Thursday, 29 October 2015

Diary of a Demon Entry: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by*"

As I write this, on the 29th October, I realize my chances of finishing my golden Demon entries in time for the event, on the 18th October, may be a little optimistic.
At least without the help of that Gallifreyan chap, anyhow.
However, I shall persevere. The Ultramarine is a commission anyway so will have to be finished, not that it's any chore, and I feel that I need to see the Dark Angel through to the end. I don't want it to be added to the "unfinished" pile (which is embarrassingly large as it is...). Besides, there will be other events.
Also I was inspired, both by Adrian getting a well-deserved second place at the event with his beautiful Space Wolf and by having a look around the studio display cabinets, at the event and I am even more desperate to paint some models for myself.
So, moving on, here's where we're at.

In this first picture of the Ultramarine you can see some of the texture I have created. I want the armour to have a little patina to it- a texture that shows it has been painted and repainted many times over. To this end I started with a very dark blue base which was given a red and blue ink wash then drybrushed with a few layers of mid to light blue. This was then painted over with the flat mid blue and given another red/blue wash. I then began highlighting through the blue range and you can see the highlights on the leg have moved a little further than on the pauldron, which is still mostly flat.

In the second picture I have completed the first round of highlights which involved blending almost up to pure white. I have then applied a couple of red/blue glazes to smooth out the transitions and to add a little warmth to the colour. As you can see, the glazes have also picked out some of the texture that was applied before, as was the plan.

There is madness in my method, but also method to my madness.

While waiting for glazes and suchlike to dry, I got started on the face. Normally, with a miniature, I would always do the face first. The principle reason I give for this is that, with an unfinished face, you cannot gauge what a miniature will look like, no matter how finished the rest of the miniature may be. By finishing the face first, the focal point of the piece is established and the rest will fall into place. With Space Marines that rule can be ignored, for the most part, as it's much easier to establish the overall look of the piece (without the face) due to the uniformity of the colour schemes, etc.

I allowed the face to be subjected to the same washing and drybrushing of blues that the armour received before working on the fleshtones over those colours. This both gives the flesh a subtle hint of the blue of the armour, as it would have in reality, and also helps to create the sort of Greek-inspired, slight olive tint I want the skin to have. The two pictures show the stages of highlights before the first round of glazes have been applied. At the moment I've not decided whether the horrible scar on the right-hand side of his face is to be an old scar or a fresh one. I'll think about that later.
Finally, I've started on the base. I've integrated the small, sculpted resin piece with some random bits from my bits box and a load of slate chippings. A black spray, followed by a grey spray, lots of drybrushing and random ink washes get it to where it is so far.

And that's it at the moment. In the next installment I'll try and include some work on the Dark Angel.

*Douglas Adams 1952-2001

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Diary of a Demon Entry: Prologue

I always intended to go up to the new Warhammer World at the GW HQ in Nottingham at some point. I really want to see what they’ve done with the place, meet some of the people I’ve made contact with through Facetybook and, obviously, catch up with all those old friends and work colleagues that I haven’t seen in years. So, when Adrian Walters suggested we both go up to see it all at the Warhammer 40,000 Weekend, in October, and have a go at entering Golden Demon I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do all those things. A chance encounter with Andy Warwick, who offered to put me up for the weekend, sealed the deal and meant there was no backing out of it. All I had to do now was come up with an entry for the competition. This was around sometime in August. Loads of time to get ready...

Okay, eight days to go and let’s see how much work has been done so far...
Oh dear.
Oh deary, deary dear.
See, as is usual with me, I have left things for the last minute and now I’m in a very real danger of not finishing at all. In fact, I probably wouldn’t bother trying if not for the encouraging words from Adrian and my good friend (and long-suffering customer) Torben Schnoor.
It’s not entirely my fault. Getting the new business partnership with The Better Half off the ground has taken up way more time than I expected (not that I’m complaining-it’s gone from a few hours a week to a few days a week in the space of a couple of months-nobody should complain about a bit of success) and I have my commission commitments on top of that. It doesn’t leave a lot of time.
On top of that I didn’t really have any plan of what I wanted to enter. So many figures to choose from, so many decisions to make. Horus Heresy or 40k? Whether to weather? Named character or line trooper? I just had no idea. Richard Hale provided a Forge World Limited Edition Horus Heresy Legion Centurion and David Brehaut provided a Dark Angels Interrogator-Chaplain. Both are terrific models for very different reasons and they’ve given me the opportunity to try two very different styles. I’m going to do the Interrogator-Chaplain in a very clean, studio style, emulating the vastly talented Darren Latham, and the Legion Centurion in a more weathered, beaten-up style, as suits the model and the general Forge World Horus Heresy feel.
All I have to do now is get them finished.

