Friday, June 29, 2012

Blanchead progress

Okay some crappy iphone pictures via blogpress will have to suffice, but here is some of the stuff I was talking about yesterday.
First a total and utter homage on John Blanched Psychotic head monster... I did a smaller version using a Reaper Hooked Horror and Orc.

This is a WIP of the uber rare citadel Chaos Demon which I reconstructed by rethreading each joint with wire. Took ages but... look, a seven dollar rarity!
I ripped the colors directly from the six amazingly characterful chaos spawn Steve posted.

Next up, Snow white and the seven chaos dwarves- mid way through rebasing and repainting to the metallic blues and cold flesh on The Master of Madness. Here is a closer look at his work in progress, along with a chaos sorceress and a really old ral partha figure.

I am really loving how the muted but warm soil colors pop the color out, I flecked in tints of other colors to add interest like Frank Frazetta and started to add puddles of foul water and twisted roots - this could be my new themes!
Lots more crazy chaos spawn and John Blanche homages on the table, but right now its time for bed!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back to base-ics

Greeting Lead Pilers. After an exhausting week I decided to treat myself to a little free form hobby time. Lately what with sculpting commissions and Bederken back end stuff during working hours, an hour on Skulldred per day and blocking color or rebasing my leadpile I was getting a little burnt out.
I realized I had not had a chance for creativity or exploration for a while. I dont do factory robot well. Time to recharge a bit!
With last weeks John Blanche mini bonanza fresh in mind, I kicked off my minijazz jam doing a few totally whacky conversions by raiding the broken lead pile and slicing up a fair few reaper doubles/triples laying about. Real realm of chaos stupidity- but I loved it! I want to paint them in his style and perhaps do some banners before I post so you get maximum impact!

I also experimented with basing using washers to give an even more old school feel. Coins in australia have grooves around the outside making them a little unsightly without a damn good filing, so I went with fender washers (we call them mudguard washers downunder).
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed washer basing, and love the low profile looks. Placed side by side, the 30mm lipped slottas on magnet stickers look terribly huge and clunky, especially when placed on terrain.
That puts me in a bit of a quandary. Do I rebase?

Well, I decided the best thing to do was base up a warband or two that I had not based yet to give myself a feeling of progression. Rebasing a twice-rebased model is a bit like being stuck in a hobby limbo. This way I could play around with the style and have two new warbands to play skulldred with.

Having read everything google coughed up on the subject of washer basing I found a few techniques I prefer and modified them using my choice of materials.

Daves kooky experiments and resulting tips:

First, I found paint adhered better if I attacked the edges with a sanding block first. I suspect oil and the nickel coating.

Second, I tried pre priming the washers with several coats of car body black gloss enamel spray can gave a tougher finish than acrylic. It would not be good for priming minis, so I did this before basing.

Third, stretching thin black insulation tape across the bottom of the base before gluing stuff on top with superglue worked well- if you leave it on it protects the underside and table surfaces from scratching, looks neat when you flip the model on its side and does not alter the profile or magnetics.

Fourth, adding baking soda to my scatter gives finer texture, acts like a filler and helps cement the model in. Makes the model seem more in scale than my previous grit! Thanks to Mr Blanche for that top tip!

Fifth, 5 minute cure epoxy is brilliant for filling washer holes and blending figures into base. I use shelleys knead it but procreate stick putty is also great. Wear gloves! No overnight cure and waaaay cheaper than kneadatite- plus you can build up raised rocks, trees stumps, ruins and it carves easily. No good for fine sculpting, but its my new best friend for blocking stuff in!

Six, 30mm fender washers occupy the same space as a 30mm lipped base, but you can fit a bigger range of figures on them- for example, Bob Olley's Fireteam crusaders with long stances fit perfectly, reaper trolls that would usually need 40mm bases often fit.

Seven. Take a magnet to the hardware store to check the washers. I had a mixed batch and a few needed more iron in their diet.

Eight. There is no tip number eight.

Nine. Good pliers are a must for slotta tags. Craft store ones bend too much to exert pressure to crush the tab, but my 'good' pliers let me crush the tab and bend it til it forms the a flat base to attach the model!

Tip eleventy. Washer basing forces you to varnish your models well!

Pics next time! Anyone else got washer tricks and tips?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My god... its full of Blanche...

Thanks so far for the Blanch-athon, and its turning up GOLD.  GOLD I tells Ye.  Keep them coming everyone, and I will do plenty of homage minis!

Here is some direct links to Steve Caseys Photos for you all to worship- I posted these first because many have not been seen before.  Some appear in Ratspike and WD, but at different angles.  Mr Casey, your mission is to photograph the rest!

I will now attempt to ID some of the parts and tell you where to get them!

Converted Asgard Dragon Lizard (Available from Viking Forge)

Aly Morrison Samurai Conversion

Citadel Dwarf Sorcerer

I am pretty sure the torso and legs are from Ral Partha Ogre with club (here)
I See body a from a Ral Partha demon (here) and a face from a Ral Partha Jabberwock (Here)

Ral Partha Cyclops  (Buy here)
Space ranger (I have this guy) plus wolf- please ID the wolf and I will do this conversion!

Super smooth blending!  Awesome.
Run away!!!  Fantastic planet.
No idea.
Frikkin awesome alien!!!

Possibly some trolls in there?

Uh... tail looks familliar.... anyone?


Ral Partha Frost Giant

Ral Partha 13-002 Hill giant?  Foundry Elephant?

Rogue Trader Dreadnought

Citadel FF Balrog

Citadel George The Giant

Defies... uh... what was I saying?  What?

I uh... what was I saying... Oh look!  Boobs.  Uh....

