Saturday, January 28, 2012

Imperial Renegades and Death Guard WIP

I've not been the most productive lately, but I do have some progress on my renegades and death guard. I have three models that are each about 1-2 hours away from completion. I just have to sit down and finish them. You can't rush these things though...

Here are the totally finished renegades so far. 2 officers, many grunts.
This Death Guard Nurgle Space Marine is somewhat close to finished. I am going to stipple layers of rust on the brown armour and then he should be nearly finished.
This apostate preacher is really close to being finished. I just need to airbrush some dirt on his robes, finish the staff, paint the gem on the laspistol, wash the metal, and add some details.
The renegade ogryn is getting close too. Just needs some highlights and washes and details.
Welcome to berek, skywatcher, deathkorps, karitas, and luckynumber 5, the newest blog followers. If anyone is interested in being added to the Rust and the City blog rolls I would be more than happy to add you. Check back tomorrow for some finished models. Ciao!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Death Squads Prisoner Exchange 2012

The DS forum is having another Prisoner Exchange event. Each participant receives a model built for them from another member of the forum and builds a model for someone else. Each participant lists models they are interested in (must be usable in DS). The idea is to create a fun community event that pushes each participant to push the boundaries of their own skills while also receiving a cool model built for them by someone else.
Da Amparor by Mordheimer (Gretchin on booby trapped "Golden Throne")
Participants can register to join the event up until February 20th, 2012. At this time each participant will receive the name of the person for whom they will build a model. Models are the shipped out on May 26th, 2012. Lots of time to complete a model! Recipients are kept a secret until the model is received but sharing of WIP work on the forums is encouraged.

Anyone can joint this event by joining the DS forum, posting on the welcome mat, and sharing in a few posts. I would encourage anyone who is interested to enter. The DS community is very supportive and the game has lots of cool modelling opportunities with many unique and interesting characters and squads. As a modeller or painter this is a chance to build a one off model for a race, paint scheme, or squad that you might not otherwise ever paint.

My only caution is to ensure that you are committed before you join. Make sure you will complete a model for someone else and will share the model you receive with the rest of the community. This is intended as a supportive and positive event for all levels of painters and modellers. If you are interested, check it out.

Prisoner Exchange Event 2012 registration and rules

FAQs and WIP logs

2010 Prisoner Exchange

2010 PE Entries

Here are some pictures linked from the 2010 entries. Just a few random ones with clear pictures. There are so many great entries worth checking out. These are all done by amateur painters and modellers trying to create a unique and interesting model for someone else. Hope SOPA doesn't notice these! I will post a message for the creators, I swear!

Drizzt's kroot head hunter.
Lord Grey Wolf's Striking Scorpion
Blood Raven by Librarian
Moggd's prisoner
Dozer's Plague Marine
Mordian's sniper by Death Guard
Laney's Theseus Grey

Dysturbed's Eldar
Dren by Da Eavy

I hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Help needed! Imperial Renegades counts as...

Originally, I started building my imperial renegades squad for use in skirmish games. As I've spent more time modelling this little force I have become quite attached to them and have been thinking about how I could use them in full sized games of Warhammer 40,000. I considered building an Imperial Guard army based around traitor guard but do not like the high model count and focus on vehicles. I considered just building a separate Chaos Space Marines army but I have been putting it off due to the uncertainty about the impending sixth edition of 40k and a new chaos codex. Most recently, I have been thinking that a "counts as"Grey Knights Force would be the best fit for the way I want to play and models I want to use.

Okay, they aren't very grey. But they would really like to fight you in a full 40k battle!
When one wants to build an army of chaos tainted guardsmen the first logical choice is to build a traitor imperial guard army. I decided that traitor guard were not for me for a number of reasons. First, I don't like army lists that rely on lots of tanks and mechanized armour. They are expensive (money) and bulky to transport and store. A force with 10 tanks/gunships/chimeras takes up way too much space and costs way too much. I am also not really interested in painting many tanks. So Imperial Guard is out.

I have the models to build a small force of Death Guard/Chaos Space Marines. I still want to do this army at some point but I have been putting it off at the moment due to the uncertainty around Chaos. Rumours abound about a new codex for the traitor legions. I don't want to build a force and have to completely revamp it in a few months. As the codex stands now, Death Guard seem to need lots of transports and heavy support to be effective. Ideally, I would love to build a nice force of elite footslogging chaos space marines supported by some angry traitor humans. Unfortunately, the chaos space marines codex does not really give any leeway for the inclusion of non-power armoured humans. I am also a slow painted, and would really like to be able to use my painted renegades in a 40k force. I've put a lot of time and effort into my renegades and would love to include them in larger battles.

