Archive for the paintjob Category

State of the Hunt, Week 21/2019: Meanwhile, back in the Dugout…

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2019 by krautscientist

Back to Blood Bowl for a bit this week — if it seems like I am frantically jumping from project to project in full hobby butterfly mode at the moment, the truth is that I am rather making the most of my current hobby motivation and productivity in order to complete some long-running projects. Case in point, my Blood Bowl Team, the Orkheim Ultraz: I started these back in 2013 and have kept adding a few models here and there ever since. After my latest bit of working on the team, I was basically down to two last missing players: These Black Orc blockers here:


While the models are based on the standard WFB plastic Black Orcs, they were still built with the new, rather more massive Blood Bowl models firmly in mind — hence the added bulk and extra-vicious look. And when it came to painting them, I hoped that my recent success with painting hulking monsters in jagged red armour would pay off here as well πŸ˜‰

So I took them along to one of Annie’s and my frequent hobby sessions and got to work.

One was my painting water, the other my drink. The colour match is obviously far too close for comfort…

The main challenge with the models was to make sure the paintjobs matched the colours of my first two Black Orc blockers. Since my Orkheim Ultraz have been such a long running project, maintaining the same look across the entire collection can be a bit tricky from time to time — but the fact that my recipe for these models is a rather fast and loose affair really helps: At the centre of it all is still the recipe for green skin I nicked from A Gentleman’s Ones many moons ago, and still make frequent use of. The skin is also just about the most sophisticated part of my recipe.

Apart from that, it’s mostly a case of blocking in the main colours (various browns for the leather and cloth, rusty silver for chainmail or similar metallic parts, and Mephiston Red as a basecoat for the armour), then adding a heavy wash of Army Painter Strong Tone over everything that isn’t skin and letting it do most of the work. After that, I only need to add lots of metallic scratches with a bit of Leadbelcher. And that’s about it, really.

Fortunately enough, the first Black Orc blocker I painted seemed to fit right in:


I also really liked the brutal look of the model, even more effective now in full colour πŸ˜‰


Here’s a picture with all of the Black Orcs in a neat row — neat for Orcs, at least. The model on the right was still about a third through the painting process at this point, as you can see.


Like I said, the main ingredient for my Orkheim Ultraz painting recipe is a liberal use of Strong Tone wash. To wit, here’s what the armour plates on my Blood Bowl Orcs look before and after washing:


Anyway, the two Black Orcs turned out to be a blast to paint, so I just needed to finish their bases (using the contents of the exact same bag of static grass I bought at the Cologne GW store about 20 years ago), and the two last player models were finished:



All in all, I am really very happy with these. They fit right in, as you can see from this picture of all four Black Orc blockers:


What a delightfully brutal looking bunch! Now these are certainly the least humorous of my Blood Bowl models — but that’s really as it should be with Black Orcs, right?


And, like I said, the completion of these last two models means that all of the player models for the Orkheim Ultraz have been painted. So meet the finished team:


I really rather love the finished collection, if I do say so myself! And with the exception of the balls (including Maxime Pastourel’s brilliant squig ball, one of my favourite Blood Bowl models of all time), each model in this army has been customised and kitbashed from non-Blood Bowl models, which almost feels like a matter of perverse pride to me πŸ˜‰



Of course this doesn’t mean that I am done with creating Blood Bowl models now — far from it! I have all kinds of ideas for cool hangers-on, fans and sideshow pieces. But it will be nice to be able to build them around the solid core provided by a finished team!

In fact, I have one last teaser picture for an upcoming, Blood Bowl related project to share with you:


Also, while all of the Ultraz’ players have now been painted to a reasonably high standard, there are still some tweaks that I want to perform on the team (such as making sure all of the eyes are painted, adding player numbers — stuff like that). And when I am done refreshing my knowledge of the Blood Bowl rules (my current experimentation with the Blood Bowl II video game I picked up during a recent sale has been …encouraging so far), I might just get in another game or two…

Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on the finished team! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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Berzerker (R)evolution

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2019 by krautscientist

After last week saw me complete a World Eaters Dreadnought, today another member of the XII legion muscles his way to the front of the queue — so what is this about?

The recent Chaos Space Marines release has been a bit of a bittersweet affair for me. Sweet, of course, because the models are obviously brilliant, and such a long overdue reworking of some rather ancient kits. At the same time, however, the added size of the new CSM makes a rather big part of my World Eaters look pretty runtish. There’s also the fact that I don’t see myself revamping the entire army anytime soon — or, in fact, ever: I’m not sure I still have it in me to build and paint huge 40k armies, as I am much more interested in smaller, bite-sized challenges like INQ28 retinues or single pieces that appeal to me. And yet I did of course want to get in on some sweet chaotic action — so what was I to do?

The best possible approach was to start by purchasing some new plastic crack, of course, so I hot myself a box of vanilla Chaos Space Marines and Havocs each (I just couldn’t resist the massive, brutal look of the Havocs, even if rules don’t even interest me all that much at this point). And I began some preliminary experimentation.

Now as many of you will already know from firsthand experience, the new CSM are noticeably taller than the older models, and that makes quite a few of my chaos models look rather weird next to the new guys. Unfortunately, this includes a fair bit of my still unpainted stuff. So the first order of the day was to find out which of my more recent (unpainted) chaos models were still salvageable. In order to find out, I quickly poster-tacked together one of the new models to serve as a point of reference:

Keep this guy in mind — we’ll be seeing more of him shortly…

This guy was mostly built straight out of the box — although, as you can see, I couldn’t help adding a Caedere Remissum helmet crest, even at this early hour — more on that particular design decision later…

Using the new guy as a point of reference, I was lucky enough to find some models that might still work.

