From the Archives: Shadowpike Ruins

I’m hard at work painting the Thorns of the Briar Queen, but as they’re not done yet, I’ll have to showcase something else. Delving in the Underworlds, I feel Shadespire terrain is most appropriate!

If you’re familiar with Shadespire, you might know that official terrain, or “3D blocked hexes”, was never released. Many people seemed to scratchbuild them, however, and I’ve also found a couple of 3rd party terrain sets. The terrain pieces in this post are “Shadowpike Ruins Terrain Set” from Bitspudlo, and they can be used to fill every blocked hex in the two original Shadespire boards.

These were actually my first resin models. I had heard the horror stories about Forge World / Citadel Finecast and was a bit wary of buying them, but as the models looked great in the pictures and the price was right, I decided to take the plunge. I’m happy that I did, as the quality pretty much perfect! I shaved the base edges a bit, but that was it. I’m definitely more open to getting more resin models in the future. Probably not from Forge World though..

I painted the ruins with my goto sandstone recipe, the same I’ve used for basing pretty much all my models. In addition to the stone, there were plenty of details scattered about: chests, pots, lanterns, candles and of course some bones. Painting all of them took a bit of time, but it was fun to try out copper paints and verdigris.

When photographing the finished set I couldn’t resist taking some “cinematic” shots. Perhaps not the nicest of executions, technically speaking, but I liked the ideas. Can’t remember why I didn’t take photos with the Sepulchral Guard, as I had definitely finished them at the time.

So yeah, I’m very happy with these pieces, and they’ve been great on the game boards as well. I’ll probably end up getting the official terrain set for Nightvault at some point, even though I’m not crazy about all of the models, and the quality certainly isn’t as high as with these.

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Imperial Skaven

Okay, back to miniatures! I’ve finished the Imperial Skaven that I built back in March. As I’ve discussed the modelling in the previous post, this one is dedicated to the painting and my thoughts on how these vermin fit the 40k universe.

Painting the Skaven was a lot of fun, and I tried to keep it “fast and loose” (with varying success..). I decided to go with the vanilla Cadian scheme, but make the clothes really dirty and the equipment scratched and worn. I started with the beige cloth, borrowing the idea from Jeff Vader’s brilliant Nighthaunt. The dirt was spattered on with a toothbrush, and afterwards the cloth was drybrushed and washed to give highlights/shadows, and also to further the weathered look.

As I’m doing this project as a sort of a Kill Team, I wanted to further differentiate the models, so identifying them would be easier. I decided to do this by painting the hoods in different colors. I reckoned yellow would suit the leader, and red would fit the flamer. As the plain colors looked a bit boring, I thought I’d do some simple freehand designs on them. Worked nicely enough, even if they’re a bit Orkish.. Good practice for the eventual Underworlds Gobbos!

I used a number of decals on these models, and it was great to see that they worked as they should, considering they were something like 10-20 years old (the “31” on one of the bases comes from a Dark Angels sheet in the Warriors of the Imperium box!). As you might have noticed, there are a couple of different designs on the shoulder pads. I’m not too familiar with the Imperial Guard identification conventions, and went mostly with what looks good to me. I also scribbled some “graffiti” on the models, to hint that the equipment might not be meant exactly new, or suitable for combat..

So what about the “lore”? These days, as far as I know, the Imperium considers nearly all abhumans as abomination to be shot on sight. Nothing wrong with that (narratively speaking), but this was too good a modelling opportunity to pass up. Back in the third edition days, there were mentions about various abhumans serving in the Guard, and I thought that even with the contemporary Imperial policies, there would be some backwater planets out there that would find it necessary to recruit outside the “pure” human genepool. Not many men would willingly fight with the filthy vermin, but they could be given any old equipment that happened to be in the storage and made surprisingly effective fighters, especially in confined spaces.

I enjoyed this little project very much, and have plans for many more figures. I’ve already ordered a couple of bits for the next models, but we’ll see when I get my hands on those. Anyway, my next task will be to delve back into the Underworlds, and to finally start the Nighvault models that have been sitting on my desk for almost a month!

Intermission: Road Racing Photos

What? It’s been more than two weeks since my last post?! Where does all that time go..? Anyways, since I still haven’t finished anything new, I thought I’d present something different. I and my better half visited Imatra a couple of weeks back, to see an IRRC (International Road Racing Championship) event. Here’s a couple of my better photos from that day.

