Monday, 20 January 2020

Thrud (and painting in verdaccio)

The iconic Citadel Thrud, long admired by me and one of those miniatures that I was always keen to get and paint, even though he was much more expensive than I would have liked. When I had the lump of lead in my hand, I contemplated my approach to painting him; I felt he deserved a slightly different approach to my usual style and process, partly because it is Thrud and also because there are such large areas of skin to paint. I searched for some other examples of painted Thruds and found some to be way too smooth, almost disguising and flattening the sculpt, or some that were too sinewy and textured, mkaing the anatomy look a little too awkward. So I aimed for something in between. 

It also struck me as an opportunity to experiment; I remember from my Art History degree a technique used by Renaissance and pre-Raphaelite painters where they would under-paint the skin tones with a green hue, known as "verdaccio", which would help create the illusion of veins beneath the skin and to cool down some of the warmer skin tones.

Here's the finished model which I'm very happy with:

My image research led me to an example of verdaccio as seen on Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling painting:

Verdaccio underpainting

And here is the processes in getting there using this green under-painting:

Over a white primer I washed in a diluted Athonian Camoshade (a little washing up liquid added to help it flow). A second darker wash was added to the recesses/shadows.

Once dry a subsequent wash of Darkoath flesh was applied

I then started building up my layers of highlights using very dilute applications of Elf flesh with increasing amounts of white. This helped blend some of the warm reds into cold greens.

This creates quite a washed out effect (although the lighting here hasn't helped)

So I glazed with both warm flesh tones over the highlights and cold green for the shadows

Final highlights were then applied very sparingly.

I think the experiment was quite successful although I probably hid too much of the green under-painting with my layers. It's definitely a technique I would like to explore further and I have a Marauder Giant that has been primed years ago that may be the ideal candidate. For now I am currently painting a second Bob Naismith miniature as a companion for this Thrud and I've already made a little scenic base for them both. More on this next time. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2020


It was only a matter of time before I started a new project and that may as well be at the beginning of the year. Cheetor's excellent blog introduced me to the game Gaslands! and I particularly liked how he had used the contents of the Hot Wheels advent calendar as a starting point for a load of 1:65 car converting craziness.

So I'm in. Up to my neck. I love converting and kit-bashing and trash-bashing so this is right up my desolate, post-apocalyptic highway. First of all I've already got a couple of 1:43 cars that would work for the game on a larger-than-Hotwheels-scale, namely my Fighting Fantasy Freeway Fighter and Helsreach Arrabella projects:

And for Christmas I received a 1:35 Tamiya half-track:

Which I've built:

And which is now in the process of getting a sci-fi/apocalyptic makeover. This will join the two previous vehicles to make my 28mm Gaslands team.

Of course I'm not stopping there. I found a bunch of my son's Hotwheels cars and I've started building another team in 1:65 scale, using some 40k bits and the excellent Implements of Carnage from NorthStar Figures. My first two cars:


And undercoated in rust colours:

Oh and it won't stop there, here's the other cars I've collected to transform into post-apocalyptic Gaslands machines (you may notice a familiar looking orange car there...):

I shall keep you posted....

Friday, 10 January 2020

My hobby review of 2019

I had initially thought that 2019 had been something of a barren year, hobby wise, so I was quite surprised when I looked back through my blog from the past year and discovered that I had actually produced a fair bit and quite the variety too:

I was clearly driven by the many competitions that are hosted in various places and I had a penchant for scenery (which is no surprise to me, I thoroughly enjoy scratch-building) and quite a few larger, ongoing projects were completed, including a Dwarf warband and an entire regiment of Ruglud's Armoured Orcs!

The variety included lots of trash-bashing, a bit of kit building, some Scalextric restorations, sci-fi to fantasy and conversions, pre-built models and lots and lots of painting;

Modern Miniatures with a shout to Realms of Chaos
Baggage Train pt1

Baggage train pt2

Competition 1: hover taxi from razorblade packaging

Bandai Y-Wing model kit

Competition 2: Trish Carden Marauder Gobbos

LaserCut building 1

Lasercut building 2

Scratch/trash built Yaztromo's Tower

Scratch/trash built 40k generators

Scratch/trash built 40k power plant

Scalextric restoration #1

Scalextric restoration #2

Scalextric restoration #3 and 4

Dwarf Warband

Competition 3: DinoBorg

Competition 4: Trashbash Build: Pringles

Competition 5: Bob Olley warband

Rugluds Armoured Orcs (Orctober)

Handmade combat cards

Elf Bloodbowl (test)

Modular gaming board #4

Laser cut and 3d printed terrain

Next I'll show what I'm aiming to achieve over 2020...

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Coffee-stirrer noticeboard

Happy New Year! My last post of 2019 was about how a bit of pre-made scenery can save some time (and when painted up can fit in fine alongside scratchbuilt scenery). My first post of 2020 is about a piece of scratch-built scenery that was very quick to make and made entirely out of coffee-stirrers (and a little bit of wallpaper)' the town's noticeboard! I thought it would make a great addition, a place where adventurers can find tasks and missions and where the obligatory "wanted" posters can be found.

Now this idea to make it entirely out of coffee-stirrers was indeed someone else's original idea that I found on the internet and which I cannot now re-find to give the designer his/her credit. Apologies for that. But it inspired me to create my own:

Aside from cutting lots of different lengths of coffee stirrers and using wood-glue to join them, I also used a bit of old wallpaper for the texture on the floor (it look just like flagstones and will be something that I will be using much more extensively going forwards - again it saves time over sculpting bases with greenstuff - and is cheaper!) and used the flat, reverse side for the messages. Very thin wire was cut for the pins that hold the messages in place.

All in all this was probably a two hour piece of work from construction to painting. Which has given me some time to start two new projects; one is hinted at on the noticeboard and the other is Gaslands! More on that on my next post....