WIP: Imperial Skaven Sentinel

After finishing the Orks in my last post I’ve been building stuff for a change. The biggest and most involved piece has been a Sentinel to accompany my space rats!

I’ve always loved the look of Sentinels, but this was the first time that I’ve actually bought and build one. I’d heard about the great posability of the model, and the kit did not disappoint! To showcase the posability, I decided to model the Sentinel descending a ruined factory floor. The right leg is at its shortest, while the left is extended as far as it goes. A “flex” pose if you will. I also cut off and reposed a couple of the toes to better conform the feet to the base. The cockpit was angled down a bit to further enhance the descending motion.

To integrate the Sentinel to my Skaven, I obviously had to convert the pilot into something more appropriate. I cut off the pilot’s torso and replaced it with one of the unused Plague Monk torsos from making the regular infantry (oh yes, a use for them!). This had two benefits: I got the hunched pose that would’ve been lacking with the human torso, and the head fit with without any modifications (I did greenstuff the neck joint a bit after taking the photo). The arms slotted right in like they were made for it, however I did remove the small screen from the other steering stick. I was a bit worried if the Skaven head was going to fit under the cage, but luckily I had zero problems. The pilot fits in with good clearance around him. If I have one regret it’s that I used the original pilot legs for this model, as you can’t really see them at all when the chassis is assembled. If I’d do this again, I’d just put a blob of greenstuff or some other spacer under the torso, and save myself a pilot for some other projects..

Building the base was fun, though I hope it won’t be too far from the infantry bases, aesthetically/thematically speaking. Unpainted it doesn’t look too industrial, but I’m hoping that paint will fix it. Oh yeah, and just before priming the model, I added a giant rat from the Plague Monk sprue to the base!

Ork Boyz

Just before Orktober turns to November, I’ve managed to complete the Herculean task of.. Painting two Slugga Boyz. Well, progress is progress, and at least I get to submit a token entry for Azazel’s monthly challenge.

This month the challenge was two-fold: Orks or neglected models. These models qualify for both, as they started their lives quite a while ago. I actually built the models and started painting them around 15 years ago, but as my interest in miniatures was waning at the time they were left unfinished. This was a shame as I thought that these were some of my favorite conversions I had done (especially proud of the helmeted head with an open mouth). Well, last Orktober I set out to paint them. I stripped the old paint off, based and primed them, and started with the painting. I quickly got distracted by another project, however, and despite thinking that I’d go back and finish the Boyz pretty soon, here we are a year later ๐Ÿ˜€

I used the same main scheme that I used on the Ironskull’s Boyz. I think that greenskins look pretty good in orange, and haven’t seen too many examples by other painters. Maybe it’s because orange is a bit of a pain to paint.. If I’d ever end up building a whole army of Orks, I’d probably not go for orange, but for a couple models it’s alright. I did try to speed up my painting a bit, as if to practice painting a bigger group, but also because I was a bit strapped for time this month. All in all, these two guys didn’t take super long to complete by my standards, and were fun to paint. I still have one Boy primed, and a couple on sprue, so sooner or later I’ll return to the orange Waaagh! (working title). Probably in Orktober 2020 ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh yeah, I tried removing the background completely from the photos, to get a true white background. How do you like it?

Stormsire’s Cursebreakers

With all that’s been going on IRL, these guys have taken quite a while to complete. Still, after a month and a half on my painting desk, Stormsire’s Cursebreakers are at long last done.

Model-wise, there’s not much to say as they’re a stock Nightvault warband. Nice models. I had to do some gap filling, which didn’t come out super smooth as I only had greenstuff and it wasn’t ideal for the job. I’ve since bought Milliput, which is maybe better? We’ll see in the future, once I get to try it out..

For the paint scheme I chose the Silverlions, as I’ve done with all my Stormcast, but changed the red cloth to purple, which helps to differentiate the SCE warbands on the board. I also got lazy with the gold, and tried just drybrushing it. This, along with using a brown wash gave a more worn look. It’s also closer to what Thilo Engels did with his original scheme.

Another new-ish thing I tried with these models was to practice blends, mainly with the hair on Ammis and Rastus, and the flame on Stormsire’s hand. I chose to paint the hairdos on Ammis and Rastus differently, again for easier identification on the board. Both started from purple, but on Ammis the color transitions to pink, and on Rastus to blue. I think the colors work pretty well, as they’re found in other parts of the models: blue on the glass vials, pink on the weapon straps. Also, stereotypical boy/girl colors ๐Ÿ™‚

Most examples of Stormsire’s flame I’ve seen have been in some “magical” color. Cheap parlor tricks, I say. I thought that real(-ish) fire would complement the rest of the color scheme best, and I’m pretty happy with the result. To complement the fire, and to draw attention to Stormsire’s head I wanted to try red hair. Not quite as intense color as on dwarfs, but still reading as ginger. The image on my head was of the GoT Tormund Giantsbane, which I think I achieved, as my wife looked at the model and said “looks quite like the wildling boss man from GoT.”

