Thursday 29 September 2011

Look Around You! - Real world inspiration

Recently Brian at A Gentleman's Ones completed four massive gaming tables to help out with the Heroes Of Armageddon charity endeavour. What's more he detailed how he came up with the design for the tables and more importantly what local Chicago references he was inspired by that were built into the Hive and Wastelands that formed the table. It's truly awesome work, a great team effort and a worthy cause, so take a look.

Now I'm not jumping on the band wagon regarding real world inspiration blog posts, I've been thinking for quite a while about the things that are smacking me on the noggin on a daily basis that just want to be recreated in red rockcrete for little 28mm future space battles. The thing is I tend to have an obsessive nature, when I get interested in something I embrace it whole. In much the same way when you buy a new car and all you can ever see thereafter are the same make I'm like an exocet interest seeking missile, homing in on those things that take my fancy. Of course when you extrapolate that to include architecture, but not like some famous landmark but just a bit of concrete, well sometimes it's a bit of visual overload...

Anyway, here's a bit of inspo, up first some concrete foundation casts. These now form part of the base of a local shopping outlet South of the Car Park that inspired the step in the Vulcan Plateau. Equally these cast buttresses inspired the look and feel of the hill and a future version will reflect this aesthetic more so.

Back in February I attended the funeral for one of my son's Godparents on the coach back we stopped in Truro to pick up more passengers and this was the roof of one of the bus shelters and this heavily verdigris-ed roof was useful inspiration for my Honoured Imperium's Matt Black: Former hero of the Imperium. Obviously he's a bit more vibrant, the picture isn't a true reflection of his colours and maybe using Bonewhite might have matched the tone a bit better but it was useful source material nontheless.

Next up are some as yet unproductive forms of inspiration seen on my walk to the station. As we know 40k Ruins always look like this:

But in actual fact most multi-storey building are constructed with a central lift-shaft core Like these three tower cores being constructed in Manchester. Most of the surrounding building is steel frame girders. And yet this simple box-like constructure with multiple access points [read fire points] seems to be grossly under-represented on the battle field. Just imagine the possibility of a multi storey core with numerous corner and side pieces that represent the outer edges of the demolished structure, so much scope... Whether I have the time or inclination to capitalise on this remains to be seen.

Nearby is this car park. Aside from the glass panes on the building which would make an interesting alternative to the usual stone structures in 40k, I know they refer to it as 'grim-dark' but there would be still plenty of worlds that have access to some form of transparent building materials. It's the wire mesh stairway that interests me more. Granny Grating may not necessarily be the best material for recreating this, the gauge of the mesh is a bit too thick but a simple frame out of foamcard with a mesh up against it would be relatively  quick to produce.

I'd do away with the curves though. You may not be aware but Ferron Proxima shuns the use of curves, it's an architectural anomaly. Sure they are used in arches and some access ports but cylindrical buildings are unheard of. This apparently goes back to the time Governor Sub-Sector Pringle (locally known as 'the Mad Popper') and his sector wide purge on all things cylindrical. It was only through intervention by the Dark Angels Second Founding Chapter - the Angels of Vengeance that the desecration was stopped. The Governor was removed from office without any explanation. Years of random architectural destruction halted in one surgical strike. What happened, or where the Governor now resides is a mystery but rumours, whispered behind closed doors, that he now resides in a secured vault in 'The Rock' persist to this day.

Lastly, for the time-being. here's another building, strangely enough from the other view it looks very much like the 40k Bastion model, but I was struck by the waterfall-esque cascading roofs on the back. Plenty of scope for some tarnished copper panels with plenty of fire ports. Again, maybe not something that may eventually see light on the battlefield but it 'speaks to me' visually on a daily basis.

So if you're in the terrain game you need to keep your eyes open, bits and bobs can spring up and be just as exciting to bring forth into creation as painting the latest figure. In fact I'm getting more pleasure and reward from this kind of enterprise than the figures themselves, and if you hadn't noticed Ferron Proxima is benefiting from this no end!

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Ebay sales I might regret - Ravenwing Attack Bikes

Here we have four of the Attack Bikes I had, of which I still have one, and a Jetbike. I have to say I did like this stile of Jetbike, certainly better than the original Rogue Trader model the just looked like, erm, Mothing really. The annoyring thing in this is the extra seat, just between the techmarines head and the multi-melta in the top left. Yep that's the seat I'm currently missing on remaining bike.

I'm pretty sure I knew at the time I had five of these but because these four were separate why I did not just keep that seat - 'just in case' I don't know. I don't think I regret selling them, they would be nice in my Ravewning but there's jsut too many of them and I'm struggling to fit in the bits I want as is. The fact they were all ridden by Techmarines would potentially be an issue if I cared about that but I don't. If I recall I got these from an independent game shop in Preston. We went in 6th Form to see the University of Central Lancashire and I think I ducked out at lunch, somehow found the place, remember this was before google maps, the internet and even photocopying street maps at the library was a challenge! And bought the five of them. Not sure what these babies cost in '92/'93, £2.50 each, £3.99? I had more money than sense back then.

This was the odd one out, in that it had the recessed handle bars which I wasn't a fan of but didn't have a choice in the shop, you got what was on display. Again this was the paint job before the Ravenwing was revealed as all black. My Chaplain, Brother Infernus, is reposted below so you can see where I was at. However, for some bizarre reason I went with a reversed out white with green rivets on the armored plates on the side of the tyres, what was I thinking?

The Techmarine on Jetbike. I'm a bit confused by this because he looks like he's been undercoated black but also primed with my Green Car Spray Paint. But why is his hand not primed [perhaps I was holding it there as it was sprayed] and why are some bits still showing the black undercoat? So many questions although I don't suppose it really matters now. Love his big Techmarine claw shoulder-pad. Doesn't exactly fit fluff-wise nowadays but I'd imagine they'd be perefect for Iron Hands Successor Chaptors such as the Red Talons or the rather more stupid looking [but better named] Brazen Claws, especially with all thother tech gubbins built into the armour.

Old school Space Marine Chaplain, on a bike! Brother Infernus to the rescue. This guy was supposed to zoom around the battle field dropping Vortex grenades like the easter bunny.

Sunday 25 September 2011

ebay sales I don't regret - Space Crusade plastics and a Dreadnought

Here's all the Space Crusade bits I sold on ebay a few years ago. Now I say I don't regret selling them and that's true, I was never impressed with the plastics. The new Space Marine helemts that had replace beakies were really cool but this fersion just made them stunted and tiny. The Space Marine Captain was cool in a cuddly sort of way but it's no great loss. Even the heavy weapons bounty wasn't up to much. You could remove some of the hands to convert to current figures but it's still a lot of faffing.

The only other note is the Dark Angel green undercoat I used on the yellow figures, as you can tell from the one lying down. It wasn't too glossy a finish but the car spray paint went on beautifully, even better than some of the usual undercoats and this was just the usual top coat layer. I'd love to be able to see what I could do with one now, if a Badab Black wash would just tone done the little bit of shine, I'm sure these would be perfect Angels!

Rogue Trader dreadnought, move on, not interested at all. I was probably going to go with a Deathwing effect in the painting but obviously never got past this. I was never a huge fan of the model, and I'm not much of a fan about the new Sarcophagus dreads, although the Venerable ones are cool and the new Forgeworld Contemptor pattern dreadnought doesn't strike any cords with me either. However I did like the old schematics showing how a Dreadnought works and Ron From the Warp has a picture of the very same plans I recall with such fondness.

Friday 23 September 2011

Tactical squad update

Having just teased you with close-up shots of the tactical squads eyes I thought it would be appropriate to showcase my progress so far. For some reason I chose a new backdrop as these were photographed outside. Aside from the glossiness it puts these Space Marines truly in space, even if it is the packaging from an X-factor playset [but we won't tell anyone that...] 

There's not a huge amount to say really. The Orkhide shade has been put on and washed with Badab Black and Dark Angels Green 'dry-buffed' in place. Tin Bitz for all the metallics [washed with Badab Black] and Mechrite Red for the seals and terminator emblems.

My intention was to do a bit of the battered metal effect from my drop pod on all the metal elements but we'll see as I'm digging the darkness of the Tin Bitz.

I'm not sur ejust how much more highlighting I want to do. Part of me thinks if I do some line highlights they'll end up being 'Tron-esque' or a bit Dark Eldar. However I think once I've done all the detail bits, purity seals, metals etc. perhaps another Badab Black wash and a thin DA Green or DA Green and lighter green mix highlight might end up with the effect I'm after. As you can see still got plenty of highlights to go on all those details, particularly the Ferron Proxima Crux Terminatus.

Lastly the Space Marine Captain. Lots to do on this guy and he's going to be very different with the huge cloak. not sure if Deathwink colours will work on him as it wouldn't be very dark. Much the same as the robes on my Ravenwing, so many decisions and every one preventing me from moving forward. that's what happens when you don't have a plan, procrastination and delay. Must try harder.

Thursday 22 September 2011

ebay sales YOU won't regret! Yet more daemons! Maybe not safe for work... eek!

My mate Liam, he of the scratch built Warhound and Warlord fame, is still having a clear out of old figures on ebay NOW! He sent me pictures of this baby and I thought I better put them online before this thing sells...

