Saturday, 21 June 2014

Summer catch up time

Well its been a very exciting 4 months for me career wise as I got offered a full time teaching job at my local college in March :) Unfortunately it did mean my already limited hobby time had to take another back seat whilst I got settled in to my new job and completed my initial teacher training.

Last month I finished my 'certificate to teach' course which I started back in October, which means I've got back a couple of hobby nights :)

And all this teaching talk brings me quite nicely onto the subject for this blog post!
The 'University of Transmortis' box set from Wyrd games for use with the game 'Malifaux'. Which I purchased sometime last summer!

Wyrd online store web page

The box set contains 4 very highly detailed plastic zombie/construct models (+rules for a some special story scenarios, including a sol play mission). Its worth noting (for people that want to use these models in their games) that the character cards that come in the box, have fairly recently been superseded by updated cards following recent beta testing.
Link to updated character cards

First on the painting table was the
'Student of Steel'

For this group of models I wanted to use a palette based around copper/brass and the perfect match was green, which I could use to tone the zombie skin and also incorporate filigree on the metal sections.

Because I am going to be using these models almost exclusively within my 'Molly' crew I decided to use the 'Necrotic machine' model which first featured on this blog back in
March 2012!, as a reference model. I started as always with the skin on the model, and as I have done for all my zombie models painted I started out by painting up a standard flesh tone, before applying a watered down green ink wash and then bringing the highlights back up by using a very watered down light flesh, so that the green still shows through.

After completing the flesh I moved on to the green clothing and then the metallic areas, which again received a watered down green wash, followed by a slightly thicker application of 'light green' on some of the raised edges which I wanted to get the filigree effect.

Overall I was pleased with the finished model apart from the hair which I feel cold have been better, but I was keen to get painting more models, so I put the student to the side and moved onto the other models in the box.

For all the other models In the box I used the same colour palette and techniques apart from those which I describe below.
Note: apart from the odd pot of GW paint still going strong from the late 90's! I almost exclusively paint using the 'Vallejo' range of paints.

'Student of Sinew'

The main stand out feature on this model is the fairly gruesome looking flesh cloak attached to the back. For this part of the model I ensured I avoided giving the cloak the green wash, and lightly applied some green to just small sections. Overall I think the effect worked very well, which was a bonus because I was confident enough to create the same effect on a much larger area, on one of the upcoming models.

'Student of Viscera'

The main feature I wanted to bring out more on this model is the much bigger area of metal on this models snake like tail. I opted to give the snake tail a watered down gloss varnish after finishing my normal varnishing method. The gloss gives the tail a lightly more oiled look, though I think I might apply another coat at some point in the future to bring out the gloss a bit more.

'The Valedictorian'

This is one impressive model and I was very pleased with the flesh cloak results from the 'student of sinew', which gave me confidence to paint the (very gruesome) flesh wings! - highlighting on larger flat surfaces.
I was very pleased with the results and look forward to putting the model on the table much more often :)

So thats the 'University of transmortis' box set done. I have also just finished  set of 3 'punk zombies' which I received for my birthday in January, which I will hopefully cover in my next blog post.

For those of you who have an interest in using the models in Malifaux, I was reading another blog post by Adam on the 'Falcons Nest' which gives some good tactical advise on using the models in your games. you can also follow adam on twitter  

P.S. I was really pleased to see a new independent hobby store open in Derby city centre close to where I live in the UK who is stocking the Wyrd games range of models, along with various other game systems, Valejjo Paint (WOOOPPPEEEE) and other modelling/hobby supplies including scalectrics and model railway things.
Galactic models web page
and you can follow  on twitter.

My own twitter account is  

Saturday, 15 February 2014


Thought I'd get another quick post out and realised I'd never actually uploaded photos of the model I'm most proud of painting.

So here is Alice! .... Model is from the 'Smart Max' SMOG Range

With this model I experimented a little bit with OSL (Object light sourcing)

Painting with OSL means that you normally show a light source on the model (in this case the street lamp) and then highlight and shade more realistically, based on how the light would naturally fall on the model.

Now my little bit of OSL was mostly confined to the shadow on the paving below the models dress and some extra lighter highlights on the surface closest to the light. So although not completely OSL I think the overall effect was very pleasing.

The detail on this model is fantastic (being made from Resin) and I really enjoyed painting all the little details, including the March Hare's watch and the bow on Alice's head.

Anyway I've already spent enough time on this post (Loads of editing and re-writes :p) so cheerio.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Yan Lo and his Ancestor Friends

Time to catch up a bit more on my painting over this last year and my most recently finished crew.

Yan Lo the Ressurectionist/Ten Thunders Master and his crew of Ancestors.

I'm really proud how this crew turned out has they really 'POP' and stand out from my other Ressurectionist models. Also tried out a few new ideas which turned out good.
The crew also got a mention on a recent episode of the Malifools Podcast by Mat Hart who was a 2nd place winner at this years Salute in London

For this crew I choose a Red, Blue & Yellow Colour Triad to unite the models into a coherent group.

