Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell 2010

Just a quick blog post to round out the year. After a lovely evening with my wife and daughter, eating a wonderful meal, bouncing on chairs, and watching Zombieland, there are only a few more minutes left in 2010.

With the birthday of this blog coming up in a few days, I'll be sure to do a recap type post of the last twelve months, and a bit of a view towards the future. Until then, I leave you with this teaser pic of a small project I'll be tackling in the next couple of months.

Take care, and Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Cameron Highlanders and Royal Americans

It's been a weird couple of months. After painting only four units of my Napoleonic army in 12 months, I've almost finished painting the second of two units in as many months, and have four more on the go. Then I'll need to assemble and paint three more units. Before I know it, I'll have a pretty sizeable collection.

Anyway, last time I showed off my Brits I said I was going to get started on the 79th Regiment of Foot (Cameron Highlanders). Well, here are the first four Victrix models in all their finery. I had to simplify the tartan slightly, but it certainly still gives the right impression. Next time around I'll show you my step-by-step for painting it.

While I was painting up the Highlanders, I was inspired to put together some more of my Rifle regiment. Above you can see two of the men of the 60th Regiment of Foot (Royal American Rifles), so called because they were first raised in America prior to the Revolution. These two are Perry Miniatures plastics. You get four of them in each box of Perry British. There are two bodies (torso and legs are attached), two sets of arms, and two head options. So, if you're doing a whole regiment of them they start to get a bit samey very quickly.

In the picture above you can see one of the stock Perry Rifles (center). I spent a little bit of time slicing up a bunch of these guys, cutting away the torso from the legs so that I could stick the torso onto legs cut from the standard line infantry, giving me a few more stances. An example of this is on the left. As well as mixing up legs and torsos, I decided to trim the Brown Bess muskets down to Baker rifle size, allowing me to do a few other poses. Using this trick I also added some converted rifles to a few Victrix line infantry (on the right) to get some kneeling poses.

Cutting the bodies in half meant there was a little line around the waist and a sizeable mis-match between the linen bags. Greenstuff to the rescue. I also used greenstuff to fix the cuffs on the musket arms to match those on the original rifle arms. Below are some examples of the conversions I did for the unit.

And here's a shot of the whole unit at the moment. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to add the officer and bugler too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dark Eldar Wyche Painting Tutorial

A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to a tutorial I wrote about painting a Dark Eldar Warrior quickly and effectively. This tutorial was hosted by Ron at From the Warp. You can read about it all here. At the end of the post I mentioned I might get the chance to post up a tutorial for a Wyche. Tonight I got the chance to snap some pics of the skin and hair step-by-steps.

The first thing you need to do when painting the Wyches is go through all the steps in the Dark Eldar Warrior tutorial (which I did for this example).

Once you have the initial steps completed, you can move onto the skin:

Step One - Paint the skin with Dheneb Stone
Step Two - Wash the skin with thinned Leviathan Purple
Step Three - Highlight with thinned Dheneb Stone
Step Four - Highlight with a 50/50 mix of Dheneb Stone and Skull White

Then, once you've done a quick correction with some black paint around the edges of the skin, you can move on to the hair:

Step One - basecoat with Scab Red
Step Two - highlight strands with a 50/50 mix of Scab Red and Blood Red
Step Three - highlight with a 75/25 mix of Blood Red/Solar Macharius Orange, then a wash of Devlan Mud.

And that's basically it. The final thing I did on this model was to paint the green cables on the model's shoulder and neck. I used the same colors as I did for the glowing eyes on the DE Warrior.

I hope you enjoyed this "next stage" for the Dark Eldar painting tutorials.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a very happy and toy soldier-filled New Year!


PS. Don't forget, there's less than 24 hours to get your bids in on Alex's Emperor's Children army. This is the one that I converted for him back in February. Check out the auction here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Guards Division nears completion!

I mentioned a post or three back that I'd spent most of my hobby time during November painting another 36 models for my Napoleonic British army. The shot above shows the army as it stands right now. 124 Infantry models, three artillery bases, a Commander, and a Sub-commander. The two 24-man units are the 1st and 2nd KGL Battalions, made from the Victrix plastics. The two 36-man units are the 2nd Foot Guards (aka the Coldstream Guards) and the 3rd Foot Guards, made from the Perry plastics. The four models at the front of the army are a company from the 60th Regiment of Foot (aka The Royal Americans), also from the Perrys. The artillery models are from Front Rank.

To get this force ready for games of Lasalle I just need to paint up two more units of 24. Not much really ; )

Here's a bit of a close up on a few bases from the new regiment (3rd Foot Guards).

And here's a shot of my newest unit to get a start, the 79th (Cameron) Highlanders. It'll be interesting to work on their tartan, which is quite complicated.

Finally, here's a shot of my first Battlefoam Napoleonic tray completely full. So much so, that my Commander won't fit in it. Fortunately I planned ahead and ordered three, which will hopefully see me through all the other units I have planned for this army.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Looking for some Pre-Heresy Goodness?

You may have seen these pictures before on my blog, like earlier this year. So, why are you seeing them again?