Friday, 20 March 2015

A Good Cause

Right, something a little different from me. I have painted this little vignette, featuring the Clarecraft Rincewind and The Luggage, as one of the prizes in a charity raffle that Henry South, paragon of virtue and blogger at is running to raise money for The Alzheimer's Society in memory of the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett.

All you have to do is go to the donation page and make a pledge to stand a chance of winning my little effort, one of Henry's own models (as featured in Warhammer Visions) or an ORIGINAL JOHN BLANCHE PAINTING!!!
So, what are you waiting for? Go pledge what you can and maybe, just maybe, Rincewind will be yours! (or, y'know, you might win that painting, which is okay if you like that sort of thing...)

Friday, 30 January 2015

White Dwarf Weekly and Warhammer Visions: One Year On


It's been a year since White Dwarf was re-imagined as a weekly and the monthly Warhammer Visions was launched so it seems like a good time to look back and see how things have turned out.
When the relaunch/launch happened there was (of course) a massive amount of negative feedback on the interwebs but I was, as ever, cautiously optimistic. I was rather looking forward to a weekly hobby fix and the prospect of a monthly picturefest filled me with joy.
The cautious optimism lasted for the first couple of months. By issue 3 of Visions I thought things had stagnated a bit and I was somewhat negative in both my opinion of the (then) current state of the book and of it's future. Vitriolic in fact, which I now regret, although I stand by some of my criticisms from back then. I can only say I must have been having a bad few days.
Since then I have to say things have improved considerably. The triple-language text still jarrs, as do some of the photo orientation and design choices, but the content has improved greatly. There is much more fan content and much less repitition in the New Releases section. I'd still like to see more text- I know that it's a picture book but more detail in some of the galleries would be nice. More sections of less pages, perhaps? An 'Eavy Metal Masterclass every month would be very welcome indeed as would an "Artist of the Month" to go with the "Army of the Month." Oh, and I think Forge World is criminally under-represented in the New Releases section.
On the whole, though, I think Visions is doing it's job as a showcase of painted miniatures quite well indeed and I'll certainly be continuing to follow it with interest. It's not perfect but it is getting there.

As for White Dwarf weekly...well, what can I say?

I love it. It's great. I think they've struck a very good balance between content for gamers and for painters/collectors. It has included free gifts, mini games, rules updates, battle reports and succeeded in answering a lot of the criticisms of White Dwarf of recent years. The Paint Splatter articles are a useful source of reference, even for someone like me, the New Releases do not dominate too much and there is a good variety of articles. And I really do enjoy having that weekly fix.
It's not perfect, though. There is room for improvement.
There is a fair bit of wasted space. I do like the neat, uncluttered style (gods forbid we should go back the "Fat Bloke" era of random shapes and colours) but there are lots of empty spaces on some pages and, if the text was a smidgen smaller, the articles could be a little more detailed.And, personally I feel that "Ask Grombridnal" is a bit of a laugh sometimes it is a chronic waste of half a page and the whole "Week In White Dwarf" section could do with a tweak here and there.Oh, and please, on the week of release of Warhammer Visions, can we have a mention in New Releases OR an advert on the inside back cover and not both (especiallyif the back page advert is going to show the previous issue...) It's a minor thing, I know, but it irritates.
So, there we are, my rambling opinion of the current state of the two publications. I enjoy them both and I look forward to each new issue. There's room for improvement in both but, on the whole, the production team aren't doing too bad at all. If you agree or disagree, feel free to comment below.
Here's to the next 52/12 issues. Now, where the hell am I going to put them all...?

