The Farstriders

My Shadespire collection grows by yet another warband! This time, I’ve finished the Farstriders! That makes six finished gangs, and two more to go to complete the first season of Underworlds.

Now, to be honest these could’ve been finished a lot sooner, had I not bought myself Hades from Steam. I’ve sunk so many hours into it during the last month that had I used them all painting, I’d probably have my Shadespire collection finished right about now.. It’s a pretty good game though 😀

Anyway, the Farstriders. I decided to change my default SCE color scheme to something else for this group. At first I toyed with the idea of going with the box art golden boys, but then I felt that I needed to change it a bit to make it mine. I thought I’d just change the blue to red, but then I decided to change the gold as well, to a more weathered looking brass. I came across a cool Space Marine Minotaurs tutorial on FromTheWarp ages ago, and finally got to try it out. Well, loosely speaking. I used Citadel paints and their brass triad, just adding verdigris effects before all the drybrushing. I’ve used Nihilakh Oxide a couple times before, and have been a bit unhappy with the results, thinking that the paint went on too opaque, even with 1:1 thinning with medium. This time I diluted the wash even further, to 1:2, and think that it looks good to me (as long as I only go over areas once). Well, I erased most of the verdigris with the drybrushing anyway, so it didn’t really matter even if I put too much on.

My favorite part of the models to paint were the capes. As you might have noticed, I’m a bit of a sucker for differentiating my warband models in some way, and here I decided on making the capes in different colors. I used around five base colors for the initial pattern in each cape, which I then washed with different washes and drybrushed them to finish them off. While painting the initial pattern, I mixed the paints on the borders to achieve a smoother transition, either by mixing an intermediate color on the palette or by wetblending on the model.

There are a couple of things I’m not totally happy about on the models. One is that I probably should’ve pushed the highlights on the reds a bit more, as compared to the black leather bits they look a bit flat. Speaking of red, with these models I tried to make the reds on the topknot, pauldrons and the loincloth(?) a bit different, and brighter on top to draw attention there. Success, I think? I’m also not sure about the color choice on the bird: I tried to mimick a golden eagle, but brown and white doesn’t really stand out from the brass armor and white cape. But these are considerations for future models, I’m calling these ones done.

Last but not least, I’m claiming a square on the hobby bingo: a team painted specifically for a skirmish game. Seems like the year has started well on the bingo front, one month down and two (/three) squares completed! If I can keep this up, I’ll be finishing the whole board before the end of the year! (Yeah, fat chance..:)

Nurgle Lord of Plagues; PSA

Today I get to show a model which I’ve wanted in my collection for a long time: the Lord of Plagues. As he’s a bit of a bucket list model, I’m also entering him in Azazel’s Destino December challenge.

I bought the model last month after a pretty insane work week, deciding I had earned something nice 🙂 The Lord was on stock in my FLGS, and as the price isn’t as extortionate as GW’s more recent character models I picked him up. I know this model is often used for all sorts of cool (INQ28) conversions, but as the basic model is so close to perfect I wanted this one to remain in stock form. I did however build him a bit more elaborate base to make him stand out a bit more.

As this model was bought purely for painting and not for an existing army, I thought it would be a good platform to try out some new things. Firstly, the model got a zenithal undercoating, which was a first for me. I can’t really tell if it has a lot of effect on the finished model, as I might have still painted with too thick paint, but it certainly helped me to position shadows and highlights more easily. It’s definitely something that I want to come back to in the future though.

Secondly, rather than trying to paint the armor smoothly, I wanted to use stippling both for easier color transitions and to give an impression of the armor being pitted and banged up, which I think work well as there is already quite a lot of sculpted damage to begin with. There’s still room for improvement in my stippling, but I’m pretty happy with the light-to-dark contrast that I achieved.

For the paint scheme I wanted to do something a bit different from the default green. I had seen Andrew King’s rather wonderful blue Nurgle army in White Dwarf, and decided to try something like that. Andrew used Thunderhawk Blue as the basecolor for his armor, but as my local shop doesn’t stock it I used Stegadon Scale Green. The color was a bit more green than I’d have liked, but glazing some Guilliman Blue on top worked out well to correct this.

To complement the colder blue tones of the armor I wanted the base to have warm red dirt on it. Happily, WHTV recently published a tutorial on the new Underworlds Goblin Riders. I used the basing recipe (with some alterations) in it and got a really nice result. Some weathering powders could probably take it to the next level, but I’ll leave experimenting with those for another time.

I’m using this model to claim a square in the hobby bingo: paint a model from an army you don’t already collect. Now, while I don’t expect him to grow into an army anytime soon, I might just get some Plague Bearers for him to broodingly watch over. Or maybe his little brother, the Lord of Blights!

And with that, my 2019 hobby year is pretty much over. I might try to sneak in a bit of building before the new year, but definitely wont be finishing anything. I still want to do a wrap-up post for the year, but in case I don’t get it up before Christmas Eve, happy holidays to everyone!

Lastly, a small service announcement. A couple of days ago Krautscientist pointed out to me that commenting had been switched off for a couple of my latest posts. This was not intentional, and I have no idea why it happened. It’s been fixed now, so if you want(ed) to comment on those recent projects please do!

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 🙂

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: 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.

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 😀

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 🙂

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..

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.

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!