Sunday, 11 July 2010

8th Edition Event at Local GW - pt.2

Sorry about this late post, but was to a pubcrawl most of saturday afternoon and evening.. My hangover combined with the very un-northly heatspell Copenhagen is under at the moment, really hasn't had me in the mood for writing, but here comes my short resume of the 8th Edition release-party event at the Games Workshop store here in Copenhagen.

The crowd was huge, and when I left for my pubcrawl a few minutes past 1, they had just three copies of the new rulebook left, all the others sold! Not many had taken the time to dress up, but the few who did looked splendid in their outfits. I believe there was a Witchhunter, a Tilean merchant or member of some free company, and there was a Priest of Ulric and an Abbess of Sigmar (bitter rivalry between the two members of the clergy was evident, as they tried to convert followers to their respective Gods...)
Very sporty and cool of them to do so, great for the mood at the event.

Then there was the cake-baking competition, sad to say mine didn't make the cut, although several staff members commented on it being one of the tastiest of the lot, but it was the store manager who had the say in which cake was the best tasting, and to his tongue, it wasn't mine... The cake best decorated was also rewarded, and one had created 3 Orcs out of marzipan and deservedly won that prize.

At 1 pm, the painted miniatures were to be judged, and I must say the dozen or so entries were of a very high standard; several of them converted as well. Unfortunately I never got to take pictures of any of them, but a wonderful Spellsinger won the competition. Faultless blending and really smooth colourtransitions combined with a very detailed and expressionfull face, gave the model the little extra, which the other miniatures lacked.

But there will be other chances, both for me and all the other miniature painters in the area! Another competition will be held in September, for that month's release - or that's roughly what the store manager said, and I'll just cross my fingers and hope he sticks to his word. My guess is that the theme will be the forthcoming Island of Blood-set, or alternatively be Chaos Daemon-related, with the second wave of Daemon-models coming in August.
Either way, I hope the competition won't be restricted to the armies in the Island of Blood or to Daemons, but I guess that could be a way of upping the sales for said armies... I guess only time will tell.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

8th Edition Event at Local GW - pt.1

Number 14!

07:35 I turned up at the local GW, eagerly anticipating the opening of the store at 10 o'clock, with the 8th Edition Event starting, with the release of the new rulebook and numerous competitions - one of which was a gift-handout for the first 10 people to enter the store. Maybe it was the fact that I ate breakfast; maybe I shouldn't have shaved myself this morning; maybe I shouldn't have spent so much time decorating the cake I baked last night; maybe... Meh, I'll never know what made me come just a bit too late, and thus lose the chance for some free stuff, but awh well! Instead of waiting by the store door for a couple of hours, with practically nothing to do, I decided to head back home. I did leave my freshly baked cake at the store though, for one of those earlier in the line than me, to carry inside when they opened - all I can do now is cross my fingers that the cake along with Vlad von Carstein will fetch me a prize or two... Time will tell, now I think I'll relax a couple of hours before heading back to GW...

Oh, I did take a picture of my Warhammer cake: one of my largest sculpts to date, using my ma's great recipe!
Next edition release, I'll finish the glazing the day before, maybe I'll get to the store in time to secure a better place in the line that way... I think some of them actually slept in front of the store, maybe that's the way to go? Either way, I'll return with the results of the various competitions at a later point, and maybe some thoughts on the new rules, as I'll pick them up at the store today as well, so stay tuned for part two!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Vlad von Carstein - Finished

Fuelled by the warpstone of Mordheim, Vlad's magic seeped over Sylvania, coiling through the unguarded Gardens of Morr, pooling in the open peasant graves. Across Vlad's lands the dead awoke. Skeletons clawed their way through the dusty soil; Zombies stirred in their muddy holes; Ghouls loped from their crypt lairs to worship their new master. With this act, von Carstein threw down the gauntlet to the Empire. The Wars of the Vampire Counts had begun.

Here he is, finished at last!

I can't claim to be the author of the little piece of fluff typed down in itallics above, that honour goes to Gav Thorpe, the man behind the Vampire Counts' army book for 7th Edition. After buying Vlad, I read all I could find in the book about Vlad, in search of inspiration, and I thought that particullar passage really fit with the pose of the vile count - hence all the green, warpstone and all...
The book also describes Sylvania as a rather barren and wartorn county, and I hope I've managed to capture that essence in the base, with the gnarled, leafless tree, dead grass and leaves. Speaking of the grass, as I don't have any static grass in my flat here in Denmark, I used my own hair istead - a cheap alternative worth trying for other poor modellers! I must admit it was quite difficult to handle, but I hope the end result turned out to be convincing. The leaves I made from a natural dead leaf, grinded to small bits before glueing onto the base an effect I'm very happy with!

I'm not as happy with the OSL on this figure though, compared to what I've achieved on my last two Blood Angel Terminators.. Might be that my technique simply works better with Midnight Blue, rather than Dark Angels Green, or that the placement of the glowing blade makes it hard for the glow to reach the rest of the model, and thus the illusion of green light suffers, with fewer surfaces to be reflected off. Or maybe it's a combination... I think it looks decent enough, though, and I'm still very happy with how the blade itself turned out.

