Wednesday 27 May 2015

Guild Ball: Fishermen (WIP #1)

So, we had to start somewhere and Fishermen were requested as a favourite of two players. Anyone unfamiliar with the game, the Fishermen look like this ...

Left to right: Angel, Salt (otter), Kraken, Shark, Greyscales, Jac and Siren. They don't come pre-painted or fully assembled, so you have a bit of work to do before they're looking as handsome as that. So here's a shot of where mine are ...

They're now primed and the above shows Kraken (from Salute), Salt (comatose and out of focus), Angel, Siren, Shark and original Kraken. I don't own Jac, so he's missing. Greyscales' leg is only freshly pinned and glued so he's not in the picture, and Salt's tail ... well, currently he's going to be built without it as punishment for being a total dick, frankly. There is a level of finesse to handling some of these components which isn't compatible with my lack of dexterity.

These sculpts are so fine, and have so much detail it's a little intimidating. I bought corks to temporarily pin and base all the figures while painting, but some models are that slim on the ankles that it would be a terrible trial to attempt this, and only original Kraken required it in the end. I won't do final assembly until as near to the end as possible to give me a fighting chance of getting a paintbrush in to some of the details.

Next step, working out the colours to use took a little while so to keep things moving, I painted up the bases and will get the figures mounted on them sooner than originally planned.

The base inserts came from the Kickstarter campaign, and while I don't plan to use them for all the teams, they offer a quick way to base up the first team on the (slow, erratic) production line. Where paints are referenced, they're almost always Vallejo and either Game Color or Game Air unless explicitly stated otherwise. Base colours were Earth, drybrushed with 50/50 Earth and Khaki, drybrush of Khaki, drybrush of white, repeat on the stone with Sombre Grey and Stonewall Grey, then everything washed with Army Builder Soft Ink to dampen down the chalky highlights.

The goal is painted in the primary colour I'd like to use for the clothes of the Fishermen - a 4:1 ratio of Scurf Green to Imperial Blue.

Some static grass applied with Gorilla glue, then that's us done for the moment. I'll probably add white lines added to remind you it's for a football pitch, mulling whether I could slip in a water effect on the base to tie them to the Fishermen theme just a little more.

Salt now has his tail attached, as I calmed down sufficiently to jerry-rig a harness to have it told the tail in position long enough to set. I took the plunge and drilled pinning holes on all figures, and unfortunately damaged Siren's right foot (boo!) when doing this, but once in position it won't be noticable. Everything else survived unscathed which feels like a minor victory! Then, a very quick undercoat on the parts that will be touching the base as I need to secure them to the bases to manipulate them better.

There's a test square base with two ways to paint white lines. One with paint thinned as normal (top left), and the other with paint straight out the pot (bottom right). Can't decide which I prefer - but possibly edging toward the unthinned paint as it's a little uneven, and that feels more in keeping.

Monday 25 May 2015

Guild Ball: Introduction

Having backed Guild Ball during its Kickstarter inception last year, it was very exciting to see the game realised and figures turn up in a box this April. In all the excitement I ordered the full eight teams, but not all the available figures, and realised it would be quite a task to get everything painted.

If you haven't played or aren't aware of it, it's a tactical skirmish game as a football/rugby hybrid with points awarded for scoring goals or taking out the opposition. Or if it's easier, call it Leeds United :) Quick to get to grips with, but suspect we'll spend years understanding the mechanics. Our gaming group is loving the skirmish format and how it can suddenly shift from a swift, tactical battle of wills to something more attritional with just one or two kicks of the ball.

Your starting lineup is comprised of a Captain, a Mascot then other players. No points values, it's down to your style and potentially who your opponents are. While I may occasionally post up a game report, the initial focus on my blog is to go through the painting process so first up, a shot of all the teams ...

Teams top left to bottom right: Black - Morticians, bright Red - Butchers, Purple - Union, Blue - Masons, dark Red - Engineers, Green - Alchemists, Cyan - Fishermen, Yellow - Brewers.  Union can draft certain players into the other teams, or be played on their own as the eighth team.

The team behind the game have released a couple of limited edition models outside of the standard rosters - an alternative Boiler, (available from shows during 2014), Kraken (shows during 2015) and Minx (Ax Faction cross-collaboration). In addtion, if you were on the Kickstarter then several of the sculpts are exclusive to that - mostly the team Captains. The only one missing from my collection currently is Minx - but that's fine.

