Sunday, June 25, 2017

Reaper Vampire, Matthias the Twisted

I bought this figure with some other Reaper figures with intent to sell them, over a decade ago when I first started selling my painted figures and taking commissions. I did two or three others first and by that time had generated enough interest to keep the commissions coming in, and quickly found people were willing to pay something more reasonable for exactly the figure they wanted painted. I actually bought two of this same sculpt, though, one for me as I liked it so much. I started this one to sell and was off to a good start, but never got back to it. Now that I finally finished it it can be the one I keep for myself.

This is Reaper Dark Heaven 02867: Matthias the Twisted. My hat off to Bobby Jackson on this one, it's one of my favorites from him. That scary, hideous face is awesome as are his knock-kneed gait and his little rat friends. A classic vampire of the nosferatu ilk, or "necrarch," in Warhammer Vampire Counts lore.

I really took my time with this figure back then and it's up to my "competition standard." When coming back to finish it off I mainly had to just decide not to do a few bells and whistles I had originally intended like freehand on the red fringe, and do the metals, which were originally going to be NMM. I've always like metallic better for my own figures, but it only took painting a few figures for competitions and for cash to have the preference for NMM (at the time) show clearly. I take pleasure in the distressed ragged bottom of the cloak, the little green gem, the eyes, and the shading of his fingernails.

He is the leader of a Mordheim undead warband, BTW, and his minions are coming up soon. Three ghouls and two giant black dogs are already done and awaiting varnishing.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest 'Eavy Metal

Here's the moment of realization for my Dungeonquest project!

Please feel free to repost as long as you link back to this blog. Drop me a note here if you do. I want to spread the love for this game.

And if you have a second please rate it on Coolminiornot.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Herald of Nurgle (Reaper Plague Harbinger)

Here's a bit of an interlude between my Dungeonquest and upcoming Talisman figures and a change of pace from the bright, candy look. If I could be satisfied with a single mode and a single collection I would be a lot saner, but I have to give expression to my grimdark side. :)

I started this figure about ten years ago, then picked it up again about five years ago and got it to about 90%, and then there it sat. Are you like me, with a shameful number of unfinished figures? Recently I've been bearing down on a some of these around the edges of other projects.

This is Werner Klocke figure done for Reaper, Dark Heaven 02804 Plague Harbinger, and you can see he was obviously in a Realm of Chaos mode at the time. The fly emblem on his armor (hard to see, because I didn't call any attention to it, but let it fall back into the muck) dispels any lingering doubt. I think this was before the concept of a chaos herald but he fits the bill pretty nicely.

I really like the palette I achieved on this figure and think it will be a good reference point for other figures. I've spent a lot of thought planning fantasy Nurgle projects and a few years ago I painted a Warmaster Nurgle army, but it was a surprise for me to realize this is the first 28mm Nurgle figure I've painted. I know it was before 1996 when I had seven champions that were among my favorite figures in my collection, but at the time I was too shy to tackle my favorite figures. I work like an assembly line these days prepping many hundreds of figures—washing, basing, mold lines, priming etc—and I just washed and based the tray of RoC figures in which those same seven reside, along with younger compatriots.

Like many a Nurgle paintjob before him, in essence it was a white prime, then black metals, gunmetal and highlights, then washes, washes and washes, and finally edge highlights. Brown, yellow, rust. I don't recall if there is any actual green paint. Black plus yellow is good for Nurgle, I think, and any greens here probably came from that.

This would be a good figure for a chaos warband, either old school Realm of Chaos or whatever people might be playing at the local shops, or "AOS28" or whatever. I've got more Nurgle on the workbench including some Heresy demons to use as plague bearers and some converted Gamezone chaos warriors. I just checked back and it also looks like I might not have shared my Warmaster figures here, it must have been an older blog.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Ironhand the Mighty, Gladiator

Last one! May I present, Ironhand the Mighty:

This guy painted up fairly quickly as well. Nothing particular to this figure that I haven't spoken about in a previous post. Another great figure, though. Just after I finished him I scored another copy of this figure sans mace. This makes it that much easier for me to justify converting it to be a chaos thug. Anyone know fore sure who sculpted him? Goodwin, right?

