January 31, 2011

Dwarf painting progress

Got a few more hours of painting in over the weekend. Not much but enough. Results are OK at this stage but I am having second thoughts about the colour scheme on the Lord, too much green on the Hammerer Shieldbearers. May restrip it and start again. Beard on BSB is also pretty untidy so will have to fix that.

As usual all the images should enlarge when clicked on.

Two stages of progress for BSB. Gold areas are messy mixture of Dwarf Bronze and Chestnut Ink. Model looks untidy still as last step was application of Chaos Black in various areas to help with highlighting. Eyes still unfinished.

Two stages of painting on the Runesmith. Base is temporary one hence the foot belonging to a High Elf Spearmen still attached to it. Staff will be getting further treatment later to bring it out with some more colour. Standard pole on back of Runesmith is going to be chopped off and replaced with taller brass rod, the same thing will also go on the BSB. This will be (a) stronger and (b) have the advantage of putting any banner I attach higher.

Dwarf Lord is getting there but I am pretty concerned with the Green on the Hammerer on the right, the Lords shoulder armour and the shield edge. Stripping lost a bit of detailing on the shield edge, and the other areas just dont look right at the moment. Hammerer on the left with the full face mask looks Ok with green helmet, but other guy probably needs to go back to straight metallics. Not sure

Also got the Gyrocopter done as well. Decided not to paint strip it as it would destroy the superglue bonds and quite frankly it took me too damn long to pin the damn thing together the first time to do it all over again. So it has gotten a quick highlight of the various greens on top (still waiting the 50:50 light green/skull white layer). Also fix the blue undersides and the wooden areas.

Painting beyond these guys is on hold though as I dont have any bases for the figures paint stripped last week. Also out of PVA glue so cant finish the basing on the Artillery Crew.

January 30, 2011

Warhammer novels

A while ago I picked up a WHFB novel by Gav Thorpe title "Grudgebearer" this acted as a real inspiration for my Dwarf fluff blog which unfortunately hit a brick wall creative wise well over a year ago (I do have plans for it though). Another series I read were the Vampire Counts Trilogy which were just as good albiet not what I had expected.

Yesterday I grabbed a copy of "The Witchhunter" off my father, who has long had the same reading interests as me. He also wargamed as youngster although we are talking about the 1950s here. Turns out its a good book, very easy read and a big change from the historical non-fiction I have been reading almost exclusively for the last couple of years.

January 27, 2011

Dwarf repainting project problems & progress

Made a little bit more progress on this last night getting started on the characters and putting a unit of 10 Hammerers, 9 more artillery crew (6 for 2 bolt-throwers, 3 for Grudgethrower) and 19 Thunderers into Nail Polish Remover (for metal) or Dettol (for plastic) to strip off the paint.

My collection (Box 1)
80 Warriors, 20 Miners (already completed), 20 Quarrellers, 28 Hammerers

My collection (Box 2)
22 Artillery Crew + 4 warmachines, Gyrocopter, 19 Thunderers, 10 Hammerers
Thunderers, Hammerers & 9 Artillery crew were getting paint stripped when I took this photo

Warmachines & Gyro wont be paint stripped etc. Ill just reflock the bases to make them match the completed Miners regiment. The Gyro will simply a get a few layers of Green over the existing scheme to match the Artillery crewmen already completed.

Thunderers after being paintstripped with Dettol

Project has already hit one major snag though.... I have run out of spare bases especially the slot type bases and NONE of my local hobby stores stock any. Consequently, I have had to order a bunch from Maelstrom in the UK (still soooo much cheaper than New Zealand suppliers), but these will take 2 weeks minimum to arrive. In the interim I am having to put each model being painted onto whatever bits I have left over.

