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..:)

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.

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…

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.

From the Archives: Steelheart’s Champions

Nothing new finished for this week’s post, so back into the archives we go! This time I’m presenting the Steelheart’s Champions from Shadespire.

I’ve only got one good picture of the group, as I hadn’t figured out my photo setup when I originally finished these models. Later when I took the above photo, for some reason I didn’t bother taking a shot of their backs. Not a big deal though, as apart from the leader they are not really that interesting from behind. I showed Severin in a previous post, but here’s the rear view again for convenience.

While I started the Revelators Tactical Squad before these guys, they were actually the first group of minis that I finished after the very experimental Chaos Cultists. Of course, there was plenty of new techniques to try out with these guys as well, such as painting faces, a big cape and using washes and glazes for tinting steel. The sword and the cape were not too successful, but I labeled them good enough. Overall, I’m still very happy with the models. As I’ve mentioned before, the color scheme is called “Silverlions”, and was nicked from Thilo Engels, aka Banzai1000.

Getting these models was actually pretty much a happy accident. When I got back to the hobby I though it would be just 40k, as that’s what I had been doing back in my teenage years and WHFB had never been too interesting to me. But when Shadespire came out I was really awed by the models and was also intriqued by the game. Shortly after the release I happened to see someone selling an unused copy for half-price, and that was too good of a deal to pass up. I thought that I’d get it just to paint the models, but it turned out that the game is brilliant as well, which was a nice bonus!

Spiteclaw’s Swarm

“Skritch is the greatest, yes-yes!”

spiteclaws_swarm

Time for the first proper post, showcasing finished minis! I got this Shadespire warband as a Christmas present from my lovely fiancé. I had looked forward to these rat-men for a long time, and promptly made it my main painting project of January. I’m really happy with how they came out!

I had done some planning on how to paint these guys even before I got the kit. I wanted them to wear purple, since I like the color, hadn’t painted it before and as far as I could find, there’s very few purple Skaven around. I also wanted each of the fighters to have a different fur color. Skritch would be an albino, since the idea of a purple cloak reminded me of Adventure Time’s Rat King. The assassin, or “Festering Skaven”, was obviously going to be painted Eshin Grey. For the rest I chose another gray and a couple of browns.

The bases were painted in my go-to “sandstone” scheme, but I wanted to add some variation to the color. The tiles made this easy, I just painted random ones with Seraphim Sepia and Reikland Fleshshade. For the arch on Skritch’s base I dabbed some thinned done shades in random places. I also painted some green around the gutter to create the impression of moss or some other growth. The water in the gutter was painted with a mix of greens and browns, and given a gloss coat, and I think it works well with the base.

spiteclaws_swarm_back

Finishing the Swarm also allowed me to stamp the first box in a hobby bingo card courtesy of Rob Hawkins) that I thought I’d try to fill up this year. Okay, so I’m definitely not going to get it all filled up, but I’m hoping to score a bingo or two at least..

wargame bingo card_270119