Now fans of this diorama may like what I am cooking up here- I have hunted down most of the figures and am constructing warbands painted to match.  Yep.
Anyway, Thantsants wanted to know what the sorcerer blasting the door was... and no, he is not a citadel miniature.  He is actually a Ral Partha (now Iron Wind Metals) Wraith sculpted by Tom Meier.  You can still buy it here along with some mates...

Wraith (blasting door)
Samurai Liche (halfway across diorama)

Guys on hill- Citadel Chaos Warriors, not undead!
Bottom right, FA Antipaladin.  FT skeletons and mummies from FFfor the most part.
Now the guy on the hill is a tricky one.  He is actually a preslotta chaos warrior from citadel, as is his general lower down on the hill.  You will also find a Ral Partha rip off of that character (here), it has a weaker pose, less detail and different sleeves, but is close enough!

As promised, the links from other images...

Tears of Envy
Gothic Punk
Marienburg Gazette

From world of Zhu- Converted LOTR Orc

Well more minis from me next week- in the meantime, keep yur blanchy links coming and I will post them up for everyone to oogle.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

John Blanche minis

God I just love his painterly mini style and twisted conversions! I have been collecting images lately and just cannot seem to find enough. I have ratspike, Heroes for wargames, blachitsu pdf on orc bikers, skaven imperial guard book, inquisitor and white dwarfs from the 1980s and have googled like mad to find more. What I really want is black library to do a Blanchitsu book just showing grids of picture after picture of JB works from 1980 through to today and do a video time lapse of him working!
Shall we start a petition?

Here are some I have gathered so far- apologies for not crediting the sources and linking back- I will correct that shortly when I have a moment to refind them but for now I am on my iphone and it does not let me store data with each... enjoy.

I have lots more, but if anyone can point me to WD issues with his work, sites etc I would love it!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lahmian medium

Ah hell no. A GW product thats worth the money?
Lahmian medium is my new best friend. And I LOVE mediums. My additives tub is fit to bursting with six types of matt medium, varnished, glaze mediums etc. And I have been mixing my own special sauces for a while using windex, talc and other household items... But this is great right out of the bottle.
It allows layered glazing without gloss, and dulls shine like dullcoat. Exactly as it sez on da bottle. At six bucks australian, its still pretty pricey, but the convenience is worth the dollars I think.
I experimented using it to mix with windsor &newtown inks and they matt down like old citadel washes, leaving a pleasant tint.

I blasted through a night horror devils shading tonight thanks to the stuff and am surprised by just how much I like it.
As far as the new paint range here is my thoughts...
Dry: cute, Necron metal is extremely good- very fine metal grains make it brush on finer than most metallics.
If you want to save some cash, I found if I mixed a fat load of industrial talc into regular acrylics I got something similar in performance.

Bases: bluhg! Too glossy. Loved foundation paints with all my heart for their smooth opaque matt finish. Every one in the batch I had dried shiny. No good for base coating :(
However, I fixed mine by adding lots of industrial talc as a matting agent, a little dish soap to break surface tension and windex to thin and make it evaporate and dry on the model quickly but not on the brush.
Layers: medium thinned paints. Not bad for out of the bottle painters -I can see what they where thinking, but for more serious painters... Hmmm.
I am sticking with coat darms, p3 and vallejo model color, and thinning and adding medium myself.
Textured paint? Not very effective for the size and price. I ended up make my own using sandy paste, heavy structure gel, grits, talus, flock and ink. Much better and I get it bulk.

One last word on mediums. I recommend grabbing a bottle of Jo Sonjas magic mix. Its a matt finish medium with flow aid and retarder in juuuuust the right mix for blending types to go ga ga over.
Pics of that night horror next issue!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Trolling Lichemaster

Following the death of my Fantasy Tribes era Necromancer, a package arrive with these damned sexy minis!  Just in time to cheer me up after the death of the other necromancer, the trollolo guy. Cheers Luke!

Citadel's Mikael Jacsen & Heinrich Kemmler
Terror of the Lichemaster Deal Set

I wasn't planning on collecting the Lichemaster scenario figures, as scenario packs can get expensive real quick.  I decided I would only pump lolly, dosh and readies into a McDeath set.  Which, by the way is just 4 figures to go.  Naturally these are the expensive ones.  Oh well.  Economic crash may help there.
I am looking forward to painting these again- my last licks of paint on Heinrich where in 1990- where he got thickly painted green outfit.  This time I think I will go more with the 'week old corpse' description in the game book and a drabber outfit.  His exposed legs always sat wrong to me amongst the renaisance figures of that time.

My new 'paint one base color on everything in one go' discipline has paid its first dividends with my orc warband nearing completion. Having all the bases done for orc flesh, fur, leather and mail meant that a it did not take a lot of motivation to shade them in.  Its a bad photo, but I think I will do a proper studio pic once I finish them and add shields.  I am thinking of going a bit Paul Benson and a Frazer Gray on the shields.  Anyway, here is the progress...

WIP:  Orcs from ages past.  Mainly Perry Twins with some Kev Adams sculpts.

I am finding starting with a flat upper mid tone and shading first down, then up is a much faster technique to my normal shading up from dark.  Being confronted by a dark figure and knowing its going to take a while to build up to a basic look is a bit of a motivation crusher.  I am enjoying this way because after the initial dark shading washes (and by washes I mean tissue tapped glazes, sort of like an aimed wash), the model looks 'tabletop standard', and every pass I do adds a little more spice.  The other way only gives results near completion.

For my next load of figures I am also going for more color and contrast so they read better on the table, plus switching to lighter, more neutral earth tones rather than my normal mossy green for the base, as it makes the model pop out a little more, and I like using dark greens on my figures.

Trollolo guy died today. Trolling saruman was my favorite internet meme.  How about we Troll Lichemaster...

Lo lo lo, ha ha ha... trollo.. lol.. summon troll...