Gallery

Frost Queen

ice_queen1ice_queen3ice_queen2ice_queen4

In the depths of winter, when a chill wind howls and the world has turned to white, any adventurers foolhardy enough to have strayed from the warmth of hearth and home may catch glimpse of the mysterious Frost Queen. Some say that she was once a fair maiden, but following a great tragedy she grew increasingly emotionless and aloof. Ultimately her heart turned to ice and she is now an adversary to be feared: cold, ruthless, and utterly sadistic, her touch is death to those that stray too close.

I’ve designed and painted lots of ships and 15 mm miniatures over the last year and consequently I’ve been neglecting 30 mm a bit. But I’ve been keen to keep progressing in this area too, and I wanted to take some of the lessons I learned making the Dragon Maiden and maybe try to do something a little bit more original.

I can’t actually remember what prompted me to go with this idea –  I probably just thought that a winter themed mini would be fun to do! I did a bit of googling and sketched some concepts and this is what I ended up with. I think I was partly inspired by some of the old Lord of the Rings miniatures and I wanted a simple mini, without any weapons or overtures of war.

As ever, being far too tight to shell out for pro software like Zbrush, I sculpted the Frost Queen in Blender. My main challenges here were to do a better job on the face and get a bit more practice with cloth. I think I did do some things better than the Dragon Maiden, but as soon as I got the print in hand I could see things I wanted to improve! I won’t go on about all the faults here, but suffice it to say that I see many…

I didn’t do anything special when it came to painting. It was a bit of a no brainer to stick to cold colours, and the long flowing robes are obvious candidates for a bit of colour transition. I avoided any temptation for freehand and texturing in order to keep it quick, since I have other projects waiting. I think I turned this around in about 15 hours, which is pretty fast for me! The snow on the base is Valhallan Blizzard from Citadel. First time I’ve tried it but it seems pretty good to me. 🙂

I’ve entered the Frost Queen into Shapeways’ heroes and villains sculpting contest. No idea how I’ll get on with that, but fingers crossed! If you want a Frost Queen of your own then you can buy one here.

Gallery

Treacherous Tides

elves_v_humans

Ahoy, me hearties! The Kingdoms of Men and High Elf fleets have continued to expand, and I now have 3 classes of vessel designed, printed and painted for each navy. I’ve settled on 1:900 scale for this project, as it’s a good trade-off between getting some great details and keeping the cost down.

I designed the ships in Blender and had them printed at Shapeways in the high definition plastic that continues to impress me. It’s possible to make out the individual bolts on the elven weapons and I’ve even been able to add little wheels on to the gun carriages on the human vessels.

Considering these miniatures are printed on a high end Envisiontec DLP machine, the cost is very reasonable. It’s still more expensive than I’d like though, so I’ve taken steps to minimise this as much as possible: hollowing out the undersides of the hulls, connecting multiple ships together so they get charged as a single part, and substituting the sea bases for a less expensive FDM material.

The ships are now up for sale in my Shapeways shop. There is even a nifty tool that lets you look at the models in 3D. The next step is to add some flyers! I’m thinking a griffon for the humans and a phoenix for the elves.

I’m looking forward to playing some more Galleys and Galleons with these now!

elf_battlecruiser1elf_battlecruiser2elf_cruiser1elf_cruiser2elf_patrol1elf_patrol2

human_griffon1human_griffon2human_eagle1human_eagle2human_kestrel1human_kestrel2

Gallery

Kingdoms of Men: Kestrel

“I tell you true: the Kestrel ain’t a flash sort o’ship, oh no. Not many opportunities for your death or glory capt’n to distinguish theirselves when they’s carrying dispatches or on the lookout for smugglers. She’s still got teeth though, mark my words. Aye, you can scoff, but many’s the merchant found hisself striking to a Kestrel that he let get too close.”

kestrel1kestrel2kestrel3kestrel4

This is the first of my ships for an inevitable human fleet. I was loosely inspired by my old Bretonnian Buccaneers from Man O’ War when designing this, but I’ve elected to go with a small number of cannon rather than a catapult, in addition to various other differences. I suppose I could make a catapult variant without too much difficulty if I decide to go full-on nostalgia mode. 😉

As with the Elf ship I shared a couple of weeks back, this is another sculpt that I’ve rescaled to 1:900. I had to make some sacrifices in terms of detail, but even so the ship still sports a wheel and even tiny gun carriages. Again, it’s a combination of Shapeways materials: a high def black acrylate ship with a white strong flexible base. I’m calling my fledgling range of fantasy vessels “Treacherous Tides” and I’ll put them up for sale on my Shapeways store soon.