There’s my WIP Iron Warriors kill team, for starters:

Now this project was started before Kill Team was even a thing (again), so I mostly played it by ear back then, and built models that appealed to me from a visual standpoint. At the same time, I did try to go beyond the look of vanilla CSM with this project, so most of the models (except for the one tester lurking in the back whom you may safely ignore) were mostly based on Chose models from the Dark Vengeance boxed set. And while the models are still a bit shorter than the new CSM, they don’t look too out of place. Two Iron Warriors remain unpainted, but have already been built, as you can see, and after that, I think I’ll be adding a heavy weapons specialist (built from one of the new kits), add a few suitably IW-themed cultists and call it a day. The finished team should hopefully still work well enough. And KiIl Team, with its smaller model count and potential larger focus on individual characters (and models) appeals more to me than standard 40k at this point.

But where does that leave my World Eaters?

Well, the good news is that I found some guys that should still work rather well in this new, upscaled world. Take a look:

Once again, most of these conversions were heavily based on the Dark Vengeance Chosen, so they still work fairly well (even though they are just a tad shorter than the new models):

I also think that coming up with a really cool World Eaters Kill Team (code name “The Hateful Eight”) should be a very rewarding project in and of itself. If that prompts me to keep building and painting World Eaters for 40k proper afterwards, so much the better. But for now, I want to explore the new kits and use them to build some of the best World Eaters I can come up with — at least that’s the plan.

That being said, the new kits turn this into an interesting challenge, because many well established conversion recipes may not work anymore due to the slightly changed scale (many stock arms, for instance, just seem too short on the new models. As do the chaos marauder arms I have used many times to create the classic “bare arm” World Eaters look). So my first little project was to find out how to make the new vanilla CSM look more like World Eaters, so I started to mess around with a couple of bitz:

The good news is that most older helmets and shoulder pads should still work fairly well — this includes some of the older FW shoulder pads (as seen here with the pauldrons from the berzerker conversion kits. They torso pieces from the same kit, however, are right out).

But I also wanted to do something slightly more involved for my first test model, and after looking for a while at a Blood Warrior chest piece, I got a bit more creative:

Some of the new breastplates are still a bit bland, to be honest, so I decided to splice in some Khornate goodness: I carefully cut through the torso front just above the abdomen as seen in the picture above.

The Blood Warrior breastplate (seen on the left) fit with just the slightest fraction of shaving. However, there was a huge gap underneath it that, while not directly visible when looking at the model from the front, still made it obvious that the torso was hollow. So I used a bit of GS to create a small lip, like this:

Then the Blood Warriors breastplate was simply glued on. The GS plugged the gap, and the new torso works really well, what with the cabling on the abdominal section and everything:


Granted, the whole assembly seemed a little less convincing when seen from the side:

But most of this should end up being covered by the arms anyhow — I merely added some GS to create a straight surface for the arms to attach to.

Here’s a mockup of the entire body:

Now I was really pleased with myself at this point about how clever a conversion I had created. However, I only realised after completing this particular conversion that to replace the breastplate like that would have been even easier on some of the other bodies from the kit, because those already have the breastplates and abdominal section separated from the get-go. Oh well, we live and learn… πŸ˜‰

Anyway, a short while later, I had my first World Eaters test model made with the new CSM kit:


I think there’s something so malevolent about this guy’s pose — like a predator stalking its prey…

Of course I decided that I would need to get this chap painted right away, so I adapted the colour scheme I had used for my recent Chaos Dreadnought for use on the smaller model and used quite a bit of time to make sure to get the paintjob just right…

Once again, brighter reds and oranges were used both for edge higlights, but also to create scratches and scuff marks, in order to make the armour look pitted and ancient, and to suggest a texture to the whole warplate.

Oh, I also included a shout-out to Wade Pryce’s World Eaters, one of my biggest inspirations when I got back into the hobby: The stylised legion badge was very much inspired by the way Wade used to paint the World Eaters symbol.

Anyway, to make a long story short, allow me to share my first finished World Eaters test model created using the new CSM kit, fully painted and based:








I did decide to include a bit of blood on the chainsword, using Tamiya Clear Red to create the effect:

And here’s another peak at that legion badge inspired by Wade Pryce’s old models:

And here’s a pretty nice shot (if I do say so myself) of the new World Eater next to Argus the Brazen:

Now as for the evolution of my berzerker painting scheme and, indeed, my Khorne berzerkers, I have prepared a little comparison shot to show you the evolution, as it were:

On the left is one of the first Khorne Berzerkers I painted back in 1998 or so, back when the plastic kit was released. These guys still saw use in my modern army, mostly because I was too lazy to replace them. Next in line is the first World Eater I painted when getting back into the hobby after a longer hiatus, in 2010, but using a slightly tweaked recipe. The third guy was an experiment on replacing the – by then OOP – Blood Red with Mephiston Red, but back then I wasn’t quite happy with the effect. And there’s my brand new little guy — maybe this time I have finally managed to nail the recipe? What do you guys think?

