Friday 30 November 2012

All eyes

This guy likes them a lot. And he's terrifying. And he can summon Alps. All of that makes him quite useful in game. But that's not the reason I chose to paint him up. I just love the sculpt. Receding hairline, weird tentacles instead of mouth, tail coat and torn pants.
I tried to get an ugly, old look on his skin to go with the tattered clothes. His pants were a bit of a challenge as I wanted to paint red and yellow stripes (like in the catalogue pic), which wasn't that easy as he's in a dynamic pose. I added some green glazes before final highlights to add age to them too and I think it worked out pretty well in the end.


For some reason I can't get rid of the glossy look on black elements that I get in the pictures, irl these elements are covered with matt varnish and don't shine.
I just wish Wyrd would write more about his background as he's basically presented as some kind of old, nasty creature from you-don't-want-to-know-where. And then there's the matter of his connection with Hoffman...

Om Nom Nom Nom
Also, I finally got my copy of Evil Baby Orphanage. I hope to get a game or two this weekend...

Thursday 29 November 2012

Greenskins from the deep

As I've written before, Moria is the next army I'm going to be work on (I'm also going to take a slight Hobbit detour but that's still Moria). I started with the bigger denizens of this realm (see earlier posts) and followed with this small team of 8 metal Goblins. Those are some of the first miniatures released for LotR: SBG but I think that they still look as good (or even better) than some of the newer ones.

Since they hardly ever get to see the sunlight and spend most of their lived deep underground, I chose a very dark color scheme. It gave me an opportunity to use the new GW paints for the first time. I bought two base and one layer color for their skins. I started with a basecoat of Castellan Green, highlighted it with Death World forest and gave one more very bright highlights on the protruding areas (noses, cheekbones etc.) with Ogryn Camo. They looked a bit too pale at this point so I started glazing the skin areas with brown inks, giving them a darker, dirtier look.

The armors were painted pretty much the same way I did with the Morannon Orcs. Dark and rusty - I think it goes well with the character of these guys. 
The bases have fragments of walls/ruins and lots of gravel. I didn't go over the board with details on these as I thought that a fairly plain look would work better in creating the feel of a wild horde roaming the dark places. I think in this case simplicity is the right choice.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Hobbit preorders

Well, the preorders for Hobbit are finally on GW site and we can finally see some better pics.
I love the new orcs - more details & more wild, menacing in appearance. And the new orc heroes are just awesome. I'll be ordering some of them, and Escape from Goblin town (seen above) is likely to be the first pick. As usual, GW offers a lot in a starter set so this one seems like a good choice. 
It looks like GW has slightly changed the style of designing some of the LotR miniatures. New goblins look more grotesque (and I'm not saying it's a bad thing!). On the other hand, the dwarves look like a perfect match for their older cousins. If everything goes well, I should have them next week so you can expect more pics soon.

And here's something that I've painted recently. I was struggling to take good pics of this one as the red mane of the warg seemed to somehow be reflected on other colors. Also, it's really difficult to take a picture that would show the details on the riders well and as a result some areas look much darker than in real life. These pics aren't too good too but at least they give a very general idea of the painting. 

I like the Warg as it's very dynamic and looks really wild. The goblins have their features well defined too but they did need plenty of work with GS before I could do anything with them...

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Storm of Shadows

I finally got the latest Malifaux book (along with some other goodies - see the pic below).

My Malifaux painting backlog has officially been increased at least twofold

There are some minis that I'm really looking forward to paint (Alps, Watcher, Lucious, Witchling Stalkers,  Hamelin!). If only I had more time for painting...
I had a quick look through Storm of Shadows and here are some of my thoughts:
- It's definitely thinner than the other books and there is much less fluff in it. Each character is introduced and put in context the way it worked in the previous books but the story part is shorter. Can't say anything about the content and overall quality of the story at this point but I'll get to it.
- The artwork is superb and seeing the well known pics of the Illuminated, Jakob Lynch, Misaki, etc. in better quality and in larger size made me really appreciate the skill of the artist/artists who created those.
- There are some models that are a must for me and I can't wait until they're released. I'm particularly looking forward to Sidir Alchibal. First of all, he looks great, kind of Captain Nemo. I'm a bit concerned by the static pose but he has enough character to work even if he looks a bit too static. He seems to be a very ve5rsatile minion too. Good at ranged combat, even better at closer distance and able to handle himself in melee. He also has a nice defensive trigger and can buff friendly models to some degree. And last but definitely not least, he's Always There. Guild Pathfinder is another minion that I'll be happy to include in my Guild force. The Freikops trapper has caused trouble in the few games I played agains Outcasts so it would be nice to be able to do pretty much the same from my end. I also like the look of Guild Riflemen and their potential to cause trouble seems pretty high too. I also feel bad about not buying the Depleted during Gencon. They're quite mobile and I can easily see them working well with Jakob and HD. Guess I'll have to wait a bit more as they aren't going to be released this year...

