Wednesday 23 September 2020

Plasmancer & Cryptothralls

I picked up the Necron half of the Indomitus box for a decent price, and plan to use them for trying out different approaches. The models are fantastic and a firm favourite with my kids - Necrons have a real unpleasant, sinister character emerging with these sculpts.

These three were started as a paint-along with Craftworld Studio on how to paint metallics better, and a little quicker. I've hardly painted anything with true metallic metals (TMM) this calendar year, so this was a nice change of pace.

The most time was taken on creating a satisfactory effect for the blades to stand out, but not adding too many colours. All I was focused on was not doing the standard blue or green often seen on Necrons.

The bases are just thrown together, and very matt with heavy pigment dusting to offset the shine across the Necrons. They're lost under the models and I

My advice for anyone painting the Plasmancer would be to paint as much as you're comfortable painting BEFORE final assembly. It was super tricky to reach some of the areas with everything glued together. Even without putting it on the base.

Monday 21 September 2020

Scratch built base

I did two bases for my Chaos Spawn project, and both were scratch built, and thought it would be fun to share the process.

Start with an idea of what you want to do before anything is glued down! Here, my thinking was a destroyed science facility. Interestingly, it was only after completing these that I realised I'd used a similar theme with similar monsters last year ( and pretty confident I was subconsciously influenced by this.

Blue cylinders are pieces of plastic straw, with some old cables from discarded PC parts glued inside. After that, it's a combination of leftover items from my bits box. So there's pop-out pieces from MDF terrain kits, some cork tiles I ripped up, Necromunda belt kits, basing paste, little cut offs of balsa wood. Anything to add to the feeling of a building that's been utterly destroyed.

 When the larger items were firmly in position, I generously applied superglue over the empty areas, and sprinkled large gravel in, and then very fine gravel to fill the inbetween spaces.

 The last step was ensuring it was all properly dried, then applying a dilution of PVA and water over everything to lock it in position. Leave for a few hours, then it's rock hard and you won't risk the gravel falling off.

There are large, flat surfaces here, despite the appearance. That's deliberate to ensure the monster feet have somewhere to securely place.I went back and forth checking it was still a good fit.

Black primer, then a harsh zenithal. I was pleased how coherent it looks at this point. There's something very pleasing to a well primed item.

Riffing on the colours used on my Chaos Spawn, I've tried not to focus on picking out elements of the base - rather just the feeling of a lot of rubble.

Highlights, such as they are, are just from the bluer end of the colours used on the Chaos Spawn. A little red and pink is added to the lettering to give an area of interest, but you won't see most of it when the monster's glued on top - so there isn't any point spending too long here.

Friday 18 September 2020

Hunter, Chaos Spawn

 An experiment in moving faster to finish tabletop, but keep my learnings from Craftworld Studio coaching. Loading with colours and having fun, fun, fun.

Also, having now picked up the Chaos Spawn kit, I feel it's badly represented by many builds online. So many options to drive a narrative with the parts available. You can take your time to think what you want from the build, don't just add everything immediately!

 Again, narrative is something I'm still working on. Here, it's a creepy monster looking through the ruins of a research facility. Looking for people, a specific object? Who knows.



Monday 14 September 2020

Primaris Repulsor

I haven't done much with my Space Wolves since our group stopped playing 8th edition. But this model was too nice to pass up. It's not the best example of my painting, but I'm happy with it for practice on colours, and completing a chunky vehicle in a few hours.

Things I would improve:

Spending more time on the OSL effect. I tried a couple of times before settling on this. It's not very accurate, but it conveys the effect. My attempts to make the light brighter just washed out on the surface, with lack of contrast and I couldn't find a satisfactory way of doing it. Something to practice.

Freehanding the runes. These are transfers, carefully applied, but I wasn't brave enough to try it on a gradiented surface. If I got it wrong, I'd pull my (metaphorical) hair out trying to correct the mistake.

More careful assembly. Couple of wonky donkey edges on this tank if you're looking hard enough. Definitely not a fault of the kit, but of the assembler.

Saturday 12 September 2020


Wonderful monkey sculpt from Big Child Creative. Enormous fun to paint and trying to learn more on texture, and narrative.

I wanted to create a story for the figure, rather than just putting it on a boring base. So here's a very excited pirate monkey with his treasure, escaping the bounty on his head by taking over a ship. But little does he know what lurks beneath decks.

There's WIP shots below and a little background for how I created it, so read through for more detail.

So that's the finished model, but there's more to tell! Here's a few WIP shots to explain my thinking.

Testing, testing, testing. After the initial colours are on the base and star of the scene, does it still make sense to the eye? Are two treasure chests too much? Should there be one? Or something else? What does the story need?

There isn't really NMM, or TMM here, but the idea of this being treasure, and a little glow underneath onto the fabric of the lid. True metallics would have overpowered it, the monkey is the star and where you need to look from the beginning, before the eye wanders.

The shape of the scene gives a lot of natural shadow below deck, so picking the right colours at the front to play against the spooky glow is important. You won't see most of the below deck unless you pick the scene up and turn it upside down - so don't worry too much about painting what isn't seen.

What does a spooky, concealed chest look like? I think it would have a glow at the edges, and leaking out the lock.

Don't judge my greenstuff bananas and coins too harshly. They were all rolled from a sausage, with the bananas cut to approximate lengths, then just rounded a little. Coins were left as a sausage to cure for a day, then cut to approximate shape. Paint was applied to sell the effect and just add more to the monkey feeling.

Adjusting colours. Trying to keep the brighter tones in the middle of the upper scene, so the edges draw you in.

Before the poster's glued, is it in the right place? Will it be obscured by the monkey's foot when in place? And should it be?

Bringing it together and final checks.

Looking at the texture is more detail. On the legs and arms I've painted it softer and thicker strokes (ooh, matron) to give a fur feel, but across the chest and stomach, it's thinner to sell the more leathery feeling.

I'm not great at taking in-progress photos, but if you enjoyed a peek at my process, do let me know and I'll try to take more in the future.