Sneak Peek – Imperial Knights

I have two more Imperial Knights in the assembly line (to make a nice round army of five Knights), so here’s a sneak peek!

Two built but unpainted Imperial Knights
And a sneak peek of my messy desk!

The Knights use Forge World heads – I already used the heads I liked from the kit, so it was time for some new ones. Also, the Knight on the left had a base decorated with the wreckage of a Warlord Titan! But no worries – I didn’t wreck a Warlord Titan model, I made some quick partial molds of chunks of the Warlord Titan, then cast those to make some wrecked pieces. (Hopefully, that doesn’t land me in any trouble with Games Workshop!)

More to come when these two (Veneratus, left, and Victoria, right) are finished!

Angels of Condemnation, Part 3

It’s probably boring just to see painted Terminators without any commentary or advice or tutorials or anything. But I am painting up a storm this year, and I want to post about it. Here’s five more of the Angels of Condemnation!

Angel #1, front view
First up, a guy wearing an apron! There’s a lot of guys wearing aprons in this army… in fact, this particular apron… because I made this army by cutting up four of the same single-pose miniatures over and over again!

Continue reading Angels of Condemnation, Part 3

The Wolf King, Painted!

Fans of the blog know I’m not an avid painter. I don’t think I’m bad at it, I’m just always wishy-washy about starting… because I’m afraid I’ll mess it up.

When we last left the Wolf King (3 years ago), he was scratch-built but unpainted. I am happy to say he has now been painted.

After laying down a base layer, I took a picture (to remind myself that these paint jobs look terrible at first):

Base layer for the Wolf King
Yuck. That’s just awful.

From there, the work improved. I was going to try and paint him (and my other Space Wolf-wannabes) in white armor, but… I do not like the way that looks, it turns out. So, the Wolf King ended up more of a gray color. Voila!

The Wolf King, front view
Behold!
The Wolf King, rear view
The view from the back!

The Black Legion Chaos Terminator Lord that lies cut in half at his feet also came out pretty nice!

Wolf King, base decor
Ewwwww

And here’s where his power fist ended up…

The Wolf King, more base decor
It’s amazing the Wolf King didn’t get any of that blood on his armor, huh?

I sculpted a lot of things by hand, like his hair, bear, and some the fur at his shoulders, waist, and leg. Unfortunately, I think you can easily tell…

Wolf King, view of face
BEWARE THE CHUNKY BEARD OF THE WOLF KING!

All in all, I’m happy with how it turned out, despite some of the sculpting things I don’t like. But, considering how many times I reworked this figure, I guess it’s pretty darn good. I don’t like it as much as my Terminator Chaplain paint job, but it’s still good.

Comments are welcome!

WIP: Ork Big Mek

I’ve been working on a custom (“kustom”?) ork ‘Big Mek’ leader model. The existing model is pretty cool, but I wanted a beefier-looking mek, not just a little dude. So, I used a ork ‘nob’ body, some bitz from various ork kits, including a nifty head from a stormboy, as well as a bit of guitar string for the cable. So far, so good… but I feel like he needs a bit more.

Here’re some photos!

Big Mek 1
The Big Mek doesn't carry much in the way of weapons, but that's a fully armed and operation 'kustom force field' on his back!
Big Mek 2
A shot of the kustom force field, with his 'choppa' blade tucked underneath it.
Big Mek 3
This Big Mek is also wearing 'eavy armor, which I detailed using various bits with metal plates and the full-face helmet.

More to come!

WIP: Ghetorix Re-pose

Ghetorix is a warpwolf character warbeast (for laypersons, he’s a big, special werewolf with an axe) for my Circle Orboros army. Naturally, I didn’t like the way his wrists looked in his default pose. I say “naturally” because I tend to find flaws in every model that I am then motivated to convert to my own liking.

So, here’s Privateer Press’s photo of Ghetorix:

Ghetorix
Notice his left wrist? I don't like its angle. It is goofy.

So… I had to change him. And that meant cutting his axe in half, then sculpting new handle wrapping in Green Stuff, and then pinning him together… and then taking terrible pictures of him because his axe is heavy and he’s not based yet.

Ghetorix 1
Oh man, what a crappy photo of my work. So crappy. Bad angle. He's leaning. What was I thinking taking this photo? What I am thinking posting it here?
Ghetorix 2
This is a much better picture, which shows how badass this axe is, and it shows that my sculpting work isn't too bad.