Xenos inquisitor?
Finally, I am now considering a Grey Knights "counts as" force. The first reason I am considering Grey Knights is the playing style on the table. I like that Grey Knights are an elite force with lots of synergy between units. The force seems to have a solid blend of ranged support and combat prowess. I have always gravitated towards elite forces that can crush their opponents up close and seem to play best with a force of this nature (maybe I like that skills of subtlety...). It is a major bonus that Grey Knights are not reliant upon tanks and transports. Most of the lists I have been include some armour but do not rely on it exclusively the way many marine and guard forces seem to. As I said, a few tanks is ok, ten is not. The Grey Knight codex also allows me to combine my unarmoured humans with some space marines, dreadnoughts, and tanks to create a varied and interesting force. Henchmen provide great variety and a lot of modelling opportunities for me to try different things and convert models in a way that they can be used within an army. Assassins, servitors, flagellants, and the other henchmen provide almost limitless conversion opportunities. Small, functional units of marines will allow me to convert interesting models without getting bogged down in numbers or repetition. Finally, the Grey Knights codex is recent and (presumably) written with 6th edition in mind, so the codex and army should stay usable through the next edition.

Servitor. I would love to build a few more of these. Lots of fun!
As you can see, Grey Knights are potentially a good fit for my renegades within the 40k universe. I know that there is a lot of hate for "Counts as" within the online gaming community. My intention is not to use Grey Knights because they are the "strongest codex". I want to build a force that matches the models I want to use and the game style I envision. I feel that the Grey Knight Codex gives me the best fit for that at the moment. There are lots of opportunities for more conversions and to build a unique force. The theme would be a band of elite mutants and renegades fighting guerilla, saboteur warfare against the imperium.

Now I need some help. I want to build a varied force. I envision a core of about 20 henchmen (primarily based around what I already have) 2 "inquisitors" (sergeant and renegade captain), 10 marines, 5 terminators, some dreadnoughts, and some assorted mechanized support. What units should I include (basic builds, unit choices)? Any ideas for cool conversions to meet the weapons requirements for Grey Knights? What would you think playing against a "counts as" Grey Knight force like this? 

I'm not a 40k player at the moment so any help would be greatly appreciate. Thanks for your feedback!

Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 Hobby Goals and 2011 in review

THere have been a lot of these on the blog rolls lately, but I figured it was worth taking a minute to chronicle where I have been and where I want to go.

2011 was a very interesting year for me personally. I finished university at the end of 2010 and spent the first part of the year teaching overseas. I then spent the summer travelling and the fall working at different jobs once back home. I still haven't found continuing employment in this dismal new economy but I have had a wide range of interesting experiences in the interim. In my personal life I am hoping to keep a reasonable level of employment and adventure in my professional life in 2012 while hopefully having the chance for a bit of travel too.

Views like this distracted me from hobby for a few months.
On the hobby front, 2011 was a year of growth for me. Unfortunately, I think I only played 2 games in 2011 (due to aforementioned travel and relocation). I did manage to grow a lot in my painting and modelling skills though and have gained a lot of confidence (in my painting especially). I am finally getting some results I am pleased with in my miniatures and I have learned a lot about building and painting terrain. These blogs and the forums I visit have been a huge inspiration and a source of lots of new ideas and techniques that have aided my growth.

I have a whole squad of Death Orks of Krieg just waiting for a little love and some paint. I even have 4 more totally basecoated and just needing details.
In 2012 I am hoping to complete some of my ongoing projects. I am planning to paint my Malifaux Seamus starter box and some additional models at the start of the year so I can begin playing some games soon. I am also hoping to finish up my Renegades squad by mind-February. My Death Orks of Krieg and a super secret ork warband for 40k skirmish and Mordheim will be on the docket in the spring. I am also hoping to get the Death Guard models I currently have bits for all put together and painted. Hopefully the (rumoured) new edition of 40k with a new Chaos Space Marine codex will come out in the summer as incentive to build a 40k army to completion as I don't want to buy an army book and rulebook a few months before the new edition.
There will be paint.
In literature they call this foreshadowing. This will be painted soon(ish).
He will be finished soon(ish) too. And then by midsummer he should be joined by a small band of merry men...
Once those projects are done I have vague plans to repaint and clean up my Warriors of Chaos fantasy army. I may also work on painting some vintage wood elves and demons of chaos I have in my old models bag. I am also considering building a Colette crew for Malifaux if I enjoy the game. Finally, I am hoping to finish a gaming table and build a piece of terrain each month. I am going to try and build most of these projects with the materials and bits I have on hand and try to limit most of my purchases to hobby supplies like brushes and paints.
Must finish this army one day. The models look so bad to my eyes now. I want to strip them and repaint it all. As nurgle. What shall I do?
Dragon Ogre conversion. I have three of them. Still not totally finished...
For this blog, I am hoping to keep posting regularly throughout 2012. This blog has helped to motivate me to complete projects. Hopefully I will stay on track a little more and finish projects in a more sequential order. I plan to post approximately six times per month going forward and I will continue to focus on terrain building, and miniature modelling and painting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Showcase: Renegade Sergeant!

