Monday, 12 October 2009

Dragon Ogres - WIP

A few pictures of my WIP Dragon Ogre.
Finnished lengthening the arms with some green stuff today so he's almost done. Only have to figure out what to do with his back, and then get him atop a proper base.

Greatly inspired by Elazar's Dragon Ogres, I've merged Cold Ones and Black Orcs to make the basis of the model, but as you can see I carved away most of the front of the Black Orc torso and sculpted a new one. The arms needed a bit of lengthening as mentioned, so they were pinned onto the torso with a 3-4 mm gap, which I then filled with greenstuff and sculpted to muscles. I'm fairly pleased with the result, it was easier than I initially feared, both the pinning and the green stuff work.
The head's from some Warhammer 40 000 Kroots - got three of them off a regular gamer at the local GW - and I think they makes for a nice reptilian feel. Glued on some horns to make it more draconic, and to create the illusion of them being bigger than they are.
Lastly I've given them a "chain mail" from the chains off the Marauder Horsemen sprue - on the next one, I'll glue these on before I do the arms...

Think that should list all I've done to create this monster, hope you like them!
I plan on fielding a unit of three, and I've got a second one which is a step or two behind this one when it comes to green stuff (arms are just pinned on, plus a few other things lacking).
Any suggestions to how I'm to paint them is welcome; armour will be black like all the rest, but I'm not sure how to do the skin and scales. A blueish grey maybe..?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

GW painting competition, thoughts on White Dwarf

In my first Space Hulk post (start of september), I wrote about a painting competition at the local GW here in Copenhagen, and the date set for entries and judging was today. So I went down there with Brother Claudio safely wrapped in foam.

Turned out that due to bad promotion, I was the only one with an entry - at least at that time of the day! Hehe, actually one might be inclined to believe that the manager had forgotten all about the competition himself: he looked quite shocked at first when I said I had come for the Space Hulk competition - but let's give him the benefit of the doubt! He recovered quickly at any rate, and seemed to love the model, which meant a lot to me, 'cos I know he's a very talented painter - great freehands on banners etc. Anyways, he gave me the newest White Dwarf magazine for free for showing him the model. Very nice, considering it wasn't supposed to be a reward for the competition in the first place.

This just happens to be my very first White Dwarf, unlucky for me it was heavily themed by 40k's Space Wolves. Unlucky, how? Well, first of all I don't play Warhammer 40 000, and secondly I just don't like Space Wolves! In my eyes, GW has tried to merge two excellent themes - ancient norse culture with science fiction - but with a disastrous result void of substance or logic. What's the deal with Space Wolf Terminator trying desperately to get drunk on ale, when their altered genes and armour system keeps them close to immune to toxification? The Space Wolf-concept feels like putting turkey and chocolate ice cream in a mixmaster for the dinner at New Year's eve, hoping it'll taste as good as the two seperate dishes...
Anyways, there were a couple of nice articles in between the "space vikings", and in particular I liked the War of the Ring campaign the studio team had put together - some interesting scenarios, mixing large scale battles with light skirmishes between scouting parties and vanguards. Inspirational!
I also liked the kit-bashing section for Space Wolves was rather nice, I think, as well was the 'Eavy Metal Masterclass-article, some nice tips but mostly good colour choices for desired effects. I did find the section about Battle Damage poor though, it seemed a very backwards and difficult method to me. Myself I prefer to paint "inwards", i.e. I paint a large spot to mark the extent of the battle damage, then highlight towards the centre in the metal-colour. The EM-team on the other hand seem to highlight in layers around a small spot of damage: very strange in my eyes...
There were also an article about Special Characters in the Warhammer game, and how you can build themed and very interesting armies around them, but while I at first was really intrigued by the idea, I think it was very poorly executed. They brought up the issue with certain characters story-wise having a connection to certain units; for example Korhil of the White Lions should have a retinue of warriors from Chrace with him. So they had a Lion Chariot and some Spearmen with lions on their shields. And uhm, that was it.. No tips as to how one can get a Chracian look on your models, nothing about what makes a model look like it comes from the Principality of Chrace - if they'd just explained a bit more, maybe taken the liberty to provide some extra fluff or some explanation as to why certain special character has certain rules, it'd be so much better. Why do High Queen Khalida Neferher of the Tomb Kings favour ranged units in her army? Why do Scar-Leader Kroq-Gar ride with a huge retinue of Cold One Riders? Not just "they do": we know that already by reading the rules! After reading the article, I was left with the feeling that I'd just read an advert squeeking "buy special characters, 'cos they're cool!" without offering any arguements as to why they are that. So much potential, wasted..

