Wednesday 29 February 2012

Great Beast of Gorgoroth #8

Here's the final part of my report on working on the Great Beast of Gorgoroth. I finished painting the crew and was able to take a few pictures that show the whole thing.
The orcs are not glued to the platform. I left the metal elements sticking from their feet glued and drilled holes in the platform. These holes are not visible once the models are put in place.

Now let's summarize the work.
When I saw the model for the first time in advance order at GW's website, I was impressed, to say the least. It looked majestic and I liked all the new unique sculpts for the beast and the crew. When I first opened the box with it, I was positively surprised with the level of detail. I consider myself a fairly experienced hobbyist, so filling in all the gaps, bending the model into proper shape and removing the mold lines were not problematic for me.

In a twisted, masochistic way I actually enjoyed preparing everything for painting. However, if GW wants to attract new people to the hobby, it's just awful. The amount of work that needs to be put into preparing this model for painting can discourage virtually anyone. I was hoping that after initial criticism, GW finecast models will look better but apparently they don;t. I can't really understand that. Other companies (Privateer Press, Wyrd Games, Micro Art Studio - just those three off the top of my head) have had no problems in maintaining excellent quality of the models cast in resin.
There were also a few other small things that I didn't like. First of all, the head trophy hanging off the platform that can be seen in the pic at GW's website was not included in my box. It's not a big deal as the whole thing can be easily put together without it, but it's a nice touch and adds to the overall feel of the model. Secondly, some parts were badly miscast (some small areas on the orc models and most of the beast's teeth were actually missing - I needed to add them using bits from other minis).

And just to wrap things up - yes, it's a nice model and I can definitely see many advantages of finecast but this is definitely not a product that can be recommended to everyone (especially thise who are just starting with the hobby). I've recently painted a new plastic Necromancer (will show the pics soon) model released by GW in plastic and had no problems at all working with it at all. Moreover, it's quality was excellent and the level of detail was quite good too. I've never heard anyone complaining about miscasts in their mumak models too... Anyway, you can see pics of the finished model in this post so feel free to comment and share your reflections on finecast.

Sunday 26 February 2012

The Iron Painter

I've recently entered my second ever online painting contest. Another one organized by Wyrd Games. It's called "The Iron Painter". The rules are fairly simple. All the participants are divided into groups of three. The jury chooses the best work to go on to the next round. The criteria for choosing the best one are:

Use of THEME INGREDIENT..... 0-5 points
Technical Quality/difficulty........0-5 points
Overall Asthetic.......................0-10 points

There are four judges. The participants have two weeks to complete their entry. Those that lose are asked to send one miniature/$5 to their victor (even tough it's not obligatory, I still think it's a nice idea).

As you can see, it's a pretty challenging competition. I don't have high hopes of getting far, especially after browsing through the galleries of the winners of earlier editions but I thought I'd give this one a shot anyway. My main target is to go through to the second round.

The theme for the first round is: "Start your engine". Initially I wanted to work on something typically associated with engines, such as large Warmachine jacks, futuristic vehicles, etc. I ended up going for something more subtle, trusting that "size doesn't matter" and here's how my entry for round 1 of IP looks like at this early stage.

All the minis will be painted separately, they are pinned and I only attached them to the base to take a pic.

Friday 24 February 2012

Great Beast of Gorgoroth #7

Here's another update on the beast. I finished the platform for orcs. It took me a while to make it fit properly, took some hot water and green stuff to make a perfect fit. I didn't glue it, it's just pinned to the beast's back. Thanks to that, transporting these elements separately will be much easier.

I haven't realised this after unpacking the model, but there's one part missing. In the catalogue picture at GW's website you can see that there are two heads (possibly human) hanging by the rope from the side of the platform. Unfortunately, I didn't get these in my box. Other than that, the other problem was that part of the mouth of the beast was miscast and it didn't have all the teeth (you can see that in the pic below, they're only on the right side, none on the left). Well, I guess it's not such a big deal as the hooves are probably its main strength.

Now, let's paint the crew...

Thursday 23 February 2012

Great Beast of Gorgoroth #6

Well' here's the beast. I had two takes while painting it. At first I started with black undercoat and quickly realized that it wasn't a good idea. The beast blended with the base too easily. I changed the undercoat to a grey one and worked up highlights from there. I ended up using Astronomican Grey to make sure the skin texture is visible.

The beast is really well cast as far as details are concerned. Just a few gaps left after casting on the belly but other than that I didn't have to work too much on preparing it for painting (and I mentioned problems that were solved with hot water earlier on).

I've already started working on the platform for orcs and since I'm currently on a sick leave I should be able to finish it tomorrow.

Monday 20 February 2012

Great Beast of Gorgoroth #5

Just a quick shot of the painted base. I took it with my mobile so the quality isn't good. It looks a bit empty at this stage but once different types of static grass are added, it will change.

I also ordered a large batch of new Malifaux minis today - the Neverborn are coming :)

Sunday 19 February 2012

Pick of the Week

Difficult times call for creativity. Now that a number of hobbyists are struggling with preparing finecast miniatures for painting, a brilliant young man from Sweden offers words of wisdom and presents a way to deal with this problem. Without further ado, enjoy (and thanks to Haldir for the link).