Painting my characters
Managed to get about an hours painting in last night while watching the ODI between Australia and England... love it when the Aussies lose. Only got the base colours and the initial washes done as I didnt have time for anything else. Colours applied last night were

Metal areas --> Boltgun metal & Badab Black
Skin --> Dwarf Flesh, Flesh Wash, Dwarf Flesh and then Ogyrn Flesh Wash
Green cloaks (BSB & Runesmith) --> Dark Angels Green
Weapon shafts --> Regal Blue
Beards --> Adeptus Battlegrey, Codex Grey, Fortress Grey

BSB alternate progress 27 Jan 2011
Base with model is temporary only

Lord w. Shieldbearers progress 27 Jan 2011

Runesmith progress 27 Jan 2011
Base with miniature is temporary only

Notes on speed painting
The 3 artillery crew I completed the other night were as I posted done in 2.5 hours. Over the last year or so I have worked out a pretty simple system for getting a lot of figures done quickly while still keeping the results good. My basic process is:

Paint 10 figures at a time or 2 ranks from any one unit. Line them up and work from right to left or left to right either as long as you paint them in the same order each time.

Application of primary or base colours to all figures, not worrying about the accuracy of where it all goes, i.e., if you get skin on the beards or armour dont stress about it.

Apply washes to the areas that need it - principally the armour and skin.

After the primary colours are done put the kettle on and then get started on the secondary colours , by this time the primary colours should be dry enough to paint over. Very important that you paint the figures in the same order i.e., first to get the primary colours should be first to get secondary.

By secondary colours I mean the first major tone over the base e.g., for the Artillery crews green tunics it was the Snot Green that went over the Dark Angels base coat, for armour its Chainmail over the washed Boltgun metal. Still sticking to the 10 figures for this stage.

Once these bits are all done its probably time for another cuppa so put the kettle on again (I drink a lot of coffee). Now I go down to either 1 rank of 5 figures if painting a unit, or concentrate on 2-3 figures if doing characters or something special. Either way I now concentrate on completing one element on each model, e.g., the green tunics on the artillery crew, or the beards or the skin areas.

Painting this way I can get through quite a few figures in a short time - although 2.5 hours to paint 3 artillery crew is still a lot of time.

January 26, 2011

Dwarf artillery crew completed

Finished work on these 3 guys last night only took 2.5 hours to complete all 3, very happy with the way they turned out particularly in comparison to my first efforts some 3 years ago.

All the pictures should expand when clicked on.

The finished crew

Comparison with my efforts when I first started playing 3 years ago

Painting the green tunics
- Basecoat Dark Angels Green
- Snot Green on raised areas
- Goblin Green highlights on raised areas, thinned layer applied to middle of each section
- Scorpion Green highlights, applied in thinned down line to middle of each section
- 50:50 mix of Skull White & Scorpion Green applied to middle of each raised section & edges

Painting the beards
- Adeptus battlegrey base coat
- Codex Grey applied in thinned layer over entire area
- Fortress grey drybrushed
- Skull white drybrushed

Painting the skin
- Dwarf flesh base coat
- Flesh wash over entire area (now running out of my last pot of this excellent OOP product)
- Dwarf flesh on raised areas
- Ogre Flesh wash
- Elf Flesh highlights
- Ogre Flesh wash

Painting the leather trousers etc
- Scorched brown base coat
- Bestial brown 2nd coat, thinned down sort of drybrushed
- Snakebite leather highlights on raised areas, in middle of those covered by Bestial Brown

Next project will be my Lord on Shieldbearers, Runesmith and BSB once I figure out how and where I want to apply the green that is the principle colour of my Dwarf army.

On a side note discovered an issue with my undercoating last night. As I only get time to paint at night (after kids are asleep) its usually pretty cold. When undercoating I quickly dash outside spray the models and then bring them inside to dry out (somewhere airy to keep the smell down). However, last night I left the models outside for some reason. When I went to collect them I found that the paint had dried with a strange powdery finish that masked some of the detailing. Might have been the cold, or the paint coming to the end of its life not sure. Either way I might have to restrip some of the figures and undercoat them again.

January 25, 2011

Paint stripping & repainting of Dwarfs underway

Paint stripped and began process of repainting my Dwarf collection last night. Beginning with my Heroes as they form the centre piece of the army and to be honest my original painting efforts with them were rubbish.