Pfeh, wasn't supposed to be a review of the newest White Dwarf, but guess that's how it is, sometimes one can't stop writing. If I'm to draw a conclusion, I have to say I won't subscribe to White Dwarf - at least not if this issue was representative for the magazine. There's too little focus on modelling, painting and battle-/scenario-variants or ideas to spice up the game, while there's too much focus on advertisement. And by advertisement, I do not mean all the pages listing products or showing pictures of new releases etc - even if it constitutes roughly 25 % of the magazine (I did count pages, yes..) - I simply skip reading those pages, so it doesn't really bother me. The problem seems to be that they try to sell something with every article, and if not for that they could've made a great, informative and very inspirational magazine. Too bad.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Brother Noctis - Finished

... or as finished as he can get. I can't say I'm completely happy with the OSL (Object Source Lighting), but I frankly don't know what to do to improve it. If anyone got any tips, they'd be more than welcome.

The pictures are a bit grainy, took them early this morning before heading off to the university, and the morning sun didn't agree completely with my camera, or the other way around.. Anyways, hope you can make out most of him - lovely sculpt, really fond of his pose!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

ToFP - September

Just thought I'd make a post to celebrate yet another month in the Tale of Fantasy Painters 2009-2010 has been passed, and that I've managed to keep up with my schedule.

To mark the occation I took a picture of my warband as it stands so far, hope you like it:
Sadly my Dragon Ogres - which are next on my to-do-list when it comes to Warhammer - are not completed yet, but at least I've ordered the bases for them now, so that's a start, mhm?

I have made some progress on my Space Hulk marines, though. Three of them are currently at my work bench:
- Brother Noctis (pointing Terminator) - almost completed, only have the base and the steel NMM left, plus maybe a last highlight on the red.
- Brother Leon (Assault Cannon Terminator) - reds are done, but nothin else.
- Lexicanium Calistarius (the Librarian) - painted some of his blue and decided to paint his shoulderpads red, but have put him on hold until Noctis and Leon are done.

Down at GW today, one of the employees showed me a cover from some book with a Marine with an energy field around his power fist, so I decided to test that out and I'm fairly happy with the result I got on Brother Noctis. Also recieved a can of Midnight Blue for free - being out of production, they can't really sell them, but as I use the colour for various things, I got one - very nice!
Also observed a 2.500 pts battle between Daemons and Dark Elves, and I can't say I'm looking forward to meeting either from what I saw! The players had agreed to go cheesy beforehand, but still, whew! Both armies got some really tough and merciless units, that's for sure.

When I finally got home half past midnight, a small package was waiting for me: 2 Elven Scouts from Mantic Games. Wayland Games are/were promoting the new line of miniatures by mailing a couple of free models to anyone who asked, pretty nice if I may say so. Sadly I don't think it's something for me, though. Not only am I more than busy enough with my Chaos Army and my Space Hulk set, but there's something about the models... The elves they got, while being extraordinairy well detailed, alive and very gracious, they're not quite my cup of tea - then again I'm not an Elf player, so it could be very much related to that. If I had to choose an Elf army, the Mantic ones would be a strong contender, that's certain. But, myeah, I sort of love the more heavy look of the general Warhammer minies, especially the Warriors of Chaos ones naturally. Might not be as realistic or lifelike as the Mantic ones, but still... It's a bit like the LotR range - lots of those models are really beautiful, but they're a bit too small, and doesn't feel right.
I do think that this competition from Mantic Games is very healthy for the hobby and industry though! Being at half the price of Games Workshop's models, and when it comes to the Elves they're even better sculpted (although slightly anorectic and some of the ideas are a bit off in my opinion: Bolt Throwers and the Spearmen mostly - I do love the concept art for the spears, but they've not managed to get the same design on the models, sadly), all makes for healthy competition. Hopefully GW will work even harder to produce good models, and maybe they'll even find it in themself to drop the prices back to the level before this summer's rise, if not even further down. That'd be great!

Anyways, I'll paint up the two Elves I got, just for fun, and share them with you. Havn't decided on a colour theme yet, think I'll go for something different than the white/black I do for Chaos, or the reds I do for the Blood Angels. Any suggestions would be most welcome - the two models I got are mostly clad from top to their toes in armour, no cloaks or other cloth to speak of.