Sunday, January 25, 2009

Build me an army

I'm working on the basing of these fellows today. First, I cut several hundred little pieces of plasticard and crazyglued a sufficiency of those on the Praetorians to cover the gaps left on the washers I'm using. Why am I using these metal washers you might ask? For their weight (so the minis will stand on an angled surface) and height (less than a GW or PP plastic base). Their only downside is the tendency to leave these gaps that have to be dealt with, and not always, as can be seen with the Thunderbolt Mountain High Elves. Back to the Romans then, after they dried, more or less, I used a 1:1 mixture of white glue and black primer to affix sand onto the bases. I had to be careful to go back over each and ensure I had removed any sand that covered the toes. Next I will paint the bases, black, followed by a dark earth brown, followed by a drybrush of bone. Then I'll flock them with GW flock, which the best I've ever found.

The next step on the shields completed, being a base of GW TinBitz. Next, painting the final metallic (brass, bronze or gold; I haven't decided yet) followed by another wash of white on the shield, followed by the application of the LBMS transfers, followed by painting the backs of the shields.

These are some of the units I have to add to the army. As you can see there are 3 more units of 24 Legionaries, 4 units of 20, and a unit of 17 skirmishing archers. So 171 miniatures, 51 of which are Foundry, the rest Gripping Beast. I also have a unit of camelry and 2 units of cavalry, and I'll be getting some artillery and an elephant or two. I'm obviously mad, but the plan is a unit a month and the entire army finished by year's end.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Looking at the Rubicon (or the Jewell River)

First, the Praetorians, i.e. my Rubicon. All figures are Gripping Beast for these two units of 24. Here are the 40 of the Praetorian grunts. Their commanders are now being started (see below). All I can say is that there has been a fair bit of work done to get them going. For example, the sandals and toes were painted and washed. Each figure's lorica segmenta and cingulum were washed with Privateer Press ("PP") Armor Wash. The flesh was painted up with PP Idrian Flesh, highlighted with PP Khardic Flesh, and washed with PP Flesh Wash. The tunics were touched up (except on some of the right arms). The cheek guards of the helmets still have flesh paint on them. From now on I am painting the flesh first on my minis but these have to be cleaned up. The scabbards are painted red (Derivan Rourke's Drift Red again). Regardless, these are starting to look the part.

The command figures. There are a couple of extra leader types, so I guess as elite units the two units of 24 will have an optio in each along with the Centurion. Or I could just get another 2 Praetorians from the boys at Gripping Beast.

These are Praetorian shields. I have the spindle boss on each primed black. It will be painted before I put the LBMS transfers on the shields.
The LBMS transfers.

The Elves continue. This is my Jewell River if you get the allusion. The bows have been painted with Reaper Master Series Creamy Ivory, the faces with PP Idrian Flesh.
My German knights are now mounted and hand-primed (in that order).

I wish I had more to report. It's been a fair bit of drudgery though I have enjoyed listening to podcasts whilst doing this painting.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I think I can, I think I can...

First, the Thunderbolt Mountian High Elves. As can be seen the bows have received their first coat of paint, namely Reaper Master Series Creamy Ivory. Great paint. I used Derivan French Blue for the gloves and helm feathers. These colours are going to get a wash and a drybrush for sure. Not necessarily in that order. I'm just blocking them out now.

Work on Beast 09 continues. I drybrushed all the metal areas with Citadel Boltgun Metal. The other basecoat is a mix of about three parts GW Foundation Gretchin Green mixed with 2 parts of GW Foundation Dheneb Stone (where do they get the names?) liberally diluted and mixed with water.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Painting Update

First, a small "d" disaster. So, I'm shaking a bottle of Derivan Rourke's Drift Red - what a red! more about that below - and my eyes are closed, and I feel something wet hit my right eyelid, so I open my eyes, and GAAK!, red everywhere, all over the wall, my posters, me, the table, Romans, Elves...all I can say is that it is a very, very nice red.

This is Derivan Rourke's Drift Red as a wash on the inside of the cloaks of one of the three available Thunderbolt Mountain High Elven archer poses. I'm also using a few other paints on these, GW Foundation Khemri Stone on the pants, Reaper Red Brick on the boots, Lifecolour French BlueGray on the tunic, and GW Foundation Iyanden Darksun on the helmet decorations and cuirasses.

GW Foundation Iyanden Darksun on the helmet decorations and on the cuirasses. You can see that I have used a wash on the cuirasses (Privateer Press Armor Wash) and on the one in front I lightly drybrushed some Coat D'Arms Bone. All the rest of these will recieve the same treatment.

Views from behind. All my Elves are blondes! I painted the hair by applying oop Citadel Flesh Wash to the white highlights on the hair.

Georg von Holbein with a wash of Derivan Rourke's Drift Red on the cloth barding and cloak, and a wash of Privateer Press Armour Wash on his armour and on the armour from the saddle forward. Don't ask.

The cloth barding on 10 Silver Helm horses below received their final wash of Delta Ceramcoat Midnight Blue. I am going to highlight the barding and freehand paint different heraldric devices on each horse.