Step 1 - remove the bases and any plastic items from each model, disassemble where possible
Step 2 - the main ingredient, Nail Polish remover (preferably non-acetote based) costs $2-$2.50 depending on where you buy it.

Step 3 - soak in sealed container for 4-6 hours or overnight if models have a lot of paint on them

Step 5 - Scrub off paint with toothbrush, rinse in hot soapy water (must be soapy or paint will clump on model requiring another soak). Make sure you wear rubber gloves as the stuff is killer on your hands, and dont do it in the kitchen sink or your wife will have "words". For best results scrub off majority of paint and then resoak models in polish remover for a few more hours. The remover will also break down any superglue bonds as well.

My original paintwork on these heroes was pretty terrible and after last nights efforts this is the last time anyone will see them looking like this

Alternative BSB





January 21, 2011

Dwarf Miner regiment finished & new magnets

Finished last 10 guys in this unit last night, managing to get good results even while speed painting them. Now I just need to buy several litres of Dettol so I can paint strip the rest of my Dwarfs, and a horde of new bases to redo them all. There are two standard bearers in the regiment as the Miners are all from the BFSP set and I ended up collecting about 3 or 4 sets worth over the years. Only kept these 20 though enough for one unit.

Part of the painting process will involve get the principle army colour, green, out in front to make it more noticeable. Consequently, rather than use the standard Dwarven shields I am going to use the slightly larger Empire shields instead (see pic below for comparison). These should give the infantry a very different look and more importantly their large surface area gives room for painting more colour and adding a bit of heraldry (or runes).

The standard Dwarf shield

The Empire soldiers shields I plan to use instead

At the same I have also ordered, as a test, the following products from Irresitable Force in Australia. Only cost NZ$20 for 2 inserts and 1 lot of magnets, postage is free (titles under pictures link to product website). I have been finding that my normal magnetising process using fridge magnet sheets is no longer working well. Basically the fridge type magnets are very thick causing models to lift well above the rim of the movement trays. They also lose their adhesiveness over time and I have constant issues with figures not sticking properly.

On the Dwarfs they are fine as the models are pretty light, but for my High Elves they are no longer good enough particularly as a large number of my Elves are metal. That and the Elf minis are larger and tend to fall over more. Ill see how this system works out with a couple of units before looking at redoing my entire collection this way.

January 20, 2011

High Elf repainting project finally finished!!!

Nearly 18 months ago now after playing in my first WHFB tournament and seeing the absolutely amazing painting and basing work of other New Zealand players I made a decision to redo my entire High Elf army [Original 2008 post here]. During that time I have had another child, embarked on a PhD, taken up Flames of War, taken up then stopped Warmachine and played in another 7 tournaments, 6 with my Dwarfs. But finally the endless hours spent finding the best substance to paint strip plastic & metal, sourcing new bases, testing colour schemes, stripping old paint, scrubbing miniatures, rebasing and fixing models, and repainting them I have finished.

Two nights ago I put the last bit of paint on the last High Elf model in my new look army, 15 months of effort and I have what I was after a great looking army that I am very proud of. The results of many of those units have been posted on this blog before, but I am going to start posting pictures of the entire army over the next few days.

All things said and done though its been a thoroughly satisfying project and one that has really helped me develop my painting skills and which has kept my love of the game alive even when I wasnt playing that often. The final tally of units stripped, rebuilt and repainted is:
- 40 Spears
- 24 Archers
- 6 Dragon Princes
- 15 White Lions
- 19 Phoenix Guard
- 22 Swordmasters
- 5 Shadow Warriors
- 1 Dragon Mage
- 2 Mages on foot
- 1 Noble on foot
- 1 Mounted BSB
- 2 Great Eagles
- 2 Bolt-throwers

Just putting the finishing touches on the movement trays, adding snow to the edges, and then the only thing left to do is to build a display board for the 2011 tournament season (if I can find the time to play that is), oh and then I intend to start stripping and painting all my Dwarfs - all 250+ figures!!!