Sunday 18 November 2012

Tame that monkey!

I don't think MASSIVE VOODOO needs an introduction. These guys have been around for a while and run probably the best hobby-related blog that's out there on teh Internets. A while ago they decided to publish an Artbook with some of their most impressive works. This project was started at indiegogo and the initial goal was $2500. Well, now it's more than $25K, which means that all the stretch goals have been reached. Some pretty cool stuff there to everyone who chooses "Monkey Tamer" perk. I think that $35 for a beautiful art book full of jaw-dropping pictures isn't really that much (not to mention all the bonuses!).
I'll leave you with a few words from the authors.

Now go tame that monkey!

A new look

Time for another change to the design of Independent Painters. As you may have noticed earlier, there are a few new things.
First off, the address now longer has the "blogspot" part. It makes remembering it easier and adds a more professional feel. And the costs of buying a domain aren't really that high.
I've also added pages to the upper part of the blog. They should make navigating it easier. They are still mostly empty but I'll be working on filling them with content.
Last but definitely not least - a completely new look. New graphic design and a different layout. Many thanks to Reagan who is the author of these. Working with him has been a pleasure and his great skills and flexibility made realizing all my weird ideas possible.
The background is designed to look right on 16:9 screen resolution so you may be unable to see everything if you're using lower settings.
Anyway, hope you like the new look - I'd love to see some comments. And as far as new content is concerned - stay tuned, more coming soon :)

Sunday 11 November 2012

Khazad Dum

 I've read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings four times (three times in Polish in two different translations and once in English) and the whole Moria part is definitely what I liked the most. A very dark place filled with bones and memories of past glory (Dwarven mines and the heavy presence of ancient evil). The movie did pretty well in this part too.
Khazad Dum is how the dwarves called Moria and I like the sound of it. Seems to be more suitable, especially when one considers creatures that lived in the depths of Moria.
Dwellers in the dark are well... dark creatures that dwell in the dark. The spend hundreds of years in a slumber in the deepest places of the mines and wake up when they hear sounds of battle and champions that they could face.

The miniature is pretty well sculpted and makes me think of Gothic style marble or stone gargoyles. Its thin limbs make it look a bit grotesque but not too much and fortunately the effect isn't too cartoony.
The ruins on the base are part of the whole kit so I only needed to glue some small stones and sand around them.

I chose a very dark color scheme with all the recesses on the limbs filled with something that I meant to look like lava to break the dark colors and add more life to this beast.

Cave Trolls are large and pretty much mindless creatures that also choose dark places as their natural habitat. I wanted to paint him in a way that would reflect it. That's why its underbelly is very pale and the dark ares on its forearms and legs look a little like stones. I painted the hammer and chain using rather dark metallics as I thought that these would be made of very old material too.

It looks a bit shiny in the pics but that' the issue with lighting as I used two layers of matt varnish to finish this beast off.

Last but not least - the Big Evil itself. Balrog is an ancient creature of great power that was awoken by greedy dwarves who wouldn't stop digging. I initially painted his skin in a very dark greyish tone but ended up glazing it back to black as it simply looked too bright and I didn't get the element of contrast with flames that I was looking for.

I had to make a minor change to make it possible for him to use two weapons. I cut the fingers of his left hand in half and repositioned them so that they looked as if they were holding something. Then it was just a matter of fitting the sword there.

I painted the little fire embers on the wings and tail as it seemed somehow dull without them. I'd initially planned to do that on the forearms too but in the end decided that it would make him look like a Christmas tree. Right now it seems like there's a good balance between the dark body and very bright flames and embers emanating from it.
Now I need to finish my Dreamer crew for Malifaux (only Coppelius left) and then you can expect lots of greenskins.

Thursday 8 November 2012

Santana !!!