I also took a couple of scale comparison pictures, just to illustrate my earlier point about the new kit making most of the classic catalogue look rather tiny.Β  The difference is not equally pronounced between all CSM: For instance, the DV Chosen are just a tad shorter than the new CSM, but it’s not too obvious. Old CSM models, however, just look really awkward next to the new guys, at least if untweaked. Take a look:

Almost a little painful to look at, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰ The new Marine just seems much taller — and indeed he is. Now here’s a comparison with an old model that was nevertheless aΒ  slightly more involved kitbash:

This comparison is interesting because it shows off both the evolution of my painting recipe, as well as the fact that the legs from the new kit are quite a bit longer, the torso is broader, and the backpack no longer dominated the entire model as much. It’s especially obvious when looking at the back of the models:

Next up, another round of comparisons with some taller models:

For starters, here’s my new World Eater next to Brother Arcturus Diomedes, based on a Primaris marine:

As you can see, the new CSM are not quite as tall as Primaris Marines, but they are closed (and could be used as true scale models opposite Primaris in a pinch).

And here’s a comparison with one of the wonderful converted World Eaters my buddy Augustus b’Raass sent me earlier this year:

Augustus’ model was created using older part, but it’s heavily converted and built to be taller than a standard CSM, so you barely notice the difference in height. So that’s the good news for those hobbyists with highly customised and converted chaos armies, I suppose — your guys still look good, in spite of the scale creep πŸ˜‰

Also, don’t get me wrong: Ultimately I would say the new scale is for the best — it finally gives the Chaos Space Marines the stature they deserve, because unlike their loyalist counterparts, they have skipped one or two rounds of scale creep. By the same token, however, the change is so significant that it presents a couple of challenges to chaos players now, but those can definitely be overcome. In fact, I would say that to figure out how best to use the new kits and how to work around the changes in scale seems like just the kind of creative challenge that should delight chaos players all over the world!

For now, I am pretty happy with my first test model, and I am actually looking forward to painting a couple of World Eaters again — who would have expected that, eh? Anyway, I would be happy to hear your thoughts on the new model, of course, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

Argus the Brazen

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2019 by krautscientist

Contrary to what I said last week, you will still have to wait for a bit longer for that lavish feature showing my fully painted HeroQuest set, bot because I simply haven’t managed to take the required photos yet — but also this cheeky gentleman here just happened to jump the queue:

Indeed, it’s the FW World Eaters Dread I already shared with you a while ago and originally given to me as a gift by fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass.

Originally, I only really brought the Dreadnought along to one of my recent hobby sessions at my friend Annie’s place so I would have something to keep me occupied during the drying times for my HeroQuest furniture. But then I was able to complete the feet and base really quickly:

And why stop there, right? So this is what I had when I headed home that evening — on top of the painted HeroQuest stuff, no less! πŸ˜‰

And after that, it was mostly a matter of painting piece after piece. Dreadnoughts are rather enjoyable to work on in that it’s easy to paint one part after the other and assemble the model as you go.

One thing I definitely knew I wanted to feature was a stunning contrast between the red armour and a striking, blue-turquoise colour for the planet that is part of the World Eaters iconography adorning the Dreadnought’s sarcophagus:


The colour was achieved by basecoating the planets with a mix of Vallejo’s Magic Blue and Milenario Turquoise (always great for a bit of pop, those two!) and a drop of white. Then the entire area was washed with a mix of Drakenhof Nightshade and thinned-down Milenario Turquoise. And then I carefully drybrushed the area with white to just pick out the slightest bit of surface texture. Anyway, I am pretty happy with the way the area has come out on the finished body:

While we are on the technicalities, let me also give another shout out to the Dreadnought’s head, a brilliant little piece that I think is just a wonderful sculpt — and one that is unfortunately obscured quite a bit by the rest of the body:




I think there is something wonderfully menacing and gladiatorial about the design, and the cabling evokes the World Eaters’ Butcher’s Nails implants rather beautifully. And while the head doesn’t shine quite as much as it could on the finished model, it’s a good thing, then, that I have already used the design on several models, such as one of my 30k World Eaters Contemptors and, of course, on Worker #9:

Anyway, I soldiered on and was able to finish the entire body in fairly short order:


Which left we with only the arms left to paint — I gave special care to the right arm I had converted from plastic bitz (whereas the rest of the model is all resin), trying to make it look like a stock part of the Dreadnought. Here’s a picture from midway through the painting process:


In the end, things came together fairly quickly. So here, without further ado, is the 4th assault company’s newest member:

 

Argus the Brazen
XII Legion, 4th assault company









Gosh, it feels like it’s been ages since I have managed to paint a proper World Eaters model. And what’s more, I surely took my sweet time getting this model painted, seeing how Augustus gave it to me back in 2017!

But in my defense, I did want to do the Dread proper justice, especially since it was a gift, and I also needed to come up with a proper, modernised recipe for painting World Eaters that wasn’t just a lazy knock-off of my older, defunct World Eaters recipe. In fact, my new approach has ultimately evolved out of my work on my Imperial Knight and, more recently, the first of my Armiger Warglaives:

And to show you how my painting has – hopefully – evolved, here’s a comparison shot with Argus next to a Dreadnought using my old recipe — incidentally the first Dreadnought I ever painted, back in 2011 or so, Marax the Fallen:

While the photo – invariably, it seems, – eats up some of the finer points of my newer paintjob, I hope you’ll agree that my recipe has become a bit more sophisticated.

