Sunday, December 30, 2012

Minotaurs Vs Lamenters (Part 4)

Hi everyone,

Before I start blabbing away, I want to wish everyone a happy new year and may all your modelling  & gaming projects, as well as your resolutions for the year come true!

As I mentioned in my last post, the various facets of my life have been warring for attention and my job won hands down.  Nevertheless I have managed to fit in time and to do something.  In fact I have finished up the Minotaur champion from the vignette I am building (as you can tell from the title of the post).

I have never, in over 20 years in the hobby, painted a metallic Space Marine.  The metallics I deal with are usually small parts or medieval miniatures.  To make matters more complicated I have never painted bronze, brass or copper in such large areas.

I wanted to try and paint the bronze in non-metallics so I tried first on a test mini.  Non-metallic colours have starker contrasts between light and shade than metallics.  I thought this would help make the Minotaur champion stand out more.  The results were horrible - disastrous even.  I simply do not have the knowledge or skill to pull it off at the level of presentation required for a display piece.

So I went back to the metallic paint option.  I wanted a colour similar to the Minotaurs on Forge World's  Badab War books.  Unfortunately the bronze paints I found have a more yellowish tint to them, while Forge World Minotaurs - at least on the book - have a more reddish tone.  I worked this out by painting the marine in copper and giving it several successive brown washes, besides the shading and highlights.  I think I have managed a close metallic approximation.

Since the marine is a champion I thought it would be cool to give him his personal heraldry.  This also helped by adding some colour to a more or less static figure.  I added just a tiny hint of verdigris around the bottom leg joints, but it is not very visible in the pic.  I don't think the company's serfs would allow a champion's armour to deteriorate to such a level.




Well that is all for tonight and this year.  Once again I wish you all a splendid new year and may it last a whole 12 months!

Farewell and good health


        NR


Sunday, December 23, 2012

A new 15mm Dwarf Unit

Hi everyone,

First off I would like to wish everyone the best for this year's festivities.  I hope all your blogging ambitions and targets are reached!  I also hope this Xmas won't be too harsh on your pockets!

As for material to blog about, this month has drained me to the point of exhaustion.  Parties, work, commitments, study and my beloved hobby have all struggled for time and attention.  My work won.  The hospitality industry can be very demanding during December.

I still had time to work on my Minotaur Vs Lamenter vignette, a bust sculpture and managed to finish my third unit for my 15mm dwarf army.

This time it is an elite unit composed from the Ral Partha range.  I painted these up in about three afternoons, quick, neat and to the purpose and function.  I don't wargame that much anymore, but when I do it is usually fantasy at the 15mm scale.

Well, here is the pic of the unit.

I gave their heraldry bright colours as is fitting a proud unit eager to announce its presence on the battlefield.  I also used decals to add some extra detail.  In this case I used Space Wolf decals. 

My next dwarf unit will be a frothing mad unit of slayers, also from the Ral Partha range.

Well that is all for now.  I hope to get in another post before the year's end.  Until then, as always -

Farewell and good health


        NR

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Counter Strike - My New Diorama

Hi everyone,

I have just taken two photos of an 'advanced sketch' of my new diorama inspired by Black Library's Deathwolf audio drama and I have decided to make it into an entry (it's so hard finding material to post - at least for a lazy buzzard like me).


The story revolves around Erik Morkai’s Space Wolves taking back Luetin Hive from Dark Eldar Raiders.  I enjoyed the audio drama so much that I decided to plot the diorama around it.

In this diorama I decided to double the number of figures without increasing the size that much from my Wolfguard diorama.  Basically I wanted it more intense.  The story is very straightforward.  The Space Wolf is being circled by Wyches  attempting to take down the mighty warrior.  Needless to say their attempt is not amounting to much.

