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Friday, February 16, 2018

Dark Souls the Board Game Boss: Dancer of the Boreal Valley

The Dancer of the Boreal Valley is the third Boss from the core game  painted.  Leaving only three figures to complete the core game paint project.

There is a lot of experimentation on this model.

The Armor was sprayed Krylon Bronze the details were relatively shallow so the armor was black lined to add depth then highlighted with Citadel Shining Gold (a very pale metallic gold)  and washed with Seraphim Sepia.
 The Cloak was an experiment in red.  I'm still refining it but the result was an interesting enough surface in its own right before adding the freehand about halfway through the red build up.

I'm torn between calling this "The Babble Cloak" or the "Cape of Incoherence"  The free hand started out as some patterns that resemble, but are not actually, a  script. Then some larger characters, and some that are not quite actual characters but could almost be several characters. Basically its nonsense... which is kind of what I felt about some of the game rules at the time!

Adding the freehand midway through the red build up resulted in some partially buried lines which was a desired effect.

The freehand was an experiment with cool highlights and warm highlights.  The characters are lines with a bright orange in warmer zones and with a pink in cooler zones or shadows.  The goal was to make the freehand mildly 3D in the top (warm) zones and to get it to stand out legibly in the shadowed (cool) regions.

I'm getting interested in shadowed highlights, and it needs a lot more work, but I learned a lot and I'll refine it as I go.

The white areas were Graveyard Earth (Reaper) over the Krylon Bronze, layered with Splintered Bone (Reaper) shaded with a very dilute (50-50 Shader and Glaze Medium (Vallejo)) Military Shader (Army Painter).

For size the Herald faces off against the Dancer... this may not end well..

Next up are the Centaurs!

I'm continuing to work on warm and cool highlights with them which is giving a some really interesting Light and Darkness interactions.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Star Saga Rangers, Hi-Tech Bio-Convergence, and an Afterglow traveling salesman.

 I made a push to clear the desk of a few WiPs so I'd have room to start on the Raging Heroes Centaurs (SF) group.

Star Saga is making great progress with the finish up of these Corporation Rangers.  This unit is a lower tier elite group and will go by the moniker "Hostile Takeover".

The six figures, but only two sculpts, painted up fast and I like the crimson and grey combo.  The detail is mixed but I really liked the plate in the back of the heads.  I used it as an ID plate but used letters in place of names as a nod to the high turn over rate in corp forces.
 Next up is a traveling salesman from Afterglow. 

My primary use for him will be as an RPG NPC with a secondary use as an objective marker for the Jailbirds... who have a chronic supply problem and few people willing to trade with them.

The resin for this is a bit on the brittle side.  That seems to be a trend in the miniatures that come out of Poland.  Its very dry and takes paint very well.

 It also comes with an automatic shotgun on a sling but it looked so awkward on the mini that I decided against using it. Its a nice sculpt though and it'll make a good addition to the bits box.
Size comparison time.  Canoness Veridyan (GW) and a Void Elf Hunter (Raging Heroes) for scale.
 Hi-Tech Miniatures Bio-Convergence.  Even though they are tracked their size and weapon load out made me think of them as servitor proxies fro ADMech or even for RPG use.

The weapons are magnetized so I can vary up the loads later if I end up using them often.  The weapon loads are not precisely correct for ADMech but might be ok for Inquisitor retinue or a Dark Millennium/Rogue Trader game.

 I haven't really started work on ADMech and haven't gelled on a marking scheme and Iconography so I'll save that for later.  The paint scheme could go a couple of different ways so options remain.
Size comp with the ever present Veridyan.  I like the size of these for servitors... not too massive.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Building Keshyrii: Lust Elf Centaur Champion (SF) step by step.

Keshyrii is a great model and a fabulous leader for the Centaur group!

 After building the Centaur Unit... sans the command section which I've forgotten to get... or didn't make the Kickstarter stretch goal... I thought I'd do an assembly post with actual pictures of the process. 

