Friday, December 31, 2010

The 1st Grey Hunter Unit - Part I

Hi, one and all,

I have finished painting the first 5 Grey Hunters of my first unit. I am quite happy with the results. I have said several times on this blog, my intention is to build up an army for gaming and not display, so where I could do away with time consuming techniques, like shading and highlighting, and get by with block colours, I have. I use transfers in order to save time free handing insignia and I keep 'mixing colours' to a minimum.

I apologize for the quality of the pics, but I am not equiped for close up potography. Also the armour is coming out with a bluish tint due to the lighting I have available. It actually has a greyish tint but I guess it can't be helped. I'll have to tweak the 'White Light balance' on my camera when I gain enough initiative to overcome the lethargy I have for doing such things.

Grey Hunters
 

I'd like to describe how I go about painting my gaming pieces. After prepping, first I give them an undercoat of Adeptus Battlegrey. The next step is to paint in all the metallic colours, add black washes and highlight with drybrushing. I always do this first because metallic drybrushing is a very 'dirty' technique, so to speak, and leaves a lot of fragments all over the model. After that I paint all the pelts, furs and hair and drybrush accordingly. When all the drybrushing is done I paint the face first and all the accessories next. The last step is painting the armour.

As you can see from the pics there is no yellow at all in my Grey Hunters, and there will be no yellow whatsoever in any of my 3 projected GH units. Don't get me wrong, I like yellow, but GH are not Imperial Fists. I want my GH units to be down-to-earth, nitty gritty, pragmatic and sombre; just like their name-sake 'Grey'. Therefore, yellow, IMO has no place in these units. Yellow is a bright colour used a lot in nobility and heraldry in general, therefore it's place in a SW army is with the colourful, in-your-face, Blood Claws or with the heroic Wolfguard; but even then kept to a minimum in the pack markings.

It's not just the yellow that I tried to keep to a minimum, but also any unnecessary bling and ornamentation. Therefore I have used normal vanilla legs and backpacks for the GH units. I'll leave the new SW legs and backpacks for the Wolfguard (whom I affectionately call the 'Bling Boys').

Well that's all for now. My next entry will be the three 'Mark of the Wulfen' Space Wolves I am converting for the Grey Hunter units; or the other 5 Grey Hunter models in this unit. Which ever I finish first!

Farewell until next time,

       NR

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Grey Hunters

Hi everyone,

I have just finished adding details and modifying my first Grey Hunter pack. I bought these miniatures dead cheap from Ebay. They came assembled, undercoated and partially painted. The guy who sold them didn't even bother cleaning up the mold lines, otherwise they were in excellent condition.

I have decided to build all my GH (and BC) with vanilla marine legs and will be using the legs of the new SW sprue for LF and WG only. I want a way to distinguish between packs besides their weapons and pack markings. I will give the GH pelts, wolf tails and tooth laces. From my fluff-perspective this is practical of units that are the core of the company and most frequently employed in battle.

I want the WG and LF to be more elaborate w.r.t to armour since they are the most respected of troops. The former for their prowess and the latter for their experience. I will also reserve the new power backpacks of the new SW sprue only for WG. The rest (GH, BC and LF) will get normal backpacks albeit modified with tails and pelts on occasion.

As you can see from the pics below I like to paint up and add the decals to the shoulder pads before sculpting in details. Since greenstuff (duro) is gum-like and doesn't leave residue; it allows me to work faster. As you can see I have replaced the 'Rune of Acceptance' of the BCs with the army badge. I like the the look of the army badge on the shoulder pad as opposed to putting them on the legs.

I really like the way the two marines with the wolf head and arms came along. They usually have a habit of coming out rather bulky, but I have manage a nice fit this time.





All I have to do now is replace one plasma pistol with a special weapon and one power weapon with a cc weapon and I can start painting them.

