Heresy Miniatures Valkyrie – Heidi Sigrsdotter (Jewel of July ’18, The Temple of Morikun Painting Competition)

Heresy Miniatures Valkyrie - Heidi Sigrsdotter

This statuesque lass represents two things – firstly, my own participation for Morikun’s Competition celebrating the 1,000,000th visit to The Temple of Morikun blog. As well as (obviously) another Jewel of July for my own painting challenge. Now I’m not usually one for painting competitions these days. I have actually won a couple in the (distant) past, but the quality of competition these days is through the roof – and I’m rather pragmatic about painting competitions. If I don’t think I have a chance of winning, I don’t bother entering. I’m also realistic. I ain’t winning no Golden Demon or Crystal Brush. And so I don’t enter competitions. And I’m perfectly okay with all of that.

Heresy Miniatures Valkyrie - Heidi Sigrsdotter

Morikun’s one is a little different, in that there are roughly one billion prizes, so rather than feeling like it’s unpossible, it is actually quite possible to win some small thing. And with that, it feels more relaxed, more like a painting challenge – and as any reader of this blog knows, I’m definitely up for a painting challenge. There are other very cool challenges and competitions out there right now, with some bloody amazing work towards them, but I don’t feel that I have the time for complex kitbashes and conversions right now or anytime soon, so my participation in those is limited to just enjoying the posts and photos that they’re composed of.

Heresy Miniatures Valkyrie - Heidi Sigrsdotter

A bit annoying that the highlights and shading on the red of the cape haven’t turned out fully in the photos, but such is life. Anyway, the theme of Morikun’s competition is that of Ms. Morikun, represented by a feminine figure. I can get behind that, though I’d personally be dedicating my own model more towards Marouda, but like is like. Anyway, the best figures I could find for my oan aesthetic were some of my unpainted metal Adepta Sororitas, or a Shieldmaiden/Valkyrie. I went through my stash of Norsewomen, and decided to go big, picking out this model, Valkyrie – Heidi Sigrsdotter from Heresy Miniatures that I picked up with my last order to Andy.

Heresy Miniatures Valkyrie - Heidi Sigrsdotter

The colour scheme was something that developed pretty much organically, with no planning – I just went entirely by “feel” on this one. My only real concern was to ensure that the colours were in keeping with my actual viking models. The very “Thor” colour scheme was simply how it all turned out, which I noticed about 3/4 of the way through the model. Given the nature of the model, this was fine by me.

Heresy Miniatures Valkyrie - Heidi Sigrsdotter

One small painted change from the intent of the original sculpt I (sort of) made, was the upper chest. I genuinely thought that the breastplate continued up to under the model’s neck, where the cloak’s neck chain is. It wasn’t until partway through painting when I realised that it was meant to be a kind of comic book superheroine cleavage. So naturally I left it in the metallic colours I’d painted it in to represent armour. She doesn’t need a spear under the collarbone!

Heresy Miniatures Valkyrie - Heidi Sigrsdotter

So here we are – my submission to the Temple of Morikun and also another Jewel of July. July ends in a few hours, but the next couple of posts will be the remaining figures I finished over the final weekend in July, plus anything I manage to complete tonight before midnight.

Mithril Miniatures – Fimbrethil, Entwife (Jewel of July ’18, The Temple of Morikun Painting Competition)

Mithril Miniatures - Fimbrethil, Entwife

Fimbrethil had been missing since Sauron’s forces destroyed the gardens of the Entwives during the Second Age. At the time of the War of the Ring, Treebeard had not seen his beloved Fimbrethil for over three millennia.

I have a thing for Ents (hence my Avatar) and was drawn to this miniature because it is a female Ent and I think she looks quite cool and rather pretty.
I started the base coat back in 2010 and have since then worked on the flesh/wood tone on and off. I wanted to go for a light wood colour, her hair and flowers contrast nicely against the light wood. I am really happy with how the skin tone turned out the highlights especially on the face. I remember Azazel recommending that I read a painting guide/tutorial in a very old white dwarf on how to highlight/paint a face.