Now, I’m not a professional photographer (not me in the pic above!), and wouldn’t even really classify myself as a hobbyist, but I dabble in photography from time to time. And what better subject to practice on than really loud and really fast motorbikes? Armed with an old entry-level DSLR and a brand new super-zoom lense that I got for a graduation present, I took around 400 photos in the 4 hours that we were there. Around half of them were more or less blurry messes, but I did manage to get a couple of nice and sharp shots with motion blurred background. More luck than anything, but I’m happy!

The first race we witnessed when we got to the site was sidecars. I got to say that the passengers, apparently known as ‘monkeys’ in English or ‘purkkiorja’ in Finnish (translates roughly as ‘can slave’), are positively mad! It’s their job to help balance the bike in corners, and they do this by leaning over the edges, with bodyparts (face, mainly) almost scraping the tarmac. From photography point of view, the slightly slower speed of the bikes made them easier to shoot and track, so funnily enough there’s more motion blur on these than the following superbikes.

Due to their speed the superbikes were tough to get sharp photos of. I had to increase the shutter speed, which results in less motion blur, but I guess it’s still enough to separate the bike from the background.

The second-to-last race of the day, and the weekend, was with vintage bikes (from the 80s, I believe). Beatiful machines with cool liveries, and as with the sidecars, were a bit slower and thus easier for me to photograph. I should try to edit one of these photos with some retro effects, I reckon..

From the Archives: Garrek’s Reavers

I’ve started working on the 40k Skaven, but as they’re not ready yet, it’s time to once again present some older models from my collection. This time, it’s Garrek and his merry men.

Even though Garrek’s Reavers were the other half of the Shadespire core set, they were only the third warband to get painted. I was so excited about the Sepulchral Guard, that I just had to get them out of the way first. But these guys got painted eventually, and I reckon I did a pretty good job with them. Being some of the earlier models that I painted after getting back to the hobby, they were good practice for some techniques that I hadn’t done before. Firstly, I wanted to try different skin tones for all of them. I think this was a success, even though the two lightest tones came out a bit chalky. And I even managed to color code the models without realizing, so that the darker the skin is, the tougher the guy is.

Secondly, I got plenty of practice painting faces, as there were four bare heads amongst the group. Again, I’m happy how they came out, as none of them got the dreaded “derp face”, and I got all the irises to the right spot on the first try, believe it or not. I also got some individual teeth done, though only on upper or lower jaw, not both.. Finally, I got to try out Blood for the Blood God, which was fun. Haven’t really used it since though, except for an Ork Dreadnought.

The paint scheme for these Bloodreavers is a bit unusual for me, as it’s the studio version! I tried to find something else that I liked better, but at the time couldn’t. I have some ideas brewing for further Shadespire Khorne warbands though, whenever I get to them..

*Excuse the photos, which are a bit tiny. They’re from a time when I was still figuring out how to compose and take good(ish) shots. At least you can see some detail on the picture above. I should do another photoshoot for these guys, but you know how it is…

Silverlions Retributors

It took me a lot longer than expected, but I’ve got some new models to show: the three Retributors from the AoS starter set! A side effect of taking so long with these is that they totally qualify for Azazel’s Neglected Model June challenge, so that’s nice!

I started working on these right after the Space Marine Captain, and they were supposed to be an “easy win”, quickly getting multiple models done after painting single models for a couple of months. Two-three days, tops! That turned into two-three weeks, but that’s how it goes sometimes. For some reason I wasn’t really feeling these models, and I don’t really know why.

The painting was the same as with the previous Silvelions, so nothing special there. I’ll note that I used a different, finer sand for the basing than what I usually use. I think it’s too fine for my taste, and in hindsight I should’ve added at least some coarser sand in there. Fortunately the tufts and other bits do a passable job of hiding the flatness of the big bases.

For the next project I think I’ll go for something more organic. I’ve been painting so much armor lately that I feel I need some cloth in my painting queue. The 40k Skaven would fit the bill perfectly, so I’ll probably get on to those. I might also paint something else for Azazel’s challenge, but we’ll see if I have time.

From the Archives: Tomb Banshee, Birthday, Update

It’s been a bit longer from my last post than I’d hoped, and I was supposed to have something new to show, but since I’ve been slacking a bit on the painting front lately, I’ll give you a previously painted Tomb Banshee. Additionally, as per the title, I’ll give you an update of what’s been happening in the ‘real world’.

