Monday, 28 January 2008

The Yellow Horde I

Well, I managed to do precisely zero painting last week, so I thought I'd share some of the figures in an older (but still unfinished) project of mine.

This is a Growler Chieftain from the old VASA miniatures game VOR. It's been painted as a yellow mushroom monster which was the alter ego of a friends role playing character. Spawn (as its called) was once responsible for sinking a ship called the Lucky Drake, and he is depicted here amongst the wreckage.

Shipwrecked Spawn:

As with my other painting this figure was done using Foundry yellow paints. Even though the figure is around 10cm (4") high this was all done with a brush before I had an airbrush. Nowadays I think I'd certainly have done the base coats by airbrush and possibly even the first highlight coat.

The base is scratch built from matchsticks and some plasti-card. The railings are made from stanchions from a model boat company with paperclips bent for the railings. Block and tackle and the name plate are also from the model boat company - I find they are a great source for unusual items.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Creating a Grymn Force V

Well, after a week, the first Grymn to step off the painting table are here.

This is a group of 4 Heavy Infantry Grymn which together with heavy weapons support from the missile launcher that was the test trooper will make up the first completed squad for my Grymn Force.

First Squad of Heavy Infantry Grymn:

The colours are a bit washed out - I'll take better when I get the light tent out again.

I may have to rethink my approach to this force; I painted these 4 in a batch and even then they have taken me around 8 hours of painting! Even though I know that some of the detail in the figures wont be seen when its on the gaming table I just can't seem to resist painting and highlighting it - After all if Kev of Hasslefree Miniatures bothered to sculpt these tiny tiny tiny tiny details the least I can do is try and daub some paint on them...

Running total (34): Painted - 5 : To Go - 29.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Creating a Grymn Force IV

I put the finishing touches to the test sample trooper. Finished off the missile launcher and touched up a few areas.

Thanks to Insomniac who pointed out on this The Miniatures Page discussion, that I'd painted the helmet visor incorrectly, So I blocked that in better and I think the highlighting technique is better too. I'm sure this will get better with practice over 50 figures! Insomniac has a large number of inspirational Grymn painted figures up on photobook - I recommend you have a look here.

The pictures are much improved as I set up my light tent and camera tripod.
Colour Test Sample Complete:

The armour is actually a different colour to the weapon cover - the armour is done with a Slate Grey 32A base whereas the weapon cover is based in Charcoal Black 34C -but both in real life and in these pictures it doesn't show. The slate has a blue-ish tinge which i thought my discriminate with the flatter Charcoal.

I'm broadly happy with the limited palette of the colour scheme (I say limited but there are actually 12 colours of paint used on this figure - mostly grey!) but i have a little nagging doubt about whether a little more contrast is needed....?

The Grymn range from HassleFree Miniatures has around 50 miniatures. These are a mix of troopers in environment suits, some in helmets and some bare headed. I want to make my force all helmeted for a couple of reasons.

  1. I prefer my forces to be made up rank and file type troops (even when just creating a skirmish force) rather than a group of characters, so i like the anonymity that the helmets lend.
  2. Having a range of similar helmets helps to make the units look more cohesive to me than a range of differing hair styles and colours

  3. I can't paint faces repeatedly to a standard that makes me happy :-)

As a result, about half of the 50 Grymn models in my force will be converted to have either an enclosed envronment suit helmet or a visored helmet. Thankfully HassleFree provide sprues with all the bits on you need to do this.

Environment Conversion Bits:

Grymn Conversion Pack:

The missile launcher troop you see above started out in life with a bare head.

Original Missile Launcher Figure:

But again as Insomniac has pointed out i forgot to include the backpack and the airhoses on the missile launcher figure. I'll address this once I've gloss varnished the figure to try and preserve the paintjob!

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Creating a Grymn Force III

I wanted to do something a little different in the colour scheme with my Grymn. Its easy to fall into the 'everything is painted green/drab/sand' melaise. I have a large number of Fantasy dwarf units which are themed around a 'Teal' colour. (from Foundry Paints)

So I decided to continue the theme from my fantasy dwarves through into this science fiction unit. As though the clan had survived through the millenia. I was toying with a number of samples using Teal, White and various greys when i stumbled across this on the web from the Talented painter Jenova.

And so a colour scheme was born.

This picture is my first sample. Clearly I am not as good a painter as Jenova (nor it would seem as good a photographer - better pictures to follow) but i think it captures the concept well.
The base, and the weapon are not yet done. I am not too happy with the visor though and that needs more work. I want it to match the glasswork on the Vehicles more.

Creating a Grymn Force II

I made a few additions and changes to the Old Crow Models. In doing so I was heavily influenced by the inspirational work of Kevin Dallimore, and expecially his treatment of the same Old Crow vehicles in his 'Building and Painting Resin Vehicles' article. I have plundered ideas mercilessly throughout this project.

Using plasticard I added rear mudguards to the Gecko Scout and Pickup vehicles, and using plastic rod cut accurately at an angle I added rear lights and indicators to all the vehicles and headlights to the APC's and AFV. Some small decorative beads were added to the roofs of the vehicles to act as communications/radar domes.

I also added a number of accessories which i had also bought from Old Crom Models, these included the tow eyes, bumpers, exhaust pipes.

On the Scout vehicles I added spare wheels to the rear of the vehicles.

Now my attention turned to colour schemes. I want to stay away from the old green/brown or sand combinations so opted for what i hope is an urban grey type combination. I undercoated the vehices with Matt Black Plasticoat quick dry enamel spray - mostly because its widely available here in the UK, and i had some to hand.

This was the first time I've used my airbrush so a great deal of practice and trial and error went into the basic paint on the Gecko Scout and Pickup vehicles. Using Foundry Paints suitably watered down I opted for a first coat of Artic Grey 33B, with a Broad stripe of Storm Blue 39A, and a narrow intervening stripe of Slate Grey 32C.

Basic Camo Pattern:

This combination captured the kind of cold grey urban feel i was after for the vehicles. The next step was to brush black over all the areas that needed to be detailed.
Details Blacked In:

Then it was time to detail the vehicle. I wanted a used but not battered look to the vehicles so I simply washed them in a very dilute mix of brown and black Citadel ink with a little Klear added. I should do this more carefully in future as there are some areas where the wash pooled and dried.

Once the wash was dry i hit all the raised edges with a light brush of Boneyard 9C. this defines the edges and gave more of a shape to the vehicle.

The windows were next with a coat of Storm Blue 39C highlighted up to alternat corners with Storm Blue 39B and 39A, and then final highlights and 'glazing' streaks done in Canvas 8C. I was really proud of the effect, and will experiment with glossing the windows once i've sealed and matt varnished the vehicles.

Still a few details to do:

Friday, 11 January 2008

Creating a Grymn Force I

I've decided to build my first Science Fiction force and settled on the excellent Grymn from HassleFree Miniatures, accompanied with some superb vehicles from Old Crow Models.

I want to do something that is relatively 'hard' science fiction and not that far into the future. I have a personal dislike for 'hovercraft' style vehicles, and i didn't want to get as futuristic as anti-gravity vehicles so I settled on a range of wheeled APCs and reconnaisance vehicles to which i might add some heavier tracked armour in due course.

From Old Crow I picked up :

Gecko Scout:

2 x Gecko Pickup:

2 x Trojan APC:

Slingshot Multipurpose AFV:

Claymore Heavy APC: