Some painted minis…

I recently learned a bit more about how to use my camera, editing RAW photos, and purchased a new set of lights. This has inspired me to take some photos of my recent miniature work to get a bit better at taking photos. Check ’em out!

Not much of my Warmachine stuff is painted. I did manage to paint these deliverers and one of the heavy jacks for my Menoth army. These guys were a lot of fun to paint, and I hope I can get into the rest of the army some day.

Here are a bunch of units for my US 3rd Armor army for Flames of War. At the moment I am focusing on Germans for my practice, and tournaments, but I will always have a soft spot for the G.I.s!

Flames of War Sherman tank

Stuart tanks for Flames of WarStuarts! These tanks rock in the game, and these were fun to paint. They are a bit of a conversion job. I rebuilt their barrels out of wire, and greenstuff, as well as added some bits of detail in putty to give them a more well used look. The decals on all of these vehicles really look great if you use some green to make them look chipped up, and slightly covered with dirt.

US 105mm Artillery Cannon

US 105mm BatteryThis is one of my two artillery batteries that I have for my US Flames of War army. I also have a 155mm battery to accompany these boys!

RAMPAGE! (xenite’s ramble page)

I may have mentioned this before, but I am trying to turn on the hustle for my Warriors of Chaos army for the Midwest Rampage tournament! It will be my first tournament for WHFB! I am pretty stoked about it in general. I have a list that I am excited to run, even though I have been told it is a bit soft… I’m cool with that. Mostly I will just be happy to get the items in my list painted to the level that I am hoping for. I am rolling down there with two of my warhammer mentors John, and Chris*.

The chaos warriors of Slannesh are really starting to come around. They are different than I originally envisioned, but not in a bad way. There is an evolution to the way the army is looking, and I believe that is partially my vision, partially constraints of the medium, and also random bits of data, and inspiration that adds to the final result’s DNA. It is best that way.

One of those inspirations was the rediscovery of one of the most talented artists out there, Allan Carrasco. Check out his amazing work, you won’t regret it. Some of the latest additions in putty to my chaos warriors were seriously influenced by his work. Brilliant stuff.

I will be posting some more WIP shots very soon!

*They beat my ass at the game and say… “see, that is how it is done!”

Indecision, and learning how to paint again.

FINALLY I’ve begun painting some miniatures for my Chaos army. I got going with the chaos cultist unit, and while things have been progressing fairly well, I have run into some snags. I haven’t done any painting in over a year*, so my skills have become a bit rusty. To add to that issue, I decided to change the skin-tone on my chaos cultists halfway through painting the unit! Actually this last part is a blessing in disguise. I initially viewed this army as one part dark cloth, or metal, with super pale, purple tinted skin. What I’ve just come up with is that having the skin be pale, but with different tones here and there to break up the scheme a bit would be really cool. If I can pull it off in the end, I think it will be very cool.

Some of these shots are pretty blown out thanks to using a flash. This pops the contrast of the paint scheme a great deal, and as that I shot them in RAW, you can really see the paint transitions, so my fades look like hell. They look far better in person. I probably do need to use more light when painting. 😛

Chaos Cultist Work in Progress

Chaos Cultist Work in Progress

This is how I started the paint scheme. It was supposed to be a bluish tinted skin. Instead of a weird Slanneshi look, I ended up with something that looks a bit more undead than anything.

Chaos Cultist Work in Progress

Here I’ve switched to a purple color, and didn’t use washes as much, so the skin looks cleaner. I feel like the highlights need another pass on the skin, and some pronounced shadows. The camera flash really flattens these minis out, and makes the highlights look more drastic than they are.

Chaos Cultist Work in Progress

I was pretty happy with the way that the unit champion turned out. His shading/highlight is about the effect I would like for the whole unit.

Chaos Cultist Work in Progress

“OMG! I love Blueman Group!!!!” Yeah, um – this guy isn’t going to be a Smurf or anything. It is essentially the base coat for the blue ones. The highlight will cause these guys to blend in with the unit a bit more.

