Back to posting: Tau and Dark Angels

Hello readers

It’s been a while. Sorry about that. Life took over as it seems to do, and I couldn’t find the time to upload stuff. I managed to find the time today somewhere between my illness and dissertation draft, so I’m officially back in it.

While I wasn’t posting, I was still painting. Mostly models, but also some traditional stuff (watercolour and ink mostly). I thought I’d share the two project occupying my desk as I write.


Firstly, a Tau Fire Warrior strike team. I got these cheap on the old eBay, so I decided to try some new stuff on them. I first airbrushed them Vallejo German camoflage Extra dark green and normal dark green, then gave them a small edge highlight (warcolours olive 4). The cloth is warcolours cool grey 5, highlighted with blue grey 5, washed with black and then rehighlighted with the blue grey. Metal parts were Vallejo metallic air black highlighted once with Army Painter plate mail metal. The skin was warcolours blue grey 4, washed with purple and highlighted with blue grey 3. Finally the models received a gloss coat and an oil wash of black: it’s the first time I’ve ever tried oil washes and they’re fantastic. The bases were made to be urban ruins sort of: I used a cooler grey with copper to provide contrast to the models. I still have the finish up 4 more guys and the drones, but that won’t take long: I have encountered a slight hitch that will delay it however.


This is my Horus Heresy pile. 15 marines plus 1 vigilator, with another 20 to come. I’m waiting on some parts to arrive before I can crack on with these guys. The most important part I need isn’t actually a model, it’s the nozzle for my airbrush. I broke it before Christmas it seems, so I had to fork out £15 for the smallest thing imaginable as a welcome home present. Very frustrating.

I guess these guys are the opposite of what I normally put up here: it’s a mass of soldiers, designed to be painted efficiently, hence the airbrush and oil washes. Hopefully I should be able to do a step by step for the marines, as they’re going to be he main thrust of my efforts over the next term.

Thanks for reading!





Murin and Drar WIP

Hello again

These two fellows are again some of my favourite sculpts done by GW. There are many things I like, but I think Murin is by far the most dynamic and impressive of the two. img_0292

Very WIP: I have barely blocked in all the colours


Murin’s robe is however almost done. I need to shade the yellow a lot more as it’s a bit bold right now, and the red needs to be given final highlights.


Awful photography, but I think it shows the red well enough.


I’m quite happy with the shield as it stands. The green is done, and the shield rim is nearly there (I just want to give it a wash, as I want it to be quite grimy). The bird I am going to give a couple more glazes of ink to give the impression of feathers. I’ll have to experiment a bit.


Again, awful photography. However you can just about get the impression of the lines I did on the forehead. Also the eyes are pretty decent by my standards: Drar’s right eye looks like it’s squiting a little bit as he takes aim.


Anyway, I just wanted to share these two. I’m picking up some Dwarf rangers to go with them, but in the meantime I have started another Dark Angels tactical squad, a Frostgrave warband and I also bought some Tau off ebay: with University term starting soon, I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to work on everything. I’ll have to see.

Until next time


Wood Elves Part 1

Hello again.

I recently decided that the old Wood Elf sculpts the Perry twins did for the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game were some of the best generic fantasy models around. Therefore I hopped on Ebay and spent £35 on 46 models, which is a lot for me, but less than I could have gotten elsewhere.

The models arrived, and I was slightly less enthused. Mostly because of their age and materiel, there were a few issues which I found frustrating, but nonetheless they are good models, and so I set to work. The first batch is almost finished, and consists of 2 spear-elves and 4 sword-elves.


Once again, my photography skills leave much to be desired. These fine gentlemen were painted in a batch, with the aim of making some sort of speed painting plan. As such, to me they look awful, and many of the highlights leave a lot to be desired. However I have a cunning plan for basing them which will hopefully alleviate some of their worse qualities.


