Shadows of Brimstone: Feral Vampires + Contrast Paint Experiment #9 (Squaddie September ’19)

Shadows of Brimstone: Feral Vampires

A several day break and then more Shadows of Brimstone models! Am I trying to tank my blog’s views? Half-jokes aside, once again these aren’t good models. The good old “easy wins” motivation based on them being quite simple looking on sprue, plus the chance to try out the Contrast Paints in a much more involved way got these going. I went with the three different coloured coats for the dual purposes of variaton, as well as (3) grunts, (2) elites, (1) leader should that kind of breakdown ever be needed. I left dark red available in case I have the resin “hero” figure somewhere in the mess of a Kickstarter delivery that this game had.

The official package (which I didn’t get – because Kickstarter) artwork quality is straight from RPG sourcebooks circa 1992.

Painting was pretty simple. They were all sprayed Grey Seer and I basecoated the coats in Contrast Dark Angels Green, Ultramarines Blue and.. um.. one of the browns. Gore-Grunta Fur maybe? Unfortunately, it looked …a bit shit. So I gave all three types some drybrushing to add some nice nuance to the colour and then a wash to finish. Yes, Contrast by itself wasn’t good enough for these shitty models. To be fair, I blame the sculpts as much as the paint. Thinned (with Medium) purple for their heads, snakebite leather over a yellow-white for the nails and teeth, and some Blood Angels Red for their mouths and the blood effects there – which was originally a bit of slop on the first couple that I intended to overpaint, before I decided to keep it and go with it on the rest. That’s pretty much it.

Shadows of Brimstone: Feral Vampires

So what did the Contrast paint add to the process of painting these models? Well, I guess motivation was a big part. They’re pretty mediocre models, so the idea of spending normal amounts of time painting them in the normal manner did not appeal at all, while simpletown Contrast painting did. Could I have gotten pretty much the same effect if I’d used traditional paints on these, as well as thinning my Army Painter Purple wash for the skin? Yeah, pretty much, although a bunch of their native shading is still quite evident on these models. On these, though – the Contrast Paints special powers are pretty negligible because I wasn’t satisfied with how they came out.

Shadows of Brimstone: Feral Vampires

But that’s really what I’m working out here. I’ve painted for over thirty years using basically the same methods, or more accurately, building on the same methods I learned as a kid/teen. Now these new paints have come along – and despite what too many people with more mouth than experience will tell you (especially on places like Dakka) – are not exactly the same as painting with washes or Les Bursley’s custom washes. They have similarities for sure, but they are different, and because I don’t have my head up my arsehole – I see a new set of tools and am figuring out how to use them and where and how they fit in my workflow.

Aside from “dedicated” models like these, I do find them really useful for small spot-points of shading, as they’re denser than traditional washes but more translucent than paint washes, and I’m finding that a lot of them are getting regular use in that manner.

As for these models? In the end, I have six more not-good-but-not-terrible completed models for the boardgame and any other use that might come up on the tabletop. Now to prep another little batch of nonsensical Brimstone models for the next lot…

Shadows of Brimstone: Scourge Rat’s Nest (Small Scenics)

Shadows of Brimstone Scourge Rat's Nest

Another slightly crappy Shadows of Brimstone model again today. One that’s both Neglected and Terrain and is also so uninspiring that it’s missed several challenges of each type at this point before I drove myself to complete it and just bloody get rid of it from my painting desk the other week. Truth be told, I didn’t even know what it was – I’d assumed it was some sort of beaver Dam for some reason – and painted it as such. It wasn’t until literally moments before typing this sentence that the resuls of 5 minutes googling told me what it actually is. A Rat’s Nest.

How could I be such a dumbarse? Well, because the Kickstarter was run back in 2013 with a projected ship date of August 2014. They finally delivered Wave One in 2016, with Wave 2 in 2017, and most of the stuff (especially Wave 1) was delivered via a box of unlabelled baggied sprues in a box. Truth be told, I still don’t know if I got everything as inventorying that mess was never going to take less than a full day of stressful cross-checking with online lists and guesswork as to what the fuck things actually were/are.

Shadows of Brimstone Scourge Rat's Nest

In an attempt to make it alook a little better, I initially based it on a 60mm flat round (aka old-school Titan base) and glued some offcut plastic tabs to it, to essentially sharpen up the super-soft details. Now that you know they’re there, they really stand out as offcuts. But they didn’t before I told you – which is kinda the point. Anyway, it looks ok. Good enough for a rough tabletop look, anyway. I might add some moss to it, but truth be told I don’t really want to waste my moss tufts on this thing, so…

Most importantly. It’s done and off the painting desk! Hurrah!!

