Sunday, 24 November 2013

Pretty Dirty Things


These are the exact words Em used when I showed her the model I used to test out the new special effects paints from Games Workshop.

This is him -
I think someone should go visit the 'special' Doctor.

I really love this model, but not being either a Nurgle or Choas player I've never really had an excuse to paint him. Until now! The sculpt, the details and the pose all really sit well with me. It's a reasonably straight forward model but it still has such a dominating presence for me. Also, it only has two skulls on it!

I'm serious, you might have an infection there.

With the paint job I wanted to have a bit of a play with the new paints and decided this chap would work really well looking like he's just been dredged up from the bottom of a lake. The skin was base coated in Tallern Flesh/Thunderhawk Blue. then I kept adding Dwarf Flesh and Pallid Wych Flesh until it was pure Wych Flesh. I used Dawnstone to fill in the open sores and then piled in some Blood for the Blood God. Once that was dry I painted in some Nurgle's Rot into the bottom edge of the sore, letting a little bit of it run over.

I'm just going to go ahead and book you an appointment at the clinic.

The Armour was Lead Belcher washed with Tyhpus Corrosion followed by Athonian Camoshade. Then a few touches of Runefang Steel and Nihilakh Oxide just to finish it up. The base was Agrellan Earth and Mordhiem Tufts.

At least let me put a plaster on that.

So, what do I think? Well:

Blood for the Blood God - Pretty much exactly what is says it is. It's blood, that is shiny, gloopy, and drys with a slight transparency (look closely at the blade of the axe to see what I mean). I know one can get to the same finish with mixing inks and glosses and all sorts, but this is just so much easier than all that faff.

Nihilakh Oxide - Really nice colour to this one, and dries with a powdery finish. Looks pretty damn good. Just be warned, it's pretty runny. 

Agrellan Earth - Anything that make basing easier is a win in my book. Just make sure you gloop it on thick enough. GW say, not too thick and not too thin but that is really too vague to be helpful. The base here was 2mm to 3mm thick. There you go, actual numbers, not subjective wishy washy nonsense.

Nurgle's Rot - Acts a lot like BFTBG but it is green. It's also pretty disgusting. I'm not so familiar with infectous oozes but I'm fairly sure I don't want to found out how close these look. That is a job for someone with a stronger stomach. 

Typhus Corrosion - It's just like Earthshade, but a little darker and had grit in it. Gives an awesome texture to the finish and makes a wonderful surface to drybrush over. I used two coats to get a really heavy filth going on but one would work for most purposes. One thing you should remember, those little gritty bits get everywhere, just like glitter, but not as shiny. So remember to clean your brushes properly and change your water afterwards otherwise you'll get texture in places one shouldn't have texture. I learnt this one the hard way. 

Ryza Rust - I didn't actually use this one here but I did have a play with it. It certainly far more consistent than using Blazing Orange and is great for dry brushing and stippling. I'm still not convinced it's going to replace weathering powders for me in all cases. Yes, it's going to be far more durable in a gaming situation but it's just much much harder to get it to fill the crevices like a weathering powder. There might be some mileage in using both. Powders for the nooks and Ryza Rust for the areas that are likely to be handled in game. 

Over all I like these additions to the range. Yes, one can duplicate all of these affects with mixtures of various different products, but this makes it so much easier, and for the normal gaming painters like me, I'm far more likely to use them in when they are easily to hand.

Oh, for those who know me. Painting a "one off" model like this usually triggers some form of project for me. If that is going to happen this time, and I dive headlong into the clammy arms of grandfather Nurgle, only time will tell. 


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Once in a Bloo Moon

Approximately ages ago, Cedric Sneakfoot sent the entire Bloo Moon tribe packing with a single, general-slaying shot. There was much squabbling in the wake of Big Boss Isitt’s death (by which I mean, it’s taken me ages to get around to painting a new warboss for the Night Goblin army Maisey so kindly bequeathed to me).

Well that new leader has finally emerged. Smaller, more pot-bellied, and even more brain-damaged, I give you... Big Boss Skazwuzzle!

What he lacks in martial prowess he more than makes up in an amazing ability to dodge the bullet. He’s a masterful delegator, buttering up his lieutenants so that, when an enemy warlord bellows a challenge, Skazwuzzle will think nothing of giving his second-in-command an encouraging nudge and a whisper of, ‘Go on you slag, you can take ’im!’

This is, the more observant Bloo Moons note, the most common way in which Skazwuzzle’s rivals meet their demise.

