Monday, 23 September 2013

Go Go Power Ranger!

Nope, its not a Primary coloured plastic ninja robot superhero, but another of my Bones miniatures. Arthrand Nightblade, Elven Ranger.

Having painted several large miniatures recently I thought I should go back to something a little more normal sized and this one has been staring at me from behind my brush pot for some time.  I guess as a Ranger he was trying to blend in.

I took quite a long time deciding what colour scheme to go for, at one point he was going to have a blue cloak and white robes, I flirted with the idea of painting him as a Drow (but i've seen someone else do that) and i'd fairly well settled on a green selection when I had a moment of inspiration.  I would paint him like a Jedi from Tatooine.

Obi-Wan and his buddies from the Desert planet in Star Wars have the same layered style of clothing and the colours just work really well together.  Add the fact that this a spiritual warrior in tune with the natural world and I had the perfect excuse to paint him like Jedi.

I added a touch of green for contrast and a rocky scenic base from Tiny Worlds.

I hope you like him.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Reaper Bones Dragon Ebonwrath Part 4



Well, when I say finished...

They say no painting is ever finished, merely abandoned. So Abandoned!!

To be honest i'm happy with the final result but I think i've reached the current limits of my talent and patience.  Several things about this paint job aren't quite up to the level of my expectation but they never really are.

I had every intention of painting each scale individually but that was never realistically going to happen. As I said in the last post I laid down the base coats and washed with Nuln Oil for the scales and a brown wash over the tan areas like horns, inner wing membranes etc.  Then I moved on to that light drybrush for the highlights which worked ok but wasn't as light as I had intended.

I fixed that by going back with another layer of wash on the undersides of the dragon which did give th ecurved shadows and highlights I wanted.  The horns, teeth, talons etc all got a wash and a highlight but I probably should have spent more time on them.

The wing membranes, underbelly and the sails between the spine spikes came out darker than I wanted but I can live with that.

I tried out my new light tent to photograph the model for the first time mainly because my normal background wasn't nearly big enough, more experimentation is required as I think these came out a bit overexposed.  

Ebonwrath now takes pride of place in my display cabinet as you can see below.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Reaper Bones Dragon Ebonwrath Part 3

 I am charging ahead with this miniature at a cracking pace.

Click to enlarge
Sometimes, when i'm painting I get very inspired and can work quite quickly, others it drags and it can take me ages to finish.  This one is the former and i'm pretty confident its going to be finished in the next few days as long as I get some brush time over the weekend.

Click to enlarge
So i've completed the base, which I really like.  And i'm about half way through painting the dragon.  She's got her base colours and washes but the next stage is detailing her scales, talons, and horns and the highlights.

I looked for some inspiration when I was choosing colours and the picture of a Black snake (below) was the one I found that came closest to how I wanted the scales to look. Black is a difficult colour to paint, if you stick with black grey and white it looks dull but if you add too much colour it can look unreal, at least when I do it does.

I chose a dark blue/grey base coat for the scales with a heavy wash of black.  This gave me the dark mid-tone and the deep shadows to contrast it I was after but without having to paint every scale individually or needing to resort to heavy drybrushing.  The highlights will be provided by a very light drybrush of pure white (if you look at the snake you'll see the white on the edges is quite bright and has little in the way of blended transitions). This sharp contrast makes the scales look glossy.

As I mentioned in an earlier post this is the first Dragon i've painted in a long long time and it does present some difficulties when painting.  

Click to enlarge
I had to decide at what point to attach the wings and when to fix it to the base. Normally I don't put together a miniature if it would make it harder to paint but the wing's needed some greenstuff to cover some gaps and I didn't think they would be too much of an obstruction.  

That wouldn't have been a problem if I had thought it through but once i'd done that I realised that to soften the legs so they would fit flat onto the rock I would have to heat them and that might ruin the paint job so I decided i would have to fit it to the base as well.

That gave me two problems, first the necessity of Olympic grade wrist contortionism to get to the underbelly and secondly the sheer weight of holding the dragon, a block of wood and a great big stone for the duration of the paint job.

Next time I will engage brain before glue.

The picture below is as far as i've got, more updates soon.

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Reaper Bones Dragon Ebonwrath Part 2

This Dragon is going to be RICH!!

