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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Tabletop World Cottage 2 completed and Dark Souls the Board Game WiP

Tabletop World made a much needed addition to their line with the Small Cottage 2.   Their town houses, inns, shops walls, gates, and mansions are mostly mid size to very large structures so its nice to get a companion to the Cottage 1 model.

Here you see my terribly messy and cramped work space.  I tend to do this even when I have whole rooms available.  Eventually we'll settle down and I'll build some paint racks to help with the access and clutter... buts thats for another time!

The Cottage 2 differs from the rest of the TTW catalogue in that it appears to have a slate roof instead of the usual wood shingle.  At any rate it was my first go at doing slate and I learned a lot.  the colors are fun but came out a bit too regular.  Next time I'll do more partial tiles and work more on making the color boundaries irregular.

I was happy with the moss effects which liven up the walls.  I've also tried a new way to do the stones which really sped up the process and looked a little better to boot! Basically I did the wood first and expanded some of the wood dry-brush step to cover the stone, most heavily near the wood,then washed back with a stone color which gave more color depth and better cover to the recess. then brushed up the stone to give good definition to the wood sections .

Even though the approach was different I wanted to stick with the Greystone Village theme instead of branching out into other colors of stone. I may do some other stone colors in future for buildings that aim to stand out from the bulk of the village.

For the interior I replaced the Spice Brown base layer of the wall color with Sandstone.  The walls ended up being less warm, color wise, and help with the idea that these are lower end dwellings.  I did a bit of sooting around the fireplaces and some progressive water damage in the floors.
 Then, in a terrible "squirrel!" moment I decided to paint up the Dark Souls the Board Game...

I wanted to experiment with using different primer types to speed up the process and ended up with three primer colors.

I used Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Paint+Primer Metallic Aged Copper for most of the adversaries.  This was the worst one of the set and remained tacky until I washed it with Secret Weapon Flesh.  Seems to be OK now but time will tell.
 The Player Character models got Rust-oleum Universal Forged Hammered Paint & Primer Antique Pewter.  This did really well and the hammered effect might be interesting on larger models. Dried OK and took washes well.

I used Krylon Ultra-Flat Camouflage Khaki paint, which is designed for rugged use without primer, for the adversaries that were more "fleshy" or had little armor.  I use this series a lot and it behaved as it always does.
 These are board game pieces and I decided to do a "Good Guy" colored checker on the bases of the PC models and a "Bad Guy" colored checker on the bases of adversaries. The actual colors are TBD!

Here you see the Aged Copper after the flesh wash.  The guy with the GINORMOUS bell/hammer is the mini that actually hooked me into getting the game.

 On the game itself.... meh...

Its very, very, very grindy... much like the video game its based on.  That would be OK except that you end up grinding over the same three tiles against the same adversaries that start in the same spots... the only difference being that the loot chest, if any, is only lootable once.  The tiles are changed for a different three tiles at the halfway point and the grind continues.

So... the minis maaaaay end up getting re-purposed into a cool warband for one of our skirmish games!

And, finally, Three troops of Void Elf Hunters from Raging Heroes are under construction.  I'll  use these as Dark Eldar Kabalite Trueborn.  Since they have a really cool helmet I'm thinking they will form the core of my nascent Ynnari force.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mistress Slithiss SF and Fantasy

 Mistress Slithiss, Lust Elf Excruciatrix..

These models are the Sci-Fi and Fantasy versions of Mistress Slithiss.  They are visually related but they get to their floating, multi-limbed, incarnation of exquisite pain by different roads.

The models actually have no shared components which is kinda awesome!
 Both float above the battlefield and both sport numerous limbs but the Fantasy version has organic, clawed, tentacles while the Sci-Fi version is all metal and warped technology.

Here are some scenes with Shiveryah, Void Elf Sorceress Sci-Fi version.  Void elves are, more or less, straight up Dark Elves in space.. ie. Dark Eldar.... shhhh!

The Sci-Fi version of Slithiss could also be serviceable as a Dark Eldar Haemonculous or as an ADMech Techpriest.
 I'm really pumped up about the fantasy version because, in addition to being a great sculpt, its less of a proxy type figure than we usually see from Raging Heroes.  The whole Lust Elf line can be used as proxies for Slaanesh of course but I like the backstory of "The Burned Ones" and Chaos Elves have always occupied a rare, terrifying, place on the fringes of fantasy.
 The models are complex, each having eight parts... maybe more... oops! And the parts interact in a complex way. Since these are game pieces I took advantage of this interaction to add a few additional glue points to make the models a little more sturdy.

