Friday, 30 November 2018

Sloppity Bilepiper Part 2


I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again ‘I don’t enjoy painting sub-assemblies’. The problems that can crop up, when glueing and filling already painted parts, play on my nerves. However, there are times when painting a model in sub-assemblies is the best solution. It’s something I’ll do when it’s the only way to get clear access to areas of a mini that, although partly covered or obscured by the addition of other parts, will be visible on the finished piece.

The Sloppity Bilepiper is an example of this scenario. On first inspection I thought it would be possible to assemble the entire mini before painting. However, I realised that the upper torso and the area featuring the pipes would be tricky to get at and might, as a result, look a little under painted. Although these difficult areas are often in the shadows I would rather paint them as such by choice rather than omission.

With the decision made to work in sub-assemblies, I first painted the head and the main body separately before I glued the head onto the body. The next element to deal with was the bag of the ‘gutpipes’ and the arm holding them. This was all fairly straightforward as the only visible seam was in the crease between the upper arm and shoulder.

All of the seams, visible or otherwise, on the sub-assemblies were filled with a 50/50 mix of water and PVA woodworking glue. I’ve used this mix before when dealing with a visible seam between painted elements of a mini, most notably on my Megaboss. It can take a few applications to fill even a small gap as the mix shrinks when it dries. However it’s worth the effort as it dries to a semi transparent matt finish that camouflages visible seams most effectively!

When I talk about PVA wood glue this is the stuff I'm reffering to.
It's been a stapel item in my toolbox since I was in my teens and
I've used it in one way or another on almost all of my projects!

My troubles started when I turned my attention to the pipes! I base coated the pipes and then applied a wash and highlight before glueing them in place. This meant that any really tricky areas already had a ‘basic’ paintjob. While no part of the pipes proved inaccessible they were extremely fiddly to paint.

I rapidly found this part of the mini very frustrating. A problem made worse by boredom. I’ve never been very good at painting multiples of the same things because I quickly get bored and once I’ve painted something I like to move on and paint something different. It’s an issue I have to deal with on most projects at some point. A typical example would be the soul stones found on GW’s Aelves and Aeldari minis.The pipes really shouldn’t have been that much of a problem, but they very nearly got the better of me and I very quickly began to hate them!

In truth my frustrations were more to do with the upheaval and disruption following Mark’s stay in hospital and his ongoing recovery. As we tend to take things on a day-by-day basis I’ve not been able to establish a regular and consistent routine. I’ve come to realise just how much I like to plan ahead and organise my days and weeks. It’s going to take a while to get everything back to ‘normal’ in the mean time I’ve had to work my way through a tricky patch and remember not to dwell on problems and frustrations. After all mini painting is my hobby, not my job, and I do it for pleasure!


Once the pipes were (finally) painted things took a definite turn for the better. I’ve been able to get back into the habit of painting every day. Even if it’s only for a short time it’s made a huge difference and I feel like I’m making steady progress. Better still I’m really enjoying the project again and I’m feeling pleased with what I’m achieving. The Sloppity Bilepiper is a mini with great potential and I’m beginning to think that I might now be able to do it justice!

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Sloppity Bilepiper Part 1

After all the upset and upheaval that happened over the summer it feels very good to be painting minis again! I’ve not been able to establish a regular routine for my painting as yet but that’s to be expected. With Mark at home recovering (and not yet fully able to enjoy his retirement) life is still a bit topsy-turvy for us both.

Bearing this in mind I decided to start a ‘fun’ project that would not require too much concentration and time. Horticulus Slimux and Mulch most certainly will and I’ll need to be fully back up-to-speed before I return to them. As it happens I already had a Sloppity Bilepiper assembled and base coated because I’d intended to paint him before the Isharan Tidecaster grabbed my attention. The Sloppity Bilepiper is the perfect mini for my current needs.


As well as being a fun miniature it hads the advantage of providing me with some familiar Nurgley subject matter. That meant that I could just dive right in and get painting. I’ve used the same techniques on the Bilepiper’s flesh tones as I used on all my other Plaguebearers. The only real difference is in the colour palette I’ve used. Instead of featuring green as the dominant colour I’ve experimented with a yellow flesh tone. Yellow can be used as a happy cheerful colour and it somehow seemed appropriate for a creature infected with the comedic fever of the Chortling Murrain!


