Silverlions Prosecutors

So far in 2021 I’ve only been working on the 40k side of the hobby, so it’s high time that I got some AoS in the mix. I have a few half-done/started models in my to-do pile and thought that I’d try to finish some of them during the summer. Amongst them were the three Stormcast Prosecutors from the AoS starter box who are now done!

These guys took surprisingly long to finish. The largest part, the armor, was of course quick and easy, but the wings, gold and the “magical toilet paper” took hours to do.. That’s probably down to inefficient workflow, but it’s the way I’ve painted this army and I’ll stick to it. I think the reason these were not too enjoyable to paint for me was that this was a “paint by numbers” affair, there’s no freehand designs, battle damage, bare faces or any other more freeform stuff, just neat painting. I tried to speed up the process by not going back to fix mistakes, instead using the next paint to cover any slips. There’s still some around, but I tried to remind myself about “tabletop standard”. The good things are that the end-result is still pretty nice and I’ve only got the Lord-Celestant to do and then this army is probably finished!

So yeah, I’m happy that they’re done and I’m just one model shy of completing this army. For the hobby bingo I’ll use the Prosecutors to claim the “to-do-pile”-square. They’ve been built and primed since 2018 and I started painting them more than half a year ago, so I think they’re well qualified. I think I have a small chance of scoring one complete bingo this year, so I try to set myself up for success. For the monster, I have two candidates: Ghazghkull Thraka and the Lord-Celestant. Hmm.. If I really get a move on I might be able to finish at least one of them before the end of the year.

Corvus Cabal Shrike Talon

My Cabal is getting reinforced with another model, as I’ve finished one of the coolest models of 2019! Here’s the Shrike Talon.

As with the Cabalist, I pretty much followed the ‘Eavy Metal color scheme with this model. One of the challenges with the scheme and with this model in particular is the separation of different black elements. Following the painting guide in the assembly instructions booklet (and looking at the studio models), I highlighted the feathers with blue and the hood with brown tones. I’m not sure if the colors still read as blacks, but I’m happy either way! I guess the biggest difference to the studio scheme is that I left out the painted, diamond-shape eyes from the hood. I get why they’re there in the original – to draw attention to the head, but I never liked them that much aesthetically.

I feel some parts of this model were painted a bit sloppily. As I mentioned in the last posts, I haven’t gotten quite as much painting done as I would’ve wanted lately. I noticed that this translated into less accurate painting. After a day or two I seemed to get back to the swing of things though, and the paint started to go where I wanted it to. Last week I made a conscious effort to get back to painting, and decided that I would at least put paint on my brush (if not the model) every day. Every time I did, I ended up painting for at least an hour! Let’s see how long I can keep this up…

Oh yeah, a small PSA: I’ve treated myself to some new electronics which might affect the photos on this here blog. I got a new Pixel 4a phone with that fancy camera software, which hopefully should lead to WIP shots that have much better color accuracy than before. And from the Black Friday sales I bought a new monitor to replace my previous, 10-year-old one. The important bit is that this new one has an IPS panel which is much better with colors than the TN panel in the old monitor. So, chances are that from now on the photos will be a bit less saturated, as I probably over-saturated everything a bit with the old monitor. Shouldn’t be a dramatic change, but just a heads-up if anyone notices it.

Mollog’s Mob

Praise Gork (or maybe Mork?)! New finished models, at long last!

I painted Mollog quite a while back in June, but didn’t have time to paint his minions. They ended up sitting primed until October, when I decided that it was time for them to get painted. I guess Bat Squig counts as my Orktober project?

As with Mollog, I pretty much followed the studio scheme, just altering the colors to be less purple. Because each of the minions has a different color scheme I painted them individually to completion before moving onto the next. This was great fun, and I once again tried wetblending and other more “freeform” techniques. This group was also a great exercise in how to tie the different color schemes together: even with the box art as reference I had to really think about the color choices. I actually ended up repainting the white on Spiteshroom, as the first iteration was too white! In the end I think I managed a cohesive unit, so I’m very happy with the result.

One minor thing that I kind of messed up was the bases, which ended up a bit lighter compared to Mollog’s due to too aggressive drybrushing. And speaking of bases, my word all those mushrooms took a long time to paint!

WIP: Nu-Marines, More Cabalites; Magnetized Storage; Molds

I’ve been on build mode again, and let me just get on record and say: I’m as slow with my modeling as I am with painting! I had the whole weekend for hobbying, and managed to build a grand total of three and a half models, plus their bases.. I’ve also been working on a storage solution and some rudimentary mold making.

