Ghosts/Wraiths/Spirits/Banshees for Frostgrave

Just a quick update, but a much overdue one – it’s been more than two months since my last post! I’ve been painting plenty of stuff and a new article of mine will soon be appearing in Warlord’s newsletter; these things, rather than this blog, has been taking up much of my time. It’ll only be a short update, this – the food is on the stove and I’ve just come in from a quick jog, so I’ll have to keep it brief! On to the models, then:

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My mate Flor and I have recently started up a Frostgrave campaign using the Thaw of the Lich Lord scenarios and random encounter table, and as I noticed there were plenty of monsters of the ethereal kind, I’ve gone and added a box’s worth of these GW Spirit Hosts to my collection.

First off: these are an absolute nightmare to build. The different ghostly tentacles have to be glued together at specific locations where they pass eachother, at very minute contact points which are not at all clear to identify. These joins end up being very brittle, and if you don’t line them up 100% correctly you’ll then have trouble gluing the heads on – the ‘hairs’ will start interlocking means the heads won’t fit. These Spirit Hosts are quite possibly the worst plastic kit I’ve ever had to assemble in my fifteen years of hobby experience.

Still, once painting got underway, I had a lot of fun. Over a white undercoat I basecoated gauss blaster green, then sybarite green, then kabalite green, but I applied these basecoats increasingly away from the face, arms and tips of the lower ‘bodies’, effectively creating a transitional effect from white to a middle dark green. The weapons were basecoated silver, and after this I washed the models entirely in coelia greenshade. Once dry I applied white highlights to the faces, arms and ‘tails’ to bring the detail back on them, and I applied a sepia wash to the skeletons on the bases. The sand on the bases was painted dark brown and then both the bases and the skeletons were given a white drybrush. It’s so simple, which is also why I like them so much I decided to show them to you.

I’d like to do more of these, but someone else will have to assemble them for me…

Carthaginians!

With my Late Romans so close to completion I’ve given in to the allure of another ancients project… the flesh is weak! Spurred on by the release of Victrix’ Iberian infantry the Punic wars are a hot topic in our club, and I am the only one to have chosen the armies of Carthage.

I’ve picked up a box of Victrix Carthaginians, which will form the backbone of my collection, and I’ve added a number of extra command groups from Crusader Miniatures as well as cavalry from the latter. Of course I’ve also purchased the Hannibal foot and mounted model; the former will be converted into a Libyan captain of sorts. Let’s get on with this post and look at the first unit!

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The middle base has a bog standard Crusader Miniatures command group, those on the left and right are Victrix plastics. As you can see the Vixtrix models are slightly taller and certainly more active looking, but otherwise they fit in fine.

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I’ve painted these over a red undercoat – I was expecting to paint them with a lot more red, but eventually I used a lot more colours on these to keep them lively. As a definite first I’ve used plenty of pictorial reference material, mainly in the form of a couple of Ospreys I managed to pick up on the cheap!

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Traditionally I’ve always gone for freehanded shield designs, but I think I’d go mad if I tried to replicate the shield designs you see above! So these are my first Little Big Men transfers, and I’m fairly happy with how they turned out. Things were a bit dicey when I applied black wash to the shield boss, as some of the wash decided to run underneath some imperceptible bubbles in the transfer, so I did have to go in with some paint to tidy up afterwards. Other than that, these transfers do make an average paintjob look smashing!

That’s it for now. Sorry for the long hiatus (more than a month, ouch), I don’t have as much free time as I used to and I prefer to spend it on painting instead of writing about painting. So I don’t know when the next update will follow, but rest assured – I haven’t forgotten this blog!

 

Some Late Roman Addenda

Who knows, I might even manage to finish a project this year! Incredible! These Late Romans have been on my plate for a little over a year now and I’m actually close to completing them. They’re a relatively small force, but I think they’re among the better-looking of my projects, what with those shields. It’s a double update today, with some artillery which I finished in late January on the one hand, and the companion cavalry on the other. Let’s take a look.

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First off, these two scorpiones. I could have based these a little bit smaller, but as I’ll mostly be playing Sword & Spear with them they do have the mandatory 12cm frontage. I wish Gripping Beast did more than one set of poses for the crew, as it looks a bit strange this way, but otherwise they’re just fine.

 

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Next up is this ballista. They came with a third crew member, but as the model in question is a fairly imperious looking chap I decided early last year to press him into service as one of my commanders. Still, even with just these two lads to man the thing I think it looks fine.