In practice the colours used vary little from the combination of red/pink, blue and yellow over a Rakarth Flesh base that I’ve used before for my ‘human’ flesh tones (see below). The difference is in the proportions of those colours. I’ve built up a series of glazes going from yellow (Games Workshop Iyanden Darksun) through red (Scale Colour Antares Red) to a dark brown (Scale Colour Black Leather). This gave me my global shadows and colours. I then built up the highlights over the glazes using a combination of Iyanden Darksun and Flayed One Flesh (Games Workshop). In addition to the highlights this stage is where I build up the textures.


With the bulk of the highlights and shading done I then went back to fine tune everything with further glazes and highlighting. At this point I’ve use a little of the red from the Scale Colour Inktense range to increase the saturation in some of the shadows and mid-tones.

Fingers crossed this project will help ease me back into a more regular painting routine and serve as a stepping stone to my bigger projects.

Monday, 27 August 2018

The finished Isharann Tidecaster

Apologies for my absence! If you’ve been following me on Facebook you may have read that my partner Mark has been very unwell and in hospital for the past month. Obviously Mark is my top priority and I was effectively ‘offline’ for the duration.

Thankfully Mark is now much recovered and back home where he belongs. My hobby time is still limited but it’s time to start the ball rolling again. So without further ado here is my long delayed, but finally finished, Isharann Tidecaster!


Monday, 16 July 2018

Isharann Tidecaster - Colour palette.

It became clear to me that I was not going to get my Tidecaster finished in time for the Golden Demon Age of Sigmar event at the end of June. To my own surprise I was OK with this because I'd rather finish her properly in my own time and to the standard I want.

I had a great time at the Open Day. I wasn't sure how I would feel, attending and not competing, but it meant I was far more relaxed than usual! I was able to enjoy meeting up with everyone and having a good old natter. It was nice not to have thoughts of 'how have I done in the comp?' running through the back of my mind all day.



The Tidecaster is now, in spite of the hot weather messing up my painting, very nearly finished. Before all is done I thought I’d share my thoughts about the colour palette I’ve used.


The colours used on my Tidecaster’s costume are primarily blue/green and gold. This could very easily look like a traditional High Elven colour scheme so the challenge is to give it a sinister twist suitable for the Idoneth Deepkin. I’ve tried to do this by keeping the colours dark and cold. That seems like an appropriate approach for a race who dwell in the cold inky depths.

Global highlight and shade


The first step in achieving the desired atmosphere is the selection of my global highlight and shade colours. I would usually feature a warm/cool contrast in these colours but in this instance both colours have a cool hue.

My global shade colour is a dark green/blue. I often pick Vallejo Dark Sea Blue for this but I wanted a matt finish so I have mixed an equivalent colour myself.

Global Shade mix: Scale Colour - Flat Black, Scale Colour – Boreal Tree Green, Scale Colour – Navy Blue and Vallejo Dark Sea Blue 
Global highlight colour: Citadel Layer - Deepkin Flesh

Sea Green


The dominant colour group on the Tidecaster is a range of blues and greens. Within this range I’ve used a variety of colours to suggest the shifting blue and green tones of an undersea environment.


Scale Colour - Boreal Tree Green  
Scale Colour - Boreal Tree Green Navy Blue  
Scale Colour – Caribbean Blue  
Citadel Base – Thousand Sons  
Citadel Edge – Baharroth Blue  
Citadel Layer – Kabalite Green

These colours have been used on the cloak, statuary, costume and the fish.

The blues and greens have been used in varying proportions over the entire model but especially on the cloak, statuary, costume and the fish. The foundation of the blue/green is a mix of Scale Colour Boreal Tree Green and Navy Blue. This creates a dark but extremely saturated hue. To lighten and brighten this mix I’ve used a combination of various blue and turquoise hues in my mid-tones.

It’s worth mentioning that many blue and green paints have very strong pigments that can easily overpower a mix. When using these colours proceed with caution until you can see how they behave.

Cold Gold


This sounds like a contradiction in terms as gold is usually thought of as a warm colour. However, the gold I am using on my Tidecaster has a comparatively cool hue. This is achieved by the combination of black and yellow and it results in an olive green mid-tone. This has a far colder hue than a gold with brown mid-tones.


Cold gold fits well with the cold blue/green cast of my overall colour palette. It also helps to create the darker, more sinister, feel I am after. In addition to a cool hue I wanted my gold to utilise an extreme range of tones going from pure black to pure white. This is by way of an experiment because I’ve never used such a strong tonal contrast in my NMM before. It also helps to create a hard and harsh feel to my gold reinforcing the overall atmosphere.

