Archive for March, 2013

Dere’s no “I” in “Waaagh!”

Posted in Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2013 by krautscientist

To tell you the truth, I am actually quite addicted to painting models for my Blood Bowl team at the moment: Rarely has a painting recipe ever worked so well for me, and the fact that I do not need to be 100% accurate when painting these guys makes this small project a tremendous amount of fun. So expect a rather massive update today, with lots of new players for the Orkheim Ultraz. Here we go:

 

Blitzers

My first Blitzer was actually the first test model I painted for the team. In the meantime, I’ve built and painted three additional Blitzers to bump their number up to four. Here they are:

Blitzers
In order to make them recognisable as Blitzers, I gave these guys quite a few pieces of armour. Not as much as you would see on a Black Orc, mind you, but I wanted them to look reasonably similar to actual football players. As a matter of fact, I did actually use a couple of Black Orc parts to achieve that effect. And I quickly found out that bog standard Space Marine shoulderpads work really well to approximate football gear 😉
I also tried to use what Space Ork parts I had on the Blitzers, since the parts look more heavily armoured and really fit the football look.

Anyway, here’s a closer look at the individual models:

Blitzer 02 (1)
Blitzer 02 (2)
Blitzer 02 (3)
Blitzer 02 (4)
You may have spotted this model during the team’s WIP phase. Since then, I added a couple of the aforementioned shoulderpads to bulk it out a little. I also used a spiked armour plate to make the helmet resemble a football helmet. I rather like the static pose on this guy: He looks like he’s daring his opponents to make their move…

As you can see, I used quite a few more Gorkamorka decals here, and they really make the armour pieces look more interesting and believable. The key point in using the decals was to add them right after the base colours were done, but before the washes and weathering effects were applied. That way, I was able to “age” the decals along with the rest of the model’s kit, making them look quite a bit more realistic.

Next up, this guy:

Blitzer 03 (3)
Blitzer 03 (1)
Blitzer 03 (4)
Since you last saw him during the WIP phase, I swapped the head (which was slightly too large) for that of a Space Ork nob. His right arm (which, looking at it now, is a tad too short, by the way: seems like this player is just a little challenged when it comes to proportions…) came from the Black Orc kit. All that piercings make him look like a pretty tough guy, don’t you think? 😉

Realising that I had yet to add a model wearing one of the Orcs’ fabled metal jaws, I built this guy:

Blitzer 04 (1)
Blitzer 04 (2)
Blitzer 04 (3)
As you can see, he’s in the middle of some kind of maneuvre that is sure to make somebody hurt pretty bad. Getting more dynamic poses on these guys was achieved by simply adding some leftover sprue to their base that, even after being covered in the basing materials, could still be used to glue the model to the base in a more interesting position. I wanted some of these models to be really dynamic, and I guess we can call this particular mission accomplished.

The fact that this model already had that huge metal jaw meant I could assemble him with a helmetless head, to get some more visual variety across the team.

 

Thrower and Linemen

Linemen
When building these guys, my two main ideas behind them were to make them look less heavily armoured than the Blitzers and to pose them rather dynamically (making it look like most of them were trying their best to catch a ball). To achieve those aims, I used more fantasy Orc parts on the models, since some of those are less armoured. I used bowmen from the WFB 6th edition starter box for the models, just replacing a hand or arm here and there and cutting off the bows. By attaching these to the bases at more interesting angles, the poses were really easy to get right and took almost no conversion at all!

Let’s take a closer look:

Lineman 01 (1)
Lineman 01 (2)
Lineman 01 (3)
Lineman 01 (4)
Lineman 02 (1)
Lineman 02 (3)
Lineman 02 (4)
You cannot help feeling sorry for these guys, as one can almost imagine the ball sailing right past their outstretched hands. In any case, they add some goofy humour to the team, so they’re definitely pulling their weight after all.