So yeah, I am pretty happy with the finished model. And of course, thanks must go, once again, to Augustus b’Raass for providing me with this lovely OOP model! Cheers, buddy! πŸ™‚

Oh, and after a bit of a dry spell on that account, this model also sees me rejoin Azazel’s regular community challenges, as I feel Argus just makes for a very fitting contribution for Azazel’s Mechanismo May challenge, wouldn’t you agree?

And with a proper new World Eaters recipe now sorted out, who knows: There may be even more chaos in the cards sooner rather than later. Just sayin’… πŸ˜‰

For now, however, I am pleased with having finished something suitably Khornate again! And I would love to hear any thoughts you might have, so feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

#HeroQuest2019: Finishing touches

Posted in heroquest, old stuff, paintjob, Terrain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2019 by krautscientist

With the Sorcerer’s Table and Alchemist’s Bench now officially done and dusted, I was left with two final pieces of HeroQuest furniture from this original set of four models left to paint:

It goes without saying that I remained committed to making each of these pieces as cool as I could — after all, the furniture is one of the things that makes the original HeroQuest boxed set such a classic!

I started with the weapon rack. Now this piece was interesting in that it’s really easy to make it look really dull — after all, the weapons stacked on the rack should be mostly silver, right? And you could even paint the rack itself silver as well and be home in time for dinner…

This was obviously the biggest possible pitfall to avoid here, so I chose to use a few spot colours to make a nice contrast with all of those silver blades. I also decided to paint the rack itself as wood, seeing how the sculpt itself suggested a bit of a wooden texture to the entire thing. I would be remiss not to mention how RemyT’s paintjob once again served as a major point of reference, although I chose to swap around a few colours.

Anyway, here’s the weapon rack with the first couple of base colours blocked in (and most of the wood already finished):

And a bit later, with all of the base colours in place:

This already gave me a good idea of the colour balance, so all that remained were some finishing touches. Unsurprisingly, the whole thing really came to life after the washed had been applied, especially when it came to making the metallic parts look more like metal and less like painted plastic:


From here on out, it was all a question of adding a few finishing touches and higlights, and I took my sweet time with this step.

The obvious problem with the weapon rack, as was pointed out to me by fellow hobbyist Anderas, is that it’s completely out of whack with the rest of the HeroQuest set when it comes to scale: Those weapons are really far too big to be wielded by any model appearing in the game, except maybe for the Gargoyle πŸ˜‰ But I still cannot stop myself from liking the weapon rack immensely: It’s an interesting and fairly unique addition to HeroQuest’s set of furniture, and it was also fairly enjoyable to paint because it provided the perfect excuse to work with different colours in order to make all those weapons look suitably interesting and exotic.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the finished weapon rack:



And, as an extra little bit of fun, here’s a comparison with my newly painted weapon rack and an older piece still sporting the earlier paintjob from elementary school days:

So, just one piece to go, and this last one represented a bit of a challenge: the Torture Rack:

So what was the challenge I mentioned? Well, as you can see, the stock torture rack has these weird handles that come as separate pieces. Those were missing on my version, long lost to some unremembered calamity (or, more likely, my general tendency for messiness). So I needed to think of a replacement while, at the same time, I really didn’t like the stock version: Those handles have always seemed so weird to me. So why not kill two birds with one stone (or rather, one torture rack) and work on a replacement that would seem more believable (and mechanically sound).

After a bit of scrounging around, I came up with this solution, thanks to some some leftover bits and bobs from my bitzbox:

Those handwheels somehow seemed far more believable to me, and they were really easy to make, too: The actual wheel can be any round slice of plastic, while the handles were made from cut-down spikes from one of those spike racks from the CSM vehicle sprue that any chaos player is sure to have dozens of πŸ˜‰

The parts where the stock handles normally attach was carefully cut off before the handwheels were glued on, then reattached to work as a kind of spoke for the whole assembly.

I was pretty happy with this solution, and everything came together rather nicely when I undercoated the piece:

The paintjob itself was a fairly straightforward affair, because it was mostly about creating a suitably weathered wood effect on the rough planks of the torture rack, with some metallic accents here and there:

Of course the obvious fun came when the rack had been painted and it was time to crack open the Tamiya Clear Red for some added blood spatter. Take a look at the finished torture rack:


As a tribute to the older “paintjob”, I decided to place the bloodstains in almost exactly the same locations as before, only with a slightly more realistic look.

Before going for the bright, glossy look, I created a deeper layer of stains that look more faded and matte, mostly to hint at the fact that this torture rack has probably been in use for quite some time — brrrr…. 😦

 

And with that, the four missing pieces of furniture were finished. And I am honestly pretty chuffed with each and every one of them, to be honest:


All of this also makes for a pretty productive Easter holiday, if I do say so myself:

Even better, yet, this also marks the completion of the entire set of HeroQuest furniture. Here’s the complete collection, assembled for your viewing pleasure:

The prospect of getting to paint the furniture was what kept me going through some of the more grueling parts of this project — and rightly so, because I truly had a blast with those pieces! If you still have some of these somewhere in your cupboard of shame, I can only recommend giving them a spin — it’s highly enjoyable, and it taught me more about painting wood than my entire 30 years in the hobby that came before πŸ™‚

However, I was so happy with myself about all that painted furniture that I almost forgot a sizeable part of the HeroQuest boxed set that still needed to be painted — the doors!

