Sunday, 30 September 2012

In the grim Darkness of the Far Future there is only Mad Max meets Judge Dredd, or...Adventures in the Underhive III. Painting.

With the converted figures assembled, its time to put some paint onto the Delaque inspired gangers.  I've got a general idea around the colour scheme I'm going for, so undercoating in a flat dark brown I was ready to start things off.  

First the skin.  

Delaque gangers are supposed to be 'creatures of the dark', sneaking about in the shadows of the underhive and so on, so I felt they should be pallid, sickly looking chaps with their skin being washed out pale, greyish, with blotching and unhealthy red showing through.

The paints I'll be using for the skin are as follows:

The only product I regularly buy from Games Workshop...

Normally my painting is dominated by the desire to get the figures 'table ready' as rapidly as possible but with this gang I'm going to take a bit more time than usual and try and make them look better than my basic painting quality.  

I'll be indulging in the slow process of mixing paints and other such alchemy, along with taking a bit of time to try and make these figures look as good as possible.

So to the first base layer.  This is a light grey layer, that I built up with three watered down coats.  The point here is to get good coverage without obscuring detail and a 60:30 paint:water mix gives good coverage without being too thick.  


Once dry the skin is then washed with brown ink and left to dry.

The next stage is to mix the original grey with a light flesh colour.  carefully pick out the higher areas like cheeks, chin, nose, bow, ears, cranium etc. with this mix.  Keeping an even tone isn't too important for me with these models as I want them to have sickly mottled flesh. 

Once dry the next stage is another wash.  this time with 50:50 brown ink:water all over.  I let this wash dry and then used an undiluted red ink wash applied selectively around collars (where the skin may be rubbed raw), and in and around the eyes, mouth and nose.  I also dappled a few bits of red about where I thought it might look good, such as scuffed knees and scars.

Once the ink washes were fully dried I applied the final layer.  This time the light grey and light flesh was mixed with pure white to provide a highlight. 

This highlight is applied to the highest parts of the figure; the tip of the nose, the ears, the brow, and spots on the cheeks.  I also dabbed on small dots of highlight to add to the mottled effect.

Blending in you can see the lighter tones on the upper skull and the brownish / reddish tones on the 'underside', in the recesses and the back of the skull.

So the skin sections are done.  

Next up comes the metal sections.  This is a relatively simple process.  Firstly I applied a flat coat of gunmetal across all the metal sections and then applied an undiluted wash of black ink.  this was applied quite thickly to take off the metallic sheen.  Finally, using a silver colour I did a bit of rough edge highlighting.

For the banner, I felt that this would be a relic handed down through the gang-tribe for generations and so I went with a rust effect on the metal.

This is a relatively simple effect.  Firstly apply a flat coat of dark brown.  Over this, stipple a lighter brown and then a light orangey brown.  Don't cover the whole area as you want a patchy look.  Finally, along the edges and in patchy spots across the 'mobile parts' like chain links, I applied a gun metal colour.

Now the main common colours across the figures are done, I'll switch to concentrating on the detail of each figure in turn.  I started with the Hasselfree miniatures and have them basically finished, so here are a few quick pictures (once the gang is finished I'll get some decent final images done).

Firstly the gang leader.  As you can see I settled on the brown/blue theme and that's perhaps the first thing to note.  When painting figures, unless you're following a historical uniform colour, I find it best to pick a colour theme and stick to it.  For these Delaque gangers I've gone for brown and blue and so all the colours I choose will compliment those tones.  I'll specifically avoid bright and overtly red colours (except as muted 'spot colours') to keep the gang 'themed' with a consistent colour tone.

You can see this on the gang leader.  Brown forms the main tone and is reflected through her skin-tone, coat and hair.  The blue forms a 'T' of colour up her body and across her arms.  The only variance to this tone are the muted dark red lips.

I also decided to reflect this 'reddish' tone in her hair, making it a sort of 'red-blonde' brownish colour.  

The techniques I use are a mix of flat colouring, drybrushing and colour washes.

Next up is Harby.  He seems to me to be a bit of a loner and so I wanted to tie him in only loosely to the gang tones.  He's wearing a blue glove and a brown long coat to keep this thematic element together, but took make him individual I painted his shirt and trousers in neutral white and grey.  To continue the downward line created by his grubby scar I also made his T-shirt and trousers filthy-looking too!

Finally (poor picture this one), the moody little girl.  Her main colours are blue and yellow (which echoes the colours of a rather adventurous 'Alice').  I wanted to try a technique I've not attempted before - to try and give her a see-through dress.  I'm sort of happy with the result (although this photo doesn't do it justice), and I think I've achieved a decent paint job worthy of the quality of the figure.

