Author Archives: squirmydad

About squirmydad

Theatrical lighting and scenic designer and all-around theatre technician, fisherman, carpenter, 3d-modeller, and maker of desserts who lives in Alaska.

Elements on Fire!

I combined several ideas and minis from several places for this project.

Some manufacturers are producing plastic/resin minis using colored plastic that is translucent and looks pretty nifty. The one that started this project for me was the Reaper Bones fire elemental. I liked the look of the colored plastic, but it was kind of hard to make out the details in the sculpt. I didn’t want to prime it with white or black paint, as priming would wipe out the translucency, so I started by coating it with Vallejo brush-on matt sealant.

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The matt dries clear and also creates a surface that is more accepting of paint than just plain Bones plastic. *Reaper, the manufacturer of Bones, claims you can paint straight onto the unprimed Bones material without priming; you can, it just looks like poo to me.

Next up was a coat of a deep red that mainly hit the high areas as I wanted the red plastic to show in the crevices.

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Then my nice bright orange going lightly over the red painted areas.

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Then Yellow over the orange, but not as heavy as either of the two previous colors.

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And at this point I thought I was done, but it felt like it needed a little more…something. Thanks to Google I found this guy who had done the exact same thing and his project showed me a good finishing step. Heroscape Blog

The finishing step is to highlight with a 50/50 mix of yellow and white and only touching the high points on the sculpt.

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I liked it! I then dug through my box of minis and found another couple of fire elementals from Reaper also made with the translucent red plastic. Then I remembered that in my Arena of the Planeswalkers set Chandra’s minions were made of a similar material. Here are the Flame Cats and Phoenixes just before they received the final yellow-white highlight.

Here is Chandra, a Red and fiery Planeswalker from Magic the Gathering, with her flaming minions.

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Her hair kind of disappears. She came pre-painted but I need to do a little bit of highlighting. Here are all of the fire projects with some black sand added to their bases.

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Vallejo Matt Varnish

This episode brought to you by Vallejo Matt Varnish, the brush on kind!

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One of the difficulties of miniature painting in Alaska is that spray matt doesn’t like being applied in cold temperatures. It’s April, but we still have frost on the windows in the mornings and spray matt can get cloudy and screw up a paint job. I found out that Amazon sells Vallejo paints, which is great as the local shops don’t have them. There’s no odor so it can be used indoors and dries clear. It goes on cloudy and shiny, but don’t worry, dries clear remember. It was also very handy to be able to get a brush into some of the hard to reach areas, like arm-pits.

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Here is the Endless One and some of the Scions that it spawns;

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That was fun, back to Avenging now.

Endless Blues

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He’s big, he’s blue, he’s here to suck the magical energy out of your dimension, it’s the Endless One! Almost anyways, I believe this will do for his base colors before he gets dipped. I may do some additional highlighting once he comes out the other side. This model used a very small color palette in large quantities due to the surface area of this beastie.

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Black primer, white dry-brushing, lots of Arcane Blue which is a shadowy-purpley-grey for skin base, then Caledor Sky blue for his warts and hand colors, then a lighter Hoeth Blue for highlights and more hand colors, then Ulthuan Grey mixed with Hoeth Blue 1-1 for a few more highlights.

While I was finishing this I looked over at the edge of my paint area and saw another Ork Warboss lurking there waiting his turn for painting. About two hours later, with a mostly metallic dry-brush paintjob, I am able to present Ghazgkull Thraka; Legendary Ork Warboss with a shortage of vowels.

This is also pre-dip so the shading on the colors are going to change a bit and I know I’ll be doing a touch of highlighting on the horns, face, red metal jaw and red claws. Here’s his palette;

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Warboss Green on the skin, Blazing Orange (my bottle from 1989 is almost empty) as a base on the red bits, followed by Khorne Red for a nice glow to the red parts, Ushabti Bone on the skull and horns, Pig Iron dry-brushed all over the place for his armor, Brass Balls for a few rivets, parts of the gun and the metal teeth, with plain white on Thraka’s real teeth. Very hefty feel to this model as he’s all metal, I believe I’ll be brushing on the polyurethane instead of possibly losing him in the gunk with the dip method.

The Dire Avengers are still plodding forward, just lots of them to do so the assembly line gets a little boring at times, which is why my mind wanders into other projects to relieve some of the tedium of a mass paint paint job.

Chapterhouse Kroxigor

Or, as Chapterhouse Studios calls them, a “Lizard-Ogre”…I’ve talked about Chapterhouse Studios before, and how they have really made their fame and fortune by making Games Workshop compatible models and accessories. After Games workshop Lost a major court case against this tiny studio, I mean really it’s only two guys, Chapterhouse, and many other studios that made compatible, or even downright replicas of, Games workshop products, began labeling them in a way that would tie them closer to the Games Workshop products that they were imitating.

