Monday, 1 May 2017

Reflections on Painting practice

I've realised what I've done wrong - I wasn't using an airbrush!

Oh wait people need context. Ok so, looking back on some of my recent attempts at painting Witch Aelves I realize something basic and yet profound.

Female skin is much smoother than male skin.

I've painted Chaos Marauders, Kairic Acolytes, Khorne Blood Reavers etc etc and never had any issues with skin. But my favorite models are the Witch Elfs and they are my least good paint job so far. Part of the reason for this is that muscular male flesh basically paints itself. Prime with white, wash with fleshtones, wash again with an orange. Highlight. Edge Highlight. And then you're done.

The problem with female flesh is that the Highlighting must all be freehand. The blends must all be graduated. Mistakes are more obvious and the edges less forgiving.

The solution - airbrush and a hell of a lot of acrylic medium to glaze the models. I already own an airbrush so it'll give me a  great reason to get it into action. I have a box of Witch Aelves yet to be assembled, 5 Already primed as well as a Bloodwrack Medusa and a Cauldron of Blood, all to try these techniques out on so let's see what we can do.

PMP Challenge: A little competition!

So Phase 1 has begun I decided to scratch build the tail using a paper clip and GS. I used the end of an old elf horse tail to add the hairy bit. Looking at pictures the tail is roughly twice the length of a bull's leg so this is a first approximation of it. It'll all need more work but this is a start.

The next step was to add some GS to the gaps on the model itself.

And then work on the base. By adding an extra GS stone and fixing the gap between the back hoof and the stone.
It'll take a while for the GS to set and harden so that's probably it for today on this guy.

Hobby Challenge - 1st Annual PmP Painting Competition

Ok, so in response to Vince Venturella's great PMP Google+ group's painting challenge I've elected to start working on this guy.

This guy is a Chaos Lord on a Daemonic mount.

For the mount I'm using a converted Wood Elf Stag with bitz from dragons to represent a Bull.

The Lord is converted from a Chaos Space Marines Sorceror Lord helm with a metal Archaon body and the legs from a metal Grey Knights Terminator.

This will be the first of a few PLOG posts on this guy. My plans are to do a flaming sword, black armour and a red cape based on the Everchosen colour scheme. 

I'm not sure about the mount's colour scheme as yet - my inspiration is from the Irish myth of the Táin Bó Cúailnge - The Cattle Raid of Cooley - which had two mythical bull's in it one White one Brown. But we'll see how we go with this one.

Phase 1 is a bit of GS and liquid GS work. Checking for mould lines and then Phase 2 will be Zenithal highlighting.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

This month's work

A major thank you to my lovely Fiancé for all her help with the photography!

Here's some pix of my finished Warhammer Quest models this month.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Arnie the Dark Oath Chieftain

Here's a few pics of Arnie my Dark Oath  Chieftain from Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower. He's painted using GW paints and based with Astrogranite.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Hag Sorceress - Conversion Part 2

Almost there with my Sorceress conversion. Some final touches to be made. Excuse the poor photography the lighting is too harsh.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Warhammer: Homebrew Extra Heroes and Adversaries for Warhammer Quest

Hi everyone! Here's a list of some links to homebrew heroes and enemies for Warhammer Quest that I've found around the web.
Not all of these are balanced and IMHO some need a bit of tweaking but YMMV.

Warhammer: Work in Progress Aelf Sorceress

I'm a crazy fan of Warhammer and have been for almost 2 decades. I've been collecting, painting and converting miniatures for most of that time.

When Games Workshop brought out Warhammer Quest Silver Tower I literally pre-ordered it immediately. I had my doubts about the company's new direction when it cancelled Warhammer Fantasy Battles but Silver Tower hooked me back in - and hasn't let me go!

I now own a huge early 2000s Dark Elf army a very Large current Dark Elf army, a current Chaos Army and two Warhammer Quest games. And I'm loving Age of Sigmar.

This is a conversion I created using spare parts from the Dark Elf Sorceress on Black Dragon, Doom Fire Warlocks, Sisters of Slaughter, Dark Eldar Scourges, and some Kroot Carnivore bitz. This is still very much a Work in Progress. I intend to make a custom rule set for her for WHQ.

My plans are to add a magical effect (maybe fire or lightening) in her left hand  and then to paint her up using the standard Witch Elf colour scheme (which is what I use for the whole army) or something inspired by Yvraine from 40K. There's still some work to do - mould lines to remove here and there as well as a little liquid GS work - but let me know what you think so far!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Skyrim Mods: "Immersive" Armors?

This is a WIP post that I'll update periodically

One of the things that gets under my skin about some mods is the overuse of the word "immersive".
An immersive mod would be one that increases your belief in the world of Skyrim. However the way the word is used is as a synonym for "realistic".

