Thursday, August 21, 2014

First of the Celts

Just a quick update today, as I've not had much painting time yesterday or today, and it's unlikely I'll have any more hobby time before tomorrow. I did squeeze in enough time at the painting desk to make progress on one of the mythic Celt figures - still some highlighting left to do here and there, but the skin is done and with this guy that's the majority of the figure. Of course, the base still needs seeing to, and he's not varnished, so try to ignore any shiny bits. Comments, constructive criticism and suggestions are all welcome!

I'll post colors, technique, and such next time around - hopefully I'll have the rest of the group done by the end of the weekend...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mythic Celts Warband

I got started on the minis from my last post. I superglued them to fender washers, undercoated with black craft paint, and slopped Durham's water putty onto the bases to even things out between the washer and the integral base. Fleshtones are a mix of Reaper MSP Tanned Flesh and Coat d'Arms Suntanned Flesh, thinned with my general purpose thinner and wash base, a blend of Liquitex airbrush thinner, distilled water, flow aid and drying retarder. Some of them, like the skyclad fellow with the axe, are nearly pure Reaper, while the female is nearly pure CdA, the others being a mix. I don't know how well the difference will come across after shading and highlighting, but I do like to vary skin tones whenever I think of it.

Half the group are going to be redheads. They got a base of CdA Rat Brown, a match for the old Citadel Colour Bestial Brown. The black haired fellow used MSP Armor Grey (an incredibly useful color), the brown is CdA Leather Brown, and the blonde warrior has a base of CdA Festering Brown.

I started roughing out some highlights and shadows on one of the models, but I can already see these guys are going to take more time than I originally bargained for. Finding out they're supposed to be mythic Celts has me thinking they all need tattoos, woad and plaid trousers...
That's where I left them last night, although I did go back before bed to fiddle around with eyes and some shading and highlighting on Blondie. Most of today will likely be taken up with actual work, but I ought to be able to squeeze in a little painting time. If so, I'll post another update tonight or tomorrow morning. I'll have to dig through the lead pile and find some opponents for these guys too...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Upcoming projects

I've been sorting through boxes of old miniatures and trying to decide what to focus on... My brother Steven will be around in less than two weeks, and we like to get a game in when we can. I've got a couple sets of fantasy skirmish rules to try out, so I'm thinking I'll paint a few warbands, starting with these guys...

One of these is marked "Andy Cooper 1991" on the base, and the rest "AC 91" or something similar, so maybe West Wind? (ETA: Nope, they're Mythic Celts from Alternative Armies. Thanks to Wachaza on TMP for the ID!) I got 'em in a big lot of random minis from eBay 5 or 6 years ago, and they've been kicking around in a box ever since.

I've glued 'em to fender washers since taking the photos, and I'll probably start getting paint on 'em tomorrow. Updates to come!

Other upcoming projects? I'll be painting a full set of Heroquest minis some time soon. I've got two copies of the game, and I'm thinking of selling one on eBay with all the minis painted to at least a high tabletop quality. They're not the greatest sculpts, but the game has a huge nostalgia factor for a lot of folks, and I remember the White Dwarf pics of the minis painted by the 'Eavy Metal team back when it came out.

Spiders and trees

It's been a long time since I've posted anything to this blog, thanks to a whole lot of Real Life Events over the past year and change. I'll spare you the details, as they're really not germane to the blog, nor are they particularly interesting of themselves. Suffice to say things are finally settling down, I'm in a much better place (mentally, emotionally and geographically) than I was, and I'm finally able to get back into doing some hobby-stuff.

These Reaper Bones spiders are the first figures I've painted in quite a while, so they're a get-back-into-it sort of project. My original plans involved finding reference photos of real-life spiders and painting them to match, but I realized that if I went that route I'd probably never paint them, so I just went for grubby dungeon monster instead of realistic animal look.

These guys got a basecoat of Reaper walnut brown, then a heavy drybrushing of old Citadel Colour bilious brown. The eyes were dotted in with old scorpion green and the fangs are Reaper nightmare black, which is more of a deep blue, with a glaze of old Citadel Expert blue ink. They're varnished with Liquitex matte brush-on, and Citadel 'ardcoat on the fangs. I usually use Future for gloss varnish, but the Citadel was handy and the Future was still packed away.

They are what they are – Not gonna win any awards, but they work well enough for the game table. Now I just have to get a game scheduled...

Next up are some trees, made out of toy plastic trunks from some unknown kid's toy, so I'll gloss over making the trunks. After fixing them to scrap wood bases, I made roots out of epoxy putty and let them dry, then went over the whole thing with a thick mixture of Durham's water putty, stippling it onto the trunks to get a rough bark finish.

I painted them with craft paints, sticking to the grey tones, washed with black and brown paint, then glazed liberally with thin green ink. The foliage is a mix of Woodland Scenics clump foliage, lichen, and various grades of flock, crushed herbs and dried tobacco, finished off with ridiculous amounts of Krylon matte spray varnish. The bases were detailed with the same scatter plus static grass in clumps, with some putty fungi on one tree and a strip of lichen creeper on another.

I'll be making more trees soon, I think, without the crutch of toy trunks, so I'll probably do a more in-depth tutorial then. Halfway through making these, I got a copy of Osprey's “Terrain Modeling” from the library, so I was torn between going overboard detailing the trees and keeping them simple for gaming purposes... I highly recommend the book; it's full of useful techniques and inspiring photographs. Just bear in mind that it's geared towards display dioramas, not wargame terrain. Gamers need to keep things simpler in the interest of both durability and usefulness. I'll do an in-depth review of the book soon.

So, I'm back, and hopefully I'll be posting regularly again. Hope you get a kick out of it!