Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Human Interface: Black Stone Commando

Third and last of the Nakamura Tower figures - and probably the one that grew on me the most while painting. I picked it because it was a big unsubtle chunk of robot, but when I started painting, a lot of unexpected detail jumped out.

I love all the cables, so tried to offer a little variety in colour to show power flowing through them. Nice way to finish up the mini-project and glad I had the chance to paint them.

For size comparison, here's the three painted up compared to a regular Space Marine.

And the three just on their own.

So that's it! Another small mini-project concluded, so on to the next figure sat on the painting desk - a Mantic Zombie picked up free at Salute earlier this year. It's a bit of a sprint now trying to meet a few of my 2017 goals, with just over four weeks left in the painting year.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Human Interface: Markus Hoffman (Nakamura)

This is, apparently, Markus Hoffman. I couldn't tell you much more about him other than that - as I don't know the backstory to the game.

The boxart for this has the arms painted as sleeves, but I opted for making it look like arms with wiring and little spots of metal peeking out - as though he's become one with the machine.

I played around with striping on clothing again, and it wasn't a disaster. Still forcing myself to thin paints beyond what feels comfortable and I'm seeing the benefit of that and patience.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Human Interface: Cyborg Hunter (Mercenary)

This week I was working through a few models from a lovely looking Kickstarter from 2015 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1803723298/human-interface-nakamura-tower) and while I failed to back it, a friend of mine did.

The figures are quite detailed and put me in mind of the Infinity range. This was reinforced when seeing the second Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1803723298/human-interface-be-a-better-human/description) with models painted by Angel Giraldez - whose work on the Infinity range is formidable.

When it arrived he was kind enough to let me paint up a couple of figures for him. I picked a couple at random that looked interesting and it appears they're from different factions - or at least different enough to be painted as such.

I realised on Wednesday that I was seeing him this weekend and really needed them finished and off the workbench. So a very quick paintjob across the three was required to get things moving!

This is probably my least favourite from the three, but still a nice model.

Fun to paint, but glad I didn't back the project - the thought of painting a whole box of figures at this detail level would terrify me.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolves Primaris Inceptor Group & Detail

With the three figures finished, here's the group shot of them in action.

Very pleased with the final result. Each one feels dynamic, unique and definitely a Space Wolf. The sergeant in the group has a helmet, as I wanted him to feel like the Primaris still maintaining some of the "traditional" standards of the marines, whereas the others have fully embraced their inner Fenrisian.

One detail that's almost invisible from the shots is the jump pack. I've attempted some OSL in here to give the feeling of hot jets ...

... then attempted to reflect that back on the surface below it.

It's got an audience of only me when it's on the table, but I'm pleased with the result.

Onto the next models. Just another 18 and then that's a boxset I started in July finished. How's that for speed! Right? Right?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolves Primaris Inceptor 3

Here we are with the last Inceptor! This is probably my favourite due to the pose.

I didn't like the plastic rods that came with the figures. While they're a definitely upgrade on the old ones with air bubbles, they felt a bit amateur theatre wire work pose-wise. This has been glued very, very carefully onto the front of a crate - and balanced so it doesn't fall over.

The blue you can see on the crate is the reflection from the jet pack engine. I'll sort out a close-up shot later this week which may be more flattering.

Hopefully this has captured a feeling of jumping over obstacles and landing on the charge.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolves Primaris Inceptor 2

Edging ever closer to a full unit, here's the second fellow. This one's positioned to be dropping onto an ammo crate. I'd forgotten how tricky it is painting faces with this much detail on this scale. It held up progress quite a bit.

Took a little longer on the photos this time, and feel they've come out better. Always room to improve, but the colours are spot on.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolves Primaris Inceptor

I misplaced October. How careless of me.

A couple of weeks away and an unexpected bout of conjunctivitis ruled out most of my October painting. Turns out if you can't focus on the figure in front of you, painting is basically impossible. Happily that's in the past and we can move back to a focus on painting.

Let's start November correctly instead, shall we? Here's my completed Primaris Inceptor Sergeant to get things moving.

Fun things on this model include the OSL effect on the jump engines and weathering. So much weathering. Not-so-fun things are the massive guns, I really struggled with these and couldn't quite make sense of them and remain unsatisfied with what I achieved. My base red isn't right for trying to highlight into yellows, then I did a poor job executing it, so it will be reviewed for the next one.

I realised after finishing it up that this isn't meant to be the Sergeant model, as those have a slightly different armour shape in front of the face - but there you have it. This shall be different, because it can.

The rest of the squad are on the table and getting close to completion. That should keep me busy over the next week.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Warhammer 40,000: Armored Containers

On the back of my success with the TTCombat scenery, it was time to hit the 40k containers I picked up. Same colours, same techniques with the only difference being the position of the highlight at the top - it's now running through the middle rather than the edges. That's not how it would work in reality, but it looks better on the table.