I also built a thrower, using a very similar recipe:

Thrower (2)
Thrower (3)
Thrower (5)
I wanted him to be striking a fairly iconic, athletic pose, and I think that worked. Plus I finally got a chance to use that old head from a metal special weapons Ork boy from the late 90s — easily one of my favourite heads ever! I even added a touch of gloss varnish to his goggles to make them look more like actual glass.

Thrower (4)
When it came to attaching him to the base, I added a skull to make his pose a little more impressive. It may be Blood Bowl, but it’s still the Warhammer world after all — when in doubt, use a skull! 😉

 

So with that, nine models of my initial team roster have been completed. That leaves only the two Black Orcs and an additional Lineman for now, although I can easily see myself painting some more models for added tactical variety. And I’ll still need to finish those fans, of course. Not a problem, though, since working on these guys is really a blast! Here’s the team so far:

BB_Team_a

C&C always welcome! And, as usual, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Top Dog

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2013 by krautscientist

With my first traitorous Space Wold painted, I was itching to begin working on Joras Turnpelt, the leader of my Khornate Wolves. Here’s the unpainted model:

Joras Turnpelt WIP (2)
I started by basically repeating the steps I had used to paint my first test model: Since Joras’s armour consists of quite a few more chaos bitz, I was reasonably sure that he would read as a follower of the dark gods well enough, even if painted in a colour scheme similar to regular Space Wolves. So I got to work and finished most of the model in a pretty reasonable amount of time. Take a look:

Joras Turnpelt WIP (3)

Joras Turnpelt WIP (6)Joras Turnpelt WIP (7)
As you can see, the overall recipe is indeed identical to that used on my test model. For the face, I used my tried and tested recipe for pale skin. And I added a small OSL effect to the eyes on the breastplate. The Lightning Claws on Joras’ right hand were painted blue as well, and I had something similar planned for the huge axe at first. However, it ended up looking too much like some kind of toy, so I went back to a fairly straightforward silver colour.

Before the model could be called finished, I had to add the cape and base. Regarding the cape, I wanted to make it look as dusty and grimy as I could. And the base would follow the same approach as the bases of my World Eaters.

After a short while, this is what I had come up with:

Joras Turnpelt (2)
Joras Turnpelt (3)
Joras Turnpelt (5)
Joras Turnpelt (6)
As you can see, some skull trophies were added to the cape, to make Joras’ new allegiance even more obvious (I also wanted to obscure the small “smoke stacks” on the cloak, since they seemed slightly silly to me). Note the dirty and tattered cape:

Joras Turnpelt (7)
The effect was created by drybrushing multiple times with GW Graveyard Earth, which led to a very dusty, dirtied look. Unfortunately, the photo eats up some of the subtle shades, so you’ll have to take my word for it: It does look really dusty when seen up close! 😉

It’s also a nice coincidence that the cape nicely complements the model’s overall pose, adding to the sense of movement.

Joras Turnpelt (8)

When it came to Joras’ face, I wanted him to be pale and slightly haunted-looking, and I guess I succeeded reasonably well:

Joras Turnpelt (10)
Maybe he’ll need one more pass of GW Leviathan Purple in the deepest recesses to make him look even more drawn. 😉

And finally, the base: It goes without saying that I couldn’t resist adding a small loyalist touch…

Joras Turnpelt (11)
And here’s a comparison shot with Joras and one of my World Eaters Terminator Lords:

Joras Turnpelt (12)
I like the fact that Joras has a pretty distinct silhouette, seeming quite bulky (mostly because of the cape).

All in all, I am pretty pleased with the model: I think the paintjob nicely captures the fact that Joras is a warrior in transition: While there are still some strong clues as to his loyalist origins, several other visual elements make it perfectly clear that he now follows a very different master.