I went with a 20mm square base here because my Fantasy armies, RPG figures, and a lot of my terrain collection, particularly the huge pile of Tabletop World buildings, are scaled for this size base.  If I was new in the hobby I'd go with the larger circular bases just because they give more room for modelling but, with almost 40 years of work using 20mm bases for human size models I'll stick to them where I can.

 Because these were two versions of the same character I went with a similar color scheme on each. I'll use the Lust Elves as a Chaos warband although the SF versions (most of the Lust Elves do not have separate Fantasy and Sci-Fi version) may spend some time as "advisors" to my Void Elves... er Dark Eldar!

Most of my play these days is narrative and I use home brew rules for all the RH factions in a 40K splinter setting.  I'm also looking forward to the games and setting that RH is working on. While their core business is proxies they have done a lot of work creating interesting backgrounds for their models and I'm looking forward to exploring that.
 Initially I thought I'd go with a darker skin tone... kind of along the lines of the Slaanesh Daemonettes.. a purple/gray malevolent flesh look, but I had trouble with getting a purple based monochrome look that I liked at tabletop viewing range (ie. 3ft) so I lightened up the skin to get some contrast.  The addition of color coded wiring to the SF version makes it more fun to look at on the tabletop as well.
 Some WiP Cottage #2 from Tabletop World have got into the pictures.  I'm making a couple of changes to by basic procedure on these buildings, mostly some subsurface dry-brush and reversing the order of painting between the stone and wood, and it looks like it improves speed a good bit... I'm not sure the reversal works as well for the interior but I'll know soon.

As these are a wee bit on the run down side I might have another experiment in static grass... maybe!

 Next in line are the cottages, a shipping container, and some Undertown scatter while I start assembling the Void Elf Hunter squads.

The Hunter squads have a lot of fine parts so I'm curious to see how easily I can get them off the sprue...
That is a lot of limbs!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Adventures with static grass, and Undertown Tri Screen adverts

 A lot of fun the past couple of days!  I have never applied static grass other than manually... by sticking wads of it into adhesive with varying degrees of success... so I was very excited to experiment with a new Static Grass Pro Box from War World Scenics.  The box took some getting used to and a far bit of invective but, once I got the hang of it, did a great job applying the static grass to these festive mouslings!
A lot of close in shots how how nice the grass went in.  This first run I only used a 2mm spring mix and did not attempt do do tufts of longer grass.  The box handles 4mm static grass as well so it should do great... I'll give that a go next time.
 The box can shock you and rubber gloves are recommended.  There will be sparks and pops... its generating static electricity after all!  Also the grass travels quite a way so I learned to contain the work area in a box and use paper liners so the excess grass can be easily recovered for future use.
 I applied the grass to these bases after the figures were painted and mounted.  While the results were good I think it'll be a lot easier to do when mounting the models after completing the static application.  These models have integrated bases that I incorporated into the, slightly, larger square base so were not good candidates for static application before mounting.
All in all I'm really happy to have another tool fro my terrain kit!

 Moving on!

Revealing the pile of unprocessed resin from the last post...

Tri-Vid advertisements from Atenociti's Workshop's Undertown!

These are the small size screens.  There are two larger sizes which I will cover in future.

Shown here with several models for scale... these make great scatter and partial cover.  They are Made for Infinity but work quite well in a lot of games.

The Models are two parts plus three acrylic rods. I used the rods this time but think they would have been fine without them.  During assembly I intentionally put a couple of the signs together somewhat askew.  These are intended for undertown and most signs of this type I would imagine to be in poor repair.

The assembled models were sprayed with with Rustoleum French Vanilla primer and paint combo then dry-brushed with Hobbycraft Pure White. Blues were Reaper HD: Dragon Blue a dry-brush of Lightning Blue and then a glaze or two of Army Painter Blue Ink heavily thinned with Vallejo Glaze medium.

Weathering was done with an initial splatter of Caked Mud (Secret Weapon) followed by weathering powder Light Earth... paying special attention to the seams around the photo signs, and Grey Ash (both from Forge World) paying extra attention to make the glossy photo signs and acrylic rods appear to have smudged glass.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Anvil Blacksmith, Raging Heroes WiP Slithiss, Reaper Mouslings WiP

 Hopping back on the painting wagon for the first time with the new glasses.  It was wonderful to be able to see again and I was able to work for much longer without having to wear, and work around, all the cumbersome visual aids I've been deploying.

