Friday, 3 April 2015

Warriors of Chaos Khorne Lord - End Times (Part 4)

Warhammer - The End Times Khorne Banner

A short post this one. Really just to prove that I have been continuing to work on this project and even (shock of all shockers!) applied some paint!

Warhammer Chaos Khorne Lord WIP - by CMDante

So far I've been focusing on 3 main sub-assemblies; the body, head and axe arm (not pictured). I've mainly been working on the red (using my Scale75 paints again), mostly shading and some early stage highlights at the moment. Airbrushing on the base colour has sped this stage of the process up significantly, though a lot of time has been spent shading the base back down with brush work (go figure!). I'm still very much a noob with an airbrush so not bothering to attempt any pre-shading work etc at this stage.

The face is about half done at this point. I'm holding off doing much more on it until I have finished up more of the rest of the miniature as I will no doubt go back in and refine the lighting direction and add some more tones.

Pleased with the progress so far though. Apologies about the pics - they were taken with my iPhone 6 just under my desk lamp, so no proper lighting and all that. Though to be fair, the colours have come out pretty true and the picture is quite sharp and carries the detail. I think I'll start taking more WIP pics on my phone.

As always, feel free to let me know what you think in the comments!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Warriors of Chaos Khorne Lord - End Times (Part 3)


Final WIP on this project before I start on the painting!

After a few weeks of work on and off, I've finally completed a base for the model and finished up some of the final micro details on the model itself.

WIP pic of Warriors of Chaos Khorne Lord - Warhammer: End Times by CMDante

The base is intended to be a staircase in a defeated Empire city. It took a couple of goes to get the stairs right as I originally built them straight onto the plinth - but it lacked a good height.

WIP pic 2 of Warriors of Chaos Khorne Lord - Warhammer: End Times by CMDante

WIP pic 3 of Warriors of Chaos Khorne Lord - Warhammer: End Times by CMDante

WIP pic 4 of Warriors of Chaos Khorne Lord - Warhammer: End Times by CMDante


The half arch was a piece I had lying around from another stalled project and works well to add a bit of height to the base and frame the model. The details on it were added to give a little more visual interest. The bird is from an old Empire shield sprue, while the gargoyle comes from the Mordheim building sprues. I also added a small iron ring to the inside of the half arch made from thin wire, curled and glued together, and some Milliput.

WIP pic of details on Warriors of Chaos Khorne Lord - Warhammer: End Times by CMDante

I'm really pleased with the extra level of detail I've been able to add to the model through micro detailing to make some of the blander surfaces a bit more interesting. In particular, I've added a lot of tiny studs to the armour. I also decided to replace the original sculpted trophy ring on the axes with a scratch built one made, again, from thin copper wire. The original had no depth due to the limits of casting and just looked a little odd. You can see some of these details highlighted in the image above.

Now it's time to get ready to paint (at last!) - really looking forward to continue testing the Scale 75 paints (reviewed here) on this one.

I hear Khorne have quite a big part to play in the final End Times book too, so this couldn't have worked out much better timing wise!

As always, feel free to let me know what you think or ask any questions in the comments below.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Warriors of Chaos Khorne Lord - End Times (Part 2)



Merry Christmas folks - hope Santa was good to you all!

The festive period has meant a few days off, which has allowed some extra time for modelling allowing me to continue with my Khorne Lord conversion I started recently. It's taken a bit of time and a number of sessions but I'm about ready to call the conversion work on this one done.

Warriors of Chaos Khorne Lord - Warhammer End Times - CMDante.com


The main changes since the last pics I shared have been the addition of the cloak, sculpting out the left arm and converting the axe - everything else has just been surface preparation and detail work.

I decided to add a small necklace to fill the empty space on the chest and help draw more attention to the area around the face. This was done using a small skull from a purity seal piece and a little putty work.


The cloak turned out to be quite an involved piece of conversion work to get right. I wasn't comfortable enough in my own abilities to sculpt a cloak entirely from scratch so opted to use the cloak that comes with the chaos lord model the legs came from. However, it needed a bit of cutting to narrow down for a proper fit and the look I was after. I ended up removing about a half centimetre from the middle section and then pinning and puttying the two parts together.

