Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tag Teams

I like to paint miniatures for my friends. I choose a mini, paint it and then send to one of my friends.

What do I do for my friends who happen to be couples?

I paint two.

Tag Team Fantasy: Hansel and Gretel aka the fantasy police squad

There's a part of truth in every fairy tale... They origin from true events, but a tale gets changed, twisted and modified every time it is told. Take the Grimms' tale of Hansel and Gretel as an example.

They were brother and sister indeed, but while they were small they sure weren't children. The hag was not old and ugly, quite the opposite. But, she ate children, it was proven beyond any doubt. The wood was not as dark as Brothers Grimm say; Hansel and Gretel were not lost there, but were searching for the hag hideout, as this was their assignment. Finally, they did not use any tricks to fool the hag into the oven. Instead, Hansel put a crossbow belt straight through her chest and Gretel chopped her head off. Then, just in case, they indeed burned her body.

Tag Team SF: Hansel and Gretel 40K years later

The story of these two is very similar to the previous one. Replace the dwarfs with grymns (same names though!), forest witch with an alien ravaging some spaceship, substitute guns for medieval weapon and there you go!

Fantasy Tag Teams was made of Red Box Games miniatures sculpted by very talented Tre Manor; SF Tag Team are Hasslefree grymns sculpted by equally skilled Kev White.

Nameless Guard - APRIL's Not For Fools

Second month, second summary.

I'd planned to paint three tanks (2 Rhinos and Vindicator) in April. I did.

Hey, no one said it would be a long summary!

I like how they look together.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nameless Guard - Last Minute Painting

That was not a good month for painting. But, a plan is a plan, a deadline is a deadline and a promise is a promise.

I got these three babes from e-bay, relatively cheap. Well, what I can say... the price reflects the quality...

This is some very old stuff with broken and missing elements looking like it was dipped in a paint bucket. Yeah, nothing that a spray can and few layers of drybrushing couldn't save.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Miniature Which Does Not Exist

This is a wolf. It's big and most probably bad. A big, bad wolf. Some time ago I'd been asked by MaxMini to paint it for them.

So I did.

It has never been released. You can't buy it. You can't find it on E-bay. No second hand copies. What you see is the only painted version of this model in the world.

Do you still think your limited miniature sold in 1000, 500, 100 or even 10 copies is really limited?

Nameless Guard - Plans for April

1 / 3 of April without any progress on Nameless Guard... This is not good...

Good news is I got 2 cheap rhinos and vindicator on E-bay. These machines will comprise my basic plan for this month. If I manage to find some more time, which I doubt, I'll try to add another unit of plague marines to the list.

3 pieces per month... I can't loose momentum... 3 finished tanks would mean I'm still slightly ahead of my schedule...

Pics of unpainted models will follow, I didn't even have time to make them.

Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, April 5, 2013


There is a kingdom in the far north. Its borders are marked with bones and skulls covered with snow, land is empty and devoid of all life, as no live being is welcome there by its ruler.

Some call him Stormwing, as he rides the wind, some call him Coldblooded, as he's never shown any sign of mercy.

Some of the northern tribes worship him, some try to fight him. All - fear him, as he is the true and only master of the land of ice and snow.

Reaper Forum Winter Painting Contest 2010 - 2nd place

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Review: Finecast Jabberslythe

My blog has two followers already, thank you guys. The first was Jabberwocky, a friend of mine I know from the Reaper forum. So, especially for him, a review of the jabberslythe model. Sorry Sean, don’t have any jabberwocky miniature to present it.

The original text was published at Chest of Colors site. This one here is a slightly modified version.

Jabberslythe is a Games Workshop model following the “We-need-big-monsters” trend assumed some time ago by that company. It was released as a part of their (in)famous Finecast range of resin miniatures.

This huge beast, barely fitting the 100 x 50 mm base it comes with, is packed in the standard GW box. Its size is also well reflected in pricing. You can buy Jabberslythe for 42 GBP (69 USD, 55 €). For that price you will get 14 pieces requiring cleaning and assembly and a plastic rectangular base. These bits are of course attached to few sprues. Frankly speaking, all the stories about quality of Finecast models caused that I was pretty nervous while checking my copy of Jabberslythe. After all, that’s a lot of money I paid for it. The first quick look was actually pretty reassuring, but then I’ve started to check every single piece.

