Sunday, 10 August 2014

We have moved!

Hello all!

I thought I had better let you know that the blog has moved from Blogger onto a shiney new Wordpress platform! So, if you thought there hadn't been much going on, that'll be why...! Sorry!

There's a new tutorial, showing all the stages of how I tackled one of my commissions for Ax Faction

and a review of some new paints I have been trying

I hope you like the new blog!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Another bust in progress - Uncle John by Infamy Miniatures

I have been working on a little something alongside all of my recent commissions. A 1/10 Steampunk bust by Infamy Miniatures... This is 'Uncle John' the leader of 'Uncle John's Animal Circus'

"There are few things more terrifying than the opening of London Zoo's gates. The beasts roam free with Uncle John at the head of the procession rounding up a crowd to witness his fabulous animal circus. None of the men, women and children who are captured and dragged screaming into the zoo are ever seen again."

He is a fabulous digital sculpt which is actually just part of a full figure being released by Infamy at some point in 30mm. Quite disturbingly, it has Uncle John performing some kind of surgery on one of his bionic chimps...!

This bust is a beautiful cast too... but enough of me frothing, let me show you some piccies.

 Look at the cute monkey's face... I used a photo of the monkey from Prates of the Caribbean for reference

And one with his other friend, the Macaw

Friday, 6 June 2014

A Step-by step for Ax Faction

These things always start with a bit of a challenge… this particular bit of fun came from Paul over at Ax Faction and a request for a painted version of the Gilded Saint (the first miniature Ax Faction released).

“It’ll be interesting to see how you do the tattoos” said Paul…

“No problem” says I…

Bugger is she a small miniature! What have I got myself in to…?

This is going to be a tricky project, but in an interesting, ‘flying by the seat of my pants’, way. We then got talking about doing some kind of step-by-step/paint-along, so here we are! Ax Faction are going to release the first stage on their Facebook page this weekend..! So if you want to see how I paint the flesh tones on my barbarians, check it out over the weekend. I will be about to answer questions there too. Ax Faction are also doing a raffle where you can win your very own Dragon Hunter to paint along yourself.

But first things first, the model. This is the artwork for the Gilded Saint which I will be using as a template for my paintjob. Interesting tattoos, and a really tiny miniature… *gulp*

The first thing I did was have a practise run, and I just happened to have a barbarian which had stalled and needed stripping (I wasn’t happy with the way I had painted his face) on my workbench (sorry Hasslefree!), so I thought I’d give it a go and tattoo his back with the rather detailed cross on the chest of the Gilded Saint.

This was my first attempt…

Not too bad, but still too large. I am going to have to get my lines finer before getting to that stage on the girlie.

For some more fine-line practise, you may have seen the bust I did. He is a caricatured Russian prison inmate by Forged Monkey, and was a prime canvas for all sorts of fine-line tattoo-work. I was rather happy with the results:

I hope to see you over on Ax Faction's Facebook page over the weekend!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Ax Faction's Druid's Daughter

Another month and another commission for the guys at Ax Faction, the Druid's Daughter. This model is unlike anything I've seen before - a pin-up girl riding a ma-hoo-ssive hare! So I was really happy to get to paint her for them.

Colour choice was a fun one for this girlie - the only area defined by the brief was that the hare should look like a mountain hare in summer. So that meant I could have a good play with colour. I wanted to give her green and black striped trousers, so that gave me a colour reference point, and to contrast with that I went for a red saddle cloth, and her ginger hair pushed me in the direction of blue for an accent colour. Now, in terms of colour theory, this isn't particularly advanced - I picked opposing colours on a traditional colour wheel, but in terms of me painting saturated colours, I always find myself heading towards a muted desaturated pallet. So this was a bit of a challenge...

My photos appear to have taken a step backwards this time... but now that she is with Ax Faction, they are likely to be the best I can get...

She is up on Putty and Paint: and should be up on CMoN soon.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

He's still got it...

I joined Cool Mini or Not back in the annals of time (2002 to be precise), and back then for me it was a real eye opener into the wider hobby outside of the Games Workshop universe which many of us cut our teeth on. So, I've been a member for a very long time, (not to mention met my better half) and through all that time, the one constant is that the top scores have got progressively more difficult to obtain.

I last had a new miniature in my CMoN top 5 (the number of minis that go to make up your personal rank) back in 2011 (Wolf, my mini which won be Best at Show for Salute), but the others are all 2005-6... a VERY long time ago...!