In the grim Darkness of the Far Future there is only Mad Max meets Judge Dredd, or...Adventures in the Underhive II. Assembly.

My Necromunda gang is beginning to take shape as over the course of this week the various figures have dropped onto my doormat.  Winning the 'dispatch race' yet again was East Riding Miniatures.  It really astonishes me how quickly ERM can get your order out to you!

So the first figures to arrive were the ERM 'Slicks'.  I took a bit of time to consider them as to be honest I've still not really settled on a colour scheme.  The gang will be based on the Delaque, and these chaps are sneaky shadow dweller's with the icon of a blue snake, I'm thinking a mix of chocolate brown and deep blue might work quite well.

Anyway the ERM Slicks were well cast models, very slender in profile, but with very little detail.  Their hands are also very small and relatively badly sculpted.  Oddly, they also seemed to have a powder residue, presumably left over from the moulding process (mould release agent?)  A quick wash and scrub took care of that.

I resolved to do some very basic conversions; mostly head and weapon swaps raided from my bits box.  I wanted my gang to be fairly unique.  However as these Slicks will be serving as 'Juves' I didn't want to go too mad with them.

Firstly with this chap, his right hand was very odd looking so I snipped it off and replaced it with a large sword.  

I think this was from one of the Games Workshop fantasy ranges but I'm not sure which.  Given all the spikes and skulls that needed to be cleaned off I'm guessing one of the Chaos ranges.  Anyway, I cleaned the sword down, taking all the skulls and spikes and whatnot off to make it look a bit like a large, crooked katana blade.  It's interesting to consider how slender these Slick models are...

The next Slick model also had some 'small hand' issues, and a teeny looking gun, so again a simple snip off and replacement did the trick.  

The replacement stub pistol is actually from an old plastic Orlock arm I think.  It definitely beefs this chap up a bit though!

The final slick was similarly weedy in the hand department so I spent a bit of time considering what to do with him.  Trawling the 'bits box' for inspiration I came across a pile of banners, again I think from a Chaos range.  

So I thought my gang could do with a gonfalon!  I know it's not very useful for a 'sneaky' gang and it won't have any in-game effect but I couldn't resist it, especially as the figure's pose fit so well.  The gonfalon itself is actually assembled from a couple of different fantasy banners.  I transferred the model's pistol to the other hand to complete the conversion.

The next range to arrive were Pig Iron's Kolony troops.  Following on from the precedent set by the Slicks, I decided to do a bit of conversion work.  Actually I'd always intended to change the weapons on these models anyway.

First up is the chap with the little flame thrower.  He definitely needed a boost so I snipped off the little fuel tank and the unimpressive flame tube and replaced both with a Games Workshop Imperial Guard version.

 To cover over a few of the gaps and poor conversion alignment that was visible I gave him some extra pouches.  

Also I gave him a bald head  which was from the Games Workshop Chaos Marauder range, with the silly topknot snipped off.  

I'm not actually planning to include a flamer with that starting gang but I like this little chap so much I may change my mind.

Anyway, next I switched to the backbone of the gang; the gangers with lasguns.

These weapon swaps involve, to various degrees, using Games Workshop Imperial Guard lasguns.  I snipped off a bit of the cast assault rifle, and carved out the lasgun to replace the lost part of the gun.

With this chap I took off the forward and top part of the gun, replacing it with a lasgun.  To add a bit of variety I also included a scope.

The same with this model.  You can see the rough nature of the conversion.  I rarely do this, and its not something I'm particularly good at.  Hopefully I'll be able to cover things up in the painting though.

Same with this one, although I also replaced the fore grip hand.

This one is a little simpler and involved a clean slice off the front of the gun.  I had some Pig Iron 'extra guns' hanging around from a previous purchase and took the barrel of one of those, together with a lasgun muzzle to make a long barrel variant pattern lasgun.

Lastly, this chap has very little conversion work on him.  A simple snip of the muzzle to be replaced by one from a lasgun.

That leaves the other special and heavy weapons from the Pig Iron pack.  While I'll not be likely to use these in the initial gang line-up, they'll be useful for options later on, so I've put them together.

The chap with the missile launcher isn't modified in any way.  I do rather like his pose too.  

Throughout all the Pig Iron miniatures, which are a mix of 'rebels' and 'ferals' I've avoided the 'feral' heads.  This is mainly as the Delaque gangers are supposed to be shaven-headed and the Feral heads are all rag and gas-mask covered.  

The machine gunner will likely be used as a Heavy with a heavy stubber.  

I gave him a helmet which again is a Games Workshop Chaos Marauder part (I think).  