All of the metalics on the Tidecaster feature tiny blue reflection points in the shadows. These blue accents bring colour contrast to the otherwise monochromatic metals. They also unite the metalics with the colour palette suggesting the cold light of the overall environment.

I’ve used black shadows rather than my global shade colour for the gold armour in order to avoid the mid-tones becoming too saturated a green tone.

Base/Shadows: Scale Colour - Flat Black  
Mid-tones: Scale Colour - Flat Black and Scale Colour – Sahara Yellow  
Highlights: Scale Colour – Sahara Yellow and Citadel Layer – Deepkin Flesh  
Extreme Highlights: Scale Colour Fantasy and Games – Purity White.  
Colour accents: Citadel Base – Thousand Sons Blue and Scale Colour – Adriatic Blue


Flesh tones


The flesh tones are the warmest part of the colour palette but even these have been cooled down to reflect the undersea feel. I’ve used my usual ‘pale human’ flesh tone palette but I’ve left out any yellow tones. The theory being that the cool (blueish) light source will filter out the yellow tones.

Base: Citadel Base – Rackarth Flesh  
Shadow: Citadel Base – Rhinox Hide (a very small amount)  
Mid-Tones: Citadel Base – Rackarth Flesh  
Citadel Base – Bugman’s Glow  
Citadel Edge – Baharroth Blue  
Highlights: Scale Colour (Fantasy Games) – Moonray Flesh

Purples


The final colour in my Tidecaster’s palette is purple. This serves as a spot colour to bring a stronger contrast to the yellow and blues. I might have chosen red for this but purple fits better with the overall cool palette.

The purple I’ve use is Liche Purple (I found an old pot in the back of my draw) lightened with Flayed One Flesh and darkened with the global shade colour.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Isharann Tidecaster Part 1

When I choose which miniatures to paint I do it by gut instinct. A miniature will grab my attention and inspire me to paint it. My best work has always come from that initial burst of enthusiasm, without which I would quickly lose momentum!



Over the years, I’ve displayed a distinct preference for certain types of models. I’m known for my Nurgle themed minis but I’ve also painted quite a few elves in their various guises. In addition I’ve been drawn to models with a nautical, or undersea, theme on several occasions.


So there are no prizes for guessing what this is leading up to because the recent release of the new Idoneth Deepkin was bound to capture my attention. After much deliberation I decided to paint the Isharann Tidecaster.

I’ve chosen this model first and foremost because I really like the ornate armour, dramatic pose and striking base. But I was specifically looking for a single character model to paint, rather than anything larger, as a comparatively quick project. Put simply it’s what I fancied doing before I return to Horticulus Slimux and Mulch!

The Deepkin are a fascinating new twist on the Aelves and their conflicted dual nature. Once there were clear choices between High, Wood or Dark Elves but now the old definitions are gone and the boundaries seem blurred!

Right from the start I wanted to go with a dark, sinister scheme for my Tidecaster something that would help to convey the idea of the cold inky depths. I also knew that my scheme would feature lots of saturated blue and green tones. This would reinforce the atmosphere while bringing some variation to a dark colour palette.


My overall colour scheme has a cool blue/green cast to it, evoking an under sea feel, but it needs some contrast. In order to give the blues and greens an extra pop, I’m using purple worked into the shadows. This gives my blues an oily/iridescent look. But the strongest colour contrast comes from the armour.

Silver would seem to be the obvious choice but I decided to go with gold! I wanted a little bling for the scheme and gold will certainly provide that. It also provides a strong colour contrast to the blue tones.


A potential problem with all this blue and gold is that it could look very ‘High Elven’ and ‘good’. That’s countered by the overall darkness and also by the gold tone I’ve decided to use. Like the Abyssal Warlord this model features a cold gold tone. I’ve also gone for a dramatic high contrast look with almost pure black shadows. This is something I’ve wanted to try for a while and the Tidecaster gives me the perfect opportunity.

The high contrast cold gold is a little tricky to get right but I like how it’s beginning to look in the context of the overall scheme. The Tidecaster is perhaps the least sinister looking of the new Idoneth Deepkin models but I think I’ve managed to catch something of their inner darkness with my scheme.

Next time I’ll look in more detail at the colours I’ve used in my palette to create my Deepkin colour scheme.