Currently on the painting table

On the painting table: Batman Miniature Game!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Boson or Bosun....I don't know

Well in my last post I started working on Grogspar for my my annual Templecon mini. I wrote his name as Boson Grogspar since that is how it is written on PP's webpage but when I was looking at my merc book it is written as Bosun so I have no idea which is correct. One way of the other I got some more work done on Mr Grogspar today and figured I do one last post before the end of the year.

The first thing I did was wash the pants with GW sepia wash. I didn't take a picture of this step as it was done quickly while I was moving clothes to the dryer. I then laid down the basecoat of bootstrap leather on the quiver on his back and strap on the harpoon gun. The next step is where I headed out into uncharted water for me......

Here you can see Grogspar with stripes added to his shirt. I decided to jump right in and see if we could pull this off. The first thing I did was highlighted most of the shirt with P3 Trollblood highlight. I then took some VMA black and roughed in the black stripes. I think they came out pretty well and am pleased with the shirt at this time. I normally wouldn't do detail work such as this early on in painting a mini but figured I needed to try it now so if I had to redo it I wasn't messing up a nearly completed mini. As you can see here his skin is still slick from the gloss varnish as it has not received it's shading wash yet.

The last thing I did was start to put down some of the metal base color. I got interrupted so I didn't get to the metal sticking out of the bag on his back.

I am pleased with Grogspar's progression up to this point. I need to highlight the white on the shirt and was the metals and skins. After that it will be highlighting and detail work. OK that is all for now. Have a safe new year's eve all and see you in 2013.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Yo Ho Yo Ho a Pirates Life for Me!

Well any of you that have been on Pirates of the Caribbean should have that son stuck in your head now :) So the cave finally came back to life this am. I was in the basement doing some laundry getting ready to head to my folks and got a start on my annual Templecon mini. this year I am painting up Boson Grogspar for a buddy of mine.

I primed him with Vallejo Surface primer: grey primer via the airbrush

After giving the primer a few minutes to dry I thinned up some P3 rucksack tan and basecoated the paints via the airbrush. I then Primed the skin with my premixed trollblood skin tone. This was also applied via the airbrush as a low psi so I could avoid too much overspray onto the paints.

I then took out some black paint and a standard brush and blacked out the boots, belt, hat and all section I intend to paint metallic. I also painted the shirt P3 bastion grey. I am debating if I am going to leave the shirt as a grey color or if I am going to attempt to do a stripped shirt in either black/white or black/grey.

It is not pictured but I then slapped a layer of gloss varnish on the currently painted sections to protect them and to provide a slick surface of my washes which will (most likely) be the next steps. All in all pretty good start for ~45-60min total work.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas/ Cave Status Update

Hello all and Merry Christmas. I hope those that celebrate the holiday are having a wonderful day and y'all that don't I hope are having a wonderful day too just without the gifts :) Well I have been doing the present thing with my 3 and 4 year old this morning and watching them have a fun with that. My 4 year old tried to get up at 3:30 while "Santa" was finishing set up so I had to occupy him and keep him in his room while things got buttoned up.

I was hoping to have finished shots of the mountain king for y'all by now but I have been unable to finish him. as you may have noticed I had my wip mountain king posts every two days then nothing.... Well I have been under the weather for the past two weeks. I had a strain of flu my vaccination apparently didn't fully cover, then my 3 year old brought home pink eye, and I seem to have picked up a pretty nasty chest cold as I have been hacking my brains out for the last two weeks. I seem to be on the mend and hope to get back to the cave in the near future.

The plans for the next month are as follows:
  1. Finish the MK: Have to glue the chains on, wash the chains, final highlight the whelps, and clean up the base.
  2. Paint my annual mini for a friend. The last two years I have painted a mini for a buddy in the month of January to be given to them for Templecon. Last year I did Carver for Oxyguy and the year before Rienholdt for hammy44. This year will be Bosun Grogspar for Mr Northblade.
  3. Pick the list I plan to play for hardcore and finish the minis to meet hardcore requirements
  4. Pick the lists I'f like to try and play for the Bloodm Sweat, and Tiers tourney and finish the minis to meet basic painting requirements.
The last bullet point may be pretty hefty depending on the list I decide to play. A few of the list will require me to finish/start at least one 10 man unit. OK back to playing games with the boys. I hope y'all are having a great day and hopefully I will have a finsihed mountain king for you soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In the Hall of the Mountain King Part 4

At this point the king has had the bulk of his painting done and it is down to the nitty gritty work of details. While detail work can be tedious and frustrating it is really what bring the final mini to life making it a necessary evil.

The first sections to receive detail work would be the metal sections and his loincloths. Once these sections are completed I can proceed to final assembly. I started to paint the seams on the loincloth. These were picked out with P3 rucksack tan.

I really liked how smoothly the airbrush put down the basecoat of bootstrap leather on the loincloth sections so I masked off the skin with some painters tape and blutac and base coated the belt the same way. I was able to avoid any overspray issues.

