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Morathi

There is a painting guide for this miniature available here.

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I painted this miniature as a bit of post golden demon fun. As usual I wanted to try something a little different from the Eavy Metal scheme and went with purple and red as the main colours, with turquoise and ochre accents.

Overall I’m reasonably pleased with how it turned out. I put the most effort into the face and although I got a nice clean finish I probably should have considered how to get a bit more menace into her expression.

Before anyone asks, it’s extremely unlikely I’ll be painting the big Morathi in this lifetime!

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Golden Demon 2018

On Sunday, 13th May I made my annual pilgrimage to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena to take part in the Golden Demon Classic. I’ve been going to Golden Demon events since 2011, so I’ve got to know a lot of the other painters and studio staff over the years. Consequently the day generally passes in something of a blur as I spend the whole day talking to people (an unfamiliar experience for a hard core introvert like me) and this year was no exception! Nonetheless I thought it would be worth giving a flavour of the day from my own perspective.

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Trajann Valoris, Gold, Warhammer 40,000 Single Miniature

The doors were supposed to open at 10 am but I arrived at the venue at 9:30 and went straight up to the studio area on the top floor, sidestepping the long queue to get into the sales area. This year was the first time that competitors have been able to put miniatures into the contest on Saturday but the cabinets were fairly empty when I arrived so I guess not many people took advantage of that opportunity. I think it’s a great idea to try and extend the length of the event but sadly the reality for many of us is that 2 days away from home is tough to arrange!

Within an hour or so the cabinets had filled up and I tried to get a look at the entrants. This is always really difficult because of the number of people that are trying to do the same! I don’t think there’s a good solution to this, although it would be nice if the organisers were able to do something similar to the days when the contest was held at the NEC and images of the entries would be shown on large screens throughout the day.

This year the lighting in the cabinets had improved a bit (the halogens had been replaced with LEDs) but it is still quite harsh and could definitely be improved with some LED strips.

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Celestant on Dracoth, Silver, Age of Sigmar Single Miniature

As usual I had a fantastic time catching up with all my painter mates and met loads of other great people for the first time. As the years have rolled by, this is definitely the main reason for going to the event for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love picking up trophies as much as the next man, but it’s definitely more of a bonus and not the focus of the day.

At 12 pm the judging began and this year saw another innovation in the form of the highly commended entries. The organisers felt that because there can be a big difference in quality between an entry that scrapes in the finalist category and one that just misses out on a top 3 spot, it would be nice to recognise the latter with the extra award. I think it’s a great idea and there weren’t very many of these awards given out from what I saw so it’s definitely a big achievement if you get one!

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Nazgul of Dol Guldur, Bronze, Lord of the Rings and Hobbit

I’d taken no fewer than 4 entries along with me this year, and as usual I stuck to the single miniature categories. I was really pleased to take the gold in a super competitive 40k single category that was stacked with previous winners and slayer sword holders. This also meant that I successfully defended the gold I took in this category last year! In Age of Sigmar single I got the silver, runner up to Angelo di Chello’s slayer sword winning Horticulous Slimux and picked up a bronze in Lord of the Rings with my Nazgul.

The big shock of the day for me was also getting bronze in open with my Blood Angel lieutenant. This really wasn’t intended as a competition piece and I just brought it along as a last minute decision, putting it in open since I already had my 40k single entry. There was a slightly embarrassing moment when I was called up on stage to receive the award, only to find that the awards for open hadn’t made it to Coventry but I’m happy to say that it’s in the post!

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Blood Angels Lieutenant, Bronze, Open

Speaking of award ceremony cock ups, for the second year running there were no photos of the winning entries on the big screen as the awards were being collected. In my opinion this is pretty unforgivable and really needs to be sorted out. The upshot is that everyone went away from the event not really certain of which entries had won what and until the golden demon website is updated we still don’t know! How difficult can it be to put some pictures on a laptop and hook it up to a projector?

Overall, a fantastic day as usual. Of course there were plenty of other things to see and do as part of the wider Warhammer Fest that I won’t cover here. Despite the difficulty in seeing the entries my impression (confirmed by a few other people in the know) was that the overall standard wasn’t quite as mind blowing as last year, but some categories were definitely as competitive as ever. As usual I came away feeling re-invigorated to paint more miniatures and do better next year! Big thanks to the judges and everyone that had a hand in running the event, and congratulations to all the winners!

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Captain-General Trajann Valoris

There is a full step by step painting guide for this miniature available here.

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With Golden Demon looming on the horizon it was high time to turn my attention to this year’s entry for 40k single miniature, in a (probably doomed) attempt to defend the gold I got last year with my terminator librarian.

With some trepidation I elected to paint Captain-General Trajann Valoris of the Adeptus Custodes. It’s a fantastic looking miniature, but this guy is big (he’s supplied with a 40mm base, which seems woefully inadequate if you ask me) and he is absolutely festooned with detail so I knew I was in for the very long haul again!

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As is often the case, I wanted to do something different to the ‘Eavy Metal paintjob and decided to find out what he would look like in the white armour of the Solar Watch. I’ve been wanting to revisit white armour since I painted the primaris lieutenant last year, as it is quite the challenge to get it looking good and I learnt some things from that piece that I thought could help me here. Once again I’ve used the excellent Warcolours blue grey set to paint the armour.

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A few thoughts on the miniature:

  • Fantastic sculpt (Matt Holland). Nothing much to criticise in my opinion! The only thing I would say is that viewed from the side he seems a little flat and 2-dimensional, like an old metal miniature. Maybe it would look more interesting with the cloak billowing out a bit, but then again it wouldn’t appear to have so much weight and gravitas if it did that.
  • This was the first single mini I’ve purchased that came in a box and what I was really impressed with was the fact that the two sprues were held apart from each other so none of the fine detail could get damaged in transit. Big improvement!
  • As with so many citadel miniatures these days, painting this guy is sub assembly hell. But there is an extra challenge because when you can finally put the cloak on, it comes in several pieces and there is a very obvious yet difficult to access join line right around where the handle of his dagger is. Getting rid of that was tricky!