I finally managed to lay my hands on this mini. It was released as a limited model by Wyrd games and in order to get it you needed to be an active Henchman. Still, there are other ways as well ;)

I'll wait a while before I start working on her as I first want to paint a few more Guild models and finish my Dreamer crew.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Through The Breach

Now that's a way to announce a new project. It's no secret that Wyrd Games has been working on developing an RGP set in the world of Malifaux. It's a very interesting setting as it offers a blend of steampunk, victorian era, horror and western themes to name just the most obvious ones. 
The project will be launched on Kickstarter but at this point no specific information has been given to specify when exactly will this happen. 
I'm not too much into RPGs but I'll probably take part in funding it anyway as I love the universe and there should be some nice rewards for stretch goals (miniatures, tokens, etc.).

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Lotr revisited. Army of Harad

After lengthy absence I'd like to return to blog with a pictures of my Army of Harad. Well maybe army is a strong word, it's more like armed company by all standards. It's a force that took part in last 2009 Eastern Europe Grand Tournament. To be honest I've always had more to do with modelling side of our hobby rather than with gaming and my attandance of that event was mostly driven by my desire to win Best Painted Army Award second year straight (in 2008 I participated with Wood Elves army).

Size of this force is not breathtaking as it was composed to look good not to place high in the tournament. It consists mostly of Haradrim Warriors with small platoon of Watchers of Karna, couple of Hasharins and Witch-King along with one other Nazgul.


Now to painting side. I decided to do a custom colour scheme that will represent the character of Haradrims in it's best. We all know that they are people of South-East linked mostly with desert. That's why I chose earth-sand hues for them. I always thought GW's scheme with all that red and purple to be a little inaccurate. Frankly they looked more like a circus than people of the desert to me.


I did a couple of variations and mixed schemes between all those Haradrims. As far as I remember I divided them in groups of 12-15 and tried to keep each unique yet consistent with the whole army composition.

For Watchers of Karna I decided that original GW's scheme with all black robes made them look more like Ninjas...which can be awesome...if you are a Ninja. That being said I used another shade of yellow-brown (Bubonic Brown in that case) to be a base of that squad.


My favourite part of that force are the Hasharins. I always liked playing with those characters. They are fragile but deadly if used the right way. I painted one in traditional way with black robes and the other with scheme of an army that would allow him to blend in. You wouldn't believe how often my opponents focused on that black Hasharin being totally oblivious to existnce of the other one hidden usually between Watchers of Karna. When they realised their mistake it was usually to late as he already got his poisoned weaponry on their strongest heroes.


To compliment the points of the roster I used two Nazguls (including Witch-King). I painted them in experimental way. I tried to use some OSL to make them unique among all those other Nazguls you see on tournaments, cloathed all in black.

Anyway besides presenting that army I have also posted it for sale on eBay. I'm finally drifting away from gaming aspect and focusing more on my painting, plus hockey season is upon us and I have to make some additions to my equipment.

So if someone is interested in purchase of that force visit eBay auction.

That being said I hope you like the scheme I applied to my Haradrims, maybe it will inspire some of you to paint them in similar way or at least to implement some own schemes to your armies.


Sunday 4 November 2012

Finally a game of Malifaux... and A Game of Thrones

A scene from my yeaterday's game. LJ vs. the Dreamer 30 SS scrap. Two Austringers sit comfortably in a tower until a Coppelius is summoned right between them. Fortunately for me, LJ is not far behind and manages to get to the spot next turn. She successfully casts Sword Style, Charges and triggers Onslaughtwith a high mask (without even cheating). With three potential attacks (charge, Onslaught and Melee expert), things are looking up, especially taking into account the fact that I announced Coppelius as a target in Kill Protegee scheme. And then...

I got three Black jokers in this game and in the end lost it. It was a close one but this was clearly the turning point. I like the unpredictability of the game and the fact that random situations like this can make a well planned action backfire but I just wish it happened to my opponents once in a while.

I also played Game of Thrones (the new edition of the board game). I've played it only once before. The game's very tactical and requires not only careful planning of your action but also a lot of interaction with other players (making alliances and stabbing allies in the back are two key strategies).

It's a long game (we got to turn 5 and it was already well past midnight so we called it a day ) but if you have the time and a small group of people who want to get involved in the game, it can be fun.

Friday 2 November 2012

The WIP goes on

As you can see, both needed quite a lot of GS to fill in the gaps left after putting the models together. I still like the Dweller more as the details seem a bit sharper and he looks more demonic. 
I've made one change since then and added a flaming sword to Balrog's left hand. I needed to cut away parts of his fingers and reposition them but it turned out OK in the end. I've already started working on the flames on him. Fire is fun to paint, especially on larger miniatures that are mainly black.

The marauder is prepared for panting too.Lots of tiny holes there, both on the goblins and the warg.
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