Friday 28 January 2011

Pick of the Week

I've been quite busy recently. End of the semester is a pretty hectic time at school. All the red tape, PTA meetings, students 'waking up' and trying to fight for better grades at the last minute... I could go on. Anyway, the point is that I haven't done too much serious painting since the last post on the blog. I plan to catch up with my painting this weekend but before that here's something that all Fallout fans will enjoy. A low budget, short fan-production which still manages to incorporate some of the classic twisted Fallout-like humor into it. Check it out and share it with more people and double thumbs up for the creators.

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Never enough of them...

Mordor orcs that is. I've already painted quite a few of these and it seems that there are always some more coming. I generally like minis from GW's LoTR range as the scale, realistic proportions of bodies and the quality of the sculpts are very good. The metal versions of orcs are definitely among my favorites here. The show the character of these guys very well, i.e. randomly chosen rags as clothes, cumbersome weapons and armors and ugly facial features. Even though not all of them are different as night and day from one another but still, there's a great variety of poses and looks.
I haven't really experimented too much here and used my good ol' color scheme that features mainly dark shades of grey, brown, and red. I used some more variety on the skin tones. I like how the "human" skin tone looks on orcs, makes them look very savage.
The ones with bows are the finest of Mordor archery. The orc trackers are used by many gamers but somehow these were the first minis of this type I've painted. I will have many more in the next commission. The sculpts are really great, which is not one can think after seeing their pic in the GW catalogue... It seems to me that bright colors and this type of highlights doen't suit them at all.
Anyway, the orcs are finished and the only minis remaining to be painted from the current commission are members of the Harad command, mounted Saruman and old version of Suladan. I still need to get rid of the paint from this one (not my effort, got this one already painted) as it seems the nicest mini to be painted from the remaining ones. I like it much more than the new version (the kite-man)...
On a side note, you might have noticed that the quality of the pics has slightly improved (at least in my humble opinion). I've started using a 'handheld twilight' option in my camera (Sony DSC HX1). I noticed that while using it, the camera processes the pictures so that in the end they look a bit better. Now, I would have never thought of switching from the previously preferred macro solution had my wife not pointed out this option to me :)
Well, since this is a Mordor-oriented post my obvious choice for some related music has to be Summoning - an Austrian black metal band. Many people don't think it's music at all but I still listen to it from time to time. Their music and lyrics are inspired by Tolkien's work to a great degree. I like their style as they incorporate lots of drums and keyboards, which creates a nice atmosphere. Mind you, I'm not a big fan of Jackson's movies (I guess the first one was OK, but the second and the third part were pretty bad in my opinion) so the clip in the background does not reflect my preferences, it's about the music really.

Saturday 15 January 2011

Follow the Reaper

A couple of days ago Reaper announced the release of a new series of paints called "Master Series Paints HD High-Density". According to the producer, their main characteristics are high-density pigments and excellent flow properties. Of course they're also water soluble and non-toxic. So basically we get something like Citadel Foundation paints. However, these are sold in dropper bottles, which is a huge advantage over the GW's paints. And if that wasn't enough, there are 38 unique colors in the range.

I've been using some Reaper paints for a while now and I have to admit that both their metallics and regular colors are great. The triad system (3 shades of color), the flow properties and excellent coverage are things that make using them very efficient.
I will definitely buy at least a few paints from the new range to check them out. So far none of the paints from Reaper has ever disappointed me so I'm really looking forward to getting them.
Hope some people find this piece of news interesting. Just to finish off, here's one from one of the bands I used to listen to a lot a while ago.

Friday 14 January 2011

Rhino: Locked & Loaded

Another part of Ultramarines force done this week is First of Rhinos. I decided to make it very dirty, stained and rusted just to give it more worn effect of tank armour in comparison to SM power armour. One turret is detachable so you can easily swap equipment. Also top hatch has got added hindges to make it work. Unfortunately I wasn't able to do the same with side doors in this model. I tried something but it didn't work and proper idea I came with later was impossible to apply at such moment. It's not bad for roughly two days paintwork ;) Now let's move on to Land Raiders.