The Renegade Sergeant based on the plastic Warhammer Fantasy Nurgle Lord is finally finished after a month as a half painted work in progress.

I put a lot of work into the sculpting, conversion, and painting of this model. I tried a a lot of new techniques. While the end result is not perfect I feel that I really pushed myself to become better.

So much skin!
It was a challenge to paint a model with so much skin. The skin was painted with the Reaper Master Series pale skin triad (base, midtone, highlight). I washed the skin with a mix of Devlan Mud and Ogryn Flesh. I feel that this wash gave the skin a lot more depth than either on its own. I painted the sores with washes of baal red, devlan mud, and leviathan purple in many layers and mixed together until I got an acceptable result. This was the most intimidating part of the process. At the end I added some Tamiya Clear Read and brown mixed together to create some blood and gore around the wounds. The clear red also made some cool stringy bits in the gut wound.

I tried some new techniques on the white areas. I painted chips with a sponge, runs with Tamiya Clear Orange and added metal showing through with a standard HB pencil. FOr the green areas I did some rough blending of the shadows using a feathering/wet blending technique.
The left arm (minus chainsword) is built from scratch.
The sculpting and conversion was a lot of fun. I also pushed myself to become a better sculptor on this model. With such large skin areas my blending and smoothing on the greenstuff had to be good. This model was also my first successful attempt at scratch sculpting an arm. The lower right arm and the whole right arm (obviously above the chainsword!) were sculpted over only a paper clip as an armature.
Gross leg.
Before painting. So you can see what is converted and what is the original model. I was nervous to paint this conversion because I didn't feel the paint would match the conversion.
The cables are Dragon Forge cables.
Size comparison with a standard guardsman.
Now on to finish painting the commander, apostate preacher, other sergeant, and ogryn. Then I have the starting squad almost finished. Welcome to newest followers Pestus, Broke n English, and Silar. THanks for visiting. As always, comments, constructive criticism, and suggestions are appreciated.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Malifaux Seamus crew assembly

...and now for something completely different. Malifaux. I decided to get some Malifaux models and the rules so I could quickly put a squad together and play some games at my local game store. My girlfriend also like some of the models so I picked up a Perdita starter box for her and a Seamus start box for myself. I like the low model count, interesting rules, and cool models in Malifaux.

After a bit of fiddling, I have my Red Chapel starter box set assembled and based. I based the models using the method I showed in this tutorial on basing using press molds. I carved out some stones to create puddles and rough patches. I am hoping they will turn out well.

No more exposed butt cheeks.

I usually convert all of my models. As most Malifaux models are metal and don't have standard arm and leg attachments, this is a lot more difficult. The Sybelle model is the only one I converted out of the starter set. I sculpted a small tutu on her out of greenstuff. I thought it was kind of weird that she had nothing covering her legs, so I added a silly tutu to her. I built it using two separate layers of greenstuff and sculpted three layers of folds. Hopefully it will fit well with the model once it is painted. I think the tutu is a theme I might incorporate into some other models I add to the crew.

L to R: Rotten belle, Sybelle, Seamus, and two more rotten belles.

Assembly of the models was fairly tricky. I made the mistake of attaching the models to their bases before pinning all of the joints. I definitely should have pinned first. I also cut the models off of their basing slots. In hindsight, I should have left the base parts attached, trimmed them down, and pushed them into the bases when they were not set, and then just cleaned up the bricks around them. Pinning those tiny legs through the bases was tricky (fortunately no legs were broken during this process). 