But today, I noticed a very welcome sight... the Crazy Ivan bust I painted suddenly jumped in the number of votes it received... why? It had made its way onto the top miniatures of the last 7 days! woop woop!

Not only that, but with a score of 9.4 (long may that continue) it inserts itself onto my personal top 5!

So that brings me up to

I've still got it!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Crazy Ivan by Forged Monkey

Forged Monkey is a small mini company by German Miniature Maestro Raffaele Picca (of Massive Voodoo fame), and they produce an eclectic mix of miniatures and busts designed with the painter in mind. I have a number of their busts, and being a big fan of painting flesh tones, this Knucklehead bust really screamed out to me to get painted.

On the suggestion of my mate MrDee I went for a Russian gangster theme... unwittingly following a similar path to Raffa himself... bit of a scary prospect that! Fortunately I didn't realise until I was finished and wanted to see if anyone else had painted him... (Raffa's paint job >>here<<). Actually, before you see the master's work, here's my interpretation:

Each of the tattoos has a specific meaning, some less savoury than others. For example the tattoo on his chest shows a Russian cathedral, where the number of domes shows the number of convictions. The bulls on his back signifies a fight for leadership in the criminal environment.

Better pictures (and an opportunity for members to vote) can be found on Putty & Paint here:

Just added this guy to Cool Mini or Not too:

Votey-vote vote-vote :)

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Two new pieces for Studio McVey

I can now show two of the commissions I have been working on for Studio McVey (yay!) as they havenow been previewed on their Facebook Page and website... Gilgamesh the ex-pit fighting Bounty Dog and a new version of the classic Vokker Dargu of the Firebrand Rebellion.

Non-butchered pics can be found on Putty & Paint:

And Vokker

Who is also up on Putty & Paint:

I might have made the photos too large... his face looks all grainy... I dont remember him being like that IRL!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Ax faction strike again... Highland Ranger

This time with a sculpt by Gary Morley (of GW fame), and boy can you tell! It oozes old school Wood Elf but with new school technique. She is a Highland Ranger with her Warhound, and as you can see by the trophy under her foot, they hunt orcs.

As is often the case with Ax faction miniatures they come with an art card, and with this miniature I wanted to try and recreate the artwork in 3D, so I followed the colour scheme and also bit the bullet and attempted the spiral warpaint. Here is the image I was using for reference

I took a little artistic license with the orc head (I do love to give them pink noses for a point of interest), but I kept the base rather organic with tufts of scrubby grass, and the odd rock emerging from the ground. I also sculpted a log onto the base of 'Merry' the Warhound.

Blogger has a tendency to butcher my pics at the moment - I am not sure what I am doing to case that, but I have posted images up on Putty and Paint as well, so if you want to see some better pictures, please head across (and vote if you are a member) to:

I have also added a montage to Cool Mini or Not:

 I love the flavour text that goes with all the Ax Faction minis:

"Armed with two deadly short swords - carried by her trusted sidekick Warhound, they'll hunt down and destroy the hated green-skins just like any skilled Ranger Pathfinder. Her cloak sports a thistle, antlers and a sporran style pouch, while she sets her foot firmly on a dispatched Orc's head! This is a special miniature in the Ax Faction family as the Warhound is based on 'Merry' - the Ax Faction family dog! Woof!"

Thursday, 30 January 2014

First mini of 2014 - The Northfjorder by Ax Faction

So, its the end of January already... wow! I am not entirely sure where that went, but I have been busy painting, and back on the Ax Faction wagon with number two in their range of interchangeable hunters and mounts.

This is the Northfjorder, a "russet-bearded, axe-wielding demon of a warrior" riding a huge brown bear.

Sometimes you get models which are an absolute joy to paint, and this was one of those. Even on the tricky bits it seemed to come together relatively quickly which I think helped me really get in to the painting. I also used my airbrush for the first time in anger on an important commission, and I think the effect on the bear's fur has really been enhanced by using it. The NMM, however, was all hand painted using a hairy stick, so all those blends were brush painted.

You can also find him on Putty & Paint if you fancy voting:

The bear:

The big man himself:

Saturday, 25 January 2014

And the winner is....

