Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Viking/barbarian Sculpt

A quick WIP post. It started as an anatomy study and with the addition of pants and weapons turned into some kind of savage tribesman. Should be finished by next week. 

And merry Christmas -- if you celebrate it -- to all of you.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Finished sculpt: Necromunda Orlock

I'm happy with him. He isn't perfect but he is just about the best that I can do right now. I think I can get better. I'm going to try to get better. 

I've started the next miniature. 
It is mostly an anatomy study but I think I'll give him an axe and shield and call him a half naked Viking berserker. 

Monday, 7 December 2015

Whole Miniature Sculpt: Part 6

Almost there! It's feeling like a marathon of fine details now. 

Not much to go --eyes and some details-- and he is all done. I'll up date again when it is all finished with more and better pictures. 

Monday, 30 November 2015

Whole Miniature Sculpt: Part 5

It's slow progress at the moment. Yesterday, after a week is slow work defining and sharpening details, I did the first bake. Half-an-hour at 110 C and it was all done. Last night I began adding details and making the loin cloth more dynamic. Most of the details are unfinished sketches so I can see what looks good and what doesn't. 

So it's more details, the hands and eyes before finishing sometime this week (I hope) 

Monday, 23 November 2015

Whole Miniature Sculpt: Part 4.

This is an up-date post. I'm still working away at it and it's coming along quite nicely. I had planed a long how to post on sculpting faces but found it very hard to get good pictures. I'll do such a post another time when I can really make it good. Sorry. I'm happy to answer any questions...  

This was a test face that I did just to make sure I still knew what I was doing. It worked out ok. Note that it is about half again 32mm toy soldier scale. About 8mm. Big but not huge. 

And this is where the orlock is at. I'm going to sharpen details and sort out a few issues before the first (terrifying) bake late in the week. Then it will just be the hands, details (chains, studs, armour plates etc) and the loin cloth to go. 

I think it may just turn out ok. What do you reckon? ;-)

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Whole Miniature sculpt: Part 3

Ok, just a quick update date today. I'll try to do a more comprehensive rundown early in the week once I can get back to my regular computer.  

Arms and vest just about done. Needs more tidying before moving onto the head and hands. Debating baking it before moving onto those. 

You'll have all guessed what it is by now. I just hope that I'm doing the original Jes sketches justice. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Whole Miniature Sculpt: Part 2

Not a lot of progress over the weekend, real life and fatigue got in the way! 

It's just been a matter of adding details and smoothing the FIMO out. Still more work to do there with things like finishing the belt and buckle. The arms are the next thing to start on before the jacket/vest. 

I'll post again later in the week. 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Whole Miniature Sculpt: Part 1

I’m going to sculpt more. I’ve done some over the years but never enough to feel like I know what I’m doing. It is difficult and far less relaxing than painting. Typically I make one whole models before giving up and going back to smearing pigment on plastic. This time I’m going to try to build up a head of steam and get a few models done. The plan is to document my progress here stage-by-stage. Questions, words of encouragement, criticism and/or kicks up the arse to keep me motivated are welcome. 

I rolled out some ProCreate between to pieces of 2mm plastic card to give a consistent thickness. I used talcum powder to stop the putty sticking to the roller in the same way you use flour when rolling pastry. 

After the putty was fully cured it was just a case of cutting out the shapes I wanted with a sharp knife and filing down any angels. In this case the blade of the knife and the stock of the gun. ProCreate is like Green Stuff but can be filed and drilled after it has set. It’s great stuff and I use it filling gaps on models rather than GS.

To make the armature I twisted together two pieces of wire and put on another piece of wire for the head. This piece was superglued in place and bound tighter with some thin wire, again for strength. 

Using a Gundam pen (a very thin felt-tipped pen) I marked the shoulders, hips, elbows, knees and feet before bending it into the pose that I wanted. This is, I’ve learned, one of the most critical stages. If you get the proportions of the anatomy wrong here the final model will look wrong. I think that these are right but only time will tell. This armature was then put on a base of baked (hardened) Sculpty. 

