Wednesday 25 December 2019

CCXLVI. AoS28: Orthros the Defender and a Monk

First of all, merry Christmas!


Orthros the Defender is a Stormcast Sequitor. I got rid of the giant pauldrons and weapon, as well as the helmet halo. This mini was a commission, so he's not staying with me for long. He is likely to eventually get a twin who will remain in my possession.

Orthros and Avananta.


The monk is a mini from the Reaper Bones Black range. First time working with bones black, and it's an improvement over the original bones plastic. Less bendy, for sure. The mould lines are still a bitch to remove, since the material is still not great for filing or scraping. 
It's a really cool model straight out of the blister. I only slightly altered the cross he's wearing to make him better fit into the AoS setting. Not sure yet what his role will be in the games (NPC or playable character), but he is a Sigmarite monk. Painted him to match my Mordheim MMXIX flagellants, which will also be modified and incorporated into my AoS28 collection eventually.

He's a huge man, who will surely strike fear into the rotten hearts of the enemies of Sigmar.

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The minis I sculpted for the Harwood Hobbies Kickstarter earlier this year are now available in the Harwood Hobbies online store: LINK. There is an end of 2019/beginning of 2020 sale on right now. You can use the coupon End2019 for 20% off your purchase.

That's all for today. Back to feasting on holiday delicacies! 

Thursday 12 December 2019

CCXLV. Arkbald the Accursed and Ghouls

My brother wanted a Wight King model for Icorax the Insomniac's undead warband, and here it finally is. 

Arkbald the Accursed
Arkbald was a king whose reign was marked by disaster. Crops failed, war ravaged his kingdom, and a plague decimated the population. Arkbald only exacerbated these problems by being a particularly cruel and selfish ruler. The histories do not remember how he died, but the turmoil left by his reign almost toppled his kingdom. Ichorax the Insomniac, a lich and collector of famous remains, couldn't resist adding the ill-fated king to his collection of morbid curiosities. Now animated by powerful necromancies, Arkbald has retained much of his vile personality in death, including his tendency to bring misery and ill fortune to all who cross his path.


I received my package from Bad Squiddo Games this morning, and immediately got to work on the two minis that came inside. They're here to expand my Flesh-eater Courts pool of minis. Slightly converted to better blend in with the rest... These are rather disturbing, I gotta say. I don't think I'd ever painted dead infants before.

Friday 6 December 2019

CCXLIV. AoS28: Arcanist, and Basing Explained

Another Arcanist figure for my Order warband. Unarmoured and armed with only a hand weapon, this specialist is an expert in ancient lore and languages.

The mini was built using the new plastic female wizards kit from North Star. It's the first plastic Frostgrave kit I've bought, and it's pretty good. The bodies will be useful for all kinds of robed figures, there are dozens of female heads, a whole bunch of empty hands, and some other nice bits.

The sprue.

The box contains two identical sprues, and a sprue of plastic bases.
Since I preordered the kit through a Nickstarter, I got a few metal extras - including a new metal wizard. She's good material for another Conjuror. I love the little hooded familiar.

The plastic wizards can be mixed with Perry bits, which is very important to me right now. They lean a bit more towards heroic scale, but when combined with Perry parts they fit well in my collection of AoS28 humans.


I've been asked quite a few times about my current basing method, and now I'm at last delivering the tutorial I promised. 

I've changed my basing several times over the years. For quite a while I used to put my fantasy minis on grassland bases that matched my Wilderness board and scenery collection. You can find the step-by-step here: CXXVI. I'm still fond of this method, but its drawbacks became apparent when I started planning other scenery environments. When you put a grassy-based mini on a stone tile board, it sticks out and works against overall coherence of the tabletop. 

There were several solutions to this problem I could think of. First, there are transparent acrylic bases. That looks really good on scenic shots. However, I see the base as the background and frame of a miniature, and when photographed in a non-scenic context I would totally miss a "proper" base. Another solution is to make swappable bases for the minis, but I did not consider that very long due to all the extra effort and cost. 
I came to the conclusion that I would have to come up with basing that is subtle enough to fit more than one type of terrain, as well as being more detailed than a simple sand texture in order to offset the minimalistic paintjob.

After some testing I ended up with a recipe that is quick and easy to reproduce each time.

Step one: I apply PVA glue to the base, and then a layer of DAS air-drying clay. I use the pictured tool to work the clay. The glue enhances durability.

While the clay is still wet, I brush on a layer of watered-down PVA. Using tweezers, I place shards of miniature bricks on the base. I sink them partly into the clay. Additional texture is achieved by selectively sprinkling a little bit of rough basing sand. I use the tool from the first step to push the sand grains into the clay.

The paintjob is truly quick. I mix ochre with matt black to get this dark, poorly saturated, greenish tone. I daub that thick on the entire base.   

Highlights are produced by adding a light grey into the mix from the previous step and stippling it on while still wet. As it's wet on wet, I can do a bit of painterly blending and texture this way. As the final step, I use thinned black to darken the area beneath the model and around its feet. 

This is the sort of brush I employ for the task.
That is all. When I have a pre-sculpted base, I simply apply this painting formula over the entire base, disregarding the "natural" colour of the details: like you can see in this example: Dathalus.