I knew I didn't want to attach the cloak prior to painting as it would restrict brush access to the backs of the legs and the cloak, which meant making it removable. To ensure it had a nice fit to the body and wouldn't need too much putty work after the pieces are painted separately, I drilled a small pin into the cloak (aligned with a matching hole I drilled in the models back) and then applied a thin layer of vaseline to the back of the model where I would need to apply the putty to make the top of the plastic cape meet the bottom of the fur on the shoulders. I then glued the cape to the model using super glue on the pin to fix it in place while I sculpted the joining area.

Once the putty had set, I removed the cape again from the back (the vaseline layer ensured the putty hadn't stuck to the model and was easy to remove) and then sanded and adjusted the surfaces to get a smooth, flush finish between the plastic and the putty. It looks like crap in the pics but should look good once it has a coat of paint on top.


All that remains now is to work up the base and a couple of final small details and then I can get started with the painting!

Feel free to let me know what you think and provide any thoughts for the base in the comments below.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Warriors of Chaos Khorne Lord - Warhammer End Times Project

The recent End Times storyline playing out across the Warhammer universe has coincided with a spark of motivation for a project I have been planning for a few months not - namely, a Khorne lord in a sacked Empire (or Kislev) city. I'm itching to use my new Scale75 paints more and paint some red!

The core of the idea comes from a chap called Andy Wardle - a talented painter who recently took a Golden Demon at Warhammer Fest with his Blood Angel space marines. But I have decided to take my interpretation down the path of the blood god and make him an angry Khorne lord.

Warriors of Chaos Khorne Lord Conversion (WIP) - CMDante.com


As you can see, it's early days right now as I am still tacking things together, finalising the idea and various elements. I still have a fair bit of sculpting to do before he's finished, but I like how he's progressing. The conversion is turning out quite different from what I had originally planned (helmeted head, shield in the left hand etc), but this is always an organic part of the process on any conversion. You don't know what will work best until you try mocking up various bits and poses!

The torso and right forearm come from the Lord on Demonic steed figure, the legs and right hand come from the plastic Chaos Lord, the heads in the (to be sculpted) left hand come from the Skaven Stormvermin set and the chest guard piece is from the Skullcrushers plastic kit. Sculpting has all been done with a mix of Milliput and ProCreate (60:40) - pretty much my usual mix.

I'm thinking of replacing the spearhead with a double bladed axe head from the Chariot Lord kit and adding a cloak (likely sculpted from scratch) along with some more details to round him out. A rough mock up of my plans below (be warned, it's rough!):



The plan is to have him standing atop stairs in a sacked Empire city, reminiscent of various pieces of artwork such as those below:



All very WIP right now though, so expect more soon! As always, would love to know what you think. Let me know your thoughts (or suggestions for improvements) in the comments below.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Scale75 Paint Review

Scale75 Paint Review Banner - CMDante.com

As I mentioned in my last post, I've recently been trying out the Scale75 paint range and boy are they good! In fact I've been so taken with them I have purchased almost the entire range.

Since I've been asked a few times recently what it is about the range that I like so much, I figured I'd put together a bit of a quick overview of my experiences. I intend to expand this out with a proper review of the three main ranges - colour, metallics and inks - with more pics of the colours, their uses and colour swatches, but for now this post will hopefully provide a quick view on a few of the main observations I've had so far.


Colour Range

First things first, the Scale75 range is an acrylic miniature paint range developed by the Spanish company famed for large scale miniatures and their recent Frontiers of War range.

Selection of Scale75 Paint Colour Range - CMDante.com


The colour range has a good volume of colours in a nice mix of both vibrant and subtle tones. There are 63 paints in the main colour range and these can be purchased either in sets of 8 paints in groupings such as reds, blues, browns and leathers etc, or in one handy mega set. I purchased mine in the smaller sets as the mega set wasn't available at the time, but if you want the whole range at best price, I'd recommend the mega set (available in the UK from Model Display Products).

