Between the Lines – Episode 11

Curiosity is a great thing. It keeps pushing us, humans, forward. It makes us think, imagine, invent, explore, research…

If not for the curiosity, we would still be hiding in caves, we would still be eating raw meat, we would still be afraid to go to the edge of the world. But…

Curiosity killed the cat, they also say.

Famous Last Words, part 2

Between the Lines: Famous Last Words, part 2

Thanks to Caiman for letting me use a pic of his curious model. Check his gallery to find many great armies and not only that!

Painting Hell Dorado Immortals warband – Tutorial

Welcome to the article devoted to painting a whole warband. I will try to give you a step by step photo report. And the main actors will be Immortals from Asmodee/Cipher Studios.

Stage 1: Know your models

So we spent few euro or dollars, bought some cool looking models and it is time to have a good look what did you get. Maybe there are some parts missing? Maybe there are some miscasts?

If everything is ok, then now is the last call to have an idea how to paint the warband. What theme or background story? What color scheme? What units? What bases?

In my case the answers are no theme, original red-gold scheme, all units, Scibor‘s bases. It makes putting such group easier when there is a clear idea in your head. I know I am not being original, but this is also a decision later to stick to. 😉

So I take a good look at all the miniatures and put in separate piles. I try to, without glue, put these together and see if the parts match. Now is the perfect time to think about conversions and to look for extra parts in your bits box. If you found something there, just put it on the pile.

Stage 2: Removing mould lines and putting models together

Those models are supposed to fight on the table and we all know what happens to them when transporting or falling over on the table. That is why I try to pin the parts together. Tools that I use:

The pins which will hold the parts together are done (or better cut) from paper clips:

There should be also a picture of super glue or any metal glue, that glues the metal parts in few seconds. 🙂

A word about mould lines… I hate them! To clean them, takes a lot of time, but I see no other way. This job takes plenty of time, but it is simple. Believe me, it is worth to clean the miniatures from them. Later they will take a lot of the miniatures’ beauty away. I spent 2 evenings to clean all the parts from mould lines, but this job needs to be done – even on tabletop miniatures! Now, when all the parts are separate and easy to reach, it is the best time to remove them. Later it will won’t be easier. 😉

So let’s move to some examples – this djin has be cleaned from mould lines and all the parts are together (so that I won’t forget anything).

First I try to glue the biggest parts, in this case it is the torso. You can see on the picture a small cut from pater clip (called a pin) and two holes (drilled by me) in both parts of the torso. Before you glue – try to pin the parts without glue – if it’s ok, put some glue on the parts and into the pinning holes. If not then maybe the pin is to long or the holes too small?

To be sure that you drill the holes in perfect positions on both parts, try this simple trick:

  1. Drill a hole in one part,
  2. Put some paint around the hole,
  3. Try both parts together (with your fingers, not glue),
  4. Remove the second part and you should see the exact place where to drill.

And there we have a finished cleaned and pinned djin.

While removing mould lines from a ‘froggy warrior’ I accidentally broke the lance into two parts. It happens quite often, when the parts are small and fragile.

So what did I do – first I finished removing all the mould lines:

… and drilled holes in both parts and pinned them:

I also had a bit of problems with glueing the small parts with the torso, but with the help from pincette it was much easier. Here are the horns that are supposed to go on the shoulder pads:

I stick glued and pinned models together on cork. It makes further steps, like cleaning/gap filling/painting, much easier. You can easily rotate the cork and not touch the miniature. Another benefit is that when you clean the miniature (more to come), it won’t get dirty or greasy from fingers.

At the end of this step we get something like this:

Stage 3: Preparing for painting

All miniatures are on cork, waiting to be painted. Before we go to this step, there are some more things to be done. Usually glued minis have gaps, holes that don’t look nice. With these tools I will fill them:

Here is a mercenary djin with filled gaps.

I must admit, that using liquid green stuff from Games Workshop helps a lot. Filling small gaps isn’t a problem, but sometimes the gaps are too big, just like here:

The best way is to use normal green stuff or any other putty.