This model was produced during a brief period where Raging Heroes (RH) was doing "Pizza Slice Frames"

These frames really protect the model prior to construction but has a much stronger sprue join to break and consumed a  tremendous amount of resin.

I ran these through an ultrasonic cleaner twice with a weak Simple Green solution, rinsed them in warm water... scrubbing them with an old toothbrush and then pat drying them with paper towels to prevent any residue from drying in the crevices.

Start by locating all the frames with "Point of Contact" parts.  Unlike the Centaur troopers the parts do not have an alphabet matching system.  Each frame contains a matched torso sub assembly: torso, head, arms and you must figure out where they should be placed on the main body so dry fitting is extra important here.

Remove the torso from the sprue and clean it. 

These parts will be hard to reach once installed so its best to do as much cleaning before assembly as possible.

Here you see the rib cage and abs which mark this as the front of the torso.
Working from the same sprue the torso came from remove the head.

Clean the head and glue it to the torso facing the front of the torso.  Each head is matched to its torso and when properly aligned will sit flush at the required angle.  This might look a bit strange at first but once you get into the flow of the model the importance of these angles will become clear.

 Remove the arms that have the large point of contact pin from the same sprue that you have been working from.

Clean these and glue them into place taking care to have the join be as perfect and seamless as possible.  This will result in the arms being in the correct alignment for attaching the model to a base.

Here its worth foot-stomping that you should always assemble these sub assemblies before attaching them to the main body and always assemble them in the order of:

Head to Torso
Arms to Torso

Adding the head after the arms is difficult... and adding the head after the arms while the torso is already attached to the main body is an actual nightmare... the unfortunate voice of experience!  Make of it what you will.

 Keshryii has three points of contact.  This makes the model very stable once constructed but does require some finesse to make sure that the mounting surfaces will all sit flush with the base.

Here you can see that I've got a slight mismatch in regards to the alignment of the perpendicular surfaces.  Thats OK its close enough. I'll just sort the difference with greenstuff.

 Now I apply a generous dot of paint to each of the contact points and orient the model to the base. Once in position press down gently and the base is marked for drilling.

The base shown here is not the base included with the model. RH supplies a nice plain plastic base.  This base is from Table-top Art from the same 8 pack I used to base the rest of the unit.

These are very nice bases and will be great for unifying the theme.

Model glued to the base.

There is a bit of a gap between the main body and one of the legs due to my minor misalignment of the torsos.  I'll fill this when I do the greenstuff around the points of contact.
 Next assemble the remaining two torsos.

As always... construct each sub assembly from a single sprue.   

These are not nearly as demanding in terms of required precision as they will be hanging free. 

Just line the arms up the way you prefer.
 Attach the remaining sub assemblies to the body and fill any gaps at this time.

Once dry do any filing or sanding of the putty before moving on.
 The arms are pretty cool.  This one shows the nested claw.  There are also two spikes that attach to the front of the torso forming tusks for the breastplate of the main body.  These are a great addition and make the main body a fearsome weapon in close combat!

Assemble the claw.  Attach the claw, the breastplate spikes, and the gun arm.

Because this model is also a game piece I wanted to reduce places where it could fracture due to handling.  One of these measures was to rest the gun on the top of one of the torso join pads making the gun firmly glued at both the shoulder and the gun itself.

 The head is in two parts and the fit is superb. There are little cut outs around the ears!
 The assembled head showing the ear area join and the immense mane of hair.

 This huge hair would be a major stress point if it were free standing but there is a small notch... not noticeable if you choose not to use it... that fits very nicely against the top of one of the rear torso joints giving a solid, well supported main of hair that still appears to be flying free.

The final piece is the tail.  This is a great looping thing that runs between the torso/legs and I've left it off to paint separately.  I'll add it as the last thing I do before sealing the model just to make everything a little easier to reach and paint.

