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.'

Monday, February 14, 2022

Splinterlands - Doctor Blight

The good doctor here is the first 32mm miniature based on the online CCG game Splinterlands, and was sculpted by Drew Day Williams.

The wargame translation of the CCG is the brainchild of Jason Lye, aka 'Ye Alchemist', whom many of you know I am sure. The finest purveyor of genestealer cult rarities among other things. If so inclined you can find Dr Blight here:

You can also find Jason's Dr Blight Splintertalk blog post here:

Dr Blight was a very pleasant fellow to paint. By using thinned Contrast Black Templar over an Eshin Grey basecoat it gave me a good deal of the shading for his coat right away. Some stark edge highlights and that was the greatcoat just about done. On the mask I used one of my paints du jour on, Corax White. An excellent base for white as it is off white enough to allow pure white highlights to show over a Corax White basecoat, though in this case I shaded it with the appropriate Apothecary White, thinned to about 50/50.

His undercoat, belt, gloves  and staff were painted various browns, shaded with Agrax Earthshade and then highlighted with Pallid Wych Flesh mixed with the base colour. Some thinned Seraphim Sepia on the robes and gloves gave the leather a little more warmth.

The lamp I wanted to burn quite low, so I added several glazes of Nazdreg Yellow contrast paint around the metal of the lamp and onto the greatcoat.  I also added a touch of Sunburst Yellow to the lamp edges before glazing with Nazdreg Yellow.

So there we are, one plague doctor to go!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Silver Bayonet - Kapitán Radu Morozov

So, a new year yawns before us. Rather than my usual look back at the previous year's hobby, this year I'm just going to plough right into a new project, that being a unit for the recently released Silver Bayonet. I'm going with Russians, but as is my want, undead Russians. I'm using this project as an excuse to paint some of the Witchlands Flintloque minis I've had in storage for some decades now. They're pretty much ideal. So, off we go!

The first member of the band is the enigmatic Kapitán Radu Morozov. 

A vampire of impressive age, he hails from Wallachia originally, but has spent many years roaming the Ottoman Empire for reasons known only to himself. Most recently he has been pursing rumours of a Turkish town plagued by two mysterious Janissaries, notable as the Janissaries had been violently disbanded decades earlier. To secure the location of the town he has gathered a retinue to pursue such leads as he has gathered thus far. 

Radu is not of a mind to let any would be vampire hunters hinder his search, and is something of an artist in his use of extreme violence.

So, the unit is off the blocks. Next up a rather ragged old veteran hunter.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Genestealer Cult - Corrupted Hierarch

Today we have a return to a favourite project of mine, the genestealer cult, or, in this case, the genestealer coven. This is an idea that goes back to the very beginnings of the genestealer cult, when a desperate patriarch might seek power from the dark Gods. Fascinating Xenos/Chaos mashup ensues. I adored the coven when it appeared in White Dwarf 116. The whole idea of a cult turning to chaos fascinated me. I mean, how could my young mind resist this illustration by John Blanche?

My coven is an offshoot from the main cult. What's that you say? A coven inside a cult? Jesus Dave. 

I've been accused of cramming far too many themes into my projects, (Big Trouble in Little China Terracotta robots using stolen Eldar tech anyone?) but I care not a whit. So, my Admech Genestealer cult now has a chaotic element, and the one I most wanted to make was the hierarch in chaos armour (closely followed by the purestrain with daemon weapon). You can see the original 4th Generation Hybrid Magus with chaos armour below. I've wanted to convert one evert since. If you have copies of White Dwarf 114 - 116 I heartily recommend taking a look.

Many of my favourites hark back to these issues. Mutant bombs, cult limos, rogue psykers (Blackstone Fortress rogue psyker, I'm looking at you) and cult beastmen. It also cemented the Imperial Guard plastic kit as the ideal brood brother base model. I have managed to see these models in the flesh since, and now I love them all the more. Little did I know that years later my most fervent hobby prayers would be answered and we were showered in cult kits. 

I gathered up the parts for the Hierarch (he'd be a Primus these days) and set them by. Fairly recently I finished up my pirate crew (for now) and wanted a new palette cleanser. So I began work on Khrovak Starn, Hierarch and disciple of Khorne.

Khrovak is based on a Khorne champion with a scattering of cult parts and a Legion of the Damned bolter. His sword is from the Wrathmongers/Skullreapers kit. An insanely useful kit for Khorne fans. He only needed some minor greenstuff work.

Much of the colour palette was already set, but the on the armour I wanted to try something new. A while back I used contrast paints to paint the black iron armour on my wights and wondered if I could do something similar here. I painted the armour in Chainmail and then gave it a 1:1 Contrast Medium:Flesh Tearers Red. I settled nicely while still allowing the sheen of the metallic through. I edge highlighted it with Stormhost Silver, recess washed it here and there with Agrax Earthshade with a wee bit of Druchii Violet, and that was it. I'm very happy with it and I'll be using it on any future rage-based armour schemes.

The black daemon sword is highlighted with various greens and then glazed with Waywatcher Green. I think it sets off nicely against the red armour and also matches the rest of the cult who tend to have green gun casings and power packs on their backs. 

The other thing I had to settle on a colour scheme for was the wee bone dagger. This might seem simple as its well, bone, but I'm thinking ahead to Acolyte and Tyranid Warrior boneswords. I added the black 'jewels' with green highlight to give it a weird slightly icky organic look and I think it worked.

So now I think adding a possessed Magus and maybe a unit of beastmen would give me enough to add to my normal cult to field a coven. My mindslaves can double nicely as mutants too. 

That's the coven itch scratched for now!

Wayland Games

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