Saturday 31 January 2009

Early Citadel Monsters

This weekend I have been sorting through some of my collection of unpainted miniatures with an aim to selling them on E-bay. While searching the attic, I came across these very early painted Citadel Monsters and have uploaded the images here. Please note that these are not for sale.

The miniatures show my early painting style/styles. Although I am never sure that I have improved that much!!!!

Photo One - is a Citadel Hill or Stone Troll, mounted on to a Milliput rock, which in turn is mounted on to a 40mm square, plastic base. The ground work is sculpted Milliput. (I have no idea why I painted the hair ginger!)

Photo Two - is a Gourgaz Leader from the LONE WOLF adventure books by Joe Denver and Gary Chalk. This miniature was picked up some time ago from a bring-and-buy stall and the axe was missing. I sculpted a club in its place. The base is thick plastic card - 30mm x 30mm.

Photo Three - is an early Citadel Demon, with the base sculpted from Milliput and is in fact mounted on to two 25mm x 50mm bases, placed next to one another.

Photo Four - is a Zoat, I think a Zoat Magic User? The miniature is mounted on to a 40mm square, plastic base.


Thursday 29 January 2009

Flash Gordon - Unfinished Projects

Now that the Amber Shrine Board is finished, I can begin to catch up on my backlog of unfinished projects. The main bulk of these models support my growing collection of 40mm Flash Gordon miniatures. I use a very wide range of manufacturers to supplement my 40mm Graven Images, Cliffhanger collection.

The first section show figures that have at least been undercoated!

Photo One - is a Walkapuss, produced by the American manufacturer Lance & Laser. The miniature is mounted onto a 40mm round base and basecoated black for the body and white for the head!

Photo Two - is a miniature that was given away with the now closed-down modelling magazine Harbinger. I have tried to paint this miniature on two separate occasions and both time felt that the flesh colour and detail was not right - maybe third time lucky.

Photo Three - is from Flashing Blades, a 40mm Portuguese Officer, with remodelled laser pistol. The miniature still needs a lot of work and the hair colour will need to be changed.

Photo Four - the Ethereal Aliens. These are Ents from the Irish manufacturer Mithril.

The second section are all plastic miniatures from various CMG or toy manufacturers.

Photo Five - I am sure that this one is from The Star Wars set - a Minor Brute.

Photo Six - a Bogeyman from Monster-in-my-Pocket, based and undercoated.

Photo Seven - a miniature from the new World of Warcraft CMG.

Photo Eight - a Bronze Dragon from D&D.

The third section are bare metal miniatures.

Photo Nine - Baboons from Lance & Laser.

Photo Ten - a selection of 1/43rd (40mm) miniatures from El viejo Dragon Miniatures, a pair of nude Hoplites and a Whip's Girl. See;

Photo Eleven - Ral Partha Giant, bought of E-bay and destined to be painted as a Frost Giant.

Photo Twelve - a Foundry Sky Elf, once again bought of E-bay.

I would hope that the miniatures would be painted up very soon, however I am realistic enough to know that my modelling projects do not always go in chronological order or to plan.

Keep watching for Aeronef, Space 1889 and Flintloque projects.


Wednesday 28 January 2009

Christmas 2008 Project - The Amber Shrine Board Finished

Nearly one month overdue, the 2 foot x 2 foot terrain board is now finished.

Photos One, Two, Three and Four show the completed skirmish board from each of the four corners. The photos taken outdoors and in natural light give a great impression of the naturalistic groundwork I was attempting with this project. For better images, please click on each of the photos.

Photo Five - this is the first time that I have photographed the board from this angle, giving a 'birds eye' view of the stone shrine and monolith as well as showing the random flocking and ground foam vegetation.

Photos Six, Seven and Eight - are three images showing the shrine in greater detail as well as adding a figure/figures to highlight the scale of the finished piece (the Hawkmen are converted Graven Images 40mm miniatures with body parts and wings taken from a Foundry Sky Elf).

The static grass is from TSS mixed with a small amount of Games Workshop static grass applied over diluted PVA glue. I tried to paint the glue in a random 'snake-like' pattern while still allowing the grey rubble to show through. The ground foam areas are two shades and grades of foam from my spares box (manufacturer unknown, but I suspect Woodlands Scenics). The foam was mixed with PVA glue, distilled water and flow improver then applied with a couple of wooden coffee stirrers, once fully dry, the clumps are very strong and resilient.

The final two photos, Photo Nine and Ten - show the novel feature of this terrain piece - the fact that the monolith can be lit from within with some Christmas decoration lights powered by a small battery pack built into the base of the tile. These two photos were taken indoors and without a flash.

The terrain piece was initially inspired by a Privateer Press terrain making article in the magazine No Quarter, however I feel the piece is generic enough to be used in Pulp, Horror, Fantasy or my preferred gaming genre Flash Gordon. I hope that you agree.

There you have it - the Amber Shine Board, finished. I hope that readers have found the whole construction sequence interesting and informative. Thanks for taking an interest.


Monday 26 January 2009

Christmas 2008 Project - The Amber Shrine Board part sixteen

The next stage was to paint the rubble. I used the same paints as earlier posts and while my Wife watched Sunday night TV, I sat (quietly) at the dinning table and painted hundreds of individual stones, first Charcoal, then Medium Grey and later Pale Grey. The whole experience took about three hours, but an enjoyable three hours, not rushing and taking my time, cherishing the fact that I could paint in the house, admittedly with lots of newspaper placed on the table!

I find that this part of the project is very therapeutic and the main issue is knowing when to stop!

