Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Progress Report: Let there be widows

This week is being quite productive for painting. Must be because I am on vacation and with no other pressing matters to attend and painting is a relaxing hobby... most of the time anyway... except when you mess up after several hours of work... or when you don't get the results you are looking for... or when you struggle to find the right colour scheme... Anyway, I am painting more than usual and that means I have material for another update.

This week it is the unit of snipers called Widowmakers (hence the title of the post). The idea of having snipers in a setting that is mostly medieval fantasy with steampunk elements is a bit weird. The guns in the game are based in early gunpowder weapons like flintlocks, at least they look like it with things like blunderbusses being common. Those weapons weren't very accurate or had much range. Some units have access to primitive rifles but the idea of adding a scope to them and shooting at the enemy at much longer ranges is a bit anachronistic to the setting. Anyway, it is a game with big f***ing steam powered robots controlled by magic, who needs historical accuracy?

The widowmakers in the game are a nice addition to the army as they are fairly accurate and have a nice ability called Sniper (who would have guessed that) that allows them to inflict a single point of damage regardless of armour instead of rolling damage. Very useful against high armour infantry dudes with a single wound, specially because usually high armour means low defense so they are easy to hit with their above average accuracy. They also get to choose what column or spiral gets the damage they inflict for Warjacks and Warbeasts respectively, which is a nice bonus.

They can get even better if you add a Widowmaker Marksman solo to the army and keep them together, which reminds me that I should have painted the marksman at the same time so they matched colours better and so on... too late for that now...sigh.


I like how they ended up looking in general but as always, a few comments on them:
  • Faces... I still need to improve quite a lot on them. I don't despise them but I admit they could have been better.
  • Leather. Too much leather things on them: coat, lots of pouches, strips, belts... I tried to use different browns for different things but after some washes the difference between some of them is almost not noticeable, which is a shame as it increased the time of painting a lot. 
  • Wood. The body of the rifle itself and the support for firing are supposed to be wooden. I definitely need to improve on that. There is a set from Vallejo for painting Leather and Wood so that may help with those two... decisions, decisions,...
  • Oil Wash. I forgot to varnish before applying it. It did work anyway but must be more careful with that. This time I managed to apply it only to the parts that needed the wash without much of a mess which is an improvement. Yay!
  • It's a bit disheartening the amount of hours that I had to put into them. If I am going to spend so much time (around 2 days for 4 miniatures) for everything, I will manage to finish the army around 2020 or so. I need some improvement on that but I guess that's what practice is for.

Next ones to be painted, probably the Great Bears of Gallowswood. That will be fun.

They are a character unit, meaning you cannot field more than one of that unit because they are supposed to be unique in the setting. I haven't used them in the game yet but they sound like fun with their combination of abilities. I will probably use them this week in the journeyman league, and that's why I want to paint them next... that, and that I liked them so much while I assembled them several weeks ago that I cannot wait to do that.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Progress Report: Winter is coming...

Hi there,

A bit later than expected after a dip into the Dettol antiseptic pot for starting again Sorscha is finished. 

Not sure if I will use her in the Smogcon as she loses some effectiveness when there are more models in the table that block line of sight during her feat, but, as she is the caster that comes with the starter box and I am using her in the Journeyman League at LVL UP I ended up painting her.

In the league she is using her cold manipulation skills to good use, freezing enemies left and right with her feat and winning all league games so far. This week it is going to be 25 points so we will see if she is still good enough. Also, I have learnt a few other tricks with her so I don't need to rely solely on her Wind Rush-Feat-Charge assassination combo. A very fun caster to play indeed.

Instead of going for the usual Khador scheme with her being mostly red with a few black details as in the picture above, I opted for a look more appropriate to the mistress of winter with a lot more white on it. My inspiration for the colour scheme was this picture I found on DeviantArt by FStitz.

So, without further ado, those are the pictures of the finished model.

Kommander Sorscha

As I did with the Juggernaut I am going to give my opinion on her and the painting process. Pictures ended up being a bit out of focus, maybe because of the glossy varnish I used to highlight the snow and ice.
  • Overall, I liked painting this model. The amount of detail was very high and probably I missed the opportunity to make some of them stand out more. 
  • I like how the hammer ended up looking, following the same technique I used on the Juggernaut's Ice Axe as the effect is the same (Freeze the target on a critical).
  • Not so sure about her face, I still need to practice more painting flesh and faces, I guess that means painting more infantry and less warjacks for a time.
  • The armour and cloak ended up looking better than I thought. The cloak itself was my first attempt and using the blending technique but it got ruined when a spoilt wash reacted somehow with the paint to lift it and left white splotches. 
  • Not too sure about the icicles on the base. They are made with transparent pearl crackle paint. You leave the paint to dry on a surface and it cracks a bit like ice. Then I drybrushed a bit of white on the edges. It's probably a bit fragile so if it ends up breaking easily I will remove them.
That's it. As I want to paint the models I am using in the Journeyman league, I guess the next ones will be the unit of snipers, the Widowmakers.


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Progress Report: Monthly recap

Wow, it has been a month already since the last post.

This has been a very busy month and not much progress in terms of painting. Why?

First: Diablo

Diablo 3 releasing patch 2.1 has been one of the time sinks that has kept me far from the Man Cave. I have spent too much time squishing demons, undead and anything else that moved into a fine paste. For those curious about it, most of the time has been leveling a Season character, a Witch Doctor. It has been quite fun but in retrospect, that time could have been better spent painting or at least split between the two activities.

