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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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Blood Angels Primaris Lieutenant

When Games Workshop announced the first Blood Angel specific primaris space marine there was no doubt that I was going to have to paint it! So here you have the Gareth Nicholas version, complete with shiny armour, textured loincloth and underwhelming base (TM). I have some fairly strong views about this miniature that I’d like to get off my chest so I’m going to put them at the bottom of this post where most people won’t bother to read them. 😉

Fans of my painting guides will be pleased to know that this guy features in vol 5 and you can get your copy from the Etsy store as usual.

I used the ‘Eavy Metal version of the miniature as inspiration and kept the yellow shoulder pad with red stripe. It’s reminiscent of Captain Tycho so I stole his icon and added that too. The miniature has a very plain power sword so I replaced it with a more ornate version from the Sanguinary Guard kit and painted it in my preferred style for these weapons. I’ve tried to add some extra shine to the armour on this miniature and it’s definitely something I want to explore further in future.
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Review (and rant)

I have to admit that when I first caught sight of this miniature I was somewhat disappointed. In the photos I felt that the pose looked a little awkward but I was prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt and bought it anyway.

Having built the miniature I can report that there’s nothing technically wrong with the pose but I still find it an odd choice as it doesn’t seem to have any angle that looks particularly good. I think it helps if the miniature is positioned at the top of a step as it gives him a reason to be looking down but it’s still not an angle that I like for the head and I would prefer the torso to be a little more in line with the hips.

I also can’t understand why the halo piece is separate from the backpack. It’s not a big deal but it seems like a fiddly bit of assembly that could have easily been avoided.

On the plus side I appreciate that the loincloth doesn’t have any sculpted on detail for once and the face and hair are really great and were very enjoyable to paint. But why does he have a massive scar on his face? A disfigurement like this would surely be anathema to a Blood Angel! Captain Tycho wore a mask to hide a similar injury so why does this guy not care?

The power sword that comes with the mini is very plain. I can’t understand why it doesn’t have any kind of Blood Angels iconography at all. This guy is fairly senior – shouldn’t he have a cool sword?

But the real issue I have with this guy is that he isn’t Dante, Tycho, Mephiston, Astorath, Corbulo or the Sanguinor! Seriously, who thought that what the Blood Angels really needed was a rather plain lieutenant when all these legends of the chapter are languishing with old sculpts in the abomination that is finecast?! It’s a very odd choice in my book when we already have plenty of primaris lieutenants that can be made to be Blood Angels with minimal work.

Here endeth the rant. It’s not a bad miniature and I hope I haven’t offended anyone with my views but I just feel this little release could have been so much more awesome, so I wanted to use my little corner of the internet to voice my ill-informed opinion. 🙂

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High Elf Star Player

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My first completed miniature of 2018 is another of my own sculpts. Actually this one was sculpted quite a long time ago (well before Drazhar) and was the first miniature where I discovered how to use rigging in blender.

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The delay in presenting the finished miniature was because my friends at RN Estudio are putting this piece into production (which is very exciting for me!), so you can now buy resin copies from them if you wish.

I’ve gone for non metallic metal again when painting this piece and stuck with the classic high elf colours. My technique is still evolving gradually and I’m fairly satisfied with how it has turned out here.

I’ve made another painting guide where I’ve tried to take on board some of the fantastic feedback I’ve had following the first three. I think this is the most in depth guide to my approach to painting nmm so far and I hope it will be useful to people even if they have no interest in this particular miniature! I’m aware that there is some repetition between the guides and this is something I’m going to have to think about a bit more.

The miniature bundled with the painting guide is here, or you can buy the miniature with no guide here. Or if you just want the painting guide I’ve also put it up on my Etsy store.

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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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Bunny!

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

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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. 🙂

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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!

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White Scar Primaris Lieutenant

The new 40k box set Dark Imperium has been out for quite a while now, so it was high time I painted one of those shiny new primaris space marines…

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This will be my last painting commission for the foreseeable future, so it was great to be given a very open brief to work with. After a small experiment with painting white armour on my version of Drazhar, I was keen to paint a whole mini in this style. The lieutenant is my favourite miniature from the new starter set, so after a little visit to ebay I was all set.

I bought a few Warcolours paints (specifically the blue grey set) after seeing various painters raving about them, and this seemed like an ideal opportunity to try them out. They have a gel medium and are certainly a bit different to work with than my customary citadel or reaper paints. The drying time is noticeably slower, which does make blending easier and suits my painting style. It did catch me out a few times when glazing though – I’d return to an area I’d glazed only to find that it hadn’t dried fully and end up messing up the previous application. I got the hang of it eventually!

I’ll be picking up more Warcolours paints in the future as and when I need to replace existing supplies. I really like the bottles they come in too! I’m not sure I’d buy another full set like the blue grey set though – I found the tones too close together for my painting style and ended up only using blue grey 1 and blue grey 5 plus black and white on this miniature (although this was also partly to avoid making the white armour too blue). In future I think I’d be tempted to buy the lightest and the darkest for each colour, plus the tone with the greatest colour saturation.

The base coat was 1:1 blue grey 1 and white. I tried airbrushing it but I pretty much suck with an airbrush and I didn’t feel the paint was going down very smoothly because I got the consistency wrong so I switched to a good old massive brush to finish the job.

After that I just applied my standard techniques, highlighting with more white and shading with the darkest blue grey shade. I used 1:1 blue grey 5 and black in the deepest recesses.

I wanted to go with true metallics rather than nmm for the details but I thought the sword blade would work better with nmm so I painted everything else in this style. Overall I’m quite pleased with how this mini turned out, as I was definitely concerned about how well the white armour would come out!