After building and painting a lot of 40K miniatures (and I now have bits for 10 Tau Pathfinders queued up on my workbench), it's nice to take a bit of a breather and paint something completely different. I've had my Malifaux crew primed since November, and it's finally time to getting around to painting them. Most of what I've painted has been completely armored, or, in the case of my daemonettes, completely inhuman in skintone. Painting the Viktorias and their crew is an exercise in learning to paint human skin, and, well... I'm getting there. Not there yet, but getting there. The twins themselves actually weren't that difficult, because a lot of their skin is covered by costume, whether it's a coat and corset or just a bunch of belts and swords. Blonde hair, though, is very easy - I paint it much like I'd paint parchment, just with a different density of highlighting.
Lady Hammerstrike, however, was a pain. I've repainted her face and abs once, and while it's still not as good as I think it was going to be in my head, she looks decent. I'm still learning wet blending, so the edges on the highlights are a bit sharper/more stark than I'd like, but she's coming along. The sculpt of her hair had a bit less definition that I'd like, but I think I made do well enough with highlighting.
On the other hand, I'm really happy with how the Convict Gunslinger's skin turned out. The scars were particularly fun to paint; once I had the rest of the body done, I went over/around the scars with a blend of Scab Red and Tallarn Flesh (yes, I'm still using my older Citadel paints until they're gone), then lined over the scar ridges with Elf Flesh. Gives them that nice healing/raised flesh look, and his skin took a wash really well to make sure it was properly shaded.
I've got a trio of Ronin with skin base-coated and washed, but they're not ready to show off, even in work-in-progress status. I also have the Viktorias avatars' skin base-coated, but again, there's not much to show beyond that. That's not saying that I haven't been working on anything else, though. Besides taking small steps on my Venerable Dreadnought, I've also been working on a couple of minis from CoolMiniOrNot.com.
If I wanted skin practice, these two ladies have given me a lot of opportunity for that. I'm planning on using them as objective markers for my Slaanesh CSM army, hence why they're glued onto 40mm bases. They haven't turned out badly, and I was actually working on them before I worked on the Malifaux minis, so I'm surprised that their skin turned out better, but it's all a learning experience. Again, my blending techniques need a lot of work, but I'm getting used to building up the highlights in thin layers. The more I practice, the better I'll get.
And no, Malifaux isn't replacing 40K for me. It's just a chance to paint (and eventually play) something different. Small skirmish-scale games provide a nice alternative to large company-scale wargames from time to time. Of course, with Malifaux 2.0 coming in a few months, there's no point in learning to play right now...
It's been a busy couple of months here, with the holidays and family illnesses and such, but I'm back to my blogging. I've also been painting, and I finally have some of my Black Templars completely painted. My first Crusader Squad, along with a variety of special weapons users, was finished this afternoon, and I'm very happy with how they've turned out. I'm still getting used to edge-highlighting black power armor, but for the most part they've turned out how I wanted.
Here's the special weapons Templars - meltagun, power fist, power axe, and flamer.
And a side view of the power axe. I went with the traditional "blue lightning" power weapon effect, but for the background I went with Leadbelcher washed with Drakenhof Nightshade (okay, the newer GW paint names are just silly after a point).
And the Neophytes, with under-armor colored to match the Initiates' tabards.
I've got a second squad about halfway complete; I was hoping to have them done by the end of the month as well, but a couple of things came up and I had to delay my painting work a bit. I won't be horribly set back in my overall painting schedule, though, so I can get right back at it and finish up early next month. It's good to finally see these guys finalized and ready for the tabletop.
Friday night, I finished up my painting for the Midwest Massacre, and here's how everything came out. The basing is a bit rudimentary, and not all the details are done, but the minis themselves are at a decent tabletop standard. For a week and a half's worth of nightly painting sessions, I won't complain. I even managed to cram in those 3 Fire Warriors who you can see poking around on the right, so figure that I lost a night's worth of Eldar time to work on more Tau.
I even managed to get my Eldrad to look like this in that time:
And that includes his magic technicolor star coat. He's got talismans to paint, but he's 95% awesome. (And actually, the infantry bases were drybrushed after I took this picture, so they're not so plain as they look here). Speaking of bases, since I switched up my list at the last minute to put in a unit of Pathfinders, I decided that after three years of running around on naked bases, I would give them the love they deserve. It was also an opportunity to try out some of GW's textured paints. Here's the results:
The bases were done in a combination of Armageddon Dust texture paint, Seraphim Sepia shade, and Terminatus Stone drybrush. Working with the texture paint was odd at first. It's very (for lack of a better word) gloppy, and working it onto the bases without obscuring the feet of the minis is a challenge. Remember, it's still a paint, so be prepared to repaint feet even after you clear the material off. When it's wet, it doesn't look like it has much texture at all; it just looks thick and sticky. Once it dries, though, the texture becomes more noticeable (I hit the bases with a hairdryer to speed up the process). Adding a wash and drybrush, though, makes them really pop, and you see the organic earth feel that the texture paint creates. I have to say I'm impressed with the product. It creates a more varied look than the traditional "painted sand" approach to quick basing, and once you get a feel for how to work it around the base, it's not difficult to use at all. Add foliage (flock, static grass, grass clumps, etc.) to taste, and you can end up with a very natural looking base without a lot of work.