Finally, by completing this warband I also finished my Nightvault core set, and claimed another square in the hobby bingo (“Paint all minis in a board game and play it”)! I’ve done the tasks in reverse order, as I played the game before painting the models, but I’ll still count it. Hopefully I get to play again before the end of the year though!

From the Archives: Grot; A Married Man

To top off Orktober 2018, I painted an old metal Grot from my teenage years.

While I couldn’t quite get the Uruk-hai Warrior painted up in a day, this one I did! It’s the first and so far the only model that I’ve managed to paint in a day (not counting some models in my teens), which makes him quite special.

When painting the Grot, I had two main goals: to practice painting pale Ork skin, and to not use any washes on the metals. As the model is mostly naked, there was plenty of space to practice painting skin. I think I managed pretty well, and painting just one tiny model I had the patience to mix the skin tones and thin them down more than usual to get some nice layering/blending going. Not using washes on the metal was both an attempt to preserve the shine of the metallic paints and to try an old school method of painting metals: starting with a Tin Bitz equivalent and drybrushing silver colors on top. It works fine, but is a bit messy if you’re going for a more refined look.

This was a fun little project and great practice for when I eventually treat myself to Zarbag’s Gits. And I got to say that the sculpt was pretty fantastic: really crisp detail and next to no clean-up needed. I can definitely see why folks look back at metal minis with misty eyes..

But enough about the Grot, and on to the other news. I’m now a married man! I and my fiancรฉ/wife got married during this last weekend, and everything went even better than I could’ve anticipated. Didn’t forget my lines in the church, and the reception afterwards was brilliant. Delicious food and drink, our families and friends, dancing, and the photography left to a professional. A wonderful weekend, and of course the best thing is that I got a wonderful wife out of it!

As you might have noticed, my hobbying and blogging has slowed down quite a bit during September, which was of course due to the wedding planning and preparations. I hope to get back up to speed soonish, though I know that our honeymoon will eat a week of painting time this month. Not the least bit sorry about that though ๐Ÿ˜€ Hopefully I’ll get the Cursebreakers done this week, and an Ork or two before the month’s over.

From the Archives: Uruk-hai Warrior

Last Orktober was an unusually productive month for me: I completed three (3!) projects! To be fair, in addition to finishing Ironskull’s Boyz, the two other projects were very small single figures.. Nonetheless, the first of them was an an ancient Uruk-hai Warrior.

The model is from the Two Towers Uruk-hai paint set, so from around Christmas 2002. The box came with 10 Uruk-hai, half armed with swords and the other with spears, and some sample paint pots. I originally painted three of the sword guys (see the end of the post), and then lost interest. The spear guys, and apparently one sword fighter were tossed in some move, but this one guy had sat unpainted in my collection for 15+ years.

As he was a type of an ork, and seemed like a quick win, I decided to get him painted up. Indeed, he took just two nights of painting, even with my slow pace. Being a single mini that I don’t have any intention of expanding into a bigger collection made it perfect for trying out new things. I wanted to achieve a dark metal armor, like in the movies, and Leadbelcher just wasn’t going to cut it. I mixed some black into it, and applied a black wash on top for good measure. Then it was just a matter of some quick highlights and I was done with the armor. The result was a dark, dull metal with worn edges, and the recipe would come in handy with an Ork Dreadnought later on.

I’m not as happy with the rest of the colors, but I guess they’re good enough. The skin could’ve been smoother and the cloth, straps and hair have more detail or contrast. But I noticed that as the LOTR/ME minis are smaller in scale, and true-scale to boot, there’s much less area to work on, and everything has to be really tiny! I do like the handprint though, it’s my favorite part of the model. The freehand was thankfully pretty easy to do as it was supposed to be rough, and I think I even got the scaling about right.

My original Uruks, for comparison.

This post was supposed to go up quite a bit earlier, but it turned out I was busier than expected during the weekend: my mates threw me a bachelor party! So rather than doing any hobby related stuff, I got to solve puzzles in an escape room, try to set highscores in old arcade cabinets, eat good food, drink a lot, sit in a sauna, play dice games, and best of all, catch up with my closest friends! And to my surprise, virtually no hangover on Sunday. What a brilliant weekend!

From the Archives: Ironskull’s Boyz

I’ve started working on Stormsire’s Cursebreakers, but as that will take some time still, let’s take a look at my final Underworlds warband that’s yet to be showcased: Ironskull’s Boyz.