A thin covering of Green Stuff was added over the wire and when the GS was still soft and sticky FIMO added to cover it.

This is the basis that the rest of the model will be made on. As the GS cures it makes a good solid base that I can work and add FIMO to. 

Here I’m beginning to fill out the anatomy and almost have the boots done.

And here is the model a few days later. Progress hasn’t been great this last week: PAXaus was on Saturday and I’ve come down with a cold! The legs and boots are all but done and I’ve began on the torso and shirt. It's very messy at the moment, with lots unfinished. Just needs plenty of more work.

A few notes: 

- FIMO is an sculpting clay that hardens when you bake it. I use it because, unlike GS or ProCreate, you can work it for weeks. As I’m still learning it means I can correct my constant mistakes. It is mixed about 50/50 with some FIMO softener to give it a better, less crumbly, more waxy consistency. 

- This may not be the very best way to make an armature. Twisting the wire together gives you a very stiff, inflexible “spine” and limits poses to a degree. In the past I’ve soldered three pieces of wire to form the arms, spine and legs but found that this was prone to breaking when posing and re-posing once it had putty on it. I’ve also used A frames of wire with another length of wire for the arms. This too was weak and prone to breaking.

- The plan is to do as much as I can before baking. This increases the chance that I will accidentally put thumb-print by grabbing it wrong or obliterating some detail if i drop it, but it is better to have the option of changing anything at any point. With epoxy putties like GS or ProCreate changing things at a late stage means cutting bits off and starting again. With FIMO I can add and subtract thing as I go.

That's it for now. I've got a busy weekend coming up so expect a post early next week. Any questions just pop them in the comments.


Tuesday, 20 October 2015


This is a great model and I enjoyed painting it. All of the miniatures from the AoS box is just outstanding and I'm looking forward to working every last one.  

Though, before I start on any other khornites I've something else in mind... More very soon.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

More Blood. And A Battle.

Working on the Bloodsecrator. Not much to see but I'm happy so far. 

They are such great models that it doesn't take much for them to look fantastic. The biggest problem I've had with this one is the skin. I've gone for a pale translucent look with a glaze of 2:3 Rhinoxhide:blue and then some ogryn flesh to give it a living blush and some depth. 

I also got in another game of AoS. 

My warriors of chaos against an all mounted Aelf force. We played a scenario from the first big book with a kill 'em all victory condition and in the end, after five or six turns, we called it a draw. Though in my mind the Aelfs had the moral high ground. 

Things I learned from this game; 

-- Kill 'em all victory conditions can lead to dull games. 

-- Dragon ogres are a tar pit unit. They can soak up damage but don't put out that much in return. In the future I'll be trying to support them with something super killy; not sure what it will be yet!

-- Ellyrian Reavers are great. The ability to move, shoot then flee is fantastic. Chaos marauder horsemen have this same ability and I have a box of them in my stash...

-- Synergies are king. In this game I just took what was new. Next time I'll put more thought into how the units will work together. 

I also aquired this wonderful new thing-- the clean new sprues, not the beer, I understand that's been around for a while. Two internet gold stars to anybody that can identify it. Hint: maggots!

'Til next time. 


Wednesday, 30 September 2015


The AoS Blood Warriors are finished. I may put some grass on their bases if/when I Dull Coat them. I've not done it yet because I'm worried that it'll ruin the gold by flattening it out too much. That new Retributor Gold paint is great!

That's it. I'll let the models talk for them selves; no wall of text this week! Feel free to comment/ask questions. Thanks.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Why I Like The Age Of Sigmar

I’m enjoying the Age Of Sigmar. It’s been a breath of fresh air for our group, and, like my chaos Dwarfs, it’s seen many old projects come out from the cupboards of hobby shame and onto the battlefield. We’ve all been talking about new projects and the wild possibilities of the new system (An army of Giants? Why not? Empire pegasus knights? Sure! Chaos undead? Yes, please!)