I haven't glued the doors shut on the containers yet. Once that's done, it's quite permanent so they'll remain open a little longer. The purpose is primarily line of sight blockers but I do like the idea of having some flexibility as a passageway or hiding objectives in them. We'll see ...

Lessons learned. I'd do the highlights in tighter circles along the top, so the support struts would remain uniformly dark and been the patterning the focus - rather than just a long continuous highlight.

Sunday, 24 September 2017


I was asked for tips on achieving the weathering and colours from the three shipping containers. So here's the breakdown of how they came together.

All paints used are from the Vallejo ranges, usually Game Color or Game Air ranges.

  • Prime with Black. Over the MDF you want to leave this an hour between thin coats to ensure it sinks in. This took while some time - but as there were lots of terrain pieces to prime, it wasn't a problem.
  • Basecoat with Dark Fleshtone. Full coverage apart from the very deepest recesses.
  • Basecoat with Parasite Brown. Partial coverage as the idea at this stage is to have several different shades of colour appearing.
At this point you're wondering what on earth you've done ...

... but it's okay! Stick with it. Now onto the invisible stages.

(also spoilers in the shot above, you can see there's more terrain incoming)

  • Apply matt varnish to everything. But don't make it thick and obscure detail, this is an important step to ensure you don't start pulling the paint off later. I did start with gloss varnish, but couldn't get it to run smooth in my airbrush and swapped to matt with zero problems. Personal taste, I think - the important thing is protecting the colours.
  • Apply chipping medium to everything. Sure, you could be quite precise and decide exactly where you want to chip the containers, but I'm not that good at remembering details - so a full coverage is best. After coating three surfaces, leave it overnight so it isn't sticky to the touch. Do the fourth surface the next morning then leave it all to fully dry.

This concludes the preparation work so now it's on to the painting proper with the main colours for the three crates.

  • Scarlett Red basecoat, Moon Yellow highlight.
  • Yellow Olive basecoat, Camoflage Green highlight
  • Scurf Green basecoat, Scurf Green/Dead White highlight.

Using the airbrush, I started with the darker colour and coated everything in three or four thin coats. You need to leave it a little longer between coats because the chipping medium underneath starts to activate with the water in the paint - so just take your time and get solid coverage. I then adding more of the highlight colour and started hitting the top parts and edges.

These containers had lettering pre-etched into the design so I picked them out with the final highlight colour. I wanted them to be readable but not something to focus on. There is a thin glaze of Imperial Blue toward the bottom of the Green and Blue containers just to make the contrast a little more distinct.

Now the colours have tried, it's on to the terrifying step. Ripping apart all your hard work. The chipping medium is activated with water, so take a large brush dripping in water and gently coat one surface. Let any excess water drip off onto a paper towel, then you need to take off the paint.

From experience, on smaller scale miniatures, like my Space Wolves, using a toothpick or paperclip works well - but larger pieces like this that approach would take a long time. I took a piece of pluck foam and started dragging it across the surface. After every drag I rotated the foam so a different surface was soaking up the paint. Then I just repeated it until everything was done.

It feels weird at this point - you've basically destroyed half your work! But again, it's okay. Final steps and it all comes together.

  • Edge Highlighting.  With the brightest highlight colour, you need to add a thin edge highlight. Not just the corners of the object, but also at the bottom of each chip. This enforces the three dimensional effect of the chip. You can, if time allows, go back and add a thin line of Dark Fleshtone + Black at the top of the each chip to really punch home the effect. The most time consuming stage of the process but it makes or breaks it.
  • Rust. Along the very bottom, at random intervals, I added a little of the Modelmates excellent rust effect. If you apply it a little thicker, this brings a small amount of texture onto the surface as well. You could take a reddish brown paint and add a little more orange to achieve a comparable effect.

Then that's it! We're now at the point where you have the finished container and get to bask in the sweet, sweet glow of knowing your Space Wolves can't be hit from 36" by filthy Tau artillery because there are now casual line of sight blockers on the table.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

TTCombat: Shipping Containers

I finished something! You can tell I've had a few days off to work on projects. We needed more colour and line of sight blocking terrain on the gaming board, so I went to town on weathering up some scenery bought earlier this year.

These are from TT Combat and I really like their MDF terrain range - it's a good price, easy to throw together and turns out looking reasonable if you put the effort in.

I had forgotten how hungry for paint MDF can be, so getting them to the point of readiness took a lot longer than their GW plastic equivalents. But the results are good and I got to play with the same techniques as my Space Wolves - so black primer, dark and light brown undercoats, varnish, chipping medium then the base colour + highlighting and shading.

There's a few more pieces in the pipeline with a little more detail so they'll turn up next month at current rate of progress.