Saturday, 22 July 2017

Warhammer Cottage

Recently I was digging through old copies of White Dwarf and found the old Modelling Workshop articles and building plans. This series of articles started in issue 130 back in October 1990 and ran for several issues and covered a number of projects. The first of these was for the famous Warhammer cottage that I know was my first build back then and I'm sure it was for many others. I went on to make a number of buildings all of which have been lost to the sands of time now (aka. brutal clearouts). I thought it might be nice to relive the old days though and have a stab at making something. Where better to start than the cottage from that first article?!

Here the walls are assembled, timbering in place and the door has been started. I gave the balsa wood a going over with a wire brush to bring out the grain a little. I thought it might fuzz up badly doing that but it didn't which was great. I did find that a thin coat of watered down PVA helped to settle any bits down though. I also skimmed some of the hard edges off the timbers so they didn't look too machined. Could have roughened them up even more I suppose but this is my first build since the early 90's so I didn't want to get too crazy.

The infill for the walls was a new method for me. I used to brush watered down textured filler (Tetrion) onto the panels but I didn't think it would really look good enough. I decided on a mix of filler, some fine sand and a pinch of static grass (barely noticeable really) and I roughly plastered each panel using a strip of plastic as a spatula. It totally changed the appearance of the building when finished and seemed to give me the touch of realism I was after.

I also detailed the door. Something I failed to do consistently in the past. Plastic strip, green stuff nails and a piece of brass wire for the door handle. 

The next step which I'm still on was the chimney stack. The article says to make stones out of putty. Back in the day I took the easier option of just rendering the surface like the walls (quite reasonable) but I wanted to give the stonework a go this time (like a big boy!). DAS is suggested in the article but I found it useless so I ended up going with good old greenstuff. Wasn't too sure what I was doing at first but got into the swing of things pretty quickly. The article suggests placing the stones randomly at first to avoid things looking too even. Works well but I found that doing a little at a time and leaving it to dry was helpful as well. I added a bit of texture by pressing rough sandpaper onto the surface of the putty. I wasn't sure whether my stones were a little small at first but as I've added more and done some of the edge stones I think they look alright.

It's going to take a bit of time to get the stone work finished but then it's just the roof to do and then perhaps think about basing it.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Zombicide Black Plague - Chauncey

Time for another blog post I reckon. It appears my output has been bloody horrendous over the past couple of weeks, although that is from a quantity point of view rather than one of quality. Anyway, one of the models I've been working on is Chauncey from Zombicide Black Plague. A Cleese-ian looking knight. Not much really to say about this other than it's a bendy plastic model and had some pretty heavy mould lines which did fuck up the mail here and there. Always a problem with these kinds of models. I find the best way to tackle mould lines on this material is to slice away the heaviest and then give the whole model a quick lick of paint before trying to file away the lighter ones. The paint helps to reduce the amount of fuzz created by the file and the plastic files down much more cleanly. I reckon the paint particles help to act like a mild abrasive.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Red Box Games Njorn Hirdmen

It's been a little while since my last post but I wanted to wait until I'd finished this set of models completely before posting anything. As the title says it's more RBG stuff and long time followers and those with a good memory may notice that these are part of an ongoing commission. I've lost track of how many Njorn/Norse types I've painted as part of this job but even with these there are more still to come!

Anyway, onto the models which personally I don't think are RBGs best. They're multi-part models so come with separate heads and weapon hands. There are five different bodies and heads. I was initially a bit surprised at how flat the bodies were. I've kind of seen a bit of that in other models from RBG but these are very two dimensional looking. Once painted though it wasn't quite so obvious so that's good. I found the heads to be a poor fit on the bodies as well with some only really fitting anywhere close to comfortably on certain bodies. That kind of defeats the purpose of having separate heads. A couple needed trimming down before fitting them as well as they looked like they had a couple of extra vertebrae. All needed gap filling. I'm sure the short spears have a real world equivalent but I find them a little odd being so used to seeing models with longer weapons.

Griping aside, here are the models.

Like I say, I have more to do. There are another ten of these but with hand weapons instead and then some better quality characters. I'll have a bit of a change and do some other bits first though as the limited range of colours used on them can get a little dull after a few models.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Infinity stuff

My Infinity commission rolls on with more bits and pieces painted recently. There are the last couple of pieces for the Nomads faction, a pair of Gecko Squadron battlesuits.

They're pretty big models next to a regular human character and rather weighty too being all metal. A real wrist breaker after a long painting session. Had a couple of minor problems with these as a few parts were incorrectly packed. One of the legs was the wrong one for one of the models but I managed to fit it ok and fixed the join with putty. I did have to go to customer services though to get the correct set of small pilot's arms for the two gun model. The first of these ended up being a massive chore because I got sidetracked trying to also figure out how to video my painting. I could have eaten a bullet by the end of that week so wasn't looking forward to doing the second one. Oddly enough though it came together reasonably quickly in comparison. Lesson learned. When there's work to be done don't fuck about with other stuff.

All the remaining models are for Pan Oceania and consist of a set of Neoterra Bolts, a cosplay version (?) and Joan of Arc.


It was the usual gripe with some of these models. Too many parts, too much work to clean and assemble. The Neoterra Bolts come in 6 and 7 pieces depending on the exact model and as ever I was left wondering why. Still, not as bad as the Knights of Santiago that I was prepping the other week that come in at a silly 10 or 11 parts per figure. Even the Gecko battlesuits came in fewer pieces!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Age of Sigmar Stormcast Eternals Liberators

A quick post to show my Stormcast Eternals Liberator Prime. Pretty much the same deal as the previous two models. Just two more Liberators to do and then I can move onto some heroes. The Lord Celestant on Dracoth from the boxed game is a very tempting candidate for post Liberator daubing. Although with the release of the AoS Skirmish rules the Lord Relictor would make a good addition and give me enough pieces for a small bare bones warband. Not to mention the other heroes I've got from the two Warhammer Quest games. Decisions, decisions!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Painting video tests

Just a quick post here. I've done a couple of test videos to see if my camera is suitable for painting videos. I always thought the standard lens I had wasn't capable of getting close enough to really show what I was doing but it seems it might be alright after all. I was planning to use a different lens to get in closer but it gave a very tight shot and was terribly unforgiving if I moved my hands (difficult to not do when painting).

These aren't tutorials, I just wanted to see if my set up worked. No audio on the first video as I was listening to music at the time (Voivod's remastered Killing Technology album for those interested).

I repositioned the camera a bit for the second video and in the first couple of minutes I mention a few points.

I think the hardest thing is getting everything in focus. My lenses don't have true auto focus so I'm still figuring out the best settings to use. Whilst not perfect I hope these are going some way towards showing how I paint. Any feedback would be appreciated before I start trying to do proper tutorials.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Tsuba Miniatures RJW

I've been busy painting another batch of Tsuba Miniatures Russo-Japanese War models. It's pretty much just everything that was left in the range that needed painting so there's a mix of Russian and Japanese bits and pieces.

There's another nice little set of models to add flavour to the tabletop in the form of Russian looters.

And to add a bit of punch there's a pair of Russian Putilov field guns. One set up and firing and the other being maneuvered

The last few pieces are Japanese command. The soldier on the far right is a horse holder and has reigns in his hand. The two officers wearing samurai armour and sashimono I believe are more of a fantasy but good fun all the same.

Finally, and not part of the RJW range is a set of American Civil War civilians. Two farmers and a southern gent. I think this is just a one off set and not part of any larger planned range.

Check out Tsuba Miniatures blog, and currently all the models are available from Empress Miniatures.