The first thing worth noting about the Scale75 range is they dry very matt - almost chalky. This might sound like a bad thing, but its really not - in fact, its one of the things I really like about the range. By drying so matt, it creates a much wider range of possible finishes, helping build depth and contrast between matt and satin. I've included a couple of examples of a WIP GW Ogryn below so you can see what I mean:

GW Ogryn Body WIP - CMDante.com

The flesh tones in particular are very nice and a perfect example of where the matt finish can work really well. Again, very WIP pictures below, at this point I've spent about 45 minutes total on the face, so plenty still to do but you can see how well they blend and how the matt finish gives quite a realistic look to the skin even at this stage for the scale.


GW Ogryn Head WIP 1 - CMDante.com

GW Ogryn Head WIP 2 - CMDante.com


One final thing I'd like to note on the colour range are the tones available. There are some amazing vibrant tones, particularly in the blue, red and green ranges, that really pop - perfect for dress uniforms, heraldry and the like. For some examples, check the blues in the picture of a selection of the colour range I included at the top of the post.


Inks

The inks from the Scale75 Inktensity range are the perfect compliment to the colour range. While the colours dry very matt, by contrast the inks dry very satin and shiny. Not quite as much as the old GW inks (the ones before the wash range), but more shiny than the more recent GW washes.


As with the colour range, the inks come in a good range of tones, from yellow to black. The only notable absence in my opinion is a true green ink - though this could be mixed using the yellow and blue tones easily enough. I'm already a big fan of the two brown tones and the violet - all very nice and extremely useful.

I mentioned before that the inks are the perfect compliment to the colour range - not only because they can help generate further vibrant tones (the yellow in particular is good for this), but because they can also help create a more satin finish without altering the tone too much.

I haven't really had a chance to use this set to its fullest yet, so expect more in a future, fuller review post.


Metallics

The real clincher for my decision to buy the Scale75 range was my experience with the metallics sets for silvers and golds. These are without doubt the best acrylic metallic paints I have used to date. My current acrylic paint collection includes GW (from early 90's onwards), P3, Coat D'Arms and Vallejo and the Scale75 metallics top all of these.

Selection of Scale75 Metallics Paints - CMDante.com

Why are they so good you ask? Well, as with the rest of the range, the pigment in the paint is super fine, meaning that the finish from these colours is super smooth and with a good coverage.

The metallics range also includes some nice, more unusual metallic tones, including blues, greens and pinks. I'm already a big fan of the black metal and bright silver colours (with some cool names such as "speed metal" and "thrash metal" - very 80's!). In particular, I really like the very bright white metal and white gold colours - great for super bright highlights where previously you would have required Vallejo Metallic Medium for a similar effect.

Abaddon Sword Blade - CMDante.com


I used the metallics on my Abaddon figure and found them absolutely brilliant - particularly for getting the nice smooth gradients on the sword (all done with brush). They mix well with the colour range too, helping achieve a more matt metallic finish where needed for TMM in an NMM style.


Value for Money

At around £19.40 per set of 8 (about £2.30 per pot) or £160 for the 63 colour mega set (about £2.50 per pot - but it also comes with the metal holder tray which retails at 25 euros on it's own), the Scale75 range is a little more pricey than Vallejo and a little cheaper than GW. But for the quality, I would definitely say they are value for money.


Where to buy? (UK)

At the moment, it's only possible (as far as I'm aware) to buy the paint sets (8 pot or 63 pot mega sets) in the UK at this time. However, Scale75 have recently started to sell individual pots on their website.

I bought my selection of sets from El Greco Miniatures as they had a sale on at the time, meaning I got them for about £18.30 per set, but they retail at £19.40 in most places in the UK (including MDP who carry the mega set).

UPDATE - WAMP have also started to carry all of the sets from the Acrylic colour range and the new Fantasy & Games sets (more on these in a future post). You can find them here:





Final Notes

A couple of final points to note about the range:


  1. As the pigment is very fine, it seems to separate from the carrying fluid if left to sit for a prolonged period without shaking (around a few days), so you need to make sure to give them a good shake to ensure they are properly mixed before using. I'd recommend getting some 2-4mm stainless steel ball bearings (eBay is your friend here) to put in the pots to help with mixing.