But let’s start with the Banshee. It’s my birthday today, and I though she would be an appropriate model to showcase, as she was a present from my lovely fiancé last year. She was a bit unsure of what to get me, so helped her out a bit and gave her three options: the Lord of Plagues, the Wight King or the Tomb Banshee. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she picked the Banshee. While I don’t really collect any armies, I love this model and am very happy to have it in my collection. Painting her was also really enjoyable!

As I recall, it only took me a couple of days to paint her (that’s fast for me..). The model was primed in white, and the skin was basically just Nihilakh Oxide, a bit of Coelia Greenshade and a highlight. The face received a bit more attention, but nothing too dramatic. I wanted the clothes and the leather to look worn, and this was my first attempt at doing those tiny “scratches”. Very subtle, but I still like it! And finally, as you can see the paint scheme was inspired by the box art, apart from the hair. The distinct red hair was changed to blonde (a suggestion from my better half:), and even though I’m biased, I think I like it more like this.

The base was another new experiment. I wanted to do something a little more scenic than just sand that I had been using previously. I started with the model’s original square base that had some stones and the skull, and blended it on to a 32mm round base with a bit of greenstuff. I then dug an old chaos accessory plate from my bits box, made it a bit thicker with plasticard and stuck it to the base to act as a tomb stone or something. So it’s not too adventurous or elaborate, but it gave me a taste of a little more interesting base.

So, having talked about the model, what’s been going on in my life recently? In regards to the blog, the most important thing is that I got a summer job and started it last Monday. Naturally, that has cut into my potential hobby time a little. And blogging/commenting on other people’s post as well, sadly. Realistically, it shouldn’t affect me too much, but there might be (even) longer gaps between posts from now on. Especially in the next couple of weeks, as I’m still getting used to the new daily routine.

Another noteworthy thing is that I got my master’s degree last week, and with it, graduated from University. Not directly relevant to this blog, but needless to say I’m pretty chuffed! I did take my sweet time with it, but it’s done now!

Revelators Captain, Collection So Far

Oh yes, my marine Captain is finally finished! With that, I’ve finished what roughly equates to a Start Collecting! box plus some extras, giving me a game legal army (at least what was legal back in 4th..). I’m not planning on playing any time soon, of course, but that’s neither here or there..

This model was converted way back in November last year, and as those who were in the hobby in the 3rd ed. era might recognize, he’s based on the old metal Captain model that came in the Command Squad box. I planned the kitbash/conversion for a long time, but basically I noticed that you could get the plastic Captain to look pretty close to the old metal one just by finding an appropriate head. I think the one I used is from some Primaris kit. I also did a small alteration to the armor: I added the collar and the studs in it to get a closer resemblance to the original. There are some differences, of course, like the backpack which I like more than the basic design.

As this was a special model, I wanted to do something different with the painting. I’d seen Ben Komets’ tutorial on a 2 hour “tabletop” Ultramarine, and inspired by it I thought I’d try to do some panel modulation on the armor. Nothing like proper NMM, but maybe something shinier than the regular grunts. I also wanted to do something with the cloak, and decided to try freehanding the chapter badge in there. Needless to say, painting this guy took quite a bit more than 2 hours to finish, but I’m pretty pleased with myself anyway. Painting the armor was actually quite fun, and while I suspect it took longer than my previous marines, it didn’t feel like it. One cool thing is that I didn’t use any washes on the gray armor!

I got the freehand on the cloak done without too much issues. I did have to repaint the small triangular rays, as I initially their position was off, but that was pretty much it. White design on black had me worried in the beginning, but starting with Celestra Grey and working up from there seemed to work well. The face was fun to paint once again, and I tried some new things there as well. I tried doing the “eye liner” to define the eyes better, and used dark brown and off-white instead of black and white. I think the result is nice, although in the close-up the eyes look maybe a bit too wide. Good enough, I say!

Above you can see the Captain with his Veteran Sergeant (write-up pending), another plastic tribute to the 3rd ed. Command Squad box. And as I mentioned in a comment on a previous post, I took a photo of my fledgling Space Marine army. They’re starting to look respectable! In addition to the Captain, there’s a Tactical Squad, an Ironclad, a Devastator Squad, the Veteran Sergeant mentioned above and the Sergeant from Battle for Macragge starter set (again, write-up pending).

And last but not least, another square claimed in the bingo card! The Captain was a new version of one of my old character models (see the old version in the post about my Ultramarine army). With his power armor he also counts for Azazel’s Mechanismo May challenge.