Stay tuned for Talisman figures coming up soon!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Sir Roland the Knight

I painted this figure in one sitting (except for base, done as a group before) in record time, under two hours. The armor has opaque paint mixed with Chainmail metallic, a simple wash and then Mithril Silver highlights. I wanted it to be distinct from Thargrimm. The armor here is cleaner and a lot brighter. The illustration has a slightly different leather and fur color (same color) as the other illustrations (or so it seemed to me in the time) and I adjusted the brown mix accordingly, and think I got it pretty well. The wine colored accents are my own addition to the palette as in the illustration the fringe (what you call it in this case?) is of an indeterminate gray or the same color as the amror, which wouldn't work on the figure.Echoed it in the weapon grip.

Last one is just around the corner!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Helena the Swift

Today's hero is Helena the Swift.

Tiny hottie by one of the Perry brothers. Believe or not she was on the workbench almost done for over a year with just the shield to do, and I kept putting off the decision of whether to use a classic Citadel shield with hole in the center for the boss, or a shield matching the artwork. I had both. OCD, I know. I wound up going the first route as you can see. The next question was whether to leave the shield plane orange-brown as in the illustrationor add a design. And I strayed from the illustration a second time here, opting for a simple viking design.

The figure was primed gray and then "zenithal" white, but fairly strong on the white. The figure was painted light to dark with the exception of boots and hair. These days I like painting metallics over a light base starting with the lightest metallic color and then using washes.

Here's a little bonus, all the figures before Helena except Vikas. It was late when I took this and somehow I left him off. I'll try to get another group shot of all 12 to end on. That and I want to make an 'eavy Metal style sheet of them! I'm searching for a good background texture to evoke White Dwarf without copying directly.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Gunnvor Greataxe

The set of Dungeonquest figures I'm painting is complete except for one missing figure, Siegfried Goldenhair, the Barbarian. Does anyone have a spare, by any chance?

In the meantime I painted a substitute, possibly my favorite of the Perry barbarians. Let's call him Gunnvor Greataxe and say he's Siegfried's brother.

Love this sculpt. He's perfect all around. That awesome face! You can put this figure next to any figure from any era.

The skin was darker in the first pass I did as I was going for the deep tan that barbarians like Arnold Schwarzenegger has in the Conan movies. But I lightened it in the end to more abstracted, classic miniatures "bronzed flesh" tones. I used the tried and true Citadel method of dark base, then mixes with the original tones, Bronzed Flesh, Elf Flesh, lighter tones, and then glazes of Chestnut ink. I used the Siegfried Goldenhair illustration as reference for all the characters.

I also made an image of my figure to make a unique character sheet as well.

Just three left to show now. Stay tuned for Helena the Swift, Sir Roland the Knight, and Ironhand the Mighty!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Heroes for DungeonQuest: Tori-Jima, Ninja

This is another of my favorites. Bright orange is one of the funnest colors to paint, and is one of my favorite colors generally. I'm pretty happy with everything about this guy, especially his eyes from behind the mask, better seen by clicking through to the full size image.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Serellia of Zimendell, Elf Adventurer

My guess is this is an Aly Morrison sculpt but I'm only 90% sure. My approach to this figure was almost entirely light to dark over white primer. Elves are said to have fair skin and I made her skin very bright and pale. I have this original pot of I can't quite remember which, whether Elf Flesh or Bleached Bone. Later versions of both of these were much, much darker and more opaque, and the later Elf Flesh (I have one from the flip top ere following the switch from the poorly-received screw tops). But this paint is an excellent top flesh highlight for elves, humans or even orcs, and also for bone and much else. Haven't found anything that compare to it. This is one I'm not sure is still made by Coat'd'Arms, as many others are. There are a few early paints that seem to be missing, I think Moody Blue is one. But I digress...

Her pet dragon Flamebright was done almost all with glazes. I like how her orb turned out and it makes a nice focal point. Mostly Mithril Silver with some opaque purples mixed in, and probably an ink wash.

When exploring the dungeon, Flamebright scouts the room ahead and can warn Zimendell when going another way might be wiser,, and  fights many of her battles, though not the bats as we learned to my friend's chagrin in our last game! I'm pretty sure the bats are what did her in.

Anyone else working on DungeonQuest figures or have plans to, or have links to painted figures? Fond memories of the game (or otherwise)?  I didn't have it growing up, but rather picked it up at a con about five or six years ago. Really enjoy it, even when everyone dies, as the last game I played. It's a brutal game with high chance, 10 out of 10 on theme and 10 out of 10 in style. What's great about the high risk is the way that it fosters a grim, gallows humor around the table and come-what-may outlook. Life is cheap and death is everywhere, and not much more to lose going all out. Would you rather die unsung from the scorpion's sting, sifting debris in a forgotten wing of the dungeon, or drive right to the heart of it to steal diamonds from under the nose of the dragon? No guts, no glory. The mechanism for stealing from the dragon, for those who haven't played, is none other than that of Russian roulette.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Vikas Swordmaster

Decided not to save the best for last here. Vikas is my favorite so far and the one I'm most happy with. At the risk of being immodest, when I hold this guy up I get a big smile. I really nailed what I was going for and the figure "sings."