In other exciting news I now possess copies of Galleys and Galleons and the fantasy expansion, Fayre Winds and Foul Tides from Ganesha Games. Apparently these rules work well for around 6-7 ships per sides so we’re not talking full fleet actions here, but that’s good since I don’t have many ships (yet 😉 ). Thinking about it, my Man O’ War fleet wasn’t much bigger than this anyway. I’m looking forward to trying these rules out with the Dreadfleet mat and islands I’ve still got lying around.

Gallery

High elf ship

This blog may well take on something of a nautical air in 2017. Last year I shared some renders of various vessels that I’d been playing around with in Blender. These were all 1:600 scale since I felt that was a good size to let me get enough details in. After a few Shapeways experiments I decided that this was a little too large – when I wanted to make some big ships they were going to start getting seriously expensive!

I’ve therefore re-worked a few of my designs into 1:900 scale to see whether I can retain a reasonable amount of detail in this more cost effective size. This was slightly more work than just shrinking the original designs since I had to respect design rules such as minimum wall thickness, but fortunately it wasn’t too much effort to work with my saved Blender files.

elf_ship_render

It also occurred to me that I could also try printing some sea bases in the low cost ‘strong white flexible’ material that Shapeways offer. This material has a rough finish that is unsuitable for high quality miniatures, but I thought it could work nicely for drybrushing a base.

This is the smallest of the Elven vessels that I have planned, mounting a single bolt thrower in the bows and a magical obelisk at the stern. The miniature is about an inch long, so it’s fairly dimunitive! I elected to print the ship as a single piece, but if I want to go down the casting route in future it would need to be in two pieces (hull and sail).

elf_ship1elf_ship2elf_ship4elf_ship3

I’m really happy with the way the details printed in the high def acrylate material (I’ve learnt that this is actually an Envisiontec machine, though apparently not their highest quality). And I’m pleased to report that the sea base experiment was very successful. So there will be more to come!

At the moment I’m not too sure what I’ll do with these ships – I’m enjoying the happy memories of Man O’ War that working on them is bringing back. I know Ganesha has a set of naval rules (Galleys & Galleons) with a fantasy supplement (Fayre Winds & Foul Tides) that it might be worth me getting hold of, as I really like their approach to rules writing.

 

Gallery

Elf warband: Heroes

The rest of the Elf warband! As usual these mighty heroes are available on Shapeways. There is still free shipping on any order containing the original 4 heroes or the skeletons until the 20th.

elf_heroes

To add some variety to the warband, this set contains a heavily armoured Elf Lord, a Blademaster and my first cavalry – a hero riding a white lion.

lion1lion2lion_sw

One of the reasons I started working in 15 mm scale was because it would allow me to make some slightly larger miniatures without the 3d printing costs becoming too ridiculous. Sadly it’s still more expensive than I’d like, but it would have been unthinkable for me to have made this lion rider at 32 mm!

Sculpting the lion was quite a challenge and I went through a couple of iterations. I know I could still make it better but you have to draw the line somewhere and move on.

elf_lord1elf_lord2elf_lord_coin

The pose for the Elf Lord was definitely inspired by one of the Stormcast Liberators that I was painting at the time! The challenge here was to make a heavier looking suit of armour that still fit in with the aesthetic of the rest of the warband. I’m quite pleased with how this guy turned out.

blademasterblademaster_sw

The Blademaster is intended to be very fast and very deadly, but obviously quite vulnerable since he doesn’t put much stock in wearing armour. I made him slightly less muscular than the Warriors of Darkness savages but I think I maybe could have gone a bit further.

That’s the second warband complete now, so I’ll be giving the 15 mm miniatures a rest for a bit. It’s probably time to get back to a slightly larger scale!

elf_warband

Gallery

Elf warband: Sorceress and retinue

Shock horror! Gareth has made some elves! Who would have thought it? 😉

More of my increasingly large collection of 15 mm miniatures, this fearsome elven sorceress and her retinue can now be purchased from Shapeways. Until 20th November you can even get free shipping if you buy them with the original four heroes or the skeletons.

elves1_frontelves1_rear

I love the aesthetic of Games Workshop’s High Elves but I didn’t just want to replicate the pointy helmets and scale mail vibe in a different scale, so I’ve come up with a slightly different take. The inspiration is probably still quite obvious though!