Now we are almost ready with putting undercoat, almost… We were touching the miniatures with dirty hands and the miniatures need a wash, so that the undercoat spray will hold on the miniature better. It will also remove any fat or oils from manufacturing process. We just need an old tooth brush, soap and dish washing liquid.

Pour some hot water and gently wash the miniature. I had no problems will super glue losing its characteristic because of water, so I can say it is safe!

Stage 4: Priming

Give the miniatures a day or two to dry and now we can finally prime the miniatures. This time I have used the Tamiya grey primer:

The from a distance of 30cm I spray each miniature 3 times:

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  • from each side (vertically)
  • from top (from each side)
  • from below (from each side too)
  • I just hate when later there are some not covered places on a miniature and the paint doesn’t stick.

    And there you have it, now we can finally start to paint the Immortals. You may think and say that it is way too much for all those steps before painting. I think it is worth to spend 2-3 evenings longer to have no problems later.

    Stage 5: Painting human skin

    It is important to plan the painting on all miniatures in a band. I thought the best option will be to paint the biggest areas first. That is why I started with human skin.

    Step 1

    First I’ve created a base color:

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  • pink 10%
  • Bronzed Flesh 20%
  • white 10%
  • Elf Flesh 60%
  • You might wonder why a bit of pink. 🙂 Well it is because in my opinion it gives a more natural look and makes the skin look more interesting. The paint was diluted 1:1 with water, so I had to cover the skin twice with the base color.

    Step 2

    Then I gave the whole skin a wash of Ogryn Flesh and Devlan Mud in the deepest shadows.

    Step 3

    When the washed surface was really dry (I waited about 30 minutes), I covered the muscles with the base color plus I added some more white to the mix.

    Step 4

    For the final highlight I mixed 40% base color with white.

    Stage 6: Painting the creature’s skin

    Step 1

    Once again I started with making a base color:

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  • Hormagaunt Purple 20%
  • Elf Flesh 40%
  • Menoth White 40%
  • There is only a small bit of purpule, but it is very visible. It is because Hormagaunt Purple is a foundation paint and those have much more pigment in it.

    Step 2

    Leviathan Purple wash and a bit of purple + black wash in those deepest shadows.

    Step 3

    Just like with the human skin, I highlighted the muscles with base color.

    Step 4

    Top places were highlighted with 50:50 mix of base color and white.

    At this stage I think I can say I am 25% done. 🙂 That is the biggest advantage when choosing the correct order of painting – you get the results fast and you stay motivated. 🙂

    Stage 7: Painting the red clothes

    Now we come to the best part, well in my opinion, painting the red parts. I know an easy way how to paint good looking reds and now I will share my secret with you. 😉

    The secret is simple when it comes to red, there are two important things:

    1. What color is under the red,
    2. Don’t highlight the red, just darken it.

    Step 1

    As always I make a base color mix and cover the whole parts:

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  • Blood Red 30%
  • Scrab Red 50%
  • Dark Flesh 20%
  • Step 2

    To the base color I add more Blood Red and pink.

    Step 3

    For the final and brightest highlights there is just Blood Red & white.

    Step 4

    Now comes the most important part. Paint pure Blood Red diluted with water, on all those highlighted areas. Do you now see the richness of red color?

    Step 5

    To make the red looking more interesting and more contrasting. I did a wash with Blood Red wash, a bit of black, purple, Scorched Brown and dark blue. Wash the deepest areas with this mix.

    This technique seems to be very intensive, but as you can see on the pictures you don’t have to be that accurate most of the time. 🙂 Even though it is very simple, I find it excellent for table top painting.

    So now the Immortals warband is 50% finished.

    Stage 8: Bases

    As already mentioned for the bases, I have decided to buy them from Scibor Miniatures. First of all they were cleaned and washed in water and soap. To save a bit of the money I bought a set with only heads. Seven bases I did on my own, trying to keep them similar to the ready ones, using just those heads, cork and sand.

