Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reaper's new Warlord Expansion

So, Reaper has posted up their cover to the new expansion for their tabletop miniatures game, Warlord.

I know what a lot of you are thinking. "Well, Reaper makes great D&D minis, but do people actually play their game?" Sure, maybe no one plays locally, but that's not a reason to blow off this news.

Look at it this way, Reaper has stayed in the business with an outstanding fan base- and they get the vast majority of that through simply making great minis for painting.

So, when Reaper decides that they're going to be making eight new factions for Warlord, that's eight new lines of great minis we'll be seeing. And that is fantastic news to me.

The new factions are:

Bloodstone Gnomes
Wood Elves of Tembrithil
Dark Elves of the Darkreaches
Dwarves of Kragmarr
Black Orcs of Kargir
Frost Giants of Icingstead
Koborlas of the Nornwood
Sisterhood of the Blade

Just to make sure you caught it- there will be a Frost Giant faction. For everyone who thought that Derek Schubert's Frost Giant Queen wasn't enough, and that Tre Manor's charging Frost Giant Warrior left you wanting more, have no fear. We'll be seeing a lot of these from Reaper soon.

And if you haven't seen those two minis before, here they are:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Privateer Press has released images of the green for the next Trollblood Warlock. This is Gunnbjorn- sculpted by Brian Dugas (a man responsible for a number of good sculpts from Privateer lately).

I have to say, I'm impressed with the detail work on this sculpt. The Trollbloods are really getting something that follows up with their high standards (I mean, they already have minis like Calandra and Grim Angus in that line).

So here he is- the troll with a bazooka:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Converted Abaddon (the despoiler)

This was a very interesting commission that I received. My client commissioned Dave Taylor to create a new version of the classic Chaos Warmaster. The original mini was made during the 2nd edition of Warhammer 40,000- that was back when terminators fit on normal sized bases. This new Abaddon doesn't use any of the original bits, and it is rather impressive how recognizable he is.

Go ahead and read some of Dave Taylor's thoughts on the conversion- his site is pretty inspiring as he does some excellent conversion work.

For the paintjob, I went with a more subtle glow effect and metallic metals (this mini was meant to match an existing Black Legion force after all). The glow should be just bright enough to make him stand out from his fellows.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Plastic Battlegroups for Warmachine

Alright, Privateer Press have just revealed their new Warmachine Mark II versions of the 'battlegroup' starter boxes.

The price is the same as before (although the minis have gotten a little bigger). The big thing that none of us expected is that the whole thing is made out of plastic.

Yep, not only does the box contain the new plastic version of the Slayer, but it also has new plastic Deathrippers, Defilers and- most shocking of all- a plastic Denegra.

And we're getting the same treatment for all of the battle boxes. New plastic light warjacks and most significantly, those resculpts that we saw in Prime MkII were all made from plastic.

I've got to admit, from the pictures I had seen of these minis before, I had no idea that they were plastic. And some are minis that I liked more than their metal counterparts. Kreoss especially.

I can see why this makes financial sense- the battle boxes have always been underpriced to get people started in the game, and the low start up cost has always been a strong selling point for Warmachine.

It is kind of a shock that there are any plastic warcasters, but if they keep doing plastic kits that look this good, I don't think it is a problem.

Now, I wonder if those plastic light 'jacks are going to be sold separately. I really prefer the new Lancer and Charger to the old ones.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Ghillie Suit

So, I recently finished a commission to convert and paint a Salamanders version of Sergeant Telion (originally of the Ultramarines). The most eccentric part of this conversion was putting Telion into a Ghillie Suit.

For those of you who don't know, a ghillie suit is a set of clothes interwoven with grass, leaves and moss that is often worn by snipers and hunters wishing to conceal themselves. The point of a ghillie suit is that it uses the natural surroundings to conceal the sniper (making it quite a bit better than normal camouflage).

In order to show this in the conversion, I made sure to highlight the terrain on the base. I gave Telion a scenic base with several varied elements creating something of a mini-diorama.

As with all camouflage on minis, I had to make sure not to make it too realistic. Telion has some very bright colors showing, making sure that the mini would pop despite his concealing cloak.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chaos Space Marines Greater Daemon Conversion

Just a little while ago, I got a really interesting commission. I was given a few GW plastic kits and told to create some kind of Greater Daemon from all of it.

One of the advantages that the current Chaos Space Marine codex has over its predecessors, is that all of your daemons can be unique entities. So there isn't very much need to use only the daemons that Citadel Miniatures actually produce. I even know of a good deal of Nurgle forces have been converting Ghoul miniatures into their daemons, and some Khorne forces have been using beastmen.

Anyway, here is a Greater Daemon for the Black Legion. He was made from Minotaur and Chaos Spawn bits, along with a generous amount of Gray Stuff.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Studio McVey keeping up the fine miniatures

Mike and Alison McVey have been keeping up on their line of absolutely stunning miniatures from some of the best sculptors around. The newest addition to the Studio McVey line is this absolutely gorgeous set:

This is Y'Sala and the Darkness. Like most Studio McVey minis, they weren't really sculpted with any sort of game in mind, but honestly, you wouldn't need one for these two. Go ahead and have a look at the Studio McVey blog to learn more.

And while you're there, have a look at some of their painted miniatures. The McVeys are two of the very best painters out there.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Salamanders Ironclad Dreadnoughts

As part of a commission for a Salamanders force, I painted up two Ironclad Dreadnoughts with a lot of freehand and details on them.

Part of it was to make each dreadnought stand apart from the other. The answer to that, I found, was freehand.

I tried to make the flame effects and the freehand very different on each dreadnought- especially the banner. Only one of the dreadnoughts has hazard stripe freehand on him at all, and the other one has bright flame freehand and scroll work instead.

Overall, I think the pair of them turned out quite well.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gold and Brass Metallic Metals

There are some general principles for painting metallic metals in colors other than silver.

The first thing to remember is that your metallic colors are not fundamentally different from the other colors that you have. You can still use all the same techniques that you normally do- you can layer them and highlight them up with lighter colors, you can add washes and shading with inks and darker colors.

The only big difference is that you need to keep your metallic pallet away from your other colors. You can shade, glaze and wash metallic metals with non-metallic colors, but you really can't add non-metallic highlighting. In your metallic pallet, Mithril Silver is your new white.

I generally prefer to approach metals by layering them. The most standard gold color I use starts out with a dark bronze color like Tin Bitz or Molten Bronze with some brown ink mixed in.

From there, it is best to layer up by mixing a medium gold or brass color in (like P3 Rhulic Gold or Citadel Shining Gold).

You can add in final highlights using Mithril Silver. The more you add to it, the lighter your golds will be, and they will begin to look more worn to an extent.

Now, I just gave you a strong recipe for gold. Don't let that hold you back. It is easy to find just one approach to painting gold metals and use it over and over again, but if you try to mix it up some, you'll find that there's a lot you can do.

For example, what happens if you take your dark metallic metal and mix it with your Mithril Silver? What happens if you highlight your metals with Boltgun? What if you use a blue wash over it rather than a standard brown one?

From that combination, you get some interesting metals, like the ones on this Mule:

So, now start experimenting with different color combinations. There's quite a bit of exploration to be done.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lord Carver mini

Well, I've been anxiously awaiting some great Farrow minis ever since we first heard that they'd become a new Hordes Faction. And here he is, the very first full fledged minion Warlock: Lord Carver.

Looks like a solid sculpt to me. I might have to play this faction when they come out.