On these I’ve painted the blue as a retrofit over the skin-tone. I use quite watered down paint in thin coats which allows me to get away with this kind of thing. Its easy to paint straight out of the bottle, but I don’t recommend it. The extra work that thinning your paint creates is totally worth it to get a smooth finish.

*Not entirely true: I have painted a good deal of Flames of War miniatures, but those I am doing to a lessor level than that of my 28mm+ miniatures, so all those show is that I remember which end of the paintbrush to dip into the paint.

Miniature greens from Red Box games – Old School Fantasy Figs

This bit is pilfered from Dakka – Redbox games is working on some sculpts for some old school style fantasy figs. Click Here to check them out.

When I first read the post title, I was seriously worried that these were going to be bland, and diminutive style minis from the days of yore. That is what ‘old school’ put into my mind, and the name of the company is a reference to the original D&D packaging. I was blown away to see that the style, and the design hearken back to the early days of miniature gaming (the fantasy/role-playing variety), but sculpted in a very modern, and articulated way. These minis are fantastic! I especially like the elves. I will have to keep in touch with Redbox to see when they plan to release these.

…in the other man’s shoes.

It had been a while since Jason and I had played any Flames of War, so we picked up a game at Black Sun Games this evening. Originally, I had hoped to get in a game with the local Soviet Tankovy commander, but he was busy taking it to some poor Brits who were mistaken for Germans (that’s what ‘appens when you have yor tea in a stein, ya toss-pot).

Jason asked if I wanted a game, and if I were up for switching armies with him. So, we played cauldron with me commanding the ever-plucky US airborne, while Jason quickly learned to drive stick, and hopped into the commander’s cupola to take control of the panzerkompanie. He fielded an interesting force that he and I had discussed in the past… 12 panzer IVs, with a pair of motorized AA guns. I went with a force that more or less resembled that which Jason usually fields, and gives me fits nearly every game. Two beefy paratrooper platoons, motars, 57mm AT guns, and some 105mm arty, on loan from the regular army.

During the game, I did what paras do best during this sort of situation, dug in and sat there. At first Jason was having a blast driving the tanks around, but quickly realized how daunting digging out all the yanks was actually going to be. He decided to make a go for it, and did a right-hook with nearly all of his tanks. The first several rounds of shooting, and the following assault didn’t do as much damage as Jason needed it to, and my counter attack cracked a lot of armor. In the end Jason lost too many tanks, and I too few paratroopers, and we called it a game. The objectives were safely in my hands.

I feel a little bad, but now we both can see both sides of the fence. Attacking dug in paratroopers is a very hard task to pull off. Jason now can see what I have to go through when we play. He mad no real tactical blunders, but a brutal matchup and some crappy dice got him in the end. The only thing that he could have done differently would have been to soften the target area some more before the assault, and to maybe have brought some infantry in to support his tanks. It’s tough to say, that is how I tend to tackle that situation. The thing you have going for you in a situation like that, as the panzer commander, is that you get to dictate the pace of the battle, and where the fight happens.

Neither of us had played for a bit, so we messed up some of the rules which affected the game some. Jason could have focused on my 105s, which would have weakened my flank a lot, whereas his attack pretty much went into the strongest part of ‘fortress paratrooper’. If the opposite was true, and I had to manuver to repulse his attack, I would have been on the back foot for the rest of the game.

It was very enlightening to both of us to run each others armies, and to get a feeling for the strengths and weaknesses first hand. I for one am a bit more aware of the challanges that defending infantry have to deal with in their setup, and will have to keep an eye peeled for weak points in the defense of hunker downed infantry. I think Jason got an idea about the versitility of armor, as well as it’s weaknesses when in close proximity to the opposing force when it’s in such a strong position. We decided to switch things up in the future, and that I will start running my Falschirmjager for a while. The games should be more dynamic, and less one sided. I’m still going to bring tanks dammit!!

Tomb King Rumors

Rumors about what the Tomb Kings will likely manifest as in the next edition of their army book have been floating around. If you are interested in checking them out, visit Plastic Legions to see what is coming out of the rumor mill.