First up is the Blacksmith from Anvil Industries.  The model comes with two heads... this one, which is kinda normal, and a spiky head with a full, chaos flavored, visor.  Once I got a good look at this guy the logic bombs became really noticeable.  While the sculpt is good... who does their smithing wearing armor and using an actual war hammer? I mean that would be a really hot job without the plate shin and knee guards and reinforced skullcap. Maybe I should have gone with the chaos head after all!
 Don't get me wrong... its no more egregious than chain mail bikinis... its just incongruous.  I'll still happily use the fellow in an RPG setting.

Speaking of new tools I am trying out the new Citadel painting handle and I like it.

Two thoughts:

One is that the weight of it seems a little light and unbalanced.  That doesn't matter for plastic and resin figures but might be an issue for metal.

The second is that the clamp system could use some kind of quick release or locked lever release as its a bit tricky to remove models from the clamp when finished.

I'm gonna use this thing a lot and like it anyway!
 Currently Lady Slithiss (SF) version from Raging heroes is in the clamp.  I've been anxious to paint more Raging Heroes stuff but was having a hard time seeing all the great details on them!  Now that I can see again I'm aiming to put a lot more of their stuff on the painting desk.

This model has a lot of extra spikes which I'm mostly painting before installing them.  The clearances are very tight so it seemed an easier approach.  There also remains a lower cloak so that means the model, as it stands now, still has 7 more pieces to install.
Reaper Mouslings!

These festive mice-people will look right at home in their pub!  I was torn over the eyes.  Mice eyes being just beady black disappeared in all the earth tones so I went the full anthropomorphize route... I mean they are wearing clothes and drinking beer already so
cartoon eyes FTW!

Next thing being prepped!

Whatever could it be?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The eyes!


For several years I've been fidgeting with ways to see what I am painting better... I progressed through reading glasses to headsets, to reading glasses and head sets... and finally to reading glasses + headsets + a magnifier on an arm.

Basically this steampunk-esque contraption allows me to see better but the glare that builds up with the addition of each lens and the loss of depth perception still made it difficult to exploit the magnification.... Oh yeah! I can see that big fat brush smear that I could not tell how far the brush was from the mini.... grrr...

So I began memorizing distance from preset hand positions... this helped but has obvious time and flexibility limitations....



My wife scheduled me for a routine eye exam and, when I arrived I mentioned my hobby/passion for miniature painting and described my difficulties.... at first we discussed options like loupes and professional grade jewelers/dental headset magnifiers... then the doc asked me at what distance did I work... and tried some lenses.... and ended up writing me a prescription for painting glasses....


These are totally awesome and, since they are adjusted to each individual eye I got my depth perception back! ... turns out my constellation of lenses was attempting, unsuccessfully, to account for different levels of acuity in each eye.... hence the arm mounted magnifier i was using to fine tune on details.

 As a bonus... if I do need to go a more intense magnification route I can work the prescription into the frame and retain me depth perception....

If you are having trouble seeing... measure your working distance and tell the doc what you are trying to accomplish

It just never occurred to me to ask about task specific glasses as opposed to the general purpose prescription you will get if you don"t talk about what you want to achieve.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Mistress Slithiss - Lust Elf Excruciatrix WiP

 Two versions of Lady Slithiss - Excruciatrix from the TGG2 Kickstarter from Raging Heroes.  These were just released for regular sale and are great models for Chaos, Deark Eldar, Dark Elf, Necron, or AdMech.

I thought I'd make these two with the same costume scheme and compare the two models noting especially how different or similar they might be.

I started on the SF version first and immediately lost one of the mechanical hands... grrr!  No worries with a little improvisation the missing hand was converted and assembly continued!

 The model has a lot of spines and fiddly bit that would be difficult to paint in place so I elected to partially assemble and paint the model before finishing the assembly and adding top highlights and other details.
 For the Fantasy Version I took the same approach... minus launching a tiny hand into the ether...

Here are the primed models... the fantasy version in 11 parts and the Sci-Fi version in 6 parts.

The Sci-Fi version had easier access to the joints for painting so I was able to build it a little more prior to painting.

The Fantasy version is a bit tighter in the spines and... I decided at the last moment I wanted to put it on a 25mm square base... all of my 25mm square bases are in transit from Romania... DoH!

Fortunately they are scheduled to arrive tomorrow!... Unfortunately  I'll have to locate them in the huge pile o boxes... but thats a battle for another day!  The fantasy model is temporarily mounted on a 20mm square to help with painting it and I'll fix the base after.

I primed the models with Krylon Paint and Primer camo Tan.  everything seems to be going to plan so far....

I worked the base flesh just a bit with Forest Skin from the Malefic Skin tone set from Vallejo then moved on to the purples.

Base coat was Liquitex Soft Body Acrylic Brilliant Purple followed by a wash coat of Liquitex Deep Violet ink.