I know some people paint their metallic right over the base color but I have always found the results to look better when painted over black. This often require and extra step for me as I have to back over all of the metal section black prior to hitting them with their metallic base color.

I mentioned in the previous post I wasn't 100% happy with my first attempt at the oil wash technique. I decided to try it again but with a little bit more concentrated wash. I did this on the loincloth and belt section with van dyke brown and the skin with a mix of cobalt blue hue, van dyke brown, and ivory black. I was happier this go around but still have room to improve this technique. As you can see here I also did the metal section using VMA steel on my white metals and VMC brass on yellow metals. The loops on the belt were picked out with P3 rucksack tan prior to being washed. I also took the time to paint the smaller rock outcropping which were too small to drybrush with the rest as it could have messed up the skin around them.

It was at this time I started toying with ideas for the mountain king's base. One of my initial concepts was to use a heavy Cygnar wreck marker with a whelps standing on top as a little jab to my Cygnar playing buddies (you know who you are) but didn't really love the idea. I was also having a hard time fining a great spot of it. This lead me my second idea and the one I went with. I took half of a krielstone and removed the hand sections. I then pinned a pyre whelps on top. This is going to go in the back left section of the base. I am also going add an EBDT whelp near the front of the base like he is running along next to the king. you can see the EBDT whelp on the cork. The other whelps pictured are the ones that need to go on the king himself.

OK this post is long enough. Next time more details and some assembly work.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

In the Hall of the Mountain King Part 3

In my last post I mentioned I was about to enter new territory for my painting. Up to this point everything I have done was familiar to me. This isn't 100% true as I never did highlights with the airbrush but I am comfortable using the brush so it wasn't that big of a leap.

The first new technique I was going to try out was the use of dry pigments to shade and add variety to the skintones. I have seen this done by Schnauzerface and Les from and liked the results. A few days ago I posted some photos of some new supplies I received in the main and the pastels were for this process.

I took a few purples, blues, and red from the box and scrapped off a fine powder with my hobby knife. Here are the four I tried out. I found while applying it I preferred the color at 6 o'clock and used the colors at 3 and 9 for variety and didn't bother with 12 o'clock much at all.

I am not sure how well it came out in the photos but I was thrilled with how it added nice subtle and smooth shading. I was a little apprehensive at first but once I got it down a little I loved it and can see myself doing it more in the future. I did end up with some dry powder on my rock sections but this cleaned up really easily with a clean damp brush. At this point I gloss varnished the entire mini in preparation for my next new adventure in painting.

I have seen many tutorial on the oil wash technique and was really interested in giving it a go. I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up a few supplies to try it out. I figured I would try it on the loincloth sections first so that if I messed it up it wouldn't be too hard to redo.

The oil wash didn't turn out as well as the use of dry pigment. I think this was due to my apprehension in using the product and I think my wash was actually too dilute with not enough oil paint. I wouldn't say it came out poorly just not spectacularly. I also played with some oil wash shading on some of the cracks in the kings skin (forhead, nuckles, back).

At this time I hit the model with a coat of matte varnish....ut oh. The matte varnish came out a little "fuzzy" and really muted the nice shading done of the skin. I actually think the matte made the stones sections look better but I was worried about the skin. I painted a little gloss varnish over a small section of skin and it seems to "revitalize" the previous work so I am not too concerned as I will hit the skin with a gloss layer again to bring the skin back to life. I have bought a new bottle of matte in hopes of avoiding this issue when I do the final layer of varnish on the king.

Well the major components of the mountain king are essentially done. It is not time to do the time consuming and tedious task of detail work.....and as they say the devil is in the details.

Friday, December 14, 2012

In the Hall of the Mountain King Part 2

The previous wip post was getting kind of long so I decided to break up the wip photos. When I last posted the mountain king had his blue basecoat and the stones on his arms/hands/chin finished. Lets get back to the action shall we.

The next thing I did chronologically was basecoat the loincloth sections with P3 bootstrap leather via the airbrush. This was really fast and put down a really nice and smooth layer of brown to work off of. My initial plan was to do some different colors on the different section but in the interest of time I think I am going to leave it all one I like the leather sections this color.

The next step was to do my four stage drybrush on the remaining rock sections (back and shins). After this was done I put a layer of gloss varnish on the loincloth and rock sections. I glossed the loincloth in preparation for an oil wash and the rock sections for protection prior to being masked off so I could do more airbrush work on the skin.

Here is the big guy all masked up and ready to receive some more airbrush love.

I did a few highlights with the airbrush using my premixed trollblood skintone and slowly adding in P3 troolblood highlight to the mixture. Final highlights were done using straight P3 trollblood highlight sparingly. Here he is after the airbrush work.