And finally, as is my usual routine, let me also give you some background for the model (a slightly revised version of the first sketch, in this case):

Joras Turnpelt (4)
Joras Turnpelt

Joras Turnpelt was once a member of Einar Longbeard’s Great Company, and served as the Wolf Lord’s second-in-command as well as his trusted friend. When the company found itself facing the warriors of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt in battle, the fighting turned out to be extremely bloody and unforgiving, due to both sides’ ferocity in combat. With the battle dragging on, the Space Wolves found themselves slowly bleeding out from the costly engagements. And to make matters even worse, Longbeard and Joras did not see eye to eye regarding how to proceed: The Wolf Lord knew that the Space Wolves were in acute danger of losing the battle and wanted to consolidate their forces, maybe even order a tactical retreat, while Joras would hear none of it. Seething with adrenaline and beginning frenzy, he wanted to press on and obliterate the enemy, and ordered an attack in direct defiance of his superior’s orders. During the ensuing fight, Joras eventually flew into a berserker rage, slaying his own Wolf Lord, who was trying to intervene. This act of betrayal shattered the great company, with the brethren falling on each other as well as the World Eaters. In the end, only a small band of warriors remained, defeated and encircled by the warriors of the 4th, shaken by their own actions and ready to be killed. But Lorimar let them live, feeling that Joras, in the depths of his rage, had found something dark and powerful. The Master of the Hunt was intrigued.

Ever since, Joras and his remaining warriors have been fighting alongside Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, adopting some of the 4th’s traditions while also keeping themselves apart in other respects. And Joras has become known as the “Turnpelt”, considered a despised traitor of his own chapter and hated enemy by the sons of Russ…

 

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Khorne Wolves: first test model painted

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2013 by krautscientist

Some time ago, I showed you some test models for a small squad of traitorous Space Wolves. I had put off painting the first test model until now, since I wanted to use a dark grey undercoat on them, and I had to wait for my FLGS to get its next shipment of Army Painter spray cans.

But lo and behold, when I swung by the store last week to spent yet more money on plastic crack, a can of Army Painter Uniform Grey was already waiting for me, so I could finally start to experiment with the paint recipe for my Khorne Wolves.

I wanted them to still look fairly close to the original Space Wolves’ colour scheme, yet with parts of their armour picked out in red and bronze to serve as subtle clues as to their new allegiance. I also wanted the armour to be more of a dark grey, as opposed to the bluish grey of GW’s loyalist Wolves paint scheme.

Anyway, I chose this model for my experiments:

Khorne Wolves Test Models (1)
I think we can all agree that, for this guy, any coat of paint would be a huge improvement 😉

So the first step was to get the model undercoated. I had never worked with Army Painter spray cans before, and had only recently read a horror story about someone ruining a couple of models using them, so I was really careful. My worries were unfounded, however, since It turned out that the paint worked almost like GW’s undercoat, only in a different colour. So this is what the model looked like after undercoating:

Khorne Wolves test model PIP (1)
Surprise, surprise: It turned out that Uniform Grey wasn’t nearly as dark as I had hoped. In fact,  it looked pretty much exactly like unpainted GW plastic. Here’s a comparison shot with an unpainted Marine leg for reference:

Khorne Wolves test model PIP (2)
With the grey much lighter than anticipated, I felt tempted to call this a failure altogether, abandon the project and return to painting more Blood Bowl Orcs, but I persevered. After all, no telling what the rest of the paintjob might yet achieve, right?

So I picked out the details in different colours: GW Mephiston Red for the shoulderpads and parts of the armour, Vallejo Tinny Tin for the armour trim and decorations, GW Boltgun Metal for the weapons, flex fitting, cables etc. and GW Snakebite Leather for the teeth and bones. Here’s what the model looked like after this step:

Khorne Wolves test model PIP (3)
So my first lesson with using grey undercoat: The model will look even worse with just the base colours blocked out than when I use Chaos Black. Not exactly a reassuring observation, to be sure…
I knew better than to stop now, however much I would have liked to throw away my brush in frustration. I was reasonably sure applying some washes would save the day once again…

