Thursday 26 April 2012

Panzer division Gondor

I've been quite busy with painting some Gondor minis recently. I thought that instead of devoting a separate entry to each unit, I'll write a longer summary with more pictures.
First off, the Citadel Guard. I really like these minis. They have a veteran look to them. Each of those that hold spears has a slightly different pose or even different face (beard and mustache/shaven). I kept the color scheme dark as I usually do while working with LotR minis.
These guys have several brighter elements that I think go well with black. The yellow and pseudo NMM trim on their tunics and cloaks add a much needed element of contrast there. I had a chance to use the new Citadel glazes on them too. I glazed their armor plates with Gulliman Blue. It's pretty much watered down Asurmen Blue. Actually, I had to add some water to it as the tint of blue would be too strong otherwise. So for those of you considering buying new Citadel glazes, my suggestion would be to stay away from them and stick to washes as they're good enough for glazing once you thin them down with water.

Here you can see a group photo with their leader - Beregond. I used slightly different highlights on him to make him look unique but still close enough to the rest to fit in well with the whole unit. I gave his skin a more weather-beaten look as I thoughts that since he's a leader he is the one who's been around more.

Faramir and the Knight of Minas Tirith with banner come next. I'm not a big fan of the painted version from GW's online store as he the way he bares his teeth make him look as if he was suffering from constipation. I wanted to avoid this wild look so rather than marking his teeth, I highlighted the lower lip only. I typically avoid painting upper lip as it makes the characters look like harlots. Following the official color scheme, the edges of his helmet are painted with golden color. I like this idea as it makes him look more special than a regular Knight.  I tried to take pictures that would show the bases. I added random fragments of pavement to go along the "ruins of Osgiliath"/"battle for Pellennor" theme.

I used some of the new paints I bought from Army Painter for Metallics for this lot. I have to admit that they're excellent. They're a tad thicker than Citadels but they come in dropper bottles so using them is much more convenent. The same can be said about their inks - so far I've used only Streonh Tone (close to Badab Black) and Soft Tone (close to Gryphonne Sepia). You can read more about AP's inks here. I can totally recommend them.

Last but definitely not least - Osgiliath veterans, my personal favorites. I really like the sculpts, great minis full of character. Various little bits (headband, patches on cloak, pieces of rope wrapped around greaves, etc.) make them look like battle-hardened warriors.
I added a few washes and glazes of various brown inks/washes to make sure their armors looked like they'd seen better days.

And that's it for now. I'm going to paint Warriors and Knights of Minas Tirith along with Boromir and command group soon but before that happens I want to paint a few Malifaux minis :)

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Pick of the Week

I came across this video from PP and thought I'd share it here.

It's an excellent introduction to the hobby. Even though it focuses on P3 paints and washes, the techniques are universal and can be used with any other hobby products.

I've been also working on some Gondor miniatures and here's a quick WIP pic. I have more free time now so they should be finished by the end of the week.

Saturday 21 April 2012


I've been thinking about adding new graphics to Independent Painters for a while. A few weeks ago I changed the layout but was still not satisfied with the effect. I'm no good at graphic design, so I asked a specialist for help. As a result I got new banner, new background and a completely different color scheme of the blog.

The person behind all those changes is the same guy who is the author of awesome pictures that I throw in once in a while in the Blast from the Past series - Reagsy. The guy is a 100% professional, totally dedicated to his work and open to suggestions. He's great to work with as he makes sure that the customers get exactly what they want. Apart from that, he's really fast as it took us a short time to get on the same page with the design, brainstorm ideas and come up with the final effect. So, if you consider adding some nice graphics or a complete overhaul of your blog/website, he's the man. You can check out some of his other works here.

I'm really pleased with the final effect. I think that the blog visually looks great, it has a  more professional look to it and the layout is much clearer. Still, it would be great to read other people's views on this look so feel free to leave a comment below.

And to finish off this post, a well known cover with a surprise appearance by an unlikely guitarist.

