Monday, January 17, 2011

Lord of the Rings Scenery

With all those dwarves I got, there were also a few sprues of scenery. I've painted up the statues now as I really like the look they add to things.

They're super easy and quick to paint up. Basically I spray them black, then heavy drybrush codex grey with a big 1cm brush, then light drybrush fortress grey, then highlight with skull white using a smaller brush. After that it's just a really heavy black wash all over and then wait to dry. Too easy!

I couldn't be bothered getting out the board for the shots, but just used my hill instead. I also couldn't be bothered getting any lighting, so the shot isn't brilliant. Actually, looking at it there - you really need to click on it to get the bigger size to see the dwarves at all!

I fear for the dwarves!

And here's my fairly flat scenery wall, spritzed up a little by some statues. Here they are against the pillars between openings...

And blocking the alcoves...

I like that the fallen down ones are the same statue.

Anyway, that's it, nothing too exciting. I now have 4 upright and 4 fallen over statues to fight over =)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lord of the Rings Dwarf Army Finished!

In a frenzy of a day's painting, I finished off the batch! It only took three weeks, which isn't too bad given the small amount of time per day I spent on them.

Anyway, since last time, the first thing I did was the beards and some washing of the brown areas. I did a little detail here and there, fixed up some accidental splodges and whited the eyes.

I tend to think of them as zombie dwarves at this stage, you'll see why...

The redheads got some Red Gore followed by a little Blood Red in highlights. The Brown Beards had some various browns layered on. The greys had some fortress grey, a wash, then some more fortress grey. The belts, boots etc. had some Devlan Mud washed over them. Blondie got some snakebite leather and vomit brown all over his head.

And here are the zombie kings to compare to last time...

That was where they stood as of last night.  This morning I woke up early and decided to finish them off. Got up at about six o'clock and it's a little after midday now, so pretty much six hours today (although there was breakfast, second breakfast and photography as well).

First I dotted the eyes, then I had to fix them up. Some of them took two or three tries to do. Fortunately the Khazad Guard have those masks, so you don't have to do theirs =) Next I mixed some dwarf flesh and elf flesh to do little highlights on noses, cheeks and any other skin. Then a flesh wash in the recesses really pops out the detail.

Next I mixed up some codex grey and liche purple for a largish highlight. Then a little more codex is added for a final purple highlight just on the tips of things and the highest ridges of the cloaks.

Lastly it was detail work. Some patterns on the cloaks and shields finished them off!

And now I'm the proud commander of even more dwarves!

Here's the finished group (I turned half of them to face backwards so you could see that side of them), you might need to click on this one to see them properly.

And the Kings:

And from the back...

And here are the archers:

All of the Khazads (new ones and old ones):

And a close up of a few of them:

All of my shielded dwarves:

And the heroes:

And before you get totally bored (if not too late already!)...

The army before...

And the new, improved army...

So in all there are:

Five proper heroes (Etako, Brynmor and the three new Kings)
A Shieldbearer (Boggle)
Two banners
Five Vault Warden Teams
Six Iron Guard
Twenty Khazad Guard
Ten warriors with 2-Handed Axes
Fourteen warriors with shield
Twenty warriors with dwarven bow
Eight rangers with dwarven longbow
Eight rangers with 2-Handed Axes
Eight rangers with Throwing Axes.

In terms of points, giving the rangers with 2-Handed axes some throwing axes as well...
Base troops: 1137 points.
Heroes: depends on what you play them as I guess.
My usual loadout, Etako (Balin), Brynmor (Gimli) and Boggle (Shieldbearer), are 245 points. 
If the other three are Dain (125 points) and two Kings (75-85 each), that adds another 275 - 295 points.

So with everything together... 1657 - 1677 points.

Pretty cool, huh =)

Anyway, I'm super happy that I finished them before the baby came, due in a week from now! 

It can be quite disheartening when painting in a batch like this, it often seems like you spend hours to make no progress, but in the end you do get there, and it's worth it!

Thanks for all your forum feedback and messages, always happy to answer more questions, and hope you enjoyed following along!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WIP painting dwarves including khazad guard - first highlight

Firstly, hope you like the new page setup, decided to personalise it a little more with some fancy title fontage, easy to read from background colour, custom graphics and general prettification. Also a balrog.

The dwarves have still been getting some quality time here and there and I've just finished the first lot of highlights. Well, all except the beards, which are next on my list.

This consisted of doing some more purple and turquoise over the previously washed areas, chainmail paint over the washed boltgun metal, bronze on some of the khazad armour, gold on the heroes, dwarf flesh on the highlit skin areas, bestial brown lines on the leather and wood and probably something else I'm forgetting.

So yeah, it's been quite a lot of stuff, hence the lack of recent updates here on the blog. You can click the pics for larger views as always, here's one of the back rows:

And the kings, still not sure what to do with the one on the left's cloak edging. I was going to paint runes all over it, but I think it's just too small for me!

I'm pretty happy with how most of them are turning out, it's great to see them at this level of completion. Really they're way better than they need to be for just playing with, but I'm still going to do another highlight layer, wash some of the leather, touch up the beards, paint some runes on flat surfaces, eyes on those that have open eyes etc. Still, from here on it's really gravy, so it's a lot more fun to do =)

Anyway, time to stretch a little, then head out to do a little more shopping for the impending baby! Man, and I thought plastic and metal miniatures were expensive, our flesh and blood miniature is costing a fortune and it's not even here yet!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

WIP painting dwarves including khazad guard - Washes

Well, the Lord of the Rings may be dark and scary and the Strategy Battle Game might have (mostly) clean cut rules, but my dwarves all look dirty and manky now!