Shadows of Brimstone: Dark Stone Brutes + Contrast Paint Experiment #4

Shadows of Brimstone Dark Stone Brutes

Today we have a few more Shadows of Brimstone models. These aren’t good models, though. In fact, they’re some of the models that gave Brimstone’s first releases such a …mixed-to-poor reputation, despite being made of “proper” HIPS plastic. But yeah, these make models like the Feral Kin/Werewolves look positively amazing, depite those also being low-detail models that only go together one way. As with a great many of the Brimstone models I’ve painted to date, they did get pulled from the big box of sprues in plastic baggies was because they looked like they’d be “easy wins” – models that would be straightforward and uncomplicated – in other words, easy to paint.

Shadows of Brimstone Dark Stone Brutes

As it turned out, they looked even worse than I expected once I had them clipped and then glued. really soft detail all around. So they sat there for.. quite awhile. Then, the Contrast Paints arrived, and I knew I had the perfect way to get these things the hell off my desk – seeing how they work on what are basically, soft-detail models that are bad from a technical point of view, completely aside from their aesthetic aspects. I originally planned to paint their “rock” sides as yellowish stone, in homage to The ever-lovin, blue-eyed Thing, but after referencing the box art and some other people’s painted models, I decided on the greenish grey in the Contrast Range instead.

Now, I’m no slave to Box Art, but these aren’t figures I care about, so im’a (is that how you spell it?) “save” Ben Grimm for a figure I can give a shit about. As opposed to just looking like shit. Besides, they’re called Dark Stone Brutes, so… whatever. So I used three different Contrast paints for their trousers, three others for their shirts, Guilliman Flesh for their faces, and Gryph-Charger Grey for their “rocks”. Then a bit of drybrushing and the tiniest bit of normal painting to finish the face, eyes, hair and hands.

The Warpstone or whatever it is is Greenstuff World’s Colour-Shift green because I forgot the colour I used last time on the Hydra, and thought it was green rather than purple. They’re shaded with purple, but again – whatever.

Shadows of Brimstone Dark Stone Brutes

But Azazel? Surely the detail on these models isn’t that bad? Well, here’s a size comparison for you. They’re pretty solidly big. You can see how they stack up for size compared to a normal Space Marine, a Primaris and a normal Human (Hasslefree).

So what does this show? Well, most obviously, Contrast Paints can help you get models painted quickly and in many cases look pretty good, but on poor quality models, they’ll do nothing more than speed the painting up. I mean, this is what I expected anyway because my view of these paints has been as simply another tool the entire time.

Now, could I – or anyone else who is willing to put the time in make these look amazing via putting in a lot of time with traditional methods and added freehand? Of course! But the fact is that in that case you can make a post-it note look amazing, or an egg. Or.. well, you get the idea. I get it that there are people out there who want to really put their best efforts into each and every model that they paint. I get it. That used to be me, too. Now, a decade or three on, and with an ever-expanding number of models to paint, I see the folly in that attitude – at least for me (and because I keep buying models!)

So now it’s more of a Triage situation. Models like these only get painted because they’re for a game I actually want to play, and they’re multiparts, so they need to be assembled, if not painted. So a quick and dirty paintjob is what the shitty models get because they’re not worth my (limited) time to care about all that much. These only got bumped up because I was curious about using Contrast on them, and wanting to see how the actual colours of them with my own eye, as well as a little more experience in applying them before I get to models I might care about. By these metrics, these Sow’s Ears that still look nothing like Silk Purses are a success.

They still look pretty shit, though. The only thing I actually like are the desert bases!

Shadows of Brimstone: Wasteland Terralisk (Neglected Model June ’19) + Contrast Paint Experiment #3

Shadows of Brimstone: Wasteland Terralisk, Citadel Contrast Paint

Another of the larger-but-simpler models from Shadows of Brimstone today. It’s the Wasteland Terralisk! Unlike, well, quite a lot of the other original Brimstone models, this one is not bad at all. (You should see the trio of garbage Brimstone models I just finished! – Well, you will after I finish June’s stuff…)

Shadows of Brimstone: Wasteland Terralisk, Citadel Contrast Paint

The other thing of note is that this one is painted largely with GW’s new Contrast Paints. The model is really in four main painting “Sectors”, which made it ideal for playing with Contrast. The tentacle-tongue, the soft(?) underbelly, the carapace & claws, and finally the base.

