Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Accidents in Malifaux

At some point last year, I realized I was behind the trends in painting. Of course, the big trends have always been mostly the same: wet blending, NMM, dipping, Airbrushing, etc. However, the one I had completely overlooked until recently was washes.


I have used inks for a long time and still keep a bottle of Chestnut and a really old bottle of Flesh 

Ink. However, about a year ago, when I started working on Malifaux models, I picked up some washes after hearing about the magic of Devlan Mud.


Like any technique, washes need a bit of practice before you understand exactly how to use them and now that I've had some time to with them, I'm starting to get excited to bring them back to my Space Hulk and Necro projects.


One of my experiments with washes is The Dreamer. I picked him up somewhat randomly, as he'd been mixed in with my Puppet Wars models and, looking at the white basecoat, I thought I'd have a go at him.


What I'm left with is a model undercoated white and painted entirely with washes. Sepia for his hair, Umber for his nightshirt, red for his blanket and a mix of blue, red and umber for his skin. So, to clarify, no paint went on this model at all.

The effect is close to what I wanted and he looks almost like a ghost. I have some more work to do on him and I am thinking about some more modeling (I don't like his lips….he may be more creepy if I take away his lips), but overall, for five minutes worth of painting, I am quite impressed.


So yeah. Washes. Very cool.


More to come,




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Necro On the Web: and Yes, More Puppets

One of my hobby goals this year is to grow my presence in the hobby community, both online and in the scary 'real world.'  Last year I started this process by attending both Adepticon and Gencon (and spending a truly unreasonable amount of money). While Adepticon was largely just a 'lurking' trip for me, I caught a glimpse at GenCon of a world where I am truly active in the community at large and I liked it. This year the goal is to take this a step further by attending both conventions again, playing while I'm there and getting out to my local groups more than once or twice every couple of months.
I know...Scary...

Meanwhile, on the online side of things, I've been working to get more traffic to the blog and to get an idea of what else is out there. The right side of the blog was set up originally as a way to track similar blogs and sites with a lot of high quality Necromunda content. However, what I've found is that most of this content has little to do with Necromunda or Specialist Games. That's what I'm out to change.

I've been hitting up various forums to get an idea of what exists out there in terms of Necromunda blogs and groups. Soon, I hope to have at least a few quality regular blogs to add to my roll as well as some high quality threads and forums I can link to. This will be an ongoing process, but I think, with a little work, I can turn this blog into a hub of sorts from which you can access all kinds of interesting projects, guest articles and other content.

The other half of the equation comes from actually growing the hobby. I've said it before, but one of the things I like best about Necromunda is that it is now a game that is controlled by the players. When you get into Necromunda, you have the ability to choose what rules you'll use, what models and exactly how you play.

This means Necromunda is fertile ground for new rules, campaigns and all manner of additional materials, as has already been demonstrated by the large amount of content already out on the web. Soon I'll be adding my contribution to the future of the game, as well as updating some of my rules published in the various Specialist Game publications of days passed. For right now, though, some more pictures will have to do.

Puppet Wars

The project continues and I have now well crossed the 10% mark for painted puppets. This week sees some particularly cute additions to the toybox.

The first time I saw the above photo, a preview photo from GenCon a full year before Puppet Wars released, I saw the Piglet puppet and immediately knew this was a game I was going to own. Long before any playtesting or seeing any of the models close up, the piglet just shouted at me from that little picture.

That said, I didn't go with that paint scheme for my first. While I think my second Piglet will be similar to the one in the picture, I wanted something very bright and completely distinctive for the first piglet. The funny thing about Puppet Wars is that some of the models are very easy to paint and some are very detailed. This little guy was tiny, but covered in stitches, making the final touches more complex than I'd expected.
The Guild Hound was basecoated while I was still trying to work with non-metallic metals. This is one of those models that would not look good as a giant silver blob in my opinion, so instead I gave him more of a wrought iron look.  A bit of rust was added to the joints simply with thinned down Parasite Brown(vallejo).
Finally this week is Pandora. For some reason, I have a hard time with purple. Both Pandora and her Sorrows, which are on my paint desk now, have given me problems finding just the right shade. In the end I think I got it, and used the same wrought iron / non metallic metal look for the frame of her box. That makes two masters down, three to go.

Thanks for taking the time to check out the blog and feel free to leave any comments.

More to come.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

PUP-date: Get It? Ugh.

Okay, I'll admit it. That has to be a new low in horrible puppet puns. As I write this I am debating taking that title down and doing something a bit more clever and less completely stupid, but at this point the stupid is almost charming and I now it's far too late.

Anyway, here's a novel thing for a blog about painting: I actually managed to sit down and do some painting! It feels good, but a little strange. Anyway, here's the update.


Since my trip back to Colorado for the holidays, I have been eager to get back to my roots with Necromunda. Colorado always puts me in the mood for Necro, with all my old friends and the same old gaming groups. When I go back to my old store, I still see my a large percentage of my terrain collection, sitting in a celebrated and 'special access only' section of the gaming room. I find this very cool. When my brother and I visited the store, Gamer's Haven in Colorado Springs, CO, we found that, in addition to all the nice terrain, the shelves are stacked with all the simple terrain we'd built over the years. There's something quite fun in the moment you realize a piece of terrain you built 15 years ago is still being used in games. Then you feel old when you realize the players are roughly the same age as that piece of terrain.