Next, Ghetorix needs a FABULOUS base, because all special character werewolf types need a FABULOUS base. I just have no idea what that base should be…

Coming soon… some posts with painting, and some things not about minis, but about some other aspect of gaming… hopefully.

Reposing the Ravager

I still have a lot of content to post, but no time to post it in! But, for the sake of keeping up with the blogging if nothing else, here’s a quick post about reposing a metal barbarian.

The upside of certain plastic minis kits, like the Grey Knights for instance, is getting a bunch of arms and legs and putting them together however you like. This used to make for less dynamic models, but most of the newest Games Workshop plastic kits actually produce very dynamic (and detailed) miniatures while allowing lots of different possibilities.

With metal kits, like the Tharn Ravagers, you get very detailed miniatures but limited possibilities. With the Tharn Ravagers, there are actually only three poses. So, when buying a box of 4, you get two with the same pose.

I kinda hate that.

In response to the hate, I put effort into trying to make each figure unique. Previous to the existence of this blog, I fiddled with my Tharn Bloodtrackers enough to make the unit look pretty heterogeneous, but that was a bit easier than the beefy Tharn Ravagers will be.

I assembled three of the four as normal, but the fourth got some heavy modification. First, I used a pair of pliers and a pair of clippers to bend out the arms. But let me give you some tips on how I did this. First, check out the tools:

Tools!
A Leatherman Skeletool and a cheap pair of clippers.

These tools both have large open areas. When bending a metal mini, the last thing you want to do is clamp down on the detail areas – it will irrevocably mar the miniature. Instead, I settled the lower and upper arms into the open areas in each tool, behind the cutting/gripping tips. This wasn’t easy, but it let me bend the model’s arm without ruining the detail. Here are the results (click for larger versions):

Ravagers
Original pose is on the left, repose is on the right.
Ravager
Here you can see where I clipped the left arm to actually separate the upper and lower arm so it could be bent. I'll probably have to clean this up with some green stuff.
Ravagers
Another angle!

The modified Ravager is headless, but I intend to give him some unique Green Stuff addons to further distinguish the two, possibly including a headdress or hood.

The metal is basically at the breaking point, so I’m going to beef up the arms with decorative elements that will serve to strengthen the arms at the elbows and shoulders. I have a lot of fun trying to use Green Stuff to reinforce the model while making it look cooler. We’ll see if I can work that in this case.

More to come!

Reposing the Woldwarden, Part 3

And now Part 3, the last installment of Reposing the Woldwarden!

In the last part, I explained that the body wouldn’t fit in between the hip plates on the legs, so I had to separate them. With the legs separated further, I could fit the torso piece in there:

Torso Power!
And, of course, the torso was mounted on a big ol' pin, because I am a pinning junkie.
Front View!
Here's a quick front view.

Now my plodding woldwarden is starting to come together. The arms were stuck on pins, of course, and placed into the sockets without much problem at all:

Arms!
This photo was taken with my iPhone, so it sucks. I think I lowered the left arm a bit after this picture was taken, giving the Woldwarden more of a "in the process of a slam" pose.

So, with the arms on, the last step was the head. Normally, the head fits on perpendicular to the shoulders. This would’ve resulted in a very bad look for my warden, who would’ve been staring at the ground. You could say, “Oh, Chuck, he’s checking to make sure he doesn’t trip over any roots or vines,” but we all know the Woldwarden has Pathfinder.

The solution – a pin! I first drilled a hole in the neck area of the torso. Then, I drilled a hole in the back of the warden’s head. By doing that, I was able to bend the pin once the glue set, putting the head at the precise angle I wanted. With that, my woldwarden looked like he was performing a solid slam maneuver against the enemy:

SLAM!
SLAM!

With that, the pose was done. The woldwarden is ready to go! But the angle at which he was standing wasn’t making me happy. So, using Apoxie Sculpt, I made him a nice rock to stand on, shoring up his overall body angle to be a bit more upright:

The Final Pose
The rock gave him just the angle I was looking for!

And here’s the finished woldwarden from the front! I am extremely pleased with this repose – sure, his arms are swaying in the same direction as his lead foot, but that’s why I think of this as a “slam” pose, rather than a walking or running pose. Maybe he just smashed through some obstacle. Maybe he just knocked a poor `Jack off his feet. Or maybe he’s just striking a sweet pose for the Circle Orboros yearbook. Regardless, the arm and the head are just great.

Finished!
"Hi there. Looking for some POW 15 fists? Cause I got those."

