Friday 30 April 2010

Command finished, time for the big guys

Well, the command is finally finished. I had fun painting them as these are pretty cool minis. I like the sculpt. The physical features (Hollywood-action-movie-jaws and big muscles) may seem a little exaggerated but personally I see it as an example of this peculiar style of sculpting miniatures. So, I don't mind this slightly over-the-top look and instead paint them in such a way that it gets even more highlighted. This is the reason why I went for bigger contrasts while painting the skin.
I've also tried my new Andrea paints and they're great - the shades work with one another really well and painting black with them is nice and easy. I used them on the boots and I'm quite happy with the results (though I'm aware of the fact that the pics are not very good). It's an old 5 mpx Conica Minolta that has served me well for a few years but it's not very good when it comes to taking pictures of small objects like minis. The details disappear, especiallt the final highlights put on the edges tend to look like they're blended with the basic colour instead of standing out. I will probably buy a new camera but since I'll be moving to a new flat in the near future, I have other, more important things to buy first.

I've also started working on the big guys - Ogryns. Not much to show at this point. The bases are painted and I plan to get more done during the weekend, so expect an update soon.
And to finish off this post, two pics to show the size of these chaps.

Monday 26 April 2010

Any colour you want... long as it's black.

That's right - black is the colour. Today I finally received the Black paint Set from Andrea.

It's basically a set of black tones that are specially designed to work on this colour. Don't get me wrong though - it's not that I'm lazy and avoid mixing paints. It's just that I simply enjoy using different types of paints from different producers. Right now I have about 150 different paints and use pretty much all of them. There are some that I like in particular, e.g. Citadel metallics & purples, P3 Midlund Flesh, Foundation paints, citadel washes, golden metallics from Reaper, reds from Vallejo Game Colour or Green Grey and Negro Black from Vallejo Model color range). I could go on but the point is that for me this is also part of the hobby - collecting and using different acrylic paints.

Some of the paints that I use

I read about the Andrea range a while ago but it wasn't until recently that I learnt that they're available in a store in my country (I don't normally buy in stores abroad - the costs of shipping are high and you need to either gather a group of people to make a larger order or buy more products to get a discount).

All six shades, base with two highlights and three shadows

Apart from the paints you also get a leaflet with a tutorial(short but nicely illustrated with good pictures). Nice addition. I will probably test them while painting black elements on Catachan Guard and Ogryns. I cannot wait until I lay my hands on some these great Cryx minis - this black paint set will surely come in handy. If I like the effect I will also probably get the Gold set, which might be even more useful. I'm generally happy with the effect I can get using Reaper/GW gold metallics but still, I'd like to try something different.

Thursday 22 April 2010

Catachan Guard again

Finally I have a chance to paint some non-lotr minis. I'm currently working on a WH40K commision. I've already had a chance to paint Catachan Command once and this is how it turned out.

This time I will go for the same colour scheme, but different weapon options (all selected by the client). I really like plastic WH 40K boxes. They are brimful of various bits and pieces so that even when you're done equipping the minis, there's still plenty left. Also, the fact that these minis are multi part gives plenty of opportunities for giving your minis more dynamic poses. In this set I did that with the sniper. It included only a little bit of cutting and gluing (even without having to use Green Stuff). I placed him a a rock (made from wine bottle cork) and chose a kneeling pose that I thought would be suitable for a guy armed with a sniper rifle. This time I also decided to use a different banner. It's simpler than the other one but at least it's not so crumpled so painting it won't be a pain in the neck.

I've just started working on these guys. Right now only the bases (some static grass will be added in the final stage) are finished. The rest in in the WIP (work in progress) stage.

Once I'm done with them, I'm going to paint four Imperial Ogryns, nasty big guys.

Painting them will be more time consuming as there are plenty of large surfaces. And working with these requires lots of highlights with thinned down paints. Overall, I like the sculpts, but this may change once I really start working on them.

And to finish off this post, here's one of my favourite demotivators connected with miniature battle games.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Man of metal - NMM encounters

As the work on Sanguinary Guard evolves it's time to update you a bit. It's heavy WiP so bear Right now I've just finished preliminary work on armor. Here's the result, it's only the highlighting and first of glazes. Shading is yet to be done plus black and white lining as well ;)

Sunday 18 April 2010

Sand in my eyes

The conjunctivitis is still bothering me (hence the title of this post) but I've finally managed to finish the Harad minis I started at the beginning of this month. The quality of pictures is poor as I don't have a camera at the moment and had to use my mobile to take these pics. Unfortunately there won't be better ones as the minis have already been packed and will be sent tomorrow.

