Saturday 2 September 2017

speak, friend, and enter. 1/72 diorama.

My latest project has been this little diorama, Built around a lovely 1/72 scale gandalf figure from the Caeser miniatures Fantasy adventurers box-set.

The model is built onto a 1x1 inch cube plinth. 
The rockwork is torn cork and the ruins of moria are constructed from plasticard and super sculpey firm.

This model is for sale and if you're interested feel free to post a comment or send me a message.

I actually started this diorama a few weeks ago but had it languishing on my workbench unpainted amongst a sea of unfinished projects. I decided that as i wanted to loosen up my painting style and practice adding in lighting,effects and crosshatching into my toolset that this would be a good practice piece. I always say that you should never be precious over your work, Never be a perfectionist, and so I thought i should probably take my own advice and try to get this guy done fast. 

In the end I got him painted in a single night.

The robes are built up from citadel charcharadon granite and Game colour cold grey, mixed from pure GW to pure GC , then weathered with model mates green moss and mud brown wash. 

The rocks are charchradon granite and army painter oak brown mixed up to a pure brown, With added highlights of whitened brown on the areas I felt would most catch the light of the wizards staff.

I added some dust using MIG pigments, bound with water and then given a quick blast of testors dullcoat. The great thing about this is that your pigment turns a very dusty grey whilst keeping its colour underneath, So you get the effect of built up dust and cobwebs, As seen on the steps.

And a quick shot of the unpainted base to show the work on it.
A tip for making ruins from sculpey is to roll out a flat plate of sculpey onto tin foil, Cut it to shape and sculpt your ruins as a relief.You can put this straight into the over and then round our the shape with a file/sculpting tools.

Monday 17 July 2017

Commission: Salute 2017 X wing table.

Well it's been a while and i figured it was about time I actually did the write up for this.

Sadly i don't work from diagrams or technical drawings, So you'll just have to make do with my WIP pics and the image of me using a piece of folded A4 paper to fudge my measurements.

The table is built on 3 levels,
.The ground level featuring the actual scenery with the scarif citadel.
.the playing level. clear acrylic with the top of the citadel poking out.
.the shield gate.a top level of acrylic featuring the scarif shield gate and armada ships.

Well that's it for the image dump!

In terms of construction there were a few odd points to work around.
First was the sliding scale of the tower, Which had to go from 1:2000 scale at the base to 1:260 at the playing level. This was mostly done by eye , Working on my cuts until it looked right without having a dramatic shrinking point.

Second was the tower construction itself. I'm not the neatest builder so getting the tower symmetrical and stable ,let alone the right size to sit under the playing surface was a bit of a challenge.Again this was mostly done by eye, Cutting one shape until it looked right then replicating it by using it to build a template.

The frame is build of standard off the shelf pine and 12mm mdf.

The tower is build from 2.5mm polyboard. Polyboard is much better than foamboard for hobby applications.IT's slightly more rigid, much more moisture resistant and most importantly completely resistant to solvents. This means it can be fixed quickly with super glue and sprayed with any standard spraypaint.

The gribbling of the tower and the ground level details are all scratch build from your basic off the shelf plasticard .

The trees are push drawing pins , sprayed black and flocked. This was by far the most time consuming part of the project, With over 1000 hand made trees flocked, mapped and drilled into place.

The water is 3 tones of Vallejo blue ,working from a mid turquoise to a sky blue , with a very fine drybrush of white on the shore line. It's all gone over with about 6 bottles of Vallejo still water effect. If I were doing this again I'd most likely switch to clear poly resin to increase coverage.

So that's basically it. The construction went up without too much of a hitch and it was really great to see so many people enjoying the table at salute.
(if you were at salute and have any pics of the table let me know, I'd love to see them! )

And to finish, here's me being interviewed by Beasts of War at 8 in the morning before I'd had any tea, breakfast or real sleep.

Sunday 11 June 2017

A pox upon thee....

A foul wind has blown through the old woods. 
It has turned the chilled swamps into stinking quagmires.
The ground swells and weeps.
Ever do the carrion flies swarm.

The plague has come to the shadow realm, A herald of 
Some new force come to seek the Mystarikum....

A jolly warband marches through the woods, Their songs and blessings cutting through the mist.
Singing and dancing they come, 
Brothers in arms, Comrades and friends all.
The servants of the plague have crawled from where their plague ridden bodies fell.

One, A freeguild greatsword captain by the name of Hildebrand Geschwind
has taken up his beloved blade and rallied his men.
Now he marches to war, The banners and horns of his host blow again in the busy streets of his home town.
He has come to bring the new word of nurgle to those in the dark realm.

So yeah, I couldn't resist.
I got my hands on a couple of poxwalkers a week early and I knew i wanted them to form the base of an Age of sigmar warband.I've always loved nurgle and wanted to build a unit of grimy old nurgle soldiers and these guys just scream that to me.

The miniatures ooze character and as with everything from the dark imperium box was an absolute joy to paint.
This guy is a really simple conversion, Just a greatsword from the demigryph knight box cut up and attached to the weapon handle of the poxwalker.