Now that the cloak is in colour, it might be easier to notice the ever so slight conversion I've made to the model. Originally, an extra ghostly head is soaring out from the cloak, but for one thing, I think it makes the left side of the model a bit too busy; secondly the model's front-heavy enough as it is (prone to tipping, even with the extra weight added to the base with putty and sand..); finally - and most important - I screwed up when cutting the loose head out, which ruined the part which should fit like a jigsaw-piece with a hole in the cloak. I gave up on using greenstuff to fix it, and the head's whispy "neck" was too thin to drill a pin-hole through, so I gave up on it all, and simply greenstuffed the hole in the cloak, and have later come to appreciate the choice, based on the two first reasons.
For a while, I thought of using it on the base - might be quite cool to have it come out of the skull's eyesocket, or something - but in the end, I decided against it. The pinning problem would have made it difficult, but also I think it might've made the base too busy, and drawn attention away from the model itself. I've still kept the head though, so it might find its way into another project, sometime in the future.

Hope you all like him; I know I do, and he's been a true joy to paint and work with, so it's not impossible I'll buy me another one, just to test out some other paint schemes. Then again, the other Vampire models do look rather splendid, so maybe a new one instead... I'll save that discussion for later, as at the moment my vallet is thin, and the Space Hulk miniatures are waiting eagerly to be painted!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Vlad von Carstein - WIP2

Progress has been slow last couple of days, as I've been at a music festival instead of home and painting. It's truly been a blast, with great musicans, wonderful concerts and perfect weather!

But, this blog's about miniatures, not music, and in fact I have made some progress on Vlad this afternoon, which I thought I'd share. I've finished his armour, and painted his hair black, as well as working a bit more on the fur of his cloak and finished all the metallic parts.

In the end, I went for a red armour, which most of the previous comments have been in favour of. By Rogue Pom's suggestion, I've tried to make it dark, using a glaze of Scab Red + Chaos Black to give it a hint of purple. When painting the red, the new undercoat of black followed by white, really shows its value, as I could just give it one or two thin coats of Blood Red directly, and then work "backwards", making shadows and darker areas using Red Gore, Scab Red and Chaos Black. Quite the opposite from adding more and more red into a black base coat, which is how I've previously painted all my reds. Brother Zael, the next Space Hulk miniature to get some paint, has already recieved the new undercoat, and I'm really looking forward to working on him - the red parts should take a lot less time now!

But back to Vlad: I've seen many pictures of him, with white or light grey hair - 'Eavy Metal's take on the model amongst them - and while it gives a certain air of authority certainly fitting for the first of the von Carstein vampires, the Vampire Counts armybook describes him as:
"...darkly handsome, of noble bearing and aspect..."
Now, I'm not saying that grey hair can't be handsome, but to me, Vlad would've been a black haired nobleman, in his mid-twenties or early thirties when he recieved the blood kiss, and I think of him as quite vain and that he'd try to keep his dark hair in undeath. Also, from a painter's perspective, I hope this will make his face become a focal point - after all, with the fangs and glowing eyes, his face is what gives him away as a vampire!

Now, all that's lacking is a couple of gems, the cloak with its screaming heads, the hilt of the sword and of course the base. Oh, and the sword will get its glow-effect, but I'm going to wait with that until last, as I find it easier to decide how large a glow will be fitting for a miniature - what is too much, and what is too little - when everything else is painted.

Hopefully he'll be all finished sometime tomorrow, but feel free to come with any critisism or other comments!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Vlad von Carstein - WIP

So, here's a pair of pictures, showing yesterday's progress.
The pictures ain't of the best quality, with the model being just a work in progress, I didn't bother with setting up my photobox, and Vlad's face in particular suffers for that.

I've still not decided how to do his armour, I've seen some great pictures of this model, with the armour done a very dark metallic colour. Others seem to do it golden, but I kind of feel the model looses some of it's aura of evil and darkness, if painted brightly golden. A friend of mine suggested red, like the wings I did on his shoulderpad, while another friend wanted me to do it a eerie and ghostly light blue - I think the latter would clash with the greatsword's green, though... Any thoughts?

Speaking of the sword, I'm fairly happy with how it turned out. At first I wanted to paint it in True Metallic Metal style, but my blending ain't good enough to give the smooth end result I crave, so I ended up repainting it green. The plan is to make it glow with some OSL-effects (as will the ring and eyes), I just need to finish the armour-bits first, so I can do it in one go.

I promised to write a couple of words on the undercoating-technique I've used for this model, and I think it's working quite as I read it should. The red was very easy to paint, just a few layers and there it was, just like I wanted. Same goes for face and other light parts (although I think the blitz from my camera has ruined the details and shading on the pictures above..), all's been very easy to paint up.
Another great thing, is that with the raised areas getting some white dust, the details on the sculpts gets so much easier to see. It's easier to plan which parts will get which colours, where I need contrast and such.

Comments and critisism is as always welcomed, but I hope you like him so far!