Monday, 24 April 2017

Storm Eagle - Work In Progress*: The Storm Eagle has Landed

Part three of the Storm Eagle build. It's all about the paint today. I know that this was my March project, and in honesty it did get finished and delivered in March, just only now getting around to sticking up a post about it.  Next time I'll show you all what I've been getting up to in April. Anyway. Here the photo dump. 

Cockpit details

Little Mens!

Base coated in a mid grey.

Preshaded in black. Just in the recesses. Doesn't need to be super neat.
Then lightly dusted with black again, letting the midgrey show through. The preshade should give us a nice mottled/faded in look to the black.
Done with the airbrush
A very light drybrush of the midgrey just to bring out the edges. 
I think it worked out ok.

Door Details
Top down

The nose guns I've left off and can be swapped out depending on the mission
Adding some Imperial Inquisition Red bits. 
Now the fun begins, weathering!
Paint Wear and tear applied using a sponge.
Full Frontal!
Dust added, the dust was just paint watered down very heavily and applied, the excess removed, and applied again to build up the layers. 

*This is the point where I have to admit of excitedly handing the finished model over to Charlie, and forgot to take decent pictures of the finished item. I'm sure if we all ask nicely enough Charlie will take some for us all :D. 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Frostgrave: They Came From Beyond!

Yes, like the tagline to a 50's movie this time we're all about things that "Came From Beyond!" as the other half of my Summoner warband coalesces into the world:

One of the things about Summoners, I realised during playtesting, was you need a bunch of additional models. If you want a "lowest possible cost" warband, Summoners aren't it. But for me? Oh no, don't make me paint more awesome stuff... As I've tooled my wizard's spells up for being in the Summoner theme, I've got almost all of the ones that allow you to bring in other models for the warband:

Summon Demon, Raise Zombie (yeah, still waiting on the zombie) and Familiar all bring extra models to the table. Initially I thought I'd just need one of each of the sizes of demon and a familiar because I'd been thinking of them like the zombie. You can only have one of those. But each spellcaster can control a demon so theoretically you can have two of each size of demon. Each spellcaster can also have their own familiar, so two of those needed as well. Actually, let's start with the little guys shall we?

Those are a Hasslefree "Demon Child" and a Reaper Miniatures "Attic Whisperer". The Demon Child belongs to Freya Seshat (my Wizard) and the Attic Whisperer belongs to her apprentice, Simeon. Freya being part demon made the mini hellboy (who looks waay better in person, the paintjob lacks enough contrast for the camera but it just fine in the flesh) seem right for her. Simeon does most of the necromancy so having a little creepy skeleton thing clutching a teddy bear belong to a simple minded soul felt very appropriate. Regardless, neither are terribly interesting to talk about from a painting aspect so I'll take the time to talk bases.

All my frostgrave bases are designed to appear as overgrown rubble covered in snow in various states of melting. For the snow I use my favourite Secret Weapon product: their crushed glass snow flock. It has a wonderful translucency and sparkle and when mixed with water effects it makes a fantastic slush. For a bit of opacity and body I mix in some of the more normal snow flock with the glass and water effects and apply the paste where I want thicker, less melted snow. Works wonders. Disclaimer though, the crushed glass stuff isn't safe in the same way scalpels aren't safe. You need to take some elementary precautions as it can irritate skin and really, really hurt eyes so be careful. Worth it though.

Now we've got the dinky chaps out of the way, let's get ready to rumble! The first trio of demons belong to Freyja Seshat. She's the more competent summoner and in my head-canon it is easier to summon an incorporeal being than to pull actual flesh into reality. I thought long and hard about what sort of demon I wanted Freyja to have, I didn't want the "classic" demon look as I can get that all I want from Warhammer. Instead, I wanted a more protean, more chaotic look, a bit Lovecraftian if you will. Lo and behold I find Fenris Games Cthulhu Wars range and this "Formless Horror". Perfect for my needs. I can imagine her drawing it through and then stroking and cooing over it like it is a cute kitten. Creepy as all get out.

For the middleweight version, Red Box came through again with their "Lesser Horror". In painting these guys, I decided to go for dark, unformed flesh tones with very realistic eyes and mouths. I always find realism in the face of the fantastical more frightening than any amount of bright blue tentacles and the like. So lots and lots of research of different animal eyes went in to these.

