Two more 4th Edition Dwarven Giant Slayers (1993-4)

Having finished the last of the Marauder Slayers the other day, we move to another pair of the Citadel Giant Slayers.

Citadel Giant Slayers 1993-1994

This pair has gotten a slightly more natural shade of orange for their hair than many of the others. Whether they used a different dye or theirs has simply washed out somewhat, when mixed into the units, they’ll help to offer some variance while still maintaining the visual coherency with the others.

Citadel Giant Slayers 1993-1994

As with the last half-dozen or so slayers that I’ve finished, I’ve attempted to again vary the stripey trouser just slightly from the neverending run of identical blue stripes. Clearly not by a lot, but again it’s simply about adding a little bit of variation into the unit so they still look like a unit but not entirely homogenised and uniform. They’re not a freshly-raised unit of Napoleonic Chasseurs, after all.

Citadel Giant Slayers 1993-1994

I’m quite pleased with how the tattoos came out on this pair as well. That’s one thing that this project has really helped me with. Well, two. I can now paint many variations of orange-to-ginger hair pretty much with my eyes closed. I’ll have some command guys photographed and posted hopefully within a few days, and then I need to start getting some group shots of the Slayers (and Vikings, and others) taken and posted!

Inconsequential Things

As I get older, I come to the realisation about many things in my life. I’ll probably never get around to watching all the TV shows I’d like to. Likewise with movies. I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to playing all of the board and miniature games I’ve bought – and I know I’ll never finish all of the PC, 360 and PS3 games I’ve bought. I also realise that I’ll probably never get around to painting all of the models I own – yet, as with all of these things – I continue to collect and accumulate more and more of them – on a weekly basis.

So what does this mean for painting? Well, there are two main roads I can go down. Either I can try to paint better, and spend all my time trying to learn new techniques, increase my skills, and improve all elements of my game. My friend Cash Wiley is one such painter, who has come along incredibly in terms of skill in the last two or so years. However, Cash only finishes a relative few figures per year – albeit to a high standard that is increasing all of the time. My (failed) target last year was 365, and I’m on my second attempt for 365 this year. The other path is that of simply getting shit finished and onto the table. Because you know what? “Good enough” is actually good enough from four feet away when each individual in a block of 10 or 20 or 40 really isn’t all that important and doesn’t need to be anywhere near your best work. I’ve been reading the Bolt Action and Hail Caesar rulebooks over the past few evenings, and almost all of the sumptuous models in those books, in the evocative and atmospheric photos simply don’t pass muster as display models. Yet, ranked up or walking through hedgerows in the close-up photos in those books, they still manage to look fucking amazing.

So what for me? I won a few painting comps in my youth – my best and most amusing being equal first with myself (they couldn’t choose which of my two figures they liked the best) at CanCon back in 1992. I should photograph and post those guys sometime, too. But with father time and my own inevitable demise starting to make themselves felt, I’ve decided that every model can’t be my best model. As readers would have seen with the recent speedpaints of Zombies and, erm, more Zombies, and the Treeman and the Bolt Throwers, I’ve been going for speed lately. I think really though, my path as a painter needs to go down the middle. I need to finish stuff. Now more than ever really, especially with my games table now being a thing that exists. I also need to take time out from mass production and speed-blasting through stuff from time to time to work on individual figures with details and freehand, for the soul of it all.

This post, aside from reading a bit like a teenage girl’s diary or a man in midlife crisis (neither of which is totally accurate :p), is mostly a chance to show off a bunch of stuff I’ve gotten done this year. Nothing amazing or outstanding. Inconsequential things really. Much of it is scenery, and in the scheme of it all, none of it is really important. But it’s a bunch of stuff that got done, and in that, it’s good enough. The plan is to photograph everything that I finish this year, and eventually to photograph everything that’s painted in my collection. That last part might take some time.

Mid-90’s GW Dryads.

