Studio Update

I had the pleasure of delivering this army to its owner last weekend.  It was a long haul, and many things were learned, and in the end, it’s quite the sight to behold.

Items of note:

  • Helynna’s flourescent pink mowhawk
  • Imperatus’ action pose
  • 24 friggin’ Sentinels
  • Sylys Wyshnyllyr (painted in about two days)

Click for bigger pictures.

Miscellaneous Thoughts:

Adding high contrast lines to the weapon blades really helps them stand out, and helps broadcast the unique design of Retribution weapons.  The Imperial Blue tint really shuts down the initial black-to-white contrast, and it would be too subtle to be seen unless you were examining a model individually.  I was originally worried the lines would be too much, but seeing it across a whole army – I think it works nicely.

I really enjoyed not having to build bases, only paint them.  There’s a whole discussion to be had about the benefits and costs of DIY versus resin bases, but from a time-savings stand point, being able to generate 30+ finished bases in two or three evenings is fantastic.  I’d finished the models, and needed to base them, and before I realized it, they were done – and they look great.

Yes, I photographed them on my Khadoran Trenchworks terrain set.  Because this is my blog, and it’s all about me.

I mentioned last time, that I had commission work coming in that would cause the personal projects to get set aside for a while.  Well, here’s an update on what’s going on!

The main commission I was talking about is a pair of 75-pt Retribution lists with about 20 pts of overlap.  The inspiration for the paint scheme comes from Hampster Cage Studio’s midnight inspired and LED lit Hyperion, and (I think) the client’s Alma Mater, UFL.  This gave us a nice bit of contrast in a dominant set of complementary colors:  blue and orange.

The main scheme should use blue for armor and orange for cloth, and then invert that for anything with the Dawnguard label.  Including Imperatus.  Of course, Retribution has loads of glowy bits, so the obvious solution is to use the opposite color as the glowy bits.  So, there’s a lot of play between the complementary colors, and since the blue will be very dark and the orange rather bright, there’s also some contrast in value.

Inspiration for the primary armor color.

Inspiration for the primary armor color.

I chose a House Shyeel Artificer and Dawnguard Scyir as the test models for a few reasons.  One, they’re metal so if it all went to shit, I could just throw them in the soup and not worry about it.  Two, they each showcase the scheme in different ways.  The Artificer has lots of armor and cloth, but isn’t a Dawnguard model, so would show blue with orange.  The Scyir would show orange with blue.  Since they had opposite colors for armor, they’d also let me work out the proper recipes for orange and blue glowy bits.

Continue Reading

Prior to the NOVA Open, I delivered the last two minis in my D&D Party commission. These last two couldn’t be more opposite characters, and they were both a joy to paint for very different reasons.

First, there’s the flighty, easily distracted, icy sorceress, Kava. The mini is by Guild of Harmony, and it’s a gorgeous piece.


Kava was to be painted in blues, whites and silver (and in fact, has a silvery sheen over her skin due to her silver draconic heritage). I decided to use most of the same palette I use on the icy parts of my Aquablight. I started with P3 Coal Black, and went through P3 Meredius Blue, P3 Arcane Blue and finally P3 Frostbite as the final highlight. Each of these was run through the airbrush, but the final Frostbite was added by hand.


Her skin was described as “tawny”, so after some research, I found that P3 Khardic Flesh was the best primary fleshtone. I then highlighted up with P3 Midlund Flesh and some P3 Ryn Flesh on her face, and P3 Idrian Flesh for shadows. This was all then glazed with a very thin layer of VMC Silver.


With hair that was supposed to be such a dark brown that it was almost black, that’s essentially what I used to paint it. I started with my darkest brown, P3 Umbral Umber, and then washed with GW Nuln Oil. Nuln Oil is great because not only is it a fairly strong black wash, it’s also incredibly flat, and kills any shine from the usually satin finish of P3 paints. I then highlighted the hair with more Umbral Umber, and some P3 Battlefield Brown (which is a bit warmer than Umbral Umber), and added a second layer of Nuln Oil in some of the darkest recesses.


Overall, this was a blast to paint. I don’t often get to paint things with so many folds of cloth, and so much skin, so it was great practice at keeping blends smooth (mostly achieved through glazing).

The other mini I worked on was a half-orc warrior, named Myrawhl. She’s a very focused fighter, and cares little for flashy things. Besides a weapon and shield swap from the standard Reaper model (#60171), the client also wanted her to have a certain hair style (and there was even a reference photo!). So, I hacked off what little hair the stock model had, and sculpted a new ‘do. It took two tries to get it how I wanted, but I think it came out very well.


The client wanted her to have ash-grey skin, so I mixed a few custom colors to paint the face. I highlighted with mixtures with more green and less grey, and shaded with mixtures heavier in grey. Her hair is highlighted in greys and white, replicating the natural sheen of hair. This also helped me “draw” the hair, and help the sculpting work portray the look the client wanted.


The only other colors the client mentioned were red and yellow. Since the brass armor conveys lots of yellow, I used primarily red, using it on the cloth and shield. The only nod to yellow are the bolts. Since Myrawhl is described as a very practical person, I reasoned that her crossbow bolts might be brightly colored, so she could easily spot them and retrieve them for re-use.


So, that’s the last two models in this party, but it’s not the end of the job. The client has one more model on deck, and let’s just say that he’s not nearly as heroic as these other six. In fact, he’s rather villainous…

Damn, the Wordpress Dashboard got dusty while I was away.  Sheesh.  I’ll have to be better about that.

Anyway, I’ve been doing things and stuff, and didn’t have anything worth sharing for a long while.  However, recently I’ve painted some things and thus I finally have something that I can share!  Yay!

Here, pictures:


I started Aby2 way, way back as a model I wanted to include in my TempleCon prep at the beginning of the year. She was a fairly new model then, and she ran beast heavy like Thag1 does, so she was a natural sub for variety in iron Arena. She made the trip, and flew around the hall with me, but never saw table time.


Well, she’s been seeing a lot more table time around the LGS. I’ve really enjoyed playing her, but I’ve yet to really master her. I’m planning on playing her as a primary choice for the near future, so keep a look out for a battle report, perhaps?


Ok, so her hands are huge. I can’t not talk about her hands. THEY’RE MASSIVE. Massive, oversized man hands.

Yeah, I get that she’s an abomination. She’s part beast. But seriously. Those hands are larger than her head (minus the horns).

Oh, here’s a flying family shot of the other guys that shared the painting table with her. Aren’t they adorable? Cute lil’ bumbleblights!



Go ahead, you tell them any different.