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..

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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 fiancĂ© 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!

From the Archives: Sepulchral Guard

I’m still working on my next model, so it’s back to Shadespire. Here’s one of my favorite Underworlds warbands: Sepulchral Guard

As most will probably agree, these are gorgeous models! Maybe some of the best that GW has ever produced. Really dynamic and intricate, they really make me want an army of skellingtons. The regular AoS/old WHFB models are not quite at the same level though, so that’s good for the waller. But anyway, I liked these models so much that I bought and painted them right after Steelheart’s Champions, even though Garrek’s Reavers would’ve completed the core set.

Painting these guys was fun, I got to practice some new techniques and learned a couple of lessons as well. For the bone and the rusty metal I followed a splendid tutorial by RobPaintsModels. The bone uses a different palette from GW’s standard bone, and I really like it, but for some reason I have never gone back to it. I didn’t have sponge when doing the rust, so I stippled with a brush instead. Sadly I kind of messed it up by painting a coat of Agrax Earthshade on top (because everything needs a wash, right?), which got rid of the different shades of rust..

My wash-woes weren’t over with that though! I painted the blue cloth, gave it some nice highlights so that it looked pretty good to me. Then I thought that I’d wash it with Drakenhof Nightshade to enhance the folds. It absolutely destroyed Warden’s big cloak. I should’ve thinned down the wash as Nightshade seems to be a lot stronger than most other washes. But the biggest mistake was that I think I fiddled with the wash too long, so that it started to dry and I started lifting paint. The result was a terrible mess, which I should’ve painted again from scratch. Well, I didn’t do that, just layered the midtone and highlighted again. It wasn’t as good as before the wash, but I’ve kept telling myself that it looks worn and tattered, which goes with the “risen-from-the-grave” look.. I also washed the rest of the guys, which worked a bit better as they do not have large flat areas, but I think I didn’t shake the wash enough as some of them dried glossy. Some of these days I should give them a coat of matt varnish..

I also got a small taste of freehanding by painting a few millimeters of straight lines onto the shields. I chose the blue color for this warband so that I could have a “Finnish” theme for the shields with blue and white. I’m really happy with the different patterns on the shields, but once again I messed up a bit with the additional “scratches” I painted on. Shouldn’t have used metallic paints, and should’ve been a lot thinner. I wasn’t too keen on repainting things though (a habit which I fortunately seem to have recently lost), so I called it good enough.

All in all though, I still like the paintjob, despite the many “mistakes”. Teclis Blue is one of my favorite colors from GW and the bone and the rust were so easy and fast to paint. And not only are they a good-looking bunch, I’ve enjoyed playing with them as well!

Shadespire Collection So Far

One part of Azazel’s April challenge focuses on armies, and showcasing them “like 16 year-old girls post selfies”. My current collection doesn’t really have any proper armies, but I do have a collection of Shadespire warbands and terrain. They’ll do!

Just the one group photo this time. I have previously shown two of the warbands on this blog, my first proper post was to showcase the Skaven, and just last post was about the Stormcast Eternals. In the future I will be posting showcases for the remaining warbands – the Deathrattle, Khorne and Orruk teams – as well as the scenery pieces.

As you can see from the photo above, I’ve tried to come up or find a different color scheme for each of the groups, and if possible, go with something other than the box art. With that, I am just a couple colors short of a color wheel! If I can come up with a yellow and a green scheme, I’ll be set. Green should be easy, but yellow might be more tricky. Maybe I’ll count gold, and paint one of the Stormcast bands in the default Hammers of Sigmar scheme..

I’d like to eventually get all of the Shadespire warbands, and Nightvault as well, but I’ll have to see if I can keep up with GW’s release schedule. I’ve obviously fallen behind pretty badly (9 Underworlds teams to go, and soon two more), but as long as I can get the Nightvault box before it’s discontinued to make room for season 3, I should be good.