Now, to put it mildly, AoS has also come in for some serious criticism, and this has gotten me thinking why it works for us. This isn’t attempt to change the doubters’ minds or answer their legitimate concerns; it’s just an attempt to set my own thoughts straight and work out what I want from the game in the future. I can’t speak for the rest of the group, but I’m sure they’ll chime in if they want!  

Dancing Is Encouraged

I aspire to have my games play out as a moving diorama where the whole story isn’t know at the start. I’m not interested in proving that I’m a better player than my opponent, nor am I interested in finding the most efficient or flexible army. The rules, the dice and all that are just to help, for the want of a better term, develop a narrative. This approach needs co-operation between players. It needs to be treated not as win-at-all-costs sporting competition but as a dance with a partner. Sure, war-games are different from a dance in that there can be a winner but this should just be seen as the final destination of the game, like the final position in a dance, not the raison d'etre for it. You don’t win a dance. You dance because it’s fun and can be beautiful. 

From this perspective a couple of the reasons AoS has been canned so roundly on-line are not important. The lack of points and the lack of balance that supposedly creates isn’t a big issue because if you are co-operating with the other player there is not the need for two evenly matched forces; you can change things as you go or set up a scenario where relative power isn’t the key to the outcome. 

Thinking about it I’ve decided that points have been a crutch for most of us for too long. With points we’ve felt that we could just throw two even pointed armies on the table, play “until you kill ‘em all” as a “scenario” and think that both players would have a satisfactory experience. This isn’t true though. We’ve all played games with points were, once we see the other players army, we know we can’t win and it will not be a fun couple of hours rolling dice. Having “even” points let us feel that crushing our opponent was ok because they had just as much chance to win and have fun as we did. Taking points away makes people think about how to set up their games and what they want out of them again, and it should lead to better experiences for those that embrace it. 

After having said that, there is a place for points systems, competitive play and army lists, it’s just that is should not be the default way of playing. One of the exciting thing of having no points system given to us from on high is the possibility of different comp systems for different events. We are already seeing this with points based systems like the UK Independent Pool and wounds based ones like Clash Of Empires. It all adds variety to the game and means that things stay fresh.  

The biggest thing that struck me reading the new lore was how restricted we had been in the Old World. One of the great strengths of the 40k universe is its staggering size, it’s millions of worlds, it’s thousands of battlefronts and untold number of combatants. It is easy for you to make your own story in it and not have to bump against the cannon —remember, whatever you do you will not me missed —, easy for you to make your own marine chapter or fortress world. In the Old World this was much harder. You couldn’t make a new province of the Empire or your own elector count. And all this was wrapped in a veneer of late medieval or renaissance Europe. Some things fitted, some could not. 

The Battle Of Issus by Albrecht Altdorfer 1529

With the new Nine Realms there is no restriction. Each of the realms is bigger and more varied than the World-That-Was. This encourages you to do whatever you can dream up and not feel like you are disrespecting the lore, and, as the whole “universe” has been created from the ground up to incorporate fantasy and magical elements, you can go really wild. Rivers of liquid metal are fine, fighting from one floating mountain to another can happen. I realise that this isn’t the Warhammer World we had and I too miss some of the grimDarkness of The Empire and it’s riffs on old Europe but the possibilities for us to create what we want make up for that in my mind.

Less Brain Strain
AoS is really just two pages of rules (The first two pages are all set up/scenario stuff that we haven’t been using, but there are also the war scrolls, of course, which takes the page count right up). I don’t have to memorise a hundred odd pages of rules and spend much of the game checking them anymore. It means that there is less strain the playing the game. I had to work myself up to a game of 8th edition and found it a real mental drain. For me shorter rules leads to a more fun game and a more pleasant time around the table. It gives me room to make a narrative and to have the moving diorama experience. It’s easer to dance..

That’s it. Sorry it turned out to be huge wall of text but my feelings were complex and need some teasing out. Thanks for getting this far. I’d be interested to hear your perspective if you are so inclined to comment.

Dance on, brothers.