Ghazghkull Thraka

WAAAAGH! I’ve finished my Ghazghkull, appropriately for Orktober! If I’m only going to finish one model this month, I can think of no better one than him. I got the model as a birthday present from my wife and started working on him in June. So yeah, it took quite a while to finish (to be fair, there were a couple of other models in between, as well as some other distractions:)), but I couldn’t be much happier with the finished model! I think it might be my best work yet!

There were quite a lot of firsts and otherwise experimenting with this model. The biggest one was the black armor with multiple edge highlights, but using glazes to alter colors for fades and weathering were pretty new to me, as were the subtle OSL effects. Not to mention that this was the first model to be completed after the birth of my son!

For the color scheme I tried to replicate the studio scheme. As Ghazghkull is a legendary Goff character I wanted him to keep the black armor, but I also wanted him to tie in with my “orange orks”. That’s why I replaced the red accent color for orange on my model. I also used the same recipes that I’d used on the boyz for the skin, cloth, leather, and of course the wasteland base.

For the black armor and the metal bits I followed the recipes from “Painting Ghazghkull” article found in White Dwarf #453. That involved some paint mixing (purple-ish highlights for the armor and a brownish basecoat for metals), which was interesting and not all that scary in the end. Just for the convenience though, I’ll probably be using paints straight from the bottle for my future black armor highlighting needs. But yeah, I’m loving the final result! While painting, I thought that the highlights on black looked a bit too much like TRON, but when the model’s all together the armor looks black as it should. The highlights are a bit too chunky in places, but I’ll improve my highlighting game with future models!

The orange presented me with a peculiar challenge that I hadn’t really noticed before: orange is a color that doesn’t have a lot of tonal range. There is no dark orange like there is dark red, for example. Dark orange is brown! In the ‘Eavy Metal version the power klaw (and the glyphs) are dark red, but I didn’t want mine to be brown. I had to leave these bits more vibrant so that they would read as orange, so in that way the studio model is stronger compositionally, but I did try to punch the highlights on the iron gob so that they would draw the eye towards the face.

Ghazghkull towering over the boyz.

Weathering was done by glazing various brown tones on the crevasses and the lower parts of the armor plates. Scratches were painted pretty much only on the freehand patterns, otherwise I ended up relying on the modelled damage. I considered doing some sponge weathering as well, but in the end I left it out. Mostly because I thought the model looked great already but I was also feeling a bit of painting fatigue.

A lone Space Wolf about to be pooped on.

There are still quite a number of things that I could improve or add to the model, but I’m calling it done. Seriously, I think the more time I spend painting a model, the more I notice places where I could do better if I spent the time! My original goal was to give this centerpiece model the paintjob it deserves, but it’s not a competition piece so I’m not sweating over every tiny detail. I’m super happy with how it came out and proud to have painted such a big, initially very intimidating model! Next up, something much smaller!

Last but not least, I’m one square closer to scoring that elusive bingo. Ghazghkull qualifies as a monster, which means that I only have to build a piece of scenery before the end of the year! I’ve been thinking about going into build mode for a bit now that I’ve finished a major painting project, so maybe I’ll have a simple piece of scenery in my hands before too long!

Necron Plasmancer; More Scarab Swarms

It’s been quite a couple of weeks as me and the missus moved to a new town. Everything’s slowly finding its place and perhaps most importantly I’ve got the painting area set up. Yesterday I finished my first model in the new home: the Necron Plasmancer from the Indomitus box!

As I’ve probably mentioned once or twice, this is probably my favorite Necron model from the box. He’s like a techno Cairn Wraith, many of which we’ve seen from the INQ28/blanchitsu community. I painted him sort of as a treat after finishing the Warrior squad earlier in the spring.

The painting was largely the same as with the Warriors, I just used thinned down Contrast paint for the black bits instead of multiple Nuln Oil washes. There were of course a couple of things which do not feature on the more basic troops, mainly the power weapon and the ribbons. I didn’t really want to use gold for the ribbons, but I think I got just about enough variation on them with the small gradients. In hindsight a few cream colored squares could’ve looked cool too, as with the hidden ribcage and no gun case the model features very little cream.

