Tuesday, 30 December 2008

GW Dwarfs I

Just a small update over Christmas. I rebased this unit of Prince Ulthers Imperial Dwarfs - Dragon Company from GW in the mid 1980's so that their bases matched those I am putting together for the Grenadier Fantasy Warriors Dwarfs (You never know I may one day field an enormous dwarf army with both Grenadier and GW models if I can find a table big enough and an opponent worthy enough.)

The shields are not original, they are the griffin motif from the shield sprue included in the plastic dwarf warriors box set pre-2008.
The bases are 20mm slotta bases from GW but have a small magnet glued underneath, I get all my magents from this guy - great fast service and a huge range of sizes. The movement tray is constructed exactly as for the Grenadier FW Dwarfs I showed previously, and the snow, rocks and flock are identical too.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warrior Dwarfs VI

Finished basing the First Dwarf Unit in the granite, snow and winter grass scheme. I'm happy with the overall look of this unit, although I think I need to plan the bases layout better on the following units so that the snow and grass patches line up and look 'cohesive' (Damn this just gets more complicated and slower!)

I had a couple of people asking me how I had done the bases for my Grymn Troops so I thought I'd share the sequence, materials and suppliers here. I haven't taken WIP shots as I'm pretty sure anyone reading this knows how to spread PVA on a base and dip it in stuff!?!!

All the troops are mounted on Laser-Cut plywood bases from the wonderul Fenris Games (ebay shop). These plywood bases are 1.8mm thick. I wanted to use the thinnest base I could as the Grenadier Miniatures have fairly thick integral bases so i didn't want every figure to look like it was sat on a hillock! The bases are dead flat and extremely accurate, (in my experience thin plywood is much less likely to warp than the equivalent to MDF and is tougher and more resistant to wear on the edges and corners) couple that to the friendly and lightning fast service and Ian (Geronimo Jones) at Fenris gets my whole hearted approval.

The bases are coated on both sides with dilute PVA glue to further prevent warping and to stop any moisture penetration. The miniature is superglued to the base and the edges built up with your favourite modelling putty.

The upper surface of the bases are treated in a similar way to the bases of my Grymn troops to create a rocky winter look. All of the materials I used to decorate the bases come from Antenociti's Workshop.

Diluted PVA is spread and Antenociti's fine talus (408) applied to around half the base area and allowed to dry. Then course talus (410) applied similarly in smaller patches. The base then receives a thinned coat of Foundry Granite 31b followed by dry brushed highlights of Granite 31c and (lightly) Canvas 8c.

Once dry the snow is applied. This is a mix of Antenociti's own AW Snow Powder, diluted PVA glue and white paint. Jez over at Antenociti's recommends mixing in the white paint to this powder so you get a more opaque look, I didn't do this on my Grymn figures, and I think the snow on them looks too translucent. The resulting paste is then smeared/dolloped onto the un-talos'd areas of the bases with a brush and allowed to dry.

The final element to the bases is the application of a little of Antenociti's own Winter Static Grass, with dilute PVA.

The underside of the base has magnetic sheeting applied curtesy of Tiny Tin Troops, another superb on line retailer who seems to break the speed of light in their shipping service - again recommended. Steel sheet (again from Tiny Tin Troops) is adhered to the movement tray.

The movement tray is one of the Modular ones from Games Workshop, although I bought these from Maelstrom Games a discount online retailer. This is probably the most useful thing that GW has produced in the last few years - I picked up half a dozen sets and will have all the Dwarf and Orc units equipped with the relevant sized trays. I made 20 trays in justa couple of hours sat in front of the TV the other night. The only issue in assembling them is needing to fill the joins between the corner pieces and the sides; here I've used Squadron Green putty and sanded lightly.

Overall the magnetic movement tray allows you to to invert the movement tray without the figures falling off. Its a bit more work, but well worth it I think, especially as I want to be able to use these figures to play with my 8 year old son. (Yes, I know I still need to paint up the movement tray!)

Overall this took me a couple of hours to do the 15 bases here, although that was spread over a few evenings of modelling and painting - normally while waiting for something else to dry!

Now all I have to do is figure out how to make a snow and rock board to game on.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warriors Orcs II

Thanks to the 52 people who voted on my recent poll "What colour are orcs?" and to all those that left comments on The Miniatures Page and the Forum of Doom.

Well, the poll is closed, the results are in and they look compelling.

