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:
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Busy holidays mean a few updates get postponed, you know how it goes. Still, here’s a few Frostgrave bits and pieces that were finished some weeks back. More to come soon!
When I wrote up my starter warband roster for Frostgrave I always came up with 10 points to spend, and warhounds are the only option in such a case. What’s more, they’re fast and not much less fighty than your average thug or thief. These official models for Frostgrave are definitely on the expensive side, but in this case I couldn’t resist.
I painted the model more or less identically to the ‘official’ paintjob; being a cat person, I have but the vaguest idea of how a dog’s supposed to look. All in all I’m rather satisfied with how he came out, and he’s already gobbled up some thugs in my most recent games. Good boy!
Then there’s this chap – I found him back in my rearmost bits boxes. I’d provided him with a paintjob that had over the years become somewhat dated, to put it very mildly, and I’ve updated him with new lick of paint. It’s become a fairly thick layer with all the different coats I’ve applied to him, but I like how he came out.
I’ve added a few things of my own, such as to provide a bit of woodgrain effect to the otherwise completely flat back of the shield. It’s a simple but effective model and generic enough to go with plenty of different warband styles I have planned out.
That’s it for now. I probably won’t be covering Frostgrave this year anymore, but it’s one of the games I foresee to be playing a lot in 2016, so stay tuned!
So, Crisis ’15 happened and all my money evaporated. I’ll be doing the usual wrap-up post sometime soon, but for now I’ll just focus the first painted models out of the new haul.
These are resin markers and they’re fantastically detailed sculpts – you can count each individual coin, and there are plenty of little details hidden among them. Unlike some resin casts these required no cleaning up at all, which was another bonus.
I mounted them on thin plasticard bases as I generally like to tie my markers in with my soldiers’ basing theme; it also makes them a bit more sturdy, I think.
I painted these over an AP platemail undercoat spray, which I hit with GW retributor armour and then gave a druchii violet wash. That gold paint is stupidly expensive but it does cover very well.
Then the other colours were blocked in and washed, as usual. All those gems were layer highlighted in a simple fashion – I could have lavished hours upon them, the faceted ones in particular, but I really couldn’t be bothered too much with them. Some thin white highlights towards the top served to emphasise their shape, but other than that: job’s a good ‘un.
We’ve already used them in one scenario where a dastardly opponent used the Telekinesis spell to pull the markers towards him in his Wizard phase, and then picked them up in the Apprentice or Soldier phase. It’s a nifty combination which we’ll certainly be adjusting for!
I’m having another trial game of Frostgrave next Thursday, so I’ve gone out of the way to get some more warband models painted up for a proper demonstration of the game. First and foremost is my apprentice – no wizard should ever leave their hideout without one – who is a kitbash of several plastics – a Mordheim/Free Company body, Greatsword arms and Empire Wizard head and right hand.
First and foremost is my apprentice – no wizard should ever leave their hideout without one – who is a kitbash of several plastics – a Mordheim/Free Company body, Greatsword arms and Empire Wizard head and right hand. The idea behind him is that he’s clumsily opened up a potion flask and is mortally shocked by its demonic contents – hence the cartoony hair with its grey streaks! I tried to tackle the demonic skull thing an inside-out layering technique so that the light would appear to be shining from inside it, but that ended up looking shite so I made do with a red-to-magenta-to-purple transition washed in purple. It’s not as impressive but I’m happy with it.
What did work out better were the flames on the brazier of that guy on the right. Quite pleased with them! I’ve wetblended these going from white to yellow to orange to red to dark brown. Picking out the bits of brazier in among the flames was hard, but I think I managed alright. These models were originally meant for a spirit host for my hybrid Vampire Counts/Empire army, and they’ve finally seen some brush love now. They’ll be used as warriors in Frostgrave – unarmoured, heavy weapon-wielding chaps. They’re a bit over-the-top but they look expendable, which is just right for Frostgrave henchmen!
Well that’s that then! A second blog post done and we’re not even properly into the weekend yet. Check back tomorrow for more Napoleonic goodness, or perhaps WSS, or maybe even Red Devils… All bets are off this weekend!
A couple of days ago my good chum Flor came round to my apartment for a trial game of Frostgrave, the new fantasy skirmish game from Osprey Publishing and North Star. Even with the two months since receiving the rules, I just couldn’t get motivated to paint my warband, and I had to make do with an undercoated set of models. Painful!
The ruleset itself, as we soon found out, is absolutely brilliant. It’s quick-paced, full of hilarious moments – Flor’s Dwarf Runelord ,which he used as a Wizard, used Leap to somersault out of a sticky situation – and the campaign system looks to be well-balanced with none of the flaws Mordheim used to have. We’ve already taken it upon ourselves to start a campaign proper after Flor gets back from a month-long trip to Australia (eternal jealousy is my part) so that means I have to get my warband sorted by then. And that’s just what I’ve begun doing!
During my recent moving house I stumbled upon some really old models from back when I first started wargaming. The owner of the toy store my mother used to work at had heard about the hobby I’d begun and dumped a box of really old GW models he’d never managed to sell and had been collecting dust in the attic. In among the stuff were these skeletons. They came in really small, bone-coloured plastic sprues dated 1991 – that means they’re as old as my girlfriend is. Shocking! I hastily built them up, found an old sprue of shields which I think came with metal Dwarf blisters, and there you go.
Also in that magical mystery box was Heinrich Kemmler the Lichemaster, an old sculpt from the time when GW made interesting character models instead of twenty flavours of ‘pointing at enemy, one foot on rock/severed head’. As the original staff was a bit too tacky for my tastes, I snipped off the top and put a brazier from a VC Corpse Cart kit in its place with a little greenstuff to tidy it up. It also gave me an excuse to do a little wet blending on the flames, which didn’t turn out perfect but I’m satisfied at least.
I’ve used some tundra tufts from Army Painter for the bases – it’s Frostgrave after all – and I have to say I really like the effect. Takes them to the next level.
So far I’m really enjoying Frostgrave – it’s become an excuse to start digging into the remnants of my many fantasy armies. Up next for the project is my apprentice (though he snuffed it rather unceremoniously in our trial game) and some armoured skeletons. Until next time!