It’s been a long time since we posted. We’ve had a big long break as real life has reared its head, but we are back.
Here’s a post with some images of my newest air support 🙂
So, I thought it would be worth sharing some information with all the fellow hobbyists out there. The information in question is around MKA Studios painting courses, which are held at Element Games in Stockport every 8 weeks or so.
MKA was founded by Mathew Kane (yes, that one! The one who painted all those stunning models for Forge World! Curze, Horus, Ferrus etc. – and no, I’m getting nothing from him for this plug!) and quickly added multiple Golden Demon and ‘Best in Show’ winner, Andy Wardle.
Courses take the format of a weekend of airbrush instruction, weathering tips and teaching of various other techniques and every student, *every* student has produced stunning results. I believe they’re on course number 5 or 6 now… and a student from course number 2, took his new skills and put them to use on a squadron of Heresy Death Guard tanks.. for which he one the squadron category at the last Golden Demon.
Put simply, this course will improve your skills whether you’re a novice airbrush user or a keen hobbyist with years of experience. It has also built a strong community of folks who’ve attended and regularly who share ideas and encourage each others’ efforts. I attended the first ever course and although I’ve been painting for years I never felt that I was getting the most from my airbrushing.
I painted this:
The next course is October 24th/25th, at Element Games in Stockport, UK, and I believe this one is based around painting infantry for previous attendees, but first timers are usually guided towards painting something ‘Rhino-sized’ to learn the basics.
If you’re interested – and why wouldn’t you be – then you can check out the ticket availability with Element on their website here.
I hope the last blog post was well received. As I am sure you are all aware last time we covered my new Marauder Horsemen, which were designed to be a slightly heavier looking type of cavalry unit. This week we will cover something a little different…..
…A Chaos Warshrine conversion. As I waffled on a little last week, I’ll try not to this time. I will not attempt to refer to how I came to this idea. But it is in keeping with my armies Barbarian theme and I wanted a Chaos Shrine that was a little more monstrous and imposing on the battlefield. So I decided that I would mount my shrine on a Mammoth.
Once I had all the bits I set about construction of the Mammoth completing the whole assembly apart from the rider’s seat on the Mammoth’s back. I found this was helpful as it allowed me nearly full access to the inside of the Mammoth’s shell while having a nice solid base to work from. Next I processed to clean up the Mammoth making sure I removed all mould lines and filling all gaps with green stuff. This can be a little tricky but I found holding the model up to the light meant I could easily see small gaps, especially on the underside.
While I left this to set and dry, I started construction of the shrines basic floor plate, adding the sides, where needed for a little strength. (The sides were temporarily to proved a little perspective of size and fit). Once dry and holding together reasonably well, I started a little bit of concept work, which was basically plonking one down on top of the other as in the first picture.
As you can see from the picture the Warshrine was a little too big for the Mammoths back, and it was also obvious to me at this point, I needed to do something to ‘bind’ the two together, as floating in mid air on his back wouldn’t look right. This is where my evil twin @CPJohnson, came in with another inspirational idea, a Howdah!
At this point any Howdah would need to be constructed out of an easy to manipulate material that was of varying sizes as the back of the mammoth is a lot further down than the front. Again @CPJohnson came up with another brilliant idea as if it was nothing, coffee sticks! (I am sure you see why I call him my evil twin, it’s down right depressing at times trust me). This construction material was perfect as it was small enough for me to manually manipulate it to fit the required size and already had the characteristics of wood. It was also free from any good retailer 🙂
Yes I did!
In practice though, the construction was not as easy as it might appear. First I clipped the back off the Shrine, losing the hole for the skull pit, which I wasn’t a fan of anyway. This made the shire fit better, then I removed my sides, as the sticks would make up the walls. Then balancing the shine roughly where I wanted it with Blu-Tack, I eyeballed the length required for my first stick, roughly in the middle on the side, I snapped it to the right length, this also gave a nice rough and ready look. I did this for about four or five sticks placing each one down on my cutting mat side by side. I then completed the process again for a second layer of sticks to sit on top of the first but slightly lower. This was essential for two main reasons: first it would provide the Howdah with a bit of strength; second it would allow me to cover and hide a few errors as I went around the outside of the shrine’s floor plate. Once happy with the positions this section was glued together with PVA glue and allowed to dry overnight. Picture two was taken after construction but provides direct reference to my points above.
Gluing section by section to the Warshrine with superglue, slowly allowed me to build up the wall of my Howdah, this was delicate work as this only provides small contact surface between the wall and the floor plate. Once all the walls were complete I applied green stuff on the underside liberally to increase contact areas and add strength to the model. At this time I also attached the saddle/seats onto the Mammoth and used more green stuff to build them up to make small stands that would allow me to pin the two sections together. This is a bit trial and error, with a lot of marking and remarking but once I was happy with the placement I waited for the green stuff to set, and attached pins to the Mammoth and holes on the underside of the Howdah.
The next day the whole model was sprayed black and then dry brushed up using four browns. Vallejo paints Black Brown, Chocolate Brown, Ochre Brown and Yellow Ochre, mix these 50/50 and end up applying 8 or nine light coats this is very much base colours, as seen in picture two.