The power glaive was a first for me and I pretty much tried to copy the light placement from the boxart, just with orange instead of green. It ended up a lot brighter than the green one, but I suppose it’s an okay first attempt. I think I managed to keep it looking mostly orange instead of red or yellow, and more or less in keeping with the other orange lights. I wasn’t too concerned about smooth blending as I’m trying to keep these relatively quick to paint. And in any case I’ve got plenty of models to practice with!

I’ve also finished another trio of Scarab Swarms. I didn’t use the previous ones as reference, so the lights ended up a bit lighter. I think they look good though, I might even prefer these ones as the OSL is more subtle.

“Go forth my minions and do my evil bidding!”

In the interest of claiming every hobby bingo square I can, I’ll use the Plasmancer for “completely paint a unit before using it on a battlefield”. Feels a bit like cheating with only one small model, but it does count as a unit!

Necron Warriors; RL Developments

I’ve finally managed to complete some new models! I haven’t painted a complete squad in ages, but here goes, the first 10 Necron Warriors and their Scarab Swarms from the Indomitus boxed set.

These guys were an attempt at a good-looking speed paint and I think the project was a success. While it took me close to two months to finish these (ouch), I only managed to paint on weekends, and not even all of them. In total I probably spent 2-3 hours on each of them, but the process felt pretty quick. I noticed a couple of places where I might be able to streamline it a bit for the next batch of models, too.

I’m not going to go in-depth on how these guys were painted, as I already talked about it in my previous post. Of course, all credit for the scheme goes to Trovarion and his tutorial!

Compared to the two original test models, I think I managed to get pretty similar results with the eight following models. The one thing I have to pay attention to with future models is that I overshaded the sides of the heads a bit with the “production” models, the test models look better. Not a big problem, and I’m not going back to fix it, but I’ll try to do better with the next ones. There’ll be plenty!

I got to cross off another square from this year’s bingo card: paint a model from a faction I didn’t already have painted models for. Oh boy, the year is half-way through and I’ve just got two squares! Not only that, the total number of finished models for the year is 15! 2021 hasn’t been too productive for me…

…and it probably won’t get much better any time soon. But I’ve got reasons! I got a new job starting in August as a teacher. And not a substitute either, this is a permanent(-ish) job. I’ve got a week left at my current gig before the summer holiday, which is exciting! I’ll probably be able to do some hobbying during the two months off, but of course there’s plenty of spending time with the missus, our families and friends. Also, we’ll have to move, once again, during the summer.

But, I’ve got even bigger news than the new job! Or, smaller, depending on your point of view… Me and my wife are having a baby boy! We’re about half-way through with the pregnancy, his estimated time of arrival is in mid-September. So, quite a bit (/everything) is going to change in a couple month’s time, but it’s something that I’m very much looking forward to. Here’s hoping that I get myself a tiny painting buddy in a few years 😀

WIP: Necron Test Models

I’ve been trying to get my hobby mojo back and during the last week and a bit I think I’ve got it! I’ve had a lot of fun painting the first couple of models from the Indomitus box: two Necron warriors and two scarab swarms.

Now, I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not the most imaginative of artists, and the paint scheme on these guys is no exception. I was pretty close to going with the default Necron speed-technique of wash/drybrush/done, but when I saw Trovarion’s tutorial on “easy 9th edition Necrons” I knew I had to try them out! Trovarion’s own take on the scheme was right up my alley – mostly neutral colors (steel, brown, cream) with one bright and bold accent color (orange). I wonder what the dynasty’s called… Trovakh?

Necron painting tutorial by Trovarion Miniatures

I actually started the models by painting up the bases. The bases I made for the Necrons are once again wasteland-style, but I wasn’t sure on the color. I tried a reddish brown and my usual bone-recipe, and while both of them work (and are surprisingly close to the Necron’s paint scheme), I’ll go with the reddish ones. At some point I might experiment with some orange washes or pigments to make the bases more vibrant, but I think this is my starting point!