And with that, the woldwarden repose is finished! Of course, he has to be painted, and I’m still trying to practice and get better at that. But when I do get to painting my fancy guys, I’ll post pictures here!

Reposing the Woldwarden, Part 2

More woldwarden! In the next step, I cut the right arm above the elbow, in the wood part… where it would be easy to cover up the cut with Green Stuff.

Woldwarden Arm
I cut the arm with a rotary tool with a cutting wheel. It goes a little faster than a jeweler's saw, it's easier than trying to clip it, and it makes a basically clean cut.

I liked the shoulder joint, so with this cut, I can spin the forearm inward to make the pose a bit more… sensible. So, I drill a tiny hole in each piece of the arm, stick in a pin, glue it up, and get the following:

Arm back together
This didn't want to hold, so I had to glue it two or three times.

Now, back to the legs. Each leg, at the hip, has a plate along the woldwarden’s side that sticks up. At the angle I had glued the legs, the chest piece wouldn’t fit into between those two plates. This put me in a dilemma… I could clip the plates, or bend them, but I decided to just pull the legs further apart.

I put a longer pin in, and then tried to fill the gap with Green Putty. This was basically successful. Here’s a photo:

Woldwarden legs
The codpiece there is off-kilter, but you can't even notice it on the finished pose.

To make sure the pose would look alright when actually standing up, I stuck the legs in some wax. The wax is from a Babybel cheese – it works great for holding something for a bit (except the wax sometimes has to be wiped off the piece). In this picture, you can also see the first half of pinning on the body.

Woldwarden legs
Cheese wax! Lots of things come in handy on the minis workbench.

And here’s a side view:

Woldwarden Legs Again
You can see the woldwarden's gait is going to be a bit ponderous, but that makes sense for a giant made of rock and wood.

Next on Reposing the Woldwarden… putting it all together!

 

Reposing the Woldwarden, Part 1

It’s inevitable – when you love miniatures as much as I do, you will come across a lot of minis whose pose or look you don’t like. Sometimes, it’s specifically the appearance of a face, or a piece of armor, or a weapon. Somtimes, it’s just the pose.

So let’s talk about the woldwarden.

The woldwarden is a great-looking piece from the folks at Privateer Press for the Hordes game. This is my first Hordes & Warmachine post, but I ‘ve had an army from the Circle Orboros faction – a secretive group of murderous druids, cannibal barbarians, and their various warbeasts – for a few years now. I enjoy the Circle, as I’ve always been a fan of fantasy druids in most any setting, and their collection of wolfmen and natural constructs are appealing.

The woldwarden is a mighty construct made of wood and inscribed stone, towering over the battlefield with their mighty stone fists. Unfortunately, their sculpted pose is really goofy. I present Exhibit A:

Or he might be doing the Charleston. Or he might be one of those gameshow ladies who point their arms toward a product.

I don’t like the pose. First off, obviously, what’s his right arm doing? Is that supposed to be threatening? His footing is another concern – it looks kind of like he’s walking a tight-rope, since his right foot is a little too in-line with his left foot. Another problem with the model (which I don’t correct in my repose) is that the leading arm is the same as the leading foot. But that’s not how bipeds walk – the leading arm is the opposite of the leading foot when walking or running. Now, perhaps he’s meant to be shoulder-checking someone, which would mean he leads with the same shoulder as his leading foot, but… well, anyway, the pose just doesn’t sit well with me.

So recently, I added a woldwarden to my collection in pursuit of “fleshing” out my army with constructs. (Get it? Fleshing? Constructs? See, constructs don’t have flesh, so… y’know… it’s funny.) I knew even before I received my metal monstrosity that I would be reposing it. However, rather than really going crazy and cutting every knee and elbow, I decided to do as few cuts as possible. (If I add a second woldwarden in the future, I promise to go all-out.) Here’s how that started.

First, here’s another angle on the legs as they’re supposed to fit together:

Woldwarden legs
A different angle than the "official" image above, where you can see the legs want to tilt in towards each other.

In this angle, you can see better (I think) why I don’t quite like the leg pose. To make this an easy fix, I’ll just splay out the legs more to give him a, uh… “wide stance.”

woldwarden legs 2
This is attempt #1. Later, I learn I have to separate the legs more. Hooray!

That’s a start! But for the rest of the process, you’ll have to wait for the next installment.

Next Time on Reposing the Woldwarden: Fixing that awful right arm pose, widening the stance a bit more, and visualizing the final pose.