The checks took every bit as long as they look like they took, a full three hours, longer than I spent on all the rest of the figure. First green, fully shaded and highlighted, then black lines, then "white," which is actually muted, because pure white looks fake. Where a lot of painters go wrong with checks or any freehand on a flat surface is they paint each check lighter a top and darker at the bottom, a kind of sculptural lighting approach. This looks awful in my opinion, it really dispels my interest in what might be an otherwise nicely done figure. The tricky part with these checks was having them converge at the sides in the folds. It took me some give and take there going back with green then white and then putting the black lines back in.

Really happy with his face, with details like the subtle five-o-clock shadow, and his yellow boots. Wanted the boots to glow with old school Snakebite Leather. I have a mostly full screw top era pot of that paint, my second pot of it after I used up the first I got in the early 90s. The trick or balance between brightness and believability comes in putting gray in the top highlights. The highlights should always be less saturated.

The gems are in the classic style Mike McVey taught many of us. I make the contrast a bit muted here too because these stones are rounded, and not sculted as faceted gems, and when done in stark contrast with black at the top and a dot of pure white they look a bit more like glass than a precious stone that captures my interest. I prefer it to appear semi-translucent and appear as what we call a semi-precious stone these days. I tend to use photo reference even for tiny bits like stones, even when I have the general principle of how I'm going to approach it down pat.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Phyll Madaxe, Dwarf Berserker

I played this guy in my most recent game of DungeonQuest and died after a time tied up in the chamber of darkness, before getting to use his berserk ability. What a great figure. Figures standing on rocks is not really my style but in this case he needed to be standing on something no wider than his feet because his weapons extend below his feet and it was either standing on something or having his weapons dug fairly deeply into the ground, which wouldn't make sense. So, standing on a rock it was. Was a pretty easy paintjob. Citadel chestnut wash to get that classic bronzed flesh look. I use many different flesh-tone paints mixed but I'm sure Citadel Bronzed Flesh was among them. Winsor and Newton yellow and vermilion inks got the hair nice and orange.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Farendil, Elf Ranger

Well, this one didn't follow too closely on the heels of the others, but I think I can line up some posts pretty well for the next short while. Here is Farendil the elf. If I recall he has the same stats in the game as El-Adoran Sureshot from the base set.

I primed him gray and then white. With these DungeonQuest figures I wanted to capture a sense I have of great paintjobs I saw photos of in the late 80s and very early 90s that seemed to glow from within, with glazing being the key. The goal is what I think of as a candy-like quality. His Lincoln green attire and leggings were done light to dark with thin layers and glazes. Although highlights were added between layers where needed, most of the light is the white of the primer visible through the layers. Most of the DungeonQuest figures I did this way. By way of contrast, El-Adoran was painted purely over black, and you can perhaps see the difference if I put them side-by-side here.I actually intended to spray the El-Adoran figure with white too, but he was the first I painted on a day when I wanted to get started without having to go outside and prime white, and wait for the smell to lessen.

You can see a muted quality of the El-Adoran figure that is also desirable, and has a benefit of pulling the palette together and acting as a guard against the bright paints of today making a gaudy riot of color. The photos above are pretty true to life, that's how they look when you put them side by side (I should have taken a photo of them together but I'm lazy).

Both styles have their pluses. Straight dark to light is my comfort zone and is more reliable. On the other hand, going for the candy-like glazed quality is a fun challenge, and there's more a chance to wind up with something slightly different than expected (the "happy accident").

Some painters have one dependable style. I'm sure I have a certain stamp but I approach Oldhammer in a different way than I approach D&D and that different to some other collection of figures. I think I made the right choice for these DungeonQuest figures. When I get the quality I want in a figure, whatever I'm going for, it's like a little jolt of a thrill. Then I say to myself that it "sings" and pat myself on the back. Maybe that sounds a little funny to say out loud or read on the screen, but that's the truth of it, I work to make the figures sing, and its a narrow little zone in which they do it, can't be even a little off on the one side or the other, and when it sings it gives me the little jolt to do the next ones.