So first up, the new models! Well, new-ish. I bought the ETB Intercessors triple pack (now OOP, it seems) last spring during the lockdown period and even started working on one of the models (the guy on the left in the pic above). I’m not a huge fan of the bolt rifle design, much preferring the old bolters and pistols. Likewise, the mk7 helmets and backpacks look better than mkX to me. Thankfully they’re all more or less interchangeable with the Primaris kit! So yeah, the first guy got his bolter, a mk7 backpack and a custom mk7 helmet. It might not show well in the photo, but I’ve carved the helmet a bit to join the two eye lenses into a single visor. It’s actually a conversion I first created back in my teenage years, inspired by Doomguy (/Doom Slayer).

The second Intercessor also got some mk7 weapons, but a mk3 helmet and backpack. I don’t really care for those on mini-marines, so I’ve still got plenty of them left after building my Devastator squad. They look great on the Primaris bodies though, especially for the more knightly chapters. This one will be a Black Templar! One additional modification I did was shave his chest (:D) smooth for some extra freehand room. (Cawdor ganger for a size comparison.)

I also built two more Corvus Cabalists, this time the characters in the gang – the Shrike Talon and the Shadow Piercer. I think the Talon is one of the coolest models in the GW’s current lineup, and was built accord to instructions. The Piercer received a tiny conversion: I clipped off the tip of her sword to give it a bit cleaner lines. For both of their bases I added some plasticard tiles to hint at a ruined city. The Shrike Talon’s 40mm base maybe could’ve used some more decoration, but I didn’t want to give the model any more height (with cork board or such), as he already towers over his mates. Maybe I’ll add some discarded weapons or other bits before priming..

Then on to the magnets and storage! A couple of months back I decided that it was time to build a magnetized container to store/transport miniatures in. I bought a plastic tub and a big sheet of 0.7mm steel, which I cut into smaller ones at my workplace. I ended up with six 25x33cm sheets, so plenty for future boxes as well. A good thing, as I switched jobs and don’t have access to a proper quillotine anymore! I attached the steel sheets to the plastic tubs with nuts, bolts and some washers (see here for a closer look). There’s plenty of room for “regular” sized models (9-10cm), and taller boxes are available should I ever get myself an Imperial Knight! These boxes are stackable and the lid locks securely with kind of clips, which are easy to open.

I got a pack of 3x2mm magnets from GreenStuffWorld and attached them to models’ bases with Milliput. I’ve seen people do this with Greenstuff, but Milliput is cheaper and can be used as an adhesive itself. I was able to pry of a magnet attached with Milliput, but I’m hoping they won’t fall of with normal use. If they do, I’ll super glue them.

Of course, one always mixes up too much Milliput (/Greenstuff)! I used the extra to finally try out a Blue Stuff mold I made a couple months back. The molds are not perfect (one’s okay, the other pretty bad) and the casting added further imperfections, but I reckon they’ll be fine for some terrain! I think I’ll try to do the wheel mold(s) one more time, but then I really need to take the (plastic) wheel and get on building my final biker!

Silverlions Lord-Relictor

A couple of months ago I painted the Bloodsecrator from the AoS 1.0 starter set. Now it’s time for his Stormcast counterpart – the Lord-Relictor. This guy also counts for another entry in Azazel’s Jewel of July-August!

If you’re familiar with the original model, you’ll notice that I’ve swapped his head. I hate the stock helmet with a burning passion – what were they thinking with that ridiculous nose? As Space Wolves heads have been shown to fit very well on SC bodies (not least by the OG Silverlions by Banzai1000 / Thilo Engels), I promptly copied the trick.

For the most part, he was surprisingly enjoyable to paint. Before this model I’ve basecoated the armor on the Silverlions with GW’s Ironbreaker, which is a bit rubbish and requires a lot of layers. This time I used Vallejo Metal Color Duraluminium, which is a pretty close color match but covers better (two layers, tops!). After an Agrax Earthshade wash and a drybrush of Runefang Steel (VMC is too thin for drybrushing, I imagine), the result is indistinquishable from Ironbreaker. Well, there might be some difference, but not due to the different basecoat! Comparing the Relictor to my older models, there’s a bit more Agrax showing through, which is an effect I like. More definition and a bit more weathered look. I think it’s down to me getting on the “make-up-brushes-as-drybrushes-train” a little while ago. They really are great (and cheap!), and can produce a really smooth result. With the Citadel’s small drybrush I tended to go a bit too heavy. It’s still a good brush for small details though.

