Sunday, 17 March 2013

Airbrush (and photo) Practice

This fellow is a minotaur from the Reaper Bones range.  I'm trying to get used to the airbrush in order to speed up my painting technique, and larger models seem like a good place to start.

The brown skin fur was done with the airbrush and a wash with devlan mud, followed by extreme highlights.  Everything else was done in the traditional manner.

Although I saved loads of time this way, I could probably have saved more by using the airbrush on other elements, like the black fur and the horns.  So, taking that on board as the first lesson, I have ordered some masking materials to help boost my confidence with using the airbrush more.  I am deliberately avoiding the use of pigments and oil washes for now, and get used to the techniques one at a time.

While I was at it, I've had a few email/text conversations with Junior about my photography, which I think has slipped in quality lately.  Well, I think, after identifying a few schoolboy errors, I'm getting back on track.  It goes to show that it is always worthwhile to revisit the fundamentals every now and again.  Still a bit of work to do with the blurry weapons, but I'm pleased with the results, and poky weapons are always an issue when you try to photograph different angles on a model (and careful positioning can mitigate that too).

Here come the pictures:

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Great News!

I managed to get a group of 5 thugs painted up to accompany Senator Pigskin on the miniaturised streets of Spinespur, and I was really pleased with them.  So pleased, in fact, I entered them into the painting competition at Albanich this past weekend.  Here's a group shot, with Pigskin for scale.  As you can see, he's a bit of a monster!  Even larger than I had intended, really.  But no matter: I wanted imposing, and I certainly got imposing!  Sadly, I seem to have lost my photo mojo, and there seem to be a few focus/shinyness issues.  I'll have to get some tips from my good friend Junior about how to deal with that.  Hopefully, I've managed to get a decent image out of this using photoshop.

The Molotov thugs are conversions, as is the chainsaw thug.  The molotov thug on the left is a Rebel Minis street punk, who was originally holding a shotgun.  I carefully removed the left hand, and trimmed away the handle of the gun in the other, so it looked like he was flicking a lighter.  The bottle and new left hand were scratch-built/sculpted respectively.  The chainsaw thug is a survivor from The Scene's 15mm range.  He received a head transplant with a Xyston model, over which a hockey mask was sculpted, and (as with most of the Scene's survivor models used for Spinespur) the shotgun slung in a holster on his back was trimmed off and replaced with a bag.  The final molotov thug received two new arms, courtesy of the same Xyston model that gave chainsaw his head, a scratch-built molotov bottle, a bag instead of his shotgun, and a gas mask head from Ground Zero Games' separate head sprue.  I'm least happy with how this guy turned out, but he's okay overall, I reckon.

So, when it came to entering the painting competition, I decided that without context, Pigskin would probably seem a bit random.  Consequently, I just went with the five thugs:

And how did they do in the competition?

Second place (rather sportingly referred to as runner up on the day)!  Not bad, considering they were really dwarfed by the tank section that took first place.  I'm really pleased that as 15mm models going up against 28mm and other scales they did so well.  As good as second place is, I'd rather win, though.  So I'll be back next year to see if I can do better.  Still really chuffed with my achievement nonetheless.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Pigskin Painted!

Huzzah! I've really enjoyed working on this guy from start to finish.  Normally, I don't hold with slathering gore all over a model, but I think the subject matter called for it.  Note:  most of the gore is concentrated around the front of the model, as I'm going for the "butchers animals and people" feel, rather than suggseting that Pigskin bathes in vats of blood, or is suffering injuries.

Not sure if the photos have really picked it up, but I've been careful to paint the pig head in a different skin tone to the body.  I'm trying to really hammer home the fact that this is a severed pig's head being worn as a mask, rather than this guy being a pig-headed mutant.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Senator Pigskin

As is typical in my life, shiny new things derail the best laid plans.  I stumbled across this kickstarter project for the Spinespur game, and quite like the sound of it.  Unfortunately, I don't really have the money right now to invest heavily in another kickstarter, so I'm planning on a small contribution to get the pdf rulebook (when the commensurate funding level is reached) and maybe a couple of models.  In the meantime, I thought I'd have a go at building myself a 15mm Slaughterhouse agenda force (one of my favourite themed forces) while I wait for the kickstarter to finish.

So, I thought I'd start with the head of the Slaughterhouse agenda, Senator Pigskin himself (image taken from

As you can see, he's basically a large guy with a meat cleaver and a meathook on a chain.  Oh, and he has a penchant for wearing a pig's head.  Charming fellow, eh?  By the time I finally crawled into bed last night, I had made this version:

After some consideration of various barbarian models, I eventually decided to go all-out and make this guy a real monster.  Cobbled together from an assortment of gw plastic remnants that I had lying around, and judicious use of green stuff, he's based on my idea for 15mm ogres, so the top of most 15mm scale model heads will reach his chin.  I also fancied making my model a bit less buff than the original, so he was assembled and bulked out in such a way as to keep the muscles, but add a bit of bulk.  I imagine him being slow but hard-hitting (of course, that may not be how he is described in the rules, but never mind.  I like this look and that's what matters).

If you are wondering about the parts used, the cleaver is from an ogre sprue, gloves are from a Khorne berserker, torso/arms from a savage orc, shoulder pad from a 40k ork, chain from an ork biker, with the hook made from the butt of a kroot rifle, legs from a goblin, the apron is a cut-down kroot bone-cloak, pocket bones are from the crypt ghouls sprue, and the knives are an accessory from the kroot sprue, used to cover an area where the original goblin loincloth was not covered by the apron.

The pig's head is based on a goblin head with the eyes drilled out (how freaky does that sound?  It was a weird feeling, drilling out a models eyes.  Made me feel like a deranged serial killer or something).  Green stuff was used to variously blend things in, bulk things out, and create the pig features.  The most bizarre thing to admit is having to bulk out the arse on the model.  Because a large, chunky torso was being glued to teeny little legs, Pigskin's butt needed to be bulked out to make the join more natural looking.

Anyway, I'm rather pleased with the end result.  I added gloves, because I figured they would be a necessary item of abbatoir apparel, and compliment the apron well in that regard, and the shoulder plate was added just because I thought it looked good, and added something to the otherwise bare right hand side of the model.  The only thing I would change about this build is the meathook.  If I had been able to find one of the chaos marauder standards, or some dark eldar bits, or anything a bit more meathook-y(?), I would have gone for them instead.  But, that's not a huge regret.

For now, Pigskin is off to be sprayed, and it's time to rummage through my 15mm lead pile to find him some minions (I reckon there must be some zombie survivor models that would fit the bill).  With luck, the only money I'll need to spend will be on some 15mm pigs.