Gallery

Yvraine

My painting of the Triumvirate of Ynnead continues with Yvraine, the second miniature for which I have produced a full step by step painting guide that you can get here. Faces and texturing were the most requested topics from people that got in touch following the chaplain tutorial so hopefully this will do the job!

yvraine_final1yvraine_final2yvraine_final3yvraine_final4yvraine_final6yvraine_final7yvraine_final8

This was another of those miniatures that took far longer than I expected, partly because I took the insane decision to stipple the large surface area of the dress! I wanted to come up with a completely different colour scheme to the ‘Eavy Metal version and I’m quite pleased with what I ended up with.

As is often the way with me, the base is probably not up to the standard of the rest of the miniature. I have to admit that I found it difficult to come up with any good ideas, since the dress requires a very large perfectly flat area to sit on. But regardless, I think Yvraine herself has come out quite well.

yvraine_close

 

Advertisements
Gallery

Miniature Painting Tutorials

You can buy my painting tutorials here. If you’d like to know more about the reasons for me going down this route then read on…

promopic1k

When I originally set up this blog one of my aspirations was to share my techniques with a wider audience in the hope that it would be useful to my fellow hobbyists. Of course, I didn’t quite realise at the time just how much work goes into creating good quality tutorials! It’s very difficult for me to justify spending so much time doing this when I could be doing something else. (Like painting!)

I’d still like to share this information though, and I have been pondering the best way of doing it. I don’t really want to go down the Patreon route as it doesn’t sit well with me that someone can sign up and immediately get access to everything an artist has produced (and then cancel the subscription if they feel so inclined). It feels like a very raw deal for the people that have been paying for the service for months! I’m also wary of committing myself to having to produce quality content every month.

I’ve therefore decided to try offering individual tutorials for sale on Etsy. I like this approach better, as it means you can just buy a tutorial if you’re interested in it without committing to ongoing payments. And I don’t have to commit myself to producing material on a very regular basis.

I’ve chosen the blood angels chaplain as the subject of my first masterclass because it uses a lot of the same colours and techniques as my slayer sword winning diorama, and I know people are interested in how I went about doing that. The tutorial does assume a certain level of familiarity with painting just to keep the length manageable, so if you are a total beginner then it may not be suitable.

This is a total stab in the dark as I really have no idea how much of an audience there will be for this. I’m hoping for enough sales that I can justify making more tutorials in future! If you do purchase the tutorial then please do let me know your thoughts, as I’m very willing to take on board criticism and improve the format.

Gallery

Blood Angels Chaplain

I’ve had the blood angels chaplain in my “future projects” pile for years, but with the advent of primaris space marines it became clear to me that if I didn’t get off my backside and make the chaplain a current project pretty soon then he’d probably never get painted!

I’ve been sharing some work in progress on instagram (nicholas.gareth), but here he is in all his finished glory.

chaplain1chaplain2chaplain3chaplain4chaplain5chaplain6chaplain7

chaplain8

If you’d like to know every detail about how I painted this miniature then you can purchase a painting guide here. I’ve used pretty much the same paints and techniques that I used when I painted my slayer sword winning blood angels diorama, so if you’d like some more insight into how that piece was created then this guide is for you!

The chaplain is also for sale, so please contact me if you’re interested in adding him to your collection. Sold, sorry!

chaplain_ins_5

Gallery

Bunny!

A slightly different type of miniature today as I present my first experiment with full colour 3d printing!

miffy1miffy2miffy3

My wife is a huge fan of a certain well known bunny rabbit so I thought this would be a great opportunity to make her a little gift.

I created a bunny model and coloured it in using blender, then uploaded the file to Shapeways. Definitely a different kind of painting to what I’m used to!

The full colour sandstone material that Shapeways offer is a bit rougher than the material I usually get my miniatures printed in, and there are more limitations over the type of model that can be successfully produced. It’s fascinating technology though, and it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves.

If you want a bunny of your own then you can purchase one from Shapeways here. 🙂

Gallery

Vampire Lord and Dragon Maiden in 15 mm

IMG_1964

It has been a while since I completed any 15 mm sculpts so I’ve been really keen to get back to it. I enjoy the sculpting, but the best thing for me is that I can paint each miniature in a relatively short time before the inevitable boredom sets in and other projects start to look more alluring!

I decided to exploit one of the advantages of digital sculpting and modify my existing 30 mm files to make shiny new 15 mm figures. This kind of thing appeals greatly to a lazy git like me!

(It should be noted that the process is a bit more involved than simply hitting scale 0.5 in blender, since this would result in details that would be too small to print successfully and would be out of proportion with the rest of my 15 mm range.)