  2. The bottles are dropper bottles of the Vallejo style many will be familiar with. This obviously means you will need to drop them onto a palette to use. I have had no issues with them on my wet palette, with the paint still usable over a number of days later.

  3. The nozzle of the dropper on the bottles comes with a thin seal of plastic over the tip that needs pierced before use. This is handy as it allows you to give them a really good shake to mix binder and pigment before first use without any spilling out into the lid. I used a needle sculpting tool to pierce. 
So there you have my take on the range based on my early experiences. I'm really looking forward to playing about with the matt finish more for various effects and for trying out the metallics on larger surfaces. I would really recommend trying these paints out to experience for yourself. I have seen a few reviewers complain about the matt finish and can appreciate its potentially not for everyone, but I for one am sold on them due to the flexibility it offers. Hopefully this post will help cover off enough key points to allow you to decide whether these are likely to be for you.

Feel free to share your own thoughts, or ask any questions in the comments below.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Forgeworld Abaddon (Finished!) - Horus Heresy


Well, after a loooooooong time, I have finally got around to finishing the Abaddon miniature from the Forgeworld Horus Heresy diorama set that I started over a year ago!







Despite taking an absolute age to complete this (largely due to lengthy periods of hobby inactivity), I had a ton of fun painting this figure and feel that I learned a lot through the process to boot.

All in all, I'm quite pleased with the overall result. The cold blue/black of the armour came out pretty much as intended. I also tried out a new paint range (Scale75 - very nice and with great matt properties) and got a chance to play with my Day Glow pigments from Forged Monkey (also very nice) - more on both in future posts.

I'm now mulling over what to start on next, but in the meantime, I'd love to hear what you think of Abaddon in the comments below!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Forgeworld Abaddon - Horus Heresy

Horus Heresy Abaddon Banner - CMDante.com


I have had the Forgeworld Horus Heresy Abaddon vs Loken diorama kit for a few months now (think I ordered it for release, whenever that was) and have finally gotten around to working on it recently.

Both figures in this kit are very dynamically posed and loaded with fine details, as tends to be the case with Forgeworld figures. Abaddon is the best of the two sculpts however - the pose, arms spread wide in challenge, just seems to have more appealing lines, making him the better stand alone figure of the two.

For this reason he was the obvious place to start. After a couple of evenings cleaning up and filling/correcting/re-sculpting any casting flaws, I had him ready to paint. There were a couple of areas in need of work which I suspect will be the same on most versions of this cast. Namely, the topknot, the arch detail above the head recess and the inside of the rims on the shoulder pads. All had some form of casting defect, typically from mould slip. The top knot was by far the worst, with the small metal band piece holding the hair being so bad I ended up just sculpting my own to replace it.



Like most of my projects, I am painting him in sub-assemblies - the head, arms, sword, body and base. I have started on the body, making reasonable progress so far over a few hours or so of work.

Everything is still fairly rough at the moment as I am still trying to determine where I want the contrast to be, but I like how he's turning out so far.



I'm aiming for a fairly reflective looking black with a hint of turquoise (to tie in a little with the Sons of Horus green - important for when I get round to Loken), with reds in the shading to add some contrast. At the moment the left leg is the furthest along, but I do intend to go back and add more shading and an overall contrast to the whole piece once everything else is nearly done to focus the eye on key areas - mainly around the face.

I am thinking of trying some source lighting on the face similar to the classic piece of Horus Heresy artwork of Horus facing the Emperor. It's not something I have tried before though, so there will be a lot of trial and error - think this is a good plan? Let me know in the comments if you have an opinion.

Horus - Horus Heresy artwork by Adrian Smith


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Miniature Review - Barbarian Dude


Followers of this blog will no doubt have noticed that I haven't been particularly active over the last 6 months or so. Truth is, I haven't really done much hobby-wise over that time either, so have little to show. I have, however, still been buying the odd miniature or kit here and there - one such miniature, the limited edition "Barbarian Dude".