One mod that really doesn't fit under either is Hothtrooper44's Immersive Armors. Now don't get me wrong Immersive Armors v7 (IA) is a GREAT mod but it has major issues for a mod claiming to be immersive.

One of the big problems is a lack of CBBE compatibility and generally poor models for female characters.  With version 7 of IA Hothtrooper has integrated his armors with a number of armors and shields made by others. The models made by others tend to be very good (the Storm Lord & Imperial Knight armours by Gechbal & Dragonbone Ebonsteel by Dreogan) the only group of armors not by Hothtrooper that I have a problem with are the lore friend Morrowind Armor Compliation by Thusky. These armors are far too close to the TESIII Morrowind style and I don't mean that in a lore way, I mean that they look dated in a graphics sense.

Hothtrooper's own armors are mashups and retextures (nothing wrong with that BTW) but they are very hard to edit/fix because of this.  And while they make great male armors they are not all appropriate for female bodies.  For example, the Red Guard Knight armor is a fantastic and lore friendly and immersive armor but it looks like crap on women. The same goes fro Trollsbane (which looks great on guys but stupid on women).

So what is the solution? Well if you can't fix them without 3DS Max and 3d modelling skills then replace them. Below is a list of the possible alternative models for this. It's also worth noting that since Hothtrooper44 release v7 a cbbe patch has been made by Nerd of Prey. It converts some of the easier to fix armors to cbbe (or whatever body-type you want using bodyslide). These armors are the Bosmer set; the Barbraian armors; shaman; ranger; and ringmail.

The armors that need replacement are as follows. A possible replacer is linked beside it:

  • Redguard Knight (replace female with Crimson Twilight by Bloodfree)
  • Crimson Archer (replace with Dream Burrow's Regal Huntsman or Regal Assassin for both genders)
  • Seadog
  • Paladin (the most dated looking at this point)
  • Viking Chainmail (Replace with Simple Hauberks by VaultMAn30 for female)
  • Vanguard
  • Vagabond
  • Alduin scale
  • HedgeKnight
  • Glacial crystal
  • Vvardenfel Glass
Having said all that one of the very best armors in the collection is Hothtrooper's very own Warchief set - it's what caught my eye years ago and it's what keeps me with IA despite the problems with some of the female armors. Hothtrooper and the team deserve special praise for the MCM menu and the level of customization they built into it for their end users.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Skyrim Mods: My must have body mod list

First off there are 2 must have lists. Those for male player characters and those for female player characters.

For Female Player characters

Body mod: CBBE. This my own personal taste. However CBBE with Bodyslide will allow you to mimic the body types SevenBase Bombshell and UNP or UNPB. Why is this important? Because with Bodyslide all bodyslide enabled armours can be batch converted to match the custom body shape you've designed for your play through. The best mod for this is the Skyrim Enhanced - High polygons- armours (although some of the armours from this mod will have gaps - e.g the Blades armour - most will be an excellent improvement on Vanilla armours).

For CBBE I recommend you use the XPMSE skeleton and the HDT physics extension (HDTPE) and RaceMenu (3.0 or higher). Use the RaceMenu pligin from the XPMSE mod not from RaceMenu for the best customizability of your character's body. Also the RaceMenu Overlay Compilation will add tattos, beauty marks, skin effects and makeup to your character creation experience.

The skin textures I use for females are SG Renewal. Other addons worth getting are SG Female Eyebrows, Smile in HD, XCE's HD Dirt and Warpaint, Feminine Hands,

For male characters

XPMSE, HDTPE, Smile in HD, XCe's HD Dirt and Warpaint, RaceMenu (3.0 or higher) and Better Males

There are other body mods but these are the ones I use. CBBE + Bodyslide are not simply reommend due to my taste but due to their built in flexibility.

Skyrim: Gopher's videos

For all your modding and mod organizing needs you MUST watch Gopher's videos. His tutorial are 100% necessary for safe, reliable modding. He explains SKSE (Skyrim Script Extender), Mod Organozer, ENB, Wrye Bash etc etc.

There are a lo of videos but I'm afraid you do need to watch as many as you can. All my future posts will take for granted that you've done this.

Gopher's Mod Organizer videos
Gopher's Beginner's Guide to Modding Skyrim
Gopher's Skyrim Tweaks and Fixes
Gopher's ENB mods

Other than these Gopher also does Mod reviews and lets plays these are great quality and I recommend them. You can see them all on his Youtube playlists.

Skyrim Mods: Mod Organizer

What ever mod manager you're using if it's not Mod Organizer stop using it. Mod Organizer is the ONLY manager you should be using. It's 100% safe and will save you days of work when mods go wrong (and mods will go wrong)