Painting these guys took a lot longer than I originally anticipated. I completed the warband for last year’s Orktober, but originally started painting them in May. During the summer I moved, and as there wasn’t any real need to get the models finished, I also got distracted with other cool models. I know, I know, some painters take years or decades to finish miniatures, but four-ish months is still quite a lot of time.

This was a somewhat special project in that it was the first UW warband that I (slightly) converted. This was a simple headswap between Ironskull (the leader, with the cape), Bonekutta (big axe) and Basha (two clubs). Hakka’s (axe and knife) head was integrated in such a way that he got to keep it.. The reason for the headswap was basically that I wondered why the leader was called Ironskull, but the only head with a plate stuck to it didn’t belong to him!

To this day I think the Boyz are some of my best paintwork. The scheme, and the recipes for orange and green skin were borrowed from TaleofPainters’ Amy, big thanks to her for sharing. I especially like the faces, but painting the boss’ cape and the fur on his shoulder was really fun. These were also the first models that I tried painting checkers on, as well as sponge weathering. I wanted to use another kind of metal in addition to iron, so I added some accents of copper. I guess this makes Ironskull more of a Copper’ead, eh?

I’ll be revisiting Ironskull’s Boyz sometime in the future, as I was gifted an extra set of the models during the summer. Don’t know yet whether I’ll leave the models stock this time, or convert them even more, or about the color scheme. But Theophony on Dakka thought of painting the cape as a tattered Empire flag, so I’m fairly sure I have to steal the idea!

One final Underworlds related note. Yesterday while I was writing this post I noticed that Games Workshop had removed all Shadespire warbands from sale. I went and checked if Wayland or Element would still have the three gangs that I was missing on stock, but it turned out I was already too late. Luckily, the local game shop still had them in the shelf, and I promptly proceeded to buy Magore’s Fiends, Farstriders and Chosen Axes to complete my Shadespire collection. Didn’t really want to buy so much at once, but what can you do.. It looks like UW warbands will be on sale for two years before being retired, which means that I’ll have a year to get all the Nightvault expansions. Probably not going to get so committed to Beastgrave, as I have plenty to play (and paint!) with Shadespire and Nightvault already.

More Imperial Skaven

Alright, so August was pretty abysmal in terms of painting, but at least I got these two ratmen finished. Still, progress is progress is progress.

I got most of the paint work done during this past weekend, when I got to spent a night on each model. In a couple of hours, I was able to get them from “basecoated & washed” to basically finished. Sometimes it’s nice to just concentrate on one (small) figure at a time: seeing the progress and getting it done quickly is so satisfying.

While painting the robes I learned that you can actually over-thin your paint when doing the toothbrush flicking technique. Because of that, there’s less spattering than on the previous Skaven models, but I think they should fit in quite nicely anyway. I also tried painting the cloth on the rat with the autogun slightly darker than on the sniper, but the effect ended up being too subtle after the washes and the drybrushing. Will have to try other colors next time.

I wanted to try and paint some sort of camo cloth on to the sniper, and as I have gone for industrial basing, urban camo seemed appropriate. I think it came out pretty nicely for a first try, though the wash and the highlights might have blended the colors together a bit too much. What do you think? I also tried to do some intricate freehand work on top of some decals, and have hopefully pulled it off without making a huge mess.

These two models are my submission for Azazel’s Awesome August. I hope that I’m within the challenge parameters – they are a bit on the small and puny side, but are definitely converted models, and a lot of effort went into the painting. Plus they’re sci-fi Skaven, that’s awesome in my book. And hey, with this submission I’ve participated in Azazel’s monthly challenges for 12 months straight! My first, pre-blog entry was for Neglected Model September ’18. A big thank you to Azazel for all the hobby motivation!

From the Archives: Blood Reavers

I’ve made good progress on the pair of Skaven during the weekend, but as I couldn’t quite get them finished, it’s time for another post about old models. Here are my Blood Reavers from the AoS 1.0 starter set.

These guys were a bit of a departure from my normal painting. I didn’t want to spend half a year painting them, so I decided to try a “speed painting” technique. More of a “leaving models half-painted” technique, but nonetheless. I took an article in WD Jan 2017 as a starting point and made a couple of alterations to the palette. Basically the models are painted with just basecoats and washes, with the flesh additionally drybrushed after washing. I wanted a bit of variation on my horde though, so I chose a couple of different colors for the flesh, cloth, straps and furs, applying different combinations to each warrior.

As I kind of touched on, in a way I consider these to be WIP models. I think they look good, especially as a group, but they have been painted in a way that allows me to easily continue the painting with highlighting and other refinements. The ability to continue working on these models, however unlikely, is the reason that I haven’t put on any blood effects or tufts. I have however painted the base rims, which more than anything helps to give the impression of finished figures.