Speaking of details, they were the most fun part of the model. Once again I tried adding a bit of color on to the face, and while it’s not my best work it’s one of the better ones. I think I got the black beard relatively nice as well. For the hourglass I took some pointers from an ‘Eavy Metal tutorial in an old White Dwarf (#362). Went a bit overboard with the reflections, but I guess it’s fine for a first attempt. Also, I’m not sure if the blue-gray color is the best choice here, as it’s not repeated in other areas of the model. It certainly stands out, but maybe too much. Finally, after finishing the gold in my usual way, I thought I’d try enhancing the contrast a bit with some Guilliman Flesh. I think this worked out great, although it might’ve been beneficial to re-highlight some edges with VMC White Aluminium / Runefang Steel.

The only part that was a bit tedious to paint was his cape. Those SC parchments are pretty annoying to paint, at least the way I do it.. And as if that wouldn’t have been enough, I also had an Agrax mishap which left the whole cape glossy after the wash. Thankfully after some coats of matte varnish and Lahmian Medium I was able to fix it. Hopefully now that I’ve painted the Relictor, who surely has the most flappy bits, the rest of my SC models will be easier to paint!

Corvus Cabalist

This weekend I took a slight detour from finishing the bikers I showed in the last post, to build and paint a single small model. Here’s my first Warcry model: a Corvus Cabalist.

So on Friday I was browsing the local (/national) wargaming forum’s trading area, and spotted someone selling quite a lot of unopened kits for half price in my city. Apparently he had excitedly bought a bit too much and was selling off things he didn’t see painting in the near future. Probably a wiser man than many of us 😀 Even so, I got in touch with him and a couple of hours later a brand new Corvus Cabal box changed hands. And a few other kits as well, but more on those later..

Having bought new models and the weekend ahead of me, I had the perfect opportunity to finish a hobby bingo square that has so far eluded me: finish a model in 48 hours of acquiring it. Now, this shouldn’t be too hard, as surely we’re all eager to get those new models finished as soon as possible! But for one reason or another, they often go to the cupboard of unfinished models to wait for their turn, and might stay there for quite a while. Now, truth be told, I’ve mainly wanted the Cabal box to own the Shrike Talon and maybe some cool conversion bits, I’m not really interested in playing Warcry. I reckoned that painting one of the standard Cabalists would be good practice for the Talon and should be quick enough to paint even at my slow pace.

I built and based the model on Friday evening. I did a minor conversion too, as I’m not super fond of the kama style weapons they have. I shortened the handle a bit and used the kama’s blade to give the model a knife with a hawksbill style blade, which I like quite a bit more than the original. On Saturday I primed her zenithally using rattle cans, which went a lot smoother than with the Poxwalkers. In addition to that, I washed the model with Nuln Oil and drybrushed it with White Scar, which gave me a really nicely defined and shaded starting point. I also used some Contrast and Base paints to lay initial basecoats on the model. I decided to go with the studio scheme for these, partly because I didn’t have much time to mull it over, partly because the studio scheme fits the Cabal really well. I did leave the bloody throats out, as I think they’re a bit silly..

On Sunday I painted the rest of the model and got it finished with a good hour left before the deadline! I know I could’ve just left her in the “battle ready”, basecoated stage, give her a simple base and call it done, but as I had plenty of time, I wanted to do it properly, and actually practice for the Shrike Talon. So I ended up covering pretty much all of the basecoats by layering and highlighting. It was a very enjoyable process though, so I don’t mind. I used a similar palette as for Mollog, and again finished all colors with highlights of Pallid Wychflesh. I’m particularly happy with the beak (on the mask), I think I got the transitions down pretty well. I also like her eye, which at first at first I was going to leave black, but while I “was in the area” with my paintbrush, I thought I’d paint just a small dot of white in the corner to give an impression of a pupil. Worked well!

White there are a couple of things that could be improved and I’ll probably change with the next Cabalist, I’m very happy with the model and feel that I can more or less paint the Shrike Talon and any other Cabalists with the same techniques and paints. So yeah, one more square down, which takes me quite close to getting my first completed row. Unfortunately, I won’t be making a 2’x2′ table in the foreseeable future, due to limited storage space and no real use either.. So it’s back to working on the bikes and the “vehicle” square!

Mollog

During the spring I went a bit nuts and bought a load of Underworlds warbands. I recently took stock of them, and noticed that I had seven boxes of unbuilt teams! Clearly I need to do something about the pile, and I started with one of the more novel warbands, Mollog’s Mob. In this post I’ll show you the titular, grumpy leader of the lot.

I’d normally paint the unit as a whole, but I’ve noticed that the summer months are usually spent working, travelling and with the wife, and if not, the weather’s often too hot to paint. So a bit strapped for hobby time.. But I wanted to enter something for Ann’s hobby challenge, Miniatures of Magnitude. Although the challenge ran for two months, I only had around three weeks to do my entry. Hence I decided to just paint Mollog, and leave the rest of the gang for another time. Fortunately all the models have somewhat different schemes, so batch painting wouldn’t necessarily have helped anyway.