This gets me to start thinking about my own Tomb King army. I left the project off back in 2007, and am looking forward to getting back into it. Once the new book comes out, I am going to make some choices about the direction that I would like the army to go, and try to focus it some. Where I left off the army was going to be the remnants of the forces of a powerful Prince from Araby, whos army was destroyed by a magical sand storm. A cult of necromancers, who had betrayed the Prince then raised the army for their own purposes (read jack Oldcoast’s Empire army!)

I like this back story a lot, and I still really like the Middle Eastern Army circa the Crusades (Inspired by the Saracins, and Bedouins). Mixing this with some of the rich imagery, and folklore from Arabian Nights still seems like it has huge potential. There are some units that I was having some trouble figuring out how to translate from Ancient Egyptian to 12th Century Islamic/Arabian Nights however. The chariots are the sticky one for sure. Undead War Elephants is the contender at the moment.

I think that once the new book comes out, I will have to sit down with the sketchbook, and feel some of these things out more fully. In any case, I am stoked that the Tomb Kings are going to be getting an update soon!

Slanneshi Giant & Warrior Prototype Work In Progress

Over some time off that I had for Thanksgiving, I was able to put some time in on the giant, and the Chaos Warrior of Slannesh prototype as well. I am starting to mix some press mold casts I made earlier in with the rest of the sculpting. I like the look, and efficiency of press-molds for things like the Chaos Warrior. I will be able to mass produce some of the armor plates that the rest of the unit will need.

Slanneshi Giant Work in Progress

Slanneshi Giant Work in Progress

Slanneshi Chaos Warrior Prototype

Slanneshi Chaos Warrior Prototype

I am very happy with the way the Chaos Warrior design is coming together. It will look very slanneshi once painted. Very little of this model isn’t greenstuff at this point. The torso, and arms are from a GW beastman Gor, and the shield was made by Gorgon Miniatures.

More (and somewhat better) shots of the spawn progress

Tentacles!

Chaos Spawn Work in Progress

I did a bit of work on the modified Chaos Spawn this week. Work life has kept me away from my modeling bench somewhat, but I was able to resolve the missing leg on this critter, as well as the feelers coming out of its face. I am pretty happy with the use of guitar wire for this. I will have to carry this over to some of the other monstrosities that I have planned.

Chaos Spawn Work in Progress

I took a bit more care with these photos as well. I remembered to shoot in RAW mode, and took the time to play with their exposures in photoshop. What I need is better lights, and some kind of stands so that I can position them more easily.

Chaos Spawn Work in Progress

In the front shot of the spawn you can see a very rough region under it’s chin where the sculpting is particularly unrefined. This is my next target with this thing. That, and some sort of hook/claw/feet for the ends of its legs as well will pretty much wrap up the modeling on this piece.

More Cultists & Chaos Spawn WIP

This is the latest progress on my Slanneshi army. The 1st group of cultists is almost done with its modeling, 2 spawn are almost there as well.

Champion Cultist Work In Progress

The champion has received a sword and a shield.

Chaos Cultists

This is the full block of 20 cultists. The standard bearer is the next modeling work I need to do on this unit.

Chaos Spawn Work In Progress

This is a conventional GW kit chaos spawn. See, I can have non-converted stuff in my army!

Chaos Spawn Work In Progress

This spawn has a lot more custom work done to it, and some more to go.

Other units that are under way are a block of more dogs, Chaos Warriors, Mutated Chosen, and a Slanneshi Giant.

Chaos Cultists – WIP Update

I have applied the next layer of detail on these models. Hooks for the flails, greenstuff patching, flail positioning, and applied sand to the bases. This unit is coming together nicely. In the not too distant future I will be posting an article about how I made the hooks for the flails.

Chaos Cultists Work in Progress

Chaos Cultists Work in Progress

Chaos Cultists Work in Progress

My chaos hounds are on their way as well. Based, some conversion, patched (more or less) and primed. I have 10 more of these puppies in the works as well.

Chaos Hounds Work in Progress

Chaos Hounds Work in Progress