The rest of the Chaos models from the box will be getting a bit more involved paint job, as there are less models. I’ve already painted the Khorgorath (to be featured), so there’s “only” the Blood Warriors and the characters left to paint. Shouldn’t be more than a month or two’s worth of painting, but as you know there’s always some other, more enticing project to steal your attention ๐Ÿ˜€

WIP: Skaven and Scouts

Okay, definitely too long since last update, and not much to show for it.. But here goes anyway – I’ve built a couple more 40k Skaven, and also begun working on a SM Scout Squad.

First the Skaven. I’ve built a sneaky sniper and another riflerat, though with a small conversion this time. To reflect the idea that these guys are using any old hardware that can be mustered, I wanted some autoguns in their hands. I converted one from a Cadian lasgun by changing the magazine to one from a bolter, and took a barrel from an old Catachan lasgun.

The sniper was a bit more involved conversion. I wanted to use a Skitarii rifle, and with it would come the hands and arms as well. I did want to retain the Cadian shoulder pads though, so I needed to do some cutting. It didn’t go quite as nicely as I’d envisioned, and before greenstuffing I was a bit unsure if I had botched the arms. After the sculpting I reckon he looks good, no need for a redo. Which is good as all the Skitarii rifles are unique, so I couldn’t get the same pose again.

I originally thought that the sniper wouldn’t be carrying a lot of equipment on him, “traveling light” instead. But he seemed to need something on his back to balance the rifle on the front. Happily I recently received my small order from Kromlech (more on this later), and they had put in two freebie backpacks as well. I felt the other one was perfect for the sniper, and it even fit without any cutting.

Then on to the Scouts. I’ve actually had the Scout kit and the Scion heads to go with it for a long time, but before I got to building them, I saw West_minis’ brilliant Crimson Fists Scouts, that used Scion backpacks as well as the heads. Naturally I had to put the project on hold until I could get my hands on the rest of the Scions kit. This happened last week, and I set to work. The shotgunners were pretty straightforward, requiring only cutting down their back humps and a bit of greenstuff on their necks. Though I got to say that the arms were a right pain to get aligned. Still not sure if they’re how they’re supposed to.. I’m pretty sure I won’t be building another Scout squad after this (other than the Sniper squad I’ve got in my pile of shame..).

The sergeant on the other hand required more cutting and fixing, as I once again wanted to retain the original shoulderpads. With a bit of creative cutting and some putty, the Scion bolt pistol and power fist arms fit the Scout model pretty great! He’s also got a regular Space Marine head from the mkIV kit. It took some effort to attach, as I didn’t have a correct drill bit, but I got there in the end. I also cut off the service stud from his forehead.

I’ll have to get on painting these models as soon as possible, as I’ve got to get something done for Azazel’s August challenge. I’ve got three weeks though, minus the weekends, so I should be okay. Even if I don’t get all of them painted, I should be able to do at least a couple.

Thorns of the Briar Queen

Alright, my Nightvault collection is now officially started, as I’ve finished the first warband, Thorns of the Briar Queen!

As I was building these models I couldn’t help but admire the quality of GW’s new kits. Virtually no mold lines to speak of, and the dynamic poses of the models with only 1-3 pieces is astounding. Like all Nighthaunt, they are intricate, and sadly the ghost with the plank strapped to his arm lost a finger at some point. Well, he’s a tortured soul, so what’s one digit..

Painting the gang was mostly enjoyable, though more time consuming than anticipated. Painting the robes, the rusty metal and the black ghost bits was actually really fast, but the rest of the details (granted, there wasn’t an impossible amount of them) bogged me down a bit.

As per usual, I used schemes and recipes borrowed from hobbyists much more talented than me. The Nighthaunt scheme is from Jeff Vader, as already tried out on my Imperial Skaven. The rusty metal is from RobPaintsModels, which I also used for my Sepulchral Guard, with the crucial difference that I didn’t ruin it with an all-over wash of Agrax this time. While I love the dirty robes, I think my favorite part of these models are the roses, the red spot color brings some much needed contrast to the otherwise quite drab scheme. There’s a couple of details that I’m not too chuffed about: the white could’ve been smoother at places, and I didn’t quite know what to do with the diamonds on the Queen. They’re quite small details though, so I guess it’s OK..

I’ll also enter the Briar Queen and Varclav the Cruel (below) to Azazel’s monthly challenge, Jewel of July. They’re not big heroes, but as minor ones are eligible too, they’ll be my submission. I would’ve wanted to include Stormsire Cursebreaker as well, but that was a bit too ambitious. Well, I’ll just have to see if he’ll fit August’s challenge ๐Ÿ™‚

I think I’ll take a short break from painting now, and get back to building a couple of models. I recently got my ebay bits package, which allows me to start working on some new conversions that I’ve been looking forward to. Building might also be a little more tolerable than painting, as we’re feeling the heat wave in Finland as well..