Thursday 16 February 2012

Great Beast of Gorgoroth #4

Everything's basecoated and ready for painting. I used Army painter sprays, beginning with black and adding a littlr grey or brown over it to pick out the details. I don't have an aerograph (at least not yet, I'll probably get one sooner or later) so that way not only ainting is easier but also a little faster.

The orcs are pinned to corks after wine cut in half. I didn't base them as I want to put them on the platform on beast's back later on and it wouldn't be possible otherwise (this one's much smaller than the mumak).

I really like these orcs. Great, entirely new sculpts and no clones here.

I want to paint the base first, then the beast and the platform. I'll start working on these tomorrow so you can expect an update this weekend.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Great Beast of Gorgoroth #3

I didn't have much time today but I still managed to completely clean up the beast, glue the halves and use some GS to fill in any remaining recesses after putting the model together. There wasn't much work here as the beast is pretty well cast.
I also assembled the platform. I forgot to test whether the pieces fit well before gluing it but fortunately they did.

Having done that, I prepared the base. I aimed for a battlefield look with some random shields, weapons and helmets lying around. The key here is not to overdo as too many details would make it look cluttered and unrealistic. I used parts of plastic ruins that I dug out from my bits box and cut away some so that it wouldn't take up too much space on the base. I also used small parts of GS below the scattered elements I added. Without those, they'd be covered with sand and gravel and virtually invisible. Once the GS hardened, I added the gravel (two different sizes) and sand.

Now I only need to put some basecoat and I can start painting.

Monday 13 February 2012

Great Beast of Gorgoroth #2

Alright, time to get this one ready for painting. As you can see in the pic below, I was prepared for the worst when I started.

The biggest problem was the large gap I described in my earlier post. At first I wanted to use Ana's method to get this right. As much as I liked the idea, it didn't prove so effective on a larger piece. I decided to use the old, tested method (I used it when I was working on this helljack) and put the pieces in a bowl with hot water. After about 20 seconds the resin became very soft and had a rubbery feel to it. It was easy to bend it into desired shape and after a while put in under cold water. The resin became solid again and the halves of the beast's body fit well. You can see that in the pictures below.

I also finished cleaning the orcs and filled the gaps left after casting with Liquid Green Stuff - I really like this product, so easy to use. Also there's the possibility of thinning it down with water, which makes filling any recesses much easier.

As you can see, the level of detail is really high and there wasn't that much that needed to be redone with LGS. Now it's time to get some GS on the beast and prepare the base.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Undead Death Marshals

I enjoyed painting the Death Marshals models thoroughly. These are probably my favorite minis from the range. As soon as I read that a special box with Dead Justice was to be released, I kept looking for a chance to buy them. I ended up getting them on ebay a while ago but have been too busy with other projects to work with these minis.

Finally, after finishing the last batch of LotR minis. I decided to paint a few minis from other system, in different scale. Just for a change. I have to admit, the Dead Marshals are amazing. The quality of sculpt is top notch but it's the level and number of details that really makes them special. The poses are perhaps a bit more static than the original ones but the details more than make up for it. Their cloaks are torn, faces disfigured, and a few other items are added. The one holding his beard is probably my favorite. I used a base insert with a coffin as I thought this one needed his "weapon" too.

I tried to keep the highlights very smooth and colors dark and I'm rather pleased with the final effect. I also used many glazes on the metal parts. I really like using GW washes for that as they seem to "melt" with metallics very well. Shame I'm not able to take pics that would be good enough to show that well... Anyway, overall I think they turned out a little better than the first three but you can judge it for yourself in the picture below.
Now, I can finally start working on the Beast of Gorgoroth :]

And here's a piece from a band that plays music which I think goes well with the atmosphere of Malifaux.

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Great Beast of Gorgoroth #1

Got mine today and took a few pictures to share my first impressions. I was positively surprised by a real good quality of the cast. The details on the beast look excellent, the texture of the skin is perfect. However, there's one problem - the halves don't match. There's a large gap when I put them together. It's not a big deal as I can easily bend it into any shape I want in hot water but still I didn't see this coming. The horns and chains look nice too. There are some mold lines on the legs and the horn and a few other areas but oh well, some have to be there. There are also some areas with small holes that need to be filled with green stuff. There was also some rubbery leftover from casting between the shafts of the arrows on the side of the beast. Here are a few pictures:

Now as far as the orc crew is concerned... WOW!! If the quality of the cast of the beast is good, then these guys are even better. The details look amazing and there's a kind of smoothness to these miniatures that make me want to start painting them as soon as possible. You may be able to see something that looks like rough surface around the edges but it can be basically removed with a nail so that's not a problem at all.

Those are ten entirely newly sculpted minis, they have very distinctive features and dynamic poses. What's great, they're made in the spirit of the old (I mean the old metal ones) orcs of Mordor. They definitely look much better than the plastic ones.
The other elements (thiose inserted on top of the beast) are also top-notch. The walls and shields look excellent.

Overall, I'm positively surprised by this one. The only problem is this large gap around the head and neck area but it should be easy to fix in hot water. I'm currently working on some Malifaux minis but I should be able to start working on this projest at the weekend. I will post an update then.

Friday 3 February 2012

Blast from the Past

Time for another one. This time I'll show some pics of LotR dwarves that I painted a while ago.

Once again, if you want to contact the author of these photographs, go here.
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