A note on making the bases: the idea was first to just do my default “sand and stones/skulls”-type of wasteland bases, but as I had more time during my winter break I thought I’d add “just a couple” of details to suggest a battlefield surrounding. In addition to rocks and skulls I put on various pipes, steel beams and barbed wire. I also had the idea to put on some left-over Necron arms and Space Marine helmets, but forgot about them.. I’ll do those with the bigger character models! But all in all, I’m very pleased with the bases. I think I got a good mix of different textures and details (maybe a few too many pipes if you think about it…) and they didn’t take all that long to make.

Painting the actual models was pretty relaxing, and for the most part didn’t require much accuracy. Two basecolors (steel, cream), some dark brown chipping applied with a sponge, and then a lot of selective washes. After those a few quick highlights and painting the glow-y bits white (a mix of ink and paint makes quick and smooth work of this). Finally quite a lot of layers of orange fluorescent paint and a tiny bit of red (the normal kind) to finish the model off.

I’m mostly very satisfied with the result. More importantly, I enjoyed the painting process, which is great as I now have quite many Necrons to paint. The OSL effects are not quite there yet (which is fine, it was my first try), but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it after a couple dozen models… Now I’ll repaint/finish the bases on these models and perhaps finish a couple more before taking some showcase photos for you guys.

Astra Rodentia Vox-caster; Groupshot

Okay, long time no paint. I’ve been pretty much out of the hobby loop for nearly a month now, so let’s try to get back on track. Once again. Here’s a Vox-caster for my Astra Rodentia, finished back on my winter break.

As I said in my last post, finishing this guy was delayed because I didn’t like my original scratch-built handset on the vox-pack. So I pulled it out and replaced it with one from a Skitarii backpack. I was instantly much happier with this one, I think mostly because the “connector” between the pack and the cable. And the much more detailed handset doesn’t hurt either!

Painting-wise, there’s not really much to talk about – very much the same process as with the rest of the rats. I’m chuffed with the white checkers on his orange cowl, I did those one squeare at a time without the help of a grid. And I meant to paint the vox-pack’s speaker as brass, but should’ve gone with a more yellow, golden color as now it ended up looking like rusty steel. No matter though, looks alright!

Now that I’m starting have quite a collection of these Astra Rodentia (almost a full squad’s worth, hehe!), I thought I’d take a groupshot of them. Even with their mishmash of colors and equipment, I think they look like a cohesive group! For future models, I think I need some more guys with brown/gray armor, so that the sniper and vox-caster won’t look like they’re special..

More Ork Boyz

What?! New finished models already? Somehow I’ve managed to paint a trio of ork boyz in under two weeks! While not exactly lightning speed, and surely not optimal for “getting boyz on the table”, I felt like I was making good progress. Here they are:

As I’ve already said some words about the building, this post is about the painting. The general process was largely the same as with the last two. I think I spent a bit more time on the weathering and especially on the freehand this time around, but hopefully the rest of it went a tad quicker than the first time around as I was more aware of what I should be doing. I was again a bit intimidated about the orange before I started painting it, but in the end it turned out nicely and pretty quickly. I did have to be careful when working on the clothes and other bits so as not to accidentally get paint on the finished orange, but happily I managed without mishaps. And then of course I proceeded to paint on some freehand and chipping! The latter especially is good to fix any mistakes that might’ve happened.

Speaking of freehand, I tried to come up with some other designs besides the classic checkers to mix things up a bit. There’s some triangles, or “dags” I believe, on one of the shoulder pads, and a sort of racing stripe design on one of the helmets. But of course I’m the most proud of the little “evil sun” on the back of one of the shoulder pads! I was actually going to use a decal first, but noticed that the decal would be too big for the pad. I thought: “what the heck, these are orks, doesn’t matter if it’s a bit wonky”, and ended up practicing some more freehanding. Again, it was a bit scary as I wouldn’t be able to get the same orange back, but I knew that I could hide any mistakes with battle damage. Turned out all right I think! And why the Evil Sunz emblem, you might ask? Well, as I’m doing my own color scheme I get to pick and choose! The evil sun might be my favorite, but possible future models might have a bad moon or any other clan logo on them as well, as the designs are pretty cool. Also, being orange, my orks obviously feel the call of speed at least a bit (as well as dakka and bling!).