First off, the Command group. I know that the quality is rather poor but I think that it's a good example of my style of painting lotr minis. I usually try to go for smooth highlights, keeping the colours rather dark. Citadel purples (Liche Purple and Warlock Purple) are definitely my favourites. They work together really well and make highlighting much easier (of course as long as you put at least a few layers of paint and dilute them with water). Here I chose very bright green for the gems as I thought that this element of contrast might look good. The bases are finished according to the client's wish to fit with the rest of his army.

And the second part of this batch of minis - Corsair Arbalesters. I really like these minis - long-haired, bearded crossbowmen equipped with large metal shields. Nasty looking dudes, probably useful in the game (I don't play it so I'm just guessing).

I know the picture is terrible and doesn't really do them justice but overall I was quite happy with the final result. I went for slightly more sharp highlights here as I thought that their clothes are sculpted in a way that calls for more contrastive shades. Similarly to Harad command, i went for a slightly darker skin colour, these are desert people after all!

Well, that's it for now. Next I'm going to work on a Warhammer 40k commission, Catachan Command and some Ogryns, but there will be another time to write more about it.

Have a nice week. Cheers!

Saturday 17 April 2010


I haven't been too active recently due to Conjunctivitis (or "Madras eye" if you like). Nasty stuff, makes reading, writing and obviously painting more difficult as most of the time I feel as if I had sand in my eyes. I also had my eyes examined and I got some special eye drops that were supposed to widen my pupil. Well, it worked.

This made me think of A. Sapkowski's (probably the most prominent Polish fantasy writer) Witcher. There's a series of books about this character (a good one, definitely worth reading). Basically he's a medically enhanced human trained for fighting with monsters that pose threat to other humans. The likes of him also use chemical substances that for example enable them to see well at night. The side effect is that pupils become much wider and their eyes turn almost completely black. That's more or less how it looked like in my case. Funny thing, but it affects seeing so that all the contrasts seem to be much sharper. Maybe it doesn't make seeing in darkness possible but probably I would be able to make out more shapes than normally. The disadvantage is that eyes become very sensitive to the daylight. So basically what Sapkowski described in his book has some pretty solid basis in reality.

As I wrote at the beginning, I haven't done much progress in recent days hobby-wise. The Harad minis are still not finished but I hope to work on them during the weekend. Once I'm done with them I will finally paint minis from a different range. I have some WFB 40k minis that I want to paint as a commission. I ordered them a while ago but it turned out that the guys at GW forgot to pack all of them so I'm still waiting for the rest of my order to arrive.

I also bought WARMACHINE Prime Mk.II rulebook. I've read a lot about this game and it seems to be a very interesting and dynamic system. The rulebook is very nice and I really like all the artwork inside. I haven'r had time to read it. So far I've only managed to browse through it. I plan to buy an armybook, army deck, and an army starter possibly with some additional minis once I've completed all the commissions I'm working on. I really like the minis (especially the hulking Warjacks) from Privateer Press, completely different style than those from GW. They look like they could be really fun to paint.

I haven't yet decided which army I'm going to collect but I'm leaning towards Cryx. Lots of cool models there and I like the feel of this army.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

It's blood time, it's Sanguinary Guard time

From the moment I first saw pics of new Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard I was sure of one thing - in april I'll be a couple of € short - because this set was (and kind of still is), a painters 'must have'.

So after a long weekend I finally got pack with minis in and from the first look I'm not disapointed. First thing, after opening the pack, that draws your attention is, how rich in parts those two frames are. 95 parts, as GW states I'm not eager to count it myself, for 5 minis is well...a lot. Such pallete of helmets/heads, weapons and shoulder pads, allows to create 5 uniqe warriors. Quality of sculptures is up to today's GW standards, however some shoulder pads are, least said, avarage (abour 4 of them). another weak part of this set -> heads, those bare ones to be exact. They are so simple, without any strong expression, to be honest I'm not very keen on using those, helmets are whole other story, they are magnificent also death masks are very nice to alter some of BA warriors.