Farewell until next time,

       NR

Monday, December 27, 2010

Splintered Light Miniatures - Goblins Review

Hi everyone,

Today I would like to continue my review of some Splintered Light 15mm goblin miniatures I had the pleasure of adding to my goblinoid army.  Like their bigger cousins, these goblins were also sculpted by the talented hands of Ben Siens.  I forgot to mention this brilliant sculptor in the previous post - I apologize, it was my first review.

Once again, there is not much to criticize about this range - they are exquisite little gems that are excellently proportioned and detailed and above all full of character.

Orc & Goblin Heroes

The Orc and Goblin heroes pack contains four characters that have amazing detail and are excellent for command stands or to represent single heroes. There are three goblin characters and one orc character.  I am particularly fond of the Goblin hero with the helmet with plume and chainmail covering his face.  He has a pose that spells 'I mean business'.

Goblin Scouts
Orc & Goblin Heroes

The other two packs are the Goblin Scouts and the Goblin Warriors.  Both packs cost $8 and contain 12 beautifully sculpted goblins.  The Goblin Scout pack has 3 different poses but the Goblin Wariors pack has 6 different poses.  Once again they are ideal for the rank and file of any army.  What's better is that they do look like goblins in size and aspect when seen next to the orc range and when compared to dwarf minis.

Splintered Light have more in their Orc and Goblin range that can be viewed on their site here. I am especially fond of there Giant Warg which I do intend to get after December and January pass by.  I don't want them getting lost in the mail. While you're there check out Ben Siens' Dark Elf range as well.  If you like Dark Elves you will not be disappointed.

I have also contacted Splintered Light Miniatures and they have told me that they have more orcs and goblins to add to this range.  Waiting in the production line are goblin cavalry command and goblin cavalry. They are also thinking of adding
some different general orc warriors and some big bruisers both on foot and on boars.  Personally I can't wait to get my hands on them.

Once again I would like to thank and congratulate Splintered Light for producing this winning range of minis.  Let's hope they continue to grow and prosper to time indefinite.

Farewell and good health,

       NR

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Splintered Light Miniatures - Orcs Review

Hi everyone,

Before I start, I would just like to emphasize that I am not into the business of reviewing all gaming products and miniature ranges in general. I just offer my opinion of the products I have bought and chosen to use and that I would recommend to others. So you will not find any negative reviews of products I do not like or endorse, but objective critique on products that I do own.  With that out in the open , let's begin.

Today I would like to take the time to review the range of Splintered Light's range of 15mm orcs.  There are several 15mm fantasy ranges on the market, some have disappeared, others have returned and new companies sprout from time to time.

Splintered Light Miniatures is one of the latter.  The company has been around since 2005 and since then it has produced a very good range of 15mm fantasy ranges.  Today I will review their Orcs.

To cut to the chase, of all the orc models out there at 15mm, Splintered Light's are currently the best at the moment.  They outshine the competition and they are so good in my humble opinion that I have decided to model my 15mm Orc & Goblin army around them with respect to scale and look.

When I saw these figures on their website I could not believe that they were 15mm scale.  They are extremely well detailed and their proportions are very well formed.  They do not have that comical or squatish look to them that so many other ranges suffer from at this scale.

Below are some pictures of their rank and file Orc Warriors and Orc Command packs.


Orc Command
Orc Warriors
The Orc Command pack contains 6 models of 3 different types of figures - an Orc Chieftain or Warlord, a standard bearer and a shaman.  The orc warriors pack contains 12 figures of 3 different types of warrior models as seen in the pic above.  They are very reasonably priced at $5 for the command packs and $8 for the warrior packs.  Considering the quality I think it is a deal.

The Savage Orc range is a newer addition.  The amount and variations are the same as the Orc warrior range, but instead you get Savage Orcs.  Like the former, these orcs are little gems and will make an excellent addition to any orc army.

Savage Orc Command
Savage Orc Warriors
The only critique I can forward on these figures is that maybe they would have benefited from one or two extra poses in the orc warrior and savage orc warrior packs.  Other than that it would be an exercise in nitpicking to try and find any fault in this range.

I only hope that in the future Splintered Light hire the same sculptor to do some orcs with different weapon options and maybe some black or greater orc types.  Mounted orcs on war boars would also be a splendid addition to this already spectacular range.