Because the game comes with 21 bases for the cardboard doors that are such an integral part of the HeroQuest experience, and while those are hardly the flashiest part of the game, I would still need to paint them in order to be able to call my copy of HeroQuest truly painted.

I chose to go for the same stoney look I also used for the bases on all of the hero and monster models:

And while this made for a fairly quick and dirty approach, painting over almost 40 of those bases (because I still own almost two complete sets) took a bit of doing. A fair bit of my last hobby session at my friend Annie’s place was actually given over to the somewhat thankless task of painting, washing and drybrushing door bases:

But I soldiered on, and now the doors are done as well — including quite a few spares:

And last but not least, I was finally able to get my hands on the last component of the game that was still missing from my copy: the four character boards:

Now this was the one instance where I had to venture into the den of madness that is trying to buy HeroQuest items off ebay, but I got an okay deal, the boards got here without further damage, and they are in fairly good condition, considering their age, so all’s well that ends well.

And with that, I have actually completed my HeroQuest set (minus the twelve Men-at-arms, but those will have to wait for a bit yet). And of course I am not entirely without ideas for future additions to my collection.

That will have to wait for a bit, however, as does a proper photographic exploration of the finished set — that’s what you can look forward to for next week’s update. For now, I would love to hear your thoughts about this week’s update, so please feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

#HeroQuest2019: The end is nigh…

Posted in heroquest, old stuff, paintjob, Terrain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2019 by krautscientist

Not much longer before I finally own a completely painted HeroQuest set — and it’s probably for the best, too, because my readers are likely getting bored with all of the HeroQuest content of late… πŸ˜‰

Anyway, last time I blazed my way through some of the more pedestrian parts of HeroQuest’s furniture, painting a whole lot of bookcases, chests and tables:


This left me with some of the more original pieces, and I was really looking forward to getting started. So here’s a look at the four missing pieces of furniture I still needed to paint at this point:

I decided to start with the sorcerer’s table, a nice and straightforward beginning. Blocking in the base colours, then working with washes and a heavy drybrush to create the table’s stone texture was relaxing work.

But that blank page on the right kept teasing me, because I knew I wanted to do something fun with it — on the one hand, simply leaving it blank would have been such a wasted opportunity, but on the other hand, simply adding more scripture also seemed like a somewhat bland solution, so I went for something a little more involved: I figured that whoever the owner of the table might be, they could possibly be trying to summon a dastardly monster to sic it on the heroes, so I did this…

Do you recognise what this is supposed to be…?

Quite right, it’s a miniature version of the Gary Chalk illustration that appears on the back of the monster cards (incidentally, the same creature also makes another appearance on the cards for “wandering monsters”).

If you are familiar with HeroQuest related trivia, you may also be asking yourself: “What about the candles?” Because each sorcerer’s table originally came with two candles (complete with flames) that were, invariably, the first parts to break or be lost, apparently: Nearly every owner of a HeroQuest set has to mitigate the fact that those chandles are likely to be lost or incomplete.

The funny thing is, I actually do have another sorcerer’s table with the candles …mostly intact:


As you can see, it was subjected to an earlier, less sophisticated paintjob, and I really wanted to start fresh with an unpainted piece. Plus I also chose the skull and rat setup for nostalgia reasons: You see, when I received my first copy of HeroQuest, the table never had the candles — either they weren’t included in the box for some reason or (equally likely) my dad didn’t realise what they were and threw them out when he assembled the original game for me. Anyway, I only realised the candles were a thing when buying my second copy years later, so I thought it would be a nice shout out to those golden days of yore to build the table with the rat and skull πŸ™‚

I also made sure to paint the rat with light grey, almost white, fur, as a shout out to the Skaven race, because their Grey Seers mostly have light grey/white fur as well πŸ˜‰

Anyway, here’s my finished sorcerer’s table:




Next up was the alchemist’s bench, easily one of the most interesting parts of HeroQuest’s furniture set — oh, sure, it may look all boring and angular, but as we’ll be seeing in a minute, this is a piece where you can really give it your best shot as a painter.

Anyway, it was easy enough to get started by blocking in the base colours, especially the wood: Once again, using Vallejo’s Parasite Brown made for an excellent match with the colour on the cardboard part of the bench. Here’s the piece after basecoating and a first pass of washes:


The next step was to take care of the wooden parts of the bench, and I did so with a mixture of drybrushing and freehanding, trying once again to suggest the texture of woodgrain. This was even more important here than on the tables and bookcases, because the alchemist’s bench has some large, flat surfaces that really profit from that extra bit of detailing:


When it came to the desktop, I picked it out in a dark red, to suggest that the surface of the bench has been covered in some kind of felt, leather or rubber, the better to serve as a support for all kinds of chemical shenanigans. By the same token, I made sure to paint on lots of dirt stains and scuff marks, to show how the bench is suitably dirty and grimy:


With that out of the way, the actual bench was mostly done:


This was were the fun started, however, because there were still those nifty extra parts: The scales that go on top of the bench were painted in a heavily verdigrised bronze/copper colour, always a nice little touch:

Most time was actually spent on the little potion flasks, though, in order to turn them into a bit of a eye catcher. This part was also an excellent way of introducing a bit of bold colour to the entire piece:

After everything was assembled, the bench was varnished with matte varnish. Then the flasks received a thick coat of gloss varnish, for fairly obvious reasons. And I also added a last round of glossy “special effects”: Some blood effect on and around the receptacle on the left side of the bench, and some ink splatter around the inkwell, papers and quill. Those last touches really sell the model, if you ask me, because they create that slightly chaotic look that really fits the desk of a mad alchemist. Take a look at the finished piece:




When all is said and done, this was one of the most rewarding pieces in the entire set to paint, and it’s also one of my favourite parts of my HeroQuest collection now.