    To make basecoating and painting easier, I wrapped a bit of adhesive tape on a piece of plastic. You can also buy a two side tape, that makes the whole job much easier.

    Everything was basecoated, and since I ran out of the grey primer, I had to use black one. 🙂

    Citadel Foundation brown paint was used to paint the ground.

    And the I just highlighted the earth with Bleached Bone by drybrushing.

    The stones were base coated with Citadel Foundation grey.

    Then I drybrushed it with Codex Grey.

    Another drybrush with Games Workshop‘s Space Wolves Grey

    The last stage was to drybrush with pure Skull White only at some of the most visible places.

    The flowers were painted green and dry brushed with yellow, some static grass was ‘planted’ and the rims were painted dark brown:

    Stage 9: Painting white

    Because the miniatures were primed with grey, I didn’t have much to do here. This is how they looked after priming:

    Then I heavily diluted the Games Workshop‘s Codex Grey with a bit of blue to make a wash:

    After that I just highlighted with white:

    Stage 10: Painting metallics

    I already told you, that I paint in a way to cover the biggest surfaces first. After painting the skin, reds and white now is the time to paint some gold and silver. I was painting them together at the same time.

    For gold I first used Games Workshop‘s Shining Gold and washed it with Gryphone Sepia:

    Then with Burnished Gold I highlighted the most visible scales on the armour and shoulder pads. For the silver parts I have used Chainmail Silver.

    The silver parts were light lighted with Mithril Silver.

    Then the silver was washed with Badab Black wash.

    And again with the same wash. 🙂 Just to make the silver look older.

    Then while I was painting the ethereal smoke, I came up with an idea to make the metallics look more interesting and break the color. I painted small areas with very diluted Scaly Green to make patina.

    As you can see, the miniatures are already 90% done!

    Stage 11: Painting ethereal smoke

    This one also goes really fast. First wash the smoke/cloud with grey.

    Then comes a wash with a mix of Scaly Green and Scorpion Green. That mixture goes into the deepest areas. At this stage if you would like the smoke to have different color, i.e. purple, you could mix some other paints.

    At the very end with white paint I just highlighted some areas to make the contrast stronger.

    And that’s it…

    Because of the batch painting the war band was fully painted in 3 months. In case I didn’t paint every evening, so it is possible to finish them in much shorter time.

    I already hear you asking – what about not painted parts? Well those parts were painted just using one paint only. The painting colors were really simple:

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  • hair – Chaos Black, drybrush with Codex Grey
  • sticks – Scorched Brown
  • shoes – Bestial Brown
  • leather strips – Gore Red
  • The point was to have a painted war band in a very short time, that is why I tried to focus on the biggest and most visible surfaces.

    Now it’s time for some final photos.

    Finished Hell Dorado Immortals

    My both Hell Dorado armies together:

    Please give me suggestions how to show, explain things better. Everything that could make such articles more interesting and informative. Ask many questions, tell me if I didn’t explain something clearly.

    Thank you for support. 🙂

    — Sea.man

    New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of summer 2012

    Hello you all miniature freaks, did you miss us?
    We decided to collect summer releases in one larger post, so we could only start working in autumn. And then it took more time than we expected due to the number of interesting miniatures released in that season. You’ve been waiting for this post long enough already, so without keeping you waiting any longer, let’s start!

    Hero scale (heroic or sci-fi):

    Sea.man: Let’s start with our usual Heroic Scale (which is around 28 -32mm) and a sexy looking troll huntress from Ax Faction is something I really would like to paint. She isn’t overloaded with details, has dynamic pose and comes with troll’s head, so you don’t have to think a lot what diorama to make for her.

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    Hellspawn: I must admit that the troll head is nice, but I think that the lady is missing something, the sculpt is too clean for me I think. But talking about clean, what do you think of those nice Asian styled warriors from Studio McVey? I really like those, without talking about the awesome paintjob.