Well, my crazy friend Alex (who commissioned the conversion of the entire army) has decided that he'll never get the chance to get it all painted in the next few years. He has just started a new business (Battleroad Games & Hobbies), so perhaps this isn't as crazy as it first looks.

You can see Alex's pics of the complete army (including a gorgeous Dreadnought conversion by Matt Cexwish) at his eBay auction HERE!

It'll certainly be a great chance to get an entirely converted Pre-Heresy Emperor's Children army (95% of it built and converted by me and shown on this blog) for a great price.

What are you waiting for? Get on over to the auction and make this sweet looking force yours!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Artillery Train of Nuln (Part 4)

Grundel's Defenders - Silver Demon in Baltimore 2010

So, after finishing up 36 soldiers from the 3rd Foot Guards (stationed in Spain during Old Boney's little bruhaha) last month - pictures to follow on the weekend - I decided December would have to be a solid month of painting my Empire army. With so many horde units in my list, I knew I had to get at least one of them finished by the end of the year.

I decided to take the easy route, if you think that having a 15-model head start on a 40-strong unit of spearmen is easy (which I do). Well, thanks to some late nights for me and long naps for my daughter, I managed to finish the rest of the unit in record time (not quite, but it feels good to be back on track) and although they're not the same quality as the original base of guys I'm happy with the result. Here they are, for your viewing pleasure.

Here are a few pics of some of the extra spearmen on multiple bases.

And of course, no unit from Nuln is complete without a powder monkey : )

Finally, here's a shot of the army as it stands now. Not too far advanced from the last shot, but it's getting there slowly.

For more information and pictures of my army, click on the 8th Edition Challenge button in the right hand column of this blog.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Not what it looks like...

Although it might seem that I've been slacking a bit in the last few weeks, that's not quite the case. I've been doing quite a bit of painting, but haven't had much of a chance to take photos. I've also been putting together things for other blogs.

When I made my "Hobby Cornucopia" post back in October I listed a bunch of things that I'd be working on for this blog. The only one that I hadn't posted as of last Wednesday was the collaborative post with Ron from From The Warp. I put together a quick tutorial on how I would paint my Dark Eldar, if I were going to do such a thing (which I'm not). You can see this tutorial over at From The Warp, here.

I've also just finished off a quick post over on our 8th Edition Challenge blog. Check it out here.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to paint up some more Empire soldiers over the weekend, and take some more photos, for more substantial blog posts next week.

In the meantime, check out the posts mentioned above, and send in your entries for the Steel Legion Army List Competition.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Helping people out

As you'll no doubt be aware (if you've been reading this blog this year that is), I've been spending a bit of time talking about charitable actions. Helping out folks you know going through tough times, or contributing to charities that will help people you'll never meet.

Well, Mr Rob Baer (of the Spikey Bitz blog and FTW Games in Richmond, VA, photo of store above) is getting in on some charitable activities, using his store as the hub. FTW Games hopes to run at least four charitable events next year, but Rob is getting the ball rolling this year with an event to help the AARF of Richmond. The details for Rob's event can be found here, along with contact details for the store.

If you are in the area and feel like escaping the packed shopping malls, get your other half to drop you off at FTW Games on December 18, and join in the charitable fun!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cold, dark, and...Steel Legion?

The Steel Legion, by Adrian Smith - © Games Workshop, used without permission

Well, recently my mother was here for a very welcome visit. Not much hobby time, but plenty of fun with my daughter and adventures on the weekends. During this time we noticed a leaking pipe in the basement, a heating pipe that runs over my hobby desk and will need replacing. This is going to happen on Friday, but cleanup and moving of said desk will happen before that, and then I'll be putting it all back in place over the weekend. Not much hobby time there either, I'm afraid. So as it'll be cold (and the short, rainy days are making for a lot of darkness) there won't be a lot of hobby goodness for the next week or so.

Enter the Steel Legion Army Writing Competition!

In the meantime, I want to kick off a competition. Next year I'll be involved in a project that requires a 3,000 point Steel Legion army. What I need is an army list for the Steel Legion (Mechanized Imperial Guard) that contains 3,000 points worth of goodness. A list that is perfect for Apocalypse games, but has core elements that would work great at 1,500, 1,750, and 1,850 points so that it can be used in competitive play.

That's it, I just need you to write up an army list and submit it. Deadline: December 31st!

You can submit it to my email address (in my profile on the side of this blog) and to re-acquaint yourself with the Steel Legion you can check out their Lexicanium entry here.

Not sure what the prize will be yet, but I'm sure it'll be Imperial Guard related. Hopefully something cool ; )

Have fun and stay warm!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Making Feathers Tutorial

UPDATE: For a nice and quick tutorial on making cloaks, check out Col. Corbane's Veteran squad cloaks here.

Earlier this year I posted a pic of a couple of Ravenguard character conversions I did as a commission. Quite a few of you were interested in how I did the feathered cloaks. I finally got a chance to throw some putty on a sheet of plasticard and push it around for you. What follows is how I made the feathers for the cloaks on the models above.