So here’s the same model after a healthy dose of GW Agrax Earthshade and GW Nuln Oil, respectively:

Khorne Wolves test model PIP (4)
Definitely better, if only because there is much more depth to the model now. The armour came out looking slightly worn and dirty, but I guess I like the effect well enough. I then added GW Bleached Bone to the areas of bone, GW Dwarf Bronze to the edges of the armour trim, and I painted the model’s eye lenses a piercing blue:

Khorne Wolves test model PIP (5)

At this point, I thought the model looked okay, but still quite a bit lighter than I would have liked. I was afraid this guy didn’t read as a traitorous wolf, but rather as a member of the 13th company at best. Would I have to rethink my whole approach?

I still kept plugging away at him, finishing the details, painting the backpack and adding a chaos star decal to his left shoulder pad. So here’s the finished model, photographed this time without the garish flash 😉

Khorne Wolves test model X (2)
Khorne Wolves test model X (1)
Khorne Wolves test model X (3)
So what would I call the result of this exercise? Slightly inconclusive, to tell you the truth. While the grey armour is quite a bit lighter than I would have preferred, I have to admit the model has grown on me. But the question remains: Does he look chaotic enough?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this! C&C always welcome! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

An orky update…

Posted in Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2013 by krautscientist

Last week, I introduced you to two small hobby projects of mine involving greenskins. Now with a couple of models already built, the time had come to actually test the waters and get something painted.

To be honest with you, I was a bit nervous: After all, I had painted my last Orc over ten years ago, and those models haven’t really managed to hold up all that well. Still, I was reasonably sure that my painting had improved a fair bit since then, so I sat down, took a deep breath and started to work.

I started by painting my Mordheim test model:

Mordheim Orc Gang WIP (3)
Before actually getting some paint on this guy, though, I added a few bitz: Some pouches hanging from his belt as well as a Bretonnian helmet and an amulet in the shaped of the two-pronged comet of Sigmar. And a dwarven buckler, crudely reinforced with metal straps: I want my Orcs to look like they are scavenging whatever they can off the streets, taking all kinds of kit and every trinket they like off their defeated enemies. However, I took care not to go overboard with the additional bitz on this model, seeing how this was, after all, a test piece.

When it came to actually painting the model, I wanted this guy to have a gritty, battle hardened look, in keeping with the game’s background. I also didn’t want the Mordheim Orcs to look too much like something out of a comic book, so I kept the colour palette pretty limited for this project.

The model was undercoated using brown spray paint. Then the skin was painted (more on that later!), and the different pieces of armour were picked out in very dark grey (I’ve found that a pretty convincing start for an area that is supposed to look black or near-black on the finished model). The model’s clothes were either left brown or painted in a slightly darker tone. The weapons were painted silver. Then the whole model was liberally washed using GW Gryphonne Sepia (for the skin), GW Nuln Oil (for the armour and metallic parts) and GW Agrax Earthshade (for pretty much everything). I then added accents, scratches and overall grime (lightly drybrushing the brown areas with GW Graveyard Earth provided a nice accent while also making the model’s clothes look suitably worn and grimy). I even added one of the Orcs’ trademark sawtooth patterns to parts of the armour, using GW Bleached Bone.

So what did he model end up looking like, you ask? Here you go:

Mordheim Orcs test model (4)
Mordheim Orcs test model (2)
Mordheim Orcs test model (8)
Mordheim Orcs test model (7)
Oh, I almost forgot: The base was built by cutting up some piece of old model train terrain to get a couple of flagstones. Those were then combined with cork and modelling sand. The base was then undercoated black, painted dark grey, liberally washed in black and brown and then drybrushed with white. Easy enough, although I could see myself going with something a tiny bit more refined for the next few models…

All in all, I am really pleased with this guy: He looks like you wouldn’t really want to mess with him, which is pretty much the overall effect I wanted to achieve. I also think he seems right at home on the bloodied streets of a destroyed city.