This fellow is my test-bed as it were. I wanted these Elves to have a little bit of a different twist to previous ones. I approached my Gil-Galad as if he were a human, whereas here I thought “how could I make them different?”. Essentially I wanted these Elves to have an alien look to them, because why the hell would an Elf look like a human? I drew a bit of inspiration from the Elder Scrolls Wood Elves (the name escapes me, but it does end in –Mer). To this end, I made up a skin recipe using a little amount of pale green (Warpaints Necrotic flesh) with normal fleshtones (Warcolours skintone 2 & 3). Their hair was painted light sand (Vallejo Model Air) and the eyes a very light ochre (Warcolours Ochre 1). The eyes I then ruined by trying to give pupils, which turned out fine on this guy, but as I went on fatigue made the work impossible. I haven’t revisited the eyes because I might just leave them ochre: I like the idea of pupiless eyes because it definitely isn’t human.


It appears I had a minor case of sloppy brushwork. This came about from repainting the eye several times. Also, you can see on the cloak how basic the highlighting is. I don’t really mind in this case though.


I realise now I worked on these guys after I had taken the photos. Thus the hair is still unpainted in the picture, as well as the throwing knife handle. I’m a bit dumb sometimes.


The pose of this guy reminds me a little bit of Geralt, the Witcher. I think the pale skintone helps a fair bit, but given I have four copies of this pose, I might try something interesting………

Next time will probably be the Frostgrave warband I have randomly started, using Perry plastics for a Witcher themed force (probably led by the Sorceress as she appeared in the last post). I will probably update soon with some test models.

Thanks for reading

Works in Progress


I haven’t posted on here in a while: I’ve been busy with doing absolutely nothing (aka holiday). While away in Ireland, I managed to get stuck in to a couple of minis.

Firstly, unamed sorceress from Hasslefree Miniatures:


She’s not quite finished as I still have to do her gloves, leather, hair and hood trim. The dress took me an age to get right, and involved mixing dark red (Warpaints Chaotic Red), magenta (GW Warlock Purple, exceptional colour), lilac (Warcolours violet 1 or 2) and ink washes. It took a lot of tries before I was happy with it. As it is, it could still be improved, but I like it fine now and I can’t see myself coming back to the dress. I might give it one last glaze……


I am very happy with the blue cloak. It is not particularly strongly highlighted, but it nontheless manages to look convincing. For whatever reason, I previously thought blue must be shaded with dark blue: here I gave it a wash of black into the recesses, and it is brilliant. Also, I tried some NMM on the bottom of the cloak. It is an interesting effect that I have a very crude understanding of. Thus, it has not been done very well, but it is so small it carries off the effect better than I ever thought. I built up the gold using shades of ochre (Warcolours ochre 5-1) and glazed it with chestnut ink (old GW, again fabulous), focussing on the high points. I then re-applied ochre 1 to the high points, because I read somewhere that NMM=high contrast. Again, as I say, crude, but I think quite effective.


Because I can’t take pictures for shit, the belt is completely unclear. It was the same as the trim however, applied onto round shapes. It’s a bit bigger, and therefore the lack of proficiency is more obvious, but this is my first time using the technique. I should also point out that a lot of my understanding of the light-play on metal surfaces comes from a Painting Buddha video in which they paint a Space Marine using TMM: I simply adapted the light to go with my motto of NMM=high contrast. Also, that thigh: it drove me insane trying to get the skin looking right. It’s fine now, but I dread having to revisit the face and hands, especially now I’ve forgotten most of the recipe.


Another awful shot of my freehand NMM. It’s passable.

Secondly, we have Red Box Games’ Freyr of the Turning Leaf. Lovely model, packed with detail, which I went on to ruin.


Awfully lit photo no. 1. Not much to say other than a) he’s not finished yet, and b) My colour choice here is abysmal.


Right, onto the dissection. Firstly: technically I feel this model is actually quite good. My layering of individual colours is actually some of my best (bearing in mid this picture is magnified quite a lot. Particularly on the leather, and to a lesser extent the red, I was able to push up a very pale highlight without throwing it off. I used washes a lot more on this model, in a resonably controlled way, such as on the red, and therefore each colour itself has a good transition. HOWEVER: what the fucking hell was I thinking making the red so red, the green so white, the leather so pale? Red and green clash as it is (it’s one of those colour combos that I hate), and the pale leather is very un-thematic. This guy is a hunter, a sneaky fella, and yet here he is prancing around in red stocking looking like Robin Hood. Gaaaaahhhh

(Quick note, I did the face randomly in about 5 minutes before dinner, but it turned out pretty good for the time. I put this down to the pre-shading I did on this guy.