For the final one, I just could not get a model that I liked. So I decided to sculpt one, as this was the smallest and weakest it didn't matter if it was a bit naff looking. So armed with procreate and optomism I set forth. I actually think I did OK, could have done with some more squirmy flesh rather than the cowpat and maybe a tongue on that mouth to match the others but overall, not bad for someone who really does not sculpt much.

For Simeon I wanted a real contrast, something utterly opposite to Freyja and perhaps hinting at his hidden depths. Finally, I hit upon fiery demons, as incorporals they are easier to summon and the contrast between dark flesh and bright flame was appealing to me. Reaper minis came through again for this large elemental and the medium one below:

All the fire demons were airbrushed white over their primer coats to get the cleanest, flattest white I could manage. I then mixed yellow ink with some acrylic medium and thinner and built up layers of yellow with the white shining out through the translucent ink. I went back in to some deep areas with the white (with just a hint of yellow added) to build up the heat and then faded out to red via oranges on all of the exterior parts. Black was a final accent on the coolest parts of the flames.

The final demon is a GCT Studios "Kami of Flame" from their Bushido range. It was literally the only small fire elemental I found that I liked at all and am therefore lucky that it's a good one. The little phoenix at it's heart is a nice one. It also illustrates what I did with the fire demon basing, which was to have the snow retreat and melt away from them. I kinda wish I'd thought of using one of those slightly larger Space Marine bases for the medium weight one as I couldn't get any snow at all on her.

And with that the warband is all but done. I'm waiting on some Red Box zombies to arrive which I'm going to paint as a gang of roving NPC dead 'uns and nick my favourite for what the warband will almost certainly refer to as Stinky Pete. Until then...


Monday, 10 April 2017

Frostgrave: Something Wicked This Way Comes...

As regular Bunker Dwellers will know, Maisey has been organising a Frostgrave campaign for a little while. We've done some testing, figured out warbands and got to painting. To my considerable surprise, I've come in last in the "race" to finish warbands. But finished I am! Sort of, nearly, you'll understand later...

Thar they blows! A mean band of na'er-do-wells ready to take to the streets of the frozen city in search of riches and hidden knowledge that man was not meant to wot of. Mercifully no-one ever bothers to say what women may not wot of so my wizard is golden as far as the forbidden knowledge is concerned. Speaking of which...

Meet Freyja Seshat, Elven (mostly) Summoner and five times winner of Head Covering Monthly's: Least Likely To Wear A Hat award. I had wanted an excuse to paint Hasslefree's lovely Semira Marise model for ages, with Frostgrave, I had the perfect opportunity. I knew the rest of the warband would be in practical, dark age esque colours and wanted my wizard to stand out a bit. Thus I went for the pale coat covering that strong cold turquoise. To me she looks wealthy and unconcerned by how much she stands out in the warband, confident. The back of the coat was a bit flat so I went at it with freehand and optimism. Turned out all right I think.

Ms Seshat, as her unconventional appearance may indicate, is a Summoner: One who brings demons forth in to the real world. As an apprentice she read a few too many tomes that she was not quite ready for and was possessed by a powerful Outsider. It has been guiding her steps ever since, through the murder of her master and the acquisition of her own followers. Every step drawing her closer to the ultimate prize of the Frozen City - Transendence, or as her passenger would put it: "going home".

As we're on the subject of Freyja's apprentice, I guess we had better, reluctantly, turn our gaze on her adoring spavined assistant Simeon. Simeon the Skewed - as the warband call him behind his back - is consumed with admiration and smitten with his beautiful mistress. His power is considerable, indeed he is much more the talented necromancer, but believes himself second in all things to Freyja. If his confidence ever matches his talent he could be dangerous indeed.

Simeon is one of Red Box's "Gregor the Crooked" halfbloods. I loved the idea of a morally compromised wizard having a real "Igor" of an apprentice and fell in love with Gregor on first sight. I debated taking some elements from the Summoner's colour scheme and replicating them on Simeon but in the end rejected the notion. He looked so much better in lowly green and russet brown. After all, he's barefoot in snow. Rich colours do not suit him at all.