But, in the true spirit of online polls I'm going to do what I want to regardless! I'll explain why:

In the multi-racial horde that is coming together to to challenge my Dwarf Host I have the following species in roughly decreasing order of size/toughness. (Yes, I know that if I follow the FW rules I cant put all these in the same army- nor can I in WHFB, but hey they're my figures.)
  • Trolls
  • Orges
  • Greater Orcs
  • Hob Goblins
  • Orcs
  • Half Orcs
  • Goblins
  • Goblin rabble (lesser goblins)

Thats 8 separate although somewhat related races, and I'd like to be able to subtly distinguish between them by skin colour. (Yes, I realise that to confuse a troll with a lesser goblin you'd have to be extremely short sighted no matter what colour I paint them!)

So i'm going to paint them all in slightly different shades of the same basic colours I highlighted. Broadly using darker tones at the top of the list and much lighter ones lower down.

So, well done, If you voted Quagmire, Drab or Moss - Then you won. If you voted for stupid green - please report the the Games Workshop reconditioning unit. If you voted for "something else" and then failed to leave any kind of comment here or on the forums above then thanks for being so helpful :-)

I have a couple of units undercoated (Hob Goblins and Orcs) so will do some demo and WIP pictures in the next few days.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warriors Dwarfs V

I almost didn't post this picture as the bigger version is very unforgiving of the standard of painting. But remember I have 400 of these to paint, and spending my usual 6 hours plus painting each one would take me... 100 days non stop no sleeping breathing eating or blogging to paint them all. This unit took me around 8 hours total for all 15 figures. As long as you keep the figures at arms length I think they're OK....

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warrior Orcs I

Well, its a simple question.... "What colour are Orcs?"

I love the old Grenadier Fantasy Warriors game and the Grenadier Miniatures that went with it. And i've been picking up second hand from ebay. I've started on the Dwarfs but also have around 150 Orc/(hob)goblins too.

Now I like to think of these sculpts as old school (certainly they don't have the definition of of modern sculpts and in some places are very poor, but for me its a nostalgia thing). And to me old school orcs don't have bright green comedy skin. I want something a little more 'realistic'. Yes i do realise the irony of asking for a realistic skin tone for a fictional creature. Maybe something like a green/flesh tone mix.

I work in Foundry Paints and am thinking of using either Moss or Drab or maybe even Quagmire?

What do you guys think? Please vote in the Poll on the right >>>

Then, once the skin tone is sorted I need to establish a colour scheme/theme for the army. They will mostly fight my Dwarfs who are in Teal and Grey/White colours. And they are likely to be fighting in snowy tundra terrain (thats how my dwarfs are/will be based).

So any great ideas for a simple two-colour strong theme? suggestions on Orc/Goblin symbols and heraldry also welcome. I'm not doing dags and checks! I like the lidless eye and white hand motifs but want to do something similar in simplicity and concept but a different symbol.

There is a Hasslefree Miniatures link here too. I see my Grymn as descendents of my Fantasy Dwarfs (a few hundred generations later). So am planning to buy a bundle of Hasslefree Bohkin (sci-fi goblins)for my Grymn to fight. These Bohkin would then keep the same livery as the Fantasy Orcs etc.

All suggestions and debate welcome...

Monday, 8 December 2008

Grenadier Fantasy Warrior Dwarfs IV

Started daubing some paint on the first of 32 units for my FW Dwarf army. The colour scheme is one that runs through all my dwarf miniatures and will be familiar to those who saw the grymn figures from earlier in the year.

I always struggle to paint units, its the monotony of it, and i always try to spend too long painting individual figures. Even though i know the steel toe cap on third warrior from the left wont be seen when they are ranked up, I still seem to end up giving it 5 coats of paint. So I am trying to be dedicated and paint in a simpler style.

I do all my painting in Foundry Paints, but this is the first set of figures I have used the new Citadel Washes on.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Grymn Attack Craft

Jed over at Antenociti's Workshop has just published pictures of a great looking 25mm sized attack craft commissioned by Kev White of Hasslefree Miniatures, for use with his Grymn Sci-fi Dwarf range.

Kev also has a green for a pilot figure here which is AWESOME.

So I have found the 25mm equivalent of the 6mm Valkerie from Exodus Wars I showed here

Just a few minor adjustments to do on the lift fans ... :-)

Now, I reckon i need about a dozen and I need them by Christams!