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


Hello everybody! Welcome to my wonderful little blog about painting miniatures. I hope by sharing my progress on my vast array of projects I can a) get feedback on my painting and b) actually get on with it.

The first few projects I am working on and  intend on sharing are as follows:

  1. Dark Angels Horus Heresy army
  2. A bewildering array of fantasy mins for Kings of War
  3. Some stuff for the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle game

I hope you enjoy, and I look forwards to sharing with you all my progress!