry and then applying them to undead I have to say. It's also nice getting paint on these old boys after intending to for some time. A lot of time. More time than some of ye have been alive possibly.

So, Morozov finally has a subordinate to boss around (you know how sulky vampires can get when they're not in charge) and I have two bulky greatcoat-wearing line infantrymen on the paint station next to bring the unit up to half strength. 

'How's my hair Igor?' 'Magnificent Kapitán.'

Wayland Games

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