So if you like Slaanesh and are kinky that way, well you would be if you like Slaanesh, then bid away

There's a couple of other things up for grabs, ha, ha I mean on his ebay auction not the couple of things below so check out all of his auctions.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

The second most important rule of painting [perhaps] - The eyes have it!

Well I think it's as good a rule as any - get the eyes painted as soon as possible. Bearing in mind you don't want to be doing things like drybrushing after you've done the eyes, there's nothing like getting it just so only to smear paint onto the focal point of your miniature. As it stands I continue to plug away at my Tactical Squad and I finally took the plunge and thought I could do the eyes because any efforts on the Dark Angels green is purely highlighting. That isn't going to be achieved without careful effort and that control shouldn't result in any mishaps round the eyes, so I was pretty safe to continue.

I'm going old-skool Epic Space Marine with the lenses. Sure the red lense stands out and is awesome but that box is my original inspiration that I want to hark back to and I think it sets them apart from the rest of the Dark Angel crowd. Obviously it enters into Salamander territory, even more so when you take into account I will be painting all my bare-headed Marines with the white hair off the Epic box cover but the dark Native American Indian Deathwing skin tones of  my 3rd Generation Dark Angel I better get that green just right!

So there was obviously some yellow involved, Some Gryphonne Sepia Wash a few times and some Badab Black and Chaos Black to sharpen the outlines. Finally a dot of pure white in the corners, just like th ehow to paint Space Marine guides tell you to do. The end result may actually look better than those close-ups suggest. Certainly for my table top standards, you'll see in the next post anyway as you can see each of the figures painted thus far. To end with, the inpiration that started it all!

Monday 19 September 2011

ebay sales YOU won't regret! Daemons, daemons, daemons!

My mate Liam, he of the scratch built Warhound and Warlord fame, is having another clear out of old figures on ebay NOW! Starting price 99p on everything. These things are really cool and well painted. I thin khe's looking to build a new Dark Eldar force so you'd be really helping him if you bought some of his chaos figures to feed his addiction. Remember the rumours say Chaos is going to feature BIG in the next 40k so why not get some cool gear early.

Forgive the sales pitch but the figures are ally cool and even if you don't want to bid they're definitely worth looking at... I've a shot of his Dark Eldar Razorwing to add later on so you can see what he's working on for his upcoming Throne of Skulls competition but I think there's enough here to sate anyone's appetite, even the blood G.O.D.

Sunday 18 September 2011

To done...?

OK, so I just Purity Sealed 90% of my son's 'nids, which was on my To Do List. It's nearly enough to be ticked off in my book. The only things not varnished were the Gargoyles, the new Tyranid Prime, the Hive Tyrant and the Mycetic Spore. The can is nearly empty and as it's been sat for nearly a year I thought it was long overdue, but I was a bit concerned about 'frosting' which is why I'd left it. I can't say I got away with it. Some of the Mechrite Red on the bases got a bit 'chilly' but most of the other bits are on the Bonewhite so it doesn't show up so much

So a big tick for me... except now that they're protected I need to do the very last bit, gloss varnish all the claws and talons. So after giving myself a tick for completing a job I'm now going to add in a new one, typical! More ebay stuff coming up tomorrow!

Saturday 17 September 2011

Dark Angel odds and sods update

While I'm doing the AoBR tactical squad I'm also painting a couple of other figures. I'm deluding myself into thinking these are test pieces but as I'm doing them at the same time as a squad of 10 how am I supposed to implement what I learn from these on the on the full squad? We've got an original lead [pb] Rogue Trader Marine with his overly square bolter, tiny legs, cloven toed boots, Mad Max hair and an eye-patch. I used Milliput to creat a respirator mask [back in the day], it's not great but it's better than the sculpt on the face that was there. Sadly because of his tiny legs he looks a bit puny now despite something menacing about him, he looks 'bad-ass' but next to the AoBR figures he ends up a bit wimpy.

Advanced Space Crusade Scout. You know I've got loads of these, I don't think I'm ever going to have more than one squad and I've got a set of five that I've taken the Mohican off. Although it fits the Deathwing Native American motif I think it's a bit rubbish. Saying that having one to mix in may add a bit of spice to the otherwise dull pose of the Advanced Space Crusade Scout. Of course the lollipop stick bolt pistol cowling had to be done. It's now a bigger muzzle than your standard Marine issue bolter!

And here's one of the White Dwarf freebies, a flamer marine to go with the Missile Launcher Marine I also got free. Nothing much to say on this guy but as flamers have such a devestating effect on Termagants I'm happy I have him even if there's still no real pay-off during battle with this weapon yet. One day he may very well come into his own...