These guys are some Dryads that I was either given or sold quite cheap by a friend back in the mid-90s. I’m not sure why I wanted them, so they must have been cheap or free. I think they may actually be recasts, given how malformed some of them are. Anyway, I found them in the bottom of a box of figures recently, and since I was able to finish the Bones Ent/Spirit of the Forest in a day recently, I thought I’d try and knock these up quickly as well in a similar manner. While they’re no works of art up close, they’ll look fine from across the table in KoW or in a game of Pathfinder, etc. A good example of “good enough”!

DUST Quonset Huts

Dust Quonset Huts

The Quonset huts I previewed a few posts ago when I cracked open some of the DUST Tactice expansion boxes. These painted up pretty quickly. I went with a worn desert scheme since my main mat is a desert mat. It also seems to be the most appropriate colour for moderns, and of course works just fine for WWII and 40k. I need to buy another couple of packs of these – they’re pretty great as well as inexpensive.

DUST Quonset Hut with Space Marine for scale.

Dark Angel Marine charges out of the Quonset Hut doorway.

I also took a couple of pics featuring a GW Space Marine, since they’re so ubiquitous that they’re very useful for establishing scale for this sort of thing. I’m sure the Dark Angels have some fights around these huts in their future!

Aged statues.

Here we have four statues made from random miniatures, some short resin columns that were no doubt in a bargain bin, and some plaques made from card. These were all originally made about 8-10 or so years ago. The writing is all painted freehand, and comes from an English-Greek dictionary, and an English-Russian dictionary. Naturally, I can’t recall what they actually say so many years later. This year’s work on them has been to “dirty them up” as they were way too clean – hence the dirt and wear on the stone, and the verdigris on the statues – which was my first play with the new Citadel Technical Paint “Nihilakh Oxide”. Verdict: It’s okay.

Resin wooden barrels.

Resin wooden barrels. Chronopia figures for scale.

These barrels were started years and years ago. When? Who can remember. The important thing is that they’re finished now. I had a bit of fun (back when I started them) freehanding the cans on the two smaller sets. I’ve included the second pic with the Chronopia figures for scale – the barrels are a good size for both roleplaying as well as various types of wargaming. Sadly, I found several more of them in a box this evening. So.. more to come, more to go. After a bit of Internet Detective work, (and using my memory) I found the barrels, which are still available, over at Scotia Grendel Miniatures.

Battle for Macragge Power Pylons

Power Pylon things from the 4th Edition 40k starter set: Battle for Macragge. I just added the tufts to these this year, and that’s too little for me to count them as part of this year’s tally (they were only finished last year). They were sitting next to a bunch of the other stuff I grabbed to photograph tonight, so they got a pic taken as well, since they fit the theme of this post, and as stated, I want to eventually photograph and post everything.

Trapdoors and Grates.

More random resin stuff from my dark past. Dungeon scenery stuff this time, along with two trapdoors from the GW Lord of the Rings Mines of Moria boxed set. The usual drybrushing and so forth, of course, but with the addition of oil-based MIG rust washes added. An example of wanting to knock stuff over but also using simple, inconsequential  things as an opportunity to play with new materials and techniques. – Like the statues above and Nihilakh Oxide. And I’ve just found them. The Grills pack from Grendel – though my pack  back in the day only came with three, not the six they now come with. The last piece of that set is on my “stuff that’s been started and put aside” shelf right now.

Resin Graves

More resin gravestones.

Once again, more resin randomness from my past. At one point, back when I started these in the noughties – I planned to base them on and make a single large scenery piece of a graveyard that I could plonk down on a table. At some point back then after startting the large base I changed my mind and decided to leave these as standalone pieces, which I think was and remains a better idea. Much more flexible this way, and I can still make an actual graveyard piece if I want to use the various tombstones that have been part of various GW (and others’) skeleton kits over the years. While these are more fantasy themed, but these could also work well for WWII or Zombiepocalypse gaming quite easily. And yep, it turns out that the graveyard set is also a Grendel Set. I suspect that a huge percentage of my resin scenery will turn out to be these kits. I bought a hell of a lot of them back in the day.

