Painting

Lets do Stormcast Eternals… Blanchitsu style

For the Malign Portents painting competition I’ve been painting up some Stormcast Eternals. This is a competition to paint up a Start Collecting box in a month which is surprisingly hard given the amount of stuff in one of these boxes. Rather than go full gold and shiny with these guys I’ve gone grimy and dirty in an attempt to create a more Blanchitsu style.

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More Imperial Fists

Painting yellow is hard, it took around 10 test pieces to get the base colour and wash right.

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The Eavy Metal tutorials are woefully terrible when it comes to painting yellow, either starting with the spray that’s too light or the base yellow that’s too dark. The trick is Yriel Yellow as the base with Agrax Earthshade in the crevices.

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Of course the brutal truth of this army is that now Games Workshop have “changed” Space Marines to the new Primaris true scale the older versions don’t look that great when standing side by side. I suspect they will be making the old sculpts end of life over the next few years.

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On the brighter side we have a new gloss version of Agrax Earthshade which in theory might make the painting easier if anyone wanted to try this out themselves.IMG_3062

There are painting mistakes here. I probably shouldn’t have done the transfers on the inside of the cloak. and the loin cloth needs to to be cleaned up. He also could have done with the highlights the rest of the squad are missing.IMG_3140.jpg

Not bad for a unit with no highlights on the yellow.

Imperial Fists – Part 1

Note to self: Don’t burn yourself out on your own blog.
Never mind, I’m back now. Have a space marine or five.
The moustache on this guy was pure whimsy on my part.
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Note, no squad markings as I couldn’t decide between tactical or devastator squad:
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I’m quite fond of the squad number on the lower leg, probably impractical from battlefield purposes but it does fit with the 40k vibe.
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The veteran sergeants helmet really breaks the colours up. The Imperial Fists logo is a transfer cut slightly at 10 and 2 o’clock to conform to the shape of the shoulder pad.
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Sternguard shoulder pads on the vet means he can be added to almost any squad type without looking out of place.
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The blue gradient was created on photoshop and printed out to use as backdrop for the photo. I wanted the retro Eavy Metal photo look but by accident the blue and dark yellow face each other on the colour wheel so really make the figures pop out.
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Any questions about the colours used, transfers, colour theory or whatever else you have just pop something in the comments and i’ll get back to you.

Flory Washes, are they better than Badab Black?

Everyone has fond experiences with Badab Black the multifunctional wash that allows you to shade everything in one go. However I was recently told there is an even better wash out there, intrigued I decided to investigate.

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Flory washes are water based clay weathering washes used by people who would call themselves professional miniature painters and spend their time using an airbrush to complete their scale tank or aircraft models, the important thing about them is they are completely water soluble, this means that once they dry they can be removed by adding water back to the area or in cases they are used over a smoothly varnished area just rubbed off with a piece of paper towel.

 

After you are finished and have a look that you are happy with just cover it with a spray matt varnish to seal it in place and continue adding more paint as necessary.

 

I ordered the colours Black, Dark Dirt, Rust and Mud to give me a reasonable selection that matched the washes I would normally use and set about trying it out. The first thing was to test it on some Deadzone terrain, this was large and cheap enough to write off if it didn’t work, however a coat of Flory-Black and some wiping down with damp paper towel later it came out quite nicely, not bad for a spray undercoat and some foam weathering.

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Flushed with success and already imagining how quickly this would speed up scenery painting I decided to take it a step further on some of my miniatures, I had some Battlegroup Helios ships that I needed to paint up for a review and so gave them all a spray coat of Army Painter Purple followed by coat of gloss varnish and let them have a brushed on coat of Flory-Black as well (I didn’t use an airbrush for any of this) after it had dried it again got a wipedown with a wet paper towel. This was even easier as the gloss paint allowed the wash to wipe off with nearly no pressure and any mistakes could be fixed with a wet brush reapplying the colour into the crevices. The effect was much cleaner and looked like a natural clean shade of dark colour in the shadowy areas of the ships. After I was happy I sealed this in with matt vanish again and painted the detail straight on top of it.

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I was pretty happy with both of these effects as one wash being used for dirt and grime and then later used as a precision pin wash is impressive but the speed at which I was able to achieve these results was the icing on the cake. They really open the door for a lot of different uses.

 

If you want to check out some videos of the process, try this one about applying shading to a rally car here and the collection of walkthrough on the Flory Washes site which show how easy it is.

