Games Day 2013

Well the past month has once again flown past in a flurry of rather dull real life interferences.  It was however Games Day and Golden Demon 2013 on the 29th September and I spent the Friday evening and Saturday prior to the day rebuilding the base of the Contemptor Dreadnought I painted for last year along with pushing some highlights a bit further.  Once more the poor lighting and shelf placement of my entry hampered me and I came away with no finalist badge.  Although this was quite disappointing (I felt it was good enough to have at least hit the first cut), I am really happy with how the model came out and even more impressed with how quickly I turned round the base reworking, despite lots of swearing whilst gluing bits of stone to the base.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the judges are looking for “fantastical” rather than “realistic” paint jobs, so my subtle realistic painting just doesn’t lend itself to the competition. Continue reading “Games Day 2013”

Forge World Seminar 2012 – Horus Heresy Roundup

The Forge World seminars are always a wonderful source of information and pleasure.  Because Forge World are a smaller team, much of their work is planned months in advance and they’re not bound to the same ‘tight lipped’ secrecy that has become synonymous with Games Workshop.  I think some of this is because Forge World caters for the slightly more mature hobbyist who accept that release schedules do slip and don’t publicly chastise them for this.

My memory isn’t fantastic, so I’m sure that this isn’t a complete list of everything mentioned!

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I Came, I Saw, I… Oh fail cakes

Well despite my best efforts and spending many hours and late nights, I didn’t even make first cut.  Although I knew my model would never take home a demon I’m a little annoyed that I didn’t even get a green sticker.  It didn’t help that the stewards were telling people there wasn’t an early entry queue (which there was) so by the time I got in and handed my mini over, it got put on the top shelf of the cabinet which meant that anyone under 6ft tall would really have only seen the underside of the base – which wasn’t at the same level as the main painting.  I think what has annoyed me more though is that the couple of entries in the finalist cabinet I saw when I collected mine didn’t have any kind of narrative to them at all.  In fact the entry that took the third was a standard Space Wolf Dreadnought that was painted well but not what I would have called spectacularly – the gold demon was taken by a tank that in all honesty was just very well weathered using pigments and such like.  Although it’s not easy to achieve it’s also not difficult and from the big screen, I didn’t feel it warranted the top prize.

That said, I had a thoroughly enjoyable day and managed to pick up all of the things that I wanted – including the Horus Heresy Book One (which despite being £70 is a gorgeous creation).  I’ve also been inspired to get back into “proper painting” once more.  My two projects this year (Stormlord and Contemptor Dreadnought) I’ve really enjoyed doing, but the projects consisted of 40% modelling, 20% airbrushing, 30% weathering and 10% actual painting with a brush.  I hand painted all of the bone items on the Contemptor and shocked myself with how quickly I actually managed to get them done, the same for the Genestealer head and various metal elements.

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The Best Laid Plans…

Unsurprisingly my “perfect weekend of painting” ended up not so perfect.  Due to numerous phone calls, chores and other interruptions I lost around 7 hours worth of painting time.  I also managed to balls up the application of the larger custom decals – I should have gone with my gut instinct and gloss varnished first.  I can “recover” this and the overall effect will be fine, I’m just really annoyed with myself.  I think I was trying to rush as I was a bit behind.  Oh well, not a lot that can be done now.

I didn’t get any work done on the base at all, but did manage to get gloss varnish on nearly all of the Dreadnought sub-assemblies.  I still have the head to do, but want to do the eyes first.  Sponge weathering begun this morning (before I left for work) and actually is starting to make the whole thing come together.

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Custom Decals

For some reason I woke up this morning at 6.10am.  It’s not a time I’m particularly fond of as it means that I should be asleep for another 35 ~ 60 minutes.  However as I lay in my small 1/5th of the bed (it’s a ladies prerogative to utilise 80% of a mattress regardless of size) it dawned on me that in order to apply decals on Saturday and gloss varnish on Sunday I actually needed to have the custom decals in my hand…  Ooops.  So at 6.20am I was sat in front of my computer playing with Adobe InDesign and with a bit of tweaking at lunch I have produced an A4 sheet with a variety of different decals that can be used.  I’ve ensured that I’ve done multiple copies and a variety of sizes as you can never be 100% sure what size you actually need until you go to put the decal in place.

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Maroon Red

Well the Dreadnought has progressed quite significantly since my last post.  Pretty much all of the main airbrush work has been completely (with the exception of a few touch ups) and I’m fully onto brush work now.  True to form this isn’t going as quickly as I would like although some of that can be attributed to the fact that this week has been a complete nightmare on actually sitting down with free time.  Despite originally planning 3 evenings work I have achieved the sum total of an hour although tomorrow I have from around 8pm and all weekend as my other half is away for the whole weekend.