Secret Weapon Scrap Yard Barricade Truck.

Secret Weapon Scrap Yard Barricade Truck.

Secret Weapon Scrap Yard Barricade Truck.

Secret Weapon Scrap Yard Barricade Truck.

One of the real highlights of my Secret Weapon Miniatures Bag(s) ‘o’ Crap that I picked up in December – along with the Hesco and Jersey barriers shown previously was this overturned Half-track Ute (or truck) from the Secret Weapon Miniatures Scrap Yard Barricades set. I had quite a lot of fun painting this, with layers of washes and drybrushing and mediums and edging and applying effects with foam and so forth. Obviously this thing works best for Sci-Fi/40k/GorkaMorka/Post-apocalyptic stuff, but if you squint, it could also work for moderns in Afghanistan or the like.

Secret Weapon Destroyed Tank Turret.

Secret Weapon Destroyed Tank Turret

Secret Weapon Destroyed Tank Turret.

Secret Weapon Destroyed Tank Turret.

Another nice surprise in my Bag(s) ‘o’ Crap was this turret. Part of the Secret Weapon Miniatures Scrap Yard Destroyed Tank set. A pretty nice piece, though Holy 3-d print lines, Batman! Still, for the price I paid for it, and even full RRP ($20 for a whole tank) it’s pretty nifty. It’s just occurred to me that I should have taken a scale shot with that Dark Angel next to the Truck and this Turret, but rest assured that both are well taller than The Emporer’s Finest, and I’ll take a couple of scale shots as an append to one of my next blog posts. Again, with a little squinting, this thing will work well in games set in any year from 1940-41,000.

And that, my friends, is that.

A not insubstantial update, but as I noted at the start, made of many of the sort of things that hardly justify an update in their own right. I’m up to 81 miniatures finished so far this year on Day 60. I’m ahead of schedule, though only because my criteria is so loose. Still, shit’s getting done. Which can only be a good thing. I hope to soon finish a few of the things blocking me from a couple of “fun” figures that I’m really looking forward to.

Dark Elf Repeater Bolt Thrower & Secret Weapon Barriers

So hey, I’ve been finishing stuff at a pretty decent rate so far this year. As part of that, I plan to put up everything I finish this year, no matter what it is. So here’s some of the most recent stuff:

Dark Elf Reaper Bolt Throwers

Dark Elf Reaper Bolt Throwers. Again.

A pair of metal GW Dark Elf Repeater Bolt throwers. I got the pair cheap off eBay already assembled and primed, so the day after finishing the treeman last week, I decided to spray them with my two custom sprays that I got made for my DE/Twilight Kin – since I no longer play WHFB, I’m happily basing everything for Kings of War with it’s more relaxed basing options – so round 40mm bases from Proxie Models to the rescue. By the end of the day, they were all but finished. Of course, I need to do the crew sometime soon as well… I guess.

Secret Weapon Hesco Barriers

Secret Weapon Jersey Barriers

Over the Christmas-New Year period, I picked up a couple of sets of Secret Weapon Miniatures‘ “Bag O Crap”. Which is essentially miscasts and bits that don’t make their quality control standard. I’ve half-written a review of them, so I’ll save the detailed commentary for later, but suffice to say that a couple of other resin companies might want to take note of what Quality Control means. Puppetswar in particular.  These were done in Mid-Jan, but I didn’t get a chance to photograph them until now.

These painted up nice and fast, and (will) look good on the tabletop. I’ll probably need to buy a ton more of each, though… I went for a bright orange plastic that had both been sunbleached and dirtied up in use for the Jersey Barriers. Despite being pretty small and simple, I’m quite happy with how they turned out. These barriers will work nicely in everything from moderns to zombiepocalypse to 40k and everything in between.

Next up: More Zombies!

From the Painting Desk #3 – Wardancing the night away!