This isn’t quite all the elves I’ve sculpted, but some production issues with the more adventurous sculpts mean that this is all I can share for now. I hope to show the rest in a few weeks. Then I’ll finally have two full warbands and the Song of Blades and Heroes adventures can commence!

elf_sorceress_sw

It’s challenging to capture the female form with such distorted proportions but I’m fairly pleased with the result here. Part of me wishes I’d had the sorceress floating a bit higher in the air, but concerns about the centre of gravity and the extra cost of using more material made me keep her fairly close to the ground. Not much danger of her falling over when she’s attached to a penny though!

I elected to use liche purple and warlock purple instead of the red spot colour I’ve used on all the other elves to make her seem a bit more otherworldly. A couple of cheeky bits of freehand emphasize her importance. 😉

elf1_swelf2_swelf3_sw

Back on familiar ground here with my tried and testing non metallic metal recipes. I’ve elected to go with turquoise (the citadel triad of stegadon scale green, sotek green and temple guard blue) rather than the more traditional blue. And you have to have white cloth somewhere on an elf!

Well, it wouldn’t be a 15 mm post without a gratuitous money shot so I suppose I’d better close with this:

sorceress_penny

Gallery

Warriors of Darkness

darkwarriors800The first of two small warbands that I’ve created for use in skirmish games like Song of Blades and Heroes, here we have the ultimate bad guys – the warriors of darkness!

As with all my 15 mm miniatures, I’ve made these available for anyone that would like to get hold of them via Shapeways.

A bit of a mixed bag here. The two heavily armoured warriors were sculpted over a year ago with the rest of the warband being more recent. I think it probably shows a bit in the poses!

15mm_renderrelentless

I’m really pleased with how the leader of the force, known only as the Relentless, has turned out. I had to go through quite a few iterations before all the details printed nicely but it was worth it in the end. It was great fun painting the demonic shoulder pad and the chipped shiny red armour. The largest chips are sculpted, but I added a few smaller ones with the brush.

summoner

I shared this guy previously, so you can see more of him here. Every good fantasy warband needs a magic user!

dark_elite1dark_elite2The heavily armoured elite. You don’t want to mess with these guys! Again, you can see how well the black high def acrylate captures very fine details – the chainmail loincloths are incredibly tiny.

dark_savage1dark_savage2The lowly savages can’t afford as much armour as their brethren but they make up for it with muscle.

relentless_coinrelentless_stormcastJust a couple of shots to try and give a better idea of the scale of these guys. I’m conscious that they may look a little rough blown up to five times actual size, but they look great in the hand (honest 😉 ). I don’t fancy that stormcast’s chances!

I took some work in progress photos while I was painting one of the savages, so I intend to write a future post documenting that process (I have to finish up the dark sword tutorial first). In the meantime, here are some of the main colours used:

Red armour

Basecoat: khorne red (GW)

Highlight: squig orange (GW):white 1:1, then add more white

Shade: Add black to khorne red

Glaze: Evil sunz scarlet (GW) and khorne red

NMM bronze

Basecoat: dark flesh (GW):vermin brown (GW) 1:1

Highlight: orange brown (VMC):creamy ivory (reaper) 1:1, then add more creamy ivory

Shade: rhinox hide (GW), black

Savage flesh

Basecoat: fair highlight (reaper):rakarth flesh (GW) 2:1

Shade: rakarth:cloudy grey (reaper):rhinox hide (GW) 1:1:1 with a bit of reikland fleshshade (GW) added to the mix

cloudy grey:rhinox:black 1:1:1

Highlight: creamy ivory (reaper):white 1:1

 

I’ll leave you with a teaser for the next warband – elves!

elfrender

Gallery

Fantasy Ships

Back in the day I had a part time job as the admiral of a mighty Bretonnian Man O’ War fleet that ruled the waves of my bedroom carpet. I’ve always retained a fondness for fantasy naval vessels, so I suppose it was inevitable that I’d try my hand at making a few.

The renders here are a selection of the ships that I’ve created in blender. Blender is really good for this kind of hard surface modelling and it was great fun coming up with various designs.

I’ve printed most of these at Shapeways, but I haven’t had enough time to put any paint on them as yet. Too many projects and not enough time! These are firmly on the back burner while I work on figure sculpting.