As you can see, there are no problems with the cast. Bits are clean, details quite crisp, no air bubbles. What happened to the frame though?

It’s so heavily deformed, that in few cases resin bits connecting elements within the sprue were broken. I’m pretty sure that all this had an impact on shape of individual pieces. We’ll get back to it later. Another frame, another issue. Lots of flash requiring cutting off. Nothing really problematic, but it will add some time during preparation of the mini for painting.

More examples of deformed frames and flash:

There are not many mould lines, but some of them will be annoying to remove, especially one across teeth of the beast. I haven’t seen any air bubbles on bigger surfaces, but it is really clear that GW has problems with smaller, thinner elements.

You can see that spikes are cast poorly. Such imperfection could be found on almost every similar piece of this model. My first thought was that this is not a real problem, as it is a chaos monster. Casting mistakes like broken spikes can easily by justified or hidden (e.g. air bubble is a wound leaking with blood). What would happen though if I bought a slick eldar tank or elven mage? I guess I wouldn’t be too happy in such case. After checking quality of the cast I tried to fit few elements. There are several pieces with pegs or slots which should make assembly easy.

It should, but it doesn’t. Gaps between different parts are sometimes extremely wide. I wonder if deformations shown above contributed to this problem.

Man, you will need a lot of putty to fill these! Many companies already proved that you actually can cast a multi-part model which requires just a minimal amount of gap filling. GW, please, ask them how to do it or at least add some green stuff to every box!

The sculpt itself is nothing special. I usually like big monsters, and this one is no exception, but some of the painters may be looking for something more… sophisticated. On the other hand, it’s a model provided for gamers and it will sure look impressive on the gaming table.

So, do I recommend this model? Well, if you’re not a gamer, there are more interesting alternatives for your collection on the market. If you’re a gamer (with a WFB Beastmen army) you’ll probably get this one no matter what I’ve written here.

As a final word I’d like to repeat my request: GW, get to work and improve the quality!

Now, do you know any other company, any, which keeps releasing substandard, overpriced products, yet customers come back for more? Failed casts are not and cannot be a surprise anymore, yet I hear this all the time: "Man, I got  trash from them again".

Again? Why don't you do what you do with any supplier of faulty products and services - change it!

That's the power of Games Workshop. You will come back for more.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fool's Day

"Calculation is simple - 15 elements in 6 months make for a 2.5 element per month".

Very simple, though you need to count March, April, May, June and July as 6 months.

April Fool's Day. April My Day.

Oh well, 15 elements in 5 months, so I need to finish 3 elements each month. Anyone cares to do a check run for me, just in case?

Nameless Guard - MARCH to Victory

It's about time to summarise my progress on Nameless Guard. As you know, I divided my army into 15 individual elements - units and war machines. Calculation is simple - 15 elements in 6 months make for a 2.5 element per month.

With this in mind I planned 3 elements for March. Two units of plague marines would give me a solid base for my army. Solid and playable! Two "Troops" with one of the bosses promoted temporarily to "Headquarters" comprise a basic 40K army. To that I added a dreadnought to give myself a short break from painting marines.

I knew I had to come up with a quick painting method. I'd started painting miniatures 15 years ago or more, and I've never been able to finish a full army. Painting similar models to a high quality was like a hell to me. If Nameless Guard is to be completed by the end if July I had to drop my dreams of a showcase army and stick to something realistic - a painted army. So, I worked out a technique that works perfectly for me. I called it the "zenithal drybrush" method. Shortly - with consecutive drybrushed layers painted over a black base at selected parts of miniatures I build up a high contrast and strong zenithal lighting effect. Toxic mud bases were as simple and easy as paintjobs. I'll try to prepare a step-by-step tutorial to show you how quick it can be.

All in all, I think I found a way to produce an army that will not win any contest, but will look good on the table top. What's more, during the first month I managed to exceed my plans by painting an additional hellbrute. So, after March I have ~25% of my army painted! I start to believe that this whole thing may be a huge personal success...