Friday, 2 January 2015

...And the first post of 2015

I hope the festive season was full of joy and wonderment, family and friends, cheese and crackers*

I'm off to a busy start with my new year, with January containing Blood Angels, Space Hulk Genestealers and a set of the figures from Star Wars: Imperial Assault on my work table, amongst other things. I'll be showing these as I go along with them.

Actually, on that subject, if anyone is interested in me doing a stage-by-stage tutorial on any of these pieces (or has any other suggestions for content) let me know in the replies below.

Now, in my last message of 2014 I mentioned a personal project on a subject close to my heart. I'm going to build a model of the single most beautiful creation in all of sci-fi....
I'll be peoviding regular progress updates on this two-year build and, frankly, I can't wait. The Falcon is my favourite spaceship of all and I've wanted to build a model of her since I did the old Ertl kit back when I was a mere sproglet and this one looks really rather good. It's also huge. There's a blueprint in the magazine, that folds out to the actual size of the model, and it's big enough to be a substantial coffee table. As an aside, from the blueprint it looks like the model will be almost perfectly scaled to the 30mm SW:IA figures (which will be very interesting indeed) but I'll have to check once I'm further into the project to be certain.

Certainly it's bigger than the last Millennium Falcon kit I built...

Right, that's about it for now. I'm still working through the photos of the last six months' work and they'll be added as I get them sorted so all that remains for me to say is to wish you all a happy and successful 2015.

Da-daah da-da-da-DAAH-daaaaa...

*I'm not allowed cheese and crackers on my usual diet so christmas is a special time for me because I am allowed off the diet for a bit...mmmm, cheese....

Monday, 29 December 2014

Last post of 2014...

Hello everyone,
I hope y'all had a smashing Christmas!
As you can see, it's been some time since I posted anything here so I've got a lot of catching up to do. I'm going to be posting loads of new piccies here over the next few weeks, as I get them sorted out, of all the stuff I've been doing over the last six months as well as posting WIPs of new stuff, etc.
I promise I'm going to try and do more regular postings here and if there's any sort of content you'd like to see me post let me know in the comments section below.
One thing I have got in mind is a weekly update of a BIG personal project that is very far removed from my usual realm of work but is a subject very close to my heart -more on this very soon.
So that's all there is at the moment. All that remains for me to say is have a great New Year's Eve and I'll see you all in 2015!

Monday, 26 May 2014

A bit of a catchup...

Morning all!
It's been a while since I posted anything new here (for a variety of reasons) so I thought I'd better catch up on a few things...
First off, my little competition has come to an end. As I didn't get anywhere near as many votes as I did entries (despite publicising it all over Facebook) I decided to let the voting time run on a bit. The voting was a draw so I have stepped in and used my deciding vote and the winner is:

ORDO IRATUS: the term used to describe that particular group of 'fans' that will winge and bitch about whatever GW does, even if it's something that they previously bitched that they weren't doing...

So, Moratori Luca, if you'd like to email me at with your contact details I will send you your prize!

Moving on to something slightly related to the above...

Last Friday it was announced, without warning, that the 'Eavy Metal page on Facebook was being shut down. This announcement was made by someone who had been made an admin on the page the day before. No explanation was given as to why it was happening and this lead to the usual flurry of theories, ranting, upset and abuse. And what abuse it was. Frankly it comes as no suprise that GW want to remove all connections to social media having seen some of the disgusting messages that were placed on the page. I realise that any hobby has its real fanatics but some of the postings went way, way too far. With any luck those morons that posted the worst of the messages will stay true to their words and have nothing more to do with the hobby. The world of miniature wargaming is better off without them. Ordo Iratus doesn't even come close. Nasty, nasty little people.
Whatever the reason for GW's removal of the page it did leave one silver lining- a number of other fan pages were set up almost immediately the news broke and have begun to thrive. Even I got in on the act. My new page is called....'eavy metal and can be found here: and is an open page for miniature painters of all skill levels to discuss the hobby, show off their work and to compare techniques, etc. Feel free to come along and join in. At the time of writing we're getting close to three hundred members after just three days!

So that's about it for now. My work output has been fairly crap over the last week or so but I'm hoping to put an end to that and I'll be posting some new stuff very soon.

All the best,