For the music here I'd like to present a piece from HBO's Generation Kill. Marines rendition of Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus. It's my immidiate association with Rhino due to it's connection with HUMMVE :)

Thursday 13 January 2011

Blood Angels Dread

Last day of 2010 brought pictures of new Blood Angels Dread and Stormraven but it slipped under my radar until BoLS pointed it out . Anyway we have 4 decent pics of Furioso Dreadnought. Quality of parts seems to match those of Sanguinary Guard. The ability to choose between three sarcophagous is very nice addition. Also that hudge halabard power weapon alongside with somewhat of psychic hood , tells us that fearsome Librarian Dread is on board.

Taking my love for Librarian minis of SM and of big guns, I will try to lay my hands of this set :)

Tuesday 11 January 2011


Well after one of the most productive days of last month I might say I'm back in bussines. Sunday got the best of me and after one crazy painting marathon I managed to finish 3 of 6 commissioned bikes. Done accordingly to requests o client I think they pulled of really nice. I decided not to give them usual matte paint in order to make them look more like bikes really are, chromed and shiny, of course before I put some dust on them :) Funny trick was to make changable weapons on gunner seat. As it was my first try with magnets I think it's not bad. Next on the agenda I have that Rhino that needs a bit cleaning up after dose of washes and stuff, but the request is to make him more tank-like so stained, dirty
and chipped off ;)

I really need to take break from that commission stuff and paint something just to relax, cause lately I'm seeing to much atutomatism in my painting which results in dropping quality ;/ Maybe I'll work on something for LotR :D Also I need to print out some backgrounds and bring camera from home, cause those pics done with Xperia,well...they're not bad for WiP let's just say that ;)

As for usual music corner, the only piece that comes ot my mind when talking about bikes (As you can probably guess from title of post) :

Sunday 9 January 2011

A quick battle report

After several weeks I finally had a game of WARMACHINE. Once again I played against my brother's Protectorate of Menoth. Since neither of us has played for a longer while we decided to play starter vs starter. So it was: Denny, Slayer 2x Deathripper, Defiler and Kreoss, Crusader, Revenger and Repenter.
I started by quickly moving the bonejacks ahead to make sure I get a chance to use their arc nodes. It was a good idea as I quickly managed to hit Kreoss with Defiler's sludge cannon. As a result, my opponent was forced to roll each time he activated Kreoss to see if the corrosion has worn off. Fortunately for me, it never did and he kept losing valuable damage points. The tokens from PP I bought a while ago proved very useful as they clearly show the situation and the lasting effects of spells/damage. I lost at least two games simply because I would forget about these.
After my initial success my opponent hit back with all he had and after using Kreoss's feat managed to quickly turn the Slayer into a pile of scrap metal and did some serious damage to one of the Deathrippers. Still, I managed to block the way to Denny and keep the remaining active arc nodes in position for the final turn. I went for all the marbles and moved Denny closer to chickens and used the feat. I followed this by casting crippling grasp and a shot of poison from the Defiler who somehow remained functional after surviving attacks from both the Crusader and the Revenger. Kreoss who was already wounded couldn't have possibly survived that.
It was a fast-paced and pretty competitive game. Three big cheers go to my brother who is an excellent teacher when it comes to explaining the rules. What's more, he doesn't take advantage of his superior "procedural knowledge". Still, playing against him always proves a challenge.

Saturday 8 January 2011

The Great Meltdown

After several weeks of low temperatures and snow we are experiencing a great meltdown. The snow is disappearing and as a result the streets and pavements are slippery. Terrible weather, everything is either covered with water, ice or mud. As a result I'm staying at home most of the time. I'd prefer to go jogging and move around a little but the weather conditions do not permit it. Still, I have more time for painting which is not such a bad thing. I've caught up with my current commission and finished another batch of minis.
The Easterling cavalry - Kataphrakts are very nice models. I liked the concept the moment I saw first concept sketches in White Dwarf a couple of years ago. Heavily armored beasts with heavily armored riders, all clad in gold with the addition of red.