So the votes for Wamp awards have been counted and varified, and the winners have been announced. The category I was nominated for was as follows

Best Painted Steampunk

Winner:Kitty Reimer - Morsi
2nd:Time - Fesechko
3rd: Einstein - Peter Bell

Well done to Morsi and Fesechko - lovely miniatures and very different to eachother but both really very good (variety is the spice of life). I was really surprised to see my name in that list, and I thank everyone who voted for me. 2013 was quite a year on that front, and I am pleased that some of my miniatures seem to be going down quite well with you lot ;)

The rest of the winners can be found at the following Wamp Thread:

Congratulations to everyone who placed in the top 3 - the standard of so many of the entries was insane. And well done to Brett for running such a great competition.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Wamp award nomination!!

Wamp award nomination!!

Well, as starts to the miniature year go, this one has been pretty good. Spent some good painting time on a new commission which is shaping up to be one of my best, I have a new compressor which is looking like a fantastic investment and I am well on my way to putting together a small Imperial Fist (yellow Space Marines) 40K army.

The cherry on the top of this positive start is that it turns out that I have been nominated for the best Steampunk paintjob in the 2013 Wamp Awards! What is Wamp? Wamp is a large community of hobbyists on a forum run by Brett 'Darklord' Johnson. They are a great, and pasisonate community who hold frequent online painting competitions which are always heavily subscribed and really well supported by the industry, with oodles of prizes up for grabs.

The Wamp Awards are a peer nominated set of awards rather than a painting competition much like the BAFTAs with a number of different categories and then voted on by the community. It is my favourite Ork bust Einstein which has been shortlisted - thank you to all who thought of me/him for this category :D

The rest of the shortlist is as follows:
Best Painted steampunk (this is a link to the category with all the images and the voting)

Kitty Reimer - Morsi
Einstein - Peter Bell
Time - Fesechko
Al Capone - Fabrizio Russo
Tallulah Belle - Javier González

More details of the other categories etc can be found here: Wamp Awards

Don't forget to go over to Wamp and have a look at all the categories and vote for whatever takes your fancy - lots of eye candy to be had!

Congratulations to all who were nominated!

So, the competition is stiff, and there are some BIG names in my category, but whatever happens, I am really chuffed to be included alongside these people!
Einstein does seem to get about a bit ;)

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The end of 2013... Happy New Year everyone!

It's that time of year again, when everyone is looking back at the year and what they have achieved... So I thought I'd join in the merriment! Fortunately in some respects, I am a pretty slow painter so this won't be too long a post, but here we go...

I finished 2012 with a squad of gaming standard Grey Knight Space Marines with the full intent to paint a whole army of those guys, but very quickly fell off the wagon and went back to my old 'display painting' ways. The first thing I completed (in February) was 'Poppy Come Lately' by Statuesque Miniatures for a small competition on Platoon Britannica... I may or may not have won the staffers contest...

March and April brought with them 2 greenskins - one 'Einstein' a bust by the talented Allan C for Figone, and another by CMoN for their Wrath of Kings Game. These bad-boys were my entries for the Salute painting competition, with Einstein picking me up a gong (hooh-yah)

Then, after a brief moment of 6mm madness, I worked on a handful of commissions for Studio McVey, Ax Faction and a piece for Warploque Miniatures.

May was this bad boy... 6mm Salamander Terminator

June was the Kickstarter Ltd Edition Vokker commission for Studio McVey

July was the Forsaken Princess for Ax Faction whom I had met at Salute earlier in the year. They must have liked what they saw, and seemed pretty pleased with this girly!

Then a jump to September... the ma-hoo-sive Bayourk for Warploque Miniatures. This was one of their new minis for their Arcworlde and an absolute joy to paint - bags of character! It was around this tie that I was seriously working on my Golden Demon entries for my first GD in 7 years.

September also brought my GD entries to completion - Radagast and the Salamander Marine. And of course, my favourite miniature related moment of the year... my first Golden Demon trophy! I can tick that off the list now :oP (Thanks to MrDee for the barbed wire on the Marine)

November brought another Commission for Ax faction, this time the first in their line of mounted miniatures with fully interchangeable mounts and riders - The Feral Lass

December has also been busy model-wise... two more commissions that are top secret at the moment, but also quite exciting, was the fact that I played a few games of 40K at my local GW store... and have started doing a new Space Marine army... yup, ARMY... its my challenge for next year! I want one of those uber-cool looking tabletop forces like you see online by people like Volomir with his High Elves and MrDee with his bad-ass Steel Legion Imperial Guard force...

This is the most models I have painted to this sort of standard for a very long time, so I am a happy bunny, and painting commissions for the likes of Studio McVey and Ax Faction have been a real highlight. All in all a great model-related year!

Let's see what 2014 brings!

Happy New Year everyone!!