 

Before we pack up for the week, there’s one last model I want to share with you today — and it has nothing whatsoever to do with furniture. So what is this about?

Of course I do realise that, technically speaking, the hero and monster models are all done and dusted. But there was still one last addition I wanted to make to my collection: You see, there are two quests in the HeroQuest quest book that call for an Orc character, namely an Orc warlord named Ulag and, slightly later, his son Grak. And while the quest book advises players to just use an Orc model with a longsword to represent either of the two, this didn’t sit right with me: I wanted a proper model I could use for whenever the game called for an Orc warlord!

My search for a period appropriate (GW) model led me to this guy:

One of the old Battle Masters Orcs, released only a couple of years later than HeroQuest (and cast in the same green plastic, incidentally). The Battle Masters Orc won out against a monpose Warhammer plastic Orc by virtue of looking a bit more similar to the HeroQuest Orcs, while at the same time boasting a slightly more heavily armoured look that made him seem more formidable.

Now the Battle Masters models are ever so slightly less detailed than the HeroQuest miniatures, but I hoped that a suitably involved paintjob would still make the model look cool enough for the job — oh, and I also spliced in an Evil Sun shield emblem from a slightly more modern plastic Orc kit, for good measure πŸ˜‰

Applying the same greenskin skin recipe I had used for the rest of my Orcs, albeit with another higlight layer or two thrown in, I was able to create a model that looks similar in hue to my other HeroQuest greenskins, yet ever so slightly stands out as a more important character due to its more sophisticated paintjob.


And something pretty funny happened during the painting process: When I checked out the HeroQuest cover artwork for the umpteenth time, I discovered this guy lurking in the background:

It’s a huge coincidence, obviously, but I still feel kinda vindicated by this discovery πŸ˜‰

So I So here’s my stand-in for Ulag, Grak or any other Orc Warlord I may need in games of HeroQuest:



Like I said, I think the model works fairly well as a leader for the HeroQuest Orcs: The pose and overall look are close enough, whereas the added armour really makes him look like a leader figure for the lesser orcs. Here’s a comparison picture:


And here are all of my HeroQuest Orcs with their new leader:

This also means that I have completed three “bonus models” for my HeroQuest set: Sir Ragnar (Manfred), The Orc Warlord and the Witch Lord:


It pleases me that I actually have models for these characters now, and it’s certainly a little touch that makes my HeroQuest set just that little bit more unique.

So just a few more pieces left to paint, and then I’ll have completed a project that has been thirty years in the making! For now, however, I would love to hear any feedback or thoughts you may have concerning today’s update! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

#HeroQuest2019: Dungeon interior design 101

Posted in heroquest, old stuff, paintjob, Terrain with tags , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2019 by krautscientist

Time for another update from the depths of the dungeon: With the hero and monster models for my HeroQuest set now accounted for,…

…it was time to turn my attention to the furniture that comes with the game.

Now I have been looking forward to this particular part of my #HeroQuest2019 project for quite a while, both because the little furniture was always one of the coolest parts of HeroQuest, but also because the pieces provide an interesting challenge:

At first glance, the task of painting the furniture seems straightforward enough — even moreso since there isn’t even that much to be painted in the first place: Nearly all of the pieces, save the weapons rack, are made up of a foldable cardboard part and a plastic part that holds everything together and provides some sculpted detail. However, therein lies the challenge: While you may or may not choose to make the monsters and heroes resemble the in-game art (or the Mike McVey paintjobs on the box, for that matter), that choice doesn’t really matter all that much during the actual game, where the models basically stand on their own.

Not so with the furniture, because the art on the cardboard parts is always there, so it makes sense to ensure that the paintjob of the plastic part actually fits the art — or even matches the colours employed. This added a fun little wrinkle to the whole exercise, and one that doesn’t usually occur during 40k painting.

Now you could obviously choose a different approach and replace all of the cardboard with new parts made from wood, foamcore or GS — and, indeed, back when I made a short previous attempt at painting my HeroQuest set, that was exactly what I wanted to do, prompted by Damien Thevenin’s fantastic work, among others (his blog is unfortunately defunct, but photos of his work can still be found on various forums, Google, Pinterest and, in fact, on his Facebook page).

These days I feel a little differently about the cardboard parts of the furniture, however: They are really charming, for one. And the match the high level of the rest of HeroQuest’s graphical presentation. So I decided the cardboard parts deserved to be preserved — which, in turn, would require a bit of “Trompe-l’œil painting”, so to speak, to make sure everything fit together from a visual standpoint.