Breaking the crew down
Yan Lo
 The Yan Lo model has loads of nicely shaped robe surfaces which I really wanted to bring out in the highlighting. To Achieve the finished effect I did in excess of 12 layers (all very thin), including an ink wash (following the initial dark red base coat) with my favourite Newton and Windsor Peat Brown Ink to shade the recesses.
To avoid getting a chalky pink final highlight I worked the reds up by mixing in the Vallejo 'light flesh' colour.
Because I was using so many layers I had to sometimes mix in a drop of red again if the colour jumped too far towards light flesh in each
successive colour mix. The final highligh on the very edges was pure 'Light Flesh', though I only applied it to small sections of the edge were I wanted the colour to stand out.
Yan Los staff was slightly disappointing for me because I was experimenting for the first time with trying the 'Non Metalic Metalic' Paint style and I think I ended up with a great looking staff, but just not very Metalic looking....oh well I tried.

Soul Porter
Following on from previous 'Spirit' models I used a fairly simple 'Base colour' ---> 'Chalk white' paint scheme. I must admit this was the first model I've stripped in over a decade! Essentially the first coat (a dark orange) didn't take onto the black undercoat and and after 4 very thick paint coats I was starting to lose detail without even starting any highlighting. A dip in warm water/washing up liquid and a brush scrub later I was back to bare plastic. After starting again I threw my GW orange in the bin and cracked open a new Vallejo paint bottle and of we go :)

 I havent done any Skeleton models in a long time and really enjoyed working on this group of 3 models. I painted each individually which made getting the right shades difficult to achieve, but was very happy with the final result and how they all came out uniform.
I did initially toy with the idea of swapping the triad colour scheme around on each of the parts - So one model would have had a Yellow Banner, Blue Trousers and Yellow Armour etc but felt the overall effect when in combination with the other models wouldn't work, as essentially each Ashigaru would have looked (colour combination wise) like one of the other models in the crew.

Unlike the yellow on the 'Soul Porter' I wanted a more mute tone so started with a lightish 'desert brown' for the base. The highlights were built up each time with a gradual 50:50 mix of white and yellow (i.e. 1 drop white, 1 drop yellow) with 1 drop of water. The final highlight was a small amount of thinned straight white to the most prominent folds of the trousers.

 I really enjoyed painting this model and with this one I took a slightly different approach to the highlights making slightly more prominent jumps in colour shades in order to try and give more of a POP in the colour, with slightly more white on the final highlight than normal on the base flames and the yellow (again started with a 'Desert yellow brown').
The face mask started light grey, but was heavily highlighted to pure white, so only faint edges of grey can be seen in the recesses. One un-thinned blob of red and pink was painted on for the decorative mask lips and and cheek blusher.

Yin (The Penangalan)
OK so now you've had another peep from behind your hands, yes this is what a 'Penangalan' looks like!  (A Vampire type creature from Japanese mythology)
I've never painted internal organs before so started painting with a certain amount of apprehension.
As all my models now I started with the face (much more comfortable territory on this model) and was particularly happy with the final flesh tone. I then moved onto the spine and ribs using the same colour mixes I then went on to use on the Ashigaru.
The Black hair was highlighted with a dark blue to avoid a greying look, that can sometimes be a problem for people painting black hair and gave a much more healthy glossy look.
The main part of organs was then given a straight base coat of very dark red, which was highlighted up to 3 different final finishes. The light Pink lungs, the Dark red Organs and the dark pinky entrails. I used a very thin brush to produce some blue veins on the lungs.
To get the final iky'wet' effect I applied a pure gloss varnish to the relevant areas after completing  my usual model varnishing technique.

My Varnish technique repeated here for reference: (Taken from Mitch Harrison and initially from James Doxy - Two very accomplished painters on the Malifaux scene - Check out James's blog)
1 Coat of 50:50 Gloss & Water
1 Coat of pure Matt
and finished with a quick spray of Testors Dull Coat varnish.

Izamu (the Armour)
The last model in this Crew is Izamu who I actually painted a fair while back now, before I even got the 'Yan Lo' box set.
Izamu is an impressive large model and I really set out to try and get a striking colour scheme. Luckily for me I indadvertedly choose the 'Triad colour scheme', which I would later adopt for the whole crew.
The model was a delight to paint with just the right mix of detail and flat surface. After getting a nice deep red on the cloth for a background colour, all the other colours really stood out.
I also did a bit of research for this model and used proper Japanese writing (Kanji) on his banners. If I remember correctly one pair reads 'Eternal Warrior' and the other pair is "Samurai' and (I think 'Death'?) but can't remember or seem to find the web page and images I used when painting them :(

Anyway that my Yan Lo Crew.
Since these I've completed just one 'Miss Pack' special edition model and I'm currently I'm painting some 'Punk Zombie' models which I got for Christmas.

Might be another fairly long wait till next post has I'm really busy at Work and College with very little time for any gaming/hobby painting, till at least the summer. But once thats out the way I've got plenty more models to get on the painting table including some 'Iron Zombies' and the Leveticus box set :D