Thursday, 10 January 2019

To do in 2019 (aka preparing myself to fail)

It's highly unlikely that I will paint any of these before a new idea/model/miniature jumps to the forefront, but just in case I do, here's what I plan to paint during the coming year.

I hope that priming them makes them a step closer to being painted (and also moves them from the "to assemble drawer" to the "to paint drawer").

Whadya see?

Friday, 4 January 2019

2018 in review

My least productive year of blogging; after a decent start it all tailed off and I moved away from this hobby and focused on other spare time activities over the spring and summer; namely cycling and reading. I think taking on the challenge of painting an entire unit in one go, completely put me off this hobby and is a lesson learnt; small and varied tasks are the way forward. However the year finished with a flourish as I re-found my love of the hobby and worked through quite a few models and projects and enjoyed working on them too. Find that motivation in whatever form it takes!

It was the completion of my 3rd Edition Chaos Allied Contingent that had finished me off halfway through the year, so to start off with, here is a few shots of them; The Chaos Dwarf Renegades:

 The Chaos Ogre to accompany them

 The entire Chaos Dwarf unit
 And the entire contingent with commander, minotaurs, centaurs and other chaos dwarves:

My rehabilitation back into the hobby began where it had all started anyway - 3rd Edition Orcs, namely the commander and bodyguard that were painted up for my Greenskin Combat Card Collection. Painting two miniatures in a go is obviously my limit and it was nice to go back to the familiar green/brown skin tones that I know so well.

With these done, I decided to delve into my unpainted scenery collection, so I could be a bit more creative in putting things together, rather than just painting. So I re-discovered my Renedra gravestones and added some undead

But I did not want to lose my mojo too quickly again (after the depressing, but relatively fast painting of so much weathered stone) so rapidly returned to another greenskin for Orctober. This one involved a conversion so I could remember the joy that that brings me within the hobby. A bit of greenstuffing and problem solving later, a goblin was ready to paint which could be painted in a short period of time.

I had the bug again and now entered quite a frenetic period of production, the GW Garden of Morr set was next on my list to accompany the gravestones. I went for speed on this set:

I was also motivated in getting this scenery added to my growing collection and display, as seen here:

A diversion attacked me from my "drawer of unpainted miniatures"; some npcs from Otherworld:

Followed swiftly by a couple of unreleased Citadel Wizards that I picked up from BOYL many years ago, to act as other npcs. 

And then I realised to my horror, that I had another BOYL miniature sitting in that same drawer, unpainted:

Having painted these npcs, it gave me a chance to break out the old scratchbuilt, modular dungeon scenery and set up a tavern interior scene. These photoshoots, I have remembered, are a very motivating factor in the never-ending quest to "get stuff done"

And then a chance visit to a gaming store introduced me to the Star Wars miniatures. Greedo was bought and painted in the same day. That is a rarity! 

But of course such is the mind of a hobbyist, that he needed a context and some Mos Eisley buildings were scratchbuilt from junk and painted

Phew! A glance at my blog reminded me that I have some (read many) unfinished projects on the go, one of which is a determination to collect and paint all of the Frostgrave Bestiary. A Reaper Bones snow leopard and a Citadel boar were then finished.

And then finally, in December, for DeadCember, I completed a Scibor Necromancer that had been sitting around in the "models to be assembled" drawer. 

There is a satisfaction in starting to empty out both the "models to be assembled" and the "to be painted" drawers. But ironically (having finished with a Necromancer) new minions seem to have appeared with a combination of different complexions from matt resin, dull and shiny lead and some grey plastic in both drawers, replenishing them with "new tasks" for me to take on, control and bring to life in 2019

Thursday, 3 January 2019

The Enduring Legacy of the Realms of Chaos

Remember those amazing illustrations from the original Realms of Chaos books, by artists such as Adrian Smith, Paul Campbell etal, the ones that provoked so many ideas and fleshed out some of the possibilities and potential within 3rd Edition Realms of Chaos? I still love looking at them today and often feel inspired to try and convert my own miniatures based on the characters depicted within them. But I don't have to so much anymore because the Games Workshop of today (which has more recently seemed like quite a different beast as to what I grew up with) has released some models that are so obviously steeped in and inspired by some of those very illustrations I alluded to earlier.