Second: Trip back home

We travelled to our place of birth in sunny Gran Canaria, Canary Islands (Spain) to visit family and friends for a week. Extremely hot weather now that we are used to the usually cold and rainy British weather. Main highlight of the trip has definitely been having the opportunity to play a couple of roleplaying sessions with some of my best friends and meeting for the first time some of their usual crew. A wonderful bunch of people (miss you guys!). 

We were playing with the Pathfinder rules (basically Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 with some changes and improvements) set in the Moonshae Islands of my beloved Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Both sessions were great as David, my lifetime buddy and fellow roleplayer did an amazing job running it and coping with my overly destructive character, a beast of a barbarian with an oversized giant sword that hited like a truck, specially when enraged.

All in all it was an enjoyable trip but completely exhausting because of the amount of people we had to meet with. Our schedule was very tight, often meeting with different people for breakfast, lunch, having a coffee mid afternoon and dinner.

There is still hope for painting however

A new store called LVL UP (link to their Facebook profile) has opened in Bournemouth. They have a playing area and a very helpful and friendly crew. They try to accommodate a lot of systems by having days assigned to them and on Fridays they are organising a Warmachine/Hordes Journeyman League. 

It is a league format designed for introducing new players to the game by starting with the starter box for your faction and gradually increasing the amount of points. It is very nice to have this sort of events locally (I am a reasonably new player as well). It is specially good that in Journeyman Leagues you get game points for playing games against different people and also hobby points for painting your models. It definitely suits my competitive nature as now I feel a lot more compelled to paint in order to score a few extra points every week. 

So far, Sorscha has been undefeated as her feat is a bit overpowered in such a small format. She will probably decrease her effectiveness as the games get bigger. 

So, anything painted at all?

Yes, of course. As I tried to score some hobby points on the first week I have managed to finish the Juggernaut from the starter box and I have started working on Sorscha (I intend to finish her later this week).


I am going to start giving some positive and negative feedback to myself in order to encourage improvement. From positive to negative it would be something like: 

  1. I am really proud of how the Ice Axe ended up looking. Fairly easy to do as well: VMA (Vallejo Model Air) Steel as a base colour in the axe, followed by some drybrushing of VGC (Vallejo Game Color) Glacier Blue and VMA White. After that, a gentle dose of Gloss Varnish was applied and before it dried some Crushed Glass from Secret Weapon Miniatures (the same product I use for the snow in the bases) was sprinkled over it. I then sealed it again with some more gloss varnish using the airbrush.
  2. I also like how the base ended up looking. Maybe I should strive for a more transparent look on the snow in order for the rest of the base detail to be clearer. 
  3. Chipping and weathering are ok. Still not 100% happy with the end result but I managed to use pigments without causing a disaster as when I was painting the Destroyer. Some more practice and also experimenting with alternative ways of doing it is in order.
  4. Oil washes. I need to improve my usage of oil washes. I think they are way better than acrylic washes and I have managed a way of wiping out the excess without leaving traces of cotton buds everywhere. However, it is still a bit of a messy step and I feel that controlling a bit more where to put the wash instead of washing the whole model would definitely help. It basically killed most of the previous work in highlighting different shades of red which I was fairly happy about.
  5. White parts and to a lesser extent red ones are still a bit too dark after washing and weathering but better than in the Destroyer.
I recently got some of the new Vallejo Game Air paints which will probably streamline the red layering process a bit. Some experimentation will be done in the next Warjack to be painted (as Sorscha is currently in progress but is too small to actually be able to do layering with the airbrush).

That's all for now. Let's hope this doesn't end being a monthly instalment and I post a bit more often than that.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Progress Report: Scrapjack is finished

Quick update today.

Finished painting Scrapjack on Friday but didn't got time to post pictures until today.


Now some group photos with its master, the Old Witch. In the end I decided to leave Old Witch as she was instead of repainting the shoulder pads white. What I did was retouching a bit the green glow effect on the left shoulder pad and in all the skulls. The skulls in the back of Scrapjack also have the green glowing effect to tie the two together a bit more. It is also the reason for the green glow in Scrapjack's eyes.

And finally as a bonus, a picture of the Old Witch on her own as suggested by my girlfriend as she realised that the angle on the pictures in the previous entry didn't show her face too much. This time I opted to use the tripod that came with the kit and put the miniatures over some boxes so they were almost at the same level as the camera.

That's all folks. Tomorrow I will run a Warmahordes demo/intro game for a new member of the club and I will try to squeeze a bit of painting during the week.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Progress Report: Photos, photos everywhere

Hi again,

First of all, sorry for not being able to post pictures of last Monday game but it was so fun I completely forgot my intention of taking pictures. Nice victory of Vlad2 (Khador) against Haley1 (Cygnar). His turn feat is devastating with Man-O-Wars, just saying. I will try to take pics next time.

So now that we got that out of the way, let's get to the main topic of the post.

Today I received my new light box so now I should be able to take better photos. Still a lot of advice to apply and tricks to learn but I couldn't wait to flood the internet with photos of everything so far. I will even include a few shots of the latest model I have been painting, the Scrapjack, which is still a Work In Progress.

So, without further ado, let's show the pics.

Khador Destroyer Warjack

War Dog

The Old Witch of Khador

Scrapjack (Work in Progress)

I hope to finish the Scrapjack during the weekend. What to paint next, no clue.