Friday, 29 November 2013

First 1000 points done!

This weeks aim was to finish the first 1000 points of the army (apart from the models that will be raised) this would mean painting another 10 skeletons and 10 more grave guard plus making their movement trays. Now that I know how to paint these models I have got a bit quicker, managing to do the skeletons in one day and taking 2 days to do the grave guard due to the time it takes to put them together. Seeing the models all properly ranked up adds to the effect I think. Will have to get a few more dire wolves done along with some skeletons to be raised.

I had a bit of a play about with the army list to get it to 1000 points and so i could get all the characters in i had painted the final list is as follows.

I am really happy with how the army is progressing and have some very cool ideas to get it to where I want it to be. Going to continue on the core units next with 2 boxes of ghouls being brought today that should keep me going for a couple of days right?...

Friday, 22 November 2013

"Bring out your dead!"

It was time I painted the first of the bigger models for the army! The first of these was to go into my 1000 points force was the corpse cart its a very cool model just wish the instructions gave you an order to put it together... after a little bit of faffing about and a small amount of green stuff the cart was ready to paint.

There were a few new challenges on this model first of these was the fire! looking at old films the way fire appeared in black and white was just a bright white glow this is down to how the film pick up the light in dark streets it was normally shot in.

This look wouldn't suit a model just having a large area of bright white looks really odd on a model. I decided to go for something a bit different and took a photograph of a some flames and grey scaled it to see what sort of shades and tones there were.
This looked a lot better on the model and is what I have done.

The next challenge was to do some sort of blood. I really like the look of the new "Blood for the Blood God" paint from Games Workshop and wanted to get an effect that looked a lot like this.

Dave in the Reading store is also working on a Vampire army and had used this paint on his ghouls (see picture) I wanted this high gloss but transparent look so from looking at his work and converting this photograph to grey scale I played around with a few mixes to get the look right. the final mix is quite complex but works.

3 parts Mechanicus standard grey, 1 part Abaddon Black, 2 Parts Lahmian Medium, 3 parts Gloss Varnish.

It still allows the highlights to show through from the model underneath but also has a very deep tone to it with a gloss finish. It can be seen in the stomach cavity  below.

I really love the look of this models and have really enjoyed painting it! Its the first model in the army on a larger base so allowed me to see what my basing would look like across a bigger surface I have added a few larger rocks to it but haven't gone made with it to keep it looking like it is part of the army.

I didn't stay with the black robes found on the characters in the army I wanted some thing a bit different so have done a very light grey based on the robes lepers are depicted wearing in a few films this I think suits the model a bit better and draws the eye to him rather than getting lost if it had been painted a bit darker.

What's next?

I am going to finish off the units of skeletons and grave guard to complete the 1000 point list then I will move onto some of my more interesting ideas for the army.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Vampire and more

So I got a  few things for my birthday, the parts to make my vampire and BSB mostly. The BSB would be left for a bit while I get the first 1000 points done so its time to do the vampire!

I wanted to do some thing that looked like an old school vampire from a lot of the old black and white films when Dracula appeared more as a skulking creature of the night and not a glitter covered teen of the current films. a black cloak was definitely needed along with a pose that fitted the look.

I looked at a lot of pictures of some of the old vampire films and decided to do some thing that was a mix of a few, the main inspiration for these was Nosferatu and Bela Lugosi both of whom where proper iconic vampires and had some very classic and well known traits to the look and posture of the characters.

I wanted the high collar from the Lugosi vampire but at the same time wanted the very creepy look of Nosferatu. using the right model as a base would be the key to this I would have to have a bit of a think about what I was going to do.

From being in Gamesworkshop one Saturday afternoon I had seen an empire wizard one of the kids had entered into a painting competition, this had a cloak and a hand position that would suit the look I was going for, the empire battle wizard kit was then added to my wish list.

There was a small amount of green stuff needed to get the pose how I wanted to get him more hunched up and I also had to make a pointing hand for his left arm. the bit that took some more thought and time was his head as this was going to be the main focus of the model i looked at a lot of different heads across all of Gamesworkshop's range of figures and decided to go for a head from one of the elven sets, Dark Elves or Dark Eldar seemed the best fit for this.

The head I used was actually from the Dark Eldar witches sprue and normally has a full head of hair but it had the right facial  expression so out comes my knife to slowly reshape the hair down to a bald head, this took way longer than I was expecting but worked out really well all he now needed was his fangs which ended up just being some green stuff.

Most of the model would be the black cape and from doing the necromancer model first I had learnt how to do this so it was a bit quicker this time around and in the end looked a lot cleaner but then that's what you want from the vampire!