Pinning this bag to Seamus after basing was very difficult. Hopefully it will not fall off...
I am excited to begin painting these models. I am planning on painted them with a white, red, brown, and black theme. The undead skin will be the Reaper Master Series Undead skin triad (A grey skin look). I am planning to convert a few models from other factions to join my undead as I think it would make a funny theme for my gang. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hobby Tips: Sculpting tools and thoughts

In this short article we will look at some tools and techniques I use for sculpting with greenstuff. I've always been fascinated with the mysterious greenstuff I read about in White Dwarf when I was a youngster. Now, much older, I have been able to work with greenstuff for the last two years.  I'm not an expert, but I do really enjoy sculpting. Sometimes it drives me crazy though. Maybe these tips can help you avoid some of the mistakes I have made.
You have to have some pictures in a boring and long winded blog about sculpting.
I use both milliput and GW greenstuff for my sculpting needs. I find I use each for different applications.

I once read an article that compared working with greenstuff to working with hard chewing gum. It is still probably the best analogy I have read for sculpting. Greenstuff is quite stretchy. It is fairly easy to sculpt. The elasticity can be used to create a thin area as you stretch the greenstuff. I don't work with pure greenstuff very often.

Initially when I started working with milliput I thought it was useless. It tends to flake and break apart a bit when you try to smooth it. I found it difficult to use. I still rarely use it on its own for sculpting. One advantage over greenstuff is that milliput can be sanded to get a smoother finish. I use milliput a lot for things like basing. It is cheaper and so is better for filler. It also dries with a harder finish which is good if you want to sand something like bricks.

A mix of greenstuff and milliput
This is my favourite. I like to mix greenstuff and milliput to get a blend of the properties of both. I find that the milliput makes the greenstuff softer and easier to smooth and blend into existing pieces. To mix them I mix up greenstuff and milliput separately and then add them together. I change the ratios of greenstuff:milliput but generally I like a ratio of 2 parts greenstuff to 1 part of milliput.
Here you can see the nurgle sergeant is greenstuff and the ogryn is mixed greenstuff-milliput.
The right tools make a huge difference when sculpting (or trying to, like I do!) Initially, I bought the metal GW sculpting tool and tried to use it for everything. I've since added many different tools to my kit. Life is better now. Lets go through them.
Tools I use for sculpting (L to R): Colour shapers, pin vice, dental pick, exacto knife, GW sculpting tool.
Colour shapers
Colour shapers are amazing. They are basically silicon shapes on paint brushes. The silicon is amazing because the greenstuff doesn't stick to it, making sculpting much easier. I have size 0 chisel and rounded point colour shapers. I would like to get more. I do about 70-80% of my sculpting with these. The chisel shaped shaper is used for smoothing areas, cleaning up straight edges and creating basic shapes. The rounded shaper is used for smoothing things like folds. Great tools. They make sculpting much easier and more enjoyable. I would highly recommend them. Unfortunately they are fairly expensive. About the cost of a decent paintbrush each. They don't seem to really wear out though.

Dental pick
This is made of some type of non-sticky plastic too. I stuck it on the end of a file and it is really useful for sculpting. I use it to create holes in things (damage) or to hollow out underneath holes for things like sores or rips in cloaks. It has also gotten a bit of use for defining small folds and things.

Exacto knife
Also useful in sculpting. I mostly use it to clean up flat edges or create some damage on the greenstuff. I mostly use it once the greenstuff has hardened a bit.

GW sculpting tool
I hated this tool for a while. Now I am using it a bit again. It is a nice solid edge, which is really useful for things like sculpting brick patterns. The flat end can be useful for smoothing if you use some saliva as a lubricant. I mostly use this tool to apply the greenstuff to an area and for rough/basic shaping and smoothing. The worst thing about it is the way that putty sticks to it and dries.

Often overlooked are the most imprecise tools ever-your stubby fingers! Finger can be great for a bit of sculpting. I use my hands to create basic shapes with the putty before I apply it to the model. The colour shapers make smoothing out the finger prints much more manageable. I make shapes like hoods and robes and things with my fingers and then apply them to the model with my fingers. I often then put some saliva (as a lubricant) on my fingers and smooth out the greenstuff with my finger. Quick and easy. Then I just need to use my tools to clean everything up and add detail.

If there is interest, I can do a second part where I show a step by step for some of the very basic sculpting techniques I use to create different items.

To any regular visitors, sorry I have been so long between posts. Between my new job, the holiday season, the flu, and some less happy parts of life, this last month has been quite busy and draining. I will try to get back on track here and get some regular posts up again. Welcome to Henry's tat, the newest follower and I have added Warhammer In Progress' blog to the blog roll at the right. Happy hobbying everyone.

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