I've thrown in a couple old pictures of the aforementioned terrain. These are from one of those large scenarios that really make people remember Necromunda. The game involved more than a dozen players, over 70 zombies and one massive spider. It was a simple scenario based on "I Survived the Zombie Lair," but made for a memorable game. One day I'll have to create a full write up on it.
For now, my craving for Necro has been satiated with a trip through my collection of Plano cases, thinking about what gangs I want to build and which ones I want to strip and repaint. The trick with Necro is that I get too deeply engrossed in too many projects, so I'll have to make sure I choose one gang at a time, work it to completion and move on. This has worked for the last few gangs I finishd and is the only way I'll get anything done.

Puppet Wars

Yes I've been working on Puppet Wars, so at least that horrible pun above won't go to waste. These models continue to be fun to paint and I the game is a blat. Despite my puppet count sitting somewhere in the 80s now (I'm gonna sell some of them) I still look at the project as something I can accomplish quickly. Delusion, you say? Well maybe. But I like how simple these puppets are to paint, while still being detailed enough that I can get some good practice on a variety of techniques.

So, updates.
The Ronin is first up. As you can see, I've decided not to go through with Non-Metallic Metals on the puppets. There are some models that require more attention and will look better with NMM, but by and large, I am going to save this for my Malifaux stuff. The reality is that, between washes and all the new techniques I've been workig on, metallics are much easier to work with and will allow me to finish the models much faster.

That said, here is the latest work I've done with NMM on the Witchling Stalker. I'm starting to get the hang of the technique and the large knife and chain on this model were great practice. This guy was just plain fun and I'm glad I have another one waiting for me.

Next on the list is LadyJ. This was actually the first puppet I started painting, but I set her aside when one of her legs broke. After playing in the P-wars tournament at Gencon where I frantically glued models into their bases, some of the models were damaged when I went back to clean the models and mount them on their painting bases. I fixed this easily enough by removing her entire right leg up to the pant and replacing it with a brass rod. I did the same with Pokey Vik and they both seem to be holding together well.

The Cherub was a nice break in thi group of mostly drap colors. His wings are simply undercoated white, with dark bits based in Charadon Granite. The quill of each feather is picked out in dark brown and the whole thing gets a Devlan Mud (Umber wash in Vallejo-speak). Just a small highlight picks out the detail and he's done.

Finally, there's the Razorspine Rattler. I went with my tried and true technique for rusty metal here. In Vallejo colors, I start with a basecoat of dark flesh and washed it with Umber just to pick out the details. From there, I stippled Dark Flesh, then Parasite Brown, Fiery Orange and finally picked out some edges in Boltgun Metal. I'll be using the brassy color on is jaw for Malifaux and its pretty easy to achieve. I basecoated GW Tin Bitz (is that not around anymore?) washed black, highlighted Tin Bitz, then Tin Bitz mixed with Gold (the darker one). 

In the next couple of days, I'll be completing another three puppets, my first Piglet, Pandora and the Guild Hound. Once complete, I'll be over 10% complete with the puppets. Long way to go...

More to come.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year! Now What?

So here we are, already in a new year. 2011 proved to be a pretty big year for me, both in terms of my hobby and real life. Between my new daughter (and how cute is she, by the way), an exciting new job and travel to both Adepticon and Gencon I don’t think I’ve been as busy for years. In terms of hobby, I’ve spent a lot of money, met a lot of people and even played a few games. Now it’s time to move onto 2012 which promises to be a big year for my hobby and the blog.

After my trip to Colorado to spend the holidays with family, I have come back re-energized and ready to get back to the painting table. Hanging out with all my old friends really gets me excited to work on Necromunda again and now all I have to decide is what I am going to focus on in the coming months. I thought a good way to start then, would be for me to go over all my projects and get an idea of where I am with everything and where I would like to go with the new year.

I started last year on a break with Necromunda and I haven’t really had a chance to look back for the last several months. Being back in my old gaming store, where all my old terrain found a new home, I was heavily inspired to get back to the Underhive. While this may not take shape on my painting table per se, the blog is really going to find more focus on Necromunda, including everything from new rules to ideas for mini-campaigns and updates on gangs I created before the blog existed. I have a lot of models and massive amount of terrain I am eager to show off.

Space Hulk
Oh, Space Hulk. This project became a lot more complex than I’d originally expected and has essentially slowed to a crawl. What started as a simple set of Marines and Genestealers really turned into a labor of love and now, when I show the models to others, I hear they are some of the best I’ve done. Even as I’ve been painting the terminators I’ve been learning new techniques. It seems strange but I’ve only begun working with washes since Malifaux, which means I have a host of new tricks I can use when I come back to the darkened corridors of the Desolation of Hope.

Malifaux has taken a great deal of my attention this year. I jumped into the game with both feet and ended up in over my head with about 5 different crews of varying size. The first of these, the Viktoria’s, maintain a constant position on my painting table and I’ve been having a blast experimenting with a flavor of model that is very different from anything GW. Malifaux has also given me my first real opportunity at gaming this year and I’ve been to several local stores to play. With the new year my hope is to have one or two crews painted and ready to play and I am well on my way to this goal.

Puppet Wars
The new guy in the room has been Puppet Wars and this great little game has taken up the majority of my hobby time this year. From playtesting early this year, to the release at Gencon (and my first tournament in years and years), I’ve been reveling in all things Puppet Wars. While I have made the same mistake with PWars as I have with other projects (my puppet collection growing to more than 80). I hope to get all of these guys painted in the first half of this year as I am eager to get the word out there and start hosting more demo games. More than anything, I have been looking forward to Adepticon 2012, where I will see my first, fully painted Puppet War forces.

So there we have it. Plenty of work to do in the new year and no excuses for not posting here regularly, right? RIGHT?

More to come.