The Barbarian Dude is a new sculpt by the talented Emanuele Giovagnoni from Raining Frogs Garage. Cast in resin and produced in 2 runs, the figure was strictly limited to only 350 prints. Unfortunately for anyone thinking about picking up a copy, the figure is already completely sold out.

The figure cost 15 euros, plus 3 euros postage and packaging, or about £15 in UK currency.


Packaging


Ok, the boring stuff first so I will keep this fairly short. The figure arrived in a small padded envelope, inside which the figure came wrapped in a few layers of bubble wrap - enough to avoid any transit damage for such a small and lightweight figure.

Underneath all of the protective packaging the figure comes in a small resealable bag with a numbered card with an image of the assembled figure.



First Thoughts


The first thing that struck me about this figure was the similarity in style and appearance to the Vorag barbarian models sculpted by the master of musculature, Jacques-Alexandre Gillois for the now defunct Ilyad Games.



The Vorag were highly popular sculpts when they were available. Unfortunately they too can no longer be purchased and are rarer than hens teeth on eBay and the usual OOP figure buying sources.

The Vorag shaman is probably amongst my "favourite figures I've never owned" - if you have one you want rid of, let me know in the comments! :)

The Barbarian Dude clearly shares a lot of design cues with the Vorag, namely the musculature, fur boots and spiral metal work - not to mention the usual barbarian loincloth, big belt and massive axe.

Emmanuel (or Poupée Canope as he goes by online) also openly admits to being inspired by the artwork of Simon Bisley (also an inspiration for JAG's Vorag), the artist behind the Conan and Slaine comic books.

Conan the Barbarian by Simon Bisley


Contents


The model comes in 4 parts - the main body, the axe, arms and finally the top knot for the hair.

The quality of the cast is truly exceptional! Probably one of the best I have ever seen. There are hardly any mould lines on the figure, even on areas of intricate detail, such as the wrapping on the axe haft, where you would usually expect to have to do some careful clean-up work. This ticks a major box in my book - I hate cleaning up mould lines!

The figure is sculpted in "heroic" 32mm scale, but measures almost 40mm the the top of the hair due to being a big ol' barbarian. The detail on the cast is crisp and clean too, with even the recessed areas being sharp and well defined. The resin also appears to be pretty good quality - less brittle than Forgeworld's.

While I've already stated that the cast quality is amazing, there are still a couple of small areas that need some work due to a little mould slip. I don't imagine it's possible to find a commercially cast miniature that doesn't require some clean-up work though.


Mould Slip


The most notable areas of mould slip are on the under/insides of the legs (highlighted in orange below). Fortunately these areas are quite well hidden anyway and fixing them shouldn't be anything a little putty won't solve.


There is also a little mould slip and a tiny amount of graining on the left hand side of the models torso, at the belt and latissimus dorsi.


While the belt is a little annoying and trickier to fix, it's still far from the worst I have had to fix. Fortunately it's also a pretty small area of the model.

The inside of the arms also have a bit of a mould line/mould slip that will need fixed. Again though, not a very visible part of the model. Julien Casses found a similar issue with both copies of the cast he received (he was smart enough to buy two before they sold out - wish I'd thought of that as they will no doubt be worth a pretty penny!).



I did notice that there was a bit of an air bubble on the joint...socket...bit (?!) of the right arm that has meant a little bit of filling will be required to strengthen the banding on the arm at this point which has become a little thin. There is also a mould vent point on the arm just below the banding at this point that will need trimmed.


It's worth bearing in mind that while it might seem like there are a number of issues with this model, I am really nit-picking with the issues I've highlighted in this review. As I have already said, this is definitely amongst the best cast miniatures I have purchased, but no miniature comes without a little clean-up.

For £15, I would definitely say this miniature was worth the money and I am very much looking forward to painting him.


Barbarian Dude Reviewed by CMDante on
Overall Rating: 5/ 5
CMDante Miniature Review 5 Stars