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Finally we have these companions, which were an absolute breeze to paint up really. I started off from an AP fur brown undercoat spray which was mostly useful on the horses. The rest of the models were handled in the usual fashion, with the one exception being their golden shield rims and their purple helmet plumes, just to get the imperial theme across.20160224_135907

I originally didn’t plan on taking any cavalry beyond the mandatory clibinarii and some assorted horse archers, but when my gaming compatriot Eddy Maes decided to pass his bag of unused Late Roman lead around I couldn’t resist a good rummage! Once again Eddy, my sincere thanks for selling these on to me for a great price.

 

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The one thing I’m lacking for the project in terms of models are dracones. I’ve prepared some long spears (stupidly long in this case) in the hands of the standard bearers to receive these later, but it’s holding back the completion of many a unit. Hopefully I’ll be able to track some down at Salute this year, which will be my first foray into that great convention!

Hope you liked this update, and until next time!

 

Adeptus Mechanicus Tech-Priest Dominus

It’s quite a mouthful, that title, but there you have it. I’ve rekindled my interest in these models, God alone knows how I did it, and I’ve finally painted up another model for this project.

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Even though I initially opted for a Skitarii army I’ve been looking at the Cult Mechanicus models as well. I’ve always found that an army needs a commander model, and as Skitarii have nothing of the sort I’ve gone for this chap here.

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I’ve painted him up with the same processes as on the previous models, starting out with a silver undercoat spray from Army Painter.

 

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The red robes and the terracotta armour plates were washed with purple before being layer highlighted – it was painstaking to paint some of the areas because of the buildup of the model. And I hate subassemblies.

 

 

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One area I have never been good in is painting translucent objects, such as the fluid tanks on the back of this model. I’m only partly satisfied with this, not just with the technique but also with the choice of colour. I’ll leave it this way, though; can’t be arsed to start over again.

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That’s that! I still have a long way to go before I can play any sort of representative game with these guys, so I’m slowly continuing on. Next up are a few more Skitarii Vanguard to round that unit out. Not sure when they’ll be finished though – I have lots of other things I want to get off the desk first. Thanks for reading!

Tomb Banshee

I’m slowly but steadily filling up the random encounters table for Frostgrave, and it’s one I’m approaching rather piecemeal. There was a wraith in the main book, but now it seems there’s a further few ghostly types in the Lich King supplement – so I guess I’ll be using the model below fairly frequently!

 

 

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I find these GW clampack character models to be fairly good – expensive but well detailed. This one was a bit tricky to put together, owing to the strange way in which it’s been cut up during development.

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I worked from a white undercoat, of course, with the light colours I was aiming at. I then basecoated everything: gauss blaster green and baharroth blue for the robes, sybarite green for the bodice, flayed one flesh for the skin, celestra grey for the hair and silver for the metal.

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Then, of course, a coelia greenshade wash over everything, followed by a drakenhof nightshade wash over the metal bits. Once dry I just reapplied all the base colours as a layer highlight.

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Finally, I painted in the eyes and teeth with white. Super easy! I really like the way the palette came out, especially the cold flesh tone. Hope you like it too.

I have a few more updates coming soon, I just need to wrap my head around WordPress’s new publishing layout. I liked the old one much better, but then again I’m becoming an old grognard.

More Unarmoured Late Romans

A quick update to show you some progress – I haven’t had much time to photograph models lately!

Models by Gripping Beast.

Models by Gripping Beast.

These Gripping Beast sculpts are always a joy to paint, with their deep detail and chunky faces. Their shields are also a big canvas on which paint some of those lovely shield designs which I shamelessly stole from Little Big Men – if you don’t feel like freehanding these, order from them as I hear they’re great.

On to some cavalry now! Either some companions or some horse archers, I’m not too sure yet. First off though, some more 6mm WSS. Stay tuned!

 

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

End of year means yours truly takes stock to consider the past year of brushwork and how to continue doing what one does best – painting some models! I’ll cover each of my projects one by one and ramble a bit. No pictures of models in this one, so if you’re the kind of fellow who looks at shinies without reading the context – check back later! Here goes.