Mithril Miniatures - Fimbrethil, Entwife

I wanted to go for a red/yellow/orange autumn leaf colour for the hair, and lavender type colouring for the flowers and stems. The fine details made me nervous to paint and gave me an actual headache especially the flowers in her hair, I use a magnifying desk lamp to see/enlarge the detail. I was too scared of loading the brush so ended up using/putting too little paint on the brush, oh well better to be over cautious than be ham handed.

Mithril Miniatures - Fimbrethil, Entwife

The big motivator/push to get this miniature finally done was when Azazel mentioned a ‘competition’ and ‘prizes’ at The Temple of Morikun and I jumped on board. Although I did think of working on her for the ‘Fembrurary’ challenge earlier this year.

Mithril Miniatures - Fimbrethil, Entwife

Before this last week the model was just the skin. I have completed the rest over the last week or so.

Paint List:

Hair: Base Colour: is Citadel Troll Slayer Orange, highlight: Reaper Miniatures Golden Yellow. Wash: Citadel Baal Red

Bunch of Flowers: Base: The Army Painter Warpaints Alien purple.  Highlighting: Zombicide Toxic Boils. Wash: Purple Tone Ink Wash (Quickshade) The Army Painter.

Flowers in Hair: Base: Ultramarine Blue Game Colour. Highlight: Glacier Blue Game Colour.

The Skin Tone was done with browns and greys it was such a long time ago I can’t recall the exact paints. I remember it took me ages to do, the highlighting and shading. I think it put me off getting the rest of the model done. I think I need to take a lesson from Azazel’s book, it’s better to get a model to good enough and finished instead of trying to be a perfectionist and not get anything finished.

For the base, clay cat litter rocks for the stones and real twigs for the twigs/log. I picked out some light moss and some white and yellow flowers.

Mithril Miniatures - Fimbrethil, Entwife

This model is now out of production but can still be purchased from Mithril Miniatures. They have 38 still available when I last checked. Azazel told me that he bought this miniature back in the 80’s (before we had met) to use in Bloodbowl.

I am very happy that Azazel let me paint her, I think she looks beautiful. What do you think? She’s a bit heavy on the flower power, but I think she can get away with it.

Hopefully the next project wont take me 10 years to finish! I think admiring this one in the display cabinet should be motivation enough to get another model done. Maybe you guys can help me pick out my next project?

Zombicide Survivor: Red Cap Ben (Jewel of July ’18)

Zombicide Survivor: Red Cap Ben

Well, how do I followup yesterday’s post? With Zombicide, I guess. I finished this pair yesterday – Red Cap Ben in both his living and Zombvivor forms. Ben comes from the Zombicide Karl Kopinski Special Guest Box that also included Angry Mary, who got painted almost three years ago  …probably not far off when I started on Ben. It’s been awhile…

I wanted to try something a bit different for Ben’s pants. Going for both some splatter as well as bloodstaining. I think it turned out quite well, though the light colour of his trousers helped immeasurably. (If it were August, I could have counted that!)

Ben is… just some guy. We spent a bit of time when we first opened up that box speculating about if he was supposed to “be” somebody, or a reference to something, but nope. He appears to just be some guy who looks slightly backwoodsy and slightly homeless – but appears to be pretty well set for zombie survivalist expeditions. I might have gone for a machete rather than a hatchet (or better yet, both!) but I see the practicality of having an axe in a survivalist setting. Firewood doesn’t chop itself, after all.

Zombicide Survivor: Red Cap Ben

I need some new brush-on varnish, as his jacket and backpack have turned out a bit more shiny in the photos than IRL. I’ll probably need to bring him back in and do that as a touch-up. You know how this stuff really stands out in the photographs when the figure is blown up so much! You can kind of make out the blood trail and the smearing of blood on his base, though until I get a tripod for my phone (sadly, my new camera’s phone is now better than my Canon camera at miniatures photography!) – so I’m taking photos with the phone on the table (mostly) rather than elevated.