IMG_1958IMG_1959IMG_1960

The original dragon maiden is here. I’ve made some improvements to the face for this version, and I went with a different colour scheme.

IMG_1976IMG_1977IMG_1978IMG_1979

I also went with a different colour scheme for the Vampire Lord. This guy is pretty big for a 15 mm figure – he’s actually more like 16.5 mm to the eye. I’ve made some changes to the face vs the 30 mm version after I realised that I hadn’t exaggerated some of the features enough.

You can buy these two miniatures as a set on Shapeways. The price (as ever) is higher than I’d like. Unfortunately these two miniatures use more resin than my average 15 mm which makes them more expensive under Shapeways’ pricing formula.

Gallery

Vampire Lord (for real this time)

Vamp painted1Vamp painted2Vamp painted3Vamp painted4

My latest sculpting and painting project is this vampire lord. I’m not really sure what motivated me to make a vampire – normally I’m quite happy sticking to elves!

This is actually my second attempt at a vampire: avid readers of this blog may remember that I showed some renders a few months back. I did actually get that guy printed but soon realised that there was just too much wrong with my sculpt to bother painting it. There’s plenty wrong with this version as well, but I’m pleased that it’s at least an improvement over his predecessor!

I’ve sculpted him at a scale which should mean he fits quite well into the Warhammer Age of Sigmar universe. It’s the biggest miniature I’ve made so far, which sadly increases the cost of getting him 3D printed. The miniature in the pictures is mounted on a 32 mm base.

As usual, you can buy a copy from Shapeways should you wish.

Vamp painted5

Inspired by the slayer sword winning Nagash diorama I went with non metallic metal and experimented with a different palette to my usual tried and tested steel and gold recipes. I actually regret going down the nmm route now – I got bored painting about half way through and decided to go for a “good enough” paint job rather than a competition standard paint job. I could definitely make this better if I was prepared to put more hours into it, but I have other exciting projects that I want to work on at the moment!

I’m still using blender for all my sculpting. I’d like to get zbrush but after getting a free trial I wasn’t able to justify spending so much for a few neat tricks that I can’t do with blender. I think it’s still the user rather than the software that is the limiting factor at the moment!

I’ll finish this post off with some renders of the sculpt and something new for me: my first ever youtube video!

vamp lord render 1vamp lord render 2vamp lord render 6

 

 

 

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

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

Small Ox Miniatures: what’s in the box?

Ok, you’ve ordered your exquisitely crafted Small Ox Miniatures from Shapeways, what happens next?

Shapeways will print your order and ship it out to you via UPS. Recently I’ve been getting miniatures in my hand less than a week after placing the order, but it is possible that you’ll have to wait a little longer if there is a lot of demand on the printers.

Inside your (overly large) cardboard box you’ll find plenty of padding, and packages like this:

shapeways1

The amount of packaging would have you believe we’re dealing with extremely fragile pieces here, but actually the miniatures are made of a reasonably flexible plastic and are quite robust.

Inside the bubble wrap your miniatures will look something like this:

shapeways2shapeways3

The price of the miniatures is determined by amount of material they use, but there is also a fixed charge per part. By connecting the miniatures together in this way, the ‘per part’ cost is only incurred once which makes them as inexpensive as possible.*

You can see that due to the thinness of the connecting plastic it has warped a bit, illustrating the flexibility. Doesn’t matter anyway – we don’t want that bit!

Here are super close ups of one of the miniatures (this is 15 mm scale, so  very small):

shapeways2closeshapeways3close

You can see that the material is pretty smooth right out of the packet. The front side of the miniatures is smoother and less glossy than the back because of the way the miniatures are oriented during printing.

Shapeways add some supports as part of the printing process. The little nubs you can see mostly on the back and underside of the miniatures are the remnants of these.

To get your miniatures ready for painting, simply cut the connecting plastic with clippers. A sharp scalpel will make short work of the remnants of the supports.

You can paint the miniature as it is, although I would recommend giving it a gentle scrub in warm soapy water before doing so, just in case there is anything on the surface that is going to prevent the paint from sticking.

Because I’m a tad obsessive I like to remove the relatively light print lines with sandpaper. I’ve found that 400 or 800 grit is good for this, but do be gentle with it! And of course be careful not to accidently remove any details.

After sanding I glue the miniature to a penny with superglue, and we’re ready to get painting!

shapeways4
The black plastic looks a bit scuffed up after sanding. Don’t worry, this will paint up really nicely!

 

elf_sorceress
Like this!

 

 

* On the subject of price, for customers outside the US Shapeways recalculate the price on a monthly basis to reflect the prevailing exchange rate with the dollar. The plunge in the pound over the last few months has been bad news for those of us in the UK!