I toyed around with doing big eyes like on Nosferatu but this just looked far to cartoony so in the end I went for normal sized eyes but with really dark shadows around them to make them appear to glow. I'm really happy with how this model has turned out and it has managed to keep the feel of the army.

When the vampire was done i went back and painted another 10 skeleton warriors bringing the unit up to 20 strong. just another 9 to go to complete the basic unit.

The Skeleton unit was there for one purpose and that was to get the banshee as close to the enemy as possible with out dying, this would be the next model I was to paint. For this no conversion work was needed as the current Banshee model is awesome. Choosing how to paint her was another matter I had been thinking about how to paint an ethereal look in grey scale for a while and it had been bugging me a bit. I knew this was going to be a very bright model and the highlighting would have to be very subtle.

I knew that I was going to have to do some thing to contrast all the white on the model and the easiest thing for me to do was jet black hair this would also help to frame her screaming face. I love the movement in this model and the final paint job I think sets this off well with a very washy set of white robes and then very dark metallics on her corset and hair to contrast. This was good to do now before i tried painting a Mortis engine which I have planned for later.

I also received a box of Grave Guard for my birthday this would be the unit that accompanied the vampire into battle, I knew that this unit was going to be quite dark so the metal work would have to stand out a bit more so the white bones didn't fully take over the models.

This unit was actually a lot quicker to paint than I was expecting far quicker than doing the standard skeletons! I love the shields in this unit there is a lot of character to them and painting torn cloth is always fun. making it look soft is a bit of a challenge in greys but I think I have pulled it off.

Like the skeleton unit I wanted a banner to set the unit off. I continued along the same theme using a large moon to back light a spooky scene. This time there was more detail on the moon as it was in a more prestige unit. I blocked the idea out roughly before I set to work painting a hanging tree on top of a cliff, I haven't done fine brush work like this for ages but I think with the amount of painting I have been doing recently I have got better at it and because of this I am really happy with he final look of the banner.

That's where I am now up too with the army, the next thing to be painted is the corpse cart which is sat ready to be undercoated on my painting table.

Thursday, 7 November 2013


After the test model for the unit I moved onto the rest of the mass of bones, I have always loved the look of skeleton warriors after seeing Jason and the Argonauts and watching their very awkward  but aggressive animations the noise and jerkiness of their movement has always stayed with me and has many time made me want to do a skeleton based army.

This was always going to be one of the brighter units in the army due to the amount of bone on display so having a very dark metal and nearly black robes would contrast really will with them and also tie them into the rest of the very high contrast army.

From painting the first on I had learnt how to do the bone and decided to see if there was a slightly faster way of doing it. What i have ended up doing is applying the layer of Cerimite white as a wet brush then making a glaze of Mechanicus Standard grey into the recesses of the model then re high lighting the areas around the face and ribs as these would be the area of the model your eye will be drawn too. Doing it like this has saved me a lot of time and has allowed me to paint 8 models in around 4 hours not including drying times. The banner was a whole other matter.

The mix of helmeted and bare heads adds to the effect of the unit I think as a whole there will be more bare heads in the unit just to distinguish them a bit more from the grave guard I am planning on doing.

I spent as nearly as much time on the banner as I did the other 8 models I have painted in the last day for one I spent a bit more time painting the bone as it would be one of the major things in the unit and was always going to stand out, the other reason was the hand painted banner I wanted to do following the lines of imagery from old horror films I had had the idea to do moon lit scenes on all the banners in the army. For this one i chose to do a back lit tower with ghostly windows from which flew a flock of bats. I haven't painted any thing free hand like this for ages and spent a bit of time blocking out the shapes changing the shape of the tower and hill quite a few times before I got it how I wanted to be. I knew what colours I wanted it to be which is why it is so dark the sky was either going to be a very dark red or blue which would of contrasted a lot better than the greys which have been used, but this being the case it had to be like this to work and look right in black and white. I did try a lighter sky but it just looked wrong.  The bats were the last thing to be added to the banner and add a bit more contrast to it and pulling the theme of it together.

I'm not to sure what I will be painting next as I am waiting to see what i get given for my birthday but i think i will jump about between different units so I don't get bored of doing the same thing.

First of the shambling hoard

before starting the whole of the skeleton unit I wanted to try out some ideas to get them to look how I wanted the finished result to look. I knew there would be some hard parts to them and it was something I had been thinking about for a while. The bone would be easy I had already done this on a few skulls dotted about on bases but wanted to find a quicker way to do it.  The bit I was struggling to work out was how to do weathered metal as this would appear a lot on these models and the unit of grave guard I had planned.

