Thursday 29 June 2017

Bigger, Stronger, Better...

After my initial build of the Chaos Dwarf from a boar, I'm rather liking how it looks. But I realised that I don't have any more spare miniatures to modifiy, and these little guys are hard to get hold of. So it got me thinking, after sculpting trials, maybe I could build a miniature of my own. After all, I have Milliput, tools, and a bit of wire. So I have a look on Google for some ideas of a female Chaos Dwarf and get to work.

 I started with a wire frame, in a sort of rectangle, with 4 wires sticking out at each end for the legs. No Torso yet, as I figured it would be easier to add that later.

 The basic Milliput frame is added and fixed to the back to make it easier to hand. And a 2 pence coins for scale. I used a spare make-up sponge, as a soft prop for the sculpt.

 Once it has set for 24 hours, I moved on to giving it a bit of mass. Trying to ensure that the model remains balanced.

 The base came off, but it made it easier to get some of the shaping done with the files.

 Sponge is back, and the front legs and rear trotters are being worked on.

 Next I added the body with another wire frame, but I forgot to photo that. As you can see we have arms, head and the beginnings of a chest.

 This bit was difficult, as I didn't have any wire for making fingers. So I made a basic hand mitten shape and cut out the fingers for each, curling 1 round a tool to give it a grip. As you can see, I tried to shape in a six pack. Along with this I added fur.

 The face, well that all went terrible, I tried a number of tricks to get it right, but with the stickiness of the Milliput and my inexperience she just looked like some sort of shocked eyeless fish person.

So she got a helmet. 

 Then I started adding belts and harnesses.

 All while cleaning up the sculpt, we did at one point loose a finger.

 This was a nightmare to add back, as I lost the original, but I wasn't going to end up with a 3 fingered Dwarf. So after a number of attempts I got the little finger created and fixed in place.

Then she got painted, say hello to Beryl Bawl-Krucher.

 While do have some issues with this mini.
Over all she's rather pleasing, and you can still see the 6/4 pack.

I learn't a lot making this, and there are a number of things that I would do differently next time. Including sculpting the head as a separate piece in case of failures. Getting some thinner wire for the fingers and other bits would be a great idea, while not forgetting boars have 2 hove like toes.

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Building New Old Miniatures

Now, due to the fact that I've got a bit of an obsession with old 80's miniatures that Games Workshop made, it can be hard to obtain something you want. Take for example Blood Bowl, something else that I have got back into in the last year. I can easily build a team for Blood Bowl get them painted and ready for a match, without being daunted by painting a massive army. But as I'm using all old models, the teams now are very different. Old Chaos Dwarfs had throwers, catchers and other such members in the team. The current rules it's just Chaos Dwarf Blockers, Hobgoblins, and Bull Centaurs. The most recent of which just looks really odd next to the old style Chaos Dwarfs, Hobgoblins are fine. But I needed to make the Bulls smaller, and more Boar Centaurs.
So, I had an extra Chaos Dwarf, and had acquired a plastic Citadel boar. After a little Google, started making plans, plans most cunning.

 First I started trimming out the plastic boar to ensure I got a nice clean fit.

 And then I cut off the Chaos Dwarfs feet, I wanted to leave as much as possible if it all went wrong.

 Well that's it, I'm committed now.

 Did a bit of lining up to check the size, then trimmed a bit more.

 Once I was happy I could look at getting it fixed.

No glue here, its all just a big ball of Milliput, including a bit in the back to add more weight. Next time I think I'd need to add something heavier to balance it out.

Started cleaning up the excess and smoothing it out were needed.

Then I added the armour details, in this case needed it to match the chain-mail that he already had. So I did the best I could with my current tools, a pointy stick.

The pointy stick worked rather well, I then added some armour to his new 'boar' bum and a little curly tail.

After some clean up work with a file and such, this is what I end up with, well once the paint was on. Not to shabby, and I got my first model built and converted in years.

Since this I have acquired some more tools, but all this work was done with about 5 tools that you can easily acquire. The Citadel Sculpting Tool Set, which I got second hand, but there are loads of alternatives. A sharp aluminium knife and an pointy tool, mine are from the Rolson tool set that gets used for lots of other things. Plus my old favourite Milliput, and a tub of Petroleum Jelly. The Petroleum Jelly you can use on your fingers and tools to help stop the Milliput sticking too much, or smooth out finger prints. Go easy, as to much will compromise the Milliput.

Next time, what do you do when you want 2 Boar Centaurs but no spare Dwarfs?