Ok, the red thigh here stresses what I mean. Great transition (by my standards), awful colour scheme.


The back of the cloak caused me some problems. I just couldn’t quite get the shading right or the transistions. The hood was much better, I’m going to blame it on the sculpt. Also notice the sloppy brushwork on the blanket.


Another awful shot of an awful colour clash. Ah well.

So, in summary:

+Time, patience and glazes can make dresses look good

+Contolled washes can make extreme highlights work

+NMM is easier to do on small areas. Free-hand likewise

+Being patient and restarting something that doesn’t quite work can be pretty decent, if time consuming/inefficient (Sorceress skin)

-Plan a project before jumping in, especially colours (I might invest in a colour wheel for the grand price of about £2)

-Get a recipe book so stuff isn’t forgotten

-Take time with brushwork: avoid sloppiness.

And there you have it. 2 nearly complete characters. These guys are going to become part of my “generic fantasy” collection, with a leaning towards doing something Witcher inspired. I am looking at possibly scratching together a Frostgrave warband based around the sorceress.

Next time, I will be going through my recent LOTR purchases. I hope you will enjoy. As ever, comments and criticism welcome.



The High King, Completed


Gil-Galad has been finished, although a week of mountain biking has prevented me from uploading images. I’m quite happy with him, but there are a number of things I could have done better. Nontheless, the model was one I picked up for about £3 off eBay and painted in less than a week, so I can hardly consider it a masterpiece. I also feel I painted him quite crudely, and had I applied some techniques I know, but am not comfortable with, I think he could have come out a bit better. Without further ado, I give you Gil-Galad, High King.


These two images show the blade. I wanted a blueish tinge to it, because blue=magical, but my initial attempts with the Army Painter blue wash did not work as intended, because it dulled it down a lot. Not a bad thing, but I didn’t like a non-shiny blade, so I redid the metallics and applied a glaze using Windsor & Newton drawing inks. Upon closer inspection, I should have pushed the metallics back up a bit, but ho hum. I also have glazed the filigree with vermillion ink without a medium on a last minute whim, so it’s very crude, but gives the model a little bit of additional colour.


I’M SO HAPPY WITH THAT GEM. It’s nothing major, but it’s the first gem I’ve ever painted, using the instructions from the old High Elf army book. Once the model is varnished, it will get a gloss coat. I’m also reasonably happy with the neck-thing. This was also given an Army Painter blue wash, and in this case came out the better, as I feel it helps to emphasise the filigree .IMG_0248IMG_0247

The cloak. I was very happy with it at first, but there are a few things I am not happy with. Firstly, the colour is wrong. The green base is lovely, but the highlights (for reference, I used the Warcolours Olive, 1-5 inclusive) are too yellow. Secondly, the highlighting is wrong. There is no real sense of flowing fabric, which is partly because the sculpt threw me off, and partly because I got a bit tunnel-visioned. I have started on a few new models (some lovely Hasslefree and Red Box Games ones), and I have take on the challenge of painting better green cloth and better cloaks, so at least this has inspired me to try again. However the sculpt still confuses me, and thus I will not be repainting this bit.


Very happy with the face and hands. It’s not astonishingly good, the eyes are a bit wonky, but it has a realistic-ish colour, if not quite as pale as I wanted. The Turquoise I feel is spot on for what I wanted. The boots and the staff I’m also quite happy with, for different reasons. The boots are simple, but still look decent and leathery, which is something I have struggled with previously. The staff is wrong in a lot of ways, but was complete experimentation with the pattern of knots. They’re the wrong angle, the blending’s fairly crude, the colour isn’t quite right, but they prove to myself that I can do it, so that’s always good.


The hair was a bit of a rough job. I need to figure out a better brown hair recipe. The armour keeps on throwing me. On the one hand, it’s quite dull, and doesn’t draw the eye (to me at least). However when I look at it on its own there is some depth in the colour, and it doesn’t dominate the model. It also avoids the classic silver highlight on gold, which I find somewhat annoying as it makes almost all golds look the same, and so for that I am satisfied. The sleeve makes me happy because it took about 6 brushstrokes to do, but I feel looks good.