Mordheim Orcs test model (9)
This model basically establishes a baseline standard for the rest of the gang: Some of the other models will probably be looking more outlandish or be sporting an additional spot colour or two, but in the end, all of them will share the overall look established by this test model.

 

So with the Mordheim side of things taken care of, I turned my attention to my Blood Bowl Team: I would of course need to paint a test model for the Orkheim Ultraz as well, and my choice fell on this lucky fellow, one of my Blitzers:

BB_Blitzers_WIP (3)
Since the model had been kitbashed from all kinds of leftovers, it looked a little rough around the edges: As you can see, the right arm had even been painted in my own, early 2000s’ recipe for Orc skin. However, the rather sorry state of the model made it perfect to serve as a test piece, so I got to work.

I initially approached the whole matter exactly like I had with the Mordheim Orc: Brown undercoat, same recipe for the skin. Basic clothes in various shades of brown. However, to add a visual flourish that would be necessary to make the model look more like an actual Blood Bowl player, all pieces of armour were painted with GW Mephiston Red.

Let me take a moment to tell you that this is the red colour I have always wanted, because it produces a strong, quite vibrant red and works without a hitch, even over a black undercoat. It also still looks good after being thoroughly washed with brown, which clearly differentiates it from the old Mechrite Red – oh, and It also lacks the latter’s “chalky” quality, which is a definite advantage in my book.

Anyway, the red made the model pop rather nicely, even after it had been suitably dirtied and scratched up. Take a look:

Blood Bowl test model (2)
Blood Bowl test model (1)
Blood Bowl test model (4)
As you can see, I went for a tan shirt to make the model look slightly less dark and gritty than the Mordheim piece. Oh, and I also added some pretty old Gorkamorka decals to the model’s armour, since the yellow nicely contrasted with the red.

When it came to doing the base, I wanted to emulate the look of a somewhat roughened up football pitch: still grassy enough, but with patches of trampled mud emerging here and there. So I mixed wood glue with small pieces of cork and modelling sand and generously covered the surface of the base in the mix. When everything had dried, the base was undercoated in black, then painted in brown, then washed and drybrushed to bring out the texture. Then I used a generous helping of static grass to actually make it look like a Blood Bowl pitch. Funny story: I actually got that bag of static grass more than ten years ago at the GW store in Cologne, yet I somehow never got around to using it. And while the strong, slightly synthetic tone of green would probably look wrong for 40k or WFB bases, I think it’s a pretty good fit for a fantasy football pitch 😉

Blood Bowl test model (6)

So with that, my two Orky test pieces were completed. Here they are, side by side:

Orc comparison (2)
While I’ll admit that they share quite a bit of common heritage, I think they still look different enough: The Mordheim Orc is slightly grittier and darker, as befits the setting. As I previously mentioned, both models were painted using the marvelous recipe for Orc skin posted by Brian over at A Gentleman’s Ones, and I simply cannot recommend that recipe enough: Not only did it provide me with the perfect skin tone for my models, it’s also possibly the only recipe I ever got from the internet that looks exactly as described on the finished miniature. If my 18 year old self had had access to that recipe, I might have managed to paint a whole greenskin army after all. Go head over there right now to check it out, if you haven’t already!

 

So with my first two models for my greenskin projects such a success, I found myself itching to proceed. So I sat down and painted two more models:

BB_Goblins (14)
A couple of Night Goblins for my Blood Bowl team. These were built from the remains of an old plastic Night Goblin regiment, and while there may be more recent plastic Night Goblins in GW’s catalogue, I still love these guys to bits: Granted, their scale may be slightly off (especially when compared to human models) and the sculpt may seem a little clunky in places, but they are still absolutely iconic, in my opinion: Those pointy ears and huge noses, and those mean little faces — you simply gotta love ’em! I’ve always had a soft spot for Night Goblins, and these models are perfect representations of all that’s cool about the race — whereas the newer models are just looking a little runtish, if you ask me…

Anyway, these were painted using the same recipe as the Blitzer above. In fact, I tried to push myself in order to see how fast I could finish these, using a slightly impressionistic – even slapdash – approach to painting. In the end, I was able to complete these guys in about one and a half hours, basing included. Not bad, huh? And they are certainly good enough for me!