The main attraction are naturally the Space Wolf and the Wyche directly opposite being blasted backwards.  The Space Wolf is still under construction, but he will obviously have a bolter pointing towards the wyche.  As you can see I have decided to true-scale the Space Wolf. I normally wouldn't true-scale if the enemy were orks or tyranids, but I think it is worthwhile to true-scale space marines with humanoid enemies.

Well that is all for this month.  I will start next month's first post with an update to my Minotaur vs Lamenter vignette.

Farewell and good health,


        NR

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Dioramatine Insights

Hi everyone,

I have received several emails after posting the 'Wolf Guard', my first diorama at the 28mm heroic scale, asking me for tips and advice on how to build one. So I thought I'd make an entry out of it on my blog.


Now I do not profess to be an expert, nor do I think I am qualified more than anyone else; but what I have learned from other more experienced modellers I freely share with anyone who wants to listen and maybe learn something new.

So I have compiled some general points which I have lightly christened the Dioramatine Insights, that should hold as good reference when coming to build a diorama or vignette.

The First Insight - Tell a Story
The most important thing about building a diorama in my opinion is to capture a moment in time that tells a story about an event or occasion.  This could be anything form a scene from a battle, a retreat or last stand; or a special occasion that stands out in history or the mythos you are modelling - for example a coronation, Frankenstein coming to life, or the Emperor of Humanity being condemned to the Golden Throne.


The Second  Insight - Size & Composition
When the subject of the diorama has been chosen, the next thing to consider is the size.  This of course depends a lot on the amount of models you intend to include.  A good tip here would be to keep the diorama as compact as possible, regardless of how many models you choose to include. The principle here is to keep the eye from wandering.  Also the bigger the diorama to more filling you will need in order to keep it interesting.


The Third Insight - The Main Attraction
Every diorama must have a primary subject - I like to call it the 'story mover' or 'main atttraction'.  This usually takes the form of one or two miniatures that are the first thing the eye falls on.  They are also what holds the viewer's attention the longest.  The story should revolve around this figure or figures.  This could be a single figure holding up a banner or a Captain raising a sword, or two champions facing off, around a swirl of combat.  It could also be a vehicle or building or anything else that the diorama's story revolves around.


The Fourth Insight - Animation
Something else that I find important, but is ofttimes overlooked by many beginners is the lack of motion or animation in the diorama.  For example, static figures in a shooting pose tend to be boring if they are not accompanied by other figures doing some sort of action - be it dying, carrying the wounded or running away.  Many 'last stands' tend to suffer from this. So remember, it is always important to capture motion.


I have a 'last stand' diorama in the pipe works involving some metal Ultramarines.  I do not war-game much these days, so I did not know what to do with them.  Since I do not like to animate metal figures due to the extra work involved I decided to put them into a 'last stand' diorama.  This is a good way to use the static shooting poses of these minis, but one must make it a point to accompany them with other figures that carry the action without swamping them out.  Remember that they will probably be in the center with the main attraction.

The Sixth Insight -  Relevant Terrain
This might seem a tad unimportant or obvious and I certainly do not want to insult any one's intelligence, but it is not the first time I have seen a potentially good diorama ruined because the terrain does not match the period or genre. So always keep the terrain relevant and in sync with the times.


The Seventh Insight - Choose a Subject that you Enjoy
This is probably the most necessary insight of all, before one actually sits down and starts a diorama.  There is no point in building a diorama of something you do not like or are not interested in, unless you do work on commission.  Interest and fun go hand-in-hand, so choose wisely and spend some quality time with your project.

Farewell and good health,


       
        NR

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wolf Guard Diorama Finished

Hi every one,

I have finally finished the first of several projects that were on hold for several years due to unforeseen circumstances that I like to call 'acts of God'.

This is the first diorama that I have done in the 'heroic scale', and one of the most difficult due to the inaccuracies of the scale.  It was also one of the most enjoyable, mostly due to the period - that is the 40K universe which I have always loved.

Well, without further ado, I present the pics of my work for better or worse.  The first few give a general overview of the diorama.