Step One: Roll out a thin "sausage" of greenstuff. Lay it down on a flat surface. Ceramic tiles are quite good for this purpose.

Step Two: Use the burnishing (circular, flat-ish) end of your sculpting tool to flatten out your "sausage". You don't want this to be too thick or too thin. Practice will tell you which thickness works best for you. Use plenty of water on your tool.

Step Three: Carefully score a thin line down the center of your flattened greenstuff. Make sure you do not cut all the way through, and that your hobby knife is lubricated (I use my painting water to dip my knife in before scoring). Then start scoring in the "feather vanes" with your wet knife. Keep these small and tight together, and do not cut all the way through.

Step Four: Once you've scored the length of your flattened greenstuff, put it aside to dry completely.

Step Five: When the greenstuff has completely cured you cut start to "cut out" your feathers with your hobby knife. From a strip like the one shown in the pictures above you can cut about four or five. Once you've cut out all of your feathers you can start to glue them to your cloak. Glue them on in layers, starting with the bottom row first and adding feathers so that there's an overlap, the bottom of each row covering the top of the one before.

I hope you find this helpful : )


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Glass Porthole Tutorial

A few weeks back I posted a picture of the resin doors for the Incursion game (doors from Fenris Games, Incursion from Grindhouse Games). There was a good response, and a few folks even asked for a tutorial on how I painted the glass in the "portholes"

Well, I managed to paint up a few circles over the weekend, and here is that tutorial.

Basic glass. These were painted in much the same fashion as you'd paint gems.

Step One: Paint the glass with Regal Blue
Step Two: Highlight the lower left two thirds of the glass with a 75/25 mix of Regal Blue/Skull White.
Step Three: Highlight the lower half of the glass with a 50/50 mix of Regal Blue/Skull White.
Step Four: Paint a thin line at the lower left edge with a 25/75 mix of Regal Blue/Skull White, add two dots in the upper right, one slightly larger than the other.
Step Five: Paint with Gloss Varnish.

Cracked glass. These were painted in much the same fashion as the basic glass above.

Step One: Paint the glass with Regal Blue
Step Two: Highlight the lower left two thirds of the glass with a 75/25 mix of Regal Blue/Skull White.
Step Three: paint thin lines of Chaos Black over the glass.
Step Four: Highlight the lower half of each broken section of the glass with a 50/50 mix of Regal Blue/Skull White.
Step Five: Paint a thin line at the lower left edge of each broken section of the glass with a 25/75 mix of Regal Blue/Skull White, add one dot in the upper right of each section.
Step Six: Paint with Gloss Varnish.

So there you go. I've combined Steps One and Two for the first circle in each progression.

I hope it helps.


Battleroad Games & Hobbies Grand Opening Sale!

So a friend of mine has recently been in a flurry of activity up in Massachusetts, getting his new business off the ground. Yesterday I received a "press release" from Alex about his nefarious commercial activities this coming weekend (Thanksgiving weekend) and I thought I'd let you all know about what he has going on. From Alex's email:

"That's right, to celebrate our website's launch and to ring in the holidays, we are hosting a sale for the weekend! From Black Friday (26 Nov) through Cyber Monday (29 Nov) we will be selling all of our products at 20% off MSRP and, to top that, we are still offering free shipping on all orders $50.00 and more.

This offer is only through the phones though so give us a call at (508) 251-0397. Also check out our website as we near completion on it. Soon you, the buyer, will be able to purchase from us via the web! Head to

If we don't have it in stock we will still honor your order and price, so now is the time to buy!

The hours for the sale are :
Friday-Monday 9am-10pm EST


So, if you're in the US and thinking of picking up some toy soldiers from a great guy this weekend, you can give Alex a call.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Artillery Train goodness!

Before I get into the meat of this post, I just need to say thank you to Nicolai from Denmark who bought the Space Hulk boxed set, and Jim Bailey from Grindhouse Games for buying up my Incursion set of models. It is very exciting to deal with people who are not only incredibly passionate about what they do, but are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Jim, and his brother John, are just those guys. The way they approach everything exudes quality. Thanks guys!

And on to the post. I'll say up front that there are more pictures over on our 8th Edition Challenge blog, as well as a bunch more explanation. It's getting late, so this one will be a little light on text. For more depth, head on over and check out the new blog, there's even a post from Jim Bailey about the Wood Elf army he's building!

Here are two of the wizards I painted up this week. Only five more wizards to go ; )

Ultimately inspired by the Grundel's Defenders artwork by Dave Gallagher, this army will include quite a few diorama-style bases. Here's one for my Greatswords unit, The Red Bears of Mecklenburg.

The artillery bases are nice and big (100x100mm) so that I can make them all little dioramas. In this one, a member of the court of Nuln is taking an interest in the latest acquisition, a Helstorm Rocket Battery.

And finally, here's something I'll be photographing as I make progress on this army. It is a board containing all the Dragon Forge Temple bases I'm using for this army, all laid out just waiting for the models to populate them. It should be interesting to see the army grow.