Sunday 30 November 2014

54mm Terminator (Part One)

I have always wanted to try and make a model from "scratch" though I have found the standard Warhammer 40,000 size difficult to sculpt without losing detail when compared to similar scaled miniatures. I tried making a few armatures earlier this year but never returned to complete the actual sculpting, and my armature tool had sat unused in the cupboard along with the small wire frames on equally small corks. Recently I have seen sculptors and painters using much larger wooden blocks to grasp their model, so I set out to replicate these blocks. One thing led to another and I found myself measuring an old terminator, twisting some wire and breaking out some Sculpey!

I purchased a cheap table leg at a hardware store, found the (new to me) area where they let customers at a handsaw with no supervision, scanned the barcode at the self-serve checkout and piled the whole lot into the bag before any questions were asked. None of the available dowel sizes were correct, and balsa wood was way too expensive and felt too light in the hand. I also picked up some thinner wire and set about making an armature, hastily covering it in green stuff before snapping any pics.

While the green stuff cured I set about measuring the size for a terminator, debating and researching as to whether Games Workshop sizes their models at 28mm or 32mm (opting for 28mm so the terminator would seem even larger and in proportion if placed against any other 54mm models) and scratched a few notes along with some basic measurements to follow while sculpting. The armature had a lot more mobility than I had initially planned, so the first application of Sculpey all over every limb was quickly abandoned for a section-by-section method, baking for slightly less time so as to not overcook the model and cause cracking.

If you look closely in the photos you might be able to tell which piece of artwork I am working with, but as the model is very early in the creative process it bears little resemblence so far. The eagle chest plate is not fitted to the model, so I created a series of plugs using felt tip pens and various items from the bits box to vary the surface textures. As I have found in the past it is difficult to paint in details when you have none to work with on the model itself!

I am very pleased with how the armature supports the Scupley, as you can see a previous test piece above (which used 32mm base measurements) has been pinned together and has no way of holding the sections together rigidly. It became quite brittle after too much handling and was difficult to glue together without the green stuff holding the metal to the Sculpey. With the torso on the new version finished (and correctly proportioned) it will be much easier to work in the rest of the model, and I look forward to fitting some sculpting in around the holiday season this year.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Imperialis Basing Kit

I recently dusted off a few older metal Games Workshop models and, along with some evil henchmen from cultist parts, have started attaching them to some of the fantastic bases which GW released back in August with their Sector Imperialis gaming board. This was initially intended as a review post, but with the bases no longer available (there is one kit in France according to ebay) I thought I'd simply share some of these cool models in their fresh "Simple Green" birthday suits. I'm certainly glad I didn't try basing a whole army with this kit as it's not longer made!

You can find some of my in game photos of the full Sector Imperialis Ream of Battle here, where we found it quite difficult to roll dice on the uneven surface. As you can see from the photos, I found it equally difficult to find flat areas to pin the models without leaving gaps. I will be going over them once more to check for flash, and to add some more gravel under foot before undercoating. It has been a while since I painted non alien flesh tones, so I look forward to the challenge!

Wednesday 5 November 2014

JRN's "Post-Centaur Painting"

I had been following the miniaTEXTures blog for quite a few months before I realised the author "JRN" was Jakob Rune Nielson, a multiple Golden Demon winner and artist I have admired since I was a teenager growing up with White Dwarf as my sole window into the world of miniature painting. A few page clicks later and a copy of his "Post-Centaur Painting" was on my doorstep. Inside are a collection of his single miniatures and related projects for the period April 2011 to December 2013, detailing his love of the Warhammer universe(s), sketching, painting and photography. All have been a great source of inspiration, particularly his conversion work with specific Games Workshop models as well as information about creating a general tone or palette across a group of miniatures painted many months apart. I won't share any photos as it is a limited run printed item but you can find a post here by the man himself with more information.

For my own part, his little orange booklet has inspired the notion of creating models without worrying about their gaming requirements, factional weaponry or insignia, and so on. Above is my take on what I would imagine an Inquisitor in the 41st Millenium might come up against when fighting a heretical cult taking root in a hive city. There are so many INQ28 warbands, what about the evil guys they have to face? The model is based on a Warhammer Chaos Sorcerer and I can't wait to try out some "objct source lighting" from the candles as well as painting his detailed face!