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    But I also have something less clean in my pocket. Look at this cool standard bearer from BaneLegions:

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    Isn’t he cool?

    Large scale:

    Sea.man: Moving on to our next category, I must admit that there wasn’t much going around in large scale, so I didn’t have much choice but to choose Pegaso. This miniature doesn’t have this ‘wow’ effect, but it is a very solid one for historical painters.

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    Hellspawn: I have to agree, the number of releases in large scale wasn’t that great and they weren’t as you said giving the “wow” effect. The ones that I found nice were the ones from Knight Models again. Don’t you think that they did some really nice job on this Batman?

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    They worked just as well on a Bane mini and they arrived just as the movie was out across the cinemas so nice job on that as well. And if we want to talk about movies, everyone knows that “The Hobbit” should be out soon so look at this version of Elrond (also from Knight Models) I know he’s more present in The Lord of The Rings saga, but he’s still related to Bilbo and look at his character.

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    Busts:

    Hellspawn: Like the large scale category, the number of bust released over the past few months hasn’t been good. You do already know that I’m not a huge bust fan, and amongst all of those who were released, the only one I found interesting was from Castle Miniature.

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    Proxies:

    Sea.man: Those robots are way too obvious to tell what army they’re for, aren’t they? Puppet Wars keep trying to fill all Necron players’ needs. 🙂

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    Hellspawn: They are indeed, and on the other side, we have Raging Heroes who can’t stop thinking of our Dark Elves players. Check out this chick:

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    Conversions parts/Accessories:

    Sea.man: In conversion parts, the number of Orks’ heads types is just insane. There are many types of Ork heads you can get (Pirates, Soviets, Techno…) but they’re all usually around those themes. If you would like to have something new, then Spellcrow made you some desert Orks heads.

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    Hellspawn: Indeed, it seems that while these days, for proxies, the love goes only to Necron and Dark Elves/Dark Eldars players, regarding conversion parts, the love goes mostly to the Orks players. And while you were talking about the desert heads, I couldn’t avoid talking about the punk ones from Spellcrow as well:

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    Don’t you think that they would definitely suit those bodies from Kromlech?

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    And while we’re still at it, Spellcrow released some cool Power Claws. They’re so very useful! But you’re gonna tell me, “yeah, but now, with all those bitz sites, we can get them for ‘cheap’ and in the right amount but I’m going to simply answer that “yes you can, but they’ll all be looking the same while here, they’re all different which is a really cool way to personalize your army”.

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    And while I said that regarding conversion parts/accessories, only Orks players were getting some love, but it seems that I was wrong, wasn’t I?

    Sea.man: Indeed you were! Want to convert you Imperial Guard army? Then those heads from Victoria Miniatures are something for you!

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    Hellspawn: Since Sea.man just proved me wrong, I of course had to look by myself if there wasn’t something else, and of course, after some digging I found these from Puppets War:

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    I’m pretty sure that this combi lasgun/plasmagun for a Razorback will be useful to many Space Marines players. But Puppets War didn’t only think about the loyalists, look at what they’re releasing for Chaos Space Marines players:

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    This is only an example for the shoulder pads as they’re releasing lots of them for the various main legions (especially the ones that Forge World should release in the Horus Heresy books at the end of this September). So if you would like to have some nice shoulder pads those might be a nice alternative (prolly less expensive as well).

    Main release:

    Hellspawn: Talking about those nice shoulder pads for Chaos Space Marines players is a nice transition for this category as we couldn’t avoid talking about the release of the new version of Warhammer 40k and the awesome minis that are included into the starter box by Games Workshop. So without speaking more, check out those minis:

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    This one is the limited version of the Dark Angels Interrogator-Chaplain Seraphicus.