Relative to the tiny size of this model, I spent bloody ages painting him. This was partly because he’s the only goblin I’ve ever painted, and as such I wanted to take my time. Secondly, it was because there were a few techniques I wanted to try. One was blending pinkish flesh tones into the skin highlights – greenskins still bleed red, so it makes sense to me that you’d get a normal flesh tone where the skin is thinnest. Sadly my efforts in this department have been largely annihilated by the harsh lighting of my photography. Oops!

The other thing I wanted to try was to do a wolf-ish pelt on the fur cloak that changes colour, from grey to brown. I find this easy on a flat surface, but on an area with so much detail was a fun challenge.

As befits a tribe as useless and low-rent as the Bloo Moons, Skazwuzzle’s equipment is nothing but light armour, a hand weapon, and a shield. He’s the general of my army, and he only costs 34 points. Genius.

Anyway, that’ll do for today. Perhaps I’ll do more for the goblins at some point. Squigs are hilarious, as are trolls. Basically anything that can go disastrously wrong. Weeee!


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Making ruined fortress walls

With a ‘little’ help from Jeff, John and Tom, the Beard Bunker’s Warhammer Fortress is complete! Ha harrrr harrr!

For a number of reasons (most of them involving gameplay and tactical variety) I converted a ruined section of wall. In the interests of spreading the love, this post will provide a how-to for anyone wanting to build something similar, along with a few images of the whole fortress at the end.

Some people would probably like a giant pile of rubble to go between and around the ruined section (me included) but I haven’t made one yet. One of the side effects of painting something as big as the fortress kit is developing a serious urge to finish the damn thing as quickly as possible.

Anyway, onwards.

I began with some research. It turns out fortress walls were actually full of a mixture of earth and rubble sandwiched between several layers of stonework. OH GOOD, I thought, THAT’S NOT GOING TO BE COMPLICATED AT ALL.

Anyway, here are the tools you’ll need: razorsaw, scalpel, clippers, poly cement, hot glue gun, modelling files. Et finalement, the materials: one Warhammer Fortress Wall, filler, foamboard, insulation foam.

Do terminal things to an unassembled wall section using a razorsaw. You don’t have to saw all the way through – just far enough that you can snap it.

Use clippers and a scalpel to take your long, straight line of ruination and cut out individual bricks. You should now have four separate pieces of plastic.

Using a hot glue gun, affix a rectangle of foamboard to the inside of the wall pieces. Using a knife, carve it to match the shape of the plastic bricks.

Stick a second foamboard layer inside the first, cutting out brick-shapes with a knife so that you get two different layers of bricks.

Cut a wedge of high density insulation foam to the right thickness to fill the gap between the walls, but don’t glue it. Once you’ve got it ready, stick poly cement on the two halves of the plastic wall (since that takes a while to cure) and then apply hot glue onto the insulation foam. Quickly stick the two sides together before the hot glue cures (which is about 0.0000034 seconds), wrap it up in elastic bands, and leave it to cure overnight, ensuring that all the joins look good before you set it aside.

At the end of step six

Carve the surface of the insulation foam using any point object (knife/file etc) to gouge in and pull away, so that you tear the surface and get nice random shapes. If you’re unsure, have a play with some off-cuts before doing anything to your wall.

Smear filler (I used ready-mixed Polyfilla) over the ruined section. This will provide bonus texture, and allow you to make the foamboard bricks look less like ass. I found a straight, flat file helpful for giving the bricks a solid shape.


Once the filler’s dry, prime it by hand (primer spray will dissolve pretty much all of your work). I used black emulsion paint to seal it, and then went over it with Chaos Black spray just to ensure a consistent tone.

Paint. Painty paint. Paint paint, paint. Yeah.

And now, in case you were wondering, this is how far across a six foot gaming table a Warhammer Fortress can get with one extra tower:

The whole six feet. Ahhh yeaaahhh.

If you hadn’t guessed, the main purpose of our fortress walls is to provide a backdrop or setting for our games, rather than for actual siege warfare. I wanted town walls, not a proper keep. In fact, you can make them look even more like town walls if you take out the towers:

Note that three of the five towers have been assembled for straight sections rather than corners.  This didn’t require any conversion; the kit doesn’t force you to build the towers in any given format. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of big elastic bands to hand when you’re leaving the poly cement to dry – that goes for assembling both towers and walls.

Having that one extra tower allows for a fair bit of variety. Below are two of the many ways I can lay this thing out on a table...

And there we are. Hopefully this has been helpful for anyone with plans on building their own castle. If there’s anything I haven’t covered, shoot me a question in the comments!