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Shadow Wars: Rogue Trader Revival

Welcome to the first post of this blog. I've been painting for about a year now, after just getting back into this hobby again. You can thank Star Wars Armada and X-wing for that, after getting the various sets I decided I needed a few unique craft. So up into the attic I went, for an explore and discovery of my old paints, and apparently my miniatures. I'm going to try and be a bit honest here too, some people might consider what I do a bit nerdy. Though that in turn seems to be the in thing, well I don't do it for that. I rediscovered painting and in turn discovered that it helps me relax rather a lot. I've had a bit of depression and anxiety over the last few years, and while mental illness doesn't have quite the same stigma it had it still can get some questions. I kind of kicked of the help with a bit of art, which you can still see at something I might expand more too. But I have found that while the painting takes up time, it also frees my mind a bit, it wanders to those questions I didn’t realised were bothering me. That then seem to help me release the anxiety and stress behind them. Now, it doesn’t always work, and sometimes I’m up rather late pondering things while I paint ‘hence the blog title’. But it is helping massively, and while I’m at it, my painting technique is improving loads.

Shadow Wars, is something new, by that old gaming brand Games Workshop. Little skirmishes in the 40st millennium using small squads of 3-10 troops normally, rules for quick and simple games. The best thing is that due to the fact that the teams are small, you can get something painted up in a short time and get to the table. Not that I’ve had a game yet, been a bit busy with other things to get a chance. Within a month I’ve painted a created 4 different squads, a set of Marines, Orks, Eldar, and old Imperial Army (now known as Astra Militarum). Unfortunately, the Marines will have to be used with Chaos rules as I didn’t realise they are not in SWA. For this post I’m just including my Eldar and Imperial Army teams, as I’ll feature the others later. The main thing you will notice is that the majority of my figures are from the early days of Warhammer 40K, know as Rogue Trader. So they will date around 87 to 92, and maybe some odd others to about 00 depending on my preference.


 Eldar Harlequins, Solitaire, Trooper and Death Jester

Trooper, Squad Leader and another Avatar being a Trooper.

These are some of the first miniatures that I painted last year, lots of bright colours but only simple schemes as I was still trying to recall how to shade and highlight. Along with this I was still using nothing but my original 80’s paints, I’ve picked up a few more since, with Nuln Oil being invaluable. So we have some basic shading, dry brushed highlights and the starting of highlights with lighter paint mixes. I did try a few bit of detail, like a tear on the Avatar figure.


 Warlock, my favourite figure of all the Eldar. I spent a lot of time on him and I'm really please with how his coat came out, its simply Nuln Oil and then a very light lined highlight with blue in key areas. No dry brushing apart from on the sword blade to mix the colours and then light painted lines and flicks.

 Squad of Avengers and their leader, my favourite colour at the moment is this very bright pink, it makes a excellent contrast with the blue below.

These I painted first, and I must say, I think they are some of my best work. The lines where all rather new and experimental for me as a highlight, and the original blue was much lighter until it got a very dark shade. I should have watered it down more, but it seems to have worked out in the end.

Next we have some Craftworld Eldar, these are not the earliest version of the Space Elves that I remember in Rogue Trader. Though they are the last ones I saw before I got out of the hobby around 92. I did think about painting them in very traditional colours, but I’ve tried to mix it up a bit from what is expected. I’m hoping in the future to get a few more original Space Elves and paint those in my own interpretation of the 80s pirates. Overall, these took about a week to get done.

Imperial Army

Both of these figures are form around 87, with a Sergeant on the left (Lt in the publications) and a Trooper on the right. Both had particular difficult faces to paint, which I'm not sure if was damage due to time, or just problem sculpts. As you might recognise I've tried to paint these in a scheme similar to the White Dwarf publication 109.

The first figure as you might notice, doesn't look very GW, and it isn't. Its from a defunct system called Void if I'm right, but I really liked the look of her when I acquired a number of figures. Was have a old 89 Commissar and another difficult to paint faced trooper. 

These two are my 'sniper' element of the squad and probably the hardest to get hold of, both dating from around 87. Trooper Lang on the left has a very nice and detailed sculpt to his face and overall look.

Finally with have 'Hambo' and his buddies, who as you can see below I've also tried to add some very traditional 80's tattoos. With 'MOM', barb wire, dagger and some blood drops.

Finally, for this post we have the original Imperial Army with all but one a non GW figure. These are some of my favourites, though a few of the faces seem to have not stood up to the test of time. Making them very challenging to paint and keep some sort of expression. Three of them as you can see I’ve decided to tattoo their arms, including on that remind me and was inspired by Rambo. Who I’ve decided to call ‘Hambo’ with his ‘MOM’ tattoo, just to keep it really 80’s. These took about 2 weeks to get finished, requiring a little more attention than the others.