That's right, they've had their washes done and always look a little dirty afterwards. Fortunately, they also regain a lot of their miniature detail!

You can now see their fingers, definition on the face, cracks between armour plates, different parts of hair etc.

I used Badab Black on all the armour, rocks and pillars, Devlan Mud on the boots and other brown bits, Leviathan Purple on the, duh, purple, Asurman Blue on the turquoise and Ogryn Flesh on the skin. The beards got miscellaneous brown, black and Sepia washes depending on my mood =)

You can really see how dulled down the metallics are, great if that's what you're going for (which I do with goblins) but not so much for my well polished and oiled dwarves, obviously they get a second paint coat next.

For comparisons, here are the three Kings before and after. The skin and beards are the most noticeable I think.

 So now it's almost back to the drawing board =) Second coats of paint go on now, but not in the recesses. I leave the washed areas in the deeper folds of beards, cloaks, armour and skin and paint the original colour on the higher areas. That gives me a nice two-layered effect.

Mostly that's even enough to make them look really good, but I usually then put a further highlight layer on that (and sometimes yet another on the special characters).

I'm only spending a few hours a day on it and, as you can see, there will be 35 more dwarves ready to go in another week or so (if I keep at it). If you were a keen painter, had the time and a back and neck that didn't ache as much as mine does, you could knock this whole process off much, MUCH more quickly, obviously.

At the same time as I paint I watch DVDs, at the moment the History Channel's series on Barbarians (borrowed from the library) interspersed with Star Trek Voyager (borrowed from my brother). It's a great way to pass the time when painting easy bits, like slapping on washes.

Still not sure what to do on the dwarf king trimming bits yet, but had better come up with something soon! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

WIP painting dwarves including khazad guard - beards and skin


Finally finished the first layer of paint on all these dwarves. The Khazad Guard were easier, with face masks blocking, well, their faces. 

They actually look a bit like dwarves now. Yesterday and today I finished off the grey on the pants, the beards in a variety of colours, and the skin.

I used foundation paints for the grey and the skin to make it go over the black undercoat a little easier. I've gotta say, I remembered a few things from the last lot of batch painting I did at this stage.

I did the beards first before the skin, it's easy to slip with beards. They're so big that sometimes you lose a little concentration and some beard colour strays. Because I'm using foundation paints for the skin, it's no problem to do it secondly as it covers up everything.

Speaking of which, I water my foundation paints down A LOT. They really gunk up brushes if you don't water them down and rinse your brush really regularly. They'd be considered a huge pain if they weren't so awesomely good at covering up the black, which was always a problem for me when putting a skin tone on top.

Anyway, here are a couple of happy snaps.

If you click on the pics you might notice on the larger version that although the first coat is done, it's a bit sloppy in places. There are always slips of the brush or dogs barking nearby you that cause accidents to occur. Still, now I can neaten them up a bit and start the process of highlighting. 

I love this stage, because now it looks like I have a nice little squad of dwarves! It's absolutely amazing how much personality and finishedness you gain when that last bit of black undercoat is gone!

For anybody else out there who struggles with batch painting, this is the moment where it suddenly feels worthwhile!

Although I still haven't done the eyes yet. *shudder* I remember that from last time =(

The keen eyed followers of the blog may notice a little turquoise on some of the rank and file. An arm here, a shoulderpad there. I wanted to make sure that the army as a whole still blended together, so there's just a little showing. Will have to wait and see how it looks when they're all mixed in with my last batch of troops. I left all of their trousers grey, they look so bright at the moment, can't remember how many washes I did last time, but there's only one way to find out I guess.

Well, there are many ways, but barring a time machine or some sort of memory device I think I'll just go for one wash at a time until they look similar.

Thanks for all the kind words on the forums, hopefully they'll start looking better soon as more detail emerges =)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

WIP painting dwarves including khazad guard - blues

Well, my lotr sbg dwarven ebay force now has a layer of turquoise also. Most of the warriors don't have any, they all had grey trousers in the original batch I painted. The Khazads and heroes all have turquoise as highlights (as do the dwarves on their shields). So now I'm not sure if I want to go back and repaint my warriors to change their trousers to turquoise as well. It's such a small amount, but adds quite a "pop".

Then again, it's nice to have even more difference between the warriors and the elite guards...

Decisions, decisions!

Here's what I'm talking about:

So on the left are some of my original batch. The trousers are grey, with brown washes added so that they don't just look like the ground. On the right are some of my Khazads (only a couple of them actually have visible pants). They have the blue on them.

I do like the blue, but not sure I can be bothered re-painting all my other dwarves =)

Anyway, here are the current mob all blued up (remember you can click for a bigger version)...

As you can see, the new camera takes, imho, a pretty good shot =) Can't wait to use it in battle, so to speak!

I guess I should go and do beards now, for some reason I don't like doing beards, but they'd look pretty silly with all black ones =)

Oh, and thanks for the nice comments on the forums, these are, so far, just all using paint straight out of the tub, though watered down a little. The purple is just Liche Purple, the blue is Hawk Turquoise, the brown is Scorched Brown, the metal is Boltgun Metal.

Any nice smooth shading effects you're seeing are just the natural lighting on them, not any paint shading. I won't do any of that until all of them have a full base-coat.