That was the end of my painting for the tournament. Next up: the tournament itself!
I've got about 48 hours until the Midwest Massacre, and I'm trying to finish up everything I can in that time. First up are my War Walkers, which are looking pretty solid. I think I just need to paint the bases, and they'll be done. I'm sure there are small details that I could add, but for Saturday I'm not worried about having them perfect. Just good enough. And I did make sure to give the pilots some love too (sorry for the blurriness; camera was a bit too close).
I also painted up three Fire Warriors last night, as I realized my collection of painted ones was three shy of what my list needs. The priming job on these was a bit rough, but these have been sitting primed and unpainted in my collection for a few years now. Fortunately, painting these guys was like riding a bicycle; once I started, I remembered exactly what colors to use and where. I even broke out my micron pen to line the armor. One thing that did change, though, was that I used the new Citadel paints, except for the Goblin Green; I don't think Warboss Green is quite the right shade, but fortunately I have plenty of GG left over. I did find that Skarsnik Green is the same color I used to custom blend for doing edge highlights, though, so that was a happy discovery that saved me time.
I will say that the base paints performed as promised. I used Waaagh! Flesh and Mechanicus Standard Grey for the armor and undercloth, respectively, before layering on Goblin Green. I did cheat a bit on the red - I had already painted Mechrite Red on the shas'ui a year or so back so I could mark that mini apart; since the color was already there, I just used it.
Finally, there's my Dire Avengers. This picture is a couple of days out of date, but you can see how my progress was coming along:
I'm in the "bits and bobs" stage of detail painting now. All the little dangly bits on guns, all the belt items (ammo clips, gems, grenades they don't actually use in game) are next on my painting list, but they should go rather quickly. I'm using tonight to finish up what details I can, and then Friday night is painting the bases and calling them done enough for the tournament. They're a few steps beyond three-colors-and-based, and I'll finish all of these little details after the tournament... but probably after I've taken a break for a few weeks so I don't burn out. And then, this winter, it's Templar Time!
Over the last week I've been working on getting my Eldar allies ready for the Midwest Massacre GT, and that's meant painting Eldrad, a unit of Dire Avengers, and a pair of War Walkers. I've been mostly focusing on the first two, as I figure the War Walkers should go pretty quickly (and I've started on them already). Eldrad I've been having some fun with, because I want to keep him somewhat Ulthwe-colored, but I wanted him tied into the blue/yellow/bone that makes up the Alaitoc color scheme as well. What I've gone with is black and bone for his underrobes and helm, and a blue outer cloak with yellow trim, as well as some blue details on the helm.
The outer cloak has been particularly interesting to work on.
I decided to try something a bit different, so I added a starfield look to the outer robes. I started by blending the robes up from dark to light blue, and then using a stippling brush and my thumb to flick spots of white paint onto the robe. It gave me just the effect I wanted; a little bit of blue wash in the folds and crevices of the robe to tone those down, and the results are something I'm very happy with. As far as other details, I'm going with red soulstones and green jade on the staff and sword. I haven't decided on colors for the random bits and trinkets hanging from his sleeves and staff, but I have a feeling that in the end, he'll look almost 2nd-edition-y with his technicolor farseeing dream coat.
In other news, Games Workshop released the next set of FAQs for Sixth Edition, and the Tau FAQs had a couple of important updates. First, Target Locks work again, which is great news for squads of Broadsides. Why they errata'd them to not work before, I have no idea, but it's nice to see that GW regarded that as a mistake as well. The other big change of note was to Disruption Pods, which now grant the Shrouded rule at distances of 12" or greater from their shooter. This beats the old Disruption Pod hands down; sure, you don't get a straight 4+ cover save, but you go from 5+ cover stationary to 3+ cover (thanks to Jink) while moving. Move flat-out, and your Piranhas can get 2+ cover. Disruption Pods went from must-have in 5th Edition, to not all that good in 6th Edition, to absolute must-haves once again. I'm already reworking my lists to get these pieces of wargear back in; I'm thinking about trading off the Blacksun Filters from the mid-range units and saving them for the big guns just to free up the points.