  • Napoleonic French: I’ve added a squadron of Chasseurs and one of Cuirassiers, two line battalions and a couple of vignette models over the course of the year. It’s my first historical project, and it’s still going strong. Next year I’d like to get at least two further line battalions ready for duty, paint up more cavalry as well as horse artillery. There’s also Napoleon’s Berlin Carriage…
  • Vikings: My second project, and one that could almost be considered finished, were it not for the fact that I continue to collect and paint Northmen for the sheer joy of it. I’ve actually sold off a portion of my Viking army this year – mainly duplicates and plastics – and I might continue to do so, just to keep the collection fresh. In 2016 I have no immediate plans to purchase or paint new Vikings.
  • Flemings/Crusaders: I’m fairly satisfied with my collection, so much of the past year was spent filling in some gaps; priests and pilgrims, a bishop, etc. What I did paint a lot of were Maltese crosses, with a decent number of sergeants and foot knights being added to the army. In 2016 I’d like to get some more cavalry done for the army, but it’s fairly low priority.
  • WW2: My Fallschirmjaegers and Red Devils both received a decent amount of attention this year, with a couple of big cats for the former and a big gun for the latter. More bodies, especially officers, for both sides as well. I have plenty of models on the lead pile to carry over to 2016 and I will certainly be adding further to both projects!
  • Late Romans/Arthurians: I’m deliberately keeping this army fairly small – I’ve painted up most of the infantry this year, and I just need to finish basing one last unarmoured unit to be done. Cavalry wise I have a unit of companions and of horse archers to be handled, and then a small selection of artillery. I’d like to handle all of these in 2016 and finally finish a project for once!
  • Dacians and Sarmatians: These were sidelined in 2015, with just one falx unit being completed. I purchased some cavalry at Crisis last year but still haven’t gotten round to them, and I also received some Foundry foot archers from a gaming compatriot which have yet to be handled. In 2016 I’ll try and finish them, but interest is currently low.
  • TYW Dutchmen: Well, shit. Nothing whatsoever was painted for this project in 2015. Better get going again or it’s Ebay time!
  • 6mm WSS Catalans: No loving for them in 2015, but just before writing these words I dug them out of the lead pile to recommence work on these imps, so how’s that for progress? I have just one foot and one horse regiment done, and my projected force will count four of the former and eight of the latter, plus artillery and commanders. At the moment I have everything but the commanders in my possession, so whils I’d like to finish the project this year I’ll have to figure out how to get a hold of more Baccus stuff. I don’t think I saw them at Crisis ’15…
  • ACW: Painted a couple of ACW units in 2014, but lost interest in 2015 completely – I guess all those Prussian uniforms put me off Union blue! Perhaps I’ll pick up the trail again in 2016, as I did see good progress on the Black Powder supplement for the ACW. Who knows?
  • Fantasy & Sci-fi: As you might have noticed on the blog recently, Frostgrave has grabbed me firmly and won’t be letting go in 2016! I’ve dug out many old Warhammer models and made some additional non-GW purchases to complement them, and I’ll continue doing so in the foreseeable future. On the 40k side of things, 2015 saw – shock and horror – a new project in the form of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but this has fallen by the wayside a bit. I just find assembling these newer models so bloody tedious, as even the infantry models don’t go together without having to look at an assembly leaflet and match numbered parts. Still, I’d like to pick up where I left off in 2016.
  • 12mm Great War models: These were a fairly cheap purchase at Warcon ’15 of which I have painted just a third of the models. They’re great sculpts, certainly, but the scale is difficult – neither my tried techniques for 28mm nor those for 6mm work well. I’ll probably get these finished in 2016, maybe buy officers for both sides, then shelve them.
  • Scenery: I built a couple of items in 2015 but didn’t finish them off and, as a result, didn’t show them on the blog. I’d like to collect and build even more, but with the small apartment we’ve moved to I don’t really have the room to store an expansive collection. Choices, choices… So my pledge for 2016 will be to finish and preserve what I currently have.
  • Commissions: 2015 was a busy year with a lot of Prussians (I reckon around 200 of them?) and some Arabs thrown in for good measure. As always, I’m stating now that 2016 will of necessity be a year of fewer commissions and more personal work; we’ll see how long I’ll keep that up!

 

So that’s the main overview of my futile attempt at coherently outlining my painting work in 2016. As ever, stuff gets dumped due to waning interest or laziness, new purchases are made because I am a wargaming magpie who likes shinies, and whole projects get shelved for a year or more because I have the attention span of a toddler in a liquor cabinet. Nothing is set in stone!

Still, despite moving house and breaking my elbow, my year of miniature painting was successful. The figure below will tell you just how successful:

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That’s how many figures I painted, with each cavalry model and vehicle counting as a single model, and artillery pieces having the gun and each free-standing crewman count as a single model as well; and this across all scales. I was going for 600, so that’s not too shabby, eh? For next year I’m upping my goal to 700, but as I did last year I’m counting in the 255 surplus models from 2015. I’m devious like that.