I rarely venture onto the GW website, so I am somewhat behind the times, but I saw someone else had painted this model (Sloppity Bilepiper) and assumed it was a conversion, but no, this is a bonefide GW release that is clearly based upon some illustrations from GW of the 80's, specifically the Realms of Chaos. I just had to buy it (and make a bit of an adjustment to make it fit a bit better with those illustrations and lose the, quite frankly, ridiculous staff);

The musical element, the dynamic, dancing poses (especially the Nurgling) are just so evocative of those early illustrations, especially the Dance of Death. The older Nurgling I added to Sloppity's hand is a reference to that era.

I had forgotten about my scenic photography backdrop, so I dusted it off (I actually had to and was surprised by the versatility of static grass) and used it again here:

 Before converting and painting this modern model, I just had to reach for my Lost and Damned book and look for the specific illustrations that I saw the link to in these sculpts. The two images were by Adrian Smith and Paul Campbell from the Nurgle pages in the Lost and Damned Realm of Chaos Tome, specifically the Dance of Death and Nurgle Calvalcade pages. Have a look:

So, as I was researching some of this post, I discovered that GW is releasing a game called the Realm of Chaos. It's not aimed for me, but it is nicely reassuring that my favourite era and output of model miniatures is seeing something of a revival for a new generation of gamers/painters. I'm looking forward to some new plastic models to paint and then sit alongside my original lead ones and hope they all are happy lined up alongside each other.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Deadcember: Scibor Necromancer

 Scibor miniatures produce some lovely sculpts (perhaps not everyone’s tastes) but still wonderful character and detail, in my opinion. This is the first one I have bought from them; having been disappointed to find the original sculpt of this being only available in 54mm size. I loved the sculpt as soon as I saw it with the Necromancer actively raising his undead minions and the lovely triangular composition in particular being pretty inspiring. So I was made up when I heard that this sculpt was also available in 28mm scale too and immediately purchased it from their website. It was, I’m sure you can imagine, a pleasure to paint after I had decided to base the Necromancer on the Emperor Palpatine due to their very similar appearance. I knew I wanted him to made up of blues and blacks and have slightly warmer, contrasting flesh tones for the summoned zombies. The model will fit in well with my Mantic zombies and therefore they have a new leader to direct them around the dungeon.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Frostgrave Bestiary Challenge: Boar and Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard, incongruous away from the melted snow, approaches the static and serene boar

Circling around the boar, the snow leopard ruminates whether it can take the bristly beast down. 

It decides to approach from the rear, avoiding those pointy tusks, but realises quickly that it's rear end is worse.

The snow leopard gets too close and as swift as you like, the boar turns, grunts and chases the snow leopard away. Perhaps an easier meal awaits back in the Frozen City

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

The Spotted Dog Tavern Interior

I put together a photoshoot combining some of my recently painted ncp characters and some of my older scenery and floor tiles. It felt a bit like playing with a dolls house (with two daughters, this is from experience) due to the arranging and re-arranging of the composition. I deliberately tried not to create a narrative diorama, but the positioning of a certain figure in relation to the scenery or another figure always means something, but I will let your imaginations project onto the scene portrayed here.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Star Wars: Mos Eisley Scratchbuilt Scenery

Having painted up Greedo in his traditional colours, I quickly set off to pursue my favoured aspect of the hobby; scratch-built scenery.

I didn't need to do much image research to find inspiration on the Internet as the films settings are ingrained in my memory, but a bit of a refresher of re-watching the movies over the wet weekend with my kids didn't hurt. Re-visiting A New Hope set my mind on recreating some buildings from Mos Eisley on Tattoine as I particularly like the desert setting, the combination of rectangular and spherical shaped buildings and of course it being a "wretched hive of scum and villainy". And where Greedo hangs out.

I used a combination of foamcard, polystyrene balls, yoghurt pots and some resin doors and accessories that I picked up years ago:

Here you can see me experimenting with some self-cracking paint to create a weathered look on this door.

The second one, of course, was more successful!

Here he is to show the scale

And a few WIP shots to show you the build. I haven't got around to painting up the tall generator yet.

A small tip for maintaining a rectangular shape whilst the gluing of the 4 walls dry:

And using my trusty circular cutter for those awkward archways:

Next up, some generators made up pretty much entirely of recycled materials...