To make the teams more portable, I've reboxed everything in extra deep business card cases thusly ...

Not sure if these will be sufficient in size once all teams are fully assembled, but we shall see.

As I occasionally play Magic, and have kids, keeping cards in good condition is paramount and it was pleasing to discover the player cards are only about 1mm wider than Magic cards! So all the character cards were double sleeved with KMC Perfect Size sleeves from top down then into KMC Hyper MAT Clear sleeves bottom up. Extra sleeving makes them less bendable and doesn't compromise the visibility of rules or detail on the cards, so they should remain in excellent condition for quite some time.

I'll start to paint up a couple of the teams in the coming weeks, as playing with painted miniatures is more fun than unpainted figures or paper proxies. There will be WIP posts too, rather than just finished teams.

Monday 18 May 2015

Space Hulk: Genestealers

It took a while, but I've finally finished up all the Space Hulk Genestealers and here they are ...

My test model from a few weeks back is in the first shot, three along. The blue for squishy bits and retaining a yellow head make him look unfinished compared to the others but I felt it was nice to keep him there as my reminder of how they started out. Can't recall if I mentioned it previously, but everything was glued to standard round bases to make manipulation of the figure easier, and most importantly add balance and an even surface to the bottom.

Have I mentioned how much fun the bases are? The sculpt is very satisfying to paint, as almost anything you do with them brings out another detail and makes you feel like a king among men. Between the sculpt, and the rust and verdigris special effects, they were a joy.

The Terminator pieces, scattered across bases and held in claws, are painted up as Space Wolves to match (very) WIP Terminators I started converting a few years back. Still a way out from being dusted off, but they'll be consistent when I finally get there. By accident, the Genestealer skull colouring is too similar to the helmets - I may look to revise one of these at a future point, but not for the moment.

Claws, claws, claws. There are something in the region of 400 claws of varying sizes across 22 figures. OH MY GOD, THE TEDIUM. Initial dreams for subtle layering on claws died a horrible death when I realised the magnitude of the task so they're just based in brown, couple of thin coats of bone white then washed.

The end result is very pleasing, but not sure that I would do an entire army in this colour scheme. I'm a messy painter and correcting errors with yellow isn't fun, and takes significantly longer than any other colour. However, it's a problem for another year day as all these fellows are going on the shelf until Space Hulk is next pulled out for the evening.

Final shot of my favourite three from the beautiful bunch.

Super happy with the way this set of figures turned out, but I also had a little sigh of relief at getting to the end. Next project starting shortly ...

Thursday 14 May 2015

Space Hulk: Genestealers (WIP)

Not dead, merely swamped with work, and I'm hoping the light at the end of the tunnel isn't oncoming traffic.

Slow, steady progress being made on Hive Fleet Bob* and the mind numbing block painting is finished and I've started washing and adding base detail. Here's the first pre and post shots of one of the Genestealers.

* It's a holding name, but it's growing on me ... like a fungal infection.

More work to do as I still have highlights, carapace to brighten up a little, bone to work up from the base brown, skin glazes and touch ups to go, but we're moving in the right direction! There was a change of heart from the first test figure - with 22 of them sat in front of me, it was just too yellow and needed breaking up.

I've made the head the same colour as the sinew coming out through the skin to give the figure definition, and that helped considerably.

The original brighter blue I planned for the squishy bits didn't look right against the skin and has been repurposed for the tongue. Now I need to take a moment to talk about the base ...

I mentioned before about picking up a few of the Modelmates effects at Salute, read a few tutorials on YouTube and opted to throw them on the base and see what happened. We started around this point before I thought "oh hello, what's this?" as straight out the bottle it was achieving something in seconds that takes me a lot longer to achieve with normal acrylics and lots of thinned Sick Green then Hawk Turqoise.

From this point on, it went a little bananas as I liberally applied the green verdigris and the rust effect ...

The rust effect is so much science in a bottle, it's basically magic. I don't understand how it works - but it does and is wonderful, wonderful stuff and now I want to put it on everything.

Is it accurately applied to the correct locations? Heck no! That's fine by me, as the effect it generates pleases me greatly at the moment :)