I next added a few ornaments and decorations, the chopping block fitted in the Howdah and one of the bone sides of the Warshrine fit nicely on the back of the wall to keep the Chaos feel. I added some cardboard, cut in strips, around the outside of the Howdah at 90 degrees to the coffee sticks, to provide the look of metal banding. Then I added some shields and green stuff moulded to look like nails. These were all painted with base colours as described above, before being glued in place, metal being painted with just a layer of Tin Bitz.
With the construction over apart from crew, I added base colours to areas not yet touched. Flat Flesh for the mammoth’s skin, and Rotting Flesh for wounds. Cavalry Brown for straps and leather and Kamo Karki for bone areas. My painting style is quite basic but I do tend to take my time on each stage, which I help improves my results, but my rule of thumb being: if it’s not simple to do, I won’t be doing it!
The next stage after base colours; for me is usually shades and washes, and this was no different. On the hair and fur I applied a liberal but heavily watered down Earthshade wash, about 10/90% water. I then added a small amount of a Dark Green Ink and then touched the Howdah in places where I would image water damage to the wood, i.e around joins etc. (Not forgetting to do shields and Leather) Then I used Nuln Oil to darken the metal and add shade to the skin, finally mixing Nuln Oil and Earthshade together to add shade to the Bone. These mixes were usually of a 50/50 split and then watered down by half again. I then went back and covered 50% or so of the model again, with the last base colour used, this simple technique I have found adds: shade; depth and then highlight to a basic level, this is what I usually call table top standard. No need for all the complaining about standards, just my opinion :).
I now began work on the highlighting which involved Bleached Bone on the bone areas; I painted in small lines in a continual direction in order to achieve the effect on the horns. Dwarf Flesh on the Mammoth’s skin. Dwarf Bronze and Bolt Gun Metal, on the metal areas and finally a mix of Blood Read and Cavalry Brown into open wounds and edge highlighting for the leather. At this stage I was ready to attach the model to the Warshrine base, which the Mammoth luckily just fits onto, using the same technique covered previously in posts.
This left the finial part of the model the rider; I spent a few weeks thinking about what or who I wanted, but I came to the conclusion to add a model I have previously painted to keep with the feel for the army, it also happened to fit in for a tournament list I was toying with at the time. This model was a Wizard, which would take the Warshrine as a mount. It has actually been a while since I painted this Wizard, so I am not sure of the painting combinations I used at the time, but it mainly comprises of bone, browns, and pinks which fit my army perfectly.
I am really pleased with how the finished model has turned out, probably one of my best, which hopefully shows that you don’t have to be a great painter to produce something nice, and will inspire some of you out there to give something a go. My main advice is even if you have a concept idea, get you bits together and be prepared to let them change as you construct. If anyone has any questions or needs more information please feel free to leave me a comment and I will happily respond. 🙂
Tales from Albian
Hello and welcome to my first instalment of Tales from Albian, I know it’s not right but I made it up.
Where to start? It’s been a long time since I posted anything….that does not to mean to say I have not been doing something. Oh how I wish that I didn’t have so much to paint. My plastic crack partner in crime and I have spent the last few months, ploughing through our latest project, which is the ongoing saga of our Chaos Army of massive proportions….
But wait before I get into that, maybe a short recap for those of you who haven’t read or seen any of my pervious posts. Last year or longer, time disappears in the great eye faster than you think; I posted some pictures of some complete regiments of the Beastmen, Warriors and a stack load of Marauders. As I ploughed through this rank and file, I developed the idea of making my Warriors of Chaos side of this army more Barbarians themed, to add to the overall feral base of this army.
This brings me nicely into this blog post. During my infinite sessions of self torture to the God of Pleasure, I inhaled so much plastic that a funny vision of strapping young man with nothing but a loin cloth and an axe! Now before you all start to switch off like any sane man half way through a Game of Thrones episode, I realised that my old Warriors and Knights for my Slaanesh were a bit plain and over done idea. So my minds eye opened and out popped a horde north of the wall theme. Yes I know you guessed where that came from.
But in my defence I have been experimenting with bases recently and had stumbled upon a swamp and stone technique for making a simple yet effective looking base, plus I had loads of unused snow flock. I combined that with just having finished around 50 Marauders and I was slowly starting to like how I painted skin. (Only after 25 years of painting it.) As you can see this isn’t a million miles away from me making a leap, well small baby step, in the direction of a Barbarian theme.
Enough of my spiel, down to business! Around the core of the units you see above, I decided that I needed a heavier version of each, these in game terms could then be used for Warriors and Knights instead of Horseman and Marauders. This meant that I would have to convert and ultimately paint to a lot better standard than I have been.
Off to eBay I went for some cheep bits to start the conversion work. I started by getting myself some cheep cork sheets recommended to me by my evil twin @CPJohnson80. Luckily I also spotted some new Chaos Knight spares, I damned Tzeentch twice for making me pay stupid P&P costs but I hope it was worth it. Once all my bits arrived I started by constructing 14 heavily armoured horsemen, two of which would be added to the old unit as a command. This effect I achieved by simply adding a few Knights shoulder pads and adding spears axes and shields to all of the models, then layering bits of cork randomly on the bases to achieve the effect below.