For the paint scheme I mostly followed the box art and Duncan’s tutorial. I didn’t have all the paints used in the tutorial, but I thought that the scheme had a little to much purple in it anyway (the skin and the big mushrooms). My scheme ended up a bit more blue, and with more vibrant toadstools, a combination which I have to say I like more than the GW’s versions. I also took the highlighting a little further than Duncan did, as I’m trying to push the contrast on my models. Overall, I think this might be my best work so far, and it was a joy to paint!

There were a couple of new things that I tried on this model, and of which I’m really happy about. The first was that I used Pallid Wych Flesh for all (non-metal) final highlights, something that worked really well. It seems to pull all the colors together and of course makes those highlights pop. I also tried drying retarder for the first time, and did some rudimentary weblending on the toadstools and the blue mushroom. I think I didn’t yet get the right mix of paint and retarder, but I’ll surely keep practicing with it on future models.

And yeah, in addition to painting a big model for Ann’s challenge, there was an appropriate square in the hobby bingo as well: “paint a monster”. Done!

Bloodstoker and Bloodsecrator

It has been quite a while since I last worked on my Age of Sigmar starter set, but I’ve now finished the two lesser Khorne characters – the Bloodstoker and the Bloodsecrator (don’t you just love GW’s naming conventions? :D).

To be honest, I didn’t really look forward to painting these Chaos models due to the insane amount of details. But the AoS starter set is sort of my testing ground for “tabletop standard” and “speed” painting, I set out to paint them quickly, to a decent standard and without too much pressure. As with the ‘reavers, the starting point was an article in White Dwarf Jan ’17. However, in the end I used very little of the tutorial as is, instead employing quick techniques I’ve picked out in the last couple of years and trying some new ones as well.

I think I achieved my goals with this small project pretty well. The pair has around a week of painting days on them, and hopefully they look like I’ve put some effort into them. Here are some of the techniques/steps that I used to speed up the process: the skin is just drybrushing and washes, and the basecoats for the blacks were done with Contrast black over gray basecoat (okay, this might’ve actually slowed me down a bit). The bone bits were layered by “overbrushing” rather than meticulously going over each and every detail. Highlights on the metallic parts are very rough, and on the whole I didn’t really go back to fix “mistakes” that much.

Khorgorath’s motivational buddy finally shows up

Below you can see my progress on the starter set so far. The two leaders are yet to be built, but otherwise all the models are there. It’s looking pretty good, with 36 models painted and 11 to go, but of course this has been a slow burn project. When I’ll get back to it, I think it’s the Stormcasts’ and the Lord Relictor’s turn.

I could also use these models to claim a square in the hobby bingo, this time “adding a model to army and painting it before using it in battle”. I don’t know if I’ll ever use them for a game, but by default they’ve been painted before playing, so should count.

From the Archives: Khorgorath

This post is something of a milestone as I’m presenting the last model that I painted before starting this blog. Here’s my Khorgorath, painted back in December 2018.

If you’re familiar with the Khorgorath model, you’ll notice that I’ve modified him a bit. The original head is a weird tiny skull with an odd “headdress”, and has those bone worms jumping out of his left arm. These things make the model too busy for my liking, but otherwise I feel the model is pretty solid. I saw a conversion by Will Vale, where he had swapped the head for another bit found in the AoS1.0 starter set – a daemon skull from Khorgos Khul’s collar. I instantly loved this and promptly proceeded to copy it. I also converted the jumping bone worms to stay put in their holes, which was surprisingly simple. As the base is so large and flat, I built up some rocks and subtle elevation with greenstuff and stuck down some Stormcast bits and skulls.

When painting the model, I followed Warhammer TV’s tutorial very closely. I like the transitions from purple to red, and with Duncan’s help it was very easy to do. I remember the most time-consuming bit to be the skulls and bones on his shoulders/back, which is unfortunate as they ended up a bit boring. Some variation in bone tones would’ve worked better. Maybe some day I’ll go back.. The base was painted with my default sand/bone recipe. I tried using Agrellan Badlands on the center, hoping to achieve a dry, cracked river bed look. While the paint did crack, the cracks are so small that they’re not really visible. The shield was of course painted in the colors of the Silver Lions, the scheme of my Stormcast army.

And that’s about it for the Khorgorath. While I’ve now shown you all the minis I’ve painted since getting back to the hobby in 2017, and most of my teenage output, this is not necessarily the end of “From the Archives”-prefix. I do have a couple of old miniature projects that I’ve yet to show, so maybe those will pop up at some point. But of course, going forward most of my posts here have to be actual new content, which most likely leads to longer gaps between posts. So nothing new, eh? We’ll see how it goes, as always..

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..:)