Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reader Poll - Choose my next painting project!


OK, now I need your help with a decision...
...what unit to paint next!

Please do me a favour and click on the poll on the screen to help me choose. 
I will paint whatever you - the hated man-things, decide. (If you happen to be a Grey Seer, or other notable member of the great Skaven race, then accept my apologies for such an insult....)

I own the following models so really just need a decision. In brackets below you can see how many of the unit I actually already have "ready to play" and painted in my force. 

The choices are:

  1. Poison Wind Globadiers. (Currently: 0)
  2. Plague Censer Bearers. ( Currently: 0)
  3. Stormvermin. (Currently: 0 )
  4. Warpgrinder Team(s) (Currently: 0)
  5. Doom-flayer(s) (Currently: 0)
  6. Clanrats. (Currently: 120)
My thoughts are:
Poison Wind Globadiers
Copyright Games Workshop
Cool, but would almost never use them. Also not so keen on the fact that they all look so similar, so might do some light conversions with the weapons etc to shake things up a bit.
Plague Censer Bearers
Copyright Games Workshop
Plague Censer Bearers
Not a huge fan of the models compared to the IOB and more recent plastics, and it seems as though not many people take them these days. On the other hand, I only need a small unit so they wouldn't take too long...
Copyright Games Workshop
I have had these from my first purchase but just never got around to them. I only have 20, so they couldn't be a major force on the battlefield. They might be useful as a small bunker for my general or battle-standard bearer though?
Copyright Games Workshop
Now that I actually have some Clan Eshin guys in my army, they might be helpful. On the other hand, why take the risk of a cave-in when the Clan Eshin unit can probably make its way to the enemy's backline without too much trouble anyway?
Copyright Games Workshop
A big plus - it is a cool model and the fluff is great. 
A big fat minus - most people don't seem to think they are too effective on the battlefield. (But then again, I never get to play any games of WFB anyway!)
Skaven Clanrats
Copyright Games Workshop
Who doesn't need more Clanrats?

Now that I have a pretty strong core of my army built up, it might be fun to spend some time on units that don't seem to be essential to the Skaven in 8th edition, but I will leave that up to you - the voting public - to decide!



Thursday, February 23, 2012

Plague Monk reinforcements FINISHED


Just a few lads to add to my small unit of PMs, which should taken the frenzied ones up to about 40. 

As the beady-eyed among you will notice, even though I thought they were finished when I took these pictures I have forgotten to do the eyes!
...but I want to get these pictures posted anyway as it has been a while!

In a departure from my step-by-step guide to Plague Monks I didn't do any layering on these models. Instead I just did a wash of Devlan Mud (Ogryn Flesh on the skin) and then drybrushed the models with one or two lighter shades of the main colours. In addition, I started the skin as a Dwarf Flesh without a layer of Tallarn Flesh first underneath.

Also different is the fact that I used a Vermin Brown wash to add rust to the weapons. When I painted the first unit, I hadn't learned to do that, so I guess at some point I need to go back and "rustify" the other 30!

As these guys will be mixed in amongst the rank and file, I don't think much more detail is necessary at this point (except of course painting those eyes!)

All comments and feedback welcome!



Saturday, February 18, 2012

WIP - Plague Monk reinforcements

*Squeek* Plague Monk update...

They stink, they reek, they spread disease. They're PERFECT for any Skaven army that has a Clan Moulder army, or even your regular Warlord Clan like mine. (Although lets be honest, frenzy can be a bit of a double-edged - and rusty - sword.) 

I already have a medium-sized unit of thirty Plague Monks. They were one of the first units that I painted-up and posted a step-by-step guide for. After finishing some slaves, I thought that I should bump this unit up a bit, so the other night I started another ten. Ten is a good manageable amount.

I managed to lay down some base colours this week. (After being painfully reminded that PMs need quite a lot of filing on the tails, cloth and skin to remove excess flash...)

One of my favorite Plague Monk sculpts... the way half of his head is covered by a skull and the other open
a possible Plague Censer bearer?
Deneb Stone for bandages.
One thing I did differently for this batch was to use Dwarf Flesh for the skin basecoat (rather than Tallarn Flesh). Slow, as it took several coats...

Just over the past couple of days, there was a good thread over on the Underempire about Plague Monk colours. One of the points that came up was that it is incredibly common to see monks in green, and were there any other colour options? I have kept to green, but I would love to see some good examples of alternatives! Any leads anyone?

I should have these guys done by the end of the weekend and will post again then.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More Failcast...