Opening the "meat shield" section of the warband is my knight: Sir Aelrik the Reckless. I've already talked about his painting on the old blog so I'll prattle on about backstory and so on here instead. Aelrik is a sellsword of dubious morality, his knighthood was long since revoked by the Theign that granted it to him but he stubbonly keeps on using the title and dares any to quarrel over it. He came to work for Seshat by being defeated. He was in another wizard's warband that squared off against her - at that time - small band. A challenge was agreed in lieu of outright slaughter and Aelrik strode out to face her champion, a beardless boy, a street rat thief with the muscle tone of a string bean. One possession spell and five minutes later Aelrik was bludgeoned unconscious as the territory ceded to Seshat. Aelrik upon awakening swore allegiance to Seshat and asked only one thing of her: To grant him that power. This she has done regularly, willingly, and happily ever since.

Backing Aelrik up are a pair of Infantrymen, the first of which (again, painting over on the old blog) is a highlander by the name of Declan. Declan fell on some hard times, hurt himself on them, and needs to drink to forget the impact. This needs coin and so Declan is willing to work for any Tom, Dick or Harry who can tolerate his surly manner and offers him silver.

The other infantryman is, at first glance, a bit of an odd fit for this band. Being as she is a clean cut, decent, Elvish lass. Sarisia of the Greenwold is a young, impetuous and rather naive runaway seeking her fortune as a mercenary in the Frozen City. Her first weeks were terrifying and deeply unfriendly until she ran into a charming, mysterious Elven women with a hint of attractive danger about her. Perfect for a runaway trying to reject her old life while keeping as much of it as possible. Sarisia is rather out of her depth and an Olympic champion at rationalising away red flags. Hopefully she'll come to her senses before Seshat gets her killed in persuit of even more forbidden knowledge but we're not holding our breath.

Sarisia is another Hasslefree acquisition ("Luna") and needed to look respectable for want of a better word. I tried a bunch of different combinations of green, but none of them were doing it for me. Even the current stone grey/green mix was initially not looking great until I darkened the cloak to its deep brown/black shade it is now. Then it was perfect, respectible dressed young elf hiding away in a big dark cloak in smokey taverns radiating "please don't notice me". That'll do.

All that muscle needs some fire support and the first half of that is well provided in Thorfal Borrson: Dwarven archer extraordinaire. Thorfal (who I have, last time I promise, talked about before) is not actually much of a warrior, he's a hunter and farmer from the villages above Felstadt. With the local climate being thrown out of whack by the Frostgrave spell ending, his harvest has been poor and game scarce. With a family to feed and few marketable skills Thorfal knocked the rust off his father's mail and headed for the frozen city. His lack of combat credentials didn't bother Seshat as it had other wizards, she just saw a sure shot and a simple motivation. Perfect for her purposes.

Rounding out the warband is "Shady Ivan", very likely not his real name. Ivan is a recent hire who had recently arrived in something of a hurry from "out west somewhere..." and tends to keep his face covered; stays away from bounty hunters and wanted notices. With this barely concealed backstory writ large in his every action most reputable wizards want nothing to do with him. Fortunately for Ivan, Freyja Seshat is in no way reputable and his employment is assured. Ivan spends his days practicing with his crossbow and making innapropriate suggestions to Sarisia. Charming chap.

Ivan is actually another Red Box figure, this one from their Aenglish range (as they're called on Hasslefree's site) and is normally called "Grim Garrett". It's so nice to have models wearing gambeson as their only armour - they are actually quite effective armour - and I can really see myself getting more of these. As for colours, undyed linen for the gambeson made sense and I just reached for the russet brown that the rest of the warband seemed to have elements of. Otherwise, he's not all that complicated!

Now this post is already massive so we're stopping here for today, but we are not done, not by a long way. Because as I mentioned, this is a Summoner warband, and if there's one thing Summoners do well it is making that warband bigger by supernatural means. So the summon-able elements I'm keeping for next time... oh all right, just one sneak peak then...

Till next time, lovely people...


Monday, 3 April 2017

Storm Eagle - Work In Progress: Part 2

Good day to you all,

Not a great deal to say on this one, check back to the first post here for the background. This is just a quick post covering the remaining building stages. Lots of pictures ahoy:

Adding the wing assemblies 

Lots of elastic bands, tape, and matchsticks to hold everything in place while the glue sets.

So much tape...

That doesn't seem to fit

Down, down is always an option. A fragile option, but still an option. Would have been a stronger option if I had painted the insides before sticking it all together.

Doesn't fit that way either. 

So, after some trimming and sanding I finally got it to fit. Oh, and a lot of sprue glued on the inside as a cross brace.

Starting to look like the picture on the box.

There's a little man in there!

Prepping for paint.

More prepping.

Added a few neat brass etch symbols 

All prepped, masked and ready for some paint.