The ink covered has a really rich color!  I then went back to the brilliant purple adding a drop of ink to for layer highlights followed by another layer with a drop of CraftSmart White.  A final layer of pure Craft smart white was lightly dry-brushed.

I noticed after the fact that one of the little Pub Crawling Fantasy Mice from Reaper is Ogling the twin Excruciatri...  I can't imagine that ends well for him... poor chap!

The two models share a general pose and a flowing robe with lots of appendages but really are two completely different models!  Often different versions just have a techno gadget replace their main weapon or a different should pad... Raging Heroes went above and beyond to make these two models unique. I don't believe they share any common parts at all! .. and yet the unifying theme keeps them looking related to each other so.. score for RH!

 Some scale comparisons!

The two Slithiss and Shiveryah SF version.

Keep in mind the Fantasy Slithiss is bluetacked to that square base which is adding some height to the model.... It'll finish a little taller than the SF vesion but not as tall as it currently appears!

The twins and Canoness Veridyan from GW.

Now to prepare the house for the invasion of the boxes!  Its going to be a busy week but I'm hoping to sneak in some time to work on these!

Build it!
Paint it!
Play it!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Shiveryah SF version, Canoness Veridyan, and a SF Werewolf

 Shiveryah glided across the tiny village square her feet floating conveniently above the grime and mud of the slaughter.
Looking intently for a trace of her prize the Sorceress of the Blood Rain almost missed the faint stench of piety... almost too late she was upon the wounded warrior sister.  The shredded armored habit bore the sigils and colors of the Sisters of Eternal Mercy... probably the Order of the Poisoned Cup... the Poisoned Cup specialized in the collection and study of corruption rather than the indiscriminate cleansing of it.  Their presence here piqued Shiveryah's interest... 
the cloak Siveryah wore, the gruesomely aspected Cloak of Innocent Blood, was not only a prized relic of her house but a potent artifact in it own right.  It quickly enveloped her in a light bending shroud... she was invisible to all but the most arcane of sensors... most magic obfuscation are weak to strong Faith wielders but this one was specifically constructed with only the most incorruptible materials making it impervious to Faith based sight.  Its materials were uncomfortable for Shiveryah to wear but her tolerance for discomfort was... notable, even among the Void Elves of her Kabal who were famed for their excess.

Withdrawing a short distance she located both the embattled Sister's adversary and the target of her own mission.  Things were about to get interesting.

 Hopping back on the Raging Heroes train I managed to spend some time with they awesome Shiveryah SF version.  She becomes the First Sorceress of the Blood Rain Kabal.

I had a moment of panic when undercoating her I mistaken used a gloss finish paint/primer combo.  Surprisingly this covered really well and took paint with no trouble... whew!

Her "Cloak of Innocent Blood" came about because I painted the first coat.. to two?... with "Glistening Blood" from Army Painter which I had picked up with a batch of basic colors to get me through until the main hobby supplies arrive... It turns out to be sort of a technical, or effect, paint and had some interesting color and texture things going on.  It looks like it will be awesome for pools and rivulets of blood but isn't a good choice for smooth coverage of large ares because of its, completely intentional, texture.

 Next up is "The Beast" from Anvil Industries.  Its a nice Sci-Fi werewolf.  I like all the tech gizmos embedded in it and am going to call it Subject #7.

It is a lot smaller than the Raging Heroes werewolves, as are most other werewolf models out there, so I'm thinking of using it as a prototype experimental "Super Soldier"... escaped and looking for a place to be.

It was a fun model to paint, relatively clean casting and the resin is a nice mix that has sharp detail, is not overly brittle, and takes paint easily.

 Canoness Veridyan is a classic GW pose based on the art of Blanche... She's in finecast here and it behaved the way it usually does.

I really got to play around with a new water effect here, and on The Beast.  Vallejo Super Heavy Gel.  The stuff is pretty awesome so far.  almost sculpt-able it gave good running water effects on both these bases.  On Veridyan's base i have included a lot of random debris, grass clippings etc... all painted like necroplis debris and buried in the gel.  it has a choppy surface and has dried realtively hard and without the sticky surface that is an issue with some other water effects... like the GW Water Effect.  It'll take a few more experiments to see how reliable it is but I'm optimistic.

A size comparison between the Raging Heroes and Games Workshop models.

Veridyan comes with a 32mm base while Shiveryah is set on a 25mm base but I think the larger base is intended to indicate that Veridyan is equipped with Power Armour while Shiveryah is a lightly armored Space Elf.  Shiveryah is also floating above the base so seems a bit taller than Veridyan.