More examples of poor "Finecast" models come to light. I read an interesting entry over at Scott's Wargaming Blog (great blog!) that had some links to a particularly poor Beast of Gorgoroth model.  Now, I've had bubble issues in the past, but this is In fact, shockingly poor.

Working at a company that sells a physical product, I know that almost any item that is manufactured can have issues. Despite everyone's best efforts, from time to time we have a defective item, and so do all of our competitors. For this reason it is only normal, and reasonable, to accept some small defects in a run of tens of thousands of units being produced. In addition, there is no evidence I have seen of GW not willingly replacing defective items upon request...

...but I also think it is reasonable to question why these same products are being promoted and positioned in the market as:
"incredibly detailed"
"...the highest quality miniatures the world has ever seen."

The claimed " era in wargamingseems to be off to a pretty poor start, especially when it appears to many people that:
- the quality of the product may actually have declined.
- prices have exponentially increased.
- for many people, there is in reality not a great deal of difference in detail between these and metal models.

If a company decides to tout their product as the best in the world, and raises their prices accordingly (despite it being the case that they could pass on some of the reduced manufacturing costs to the consumer, shipping weights being reduced) then the product had better be pretty good.


The people who complain the most about products and companies tend to be the ones who love the product and/ or invest a great deal of money and time in them. 

And for people who say it is easy to fix (just "Green Stuff it", "put it in hot water and bend it back into shape" etc) these things might work, but when you are being charged top-dollar, you don't expect to have to try and fix these things yourself.

"Problem with the new Jag sir? Don't worry,
Green Stuff should sort out those holes in no time!"
It would be very interesting to know what the actual % rate of defective products is in a batch of Finecast models, as this would mean we could see if the rate was acceptable, or high. It might very well be entirely acceptable for this kind of production process. In my case, both of the two Finecast models that I have had big enough problems that I would consider the overall quality poor. 

Maybe I was just unlucky, and I don't respond well to overblown marketing hype...

In the final analysis, this hobby has brought me hundreds of hours of enjoyment in painting and gaming. Collecting and painting miniatures can still be called great value for money in the long term when compared to the paltry return on investment (in hours) received from going to the cinema, eating out, or taking the family out for the day.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fifty Finished Goblin slaves (with pictures.)

"Which way ladz?"
"That way you Goblin scum!"

Ahem, I mean "I've finally finished my first unit of Goblin slaves".

It took me a week to do them, working pretty much every night for a couple of hours on each stage of the painting process. I would do a base colour on all fifty, then back to the first one etc.

At the beginning of this unit, I realized that I would have to do something to break up the uniform look of these old WFB starter set models. I think I have been partially successful, but only a decent unit filler will really do the trick...
(I have something in mind - Rat Ogre holding the chains of a Goblin Warboss and a squig, all of them being whipped on by a master moulder...)

Here are some photos of the unit. 
50 Goblin Slaves!
Clan Moulder "Cheerleaders" keep up the unit's motivashun.
Snotflikka leading from da' front.
Rats added to the movement tray
"Old bonez" da spearman
Snotflikka 'n friends.
Shoot from the back.
"I feel safer wiv my big choppa"
"We'ze in charge den?"
Here are some things you may have noticed I did with this lot.

  1. Replaced a lot of the original spearblades with blades from Skaven weapons.
  2. Removed weapon arms and replaced them with Skaven arms and weapons. (Some from the IOB clanrats, some from the Plague monks sprue)
  3. Removed the original Goblin icons from their shield bosses  and replaced them with Skaven icons. (From previous edition clanrats)
  4. Replaced whole shields with Island of Blood triangular clanrat shields.
  5. Added giant rats to some models.
  6. Added "regular" rats to some models.
  7. Mixed Goblins spearmen with Goblin archers.
  8. Used a Skaven standard. 
  9. Added Skaven pennants from the Plague Monk set.
  10. Added rats to the edge of the movement tray.

Pretty obvious, but still quite a lot of work...

All comments and crit welcome! Thanks for looking.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to Paint Queek Headtaker

Queek Headtaker leaps into action.
"Between the line of Greatcannon, the Reiksmarshall and his assembled commanders surveyed the battlefield from atop the low hill. 

Where only moments before he had been able to review the lie of the land, now it seemed that same earth had been carpeted by a rolling sea of dirty flesh and fur. The motion of the horde and the various hues of pelt before reminded him of a heaving sea ("but by all the gods, a sea of vermin!")  Unlike the ordered waves that crashed upon the shores of his homeland, this sea seemed to twitch, shake, and constantly skitter with a nervous energy. Already, he could feel that energy begin to infect some of his men and their animals, causing both man and beast to look this way and  that. The levies in particular seemed nervous ("damn the lower orders")

Preparing to give his final orders he turned to his party.