I will be doing a review in two days time of their goblin range so be sure to check them out as well.

Farewell and good health,

       NR

Friday, December 24, 2010

Swiftclaw Bikers - Painting is Done!

Hi everyone,

I have, at last, taken a few quick pics of my finished Swift Claw biker pack. The photos are not that good in quality but I did not have the time to cross the island to borrow my brother's camera for close up photography, but I think they serve their purpose.

These bikers have been ready for a while and next Thursday I field them for the first time. As usual my inert lethargy to set things up for shots and put the set up away tends to fix me in a procrastinating mood that is very hard for me to budge out of. Well here are the pics:

Swiftclaw Biker left side view

Swiftclaw Bikers right side view

Swiftclaw Biker Pack
I will be adding a Wolf Guard biker, a Wolf Priest biker and an Attack Bike soon, but after I finish painting the Long Fangs and my second Grey Hunter pack.

Farewell and good health,

       NR

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Swiftclaw Bikers - Painting them Up (Part 2)

High everyone,

I have just finished painting my next two Swiftclaw bikers I started 3 days ago. I didn't start them sooner because I decided to add a satchel with a utility rope to the front part of the bikes. The rolled up blanket-thingy didn't seem enough and looked rather empty and dull on its own. The rope is just wire and the bags are simply a piece of plastic with a greenstuff flap. Very simple, yet effective and it only takes about half an hour to make. Basically one full session for me.

Swiftclaws front view

Swiftclaws back view

As you can tell from the photos I tend to work in pairs. So they tend to be similar in design. The first two I painted were also similar, as will be the next two. I do this on purpose, because it speeds up things when modeling and painting. Naturally if I modeled all six the same painting would be easier, but I wanted a bit of variety.

I also started building up my first unit of Long Fangs. I bought two boxes of the old Long Fang box sets from a guy who has become disillusioned with Games Workshop, and was selling his stuff at the club in nearly pristine condition. I bought both for the price of one. I did this mostly for the old Space Wolf sprue (the one with the meltagun and wolf-head backpack) and because I like the feel of metal models. But I soon regretted this decision.

Longfangs
I have never seen more ill-fitting models in my life. They are worse than the Swiftclaws. From the metal models not one gives a good fit with the backpack and weapon cabling. I am going to have to greenstuff this or cover it up somehow. If anyone has a way to get around this in a simple and effective manner please let me know. Well, just for everyone's info, I highly recommend buying the the new plastic devastator squad and interchange parts with the Space Wolf sprues. Trust me on this. It will spare you a whole world of angst.

That's all for today.

Farewell and good health,

       NR

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Swiftclaw Bikers - Painting them Up (Part 1)

Hi everyone,

Today I have finished my first two Swiftclaws from a pack of six. The painting technique is the same as the Grey Hunters and as the Blood Claw packs in the following entries. So I want bore you with unnecessary repetitions. I purposely did not put any BC markings on the bikes in order to reduce the amount of yellow (and this time even red) on the models. The side transfers are black & white which contrast and complement the model very suitably. The black lighting bolt on white is actually a Blood Angel Tactical transfer, but I thought it looked good on the bikes.

Swiftclaw Bikers Front/side view

Swiftclaw Bikers side/back view

Since building this army is an experiment in developing faster techniques I can manage to paint well with, since by nature I am very slow painter, I decided to time myself with these biker models. All in all, these bikers took me 3 hours and 17minutes for each model over a period of 8 days. This is a breakthrough for me. If I had painted these models to higher standards and used my usual approach it would have taken me much longer. So I rewarded myself with a pint of Lager for my efforts.

Farewell and good health,

       NR

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Swiftclaw Bikers - Putting them together

Hi everyone,

I'm feeling a bit guilty because instead of painting the Grey Hunters which are the mainstay of my army, I spent the precious few hours I have dedicated to my hobby on customizing my Bikers. What can I say, I have always been a fan of bike squads. I thank Russ I don't collect White Scars and that the SW don't have Scout bikers (at least I hope not, that means more spending).