The archers were pretty much the same thing so I painted them simultaneously. The banners were given some extra attention.
Now I plan to paint some orcs and a few more Harad minis. After that I will probably finally take the plunge and start working on the 3 in 1 plastic helljack. Well, now that the parts for Malice have finally arrived it will actually be a 4 in 1 helljack.
And to finish off this entry, here's a sample of what I've been listening to a lot recently. Great ambient music, I often like to hear it in the background when I work.

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Red Water

I'm still working on the Easterling warriors and it seems like it's taking me forever to finish them. I started in late December but the work got put off due to Christmas, visiting family, friends, etc.
I'm using the same color scheme that I chose for the previous batch of Easterlings. Painting red has always been time-consuming, especially when working on a larger number of minis at the same time. I always need to use several layers of paint, especially on the final highlight if I want to get a solid color. I typically use Mechrite Red (GW's foundation paints are a blessing!) to start off. This is followed by Vallejo (Game color) dark red (I cannot make out the exact name as it is hardly visible now but it's close to GW's Red Gore). This is highlighted with a 50/50 mix of Dark Red with Vallejo (model color) Flat Red. I finish off with several layers of Flat Red put on the protruding elements/layers of clothes that stick out. It's a fast method that gives a relatively nice result. The number of layers between the undercoat and the final highlight depends on how much time one wants to spend on a mini. While working on a single "character" model I also use black to fill in the recessess (for example here or here). It would probably be much easier with Andrea Red set - I'll think about buying it soon.

Anyway, here's how my workspace looked like yesterday. Since then I've moved on with the work and started working on the banners (my favorite part here as they give a chance to make a mini pop out nicely). I want to finish them by the end of the week and then work on some orcs.
OK, a nice little song to finish off thhis post. I use this one as an alarm signal. It starts slowly and becomes louder after a while. I'm usually awake after first few seconds so it works for me.

Monday 3 January 2011

2010: Year in Review

2010 was a year of changes, both on personal and hobby level. And since I believe these were mostly changes for the better, I figured I'd write a brief summary here. So, here it goes, starting with non-hobby stuff. My achievements in 2010 (in chronological order):
- defending MA thesis at the Jagiellonian University. Five years of rather difficult studies, the last being the most enjoyable,
- renovating a flat and making a nice cozy nest for me and my better half,
- getting married and enjoying every day of living together with my wonderful wife,
- getting my first full-time job.

And on the hobby level:
- starting a hobby related blog with Haldir and keeping it alive (65 posts since March, not too bad for starters I guess),
- painted 179 minis (not all of them documented here). Fewer than in 2009 but I'm ovarall pleased with this number and hope to decrease it significantly in 2011. Instead of taking large commissions I want to focus on smaller paintjobs (single minis/small units) - unlike speedpainting this type of work allows one to actually develop painting skills. I personally find that speedpainting helps in getting a steady hand and smoothness of movement of the brush and that's about it.
- my painting highlight of the year,
- starting a WARMACHINE Army and painting it bit by bit,
- investing some money into better painting equipment (Andrea paints, wet palette, ceramic palette, buying some more Reaper and P3 paints),
- setting up a decent "painting corner" in my new place.

And that's about it. Now some resolutions for 2011:
- expanding my Cryx force (at least one more unit, some solos and a few jacks),
- playing more (4 games in 6 months isn't a good result by any measure),
- writing more and more often on the blog :)
- buy a car :]

And last but not least, all the best in 2011 to all the people who visit Independent Painters :)

The bigger they are...

PP is running a special Battle Engine week during which they will be presenting new resin models for Warmachine. I have to admit they do look impressive and can't wait to see models for other factions.The first one to be presented is Khador Gun Carriage (see pic below and the Insider at PP's website here).

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