January 17, 2011

WHFB Battle Report - High Elves vs. Dwarfs @ 2400pts

[Story of battle 6 between my High Elves and Adams Dwarfs (although he used my figures in some cases). Part of our ongoing War of the Beard series. See the WHFB Battle Reports page for links to the other games]

Findecáno Amandil mage of the 2nd house shook uncontrollably wondering for the 20th time why he had volunteered to serve in Prince Aerandir Narmolanya's army in the Old World. The campaign was not at all what he had expected. The trip across the Great Ocean to the fortress of Elandarana had been a frightning experience, storms had battered the Ulthuan fleet and a score of ships had been attacked and consumed by fearsome Nautican dragons Findecáno had never heard of let alone seen. The fortress itself, its high walls built on cliffs overlooking the Black Gulf, was a frightningly dark home to an Elf more used to the light airy buildings of the noble houses of Ulthuan.

The soldiers based at the Fortress to were not the keen eyed fresh faced citizens militia that had sailed with Findecáno to reinforce the Ulthuan war effort against the Dwarfs of the Worlds Edge Mountains. These elves were hard and fearsome, their armour still shined but behind the gleam could be seen countless marks from axe, hammer and stone. The veterans of a decade of endless campaigning against the Dwarfs these elves had suffered greatly, victories had been hard won but bloody defeats had left an indelilable stain on the army. No greater evidence of this was needed then the rotting corpse of a great Dragon and the gibbeted remains of high-born elf Lord. It along with its owner Prince Ratheon had been executed by his vassal Lord Hethronus [click here for this story] after the Prince had led his army to defeat and then abandoned them to a wintery grave. Despite Hethronus's bravery in securing one of the few major victories in the campaign his fate had been sealed the moment he drew his sword as the Prince. The new army commander Prince Aerandir Narmolanya had ordered the corpse of the Dragon (Kisath) and Lord Hethronus be left to rot in the fortress courtyard as a reminder to all of the price of failure and treachery.
The armies line up for battle (click for larger image)

The Dwarven battleline

All of these sights were at the forefront of Findecáno's mind as he waited among the ranks of one of the newly arrived citizen spear units. After months of endless guerilla fighting and small skirmishes a Dwarven army had finally drawn itself up for a pitched battle against the Elven forces. Prince Aerandir had remained at the Fortress, and the army this time was led by one of the armies Archmages, Elerossë Tinehtelë Archmage of the 7th house servant of the Shadow. The citizen militia regiments dominated the left flank of the Elven army while Elerossë positioned himself on the right with the elite units of Caledor, Hoeth and the Phoenix Guard. Only a small detachment of Swordmasters of Hoeth gave Findecáno reason to doubt that his flank was to be the sacrificial lamb against which the Dwarves would spend themselves.

Findecáno's regiment of Citizen Spears (all painted since this game)

The battle opened with the advance of the Elven infantry, full of confidence the arrival of a new commander and new troops had brought, they gave little heed to the terrain toward which they marched. Findecáno soon felt the unmistakable buzz of magical energy as Elerossë summoned the forces bound up in the Lore of Shadow. To his far right the guttural sounds of Dwarven screams were heard as a demonic Pit of Shades opened up beneath one of their regiments. Findecáno was about to cheer when a huge magical explosion rocked the battlefield. Elerossë had failed to control the energy's in the Shadow Lore and the Pit had rebounded on him. The resulting explosion tore through the ranks of his accompanying Phoenix Guard and the nearby Swordmasters. In a matter of seconds hundreds of Elves lay dead, the surviving Phoenix Guard fleeing in terror from the pile of ash that was all that remained of the now dead Archmage.

The Phoenix Guard flee after the death of the Archmage.
The Swordmasters would be wiped out the next turn.