On the one hand Games Workshop has the right and the duty to protect their intellectual property. On the other hand; they have been legal bullies for decades going after every small producer that made anything even remotely similar to their products. They even sent cease-and-desist letters to many internet fan-sites who were only promoting GW’s games and it appears their only crime was to make alternate army lists for those games. So many sites have vanished over the years for no reason because of those cease-and-desist letters and peoples unwillingness to fight them. Chapterhouse fought, and won about half of their suit. Games workshop has now changed the names of most of their product lines to something far more distinctive and less generic. The more distinctive a product name is, the easier it is to defend against infringement. They really should’ve done this a long time ago as it would’ve saved them a great deal of trouble, in my humble, non-legally binding, opinion.

Short story long; I bought a Chapterhouse resin-cast 28mm Lizardman compatible “Lizard-Ogre” to see what all the fuss was about. Wasn’t cheap, $18 with shipping for a single large mini means I won’t be shopping there very often. The model is a really clean cast though-

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I was a bit worried at first about how the pieces were connected to the big resin tabs and I was concerned that they may be damaged in the removal. The tail popped right off though with no problems. The arms and club were also easy, I did have to use a little saw under the feet. Very little in the way of mold lines so clean up was a breeze. No base was included to mount the mini on so I’ll count that as a minor strike against the company. Perhaps I’ll sue them for the $.25 component that was left out. 😉 It glued together really easily, looks like he’s next up to bat –

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I primed him black, then had a different thought; “Instead of dry-brushing him white what if I tried a layering approach that I’ve seen GW painters use?” So the next step was to paint him with a dark green all over, Waaagh Flesh, but only on the high areas and leave the recessed areas black. Then paint over the dark green with a medium green, Warboss Green, to get more depth of color –

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Little brass on the club, little brown on the handle, lighter brown on the wristbands, white on the teeth and toe-nails, yellow in his eyes, red studs on his club, and finally a light green, Nurgling Green, for ridge and edge highlights-

 

 

That actually went together very quickly. I feel like he needs a little something more, not sure what yet, so I’ll set him aside while I work on other projects.

Spider Dreams

Not miniatures or crafting related, just a late night message from my subconscious.

A large orange spider jumped onto the back of my daughter’s neck and was wrestling her to the ground. I removed the spider and tossed it away, I didn’t want to kill it as spiders are supposed to be helpers. Then another came down the wall and headed for her, this one I cut in half with scissors as I was through being polite. I decided I needed to get to the root of the spider problem and either exterminate them or seal my house so that they couldn’t get in. The door to my downstairs bathroom became the entrance to my non-existent dark basement, which was swarming with big orange spiders the size of tarantulas. I started out popping them with a pellet pistol while my family helped out by smacking and spearing any strays that got past me. The pistol was too slow though so I had to switch up to a fully automatic BB machine-gun, very messy. Still not enough though as the faster I killed them the more of them that came swarming towards that door. Finally I had my daughter slam the door and we stuffed towels under it to keep them from getting in. Good thing I don’t really have a basement.

Have fun with dream analysis, I’m quite certain I know what this was all about. What to do besides just slamming the door and hiding hasn’t come to me yet though.

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Assembling Avengers

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Quite the crowd, looks to be fun. 🙂 The two fellows on the right are part of the six troops that I painted twenty years ago and they will serve as color guides for all of the new recruits. With the exception of the bright red knee-pads which remind me of Judge Dredd style body armor. :/

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They’re a little dusty, too long in storage. I also found I had no blue paint anymore, my blue ink from the Citadel Paints Expert set that I purchased in 1988 is still good though. Since I’m painting up all of these Avengers I’ll also work on their legendary commander;

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I have to look up his name but he’s some kind of super-shooty legend that I started to paint and then set aside for some reason. His time has come at last. Here is some lovely concept art showing the Avengers in action;

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I think I prefer the white helmet look that shows up so much in their artistic depictions, makes for a nice contrast with their dark blue armor.

Banshees & Procrastination

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Finally! Only took me twenty years after I purchased these models to complete them. I kept getting distracted while trying to focus on this project and ended up finishing a number of other projects at the same time. Some snakes to accompany my Lizardman horde;

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Another Space Ork Warlord from about eighteen years ago, he was still in the package;

Some of the other Eldar support troops also elbowed their way through the queue; here is a first release Harlequin Death Jester and Maugan-Ra the legendary hero of the Dark Reapers. Basically these are two guys who are really good at shooting big guns.

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Next up is the Dire Avenger crew, there’s a lot of them but I don’t think I’ll have the same mental block problems that I had with the Banshees.