Swiftclaw Bikers
 I consider BC bikers to be 'veteran blood Claws', so I decided to give them some pelts and trophies to enhance them a bit (actually it's just an excuse, I couldn't resist adding the furs and trophies). I put the pelts at the back and the trophies on the front and side. I still gave them the 'Rune of Acceptance', since they are not ready yet to join the ranks of the Hunters. I have edited some of the models since I took the above picture, but I will post the whole unit again when painted.

I have to say that when you exchange the torso of the Biker with a SW part the fitting is terrible. The feet don't reach the clutch and gears, or they don't sit well. I ended up adding a layer to the feet and covering up the gap between the torso and abdomen with furs (which actually worked out quite well). I also had to carve out part of the seat on some of the bikes to produce a better sitting pose. I found this all very annoying since I didn't want to spend so much time as I did on them. Don't get me wrong, if they were display pieces I wouldn't mind spending a hundred hours on them if that is what it takes. But these are just gaming pieces, so I don't want to end up spending more than absolutely necessary. I just want decent models.






Unfortunately, before I took the pictures I started dry-brushing in the metallic parts, which is very messy, so the various parts of the bikes are not very clear or distinguishable. It wont happen again. I intend to add two more bikers to the unit to a total of eight. I will magnetize the arms of the next two bikers as to make them interchangeable with a power fist and melta gun. This way I will have the option to field one or two units of bikers with special weapons. It's an excellent way to diversify your army without breaking the bank.

I had an 'Attack Bike' squadron of three, which cannot be used in the new codex, unfortunately. So I sold one of them and bought the two extra bikers. Eventually I will paint up the the two remaining AB and convert them to BC. I also intend to build two Wolf Guard on Bikes as well, but that's for later.

Well, I 'm off the paint those GH before Russ strikes me down.

Farewell until next time,

       NR

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wolf Priest - Modelling is finished!

Hi to one and all,

I have just finished modeling my Wolf Priest. As I have already said in previous posts, I'm not very confident when it comes to modeling at this scale, especially because the proportions are not correct, but are done in a 'heroic' scale (which basically means the bigger things are the better).

So I had to make a few compromises, but I think I have reached a workable and presentable blend of exaggeration and functionality. Well at least I hope so, but I will let you be the judge of that.

Wolf Priest
As you can see I have added the Crozius Arcanum and the a wolf helm. The crozius is my third attempt at it, and as you can see it is rather large but I think I got away with it (blessed be ye 'heroic' scale proportions!). As regards the wolf helm, it doesn't look very wolfy or at least that is what my many critics at my local modeling club told me. I think they are right. Next time I will use more reference.

Wolf Priest Back view
I am most happy with the look of the back pack. I think the blend of the Wolf Lord and apothecary backpacks with an overall wolfy theme worked out nicely. I always think that small modifications work best when altering something for the Space Wolves.


The shoulder-pad gave me a lot of trouble but I managed to hide the errors up with the tooth necklace and the purity seal.


As always any comments are very welcomed; no matter how harsh they are. As long as they are honest I will definitely take them seriously and weigh their merit. I am eager to improve, besides the fact that I am my own harshest critic (well to be honest the Society of Scale Modelers is no joke either), so I doubt there is anything that I have not already whipped myself for! smile.gif

Well the next time you see this guy it will be painted, but I think I will post him up in the WIP section to get some more feedback. I want to understand what the majority of gamers and collectors like and what they don't like. I have some plans for the future you see - a sort of part-time to fall back on for my retirement days - but for now it is only wishful thinking.

Any way back to reality. Next week I will finish the Long Fangs and post pics of the last two bikers which I have so lazily neglected to take photos of. I also have figured out the way to take a few videos - so expect a Wolf Tooth Necklace tutorial in the flesh soon.