The biggest part of whole set - Chapter Banner - Is nice, detailed sculpt and shouldn't cause any troubles painting (even for beginner painter). Two of my favourite parts are armours and wings. First ones, very detailed without any floss, they carry some Ancient Rome feel on them, very gladiator-like. The latter, well without doubt wings, are the main reason why SG stands out, parts are well sculpted, the only thing you can be frustrated is that compred to thickness of this particular element the feathers are rather shallow sculpt.

Well, that's all I can write before assembly, now all projects aside, time to work on some 40k :)

Monday 12 April 2010

The Sound of Silence

The last couple of days were, least to say, quite difficult. It was a huge shock for everyone. I learnt about the plane crash when Haldir texted me and told me to check the news. I simply couldn't believe it and thought that it was some kind of sick joke. I felt as if it was something unreal, something that is not really happening.

It changed when I learnt that a friend of my family was on that plane too. It was then when I discovered this more personal element in the tragedy that it became more 'real' to me.

I have never been a supporter of Lech Kaczynski and I would always vote against him and his and his brother's party. I disagree with most of their ideas and am generally critical towards them but now it's hard to say anything in face of such a tragedy. He definitely was a patriot and a good man but the way he fought for influence, had conflicts with many people who had different ideas and his rather
nationalistic political views as well as Euroscepticism have brought a lot of criticism on him. Personally I saw him as an intelligent man, a patriot who had a position that was unfortunately not suitable for him and who had to sacrifice a lot of his own ideals in order to have enough influence to have significant power in Polish politics.

It's going to be a difficult time in Poland. Right now the Marshal of the Sejm is the Acting President of Poland. He was the official candidate of PO (Civic Platform - the current ruling party) for the position of president. The elections were scheduled to take place in October but now they will need to take place earlier (within about two
months). The plane crash has completely reshaped the political landscape here. Many important people have died in it (mostly members of the opposition). Because of the ideological and political conflict between the two main Polish parties (the ruling Civic Platform and the opposition Law and Justice), the race for presidency had been expected to be a show of brutal mudslinging and airing dirty laundry in public.

Right now the elections are the last thing that both the citizens and politicians want but they must take place according to our constitution. It's hard to predict now how the campaign of the candidates will look (and who the candidates will be as two of them - Lech Kaczynski and Jerzy SzmajdziƄski have died in the plane crash).I do hope that the transition will be smooth but at the same time I seriously doubt it. I suppose that once the dust settles and the official one week of mourning is over, political pragmatism will be back into everyday life. But we'll have to wait and see what happens. Still, I have faint hope is that the catastrophe will unite everyone for a longer while.

Our hearts are with the families of those who died in this tragic plane crash.

Friday 9 April 2010

Elven riders of the green meadows

After some break caused by university and Easter it's time to get back into business. Last delayed project - Galadhrim Knights. I was supposed to fiish them by the end of I guess that simultaneous work on painting guide on them can slow work down ;) As you can see only two of them have finished horses (for article sake) the rest will have brownish/grayish ones ;)

I decided to go for, tyical for me, scheme as they will be another brick in wall of my Wotr army. For rest of mini, I'm thinking silver for scalemail and gold for armour, that should do the trick.

After that I suppose I'll grab some of commission Morgul Knights (seems like I've already painted too many of those) pending I won't recive Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard I ordered today ;)

Friday 2 April 2010

Easter with Harad

Finally a few more days off (not that I have much to do at the uni - only one seminar once a week ;). Once again I'm working on minis from LotR SBG, this time several Harad minis. I like most of the minis from this army. It seems that GW sculptors really gave their best. They have perfect proportions (not always the case with minis from this range) and lots of details. Also, I really like how their clothes are sculptem, makes painting them very enjoyable. I've already painted quite a few Harad minis for various commissions. To name a few: Harad Chieftain , Mumak 'driver' , the new Suladan model (aka. The Kite Man), Serpent Riders , and both metal and plastic Harad Riders.

Another thing that makes painting them enjoyable is the possibility to use more varied colour schemes. I usually use different shades of red, blue and purple but there are lots of other possibilities. I've seen some really nice Harad schemes while browsing hobby-related websites, and Haldir's army has to be one of the best out there. I really like the classic desert look. You can check it out here .

Now, enough of beating around the bush, here are the minis I'm working on at the moment.

While painting minis that have brighter colours I either start from white undercoat or a black one sprayed over lightly with white one. I chose the latter here as apart from providing a solid basis for painting it also nicely highlights the details.

OK, that's it for now. Happy Easter everyone :)
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