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Vampire Lord (for real this time)

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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.

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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!

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Preparations for Golden Demon 2017

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Up until a couple of weeks ago I wasn’t sure if I’d attend Warhammer Fest. Although I always enjoy chatting to my fellow painters and the studio guys that I know, I find I no longer have the hunger that I used to for winning painting awards. After factoring in the cost of attending, I was leaning towards not going.

It has now transpired that I have another good reason for going (which I won’t go into here), so last week I bought my ticket. And of course if I am going then I may as well enter golden demon! Happily I still had my recent Blood Angels librarian and High Elf sea lord sitting around, so I already had one more entry than I managed to take last year (when I was only able to get Legolas painted in time).

Since these pieces now needed to be competition standard, I spent some more time working on the base for the sea lord. Online reaction to this piece has generally been very good, but I got some great feedback from a handful of my facebook friends regarding the poor standard of modelling on the rocks.

I will freely admit that I’ve never particularly enjoyed basing. I really appreciate the amazing work that so many people in the community put out in this area, but I’ve never felt that this is where my talents lie. I love super clean, precise painting and this doesn’t really sit well with the approaches needed to create believable looking scenes. But I wanted to make the piece as good as it could be, so I took the feedback on board and had a go at improving the cliff face with the aid of some milliput and reference pictures on google. I’m sure it’s still not great, but I hope it’s better than it was.

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Sea Lord before modifications

 

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And after!

 

I was happy with the librarian as is, so my thoughts turned to whether or not I could get a third entry done in time. It seemed only right that I should attempt to defend my title as Lord of the Rings/Hobbit champion from last year, so I needed to get my hands on a simple miniature that I could paint fairly quickly. After perusing the GW website for a while I settled on Thranduil, King of Mirkwood.

Now at this point, particularly observant readers may be thinking that the purple robed lady in the first picture is a funny looking Thranduil. And yes, I have to report that unfortunately my plan to paint this lovely looking miniature was undone by the abomination that is finecast. It has been a good long while since I bought any resin from GW and having heard reports that it has improved recently I foolishly thought I’d give it another go. Sadly I received the all too familiar mix of bubbles, warped parts and chunks of resin obscuring details.

Happily I had hedged against this possibility and also ordered Arwen in good old solid dependable metal, so she will be my final entry. More pictures of Arwen coming soon!

So there we have it – three entries ready for golden demon next Sunday. I honestly have no idea how I’ll get on in the competition. The standard seems to be driven ever higher each year and I’ve already seen pictures of jaw dropping work from the likes of David Soper and Michal Pisarski that make me think I’m in for a serious schooling! But regardless, I’m sure I’ll have a great time meeting up with everyone. Looking forward to it!

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Knight-Questor

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I’ve not given up on painting at least the heroes from the silver tower, although I can’t really afford to spend a lot of time on them. 😦

Painting this guy was made more difficult because he was fully assembled – I’d definitely leave the shield off if I was painting this for competition!

I tried out the new citadel gold metallic and the gloss shade – overall very impressed with these! I think the deepest recesses need to be made a little darker with paint rather than relying on the shade, but I do like the way it doesn’t dull the shine.

I was going for a fairly ‘eavy metal style on this piece. It’s funny, but the more I paint miniatures, the more I appreciate this approach since it looks good in all light conditions. And I think achieving a good result is more difficult than a lot of people think.

From now on I’m going to try and note down colours that I’ve used in these posts. Partly to aid my ailing memory and partly because I often get asked what colours I’ve used and it seems sensible to me to just write it once!

Main colours used on this piece were as follows:

Armour

Basecoat: VMC deck tan (pallid wych flesh is a close match for this).

Shade: 1:1 rakarth flesh/cloudy grey (reaper) and add some black. The deepest recesses end up being a fairly dark grey.

Highlight: white.

Purple trim

Basecoat: naggaroth night

Shade: VGA Imperial blue and black

Highlight: VMC violet, genestealer purple, add white

Gold

Basecoat: retributor armour

Shade: reikland flesh (gloss), dark flesh/black mix for deepest recesses

Highlight: liberator gold, mithril silver

Plume and sword handle

Basecoat: 2:1 warlock purple: wazdakka red

Shade: liche purple, add black

Highlight: add white to basecoat

Glaze with wazdakka

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Mistweaver Saih

AoS compI had every intention of resisting the temptation to pick up the Silver Tower when it was announced, since I knew there was no chance I’d ever paint 50-odd miniatures. But I got the chance to see the minis up close at Warhammer Fest and I liked what I saw of the gameplay, and thus my fate was sealed.

I didn’t have to think too hard before deciding to paint the Mistweaver. Although the Age of Sigmar releases thus far have been pretty amazing, tragically there has been a distinct lack of elves. The Mistweaver is nothing like the classic Warhammer elves that I know and love, but it’s a very dynamic sculpt and has some interesting details that looked like fun to paint. Mistweaver2mistweaver3mistweaver4I deliberately spent more time than usual planning the colours on this piece, as I wanted to do something different to the studio colour scheme but not get halfway through the piece and realise that it wasn’t working. I was given a handy tip by the ‘Eavy Metal guys and tested colours using the greyscale image from the assembly guide before committing to the miniature. I had thought about trying to blend the mist into the clothing but the sculpted transition is quite stark and I wasn’t confident I’d be able to disguise it well with paint.

I wanted a base that would match the tiles from the Silver Tower so I used some textured plasticard and added a suitable Tzeentch shape on top. As the piece was going to be entered into an online painting competition on the Age of Sigmar facebook page I added a totally unnecessary freehand onto the robe in an effort to wow the judges.

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I gave the Mistweaver to sculptor David Waeselynck at the recent Golden Demon winners’ day up at Warhammer World and he seemed quite pleased. (No idea what the Star Wars reference is about mind you…)

Gareth and David W