Zombicide Survivor: Red Cap Ben

Finally, I thought a comparison shot was in order, using a Space Marine – which is a handy guide for most people (yeah, not everyone!) to give a sense of scale and size for many of these boardgame figures I’ve been working on over the last month. Height-wise they’re much the same (taller even, once the bases are taken into account) but much more realistically proportioned, and what we call “truescale”. Which means annoyingly tiny heads when it comes to eyes and all those other small details. Oh, and I’ve heat-reset the Zombivor’s warped/bent shotgun several times. It just keeps going back…

If you’re planning on submitting a model for the Jewel of July Community Challenge, get them in ASAP – you’ve still got a couple of days to get the model done, and then a couple more to get them photographed and posted. Please ensure your model’s post(s) are linked to the comments in there so I can find them. Trust me, even if I’ve read and commented on your models, I’ll still bloody well forget when I’m sitting here assembling the post. Happened in the June Round-Up, it’s happened before then and it’ll happen again.

The next two days (June 30 and 31) should be Marouda’s and my own entries for the Painting Challenge/Contest of The 1,000,000 Visits to the Temple over at The Temple of Morikun. The deadline to which is the 31st of July.

Following that I have three more (so far) of my own July models to share, as I had a nice productive spurt yesterday morning after a couple of days off, and we’ll see if I can finish anything additional in the final two days. Then my own July Round-Up & my Jewel of July Round-Up, then the Jewel of July Community Round-Up.

Why do people complain about Games Workshop?

For context, I started writing a reply to ImperialRebelOrk’s post “Games Workshop vs Everyone Else“, but then when I realised that I’d written close to a thousand words in his comments box…. well, I figured I may as well make it into its own post and link back to IRO. It’s like a response video on YouTube. Only possibly less fun. :p

So why do people complain about GW? People tend to complain when there’s something they don’t like, and remain quiet when there is something that they do like. That much is just human nature.  GW has also built up quite a collection of people who love their products, but hate the company. This was common WAY back in the 1990’s and shows no sign of declining anytime soon or probably ever.

This is because:

Andy Chambers, Jake Thornton,

1) There’s obviously a large disconnect between the people in the studio and the suits who run the place. This isn’t any surprise to anyone, but there are a lot of “Workshop fans” who enjoy the product and background, and appreciate the creative people behind them – yet they dislike the company as it exists today.

What morphed from a somewhat relatable (sort-of) hobbyist-run business – especially if we skip the very early days under Livingstone and Jackson, which was a time when GW was completely unrecognisable to use today and move up to when Ansell (of Asgard Miniatures) took over Citadel in the first management buy-out (there’s a lot written about Bryan Ansell – I recommend Realm of Chaos 80’s) to a corporate business that was still sort-of consumer oriented to a much more aggressively corporate and anti-consumer attitude under Kirby (following the second management buy-out). The face has started to turn in the last couple of years with Rountree taking over from Kirby, but there are still serious problems…

2) off the back of 1), It’s become part of the “culture” of “GW fans”. Internet being internet, it becomes a self-renewing attitude when new players come in and discover places like Facebook, Dakka, many other forums and the social norms within. it’s the “cool” thing. Sorta.

Let’s face it – you’ll find this in pretty much any kind of fandom. Star Wars? Marvel? GW particularly has a LOT of “bitter ex” type gamers who just can’t move on and let go. Especially when you mention Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Age of Sigmar in the same sentence.

Not a stealth affiliate link. Just a normal link. Relax.

3) GW hasn’t exactly helped this attitude with various anti-consumer business practices over the decades. See things like their hostile and arrogant attitude towards consumers, bullshit regional pricing (AU, NZ, Japan, etc) with even more bullshit justifications and and endless stream of white knights who appear incapable of critical or even thought –  who simply defend their deity’s every action. The same bullshit you get from Playstation/Microsoft fanbois, nee Nintendo and Sega Fanboys back in the ’90s. The more things change…

Even outside of the non-US/European pricing bubble, the way that they reduced the content/number of figures in boxes while increasing the prices (the LotR range being one of the most egregious examples) is nothing but cynical and eventually led to losses that they very much deserved as fans and player abandoned them. This actually helped the industry as many gamers went elsewhere looking for their games and models, often from companies that had a “friendlier” perception. Note the rise of Warlord games, SAGA, Malifaux, Infinity and many more during this time.