Keshyrii ordering an assault from the midst of her troop of primed and ready to be painted centaurs!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Antenociti's Workshop: Spicy Pupniks Food Cart (SF)

 I've been on an "atmospherics" jag for a while now.  Our miniature worlds have been getting richer and more colorful at an accelerated rate for a couple of years.

Continuing in this vein I've expanded the Fast Panda franchise with a Spicy Pupniks Food Cart! 

The kit is typical of the offerings from Antenociti's Workshop offering superior designs, clean casts, and matchless quality control.
Originally offered as part of the Undertown Kickstarter Spicy Pupniks is now available individually from their webshop.

The cart is shown here with some of the other elements from Undertown like the dumpsters and Vending machines.  All of these are now available in the webshop.

Undertown is a "Made for Infinity" set and, of course, scales very nicely with Corvus Belli's models.
Models for scale are GW's Canoness Veridyan and a Void Elf Hunter from Raging Heroes.

The cart does not come with a decal set but I had some left over from the Fast Panda Food Truck.

The model is painted over Krylon Camoflage  Khaki self priming paint a heavy drybrush of our old friend Scrofulous Brown (Vallejo) lined with Sepia liner (Reaper).

The windows are solid and were based Sky Blue (Vallejo) streaked with Voidshield Blue (Warpaints) and glazed several times darkenening towards the edges with Blue Wash (Secret Weapon) mixed with a drop of Glaze Medium (Vallejo).

Natural Gas cylinders are Dragon Blue (Reaper) weathered with Brown Rust and Engine Metal (Secret Weapon) with touches of yeallow and some very thin washes of Soft Body Black (Secret Weapon).

All of this while waiting for accelerator to dry between construction steps of the Lust Elf Centaurs!

Next up... I think!...

Keshyrii Lust Elf Centaur Champion (SF)

Paint, Paint, Paint!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Lust Elf Centaurs (SF ver.) assembled

I am guessing that Benoit over at Raging Heroes has some really, really, really scary nightmares...

Fortunately when he wakes up those demented dreams get translated into spectacular miniatures for all the rest of us!

I just finished building this unit of Lust Elf Centaurs and they are from some of the more disturbing of the nightmare creatures that have escaped his fevered dreams...
 These are the Sci-Fi versions and, if I'm clever, I'll build the fantasy versions next... right after the Sci-Fi Centaur Champion of course!  Reason being is that these are complex miniatures... really more accurately... model kits as each one has 23 parts (excluding the base) and it took me until the third one to come up with an efficient building process.

The first three models took me a couple of days to sort out then I got the hang of it and the remaining ones were finished in an afternoon.
The process I settled on is:

1. Keep each model separate from the others and do not mix the parts.  The models are shipped segregated in bags based on the number of points of contact with the base.  Each model has a unique letter system so you can safely build each bag out of the pile.

2. Completely build each model before moving to the next. Even when working out of a bag of two models.

3. Remove the parts from the sprue ONLY as they are needed.  The parts have letter codes that make construction much easier.  Just match the letters (M to M etc).  There is room for posing and variation within the matched parts and, of course you can swap some around but you'll want to get a feel for the way the models work before doing a lot of that.

4. Clean the part, prefit the part and trim if necessary,  and install it before moving to the next part.

5. The order the parts are fitted makes a huge difference.  This is why the first model took longer to build than the final three.

Here is my part building priority:

1. Find the point(s) of contact part.

2. If there is a single point of contact part construct the torso by finding the torso part with the same letter code as the point of contact piece.  Attach the matching head making sure that it is facing in the proper direction.  Just look for the ribs and abs and put the head on facing in that direction.

 Then attach the point of contact arms to the torso.  If you line the parts up to look as natural and seamless as possible you will likely be in the right alignment.  Its a good idea to clean up and/or fill this join at this point since access to it may be limited later.