Shadows of Brimstone: Wasteland Terralisk, Citadel Contrast Paint

The base was painted in the traiditional manner, with a coat of sand for texture, since the sculpted texture was weaksauce, so don’t worry about that. The Tongue was Super Easy, Barely an Inconvenience. One coat of Contrast Volupus Pink over Wraithbone Primer, and that was it! Perhaps not quite as nice as if I’d used my normal techniques, but for something like a tentacle-tongue, well, this isn’t a mile off what I might try, and it was much, much faster! The Underbelly was done with Contrast Aggaros Dunes – and again just a matter of painting the stuff on initially. After it was fully dry, I gave it a light drybrush with a sandy ochre colour.

Shadows of Brimstone: Wasteland Terralisk, Citadel Contrast Paint

The carapace, face and widdle claw-arms were similarly done with Contrast Snakebite Leather over the Wraithbone primer. I first darkened the tips of the claws before applying the contrast. For the face, I painted the “skull-face” section with Contrast Medium first, and then bleneded the Snakebite Leather down into it. I did this in order to preserve the skull face and have it be a bit lighter, to keep it as the focal point of the model. Once the Snakebite Leather had dried, I drybrushed all of those areas with a very pale sand/off-white colour. Following that, I went and re-darkened the tips of the claws as well as the spiniest part of the back carapace by carefully drybrushing with black. Teeth and Eyes I painted in the traditional manner.

I only took colour inspiration from the box art in the most coincidental way this time. This was because KS backers didn’t get a box (we got a sprue in a plastic baggie) and because I didn’t look for the artwork as I wanted to play with the Contrast Paints once I finally pulled my finger out and started painting it. (It’d been assembled and primed for …fucking ages.) Good thing, too, since the artwork colours are …rather basic.

Shadows of Brimstone: Wasteland Terralisk, Sand Crabs, Citadel Contrast Paint

Scale Shot Provides Scale.

I took some video with my phone of the process, though I’m not sure if I can be arsed editing it together, cringing at my own voice, or posting it up on the You Tubes, but either way, the text here tells the story ina  reasonable manner. Ultimately, the Contrast paints worked really well on this model, one that is entirely organic shapes with decent enough detail. On models like this (and stuff like dinosaurs, etc) these paints will really shine. Could I have done better painting tradtionally? Sure, I really think I could have. Would I have bothered? I honestly can’t say if I’d have put enough effort in to do so, though. Being completely honest, this model had already sat for more than 6 months with no movement, but the Contrast Paints’ arrival were what got me motivated to get the model painted. Sure, being a test subject was part of that – but so was “I wonder how fast I can paint that sucker and still have it come out decent”. With these paints, the mst painful part of the model was the base!

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin (Squad: March! ’19, Gender-Ambiguous Model Painting Challenge ’19)

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin

More Shadows of Brimstone models this time. In fact, this set of models that helped to inspire the Gender-Ambiguous Challenge for March, so they’re a nice little set that covers both the Squad Challenge from March as well as the Gender Challenge.

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin

These Brimstone models also suffered from the “shitty HIPS model” syndrome that I’ve complained about a few times. The main culprit with these being that they came in only two poses, with no body interchangability between them. Yes folks, despite being made of three parts (hips, torso, head) the torsos only fit their own specific set of legs. Because I wanted slightly fewer clones, I took a hobby knife to the plastic, along with the minimum amount of putty repair that I could manage to swap a few of them around. Rookie mistake! Let’s be perfectly honest, though – the only reason that these sprues got removed from the box was because I saw them as “easy wins” – models that could be painted up relatively quickly and easily. Because they’re just fur, basically!

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin

At one point in the month, if I were posting more frequently, these would have been posted as two separate units of three, as the Brown Trio and then the Grey/Black Trio, especially as both subsets were completed nearly a week apart. No matter now, though.

The main reasons I painted them in these two (well, three) overall schemes was to provide differentiation if it was needed. As I (still) haven’t gotten around to playing SoB yet, I’m not sure if it used the “elites” concept for larger numbers of mobs in the same way that, say, Descent or Imperial Assault do. It also lets me do the same if it ever becomes needed in any other game, with an Alpha, two Betas or lieutenants, and then the brown trio being the more general pack (were)wolves.

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin

These models were also the first ones that I tried a new can of Spray Varnish from AK Interactive. I don’t have any nice things to say about that experience, but I’ll have a review of the AK cans up hopefully sooner than later, sometime this month when I have a spare post slot. The one spoiler I’ll give is that I had to respray these after trying the AK…

Shadows of Brimstone: Werewolf Feral Kin

That’s basically it for today’s post – another six Brimstone models done and done. That might be it for my March models. I’ll have to check.