"Sir. SIR!" Came an urgent voice. "Look!" 
Turning to pass his good eye over the enemy, he at once became aware of a different motion. 

In the distance, the brown tide seemed to magically part as something came towards them...moments later (the distance being great) he could also hear a cacophany of high pitched squeeks and calls from the direction of this phenomenon. At last the front wave of vermin parted, and the cause of the commotion was revealed. 
A lone figure, clad in red armour. Upon his back a crest of...was it... carved totems?

"Lieutenant, my spyglass" 

With practiced east the Reichsmarshall swiftly raised and extended his family heirloom, and shortly the creature came into view. It was not totems that adorned him, but skulls and body parts, some...fresh. Most disconcertingly, he recognized what appeared to be (due to perhaps being the least decomposed) the most recent addition to this macabre collection... 
...Captain Valetius. 

"Pass the word. There shall be no reinforcements this day."

How to Paint Queek Headtaker
I think that this process is good enough for "tabletop quality" (I.e. acceptable when viewed from a couple of feet away)  Also, as I painted this guy a couple of weeks ago and I didn't take any notes all mixes are approximate.

EDIT: Following the launch of the latest Citadel Paint range in 2012, please note that the colours listed below are from the previous range. I hope to have time to rewrite in the future, but for the time being, you can use the conversion chart/ list I made here or use the official Citadel Conversion chart here.

Step 1: Preparation.
  1. Remove the model from its sprue.
  2. Carefully file or trim any excess flash from the model. (If the latter, use caution!)
  3. Glue model to base.
Step 2: First basing.
I like to get the application of materials to my base done at this point to save trouble later. Doing it now allows you to correct any troublesome issues with sand or glue without worrying about any painting you might have done...

  1. Sand or trim any flash from around the edge of the base. (It really shows up when you paint it...)
  2. Paint PVA glue, optionally watered-down, onto the base, carefully avoiding getting excess glue onto feet or shoes (also claws, paws etc.)
  3. Sprinkle a few pieces of crushed coral onto the base. (Obtained at the aquatic section of any pet shop) I find that 2-3 is enough.
  4. Sprinkle sand over the base, so all remaining areas are covered.
  5. Allow to dry.
Step 3: Priming/ Undercoat.
  1. Prime the whole model. I use Citadel Chaos Black spray. Black is ideal for a model that will overall be darker in tone (and more forgiving for beginners like me as if you miss painting anything in hard to reach places it just looks like shadow.)
  2. Allow to dry.
Step 4: Basecoat.
Here is what I ended up with after basecoats:
With basecoats only
basecoats only
In this step you will add the basic colours to the model. I used the following colours from Games Workshop (I haven't tried any other brands simply due to not having easy access to them.) 

Note that I usually do the skin first, then cloth, then armor. I believe this is called "Inside Out" painting. It works because you are painting the hardest to reach places first. They are often small and difficult to reach, so you are likely to make mistakes. The good thing with this approach though is that when you work on the next layer out (often cloth) you get the chance to paint over any mistakes.
  • Mechrite Red: Armour.
  • Boltgun Metal: Weapons.
  • Chainmail: Chainmail highlights
  • Dwarf Bronze: Crosspiece on swords
  • Tallarn Flesh: Skin, tail, ears etc.
  • Bleached Bone: Loincloth, Teeth/ bones on helmet, skull pommel of sword.
  • Ice Blue: Edges of chain mail "skirt".
  • Snakebite Leather: Straps on vambraces, half of weapons.
  • Dark Angels Green: Jewel on clasp.
  • Calthan Brown and/ or Codex Grey: Rats on base
  • Codex Grey: Stones on base.
  • Shining Gold: Edges and chain of Warpstone pendant. Earrings.
  • Dark Angels Green: Warpstone on pendant. (not in the picture as I forgot to do it 'till later!) 
Step 5: Washes. 
After washes.
After washes.
This step adds shadow and depth to what (at the moment) will look like a very "flat" model. 
I use Games Workshop washes, again only because these are a known quantity for me.
  • Devlan Mud: Weapons. Breastplate/ armour. Rats. Chainmail etc.
  • Ogryn Flesh: Skin, tail, feet etc 
  • Gryphonne Sepia: Loincloth/ cloth. 
Note the following optional washes. I often do these after everything else is complete, but I list them here as they are washes.
  • OPTIONAL: Use a very watered down Vermin Brown if you want a rust effect on weapons etc. Immediately after applying, I dab at this with a tissue to vary the pattern of the "rust".
  • OPTIONAL: Use a very watered down Ice Blue on raised areas of Dwarf Bronze if you want a blue "Patina" effect to add some aging (especially around raised areas.)
Step 6: Highlights. 
In this step, we build up the colours ("layering") in progressively lighter shades on raised areas to achieve more greater variation between light and shadow. This could be using progressively lighter,but separate colours (Tallarn Flesh ;Dwarf Flesh; Elf Flesh) OR by adding Skull White in ever-increasing amounts to a single colour. 
I'm not great at it yet, but you can find a good guide at "How to Paint Miniatures".
  • Boltgun Metal: Reapply to edges of weapons etc.
  • Dwarf Bronze/ Shining Gold mix (1:1): Edges of crosspiece on swords etc.
  • Tallarn Flesh/ Dwarf Flesh mix: (1:1) Skin, feet, tail etc. then...
  • Dwarf Flesh/ Elf Flesh mix: (1:1) on the same areas, leaving some of the previous darker shade.
  • Bleached Bone/ Skull White mix: (2:1) Skull on pommel  teeth, nails etc.
  • Snakebite Leather/ Skull White mix: (2:1) belt
  • Dark Angels Green/Goblin Green mix: (1:1) mix for the Jewel on clasp. Follow this with Goblin Green, and then Goblin Green/ Skull White mix (2/1). 
  • Calthan Brown/ Vermin Brown: (1:1) Rats on base
  • Codex Grey/ Fortress Grey: (1:1) Grey rats on base
  • Blood Red: Eyes
(In this case, I think I went over the main areas of the armour in Mechrite Red using drybrushing  as mentioned in the next stage, rather than hightlighting)