The next few are close ups of the Wolf Guard which is the subject of the piece.





The second ork that I put together and painted up is the one running towards the Wolf Guard.  This was the one I enjoyed doing most - simply because it was the simplest to do!



The wounded ork prone on the floor was much more difficult and involved a lot of fitting, which unfortunately I did not get completely right.  Next time though I will do better.




The last pic is of the wrecked sewage pipe.  This was a joy to do even though there are several mistakes that were pointed out to me which I have tried my best to cover.


Well they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I think I have said enough for today.  If there are any questions about how I did something that interests you, then please leave a comment below and I promise to get back.

As always,

Farewell and good health,

       
        NR

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Minotaurs Vs Lamenters (Part 3)

Hi every one,

I have just finished putting together the models for the vignette.  As you can see they fill up the sence and set the atmosphere.

First I will discuss the simpler of the two models - that is the Minotaur Captain.  This model was basically put together 'as is' with Citadel and Forgeworld parts.  The only alteration are in the arms.  I wanted to give the Minotaur a more relaxed pose without him looking lax.  That is, I wanted him to seem ready to strike at any moment.  Therefore I had to cut out the top part of the arms and rebuild them.  This is all hidden by the pouldrons.


The real work went into the Lamenter.  This model under went extensive modification when compared to the Minotaur.  This modification is not as easy as one might think.  Besides being unproportionate, Space Marines are rather rigid figures, and do to not have that organic malleability as figures dressed in clothes do.  So trying to put it in a natural pose, whatever it is, is harder than usual.

The first thing one notices is the stting pose.  To achieve this I basically had to chop off the Space Marine's legs and re-set them, rebuilding the joints with epoxy putty.  The same goes with the arms and drooping head.  Although my final attempt is passable I made many mistakes, some of which were nearly impossible to hide.  In hindsight I would do things a bit differently.

I also decided to add a banner to the Lamenter model.  I wanted something bright on the other side of the minotaur to counter-act the brightness of the Lamernter yellow.  This gives the effect of framing the Minotaur.  To be completely honest, I thought the idea of the Lamenter, dodgedly holding on to his Company's banner, even in death, gave added depth to the vignette.  Something it sorely needed since the models are basically in a pose without any 'captured action' that tells a story.


The last picture below is the whole piece put together and all ready to paint after a few more minor modifications here and there.


Well the next time you see this vignette it will be a posting on the painting progress.  In the meantime I am adding the final touches to my first diorama - The Wolfguard - which I will be posting here shortly.

So until next time.

Farewell and good health,

        NR

Friday, September 21, 2012

Minotaurs Vs Lamenters Vignette (Part 2)

Hi everyone,

I have just finished building up the vignette's base and I have taken some pics as well for today's blog entry.  I am quite happy with the results, even though I always find this scale a very challenging modelling project.  Basically because the 28mm heroic scale is not always very proportionate, and this tends to complicate matters somewhat - but it does make hiding mistakes easier too.


The first pic above is basically the format of the vignette - that is a small section from the Lamenter's flag ship.  It is mostly scratchbuilt except for some parts (the grey ones) that I took from other kits.  The other parts are basically plastic sheet and tubing, as well as wires. I then put it all together with the hope of it looking something like a space ship's corridor.

The next picture is basically the same with the exception that the outer gangway has been attached. This allows all the work underneath to remain visible, giving it a more solid sense of the technological - at least that is what I hoped to achieve.


The last picture above shows the two participants in this little vignette.  I have assembled them with a bit of blu-tac to give an idea of how the whole piece will look like when it is finished.  The model laying in the backgound is the Lamenter and the one in the foreground is the Minotaur standing victorious.  There is still a lot of work to do on them, especially the Lamenter, but that will be a topic for a later blog post.