Attach the newly constructed "leg" to the main body of the model being careful to fit it at an angle that will make your model stand the way you want it too.  The main body has channels and tightly fitting this first piece into the channels will usually do the trick but you can vary the attitude and angle quite a lot if you desire.

I used Super glue on one face and accelerator on the other which helped immensely but required rigorous pre-fitting before making the adhesion attempt.
 2a.  If the model has two points of contact build one just that same as if it were a single and attach it to the main body.  Build the second assembly the same way always following the pattern of:

head to torso
Arm of contact to torso
second arm to torso
torso to main body

When attaching the second torso assembly make sure the (2) points of contact share a level plain and glue the second assembly into place.

3. Attach the assembly to the base.

4. Build each remaining torso assembly (head to torso, arms to torso) and attach them to the main body.

5. Attach the upper torso.  These have a great alignment with the abs in the center while still having great dynamic twists in the upper shoulder area.

6. Add the arms.  These are one piece each.

7. Assemble the Head (2 parts)

8. Add the head.

9. Go back through the model and get any cleaning and filling that might remain.  There should not be much as you will have done this as you went... lots of fiddly bits to dodge if you skipped the cleanup during the build!

These are pretty large models that I will be using as proxies for Drukhari Grotesques... especially in Ynnari builds.  You can see Canonness Veridyan for scale.

Below is the group of six.

Today's goal... build Centaur Champion Keshirii (SF)

Then I might have to knock out building the fantasy versions of these while I remember how to do it!  I think there are nine of those plus the fantasy version of the champion... then... whew... back to painting!

I didn't realize I'd do a building commentary so didn't take pictures during the build. When I do the Fantasy versions I'll make some step by step photos.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Its a WiP kinda day... Raging Heroes Centaur (SF ver), Hi-Tech Bioconvergence, Star Saga Mercs, Marines & Rangers and an Afterglow Trader

These Centaurs are the most bizarre models I've ever worked on! They have a lot of parts and some very dynamic posing on top of being a totally over-the-top design.

I've started work on the first six of these.  They will replace the GW Dark Eldar Grotesques.  I mean they really fit the description mush better and there are more poses available.  The GW model is a single pose model that looks like a nightmare line dance formation if you actually use a whole unit.  I'll still use the GW ones of course but I never built more than a couple of them because of the pose.  This will add a real touch of the macabre to the formation in addition to visual diversity.
 The model design is fantastic and uses humanoid/eldaroid torsos in place of the legs.. leaving the construct to run along on eight hands! of course the cacophony must be maddening as there are five heads... four of them screaming as they carry the creature and one controlling the whole mess. I have three of the torsos installed at this point... its a complex build and will take a bit longer than usual but its a very interesting process and the results will certainly be worth the effort.
 When trying to figure out how to build these I went looking for a construction diagram on the Raging Heroes website.  They have diagrams for several of their more complex models but not for these.  I searched the Kickstarter updates and found the one where they built several of these and explained the letter system.  Its really quite nice!  Each part is clearly labeled with a letter and the primary centaur torso has letters in the sockets so just match the torso to the socket of the same letter then add the head an arms with the same letter as the socketed torso and you have it.  Of course a few of the parts separated from the sprue during cleaning but the letters are attaced o the part a bit more vigorously than to the sprue so most of the parts separated with their id letter.

I have a lot more of these to build so I'm happy that RH has made the construction relatively easy.

 Other things on the desk!  Star Saga Mercenaries, whcih are the Player Character models of the game.  I'll work on these while the kicker drys on the centaurs... super glue and accelerator are great... until they are not!
 Star Saga Corporate Marines and Rangers.  Same as for the Mercs.. I'll work on these between drying bouts.  I'm trying to come up with some good corporate colors.  I like the idea of Mishima Crimson on the rangers and a more khaki color for the marines.  Greens are also a possibility but isn't particularly intuitive for space focused forces.  I've already used Rent-a-Cop blue so will probably avoid blues for these guys. and gals.