Here are some additional detail shots:

BB_Goblins (1)
BB_Goblins (2)
BB_Goblins (3)
BB_Goblins (4)
I love how this little guy seems to be basking in the crowd’s adoration — you have to wonder though why they would be cheering him in the first place…

His colleague, meanwhile, seems a little more dedicated to the task at hand:

BB_Goblins (7)
BB_Goblins (8)
BB_Goblins (12)
BB_Goblins (11)
And last but not least, here’s another picture of the Orkheim Ultraz‘ humble beginnings:

BB_Test models (1)
So, in closing, my first painting efforts on my greenskins have been both a success and a blast! Expect to see more Orcs and Goblins here pretty soon. Until then, C&C are always welcome!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Nurgle’s Rot revisited

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2013 by krautscientist

Right, time for something finished for a change 😉

You may recall that I posted a work in progress Nurgle Terminator some time ago. This is what we looked like when we last saw him:

Nurgle Termie (8)
In the meantime, I was taken by a fancy to actually finish this guy, so I put a bit more painting in.

All in all, the objective here was basically not only to get the model done (and have it look at least halfway presentable), but also to experiment will all kinds of rust and weathering effects and see whether I could make them work on a model. So I tried my hand at different effects for rusty metal, verdigris and just general signs of decay and decline. And here’s what I ended up with:

Nurgle Terminator (8)
Nurgle Terminator (1)
Nurgle Terminator (2)
Nurgle Terminator (5)

Nurgle Terminator (6)
Nurgle Terminator (7)
The model’s mutated right hand and strangely organic trophy spikes were painted in a slightly distressed flesh tone to contrast with the muddy green armour. And, as you can see, the different weathering effects on these guy did receive quite a bit more attention since the WIP stage: All the bronze areas were washed with a watered down mix of Vallejo Halcon Milenario Turquoise and white to achieve a verdigris effect. I also thinned down GW Vermin Brown, using it much like a slightly heavier wash in the recesses of the armour to build up a rust effect.

And I finally painted the model’s huge warscythe, adding the same weathering effects. With rusty metal like this, instead of painting everything silver and then suitably dirtying it, my usual approach is to paint the whole area in brown, then stipple on additional rust in a haphazard pattern, using a lighter shade of brown and only then add a small amount of actual metal colour to the edges and surfaces. Like so:

Nurgle Terminator (12)
You may also have noticed that I added a small OSL effect to the eye and the skull atop the scythe, trying to achieve a simple lighting effect similar to the one I use on plasma pistols and the like, only in a different colour.

In order to finish this guy, I also built and painted a base for him:

Nurgle Terminator (11)

While the base is similar enough to the bases of my World Eaters (you never know…), it also features the same disgusting ichor as the base of the Plague Champion I built earlier for my Ruinous Powers mini series:

The Ruinous Powers - Nurgle (22)
The fluid was done by covering a part of the base in a thick layer of wood glue, then wait for it to dry, creating a slightly muddy looking surface that was then painted in several shades of green and yellow and coated with gloss varnish.

All in all, this guy was both quite a bit of fun to pain and a great way of experimenting with different effects! Plus I learned that using different colours for undercoating can make painting quite a bit easier: I have sinced used brown spray paint for my first Orc test model as well, and it was definitely a good choice — but more on that soon…

Nurgle Terminator (10)
So while I am in no hurry to paint up a whole Nurgle army – or even just a unit of Plague Marines, for that matter, trying all kind of weathering techniques in this guy was a blast. And it’s nice to know that I now have a few more tricks up my sleeve 😉

C&C always welcome! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Nurgle Terminator (9)