Because of all the shit that’s gone down IRL recently, I’ll figure out if I have any more not-yet-posted March models, then I’ll do my round-up, and then I’ll start putting together the Community Round-up that will be done when it’s done. I’ve (hopefully) got to pick Dad up from Hospital on Monday, but before (and after) that, I still need to visit him daily for awhile, and of course there’s other family bullshit that’s just appeared. Then on the distract myself with entertainment so I don’t throw a chair through a fucking window side, there’s NXT Takeover that I need to catch up on, the NJPW/RoH show Sunday morning, and something like 8-10 hours of Wrestlemania on Monday that will probably take 2-3 days to watch because fuck that’s a lot of wrestling in a short amount of time. All of these things will delay the Community Round-Up.

C’est la vie.

Shadows of Brimstone: Dark Stone Hydra (#Monstermarch3 ’19, Gender-Ambiguous March ’19)

Shadows of Brimstone: Dark Stone Hydra

Another model from big shipper box of random Shadows of Brimstone stuff today. It’s the Dark Stone Hydra!

Shadows of Brimstone: Dark Stone Hydra

Another in the series of simple Brimstone models that I’ve worked on, this one feels very “rattlesnake” in its sculpt.

Shadows of Brimstone: Dark Stone Hydra

The Dark Stone Hydra really is a bad model, and a prime example of why the initial run of Shadow of Brimstone models copped so much shit when they were first received by backers.

This model got started quite a few months ago, but was so uninspiring that it just sat in a tub with half a base-coat and a wash on the lower scales, literally for months until I saw it in there the other day and thought I should try to knock it out for Monster March. I mean, it could just as easily be a Neglected Model Month model, but MM is what prompted me to get it out and finish it, so credit goes to Swordmaster of Hoeth there. – This is also why, despite running my own painting challenges each month, I also try to join in a few of other people’s ones. Because it works to spike motivation. Turns out that it also fits in with the Gender-Ambiguous challenge that I am running here as well, so double-win.

Shadows of Brimstone: Dark Stone Hydra

Because of the whole rattlesnake thing, I decided to paint the model in a similar manner, though having to work around the wonky sculpt added some difficulty. I mean, the easy thing would have been to go with “man paints snake green” and it would have looked fine, but I always think models that look more natural in their colouration (if not anatomy) tend to look a bit better. So I looked up some rattlesnake images on google image search and tried to make them fit the sculpt. With some difficulty because of the XXL-sized scales, initially, until later I just decided to ignore them. I didn’t even think to look up the box art (for what look like airbrushed lines on the body) until I was wondering about the crystals/stones embedded in it’s hide (and for it’s “rattle”.) Purple, huh?

Shadows of Brimstone: Dark Stone Hydra

I often forget scale shots, especially for critters that look like they could be various sizes, so here it is, next to a Space Marine.

Shadows of Brimstone: Swamp Raptor of Jargono

Shadows of Brimstone: Swamp Raptor of Jargono

Another model from my big shipper box of Shadows of Brimstone sprues today. It’s the Swamp Raptor of Jargono!

Shadows of Brimstone: Swamp Raptor of Jargono

Like pretty much all of the Brimstone Models I’ve worked with to this point, it’s a pretty simple model, all in all – though not a bad one.

The Swamp Raptor box doesn’t come with an included Barbarian Bikini Babe. At least to my knowledge. I’m pretty sure she’s not even a playable character, NPC or even enemy type in the game, so I dunno what Flying Frog were thinking there?

Shadows of Brimstone: Swamp Raptor of Jargono

Given that the model is supposed to be a Swamp Raptor, I also ignored the colourful rendition on the box art and went instead for a darker green look. Trying to straddle that line between overly-realistic dullness and bright enough to be interesting tabletop miniature. I also swapped out the pitifully small, round Flying Frog base for a larger oval that fits the model much more nicelty, while allowing some space for rocks and some foliage.

Shadows of Brimstone: Swamp Raptor of Jargono

To this end, I incorporated some striping, though the washes, highlighting and shading makes the striping blend in much more than originally envisioned.

Shadows of Brimstone: Swamp Raptor of Jargono

The tonal variation on the teeth is there, they just didn’t come out in the photograph. You can kinda see it in the claws at least, though again, nicer in real life. I really need to get better at photography, though it’s a little trickier with larger models like this – and of course, what looks fine onscreen can look less fine on the PC, later.

Shadows of Brimstone: Swamp Raptor of Jargono

I added some yellow to the dorsal crest and the tail. Again, trying to straddle that like between ambush predator and way too colourful. A yellow glaze and some yellow into the green highlights brightened the crest up a little without going fully neon.

Shadows of Brimstone: Swamp Raptor of Jargono

Scale shot! Dwarf Slayers attack the Raptor, seeking a Mighty Doom!