Monday 28 October 2013

Painting Orc skin

Someone over on the Warhammer forum was asking about painting Orc skin. And as I had a few Orcs and Orks in the painting queue and as its Orctober I thought I'd show how I do my Orc flesh.
It's pretty crude, but when you've got several big units to get through I find that's the only way.
All the paints are GW and are all now replaced with newer versions, but you should be able to find similar colours out there, or use the GW Paint Conversion Chart
The model is a slightly converted plastic Arrer boy from the venerable Warhammer 6th edition starter set.
Starting from a black undercoat (I used Boyes car primer)

First paint all the skin areas with Orkhide shade

Then overbrush the skin with Knarlock green, leaving the Orkhide showing in the recessed areas

Next, wash with Thrakka green

Bit of a bonus close-up

Then go back and highlight some of the raised areas with Knarlock green

And that's it.

Here's a finished model from the same unit.

On character models I go and add some extra highlights, such as on this WiP warboss

Here I've added Goblin Green and then Goblin Green/Rotting flesh highlights to the basic recipe above.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Stone Troll

The ongoing purge of my painting queue brings you this.
A Citadel Stone Troll.
Fantastic, characterful model that I've had for ages.
I hesitate to say that it's actually a lead model, but under all that bluey-grey paint he might just be.

Got two more of his mates to finish off too.

Friday 25 October 2013

Dark Age Execution

This model has been on my painting station for ages. I finished the rest of the pack ages ago, but they've languished in their basecoats for quite some time. He's a Gripping Beast model from the casualties and killers set.
However I'm having a bit of a purge of the painting queue, so I bashed this one into shape and here's the results.

I'm not sure how I feel about the figure to be honest. I know things like this went on, and it's quite nicely sculpted, but I'm not sure I really want it on my gaming table - it crosses some sort of line for me I think. Which probably explains why it sat on the paint table for so long.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Tribesmen for Darkest Africa

I've finally finished these fellas off.
I had a nightmare getting them varnished - inclement weather, water based varnish interacting with dip etc.
I'm still not happy with them, but this was supposed to be another quick and dirty diversion, so despite the fact that there's about five different layers of varnish on and they look a bit fuzzy, I'm calling done on these.

These were gifted to me by top chum James. I think he was hoping to lure me into playing Death in the Dark Continent, or other "proper" types of colonial gaming. But I've been reading rather a lot of H Rider Haggard and other Lost World type stuff recently and I've got a copy of Adventures in Jimland on the hard drive somewhere, so I fear I'm going to veer off into a jungle land of mysterious tribes,diamond mines, manly adventures and, most likely, dinosaurs. Stay tuned as I embark for the mysterious shores of Tombogo!

Monday 21 October 2013

Perry Koreans for Ronin

I've wanted to get some of the Perry Koreans ever since they first came out.
Cool and unusual and with their usual high standard of sculpting.
However knowing next to nothing about the period and with no intention of collecting an entire army of them, my interest remained notional.
Until Ronin came out. Simple Samurai era skirmish rules needing only a few models and with a Korean list in the book! Huzzah!
So I bought the book and got me a few packs of Koreans.
Here are the first three from pack KOR6:

As a change and challenge I went with a layering technique on most of the model, just to make a break with my usual wash style of painting, and also to see if it gave the miniatures a more vibrant look.
It's a long time since I've painted an entire model like this and its (even) more time consuming than my usual method. But I have to say I'm pretty pleased with then end results, even if I'm clearly a bit rusty.
However it's proving tricky to get decent pictures of them - I think the bright white clothing is playing havoc with the white balance.
There's another three of these to go, then some command models before I get to some of the funky armoured dudes with intricate shields. Then I'll need to buy some archers (they didn't have any in stock at Partizan). At this rate I'll be ready for a game by about 2020.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Toy Soldiers at Wallington

Over the summer I visited the National Trust's Wallington property in the North East of England. It's a great day out in its own right with adventure playgrounds, climbing trees, the inevitable scone-heavy cafe and the chance of spotting a red squirrel (we didn't).
But unbeknownst to me there was a bonus inside the actual house.
In a large cabinet in what was once the children's nursery was a huge collection of late 19th century toy soldiers.
Apparently these had belonged to the three Trevelyan brothers Charles, Robert and George, who had played with them extensively in the 1880s. Also in the cabinet were some kreigspiel rule sets which the brothers used to plan their moves and campaigns before resolving battles with their toy soldiers. According to the notes the two elder boys used George in the role of "fate". Rather than deciding combat outcomes by the roll of a dice "fate" had to decide the results and casualties. This was clearly a system open to some abuse and George was  "persuaded" and "enticed" to favour one or other of his elder siblings (those of you with children are invited to imagine how well that worked).
That aside, I think this sounds an excellent system and think it should form the basis of 9th ed. Warhammer - it would certainly cut down the number of rules arguments some players seem to suffer from.
I think what I found interesting was that this pre-dated HG Wells and Little Wars by some 30 years - I suppose I always knew wargaming wasn't an original idea of Wells', but it was fascinating to have it confirmed that boys were playing with toy soldiers (at least in wealthy houses) for a long time before any rules were written down.

The miniatures themselves were an interesting and eclectic selection. Some were flats, some of them more full figured. They were apparently bought pre-painted, though many bore the signs of wear and tear of years of campaigning. There seemed to be a wide selection of 19th century troops, from Napoleonics (including some rather splendid kilt wearing redcoats), via ACW (both rebels and bluecoats) and the Crimea and on into contemporary bersaglieri and picklehaube wearing Prussians. Evidently the boys were bought units of whatever was available on trips to London and then formed them into broadly British (led by Wellington) and French (led by Napoleon) with allies such as Blucher (leading some of the aforementioned Franco-Prussian war troops) slotted in where appropriate.

Unfortunately the lighting wasn't great and I struggled to get decent pictures through the glass. But here are what I did manage to grab (apologies for the poor quality).

 A "flat" Napoleon at the head of his flat Old Guard

 I believe one of these is Wellington

Blucher, as he's facing toward the right, is part of the "British" forces

 Busby wearing (not flat) redcoats

 The Old Guard in more detail

 Kilt weraing redcoats, though they appear to have changed sides

Bersaglieri, I think

 Lifeguards (?) lead the British advance

 View from one end of the cabinet

And another view along

As I said, Wallington is a great day out if you're up in the North East and well worth a visit. And if you can pretend to be as surprised as I genuinely was when you spend the 45 minutes gawking at toy soldiers then your respective wargames widows will probably never suspect you had an ulterior motive for visiting.

Friday 18 October 2013


I've been painting some boars for my Boarboys to ride for my Warhammer Orcs and Goblins
What follows is by way of a Step by Step guide to how I did it:

First assemble your boars. They're big models for the size of base and will be a bugger to rank up, so the first ones I have positioned as far forward on the base as possible so they overlap the rear rank as little as possible. The second rank will be positioned as far to the reverse of the base as possible. I find three ranks to be unlikely.

Then spray them brown - I used Plastikote Chocolate Brown:

Then overbrush with Calthan Brown

Then cover with Devlan Mud

Next drybrush with Bestial Brown

 And then Snakebite Leather

After that give the skin bits a good coat of Tallarn Flesh and then a wash of Ogryn Flesh wash
The tusks and teeth were picked out with Bestial and then Bubonic brown and finished with Bleached Bone and the hooves painted Chaos Black with a thin edge highlight of Shadow grey.

Pretty happy with them.

Now I just need to do the riders...