Unusually for my posts, as it happens – is an actual followup on some of the WIP stuff I’ve shown. Well, first time for everything and all that. Here’s what I’ve made progress on in the last few weeks. I’m still battling a nasty winter cold bug, so I haven’t felt like I’ve had the level of concentration to work on the Brettonian Noblewoman or the old Citadel ranger, so I’ve mostly been concentrating on Project: Update.

Which is to say going through my old cases of figures and doing some rebasing and touchups on them. So none of these figures are newly painted, strictly speaking. They’ve been rebased, and had some of the weakest elements of the original work touched up as well as chipped paint, etc, but the vast majority of the work is original.

The first few Wardancers, rebased and touched up!

I’ve finished several of the Wardancers. You probably can’t see a lot of difference between these pics and the original paint shown in the previous post. That’s because I’ve really just wanted to touch them up, but keep the integrity or essence of the original paint, since they were painted in my youth a good 20+ years ago. (now I feel old!) Mostly simple stuff like brightening the metals, a little bit of shading or highlighting here and there, but not going all out.

A couple of angles. Early freehand tattoos from 20-odd years ago!

For anyone wondering why these Wood Elf Wardancers are painted in an almost Clownish style, rather than like traditional Wood Elves or like Celts – it’s because shortly after these old models were originally released, the paint scheme in White Dwarf/’eavy Metal showed them in a distinctly Harlequin-esque manner. Since at this stage I was still a teenager, I did what teenagers are supposed to do, and used the WD pictures as a guide on how to paint my models. Except for the chequerboard guy – He was a direct copy (to the best of my ability at the time) of a particularly striking model in the issue. On reflection, I wonder if those gaily-painted Wardancers might have been a specific inspiration for the eventual look and feel of the 40k Harlequins?

Wood Elf Beastmaster. Now he just needs his pet!

This figure has been bundled in with my Wardancers since the beginning, though he’s not actually one of them. He’s a Wood Elf Beastmaster, and originally came partnered with a large model of a Bear. I somehow ended up with two of said bear, and converted one (with my skills of the day) into a Bear-Centaur using the torso of a Chaos Warrior. The other, I’ve seen floating around in my bits boxes, but probably not for a couple of years, and certainly not since moving at the end of last year. Should I be lucky enough to have it turn up again, I’ll be giving him a trip to the front of the painting queue, mounting him on a 40mm round base, and reuniting him with his master. Should that happen, I’m sure I’ll update the blog with a pic or two.

Dark Metal or Light Metal? That’s the question!

This guy, I’m not sure how to finish. Originally, I darkened the metal in preparation for the usual highlighting of plate and chain, and found the “blackened iron” look to be a nice surprise – so I left it as is. Now that I’m touching the figures up, I’m not sure whether I should leave it dark, or brighten it up to match his brethren. Thoughts?

Original Wardancers – Due for an update and repaint!

Since managing to finish the first wave of these models, I’ve pulled out the  remaining 4 wardancers that I have really not been as happy with in years, so for these four I’m in two minds on whether to overpaint certain sections or strip and repaint. At this stage I’m thinking overpaint on the Native American-themed model, partial repaint on the guy with green boots (new pants or new boots? Suggestions?) A significant re/overpaint for the  musician, and I’m really not sure at all what to do with the guy in camo. Obviously, it was kind of a humorous paint scheme, but I’m not sure if the joke really holds up these days. Anyone have any opinions on it?

Newer Wardancers. Queuejumpers?

I also came across a few of the more modern Wardancer figures in bare metal that I’d picked up randomly, which I was happy to leave aside for an indeterminate amount of time but now kind of feel like I should paint up, since I’m almost done with their OldHammer brethren. On the one hand, I don’t really want to have these figures queue jump the stuff I’m actually trying to finish – but on the other, obviously the best time to paint these Wardancers is at the same time I’m repainting the other Wardancers.

The Gang’s (not yet all) here!

Next time: Squigs!