Overall I’m pretty pleased with how the piece has turned out and I think it’s a fairly unique interpretation of the miniature. I think I need to paint something a little less challenging next though!

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Lord Celestant on Dracoth

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I’ve had the Vandus Hammerhand sprue from the Age of Sigmar starter box lying around for a long time now and I finally decided that his time had come. Unfortunately because this was an ebay purchase I didn’t have any assembly instructions and there are one or two places where construction is a little tricky. I got there in the end though!

My approach was to fully assemble the dracoth before painting, and then add the stormcast rider piece by piece, making sure that any inaccessible parts were painted first. The base is built out of modelling board (ureol).

It took me quite a long time to decide on the colour scheme. I love the ‘Eavy Metal version but I didn’t just want to copy that. In the end I went with something similar to the Celestial Vindicators but swapped red for magenta. Rather than going with pure non metallic metal I’ve elected for a combined nmm and metallic approach in the same way as my terminator librarian from last year. This approach never looks quite as impressive as full nmm in photos but I am a big fan of the effect when you see the miniature in person.

The main colours used on the armour are stegadon scale green, VMC turquoise and VMC blue green, while the cloak uses screamer pink and VMC magenta. I used the citadel metallics (if you’re curious about the exact recipe then I documented it in my previous stormcast painting guide).

When painting the dracoth I found that simply shading the stegadon scale green basecoat with black was making it look very lifeless so I have included khorne red in the shadows, which has definitely helped. I’ve also glazed a little of the screamer pink/magenta around the regions where the dark scales meet the paler areas.

Due to the size of the miniature it took an exceedingly long time to paint as I didn’t want to compromise on quality in any way. Painting large pieces like this is not really my forte (I had previously abandoned my attempt at a varanguard), so it was satisfying to see the project through to completion. There are a lot of subtle texturing effects that only become apparent when you can look at the miniature very closely.

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I had intended to enter this piece at the AoS open day but the horrendous weather in the UK put paid to that. I daresay he may get an outing in May at the classic golden demon instead!

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High Elf Dragon Maiden (again)

Fans of this blog may remember my first 30 mm sculpt, the Dragon Maiden. I’m pleased to say that RN Estudio are now selling resin copies of this miniature here. (In case anyone is wondering, I’m not making any money from this myself.)

Of course, it was only fitting that I give her a snazzy new paint job to celebrate this development! I’ve gone for non metallic metal again just because it looks better in photographs and I knew a good picture would be needed for the store.

Unfortunately there’s no painting tutorial for this piece but it uses the same recipes as the fantasy football high elf I painted recently, so that guide is highly recommended for anyone wishing to emulate my version!

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Before producing the miniature, Rafael asked me to create an alternative right hand, which I was very happy to do. I also took the opportunity to fix her eyes, which were far too bulbous on the original. Her face is still not the right shape and I have had to disguise this with my paint work. I’ve corrected this deficiency on my more recent sculpts though!

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Shadespire Stormcast Eternals

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I was very excited to see Games Workshop release Shadespire. From time to time I have considered painting an army (Blood Angels or High Elves, naturally 😉 ) in order to play the games but the reality is that I know I’d probably lose interest before the first unit was painted! I can definitely paint three miniatures to a reasonable standard in a sensible time frame though, so Shadespire got my attention.

I have previously painted Stormcast in white armour and I wanted to try a slightly different take for these miniatures, so I made use of the Warcolours blue grey set to achieve a colder finish.

I’m fairly happy with how these have turned out considering the time spent. (Around 10 hours per miniature, which is seriously fast compared to the other projects I’ve been doing recently!) I’ve made a painting guide to see if there’s any interest in a slightly less than super high end display standard.

stormcast1stormcast2stormcast3I’ve only managed to have a couple of games of Shadespire so far but first impressions are very positive. It plays quickly and is simple to learn but great fun, so I’m looking forward to more games!

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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!

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The Visarch

When I first saw the Triumvirate of Ynnead I knew straight away that I’d end up buying it. I’ve been a big fan of the Eldar since I started in the hobby and I seem to remember that the first White Dwarf I ever owned featured them quite prominently. (Complete with back banners and goblin green bases!) I love what Jes Goodwin and co have done with all three miniatures in the new box – they’re definitely right up my particular aesthetic street!

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The ‘Eavy Metal paint job on the Visarch is pretty special (Aidan Daly’s handiwork I believe) and I referred to it often during the painting of this piece, but I wanted to try and put a unique spin on the piece.

I chose to paint the helmet and parts of the armour black to try and make him more menacing, and the fiery sword is intended to be a nod towards the old Avatar of Khaine. There’s absolutely no good reason for this in the 40k background as far as I know, but I just thought it looked cool! Of course, the danger in having such a colourful sword is that it can draw the viewer’s eye too much. I’ve tried to balance this with the eyes and the gems but I’m not sure I’ve been wholly successful.

This was one of those projects that sat in an unfinished state for many months, so it’s good to finally clear it off my desk! I had to park it for a while due to all the commissions I’ve been doing recently and I was struggling with the armour anyway. It turns out that it’s very difficult to make all that embossed detail work with my painting style. It’s a tough miniature to paint anyway – sub assemblies are definitely the order of the day! I’m trying not to think too much about the Yncarne right now…

The Visarch is for sale, so if you’re interested in acquiring him then drop me a line and he could soon be travelling through the webway to you!

Sold, sorry!