A few weeks ago when I was thinking about how I was going to base Ebonwrath when he arrived I bought some glitter from Ebay.  Its 0.4mm circular gold glitter which looks just about right for coins.  

I wanted a Hoard that a mighty Black Dragon could be proud of so loaded the base with piles of the stuff, enough to tempt even the most altruistic adventurer.

The base still needs some more work, the white needs to be black and the gold needs a black or brown wash but you can see where its going.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Reaper Bones Dragon Ebonwrath Part 1

This is going to be a big project.

I haven't painted a large scale dragon for many years but included with my Vampire reward from the Reaper Kickstarter was Ebonwrath and I've decided that he deserved quite a lot of time and attention.

As usual I searched for inspiration on Google and on the covers of my book collection and finally decided to paint this wonderful miniature to represent Onyx (aka Khisanthfrom the Dragonlance Chronicles

The base colour for the scales will be black with a pale brown belly, i'm also tempted to paint the wing membranes in pale brown or he'll look too plain. 

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
The base is going to be rather time consuming.  I didn't want to paint the dragon really well but have a less than impressive base so bought an old 2nd hand trophy from a junk shop and ripped the (very ugly) faux bronze statue off. A layer of milliput formed the base for my little scene and on top of that I added one of the chests from the Vampire set, some weapons and other scenic bits & pieces.  

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
I added a large wedge shaped rock to this and drilled some holes for the pins Ebonwrath would need.  The overall look i'm after is the Dragon perched on the central rock searching for intruders after his hoard.  If there's room and I have the right miniature i'll add it in later.

So far so good, lots more to do still though before I even get started on the Dragon!  Stay tuned for part 2 soon.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Reaper Bones Black Mist

Yet another Bones, this time one of the Chronoscope line.  This is the model I was waiting for to represent my character for Mubaris' Gangsters game and it hasn't disappointed in any way.

The detail, although quite subtle, is of high quality and the transfer from metal to Bones has worked really well.  The same sadly can't be said for a few of the transfers but considering the metal miniatures weren't designed with the Bones material in mind I think its a success.

I shamelessly followed the same colours as the Original Shadow that inspired this character.  Like most roleplayers my character is quite important to me and i've put some thought into the details that surround him.
When cars were works of art

His guns are twin long barrelled Chrome automatics and The Crow (his faithful, but mysterious sidekick) drives them around in a 1925 Rolls Royce Phantom, in my opinion one of the most beautiful cars ever made.

I hope you enjoyed this one, I certainly did!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Reaper Bones Goldar The Barbarian

This miniature caught my eye as soon as I saw the Reaper Bones Vampire level reward on Kickstarter and i've been wanting to paint him ever since.

I decided I wanted a Spartan look so chose a nice crimson for his loincloth with a repeating wave motif (which was a bit of a pain to paint) and was toying with the idea of swapping his axe for a spear and putting a bit spartan shield on his other arm, but in the end I decided that he'd be more useful as a generic Barbarian Hero. 

I also decided I wanted to try painting aged Bronze.  Gold and Silver are pretty easy to paint with metallics but aged bronze is much more complicated.  When steel corrodes we see rust, a brick red discolouration. When Bronze corrodes it's oxide is a milky blue green colour called verdigris, really heavily corroded bronze looks like mint green milk, but newer bronze might just have a little green in the hard to clean areas.  Bronze in general is similar to a dark brownish gold and can be polished highly to look like gold.

I decided my Barbarian's armour would be well used and serviceable. Clean but not 'parade ground' clean if you know what I mean.  So a little verdigris under the plates and around the creases and rivets with gold peeking out from anywhere that would get regularly rubbed during fighting.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Reaper Bones Nor'Okk the Ettin

At the risk of being repetitive, here's another Bones miniature.

With over 200 Bones Miniatures still to chose from, deciding which one to paint next is the biggest problem i'm facing at the moment.  And with not having to prime them I suspect i'm not going to enjoy preparing metal miniatures when I have to go back to them.

Well this one is an Ettin, and he (or is it they?) have quite a lot of skin to cover.  I haven't been very happy with the skin colours i've got at the moment, i've been using Citadel Eldar Flesh but its a bit yellow.  So I experimented with a mix of 1:1:3 Dwarf Flesh : Ushabti Bone : flow improver.  It gave a rather nice pinkish tone which I like and i'll be using it some more.