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    Bases:

    Hellspawn: Though, as you all must already know, it’s not only cool to have nice minis, but if you can put them onto nice bases, it’s always providing a freaking nice effect on the table and it seems that our friend at Scibor’s Monstrous Miniatures knows that. Check out those bases:

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    Sceneries:

    Hellspawn: But having nice minis on nice bases to play with is not the only main important thing, cause playing on a superb table provides such another dimension to the games that it’s also really important to have nice sceneries to put on your table.
    Look at what Tabletop World made:

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    I have to admit that they’re a little pricey, but I’ve bought some of their stuff and the quality is insane. You’ll be able to have a review of their stuff soon on our website, so stay tuned.

    Scibor’s Monstrous Miniatures did release some stuff that is supposed to be bases, but considering the size of the items, I must admit that they would fit nicely as accessories on a scenery or as sceneries themselves:

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    Boobs of the month:

    Sea.man: Yeah, all those things are important but what is better than nice boobs? A girl with nice ones and a big gun, like here from Miniature factory (JAG) . This country chick suits other rednecks sculpted by JAG very well.

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    Hellspawn: Oki, you got me on this one as well and I like the one you picked (she also has a nice butt but you’ll have to check out our forum to see it) but you’re calling these boobs? Seriously? Have you checked the topic of El Viejo Dragon Miniatures? Now this is what I call boobs!

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    And if you like boobs, you should definitely have a look on our forum, cause this manufacturer has plenty for you.

    Worst miniature:

    Sea.man: Alright, this may be a bit controversial, but what the hell… As for another debated thing, look at what we have in this category. For sure this miniature isn’t badly sculpted, but if you compare it with the concept art, it is completely different! What is worst, is that it lost all of its character and now she looks like a postman not like an agent. It is a pity that Anima Tactics guys didn’t take their time to make the concept art justice.

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    Hellspawn: Well, I’m not really surprised here, Anima Tactics isn’t known to respect the concept art on the sculpt they have. I still don’t understand why they keep providing concept art since all their minis are way different of the concept each time. They should just release minis directly, it would be less disappointing.

    Talking about worst mini, check this one from Kingdom Death. I’m speechless. Human body, dog head on snake’s body and even worse, he’s playing with its Johnson and nutsack. I don’t really know what to say about this horror besides that it’s just a waste of resin.

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    Best paintjob:

    Hellspawn: Thankfully, on the other hand some manufacturers can provide us with marvels. Look at this steampunk version of Alice in Wonderland from Guild of Harmony. Paintjob needs no words to speak for itself:

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    Interesting to come:

    Sea.man: Cipher Studios is really doing great job when it comes to making new units for Hell Dorado. This crocodile is called Ashoka and fights for the Lost, a faction which is full of lizards, worms and dinosaurs. Don’t you think it will suit this war band well?

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    Confrontation may be dead, but some people like me keep playing it. That is why I was really pleased to see a Cartomancer from Anakron Miniatures. This miniature makes a great Fortune-teller Agent for the army of Cadwallon.

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    Hellspawn: I can’t wait for the crocodile to be available for sale (couldn’t get one since I didn’t attend the Gencon. My “Lost” minis are waiting for it. But these aren’t the only ones that are interesting in the upcoming releases.

    Wreck-Age is preparing some nice minis that I’m sure could be used as proxies or just stand alone ones.

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    Wyrd is also reserving us some surprise for Malifaux with: a) switching from resin to new plastic (a review is planned for that, like for Tabletop World, stay tuned), and b) lots of minis planned and amongst what is planned, I picked those:

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    I just love the concept/3D Sculpts, so let’s hope Wyrd won’t follow Anima Tactics on this one.

    At last, the releases I’m looking forward are the ones from Spartan for a brand new game called Dystopian Legions. It’s based on factions from Dystopian Wars, but as a game with 28mm troopers and little vehicles.

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    So this is it guys. As you may have noticed, the amount of releases for the past three months is pretty huge and trust us, it was tough job to pick up the best ones. Of course, we might have missed some but we can’t talk about ALL of them, but if you want to be able to see all of them, join us on our forum. Our active members always provide us with all the releases they can find all around the web.

    We hope to read your opinions about this summer’s releases and see you soon for the ones of September and October!

    — Hellspawn & Sea.man