The ships are roughly 1:600 scale, which is larger than Man O’ War but I found this to be a nice size to get all the details I wanted to include to print nicely. Each ship is split into at least 2 pieces that I think would probably be castable, but it’s not something I intend to explore.

human_ships

human_ships2
You may not be able to make out the spokes on the wheels of these human ships, but they actually print really well!

elf_ships

elf_ships2
Elves – of course! My thinking was that they’d have some powerful magic users, hence the obelisks of power at the stern and the arcane dais on the catamaran.
dragon_ships
Dragon ships. The heads at the front breath fire, which is best avoided if you’re in a wooden ship…
chaos_ship
This demonic vessel uses a combination of wind and slave power to ram enemies, and has an unholy portal mounted amidships through which unspeakable things can be summoned to assist in boarding!
Gallery

Savage beasts

beasts1k_1beasts1k_2beasts1k_3

A few more of my own sculpts fresh off the painting table. These were actually sculpted about a year ago but I only just got round to doing something with them.

Quite a range of sizes with this trio as the goblin is only 11 mm to the eyes, whereas the minotaur is a far more imposing 21 mm and is therefore mounted on a 2 pence piece, as befits his status. 😉

One of the many reasons I like this scale is that it gives me the opportunity to create some relatively large beasties without the costs becoming too ridiculous. I definitely intend on doing some more in this vein in the future.

I’m currently sculpting a small elf warband for use in skirmish games like Songs of Blades and Heroes but I think I’m likely to do something similar for the greenskins in the not too distant future, so the orc and goblin are useful concepts for that.

I’m making these available in frosted detail on Shapeways. Recently there have been hints on the forum that the high definition acrylate material will be rolled out for general use fairly soon, which would be really good news.

orcminotaurgoblin

Main colours used

Green skin

Base: warpstone glow (GW)

Highlight: scorpion green (GW) with a touch of creamy ivory (reaper), add more creamy ivory

Shade: caliban green (GW), black

Yellow armour

Base: khemri brown (GW), then golden yellow (GW)

Shade: dark flesh (GW)

Highlight: creamy ivory (reaper) with a touch of flash gitz yellow (GW)

Glaze with flash gitz

Minotaur skin

Basecoat: tallarn flesh (GW) and calthan brown (GW) 1:1

Shade: rhinox hide (GW) and black 1:1

Highlight: tallarn flesh, then add in yellowed bone (reaper). Final highlight yellowed bone and white 1:1

Glaze wazdakka red (GW) and liche purple (GW) into recesses

Minotaur armour

Basecoat: black

Highlight: khorne red (GW) and white 2:1, white with a touch of squig orange (GW)

Glaze with khorne red, evil sunz scarlet (GW) and squig orange

Gallery

Infernal summoner

ES1ES2ES3ES4ES5ES6

When I started sculpting my 15 mm guys, I was envisaging a little game involving the four heroes against various classic fantasy baddies that could be played on a coffee table. The idea was that these would be brought into being by an arch villain: the summoner.

As often happens I lost my way with that project, although I do have various evil henchmen sitting around waiting for a bit of paint. I’ll get round to that eventually, but since I have actually painted the head honcho himself I thought it was worth sharing.

With this miniature I wanted to convey the impression that he is mid-summon, floating above the ground wreathed in infernal flames. I do have a nagging feeling that he might look more like he’s being immolated, but there’s not much I can do about that now!

I decided to paint some object source lighting on this piece, as I thought it would help sell the flame effect. I’m not generally a big fan of OSL as I find it often seems to photograph better than it looks in the hand. But I’m reasonably pleased with the result here – especially on the metallic bits around his waist. I suppose I could photograph him against a darker background to make it look better in the pictures.

I’ll make him available on my shapeways shop soon…

A couple of gratuitous shots for scale:

ES_handES_pencil

Colours used as follows:

Armour

Basecoat: khorne red

Highlight: squig orange and white

Shade: Add black to khorne red

Glaze with evil sunz scarlet and khorne red

NMM bronze

Basecoat: 1:1 dark flesh and vermin brown

Highlight: 1:1 orange brown and creamy ivory, add more creamy ivory

Shade: rhinox hide, black

Flame

Basecoat white, build up colours with flash gitz yellow, trollslayer orange, evil sunz scarlet, black