I had played about with taking pictures of painted models and converting them to grey scale to see how it looked.

From this you can see the problem the rust should tonally match the metal so when taken into grey scale it doesn't look any different from the rest. I had a play about with trying out different things to try to get a weathered look and settled on a chipped paint look which was very subtle and I think this is what I will go for across the majority of the army.

The main part of the model was the bone for this I worked up from black wet brushing the whole model with Mechanicus Standard Grey then a dry brush of Administratum Grey, this was then followed by a layer of Cermimite white which I painted on in a thin layer. the final par was to edge highlight the bone with White scar then use a black glaze to darken up some of the recesses. This made painting the skull fun allowing me to make the teeth and eye sockets pop a lot more.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Hounds of the Dead

For the dire wolf unit I wanted some thing very dark, the imagery of the hound of the Baskervilles had always stuck with me from reading the books and seeing the art work when I was a lot younger this combined with a childhood memory of watching a film "Wolves of Willoughby Chase" where a pack of wolves terrorises a stately home in a snowy landscape attacking stage coaches and hunting the families children, made me want some thing very dark and haunting.

I didn't think that the vampire counts dire wolf models would get this feeling across so went with some thing a bit different. I had been wanting to do something with the Fenrisian wolves from the space wolf army and had seen them used by a couple of people online to do the same. I didn't want to muck about with them too much as wanted them as just giant wolves rather than rotting corpses.

Getting the unit to rank up was a bit of a faff but after a little bit of playing about with them and numbering the bases so I wouldn't forget it they were ready to be based. From what I had learnt with the base of the necromancer i would have to spray the grass tufts before painting so these where stuck to the bases before I undercoated the unit, this felt really odd to do but paid off .

As you can see in the picture above I have done a little green stuff work, this was mostly to fill in a few gaps but also wanted to make the Doom wolf stand out from the unit a bit so 2 of its legs have been replaced with some bones.

The unit as a whole looks quite simple as a whole but there is quite a bit more work done than first look, the fur has been done with 5 stages of dry brushing then a glaze of "Abaddon black" with "Lahmian medium" to bring it all back together. The faces of the wolves where highlighted up to "Administratum Grey" and brought back down with the same glaze as the fur. I wanted their mouths to stand out  much like the image about so made the insides of them a lot lighter, I still cant decide if I want to gloss varnish them yet to get the drooling look.

For the eyes I kept them really simple just bright white like the necromancer's this gives that ghostly haunting look that I think really suits this sort of painting and I am going to carry it on through the rest of the army.

The next unit i am going to be working on is going to be a mass of skeletons!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

The idea

I have been wanting to start a new Warhammer fantasy army for a while now I tried with the high elves for a little while but they just weren't grabbing my attention. I wanted to do some thing a bit different and a bit more of a challenge to paint, I had been toying around with painting up a vampire model for ages in the "Hammer Horror " style, so I got to thinking about what would work well in that sort of army.

I was in my local games workshop before a group of got together to do an evening of painting and had mentioned my idea and after a bit of persuasion from a few people I picked up the plastic necromancer model to test out my ideas.

I had in the past done some portrait painting in black and white for a bit of fun and knew from this that it wasn't going to be a simple as most would think getting skin tones right and making the different areas of the model distinctively different to portray different colours would be a challenge.

This is a model I have wanted to paint for ages and with a little bit of thought and the use of my phones camera to turn a painted example into a black and white photo I sat down and got to work deciding what colours to use.

I knew I was going to use a very limited palate of colours and decided that this set of 6 would see me through the army along with a chaos black spray. The medium has been used to turn the black and darker grey into glazes to stop the models becoming shiny. I still included the nuln oil to use on the metal work as this works better with metallics keeping that glint to the areas of the metal which are still in shadow.

The finished necromancer took me about 5 hours to paint spending most of that time painting the robes to make the inner robes a different tone to the outer cape and sleeves. the face and hands weren't and troublesome as I thought they could of been and taking them all the way up to white makes them properly stand out from the rest of the model.

The hardest part of the whole thing was working out how to get grey scale grass. I did a load of trials for this trying to paint the grass straight out the box really didn't work the paint just flakes off after a few minutes, so i tried priming it with the chaos black spray. This worked and allowed me to control the "colour" of it a lot more. it takes 3 stages of dry brushing and highlighting to get the grass to look right and to stop the paint blobbing up on the ends of each tuft.

I am really happy with the out come of this model and it has made me think a lot about how I want the rest of the army to look and how I want to display it if I make it into an armies on parade entry.