Findecáno could not believe what he had just seen, his mind full of confusion he too attempted to harness the energy of Elven High Magic seeking to build a protective shield over his spears. Too late he realised his mistake his confused mind was incapable of properly casting the spell and its energy coursed through him and the Spear Elves. Collapsing in agony blood pouring from multiple wounds Findecáno saw scores of militia die as magical fire burned through armour, flesh and bone. A great cheer arose from the Dwarven armies ranks, accompanied by the horrifying sound of Dwarven warmachines and crossbows loosing their missiles at the Elven army. Bullets, stones and bolts tore through armour, flesh and bone killing scores of elven troops. The Swordmasters of Hoeth and Dragon Princes of Caledor were worst hit, already weakened by the magical death of the Archmage, their confused ranks suffered heavily. In a matter of minutes nearly a third of the Elven army lay dead or dying... and Findecáno suddenly found himself in charge of what was left.

The Sorcerous Stone hexed both armies throughout the battle

Continuing the advance the Elven army was assailed by more Dwarve missile fire made worse as a rock formation in the middle of the battlefield revealed itself to be a Sorcerous Stone. Its magical energies crackled across the battlefield weakening armour, killing Dwarf and Elf alike, but also strenghtening bone and sinnew. On the right the Phoenix Guard rallied only to become locked into melee combat with a huge regiment of Dwarven Longbeards. Around Findecáno Elven militia charged home against Dwarven Quarrellers and Warmachines accompanied by the few remaining Swordmasters. Determined to gain some form of victory from the debacle Findecáno charged with them only to be cut down in the ensuing battle.

Phoenix Guard, Longbeards & the Dwarf General do battle

7/20 Phoenix Guard & 10/30 Longbeards + General all thats left after 4 rounds

But the fate of the Elven army was being decided on the right flank were the Phoenix Guard battled tooth and nail with the Dwarven General and his Longbeard bodyguard. Outnumbered, and weakened, the Phoenix Guard fought with fierce energy halberds tearing through Dwarven armour - the magical Razor Standard above their ranks giving their weapons a terrifying potency. Scores of Dwarfs fell and the battle dragged on allowing the tattered remnants of the Dragon Princes to approach the rear of the battle.

Dragon Princes get ready to charge, but whose that approaching top left?

But their charge, that would have sealed the Dwarven Generals fate, was thwarted as a Thane bearing the Dwarven battlestandard charged them single handedly. His great axe rose and fell slaughtering Elf and horse alike. The surviving Dragon Princes fled the battlefield and the Longbeards seeing hope in their flight fought with renewed energy. The Dwarven General, already wounded, cut down the Phoenix Guard champion and dozens of his companions. The Phoenix Guard broke, fled and were cut down as they ran by the victorous Dwarfs.

The victorous Dwarven Battle Standard Bearer who single handedly chased off the Dragon Princes of Caledor

The few remaining Phoenix Guard flee only to be cut down

On the far left of the battlefield those few Elves left alive formed ranks and adopted a defensive position hoping that darkness would allow them some respite from the Dwarven assault. It seemed the disaster and death continued to plague the Elven army in the Old World... the War of the Beard was not going well.

January 11, 2011

High Elf Archers complete & some barbed wire

Completed my archer unit last night and for the first time put snow around the edge of the movement tray. It seems to have stuck a lot better than previous attempts I think because I made the snow mixture a lot thicker than normal. A good coating of Moana Vale sealant (rather than GW Purity Seal which is too inconsistent a product) helped harden it up and given me confidence to add the same effect to the rest of my High Elf army. I might though add a few rocks to the edges to break up the white a little bit and tie them into the model bases.
Ill glue the Champions arm on tonight and paint that up and I do have the musician sitting around somewhere just cant find him right now.

Also completed over the weekend is a set of 3 minefields for my Flames of War Fallschirmjager. These can be fielded in scenarios using the Defensive battle special rule if you take a Pioneer Platoon with a Supply Truck.

I also need to complete a minefield and paint the edges as well. Barbed wire is just cheap stuff from the $2 shop wrapped around a broken sprue and superglued on, posts are bits of broken match. Bases balsa wood cut to the right size.