That's all for today.  As always:

Farewell and good health,


        NR

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Minotaurs Vs Lamenters Vignette

Hi everyone,

I am currently giving the finishing touches to my Space Wolf Diorama which I will post soon.  In the meantime I have been working on a small vignette on the Minotaur Vs Lamenters struggle during the Badab War.  Of all the Badab engaments,  the showdown between these two Chapters is the one I most enjoy.  I hope they write a Space Marine Battles Book about it someday.


The vignette will contain only two figures and portray the Battle on the Lamenters' Chapter Barque Mater Lacrimarum where they were nearly wiped out.  It will have one Minotaur Captain standing over a fallen Lamenter.  The Lamenter will be a standard tactical marine laying on the floor dying; while the Minotaur will have a sword and shield.

I have decided to give the Minotaur some personal heraldry, and I have decided that the heraldry will reflect the old Chapter colours.  An homage so to speak to their image before Forgeworld's remake. Below is a quick sketch of what I have in mind.


I will be posting some pictures of the vignette background later on in the week and then some pics of the models next month, unless I finish them before.

Well see you all soon,

Farewell and good health,


        NR








Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kings of War for 15mm and 10mm

Hi everyone,

I have recently played a game of Kings of War (KOW) from Mantic Games and I have to say I really enjoyed it.  The game is simple, but not simplistic and opens up a wide variation of possibilities for the gamer to explore.  It is also fast paced and large games can be played within  2 hours if you know the rules well enough. We played it with Citadel miniatures since many at my club already have painted-up armies, and this got me thinking! Is it possible to use KOW to simulate battle in 15mm and 10mm scale?


The answer is a resounding yes!  In fact, not only is this possible, there are certain advantages in doing so which I will discuss.

The most obvious advantage, and possibly the first that comes to mind is that you need less figures at the 15mm scale.  The smallest units in KOW usually contain 5 miniatures and are called a troop.  Then there are half-regiments with 10 miniatures, regiment size with 20 and hordes with 40 or more.  Taking an element at 15mm with 3 figures instead of a Troop you can build up massive armies composed of half regiments, regiments and hordes with fewer figures and cheaper than at the 28mm scale.


An even better and more stunning alternative is playing KOW with 10mm armies.  The rules apply as for 15mm, but the fact that there are more models per base per troop gives the game a more 'realistic' feel than in 15mm.




The downside is that if you don't have an army already, it could come out to be more expensive if you decide to build a 10mm army from the GW's Warmaster range. The cost might be more reasonable if you use other ranges like Copplestone, Magister Militum, Eureka etc., but the quality might not be what you expect.  As I have mentioned on other posts, it comes down to purpose and intention.  It you just want to wargame, the lower quality should not be that much of an issue



Other advantages are that massive games at 15mm and 10mm take up less space and can easily be played on a 6 x4 foot tables with room to spare, and average games can be comfortably fitted on to a 4x4 foot gaming area.  It is also easier to transport 15mm & 10mm armies from your home to your club and vice-versa.  They are usually lighter and take up  (as always) less space.




As for drawbacks there are not many.  Some gamers who are also collectors and/or hobbyists who enjoy painting their armies up to very high standards might not find these scales very appealing.  Let's face it - they do not fill out the showcase as a well painted 28mm army.  It's true! 

Another disadvantage at these scales comes with large troop type creatures like ogres, trolls and werewolves.  You will have to have at least three models per element at 10mm and two models per element at 15mm.  It is not advisable to have just one model, even though the army lists state that you can.  A bit of a bummer, but at this scale it does not really make sense to have just one large troop creature.  A unit of them make more sense.
Does this bother me - not at all.  Personally I have learned to dissociate gaming figures from showcase figures.  My armies are painted with basic techniques up to an acceptable gaming standard, and I leave my more artistic endeavors for showcase pieces that include larger scales and dioramas.  The bottom line for me is that I want armies to play with and not just admire behind glass, but that is just me.


That is all for today.

Farewell and good health,
       NR





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