OK this is a good spot to stop. The next post will bring me into uncharted territory and attempting new techniques on a very pricey model....We will see how it goes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In the Hall of the Mountain King Part 1

So the other project I spoke of in my What's in the Box (part?) post was a mountain king. I tried to get one of these guys from Lock n Load when DieselDM got me the Sons of Bragg but was unsuccessful. I lost interest in the mountain king once his stats were made public on various forums so I didn't ask any of the guys to ninja one at Gencon. I have been increasingly interested in the big guy over the past few months and finally pulled the trigger about a month ago ordering one from One of the final pushes that got me pick up the mountain king was a painting youtube video by Schnauzerface. You can find his youtube channel at

Here is a picture of the big guy right out of the box from Rob. As you can see a majority of the chains and whelps have been left off. I asked him to do this to make it easier for me to paint (at least I think it will be easier this way). I also had him leave the the loincloth sections off. Even though the head is attached he it is not glued on and can be removed whenever I need.

The big guy received his primer coat via the airbrush with Vallejo Surface Primer black. You can see the separate loincloth sections here being guarded by the IKRPG gunmage.

The next step was putting down a layer of blue on the skin sections. This is my trollblood blue skin mixture once again applied via the airbrush. Here you can see the detached head as mentioned above.

In this phase I started drybrushing the stones with my stone mixture (which isn't "mine" it from an article in NQ br Ron Kruzie). This process is P3 thronwood green, bastion grey, trollblood highlight, and then a very light drybrush with Menoth white highlight. I still needed to do the rocks on his back at this point but that will have to wait until the next post as this has gotten a little long.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Templecon: Blood, Sweat, and Tiers. 2nd Thoughts

I finally got to one of our FLGS yesterday and played my first game in ~2 months. I was hoping to get two games in but alas I was only able to grab one before having to hit the road. I brought the T3 Calandra list I spoke of in my previous BS&T posts. If you don't remember the list or don't care to bounce between posts here is a reminder:

Calandra Truthsayer, Oracle of the Glimmerwood (*5pts)
* Earthborn Dire Troll (9pts)
* Earthborn Dire Troll (9pts)
* Trollkin Runebearer (2pts)
Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
* 3 Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower (3pts)
* Kriel Warrior Standard Bearer & Piper (2pts)
Pyg Burrowers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Fell Caller Hero (3pts)
I played against Tim who was playing his legion and pVayl. Here is his list (I think I have it right):

Vayl, Disciple of Everblight (*6pts)
* Shredder (2pts)
* Scythean (9pts)
* Seraph (8pts)
* Typhon (12pts)
Blackfrost Shard (5pts)
Spawning Vessel (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3pts)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1pts)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1pts)
We were playing a SR mission but I don't remember which one. The mission was never really going to come into play as it was forcing center engagement. The game was back and forth but felt to be in favor much of the game as he was able to rampager one of my EBDTs almost every turn and essentially take him out of play. The game was a little sloppy on both our parts mostly mine as I am really rusty but those are the breaks I suppose. I ended up losing after I thought I had an assassination fail, at the crucial time, leaving Calandra out in the breeze with no fury and for those that don't know that is no bueno sir. In all fairness the assassination was requiring slightly higher than average dice (it was her feat turn though) but the game was slipping away and I had to try.

I don't know I was a little underwhelmed with the list. I just don't love kriel warriors. I know there are people in the troll community that swear by them but they always seem to leave me a little flat. I also had a problem with them getting in the way of my dygs 'cause the full warrior load out has such a big footprint. Once again this may be to my inexperience with the unit but just not sure they are for me. I may tinker with the list some and slide back to just T3 but based on my initial test run this theme may  be hitting the shelf.

The more and more I think about the tourney they more and more I feel I am going to have to go pDoomie T4 as one of the two lists. I have been war rooming a few lists and at 35pt it seems a little cramped as I am having a hard time fitting everything in there (Mulg, EBDT, axer, and enough shapers). I have to grab the 4th unit of runeshapers and start playing with it.

I have also reexamined the eMadrak theme. I immediately dismissed it after the two units of fennblades but I am thinking about just playing it at T1. There are plenty of goodies at the T1 level and I have all the minis. I am thinking maybe something along these lines.

Madrak Ironhide, World Ender (*5pts)
* Slag Troll (6pts)
* Troll Axer (6pts)
* Trollkin Runebearer (2pts)
Trollkin Fennblades (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer (2pts)
Trollkin Long Riders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Horthol, Long Rider Hero (5pts)
The list has two damage buffs between the slag animus and Madrak's blood fury. The reach on the fenns can take advantage of his feat nicely and on paper the tuffalos with eMadrak look like they can be very scary. Well lots more to play with and digest but after one game I am starting to shift my thoughts.

I am starting my work week early this week so I am not sure how much action the cave will see over the next few days. The bright side of that is I get next weekend off so I expect to be playing in a 35pt tourney at one of our FLGS. I am looking forward to this and should have some photos and coverage next weekend. Have a great weekend folks.