Friday, 21 October 2011

Rat Ogres, and then there were four

When last I played with the Ratogres, I had three painted and one assembled. I guess it is time to finish off the last of this bunch.. 

This Ratogre is the model with the most conversion elements on this pack of figures.

 The ratogres left hand is the giants hand from the giant model. This needed the fingers changing into claws. To achieve this I cut out the plastic from blister packs to make long nails.

The Arm had to be repositioned and raised to make this work. This left a massive hole in the ogres back.

Careful filling and that was resolved.

I painted the human captive to match the empire army I have and the ogre to match the remainder of my Skaven army.

Hope you enjoy

Monday, 10 October 2011

Arkhan the Black: A completed conversion project

A few weeks ago I started a conversion project for a friend from my local gaming club.  

The project is to construct and paint Arkhan the black, together with a staff of Negash and liber Mortis.

To construct this, I have used parts from;
 Thank god most of this came from my bits box otherwise it may of cost me a small fortune.

When last we saw the figure, I had painted on some very basic colours. I do this to set a colour tone. I find that if I complete a whole part of a figure in isolation, from a black undercoat, I end up with an overly dark piece, which I then need to lighten considerably when I complete more of the figure. Conversely if I work up from white undercoat, I get a very washed out look. By painting the whole figure in simple colours I can establish a tone for the figure and hopefully find those colour combinations that are just not going to work on the finished figure.

In the end I opted for a very simple red & blue combination of colours to give him a very classic GW look.

I tried to keep the reds on the cloak and book quite subdued to accentuate the brighter red of the gems.

I tried hard to draw the detail up to the face area so that the viewers eyes would be drawn here. I think a character of this kind should have a prominent face and hopefully I have achieved this.

 Does not look quite so good when you blow it quite so large!

Most of the conversion work went into getting the staff of Negash to look similar to the inside cover art on the Tomb King book. Hopefully I have achieved this, you can be the judge. In hindsight I made it a little large, but not sure how I could have got it much smaller...

The worst part is the Liber Mortis. I kept the writing in the book nice and vague, but maybe more work was required.

Hope you enjoy...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

White Dwarf: A gentle rant

Before I start, let me get some things straight...
  • GW are not an evil empire
  • I would not be in this hobby without GW
  • This hobby probably would not exist (in any meaningful sense) without GW
Having said that I do have a minor gripe that is gnawing away at me. This background noise of discontent has now not to the point that I feel the need to vent. Albeit, vent is a very English and gentle way.

The source of my discontent, GW's sales magazine, White Dwarf

White Dwarf & me (a personal history)

Let me take you way back to a simpler time. Once upon a time GW pushed a little magazine, which covered most of hobby. To encourage customers to subscribe they gave away a quaint little cartoon booklet.

If you wanted the magazine, you could buy from the shops or you could get through the post with a reward for your loyalty.

Time passes and GW withdraw the freebie and limit their coverage to only GW products.

That is fine, if you like the products and like the magazine it is still worth getting and I continue to subscribe.

Time passes and I drift away from the hobby for a few years.

When I return it is 2005 and the hobby appears little changed, GW have reduced their ranges to core games only, but all is still fun. Occasionally, when I am attracted by an article I buy White Dwarf, otherwise I let it pass. The painting standard of the models in the mag appear to be set to a very low level, but I take this as a deliberate ploy to encourage those that cannot paint to well.

More recently my interest increases and at the same time the quality of the modelling and painting articles increases.

Yes! It is time to resume subscriptions!

Then within a year......

No real 'eavy metal articles, and then the worst blow, they decide to send out subscriptions after they go on sale in the shops!

I receive a little letter last month pushing the dreadfleet, and near the bottom they slip in the news that subscribers are to receive their copies after they hit the shops!

Is this deliberate?

I hear that there are a whole range of articles giving guidance on how to paint the dreadfleet in this months copy.

Can I read it?

And the reason I cannot is because I have shown some product loyalty to GW and subscribed to a magazine. I can go to the shop and look up at the shelf to see the product I have already paid for, but GW no longer want to send it to me on time!

Of course I could buy and extra copy, but how is that going to make me feel?

Is it going to ruin my life?

Is it going to ruin my week?

But it will make me a little grumpy now, and it does not encourage me to rush into pre-ordering products again.

Gentle rant over, if nothing else I feel a little better....

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Dreadfleet & liquid green

Yesterday I collected a copy of GWs new game Dreadfleet that I had pre-ordered for my local gaming club. B.T.W. Don't you just love GWs "we don't believe that the game can stand up on its own merits so you must but in a two week window or else" approach.

Whilst at GW, my eye was dawn to their new product, "Liquid green stuff"

Now, this is a product that quickly grabbed my attention. I feel have spent a lot of time mixing together green stuff then desperately trying to squeeze it into joints. I always seem to mix together far too much and end up throwing away more than I use. I am also not a great sculptor, so any help would be appreciated. I have tried myself to get a more flowable version, but if you just add water to the traditional version, it goes grainy very quickly. Therefore I was very keen to give the liquid version a try.

To this end, I quickly assembled the scenery components of the dreadfleet..
From this I chose two components, the "castle Island" and the "corpseface cliff" which needed some work doing on the joints.

Before pictures....

The product
The liquid greenstuff has a constituency of a bread dough mix. It is pretty thick but is consistent in texture.

I spoke to the guy in the shop who suggested that it might be worth adding a little water. This worked quite well and I found I could add a little to give me a very nice paste.
I then applied to the models using an old brush.
First try..

The first tries where pretty frustrating. I found I had trouble directing the mixture to where I wanted it and that when it dried it shrank back into the crack. All I ended up with was a similarly poor joint just with less definition.
I then sanded back and tried again, but this time with the raw product, undiluted. This was just as difficult to control, but felt a little better going on. It still had a tendency to shrink into the crack whilst drying, which is frustrating.. Drying time was around half an hour.

The finished surface...

Above are the finished items with a covering of undercoat. 

In conclusion;

This is a product that will require a few trial runs or a good user guide to get the hang of. The downside is that it shrinks and is difficult to control application. It appears to work better if you dilute it less. In all I am happy to continue experimenting and I believe that it has potential, but it was not the panacea I was hoping for!

Till next time, happy modelling.


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