And that’s it for my boyz, for now! With these lads done, I’ve finished all of the ork boyz from my teenage years. Well, actually I’ve still got one half-finished conversion with which I might do something.. However, while painting these orks I’ve started to seriously consider getting a new box of boyz, or lootas/burnas, just to paint a couple every now and then. Also, some time ago I got myself another bucket list model, the AoBR Warboss, from eBay! So he’ll eventually get painted as well. Just got to build him first, and come up with an appropriate base as well.

Finally, I’m entering these guys to Ann’s April hobby challenge, splendidly titled “Paint the Crap You Already Own”. While I still have the opportunity to go to an FLGS and buy new models (stocks might be low though..), I very much agree with the idea that we should all try to make our backlogs of unpainted models as nonexistent as possible. Keeping that in mind, I’ll try to get a couple more (old) minis finished before April’s through!

Ork Boyz

Just before Orktober turns to November, I’ve managed to complete the Herculean task of.. Painting two Slugga Boyz. Well, progress is progress, and at least I get to submit a token entry for Azazel’s monthly challenge.

This month the challenge was two-fold: Orks or neglected models. These models qualify for both, as they started their lives quite a while ago. I actually built the models and started painting them around 15 years ago, but as my interest in miniatures was waning at the time they were left unfinished. This was a shame as I thought that these were some of my favorite conversions I had done (especially proud of the helmeted head with an open mouth). Well, last Orktober I set out to paint them. I stripped the old paint off, based and primed them, and started with the painting. I quickly got distracted by another project, however, and despite thinking that I’d go back and finish the Boyz pretty soon, here we are a year later 😀

I used the same main scheme that I used on the Ironskull’s Boyz. I think that greenskins look pretty good in orange, and haven’t seen too many examples by other painters. Maybe it’s because orange is a bit of a pain to paint.. If I’d ever end up building a whole army of Orks, I’d probably not go for orange, but for a couple models it’s alright. I did try to speed up my painting a bit, as if to practice painting a bigger group, but also because I was a bit strapped for time this month. All in all, these two guys didn’t take super long to complete by my standards, and were fun to paint. I still have one Boy primed, and a couple on sprue, so sooner or later I’ll return to the orange Waaagh! (working title). Probably in Orktober 2020 🙂

Oh yeah, I tried removing the background completely from the photos, to get a true white background. How do you like it?

From the Archives: Grot; A Married Man

To top off Orktober 2018, I painted an old metal Grot from my teenage years.

While I couldn’t quite get the Uruk-hai Warrior painted up in a day, this one I did! It’s the first and so far the only model that I’ve managed to paint in a day (not counting some models in my teens), which makes him quite special.

When painting the Grot, I had two main goals: to practice painting pale Ork skin, and to not use any washes on the metals. As the model is mostly naked, there was plenty of space to practice painting skin. I think I managed pretty well, and painting just one tiny model I had the patience to mix the skin tones and thin them down more than usual to get some nice layering/blending going. Not using washes on the metal was both an attempt to preserve the shine of the metallic paints and to try an old school method of painting metals: starting with a Tin Bitz equivalent and drybrushing silver colors on top. It works fine, but is a bit messy if you’re going for a more refined look.

This was a fun little project and great practice for when I eventually treat myself to Zarbag’s Gits. And I got to say that the sculpt was pretty fantastic: really crisp detail and next to no clean-up needed. I can definitely see why folks look back at metal minis with misty eyes..

But enough about the Grot, and on to the other news. I’m now a married man! I and my fiancé/wife got married during this last weekend, and everything went even better than I could’ve anticipated. Didn’t forget my lines in the church, and the reception afterwards was brilliant. Delicious food and drink, our families and friends, dancing, and the photography left to a professional. A wonderful weekend, and of course the best thing is that I got a wonderful wife out of it!

As you might have noticed, my hobbying and blogging has slowed down quite a bit during September, which was of course due to the wedding planning and preparations. I hope to get back up to speed soonish, though I know that our honeymoon will eat a week of painting time this month. Not the least bit sorry about that though 😀 Hopefully I’ll get the Cursebreakers done this week, and an Ork or two before the month’s over.

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.

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.