GW also got a bit too aggressive when defending what they felt was their IP. Now, companies do face a “defend it or lose it” situation with intellectual property, but GW took it a few steps beyond by claiming a whole lot of names and concepts that fall very much into the public domain. Roman Numerals? Piles of Skulls? Arrows? The term “Space Marine”? Look up the Chapterhouse lawsuit – or even worse – the Spots the Space Marine case for a lot of detail and information on various things that GW attempted to claim that they “owned.” (links to both below). Failure in the Chapterhouse case is what led to protectable names and terms like “Aelf”, “Aeldari”, “Astra Militarium” and so forth. (did you know that “Eldar” is a term used by JRR Tolkien long before Games Workshop existed? Or that Napoleon had an Imperial Guard long before White Dwarf 110 or so changed 40k’s Imperial Army to the Imperial Guard?)

This ties into the “it’s a business” argument/defence – yes, they’re there to make money – most all businesses are – but there are plenty of ways to make money that do not unnecessarily antagonise your actual customers and fanbase. In retrospect, Tom Kirby’s reign was not a good one. Even the “new GW” is far from perfect, but the bar was honestly set so low by Kirby’s eventual attitude and the damage that it did to the company management and their attitude to their consumers that they currently seem super nice. Over the years (decades, actually) of this mentality becoming increasingly pervasive, 1) and 2) got far, far worse.

They are indeed a lot better now, but they’re still far from perfect or beyond reproach.

Amazingly, NOT perfect in every way to every person.

4) The other side now – You can’t please everyone. This ties into what is called “entitlement mentality”. Look at Kill Team – see how many people in the lead-up  indicated on various forums and discussion groups that because this newly-announced-but-at-the-time-not-yet-played-by-any-one-of-us game contains a specific thing, or doesn’t contain a specific thing that they wanted that “they’re out!” or worse. From “6 exclusive cards” that would be trivial at worst to get hold of – to not having any of a few factions (Assassins and Custodes for example would be worse than Spyrers in OldNecro – and it would make no sense to release rules for Sisters – which you can barely purchase – only to change them entirely to match the new, upcoming range in 6-12 months), lack of new troop models, lack of hero models, potential use of E2B vs lack of new E2B sculpts.. it goes on and on.

It can be hard to match the expectation of perfection that someone creates in their head. Especially since perfection is impossible.

 

5) Culture of outrage. This is again, all over the internet and not exclusive to GW, but people these days online actively look for things to be outraged by as a form of entertainment and social acceptance. Ties heavily into #3 above. Find something you don’t like, then be fucking outraged that a think you don’t like it totally agree with dares to exist. Enjoy your moral superiority until you get bored, then repeat.

OMFG! The Horror!

6) All of that is without getting into people with actual issues – though this often ties directly into 5) above. Like the people (including one specific otherwise-intelligent and prominent YouTuber, rather disappointingly) who got bent out of shape because of those kids’ books being set in the 41st Millennium – because it’s not a nice place as things like Servitors and Black Ships are part of their society and won’t somebody think of the children?

lovejoy3

Ever heard of this place called Earth? Pick any year and I’ll show you some fucking horrific atrocities taking place – also – it’s all real

Oh, the only “resource” being used there is money, and GW has plenty of that right now. Books are written by freelancers, not the design studio. Nothing important is being diverted from that thing that you want them to make so they can write some books for kids. I was a kid when I got into Warhammer as well. You think this is all serious adult content for mature adults? Think again. It’s just toy soldiers with a quality aesthetic and an interesting backstory.

Even worse are the MRA types getting upset because not everyone who doesn’t have green skin isn’t a gruff white male anymore and we can’t have any goddamned fucking GIRLS or NONWHITES shitting up our special (white) boys-only treehouse anymore. The exact same thing is happening with Star Wars, videogames, and presumably comics and other “geek culture” as it goes more mainstream.