Just a quick note on mixing paint, its a good idea to make a note of the mixes you come up with or you risk not being able to duplicate them the next time you want them, not a big deal for tabletop adventures but it can be a real pain if your painting a whole uniformed army.

I deliberately restricted the colour palette on this one as the model has a lot going on and I didn't want to detract from its character. 

The base was one of the larger Tiny Worlds resin slate ones i've had for a while and the more I use them the harder it is to accept anything less.  They're just so easy to work with, they complement the Bones figures (which i've mentioned are incredibly easy to drill & pin) really well and look wonderful.  The monster sized 40mm bases work out at about 60p each with the normal 30mm bases cost 35p each but make any miniature look a whole lot better.

The next miniature on the table is a more normal sized Goldar the Barbarian.   

Monday, 9 September 2013

Reaper Bones Eye Beast (aka D&D Beholder)

Now this one was a LOT of fun.

The Bones material (Bonesium) is great for miniatures, flexible, easy to work with, no need to prime and holds details really well.  And it especially shines when it comes to monsters.

I wanted my Eye Beast to look like the Eye of Flame variant Beholder from Dungeons & Dragons so started with a mid brown base with a wash of Reikland Fleshshade to bring the red tone up.  Over this I dry brushed a light khaki then washed with Agrax Earthshade. 

The Eyes started with a creamy off white with radial spikes of red brown pointing towards the pupil which was pure black then a wash of gloss varnish finished them off. I wanted the teeth to look really rank so they got several washes of dirty brown grading up to pure white at the tips.

One point I would make is that its much easier to paint the inside of the model if you take the two sections apart first.  Once the dark red gums and tongue were painted I reassembled it and painted the rest.  I wanted the tongue to look really human which I thought would make it look even more horrible and i'm pleased with how it worked out.

Overall it was loads of fun to paint and i'm really pleased with how it turned out.  

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Reaper Bones Duke Gerard

Hi everyone.

Another day another Bones miniature to get painted.  I had some free time on saturday and spent a very enjoyable afternoon painting this one up.  Its another experiment in Non Metallic Metal painting and worked out faitly well.  I like the overall look at least.

I think the Gold needs more sparkle though and the sword blade isn't as smooth as I wanted, thats mostly due to me not knowing when to stop.  It looked great after the fourth wash but I thought it needed a brighter highlight and that led to a lot of reworking and now it looks a little rough.

This time I started with a darker tan colour as my base for the gold which I think is the right choice.

The white however i'm really pleased with.  I wanted a warm and soft look to counter the hardness of the armour.  It started with a base of creamy mix of Citadel Ushabti Bone and Vallejo US Uniform Drab with successive layers with more and more white added until the final highlight was pure white. 

Starting with a Grey base gives a hard and slightly dirty white which wouldn't have complemented the gold armour very well.  The other alternative would be to start with a blue white base but this gives a very artificial white which works well for Sci Fi but not for fantasy.

The base is another Tiny Worlds Slate resin base with layers of different colour washes built up, it could do with a little more work to be honest so I might come back to it.

I hope you like it, please comment if you would like any more information about colour choices or techniques and i'll be happy to share.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Another Milestone

This blog has just hit 20,000 page views (not counting my own).

Thanks to everyone who's commented, offered advice, support and encouragement.  I'll let you know when we get to 40,000.

Reaper Bones Nightspecter & Ghostly Summoning

These two miniatures were also in the Bones reward box but were made with a translucent green plastic so they sort of work ok for tabletop without painting.  I wanted to see what I could do with them in preparation for a project i'm considering with a similar miniature.

These were speed painted and only took four hours to finish both.  A black base coat was applied followed by a white drybrush layer then Citadel Scorpion Green was used to add the colour, layers of Green & white were used to progressively highlight up to almost pure white. 

Unfortunately the blending was a bit wasted as the drybrushing layer gives a very rough base to work on but for the time spent it worked out ok and i'm sure these two will find some use in a tabletop game soon.

I wanted the second miniature to look like the Blue spirit was being summoned away from the otherworld and losing its green tinge except where her sisters still have a grip.