Photos One and Two - show the progress so far. The grey painted stones help to dilute the effect of a plain brown basecolour, as well as adding interest. I have the same effect on the Rock Kings Throne Room Board (see earlier posts).

Photos Three, Four and Five - show the effect in greater detail. Remember that once the painting and varnishing is finished I will be adding static grass and ground foam vegetation.

Photo Six - since the above photos were taken the whole board has been varnished with Galeria Acrylic Matt Varnish. I used my Paasche single action airbrush and diluted the matt varnish with water (3 parts varnish, 1 part distilled water and a drop of flow improver).

Note; For every five photos I take, I upload about three, the reasons are varied, out of focus or the same stage of construction but taken from a different angle. I would be interested to hear comments as to how many photos is the right amount for a project like this?

In addition I am attempting to finish the board before the start of February, given that I am so far behind plan, I felt I needed to 'draw a line' under this terrain project before moving into yet another month.


Sunday 25 January 2009

Christmas 2008 Project - The Amber Shrine Board part fifteen

Earlier today I painted the main groundwork. It took about three hours from start to finish with part of the time being spent waiting for the initial coat to dry.

Photos One and Two - are pretty self explanatory, a dark brown base colour painted with a large round brush and a smaller pointed brush for painting around the detail.

Photo Three - shows the paints used, Anita's Burnt Umber and Game Colour Charred Brown.

Photos Four and Five - show the first drybrushing, painted with a couple of large synthetic children's brushes. The aim at this stage of construction is to get good overall cover, with some variation in colour.

Photo Six - Lists the two Game Colour paints used - they are; Charred Brown and Cobra Brown. (Sorry for the poor photo).

The groundwork received one additional layer of light drybrushing (not shown) which was Cobra Brown and tube acrylic White. I have also noticed how the stonework, when photographed in natural light looks blue/grey, when in artificial light the colour is much more neutral grey!


Friday 23 January 2009

Christmas 2008 Project - The Amber Shrine Board part fourteen

The first two photos show how work has progressed, with the grey stone areas receiving a number of lighter drybrushings and the decorative terracotta layer painted with red and orange acrylic paint.

Photo Three - shows the paints used for the stone areas, they are; Anita's Charcoal 11086, Anita's Grey 11043, DecoArt Westport Grey and Reeves tube acrylic Titanium White. The paint was applied from a scrap cardboard palette with a large, flat (children's) brush in a scrubbing and traditional drybrushing action.

Photo Four - shows the varied selection of paints used for the terracotta layer, they are; Anita's Burnt Umber 11027, Game Colour Bloody Red, Game Colour Hot Orange and Games Workshop Sunburst Yellow. Each of these colours were applied with a medium detailing brush, well diluted and mixed in various proportions to add some variety. Once dry, the area was washed with a brown/black wash.

Photo Five - shows the finished grey stone work and terracotta layer in greater detail. I have painted the entire board indoors under artificial lighting and initially felt that the grey was a little too 'muddy'. Now that I have seen the board in direct sunlight, I am much happier with the effect, however I still plan on adding some coloured glazes or washes, to break up the uniform colour.

The painting in this section has taken about two hours and I am very pleased with the results so far.


Thursday 22 January 2009

Christmas 2008 Project - The Amber Shrine Board part thirteen

The first two photos show the stonework basecoated and washed. The paint used was Anita's Acrylic Craft Paint and was applied with a large round brush. The next stage will be drybrushing with lighter greys.

The two colours used for the base are un-diluted Burnt Umber 11027 and Charcoal 11086, mixed in a ratio of one part Burnt Umber to five or six parts Charcoal. (The exact mix was varied to give a more natural stone colour). It needed up to three coats to get a good even coverage.

I have also washed the whole structure with a wash of five parts distilled water and five parts Klear, with a spot of flow improver and a dash of dark brown and black acrylic paint.

The paint was bought from Hobbycraft, Droitwich (The Webbs Garden Centre Store) for 95p per bottle - very good value for terrain painting! The basecoating has taken about 3 hours work over a period of one week, as I have had to wait for the paint to dry in the cold and wet weather.

I realise that the whole project is well behind schedule, but I am pleased that it is still moving along and keeping me interested.


Saturday 17 January 2009

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

The trilogy of books by Joe Abercrombie of which The Blade Itself is the first was introduced to me last year by my brother-in-law and my daughter, both of whom raved about the fantastic storytelling. I read book one during the autumn and personally thought it a little slow, however over the Christmas break I started and finished Book two Before they are hanged and the story really takes hold, moving at quite a pace with some very well written battle scenes.

I have now started book three Last Argument of Kings and find myself not wanting to put it down.

A Fantasy trilogy in the same style as The Lord of the Rings, with a gritty, adult text that adds to the quest and story, with believable characters and back stories. I thoroughly recommend all three.


Wednesday 14 January 2009

Christmas 2008 Project - The Amber Shrine Board part twelve

The latest post is more of an up-date rather than a full entry. The groundwork has now been completed. I have used two distinct grades - a rough stone scatter, picked up from a building site and a fine sand scatter. Both have been added over a coat of dilute PVA glue and further 'wetted' with a hand spray of water and dishwashing liquid.

Photo One - shows the groundwork in greater detail. In addition you will notice the ornamental urns, which came from the same plastic game set that the horses heads statues came from, one of the urns was split into two with the aid of a hammer and chisel. The plastic pieces do not take glue or paint very well and I have had some issues getting either to stick.

Photo Two - shows the battery housing built in to the base of the tile. The electrical lead goes through the base and up in to the plastic monolith.

Photos Three and Four - show the board with all construction work finished. The next step will be painting.