Step 7: Drybrushing.
Another step that adds highlights. 

Put some of your highlight colour on your brush.Run your brush over kitchen paper (or a tissue is OK) until there is almost no paint on the brush. Then run the brush very lightly across the raised areas of the model to which you want to add the highlight colour. This should leave the highlight colour only on the raised edges. (Again, information on How To Paint Miniatures is a good guide!)
  • Mechrite Red: Raised areas of armour.
  • Chainmail: Weapon edges, edges of armour plate (where, if real, movement of the armour/ friction between plates would rub away the colouring)

Step 8: Final Basing.
The last step (phew!) adding colours to the base.
  1. Calthan Brown drybrush across the sand (not the rocks/ crushed Coral)
  2. Calthan Brown/ Skull white mix (3/1) drybrush across the sand.
  3. Codex Grey: drybrush across the sand. Paint onto the rocks.
  4. Codex Grey/ Fortress Grey mix (1:1). drybrush across sand and edges of rocks.
  5. Fortress Grey: Drybrush across sand and edges of rocks.

I think that is it...


p.s. You can see that I didn't use the back-banner for this model as it feels too extravagant to me. Instead I used some Green Stuff to cover the hole where the back-banner would be placed and I am saving it...possibly to adorn a War-litter?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Goblin Skaven Slaves update. Part 3


After giving myself a break from large units by finishing Queek Headtaker, Deathmaster Snikch, and Scar-Scath (Vermin Lord) I think it is time to return to reinforcing the core of my Warlord Clan.
For many Skaven warlords, "Core" probably brings to mind two essential unit types: Clanrats and Skaven Slaves.

Having come into a large number of old Goblin models, I thought it would be great to use them as "counts as" Skaven slaves. After all, the green-things are a constant nuisance to us Skaven, competing with us as they do for control of Dwarven holds, mines, and prime underworld real estate. (I imagine any generals of the lesser-races reading this will think it ironic that we Skaven should think of Goblins as an infestation! But, while infestation they may be, when captured they can prove useful in the vanguard of our armies - or perhaps the cooking pot!)

In two earlier posts (here and then here)  I talked a bit about the simple modelling I did to make the unit look more "Skaveny". I have since added texture to the bases, primed the unit, completed basecoating and highlighting the skin. Basecoating the skin took me 2.5 hours for 40...(so much for speed painting!)

Basecoat of Calthan Green
Highlights of Calthan Green/ Snot Green
Drybrush with lighter shade of Calthan Green
Now I hardly ever get a game in, so I can't speak with confidence about any personal battlefield experience with my slaves, but the general opinion around the intertunnels is that they are pretty critical to any Skaven army! If possible, they need to be deployed at a minimum of 40-60 troops (any comments on that dear reader?), as this will give them plenty of ranks to stop them running from combat AND allow them to die in droves (exactly what we want so they hold up the enemy unit.)

More updates over the course of this week, at the end of which I hope to have finished up the full unit of 50.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...