Next I set about spray painting the entire model after cleaning up with a craft knife. Once spray painted I proceeded to get some random horseflesh tones down as base colours. I went with one cream (Bleached Bone base), two greys (Shadow Grey) 4 bays (Bestial Brown) and the rest chestnut (Scorched Brown), using the entire unit as a bit of an experiment on flesh tones. Once the base colours were down on the majority of the model I mixed the next tone up from the horse flesh colour I had picked and proceeded to paint small hair lines on large open areas of flesh, to mimic the appearance of horse hair. Once complete I applied a base colour tone wash over the skin to blend into the model, watered down 50/50.
[Undercoat and wash stages.]
Once dry I dry brushed the hair, and finished other parts of the saddle in a Cavalry Brown, again applying a brown ink to add depth. The horse cloth was painted in Warlock Purple and highlighted to Tentacle Pink, finally washed with Magenta Ink watered down to about 25/75 split. Bases flocked, dry brushed and static grass added completing the final look.
Next onto the riders, once again spray black and clean up with a craft knife, remember don’t sacrifice a finger to Khorne. Then I put down base colours, Dark flesh for the skin, and Warlock Purple on the belt and straps, Cavalry Brown on the boots and blue on the trousers for a tartan theme, we are north of the wall, ahhhh see you were all thinking something else weren’t you!
Cover any bone or wraps Scorched Brown, final colour that I have just gotten used to doing, is a Tin Bitz covering all metal parts immediately followed by a slightly watered down Boltgun Silver to give the metal a heavy and used feel, I don’t necessary have to cover all of the Tin Bitz.
The pink on the riders was completed in the same fashion as the horses; the boots and all other leather the same as the horses’ saddle. The bone and wraps slowly layered up through Camo into Bleached, while the metal is just lightly dry brushed with Silver. This leaves just detailing on the trousers and skin. Now I wont pretend to be ‘Pro Painter’ I am sure you will find much better guides on painting skin than I could ever provide but for what it is worth I layered about 4 or 5 layers from Dark Flesh through to Tanned Flesh then Dwarf Flesh, finishing extreme highlights with Elf Flesh on any high raised areas. This wasn’t your normal layered painstakingly for years on end jobs, just a 100-80-60-40 covering mixed 50/50 between each paint, in about 5-6 layers, but where required attention was paid to ensure not to stark a difference, by simply repeating from the layer before if it looked wrong.
Now as you can see they appeared to turn out ok, and in my mind to a high table quality. They also achieved my original aim of looking slightly heavier horse, through the addition of a shoulder pad and spears. The last thing I made was a magnetised base; if you are interested in how to make one I have already covered that in an older post.
Your comments and feedback are most welcome, even if you don’t like them. If this blog series gets enough traction I aim to extend the posts covering this army, so look out for more Tales from Albian.
Follow me on Twitter: @freexerjin
After finishing my Titan a few months ago, I’ve been trying to catch up with my never ending line of 40k Space Marines and Tau, and now Horus Heresy Space Marines too. I have the beginnings of a decent 30k Raven Guard force now (you may have seen my Caestus Assault Ram a few weeks ago?). I have a heavy weapon squad, some scimitar jetbikes and other bits to add in the future when they are ready and it’s Games Day UK this Sunday of course – so I’ll probably add more bits! 😀
We are also in the process of sorting out a Tykens Rift YouTube channel. I’m not sure exactly what we’ll put up there but I expect it will be a few V-logs of what we’re working on and some general hobby based chatter. More on that soon.
So… I bought a Thunderhawk Gunship. It was expensive. It’s not terribly well cast. It needs lots of reshaping.
But it’s a THUNDERHAWK GUNSHIP. Number 1704 in fact.
After checking through the big box of components for this flying monster (by the way, Forge World’s “instructions” leave a bit to be desired and there is no ‘contents checklist’ either!) I set about giving the immediate parts of the fuselage a nice soapy resin bath and attacked the resin gates with my trusty razor saw to remove all the excess.
After the first and second soapy bath it became clear that they would need a third. There is so much release agent on these parts that I think I may even need to attack them with good old Fairy Power Spray.
I will be doing that later today.
In the meantime I decided I needed to get to most scary part of this whole process out of the way; drilling the hole for the flying stand! I had help for my long suffering friend, Chris, who was nice enough to hold the bottom of the fuselage while I went for it with a Forstner drill.
Here’s the before shot:
And here’s the after shot:
All the doomsayers amongst you may be saying.. “my god! You drilled through the detail of the engine!”
Yes. I did.
Because it’s the best place to sit the acrylic rod from the base. Now it needs a little cleaning up as you can see but the reverse shot looks better. I can now run a brass rod between each side of the lower fuselage which will act as a ‘stopper’ for the flying base rod and as reinforcing pins when I mount the wings! 🙂
That’s where I am so far. I have a busy couple of weeks now with Games Day and then Apocalypse Doubles at Warhammer World to attend so I’m not sure when the next update will be but I’ll try and keep to a weekly schedule.