Friday 20 April 2012

Diablo 3 test

Since it's an open beta weekend I just had to check it out.  I've just tested Diablo 3 and I'm very disappointed. It basically plays like Diablo 2 for dummies. Everything is more colorful, the sounds are silly and the voices are quite poor. Not to mention the animation of the characters and enemies which is bumpy to say the least (the way Demon hunter moves is simply ridiculous) . I actually had more fun playing Torchlight, a low budget Indie game. And I thought that one was simplistic...
Maybe it's just my first impression but I don't think I'll be spending much time on it - painting minis is more fun! Still, if you want, you can give it a shot. Be patient though as the servers are pretty busy and it may take several attempts before you actually manage to log in.

EDIT: I came across this and I couldn't agree more:

I hope that in the final version there will be more advanced graphics options/more filters to activate/deactivate.

Monday 16 April 2012

Gondor royalty

As promised in one of my earlier posts, I'm trying to catch up with publishing pics of painted minis that somehow got lost. Today a few pictures of Gondor royalty. First off, Denethor and Pippin.

Both were painted using a dark palette. I really enjoyed painting Pippin. The minis of hobbits from a LotR range are very nicely detailed and despite their size, the quality of sculpt is top notch. As far as Denethor is concerned, I wanted to capture the madness and complete distrust of everyone in his facial expression.

 While painting these I wanted to keep them looking royal by adding richness to the reds and finishing off their ancient-looking armor with a touch of golf. The bases were finished off using resin inserts from Spellcrow. They're excellent and I can easily see them used in many different tabletop games as they can be fit on various types of bases. I'll write more about Spellcrow soon.

Monday 9 April 2012

New Citadel paint range review

A very good review of the new range. It certainly saved me some cash as I had originally planned to buy some of the dry and texture paints just to check them out.

Friday 6 April 2012


I painted this mini a few months ago but somehow forgot to post it here. I bought it on ebay as I wanted to have a chance to check the quality of this type of models - characters/leaders cast entirely in plastic.
Much to my surprise, the quality was excellent, all the parts fit nicely (the base, together with the skeleton is actually an original part of the model too) and apart from several mold lines there were no problems. I only used a little LGS to fill in a small gap on the back.

Seeing that this model has many flat surfaces, I decided to forget about my painting style for a while (smooth highlights, many subtle highlights) and painted this one using more contrasting highlights. I painted thin lines of base colors and worked them up to lighter shades.
The stuff was highlighted in a more "traditional" way for me but I ended up giving it several glazes to get this old, rotten look.
It was an experiment but I'm overall pleased with the outcome, I'm particularly happy with the face as I managed to get the look I had planned.
And that;'s it for now, happy Easter everyone!

Sunday 1 April 2012

Iron Painter round 2

The theme for round 2 was "THE NEXT STEP". When I first saw the, I immediately saw great potential for interpreting it. I thought I'd try to create a little diorama that would illustrate "the next step" as a milestone achievement in warfare. I did that but in a slightly twisted way (hence the title). I used a few models that I thought would fit the scene, added some scenery and a few mutilated body parts. Other than the slightly covert interpretation of the theme, there are a few other 'steps' in it; the next step of the armed pig (if you look closely you will notice that the fuse is lit on the dynamite) and its potential effects, the next step of the cannon-wielding pirate (will he manage to fire it in time to prevent another disaster?) as well as the next step of the lady with a saber and a dagger. Putting it all together (the house is made of several resin parts that were pinned and glued together) and painting everything took most of my evenings and two weekends during last several days. Fortunately, my wonderful wife was very understanding and I didn't have to feel bad about spending so much time on it. It is a departure from my usual style of painting as I went for much brighter, vivid colors. It's a pretty gruesome scene after all so I thought I'd lighten the mood that way. Also, the models have a satirical, comic feel to them. All of them are from the Tale of War miniature range, some really great stuff they're producing.
In the end I didn't qualify for round 3. This is the piece that was chosen as a better one. It's hard for me to compare these two as they were painted in a different style and there was a different approach to the whole thing in each of them. Well, I can only wish my opponent good luck in the next round(s) and try again next year.
In hindsight, I think I went slightly over the board with my interpretation of the theme. That's a lesson I had to learn the hard way - in this contest the entries should be prepared in such a way that the theme shines through immediately. Anyway, I had a lot of fan taking part in the contest and will definitely want to do it again next time. The piece will probably end up on ebay as I don't really have any use for it now. Well, time to get back to painting LotR minis - I see plenty of iron in my nearest future (Gondor) as well as some Malifaux stuff but I'll write about it later.
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