I started with something that I knew would be fun, namely the fireplace and sarcophagus:

I actually made a previous attempt at the Sarcophagus, inspired by a similar piece created by the aforementioned Damien Thevenin. Here’s the stock (unpainted) sarcophagus next to the one I built up using foamcore and some extra bitz:




I still think the built-up piece works rather well — I am only a bit miffed in hindsight that I didn’t give more care to the actual paintjob…

So my second attempt at painting the sarcophagus ended up being a bit more conventional — but also more involved, with the actual paintjob carefully built up over several instances of careful drybrushing. Take a look at the finished piece:



When I was happy with the colour, I added a few lines here and there that might be cracks, veins or fault lines in the stone — they were simply drawn on using a pencil, an idea stolen from a marble base my buddy DexterKong created using a pencil a while back.

The technique worked pretty well and seems like it should warrant further exploration at a later date…

The fireplace was great fun in that it contained a bit of a “special effect”. Seeing how the logs that are part of the sculpted plastic bit are actually a bit farther away from the roaring fire burning in the background, as it were, I decided to go for the look of logs that are starting to catch fire, with their edges beginning to glow. It’s an effect I’ve had to improvise, but I am still happy with the outcome:

I also added several layers of Bloodletter glaze to the stone floor, making it look as though there were heat radiating outwards from the fire — an effect that already came in handy back when I built the base for my Daemon Primarch Angron conversion.

So with the first two pieces successfully completed, I decided to jump right into a bigger task and tackled the bookcases, cupboard, treasure chests and tables next. All of these use the exact same wooden tones for the carboard artwork, so it definitely made sense to paint them back to back:

Now seeing how the plastic parts on these pieces of furniture are so relatively small, you wouldn’t suspect them to be a lot of work, right? I thought so too, but finishing those pieces did take quite some doing!

Fortunately enough, my friend Annie helpfully pointed out that Valllejo’s Parasite Brown is a surprisingly close match for the wooden tone appearing on the cardboard pieces — this made my life much easier during the painting process!

So let’s take a look at the results. We’ll start with the bookcases and cupboard:


The Parasite Brown basecoat really did most of the work here. After adding some Strong Tone wash, the wood on those bookcases was drybrushed, although by being very careful and deliberate about it, I made sure that the bristles of the drybrush actually created an effect similar to woodgrain — a bit of a happy accident, admittedly πŸ˜‰


The relatively straightforward way of painting the wood left me with enough time to focus on some of the smaller details, such as adding some character to the rats perched on top of the bookcases and cupboard:

Next up were the treasure chests, which should have been the easiest part of painting the furniture, but did take far longer to complete than they had any right to. Once again, I used Parasite Brown for the wood and contrasted it with heavily blackened and worn metal fittings (created by undercoating the metallic area with Leadbelcher, then going to town on it with a heavy wash of Dark Tone and Vallejo Smokey Ink. Some scratches were then sponged and painted on).


The tables followed the same formular, although they were interesting in that they allowed me to experiment with painting on some freehand suggestion of woodgrain. You should even be able to make it out in the pictures below if you squint πŸ˜‰


Oh, and as you can see, I also painted the little throne. This has always been one of my favourite pieces of HQ furniture, but it turned out to be really straightforward to paint (a small accident with a pot of brown paint notwithstanding…):

Working with these pieces has also made me (re-)discover what HeroQuest already taught us in the gender-stereotypical toy landscape of the 80s and 90s: That it’s perfectly okay to play around with little furniture if you feel like it. Seriously, those pieces are just begging to be used for little vignettes:

Ah, yes: There’s nothing like a comfy chair next to a roaring fire, and with treasure to plunder already in sight — this is the life!

 

Now all of the above actually adds up to quite a collection of finished furniture, if I do say so myself. Take a look:


This leaves only four unpainted parts, and seeing how each of the remaining pieces is one-of-a-kind, this should make the home stretch of the project rather enjoyable. At least that’s what I hope! πŸ™‚


On a partially related note, I have recently upgraded to a new phone, and of course one of the more important things was to figure out whether it was any good at taking miniature photos — so what better test run than to set up some mock HeroQuest game situations? Anyway, I thought you guys might enjoy these as well, and they seem like a nice capstone for today’s post:





For now, these shots are merely a staged affair, but at this rate, it won’t be long before I actually get to experience the fully painted game in earnest — keep your fingers crossed for me! πŸ™‚

And with that, it’s back to the painting table for me! Please feel free to let me hear any feedback or comments you may have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

#HeroQuest2019: Back into the dungeon!

Posted in heroquest, old stuff, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2019 by krautscientist

It’s back to HeroQuest this week, as my #HeroQuest2019 project slowly but surely reaches the home stretch, and I have some new models to share with you. So let’s not waste any time and get right into the meat of things, shall we?

When we last talked about progress on my HeroQuest set, I still had to paint two more monster types: the Goblins and the Fimir (Fimirs? Fimirach?). I won’t lie, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to painting yet more green, but I also realised that I had to power through those models before ending fatigue set in.

Fortunately enough, fellow hobbyist Weltenlaeufer provided me with the perfect kickstart to my efforts over at the Ye Olde Inn forum: He inquired after my recipe for painting greenskins, and in order to answer him, I posted a step by step tutorial for my Goblins and also used this as the perfect opportunity to actually get those Goblins painted at the same time — pretty smart, eh?

[In case anyone’s interested, the full tutorial can be found here. I don’t really want to reproduce it here, mostly because it’s mostly based on A Gentleman’s One’s fantastic greenskin recipe anyway).]