I snipped off all the spikes and horns to make it look like it could be a Planetary Defence Force helm, perhaps captured during a raid or taken from a slain lawman.  I also liked the idea that the helmet muffles the sound of the chattering heavy weapon!

Last but not least for the Pig Iron miniatures there's a sort of sniper chap.  Again I gave him a simple head swap.  Not sure what weapon I'll use this for but he looks like he's hunkered down on a high level gantry picking off enemies below, so something long ranged I suspect.

The next figures to arrive were Hasslefree's lovely miniatures.  Bizarrely the pack also contained some sweeties!  Not sure why.

It's notable that the Harby model comes as a multi-part kit with various arm and head options (including a 'not-Hellboy' configuration).  It's also worth noting just how lovely the Hasslefree miniatures are.  

They aren't 'heroic scale', so some detailing can get a bit lost, but their quality is second to none.  Great poses, full of character, crisp, clear, clean sculpting and casting with minimal flash and no mould misalignment, they really are a joy to look at.  

So, first up, the Andreah model that will be my gang leader.  She's so perfect it would really be a travesty to convert her, so I just cleaned her up and stuck her on the base.

Next up was 'Brooke' who I'll be using as a Juve (obviously!)  Actually she looks to me like a particularly disturbing Psyker.  Anyway, loath as I am to defile the Hasslefree figures, I will, and with Brooke I upgraded her rather dinky fruit knife to something a little more impressive.  With this figure I'm thinking that whatever the colour scheme I go for I might have a pop at painting her with 'sheer' or 'see through' clothing.  She looks like she's dripping wet having just crawled out of a filthy sump so it seems only right.  It's not an effect I've tried to get before though so I might play it safe.

Finally there's the Harby model.  To be honest I bought this one on a whim because I liked the look of him so much so I've no idea where he'll fit in the gang roster!

From the various options, I went with the Hellboy hand and pistol.  I'll paint the hand to look like a power glove, so that may be where he finds his place.  Neither of the heads provided were bald so I decided to bring out another Chaos Marauder head.  

This chap deserved a bit of extra character though, so I sliced a nasty old scar through his face.

No sign of the Heresy models yet, but when they arrive I'll have everything so far ordered.

Next task will be to daub a bit of paint onto the bare lead.  As I said, I'm undecided as yet but its feeling like I'll be going for a chocolate brown and blue theme rather than the harsher 'black trench coat' look.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

In the grim Darkness of the Far Future there is only Mad Max meets Judge Dredd, or...Adventures in the Underhive

After many years apart, I've been drawn back into the Games Workshop fold, sort of at least.  Actually since Warhammer Historical (now laid to rest) produced such gems as Legends of the Old West, I suppose its not been that long...ahem...I'm rambling.

No, so, I've been drawn into a little side project planned to hit our table in 2013; Necromunda.  This gem of a sci-fi skirmish game really is something that Games Workshop did well all those years ago.  We're going retro too, eschewing the latest sleek 'Underhive' version of the rules for the somewhat clunky original version.

So anyway, I'll be running a Delaque gang through the brutal toxic sumps, and general grimy decrepitude and decay of the hopeless realms of the Necromundan Underhive.  The old GW figures haven't really stood the test of time, so I've trawled around the various suppliers for interesting looking figures to use.

My gang leader is going to be this fine filly from the 'pirates and spacefarers' range from Hasslefree.
I have a few miniatures from Hasslefree and they are undoubtedly excellent sculpts of top quality.  However, they are 'true 28mm' figures, not the all too common 'Heroic' sculpts, which can cause some issues when mixing with other ranges.  However, how could I resist this lovely model?!

To that I've added the following as a 'juve' (or young ganger).
This is a beautiful mini, brooding and full of character.  I'm planning to do a bit of conversion work on her, but to be honest I think she'll hit the table unspoiled.

I also got distracted and ordered this chap too...
I'm unsure what I'll use him for in the gang, but I liked his attitude.

To bulk out the main fighters, or 'gangers', I've gone for some of the excellent Pig Iron Kolony Rebel Infantry figures.
And to give a bit of variety and some special weapon options I also supplemented these with Kolony Feral Specialists.
To supplement the 'Juve' contingent of the gang, I've ordered a few of the East Riding Miniatures 'Slicks'.

I think they're 25mm so slightly smaller, but that's fine as they're supposed to be kids...

I've also supplemented them with a couple of the lovely Heresy 'sci-fi gang' figures.
I'll probably do a bit of tweaking on these as they'll be my plasma gunners.

So, overall, i'm looking forwards to lavishing a bit of time and effort on these to try and tie them together as a cohesive gang.  I'll let you know how it goes...