This guy was painted almost entirely with washes and model mates weathering wash (which i recommend everyone get!) I look forward to doing more of his joyfull brothers and sisters.

Thursday 8 June 2017


"Whats this?"
"Is it some sort of stormcast?"
"Chaos warrior perhaps? "

"Well whatever it is, Let's get it inside, I'm sure mayor Brukhem will want to see it."

Last words of 3 citizens of warp world xxxIIIv3 as they tried to drag off the unconcious brother Aremis.

When I'm not at home in a small room full of miniatures, I'm at work in a big room full of miniatures. 
My latest task at work has been to get the new 8th edition set painted up, And I couldn't resist diving in with a primaris marine.

I haven't painted a marine in about 4 years, And i haven't painted an unconverted ,studio paintjob marine since i started this hobby 15 years ago when I moved from The lord of the rings miniatures to ultramarines.

So what are they like? Well, They're great.This is what space marines should always have been.Big, Powerful giants in armour, But with a real sense of speed and dynamism to the sculpts.They paint up lovely, With nice flat panels for highlighting. (or weathering and freehand when i get my hands on my own squad.....) 

IF you like marines, Or converting, Or painting, Or miniatures in general, Then you'll have fun playing around with these. (and the whole contents of the box- I'm looking at those nurgle cultists like a dog looks at an unguarded ham...) 

I'll also take this chance to show the shadow wars scenery I've been painting up for the store lately. 
GW are really knocking it out the park at the moment with kits that reward the painter, And i can't wait to see what they do next.

Sunday 4 June 2017

Eclipse entries.

The entries for Ex profundis Eclipse contest are now all online, And they're all well worth checking out! There are some really wonderful conversions being put forward and every entry is packed with character.

You can check them out over at

Saturday 3 June 2017

A strange excursion....

What do you do when you have 3 days to finish you degree show work and need all the time you have spare to finish your research? 

Take an impromptu trip to warhammer world of course! 

I'm not really sure what i can say on the subject of warhammer world that hasn't been said before. Great scenery, an amazing shop, wonderful displays and a pretty good burger and beer! 

On the subject of the displays, They GW studio have been busy cranking out some amazing dioramas for Age of Sigmar. None of my photographs could ever do them justice, But the Ironwarp citadel and the fortress of Nurgle are mesmerising. It's a massive shame in my opinion that GW haven't published a nice coffee table book of these dioramas ,As each one is well deserving of it's own dedicated book.

But what is a blog post without pictures? I got some time between finishing my bugmans ale and trying out 8th edition 40k to photograph some of my AOS28 miniatures on the amazing  Ruins of Dras’Shiel scenic table.
Hopefully next time I head down I'll be able to really get a few games in with some future conversions...

Therin the blind searches for arcane secrets.

Dainna and Burik explore the ruins in search of  heretics.

Burik and Huund on guard.

Imcyra the many blessed spreading sigmars light in the dark corners of the realms.

Sir Bry'nn the blessed leads his holy brothers through ancient ruins.

Imcyra among the ruins.

Reinhold Heilbrand leads his motley crew in search of foul sorcery.


A place of secret and arcane power....

Friday 7 April 2017

Imcyra the many blessed. Eclipse entry.

Imcyra the many blessed, Warden of the street of gods in ancient Themyskyr. 
All faiths find their home in Themyskyr. Monks and pilgrims mingle with living saints and miracle workers outside the hundred identical temples that line the ancient street. 

Imcyras job has always been a vital one, For it is her task to walk the street of gods and root out the worship of chaos, for even here the foul gods will find no welcome. 

Now as chaos sweeps the land once more she finds her task has become ever more difficult, for she must check every home and sewer of the city for traces of the foul cults that have oft sprung up in the guise of some minor deity. 
Her body bares the symbols and prayers of many different gods, painted upon the ash from the many pyres and braziers that sit outside the cities many places of worship.

So here she is, My entry to the Ex Profundis eclipse competition.
I had alot of fun with this one, As I've wanted to build something based on the dark elf sorceress model for a long time and i had a desire to make a fairly unconventional witch hunter , But still keep the end miniature quite simple and minimal.
conversion wise there's nothing major going on here, a bit of an arm resculpt, an added hand from a lord of the rings miniature , some green stuff clothing and boot cuffs and a smoothed out head.I think it does enough to pull the model silhouette away from the original figure and give her a really nice eclectic spiritual feel, without feeling chaotic.

Painting wise i wanted her to look quite earth and simple but still retain that look of a zealot, So i went with a simple palette of reds browns and blacks to contrast with her pale ashen skin and bright tattoos.
The tattoos were really fun to paint and I really just made them up as i went along.
This was a miniature where the building and painting influenced everything about the back story, I had no real conception of who she was when i started building her but once i got her tattoos and face done i instantly started building a story around them.

I also wanted to link her in with some of my other warband members, So i decided to use her to flesh out the city of Themyskyr, giving it a bit more depth in my own head as i imagine both Imcyra and Dainna wondering the same streets.