And so a short while later, the Goblins were finished:

While the recipe for the skin and weapons is very similar to the approach I used for my HeroQuest Orcs, I decided to paint the Goblins’ clothes in a slightly more colourful manner — it makes for some added visual variation, for one, and also helps to differentiate the Goblins from their larger cousins. I think it also fits that the small, wily Goblins should be a bit more into fashion concerns than their lumbering Orc relatives… πŸ˜‰

So here’s a look at all of the HeroQuest greenskins:

So that left just one type of monster, and I had good reason for leaving this one for last: the Fimir.

Now the Fimir are an interesting colourful touch in HeroQuest’s bestiary, in that they do fulfil the role of the classic lizardman, but with a twist. They are cyclopean, for one, and their armour has always struck me as interestingly mesoamerican — but maybe I am just overthinking things here. Anyway, my main point of reference for the models’ paintjob was, once again, the classic Mike McVey approach, seen here on a prototype model that also appears on the back of the quest book:

This is the prototype Fimir as he still looks today, in Bryan Ansell’s private collection. I nabbed the picture from RealmofChaos80s.

But the truth is that the actual Fimir models contained in the HeroQuest boxed set are not quite on par with the prototype. Now this is definitely true for some of the other monsters as well, but by and large, most of them work really well on their own, especially given the relatively unsophisticated one-piece mono-pose nature of the HeroQuest models.

The Fimir, however, definitely get the short end of the stick in this respect: The models are weirdly clunky and ungainly, with lots of weird angles and strange lines. To wit, the mere act of cleaning the mold lines off those models was an exercise in frustration! Some of the detail from the prototype model is either far softer on the production models or nowhere to be seen at all. So I would have to deal with that issue during the painting process.

At the same time, finding an actual painting recipe that worked also took some doing — in hindsight, it’s funny how I actually have so many different test models for painted Fimir in my collection. In fact, for an extra bit of fun, here’s an evolution of my various Fimir models over the years:

I and II weren’t even painted by me, but by the first of my friends to dabble in miniature painting, back in elementary school. I think he was onto something with the red Fimir, though, and if I should ever paint another set of Fimir, I think I’ll be going for an alternate scheme like that (this would also be a cool way of suggesting different tribes or broods of Fimir, seeing how they are lizard people and everything…). III was the first Fimir I painted (with scale model acrylics, no less). IV was painted with Citadel colours, but I’m not quite sure what I thought I was doing there — I seem to have had a pretty bad painting streak during the early-to-mid 90s, in hindsight. V and VI are my modern attempts that we will be taking a closer look at in a second:

So here’s my first “modern” Fimir model painted some time last month, in order to nail down a painting approach:


The main colour I used for the skin was GW Moot Green, and it ended up looking…very green. I also became too greedy for a quick recipe during the painting process, and didn’t spend nearly enough time carefully layering on the skin colour, adding some pretty slapdash higlights on top, instead. All of this lead to a pretty rough looking model, at least where the skin was concerned.

At the same time, there were also some parts that I was pretty happy with: The golden armour works pretty well, as does the obsidian-style axe, if you ask me. And I think the red jewel that adorns the belly plate actually came out pretty well. But whichever way you want to cut it, I would need to tweak the recipe on the second attempt. Which is what I did this past weekend. Take a look:


The difference seems subtle at first, but I would argue the skin works quite a bit better: The higlights have been layered on more carefully (and in several steps), and the overall skin tone – created by mixing GW Warboss Green and GW Elysian Green in various ratios (starting with 70:30, then 50:50, then something more like 30:70) – makes the Fimir look a little less cartoony and more like a somewhat crocodilian swamp dweller. At the same time, I kept most of the touches that had worked well before, such as the golden armour and the axe looking as though it was made from some kind of obsidian or volcanic glass.

I also painted three models at the same time, in order to finish the last missing monsters for my HeroQuest collection:


And while the test model does look a bit different, it can still be used to fill out the ranks:

As a matter of fact, fellow hobbyist PDH has offered to send over three more Fimir models from his own collection, which will give me the opportunity to either tweak the recipe yet again or – more likely – go for something completely different to hint at a different subspecies of Fimir.

In any case, that means all of the “green” monster models from the base game are now officially complete:

And, even better, with that, I have actually managed to paint all the models in the classic HeroQuest Game System:



And here’s the entire HeroQuest collection so far, with some extra monsters to round out the bestiary as well as the added characters, such as Sir Ragnar and the Witch Lord. Quite a few models, if I do say so myself — and almost all of them have been painted in 2019! Take a look:


Honestly, I never thought I’d see the day — this project has been thirty years in the making, and it’s also a bit of a childhood dream come true, to be honest. When lining all of those little guys up for the photo, I couldn’t stop grinning πŸ˜‰

And still, that’s not quite the end of this project yet: I do have a couple of ideas for additional models (and there are still those Master Edition men-at-arms to take care of), for one. Before that, however, I’ll have to deal with all of the HeroQuest furniture — something I am actually looking forward to quite a bit, and I am in fact already hard at work on the first pieces!

For now, however, I am incredibly happy with the models I have managed to complete so far:


Also, on a related note, my friend Annie was wonderful enough to let me have some more leftovers from her extra copy of HeroQuest, namely the monster cards and Master Edition questbook, which brings me one step closer to owning a complete set again:

So that’s another huge chunk of #HeroQuest2019 out of the way — it actually looks like I may get to take the completed set for a spin this very year — who would have expected that, eh? πŸ˜‰

Of course I would love to hear any thoughts or comments you may have, so drop me a line! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!