Front and rear view of my Warmachine Khador heavy warjack "Beast 09" after drybrushing GW Tinbitz on all the metal parts. This was the work of 5 minutes, but I also spent a little while repriming all the spots you inevitably miss on a large figure like this, so 10 minutes in all. The drybrush of Citadel Boltgun Metal is next.

That's all I managed. Basically, I found myself drawn into spending most of my painting time on the Tom Meier High Elves. They are exquisite sculpts, and a delight to paint so long as you ensure you go 1/2 and 1/2 paint/water with everything. To do that successfully, you need paints that are going to lay down some pigment at that kind of mix. There are paints that I tried on these and then bailed out on. I won't bother listing them. What I can absolutely say is that I've never painted the like of these miniatures, and I just have to get some of his High Elven spear and some of his new Byzantine spearmen.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Dilettante's Painting Update

A quick update before I turn in. First, I have finished highlighting the cloaks on my Gripping Beast 28mm EIR Praetorian Guard. The first picture gives a view of what I am facing in the months ahead. ;-)

This picture shows a lengthwise view. There are 40 of these models, and they will be finished in 2 units of 24. The other 8 models will be added from command figures, either GB or Foundry. I like my paint scheme. It's black primer, with the old Citadel Colour Deadly Nightshade on that, and highlights of the Derivan Ensign Blue. I may just do a last highlight on the most prominent folds of the robes.

These are the Thunderbolt Mountain High Elven archers. As can be seen I highlighted the black with a rigourous drybrush of white. I used Delta Cermcoate White for this...I have for years. It's a good paint for this task. Don't ask me why. Anyways, I then began to apply washes. On the armour you will see a wash of Delta Ceramcoate Midnight Blue. This is a great paint, one of my favorites. It didn't work as well on the helms. but there is no definition on them as the sculpts are so perfectly smooth. Just look at the detail! It's incredible. For the outside of the cloaks I used an old Citadel wash called Ork Flesh Wash. It's one of the best washes GW ever produced and, sadly, long OOP.

More Tom Meier goodness.

Yet more Tom Meier goodness.

Finally, some further work on the HYW French horses. I have great hopes for this project but it is my first venture into 15mm, and so we will see.

All the best.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Update on Painting Projects

It's been a reasonable day. Between making a snow fort and watching a couple of NFL WildCard games I did a few things.

First off I primed Beast 09. I hand prime using artists' gesso. I find I don't lose any detail and I can't take the toulene from the spray primers.

Next off I highlighted the cloaks of about 20 of my Gripping Beast EIR Praetorians. I used a Derivan Ensign Blue (I was experimenting). Looks okay.

Next, a new project I've been working on. These are Thunderbolt Mountain High Elven archers sculpted by Tom Meier. These sculpts are incredible. It's funny, they are so fine that it's difficult to paint them without losing the detail. Even with the artists' gesso I heavily diluted it. What I tnink I am going to do is lightly drybrush these with white and then use washes. We'll see.

Finally, I started a 15mm French HYW army for Impetus today. I'm actually using Mirliton Geman Medieval Knights (ca. 1236 A.D.) to start the cavalry. I have a couple of problems. First, some of the miniatures aren't great fits for French knights of 1-2 centuries later. Second, I am unfortunately without any good references on the heraldry of the French. If anyone reads this (?) and knows of free web resources please advise. Here is what I did tonight. I used a white artists' gesso and then used a variety of GW Foundation paints (1 coat, whatever the colour).

And these.

Friday, January 2, 2009

An Aside

When I play with soldiers, no one gets hurt.

"The IDF, heros against the weak."

Gideon Levy, Haaretz, December 2008

What I'm Up To These Days

Well, Christmas is over and yet the holidays are most definately not. I got three miniature related presents this year. One was the most excellent tome, "Painting Miniatures" by Danilo Cartacci. I got this book from Fantization after seeing a recommendation of Joe Videcki. Apart from that I got a truly amazing miniature from the Helldorado Westerners range called Georg von Holbein, and one of Privateer Press' newest warjacks, Beast 09.

Now I am nowhere near finishing Georg von Holbein, but I did the basecoats of Boltgun Metal (over TinBitz) and the Foundation Mechrite Red today to show where the miniature is going. I could have filled a little on the horse but I'm no perfectionist, and the only person who would notice will be looking to see whether it's a gelding if you take my drift. There was a bit of flash on the helmet of Georg.

Beast 09. I picked this up at the post office this afternoon and built it tonight. Nice kit. I don't know about the price. I paid it, but it was dear.

Comparison shot with a Juggernaught as Beast 09 is a souped up Juggernaught, and I thought I'd mention that a Jugger has a MSRP of $29.99 and Beast 09's MSRP is $54.99. It's a little strange. Shrug...

These are a unit of WFB High Elven Dragon Princes of Caledor, built, primed black and wetbrushed with TinBitz. I'm not decided upon where I am going with these and I'm trying to pick up another 5-10 so I'll await that development. But these are very cool miniatures, Jes Goodwin sculpts, first produced by GW in the early/mid 1990's. I always liked them.

eIrusk on the assembly line.

Yuri the Axe and his trusty henchwench.

The 4th edition High Elven plastic Spear and Archers. I always thought these rocked. I'm chuffed to have returned to this project after 12, yes, count 'em, 12 years.