Closeup proves how sloppily he has been painted. Ah well, at least I’m living up to the name.


Spear’s bent, too late to fix it. It was only £3 though, so I’m not losing any sleep over it.


Even more annoying shot of the cloak. Even with the many visible layers of paint, I still couldn’t get it right, and it annoys me to look at it.


The white I feel is technically good, but is just misplaced. I should have gone with either blue-based white or light yellow, instead I ended up with a parchmenty colour supposed to be representing cloth.


So in summary:

+Good blues, flesh and gold armour.

+Tried some new things that worked well enough

+Very cheap and time-friendly project

-Rushed and a little crude in places, particularly in blending and glazing. Some areas could have done with more time glazing, particularly the blade

-Colour composition was off. I should have thought about how the colours interact, especially the white (Blue-white would have worked well in hindsight)

-The chaninmail is an abomination which I realised did not work as soon as I had painted it. I kept it because a) I’m dumb and b) it’s not very distracting.

-I need to figure out a couple of colour recipes, mostly hair and wood.


Thanks for reading. Next will likely be my own little fantasy project I’m starting.



High King


I am still painting. In fact, I have been painting something recently, and I now have a working camera. Therefore, may I present to you my WIP of Gil-Galad, last High King of the Noldor. C&C most welcome.


The cloak needs to be touched up a bit, but is almost done. I went for a yellowy green that ended up working quite well I feel.



The blue I am less happy with. I tried to make it a turquoise, but it hasn’t come out right. I am going to give it some ink glazes to try and build up the colour, but right now it just looks sloppy and disjointed.



The face has been blocked in simply to make sure the eyes are OK. I want a very pale skin tone, which not a tone I usually go for.


The white cloth I’m quite happy with. I might glaze a little bit into the shadows to deepen them, but I’m actually happy with it for the most part.

Thanks for reading!


The Thunderchildren


This is the first post detailing my plan of action for my Heresy-era Dark Angels. A bit of background, the main characters and what I am planning on painting.

So, Dark Angels. The 1st Legion always attracted me because they were the 1st Legion. None of the weird quirks and specializations of the others, rather, in the words of 1d4chan (a site I browse far too much: I must warn you that, being derived from 4chan, it is a bit of a cesspit), they were “just supposed to be space marines”. Unfortunately by the Heresy they had been introduced to all the Calibanite weirdness of the Order. In order to keep this early Great Crusade legion theme, I decided that my force would be a relatively autonomous chapter led by an old Unification War veteran who cares very little for the new style of command. The name I gave him is Zoras El’Ter, otherwise known as the Thunderchild. I have a number of stories as to why he is the way he is, but suffice to say, he’s seen most of his comrades die in horrible circumstances, dislikes the Calibanite marines that replaced them, but is loyal to a fault. Loyal, but not necessarily happy about it.

The army thus far consists of the following:

30x Tactical marines in mkII armour

5x Destroyers, made using Anvil Industry’s parts

5x Recon marines and a Vigilator, again made with Anvil parts

4 various command models: praetors, centurions, techmarines

5x Deatrhwing terminators (40k models in 30k? The horror). I got these guys mainly for bits, but I’m tempted to run them straight out as legion terminators.

Other than this, I plan to buy:

Rhinos! Unsure as to how many, but probably enough to ferry the tacticals around.

Predators: at least 1 squadron. I want to run Ironwing protocol if I ever do play with these guys, and squadrons of predators I feel are severely underrated in coolness.

MkII commanders: this will be the start of Zoras and his retinue.

There are also a lot of things I see and think “That’d be cool to do”, and then slap myself for being silly. Case in point: Betrayal at Calth. I was about to but 2 copies (only £150 if you shop around! Bargain!) before I realised I would have to paint 60 more tactical marines. I’ve painted 10 so far………..

I feel I have bought enough to be getting on with, so therefore this project will have 1 rule of utmost importance: PAINT EVERYTHING BEFORE BUYING MORE

So there we have it. A start to a hopefully long and exciting project I have been looking forwards to for some time.

Thanks for reading