This very last group is probably the easiest to ignore, because just fuck those guys.

Here’s the thing, though. Of course, not everyone needs to like everything, and people should feel allowed to express a dislike of something just as much as a like. I have a lot of criticisms of Workshop, and I hardly expect them to be sending me a free copy of Adeptus Titanicus as an “influencer”, but honestly GW do get more than their fair share of criticism in many ways. Much of it is well deserved, but much of it is also just #2/3/4/6 as described above.

Mommy, where did Chaos come from? What about Dark Elves? (not Drow!)

As an aside – someone in IRO’s comments made a point of other companies like Vic Minis etc “ripping off GW’s IP”. he wasn’t the first, and this does need to be addressed here.

Doing the very same is what GW was originally built on and continues to be built on. You know. Tolkien, firstly and obviously. In SO MANY WAYS. Star Wars. Moorcock.  Giger. Aliens. TerminatorHeinlein, Herbert. Judge Dredd and more broadly 2000AD. Anime & Mecha. Battletech. Dungeons and Dragons. RuneQuest. Anything and everything from history from the Holy Roman Empire to Prussians to WWII to Cruella de fucking Vil and Rambo. Now I’m all for little in-jokes and bits of fan service, but that shit can’t only go one way.

Valhallan Ice Warrior. Yesterday. (Copyright Games Workshop)

The accusation towards Vic is particularly laughable, as she primarily deals in not-Imperial Guard, and the regiments that she’s “ripped off” from GW were ripped directly from history by GW themselves…

Mordian Iron Guard officer uniforms, 1902-1907 (Copyright Games Workshop)

Have some links. Edumacate yourselves. If you like.

Chapterhouse @1D4chan

Chapterhouse Pt1 @Dakka

Chapterhouse Lawsuit thread @Dakka (243 pages, have some spare time!)

Spots the Space Marine @EFF

Mythic Battles: Pantheon – Ruined Pillars

Mythic Battles: Pantheon - Ruined Pillars

An unexciting one today. The ruined pillars from the Mythic Battles: Pantheon Kickstarter. While cleaning up some stuff the other week, I found the box shown below – and since a lot of scatter terrain is relatively quick and simple to paint up…
Mythic Battles: Pantheon - Ruined Pillars
I went for a slightly yellowed look rather than white marble based on some photos that image search turned up, along with the fact that they will mostly be used as outdoor ruins. Again, since they’re boardgame terrain I avoided really going to town with dirt, moss, vines and so forth as I might have in a diorama situation. Not quite as yellowed as the photo I’ve thrown up there, and I know the yellow/sandstone look can be a trick of the light – depending on where the photos are taken for the material they’re made of as well as the time of day – I’m going for a pretty generic emulation of that particular look, and the browns also provide the weathering.
Mythic Battles: Pantheon - Ruined Pillars
Since I don’t yet have any of the Mythic Battles figures painted yet, I took the showcase/size pic with a couple of Barbarians and a couple of Monolith’s Conan figures.

 

Star Wars Imperial Assault: IG-88 (Jewel of July ’18)

Star Wars Imperial Assault: IG-88

Here’s one for the books. I painted IG-88 last week, but still needed to varnish it when we played Imperial Assault this weekend. We happened to draw IG-88’s side mission, and so used the WotC prepaint model as a proxy. We succeeded in the mission, defeating IG-88, and thereby removing IG-88 from the campaign. Sunday I got to varnish the model. So… now it goes on the shelf. 😡

L-R: Dengar, IG-88, Boba Fett.

Star Wars Imperial Assault: IG-88 Star Wars Imperial Assault: IG-88

Star Wars Imperial Assault: IG-88

Star Wars Imperial Assault: IG-88, Gaarkhan

IG-88 and Gaarkhan reenacting a scene from last weekend’s game.