That's all for now,
Farewell until next time,

       NR

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Wolf Priest - Part 2

Hi my fellow forum members,

Well I have basically finished the body of the WP. I'm not very confident with modeling on this scale, and since Space Marines do not adhere very much to the principles of human proportion it was a challenge for me to build him up. I am happy with the results and I think it is more than suitable for tabletop gaming, but the little craftsman in my head is not jumping for exhilarating joy, so to speak. With that said, it is time to start.

The first pic shows my attempt to produce a scroll/parchment like tabbard that I've seen on the newer Chaplains. I wanted it to look more like hide, in fact I put some fur on the back of it. I built it in stages heating it gently in between putty applications in order to reduce curing to about 15 minutes. In fact once I overheated it a bit and it turned a bit brown as you can see from the latter pics.

Leather tabbard

The frontal view below shows clearly what the end product is going to look like. I wanted to put studs in the rims of the leg armour but I had no more fine bits for my pin-vice. With my luck running at an all time low lately, neither did my hobby shop. So I decided to forgo them rather than ruining it by trying to do it in some other way.

Wolf Pries front

Due to the apothecary stuff along the abdomen and right arm, and the icon on his chest, the only place to put his obligatory Wolf Amulet was on his right side. Thankfully I did not have to model this piece since it comes with the excellent Wolf Guard TDA box set.

Wolf Priest Crozius Side

The left shoulder pad with the wings still needs a bit of work but it is nearly ready, I just have to hide some mistakes due to my inexperience at this scale. I removed the original hand from the narthecium, and added a plasma pistol which is symbolic of Chaplains.

I wanted to model up a book or codex, but I didn't think it fit the background of a Space Wolf Chaplain. I vision them with a more oral tradition, than reading from an old tome. So I decided to go more with ritual and symbolism (what the heck is he talking about you ask). I see a Wolf Priest offering a remembrance through partaking in sacred brew rather than reading, hence the drinking horn. Besides, the book would have been hidden by the narthecium, so I think at the end it worked out.

Wolf Priest Narthecium side

On the last pic you can see some more rim at the bottom of the leg. I added it here just to add some more colour differentiation when I come to paint it up.

Wolf Priest back

Well that is it for now. I will be posting the finished model with its helmet and Crozius Arcanum soon. I am on a dead line with another project so I guess the Wolf Priest will have till wait a bit longer.


Farewell until next time,

       NR

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Wolf Priest

Hi to one and all,

I have started to work on my first Space Wolf HQ choice and I have decided to go for a Wolf Priest (WP). Since the only WP models are Ulrik the Slayer and a limited edition model from Games Day, I decided to make my own.

To anyone who might not know the WP is a combo of Chaplain and Apothecary in the Space Wolf fluff. Unfortunately he is only used as a Chaplain-like character and does not have any Apothecary-type rules like feel no pain. Nonetheless I wanted to show him as an amalgam of both these disciplines, so it was going to take a bit of converting, cutting and putty work.

Below are the first few parts I decided to use in this project. As most hobbyists can tell the parts come from the SM Command box set and old and new SW sprues.

Wolf Priest parts



The first part I started to work on are the legs. I cut them up and rescaled them slightly since I thought they looked a bit short. I find proportions very hard to get right at this scale due to the inconsistencies in proportion with the models themselves, but SM minis have to be the worst proportion-wise, but due to the scale, one can get away with murder. As you can see I also changed the look of the legs slightly to make them more similar to the new SM Chaplain models currently on sale.

Wolf Priest legs

Next I started to work on the torso and head simultaneously. After a lot of fitting and measuring and blu-tac-ing everything in place and just staring at the model, I got to work putting it all together. If anyone wants to ask where I got the Sutton Ho mask from I honestly don't know. I just happen to find it with a bunch of viking minis I have. I don't even know the make. If anyone does please let me know.

Wolf Priest front
Wolf Priest back

Well that's all for this week. As I write this entry, the WP is nearing completion and I will be posting more pics next weekend when I get the time to sit down, type and take the pics of the final product.

Well I hope you all like it. If you would like to ask any questions please leave a comment and I will get back to you. Wolf's honour!


Farewell until next time,

       NR

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