Spiteclaw’s Swarm (Commission)

I’m decided that I’m going all-in with Shadespire. However, despite the relatively low model count, I don’t have the time or motivation to paint all of the warbands for this game, so I recently reached out to another Shadespire player and asked him to paint Spiteclaw’s Swarm for me in exchange for a set of terrain. I recently received the finished models and I’m thrilled with the job that he did. They’re better than anything I could do myself in the mere two hours that he said it took him, and just flat out amazing for a speedpaint! Besides the overall great quality, I really like the way the green turned out on these models — a deviation from the standard studio colors for Spiteclaw’s Swarm and a great color choice in its own right.

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Screamers of Tzeentch

Finished up a group of Screamers of Tzeentch recently. I remember feeling weirded out the first time I came across them in a Hobbytown USA back around 2004. It took a while, but these guys grew on me by the time I got my Start Collecting box last May. To me, they strike a good balance of managing to be creepy without being too over the top nightmarish or gross.

A couple of takeaways:

1. Army Painter washes are awesome! I’ve used their Strong Tone a fair amount in the past and I’ve been experimenting a little bit with the other colors more recently, but I haven’t used them this extensively or effectively before.

2. I had a lot of fun painting these guys! There’s a fair amount of detail present, but not an overwhelming amount, and nothing that was frustrating to paint. Combined with the cool blending effects I got with the washes, I don’t remember the last time I had this much fun painting a miniature.

 

Painting Guide

Body
1. Prime white.
2. Base coat Reaper Master Series HD Blue Flame.
3. Apply liberal amount of thinned Army Painter Blue Tone.
4. Apply thinned Army Painter Purple Tone.
5. Re-apply small amounts of thinned AP Blue Tone to create more distinction between purple and blue areas.
6. Drybrush RMS HD Blue Flame to bring up highlights.

Teeth/horns/spikes/etc.
1. Basecoat RMS Linen White.
2. Apply light amount of thinned AP Soft Tone.
3. Drybrush RMS Linen White.

Eyes
1. Basecoat RMS Marigold Yellow
2. Highlight RMS Clear Yellow

Boerogg Blackrime

This is the original resin version of Boerogg Blackrime from Reaper. I painted him over several months in starting in the spring of 2012 and stretching into the summer. I worked nearly exclusively on him for that period, putting in a couple hours of work each night. I normally paint fairly slowly, but this was an exceptional amount of time to put into a single mini even for me, but the crazy amount of detail on this figure pretty much necessitated it.

 

Reaper has gone on to change the look of their frost giants starting with the Bones 3 kickstarter, going from the more Pathfinder-esque style epitomized with Boerogg to the more traditional “giant vikings” look typically seen in earlier versions of D&D. Ironically, even though Pathfinder’s versions of frost giants is more stylized and monstrous-looking, they’re probably proportioned more realistically because humanoid creatures of that size would need stockier limbs in order to support their weight — square-cube law and all that.

My painting ability has not dramatically improved in the 5+ years since completing this mini, but there I a few things I could improve. The thing that sticks out to me as the biggest sore spot is the lackluster base. I barely had any experience modeling snow at that time, and I would do much better with it now. Plus, I’d switch him to a round base since I find them to be much more visually appealing than squares.

Old Forest Vignette (plus Ice and Snow version)

This is another new terrain piece finished in the “Old Forest” theme that I’ve been working with recently. Also pictured are the minis for two of the other PCs that I painted for the short-lived D&D campaign I mentioned in a previous post. I’ve been getting a good amount of mileage out of my tree models lately now that I’ve finally started using them.

And here’s the same piece, finished in the “Ice and Snow” theme. I added an additional tree because I thought some more features would be a good idea. I still feel like it could use something else, but I’m not really sure what.

 

Small Stepped Hill – Badlands Theme

I’ve been experimenting with a new style of terrain piece, not to mention getting some more use out of the tree models that I sculpted over two years ago but which I hadn’t started using until recently. This is my version of a “stepped hill,” although I might call them something else if I can think of something flashier.

When making terrain, there’s normally a trade-off between aesthetic quality and playability. Stepped hills, with their relatively large expanses of flat surfaces are typically more abstract and less realistic than hills with a more “dynamic” design, but this also makes it easier to position miniatures on them. I think this design manages to retain the advantages of stepped hills without sacrificing too much in terms of aesthetics.

I painted this piece in the “Badlands” theme, which I’ve really fallen in love with of late since tweaking it by adding the Shadow’s Edge Miniatures grass tufts. It was a minor change, but because it’s such a simple color scheme, I think the little bit of additional color from the green tufts helps it pop.

Small Forest Vignette + Galdanoth

I finished up this scene using the test colors that I previewed a few days ago.

In addition to the new color scheme, there were actually several other things I was testing out with this piece: combining different terrain elements to create a new model; using 3D modeling software to plan out and create the scene; and using Realistic Water to simulate a low area of ground that’s normally dry but which had flooded with a few inches of water due to recent heavy rains.

This is a fairly small piece, but now that I have a “proof of concept” I can easily scale it up or design a new piece using similar elements and do a step-by-step. Below is a comparison of the 3D model to the finished version. It’s hard to see in the screen cap, but I added a small lip to the edge of the base to contain the Realistic Water. I designed the tree armature to provide enough structure to attach clump foliage to represent leaves, but to work without foliage as a dead tree or as part of a winter scene.

3D modelSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

The new colors also proved to be just what I was looking for for a basing theme for one of my miniatures (“Galdanoth, Elf Sniper” from Reaper). I had painted this mini a few years ago, and had a mental image of what I wanted to do for a base, but I hadn’t been able create anything that matched what I had been envisioning until now. The decorative base is from CMON’s base Kickstarter from a few years ago. They packed a tremendous amount of detail into these, but I went the quick route and just did a simple paintjob with various flocks and scatter on top to match the rest of the vignette.

 

 

Lastly, there’s one more reason I’m glad to have finally completed Galdanoth: He’s the miniature that my gaming group at the time used to represent our friend Michael’s character in a short-lived D&D campaign back in 2013. Michael tragically passed away that summer before I finished painting this mini, and we abandoned the campaign after his death, but still I think of him every time I see this mini. Michael, I still miss you, man.