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Above you can see what it looks like after sealing and then a drybrushing of a lighter colour. Next on the agenda is going to be applying this to a Deathknell Watch kit I got second hand on eBay and a Dropzone Commander UCM dropship as if I can get this working on both of them I will be very happy indeed.

 

Overall I would say this a great product, the only caveat is that you will need cheap matt and gloss spray paint to ready the model and then fix the paint job in place afterwards but other than that it produces airbrush style results without the airbrush.
If you have a model with a lot of shading needed and a wash wouldn’t do it cleanly enough, use a Flory Wash instead.

 



Painting 4 Ground Scenery

You can play miniature games anywhere that you can find a flat space that won’t be disrupted by other humans, pets or the wind or rain, you can stack up piles of books or magazines to make hills, raid ornament stands to make rock features and scatter other unused miniature vehicles around to give the scene flavour, my favourite borrowed scenery piece would either be the small cow skull or the tiny beer keg that was lying around at a mates house. Scenery was never a market that was heavily contested in the miniature games space. In the Golden Age of Games Workshop I refer to in other posts most of the scenery produced was either homemade or relatively small plastic kits of a ruined building. Large plastic kits were impossible for GW to make at this time as they didn’t have a large scale plastic mould. Hills were produced by vacuum formed plastic covered with green static grass flock and buildings would be following instruction on how to make them out of card or by using cardboard inserts in White Dwarf.
The situation wasn’t ideal, some companies tried to exploit it by offering large resin buildings which while looking very nice were both expensive heavy and fragile, Games Workshop produced large pieces of all plastic scenery when they brought their new larger moulds which were very nice looking but then inexplicably discontinued the sets and instead replaced them with the perfectly functional but boring 40k city kits and giant bunkers with mounted guns on for your sci-fi needs and insanely overblown high fantasy magic filled sculptures for the Storm of Magic supplement that looked like they came out of a Salvador Dali painting during his “death metal” phase.
Lets not mention the expensive plastic Chaos Fortress kit presumably created by someone who didn’t realise that the following year of Chaos releases were for Khorne, the faction that had no missile troops at all and were more likely to storm other peoples forts than hide behind one themselves.
Recently another way of creating scenery has come about, namely using laser-cut MDF kits that are pre-painted and can be assembled without the need for most tools or glue while remaining light and cheap. As with any new invention that says its going to do everything you’ve been looking for cheaper and better than you’ve ever hoped was possible I viewed it with scepticism and so decided that rigorous testing was in order. I brought the baggage card and the stagecoach kits as they looked small enough to be written off in the case that I wreaked them during testing and large and complicated enough to show off the level of detail possible using his approach.

Punching the baggage cart out was easy enough, there was heavy smell of burnt wood which is fair enough due to the lasers burning the wood so  I washed the kit with soapy water first and left it to dry, there was no issues with the paint peeling off or it warping and it withstood it like a champ. Its worth noting that there is nothing in these kits apart from MDF and instructions, so no transfers or brass etch material, everything that you see is all MDF.


The parts are all pretty much snap fit and don’t require much cleaning apart from a slight ridge where they connected to the original sheet of MDF, you could put them together and leave the but it is far to complicated to restore back into its sheet so I used PVA glue to hold the bits together which seemed to work fine without damaging the paint scheme. The laser cutting process can cut fine details into the wood with ease, so the spokes in a wheel were tapered, rivets were dug out and the gab between sheets of wood was all correctly modelled, the only problem was that the wheels were only modelled in one side so it you took a fine eye to the insides of them you would spot the difference.


The model is all pre painted with an airbrush that gives it small areas of darker colour to try and produce a patchy wood effect, the burnt edges where the laser has cut a hole had added to it so it could easily be left as it is but I was already determined to see how it would hold up to proper painting. It took the spray undercoat from army painter and the next ink was without a problem at all. I tried drybrushing layers of with Mournfang Brown, Deathclaw Brown and Karak Stone but it didn’t show up that well so I decided to paint thin lines of Deathclaw Brown down the planks to mirror the grains in actual wood which had an immediate effect. I weathered the wheels and underside with a ripped piece of foam with Rhinox Hide and was pleased at the result.

If I had to give any criticism it would be that the finish has a slight texture to it but for wood of the stone buildings that’s not a problem, if it’s an issue you can take it off with sandpaper.

If you want to buy this kit it’s here and yes, it’s only £4, it’s not going to win you any painting awards unless you cover up the joins on the MDF but it’s cheap, light and can be painted up without any hassle to improve your gaming space. However you can take these techniques and apply them to anything 4 Ground produces for some good looking results.