Hi-Tech miniatures Bioconvergence.  I picked these up at a game shop in Germany with the idea I'd use them as ADMech proxies.  Initially I was thinking Kataphron because of the tracked chassis but the weapon loads are not really that similar and, since I had four of them I decided to reboot as servitors.  The weapons are obviously very close GW analogs and I've magnetized them so I can swap them out as needed.

Lastly a Trader for Afterglow.  I don't know anything about Afterglow but the models I've come across look interesting in a post apocalypse kinda way.

For my purposes this guy will be a supply contact for the Jailbirds as they wander the wastelands.

Back to the table!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Dark Souls the Board Game Gargoyle, Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Sentinel. Star Saga Security Guards.

 The Gargoyle is a large Boss model that could easily see service as some kind of critter for many different systems.  Part of what attracted me to the Dark Souls project was this sort of generic usefulness.

Shown here with the Herald for size comparison I went the malefic flesh route.  I haven't paid any attention to the actual look of these in the video game and just painted them for flexible use... although the experiment with "Good" and "Evil" floors make these guys stand out from my other collections.

The color scheme is low contrast which always makes getting good visual definition at the 3ft range interesting.

The skin base is Malefic Flesh (Vallejo) over a Krylon Camoflage Khaki base. Wings are Sunny Flesh (V) and Fairy Flesh (V) over the Khaki base. Washed with a very thinned Military Shader from Army Painter.  That has proved to be a useful product that I just started experimenting with for the Dark Souls project.

The metals are a gold NMM style which helped get good definition at range.  Regular metallics would have worked as well but would have required more serious lining.
 The Sentinels.  More of the "construct" series.  What is up with those crazy tiny heads!

Painted over a bronze base coat these used lots of regular metallic paint.  Flesh Wash (Secret Weapon) and Seraphim Sepia (GW) for shading.
 Dragon Slayer Ornstein is one half of a Boss Mob Duo.  His partner should wrap up this week as well.  I'm down to 4 remaining Boss models, in various states of paint, to finish the Kickstarter Core Set.

Like the other Constructs, and many of the models from this set in general, the color scheme is low contrast.  After an initially foray at a yellow mane I decided the whole model was way too warm and redid the mane in blue.  I also changed some green gem style details to blue gem to bring some continuity
 The spear has this crazy twist to it.  I thought about trying to straighten it but then decided I Kinda liked it the way it was... especially since there is another Boss with a really wavy sword that is obviously intended to be wavy.

The Blue mane really stands out here.
 Having initially misidentified this Boss as a Mini Boss I thought it was associated with the Sentinels in some kind of group.  It turned out not to be the case but they do make a good group for use in other games!
A for scale view of today's Dark Souls set.
 Star Saga!

Rent-a-cops.... er... I mean Security Guards... really in the Mantic Warpath Universe there isn't a significant difference.

I initially wanted to do Law Enforcement Blue with Black kit... this, predictably, turned out to be mostly just black blobs at three ft... so I did a wash of Sapphire (Secret Weapon), which is really Law Enforcement Blue if you use enough of it, amended with Glaze Medium (V).  One the right is the first coat, on the left is the second.
 The Black details could still use some picking out with some gray edge highlights but I'm happy with them as they stand for now.
 A view of the Security Guards and some techies facing some Plague Victim payback!

The Security Guards and the Techies are easy to tell apart even though they were painted using similar techniques.
The three different poses for the Security Guards.  There are three sets of these figures in the core game and I've given them squad ID badges just because... a squad of different figures is better than a squad of identical ones.

On the painting table at the moment:

The 4 remaining Bosses from Dark Souls.
Some Bio Convergence (Faux ADMech) from Hi-Tech.
A peddler from Afterglow.
Spicy Pupniks.

On the build table:

Sci-Fi Centaurs from Raging Heroes.

Build it!
Paint it!
Play it!