IG-88 is a pretty simple model, and was a quick and easy paint. Once again, I checked out Sorastro’s YouTube painting guides for ideas and used his “OSL glaze” concept, giving IG-88’s left side a subtle red shade and it’s right side a subtle blue shade – just to add some interest in what would otherwise be a pretty plain model (even though I tried to oil-stain it up a bit as well!)

August 2018 Hobby Challenge: Technical August

Everyone seems to love this guy, and he’s an example of animal-print freehanding, so I thought I’d give him another moment.

So this next month I want to try something different from just Neglected models and Unit painting, that’s still open enough to incorporate a wide range of projects and models that this little blogging community takes part in – and to try to keep it interesting.

So we’re going to have “Technical August”, where the objective is to use techniques that stretch you a little, that you want to improve on, or are entirely new.

Depending on each painter, their experience, skills, expertise in different techniques and comfort level, that can include pretty much anything and everything. It really will depend on each person’s own choice.

Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about: This could include anything from:

  • using washes or drybrushing
  • freehand designs – icons, tattoos, embroidery, animal hide and fur patterns
  • glazing
  • working with metallics
  • using those colour shift paints that GreenStuffWorld released
  • heat effects – “internal flame” glow, metal heat discolouration, etc
  • magical/spell/energy effects, plasma glow…
  • airbrushing
  • using the gemstone paints or any other of the newish lines of technical or clear or transparent paints from Citadel, Vallejo, Army Painter, etc – from clear red to rust.
  • freehanding gems or lenses
  • OSL (object source lighting)
  • blending
  • wet blending
  • creating or painting standards and banners
  • wire work – aerials or replacing weapon shafts or…
  • zenithal highlighting
  • scratch-building
  • using clump foliage
  • water effects
  • making trees or other foliage
  • using decals
  • modelling using clear resin
  • achieving patinas
  • weathering effects, including weathering powders
  • edge highlighting
  • vehicle weathering
  • basing techniques

and so on – this is not an exhaustive list by any means – just a set of examples to give you the idea. It’s about using new techniques and working on techniques you may have done some work on but want to continue to improve and stretch yourself. A simple way to look at it would be to ask yourself “Am I already an expert at this technique? Can I improve on it or learn to do it more effectively?” – based on those answers, you’ll know if it qualifies for this challenge for you.

A lot of those are quite straightforward, and you’ll know if they’re something that you both want to do and can work on. If you’re not sure if a model or project will “count” – think about it in this way. Is there a model or scenic piece or whatever that you’ve either started or wanted to start, but have gotten stuck (or not started) because you’re concerned that you’ll screw it up because of this or that technique because you haven’t really done it much, or often enough to be comfortable or even at all? Does it make you nervous? If the answer to any of those is yes, then you know the answer.

Speaking for myself, I’m far from an expert at all of the above examples, and really have no skill or experience in several of them – but as you know, I like to get models that I’m working on anyway – or stuck on finished, so I had to stop and think about what I might be able to do for this one.

After a bit of reflection, I came up with several projects that would count – three of them scenic ones that have been extremely slow going, a whole bunch of armoured vehicles from both WWII and 40k – you’ll notice I don’t get many vehicles (or larger scenery pieces) done – there’s a reason for that! I also came up with ways that a couple of the larger monsters that have been slow, slow going could work.

Hopefully, whether you’ve been modelling for years and have just won several placements at a model show, or if you used to work as a painter for Games Workshop and Warlord Games, or if you’re an absolute beginner who has just moved from, say South Africa to, say, the Netherlands to finally be with your new wife – this should be a month that you can find something for you in!

The following month of September will be a slight tweak of the Neglected Models concept into Neglected Projects (this will include everything from single models as well as bigger stuff, terrain, dios, builds, parts of modular models, etc – but I’ll write it up in more detail and post it about a week before September.)

October will be Completing Units again, and I’ll finalise November and December’s when we get closer!

One last thing – if you have something that you want included in the Jewel of July Community Round-Up, remember to post a link in or to the Announcement Post (as long as I get a trackback or can find it easily via a link of some kind from the comments of that post, it’s all good)