As you can see from this pic, I have finally found a decent colour for the shoulder pads and knee pad.  This is actually the colour I originally wanted but somehow didn’t get.  What it has meant is that I’ve had to purchase a set of Logan Grimnar Company decals as the great wolf symbol I had in black was too dark for this much deeper colour and this transfer set has white versions of this symbol.

I also took the opportunity to purchase a pot of Balthasar Gold which is a coppery colour that looks great with a shade of brown and highlight of Runelord Brass (which I didn’t buy – doh!) comes out as a very convincing brass colour and most importantly is quite easy (which is good when time is pressing).

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Rusty Pipes

Due to a long weekend at a LARP event (Thursday to Monday), I’ve not got as much done as if I were home, however quite a bit of progress was made early last week.  All of the Dreadnought (including knees, elbows and arms) have received the base colour.  The red knee pad has been base coloured, highlighted and shaded and looks pretty sweet although I’m not convinced I’ve highlighted up enough.

I have begun to paint the pipe on the base and have opted for a heavily rusted creamy colour (using salt weathering).  I have been having a few issues with my airbrush as I’ve completely run out of airbrush cleaner (and Hobbycraft had none in the last time someone visited) which has resulted in a couple of really annoying spiders I need to somehow rectify.  The effect I’m aiming for is like the picture on the right.  This will be also quite heavily weathered into the base so shouldn’t be too over powering.

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New Drybrush Paint & Base Progress

As forecast, this weekend saw a decent amount of progress on my miniature.  As you may be able to see from my Flickr Pool, the base has had quite a bit of work done on it and I’ve finally pulled my finger out and got some more of the cloak done (though there is 60% left to do!).

I discovered to my horror that I’d almost run out of Chaos Black.  Now this is almost a cardinal sin (I’m sure there must be some pots lurking somewhere) so when I nipped into town for a hair cut, I purchased a new pot of Abadon Black – a base paint so it’s quite thick but thins down remarkably well.  I do fancy that this is more black than the old Chaos Black.

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Progress & Shadow Pics Taken

During the past week I’ve managed to make some substantial progress on my entry, though not as much as I’d hoped I would as I got less done during the weekend than I’d planned (but more during last week).  The base and body have now both been finished from a modelling perspective and both have received a coat of grey primer.  The base received it’s airbrushed base colours yesterday but I took a bit of a side step when I tried to wash the lower half and all I managed to do was basically darken it when I airbrushed the wash on (and make it satin shiny).  Before I hit the sack yesterday I applied the wash again to some parts of it with a brush, which did shade it a little, but didn’t give it as much depth as I wanted.

Although I’ve a couple of jobs to do when I get in, I do have time this evening to spend on it.  My first step is to selectively apply some wash into the deepest recesses (by hand and using other colours).  Once that’s dry (a good point to do some chores ; ) I’ll re-apply the base colours with my airbrush, shade and then apply gentle highlights.  I will then drybrush the various elements and if necessary blend in using the base colour from the airbrush.  I might even treat myself to one or two of the new GW drybrush paints.

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T-Minus-Seven

Where has the last month gone 🙁  In fairness I can actually answer that for a change – insulating and stud walling the garage (and slicing my finger open with a stanley knife), tidying the house for visitors (and them visiting for a weekend) and going away this past weekend to a LARP event.  Although I am much further behind with my Dreadnought than I wanted to be, unlike my normal “oh god the past month has vanished”, I have actually got some elements constructed and done and more importantly I have free time approaching.

The arms have been glued into sub-assemblies and pins inserted in place, this includes the genestealer head.  The base has had all of the resin/plastic details glued on and received a covering of crushed quartz.  The fur cloak has had a little bit more work done.  I’ve a couple of small bits left to do and then I can actually get some primer & undercoat on it.  The list of modelling bits is as follows:

  • Base – Glue some guitar wire on and some mandatory skulls and then coat with watered down glue
  • Dreadnought – Sculpt on some wolf teeth and rune trinkets and then add a couple of wolf pelts
  • Cloak – Sculpt the remaining 2/3rds of the fur
  • Claw arm – Use some green stuff to make it look like the skull is being pinched rather than gingerly held

When it’s put down in a list like that, you can see that I’m not far off being able to put paint on.  One thing I do need to do this week is to rig up a light and photograph the whole piece so that I can ensure I get the shading and highlighting correct when I airbrush.